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Grade
12

The Killer of Sarah Joe

The boat, self-proclaimed as “The Sturd” for its stout and resilient makeup to the element’s harsh givings of tide and current, found itself drifting slowly towards the Marshall Islands. Its inhabitants, Zachary Cooke, Jon Rose, Abram Humphreys, and the lesser known Alexander Brown and Baron Underwood talked sloppily as they stumbled onto the beach under the influence of an abundance of british whiskeys and beers. The barely 21 year olds had just finished school, and using Jon’s large fortune found it appropriate to acquire a large vessel to venture about before their adult lives were viciously thrown upon them. Zach, Jon, and Abram grew up together. They shared together their first brews, told of their first kisses, and made lude comments about Zachary’s sister all over Abram's mother’s signature tea her husband had imported from India at the expense of Abram’s college fund. The group picked up Alexander and Baron along the way at the Imperial College where they met. They became close, yet never to the level of the initial trio. The three musketeers, as they called themselves, exited “The Sturd” first, followed by the still two outsiders. They began their explorations of the beach’s coarse sediment as a small object was detected around a bend of one of many coves of the island. Jon’s eyes fell upon the object first as the rest had regrettably forgotten their spectacles.

“Hey, Abram mate,” who at the moment was walking to the left of Jon, “do you see that white thing projecting up behind that stone far off?”

“Uhh, not very clearly” Abram replied

“Well do you think you may know what it is?” questioned Jon

“Have no clue. Maybe it’s just a lighter colored rock that is reflecting the sun’s light, for around that turn the sun shines brightly without this overhang of tree branches obstructing the sun’s radiance.”

“Wow, you get real perspicacious when you're drunk” stated Jon alarmingly

“‘Tis factual, now let us go get a closer glimpse of this anomaly” joked Abram.

The group approached the object, finding it to be a small boat with the name “Sarah Joe” written on its side. The group thought nothing of this boat, yet all five members were completely and utterly transfixed. Baron, however, strayed his vision away from the seventeen-foot Boston whaler and noticed a collection of rocks which seemed to vary from the realm of natural pile up. Baron noticed that it was marking something, yet he was uncertain what exactly it was indicating. His question was answered rather shortly when he grazed a piece of bone emerging from the light brown sand. Baron was frightened by what he had inadvertently touched, calling on Alexander to uncover the identity of the white entity. The moment he started to tug it loose from under the thin layer of sand, he knew it to be a jawbone as he found his right index finger resting upon this unknown individual’s set of intact molars which had some clear dental reconstruction. The friends squealed,  Alex immediately placed the jawbone on the set of rocks which latter would be uncovered by expeditionist John Naughton some time latter. Everyone was stunned. It was some time before any of them said another word, their muffled beer talk silenced by a mixture of both shock and amazement for which none of them had ever experienced. Before the next word was spoken, the light that was once prominent on this side of the cove was replaced by a different canopy, a canopy that of dense storm clouds with lighting strikes acting as its leaves. “The Sturd” was nowhere near sturdy enough to hang with these tides, these currents, and they were forced to set up camp on the island contaminated with the anatomy of a deadman. The friends fell asleep to God’s wrath.

Baron was the first to awake from his tent, then Abram, then Jon, and then Zach. They sat by the fire they made the night before which was protected by Alexander’s tarp he graciously provided. Alexander was still asleep as the hour was nearing far past 10-o’clock. His tent was shut as it normally would be, but the group was urgent to leave. Jon opened his tent and was amazed at what exactly he didn’t see: Alexander. The group searched and searched, for maybe he had gotten lost in the dense wilderness and could not find his way back to camp. The friends then walked out by the beach near the site of the Joe. Something different was near the boat however, footprints in random directions, sand thrown up and natural seaside vegetation displaced. Approaching the scene they found Alex dead; the 21 year old loved by many had drowned.

