It was the same environment, John’s body was apparently in the same condition as Sully’s had been, so according to the authorities, it was the same cause of death. How very convenient for them. Certainly they couldn’t really expect the community to accept this same excuse twice. There had to be more to this.
“This story is the best they can do to explain,” had been John’s exact words, and now they applied to him as well. There was nothing natural or normal about this, and if it was rare why had it happened twice in just over a week?
“There is nothing more we can tell you then you know already. The schools explanation makes as much sense as any right now,” Sam insisted as we gathered in my apartment Monday, noon.
“Come on man, you’ve got to admit it’s a little hard to swallow twice. We all know that place was thoroughly cleaned and emptied of chemicals that could have caused this reaction,” Jim stated. “John had even told us that.”
“All I can tell you is that something caused him to burn up. That’s the real cover story; he doesn’t need to be cremated because he already is. We were barely able to identify him. There was only one hand left, a class ring, and his glasses. The rest was ash! There was no sign of fire in the room so if it wasn’t chemicals, than how do you explain it?” Jenny challenged.
“Alright, but twice in a sterilized lab, how do you explain that?” Catherine countered.
Jamison Marshall my next door neighbor came crashing through the apartment door, without warning causing startled screams as we jumped to our feet.
“It’s happened again! Just like the other two! There was a loud pop, and screaming. Then they made us all leave the building. We were supposed to be quiet and stay there with the group but I snuck away.” He screeched half out of breath.
“Another death? Are you sure that’s what it was? There are no sirens!” Jim questioned.
“Yes, the girl next to me was crying, she said she saw it, and someone is definitely dead, but she didn’t know who.” Jamison quivered as he related this to us.
“Where?” Catherine asked.
“Look,” he pointed out the window toward the library where a crowd was already standing outside. “And there, see they are coming.”
We watched as two police cruisers, a coroner’s van, and a HAZMAT truck quietly snaked through campus streets.
“No lights, no sirens, that’s very odd!” Catherine noted.
“Not if you are trying to avoid a panic, and as much attention this time as possible, not to mention your plausible excuse just got vaporized,” I stated.
“It’s still plausible, at least as far as they are concerned,” Sam whispered, almost completely under his breath, “she was with him in the lab at times.”
Almost at once, we all headed for the door, running out on to the sidewalk.
“There’s no point in going over there, they won’t tell you anything, not even who it is,” Jamison shrugged.
“We already know who it has to be” Catherine’s voice sunk in a way that belayed controlled hysteria.
“I was in the library when it happened, and I don’t know who it is, how could you possibly know?” Jamison puzzled.
Just then a fire alarm rang out in the building next to mine, and people came pouring out of the lobby into the yard screaming. They were followed by two hysterically crying, stumbling, vomiting, coughing, dazed girls, that were splattered with ashes.