Sunday, 15 January 2012
03:02:38 AM (GMT)
Dying, Dying, Dead
Chapter Three: Joseph Lee
He'd heard about the murder mystery. It was a cold case from 1993 and it definitely
caught his attention. It sounded like the perfect excuse for a game.
It was a Friday when it all started. On the way to his first period, Joseph stopped
by Ophelia's locker and said, "Hey, meet me at the table for lunch." He knew she
would know what he meant. The table was the only table under the apple tree outside.
Throughout the day, he told many people. Alissa Easton, Meghan Longfellow, Ophelia
Opalescence, Jenna Hamilton, Christine Day, Will Williams, Anthony Birch, Phillip
Simpson, and Mark Lee, Joseph's cousin.
"Why are we here?" Ophelia grumbled. She didn't like being crowded at the table, but
she did like the guys.
"Because I've got a great idea for a game," James explained.
Anthony laughed. "Game? Dude, we're in high school."
Joseph shook his head. "No, it's not any game. It's the game."
That got their attention. A regular game couldn't be the game. The game was the
"What is the game?" Alissa asked.
"It's known as 'Dying, Dying, Dead.' Once you're in, you're in for life."
"How do we get in?" Mark wondered.
"My house. 6:00."
It was 6:07. Everyone from the table was there.
"Thanks for coming," Joseph greeted. Before we start, I'd like to inform you that
'Dying, Dying, Dead' is based on a true story."
"What is the story?" Christine asked.
Joseph's face was lit in the dark by a candle. The effect was eerie and spooky, but
exciting. "In 1993, a guy named James Block was sophomore at our high school. Nice
guy, good with kids. But James had a little phrase he liked to say: 'Dying, dying,
"November 25 of that year, the last words anyone heard James say were 'Dying, dying,
dead.' Yes, I said last words. Those words were the curse of death for James that
Meghan couldn't take it. "Stop it! Just stop!"
Joseph turned to Meghan. "I forgot. You're a Longfellow, aren't you? I'm sure you
remember what happened to poor James?"
Meghan sniffed. "Yes," she answered, her voice quivering.
"Why don't you tell us?"
Meghan looked frightened. "James…um, James was found with…with…" Meghan bit her
lip, trying to stop the tears from falling.
"James was found dead with fourteen gunshots to his head and chest!" Joseph roared.
Then his voice grew quiet again. "An unsolved mystery. Which brings our game about.
To solve the murder mystery in honor of James."
Everyone but Meghan agreed to play. "You don't know what you're getting into!" she
Ophelia laughed. "Meg! It's just a game! Come on!"
But Meghan refused to join. And, sadly, she watched as her friends chanted the chant
that would get them into the game of life and death.
"Dying, dying, dying, dead!"
They repeated this continuously for ten minutes.
"This is crazy!" Jenna whined. "We look like we're doing some Goth thing."
"Hey," Ophelia growled, "some of us are Goth."
"Sorry…" Jenna pouted.
It was eight o'clock when the group left Joseph's house. As they departed, Joseph
laughed coldly from the doorstep and said, "Welcome to the most dangerous game of