    Secretly, Alex has had lots of issues with depression in his past. For him, digging up that bone may have been the last straw in him taking his own life. A drunken mistake is what the rest called it, a decision they were sure Alex would regret if he was given another chance. His body did show some abrasions, shockingly, around his neck. For Alex, Jon and the rest it was assumed it was self-inflicted as he held himself underwater. The trip of a lifetime for these young men was officially dampered. To make matters even worse, the storm had a second coming, another night was needed to be spent in this hellhole which claimed two lives within the matter of ten feet.

The next morning followed a similar trend. Abram, Jon, and Zach all awoke with Baron believed to be still sleeping. Zach checked his tent only to find Baron missing. Baron was not normally the type to fool around especially after the death of his near friend, making the possibility of this being a joke far out of the question. After exploration, checking the beach yielded even more jagged footprints and Baron’s dead body surfaced near the boat with marks on his neck. Three stuns in three days the group had just experienced, but this one yielded a different conclusion. The footprints in the sand for Alex were all about the same size, even though it made zero sense for such sharp turns to be performed in such a small space for no given reason. Baron however was a very small man, standing all but 5 foot and 4 inches in height. His footprints were small, the ones seemingly chasing him being of much larger size. There was a murderer amongst the group. The three friends who had known each other their whole lives, one of them was nothing but pure evil. Nobody could see it for all these years, but at this moment everyone was on their toes.

Let’s start with Zachary Cooke. Being that both murders were at night when everyone was asleep, he could have easily sneaked out to kill. According to Abram, Zach was gone for some time during Alexander’s murder on that first night. Additionally, he was seeing having a heated discussion with Alex about the safety of the waters and how it was not yet safe to begin travelling. He was the one who proposed the whole set up camp thing. The issue with Zach is that he was actually cousins with Baron, the second victim. Baron was only a stranger to Jon and Abram when they first met in college. Zach loved Baron, although they weren’t the closest, he would never kill him. Next.

    As for Jon, he was known as the funny guy. He would make frequent comments which from a third-party perspective could sound threatening and malicious. Jon was also occasionally very violent when angered. Prior to the trip, Jon was caught “choking out” a kid who he got in a scuffle with over a girl. The claims were refuted and there were no criminal charges placed against him, yet this event made Jon the primary suspect in the eyes of his friends. Despite this, it could not be Jon as he had a zipped tight alibi, literally. Jon’s tent was broken, and the zipper on the inside was non-functioning. To get out of his tent required someone unzipping it from the outside, and since neither Zach or Abrams did so, and he was found zipped up in his tent each morning, it is impossible it could have been Jon Rose. Next.

    Finally we have Abram, the man of little words. Personally, Abram had zero motive or reason to commit the murder. He was easily the most likeable of the bunch, but a few marks on his hands left doubt in the minds of his friends. There was no alibi for him, just his word.

    The debate went on, everyone’s guard was up. The three made a pact to not leave the island until the killer was found. The other two would then leave the killer stranded, neither of the innocents would have the heart to murder their friend. Ultimately, this scenario would never be reached. As the fourth night approached, the group heard a rustling in the woods; they pretended to sleep. While doing so, a man with dark eyes circled the camp, waiting for someone to stray off in an attempt to pee, poop, etc. He neared the fire. His hand began to cover Zach’s mouth, the other grabbing his throat. Right before he pounced, Jon and Abram tackled him and brought him to the ground. Shy Abram then grabbed his tent stake, slicing open the man’s chest and impaling his throat. On him was a driver’s license with the name Peter Hachett, a crew member of the Sarah Joe who just before the big storm lured all his friends to the island to slaughter them. Scott Moorman’s grave was Peter’s distraction for all his other friend’s bodies scattered throughout the island, a fate ultimately bestowed upon Hatchett himself as his body was displaced in an unmarked grave on the northwest side of the island’s rocky perimeter.  The three left the island and covered their footprints just in time to wave “hello” to John Naughton on their way out. The trio lives on, Baron and Alexander’s “accidental drownings off the Marshall Islands” being the front page headline in London upon their return as organized by Jon’s fortuitous divorced parents. Beyond Zachary Cooke, Jon Rose, and Abram Humphreys, the truth remains undisclosed to this date.

 

State
MI
Zip Code
48130