5
min

Final Grade

Image of Emily Rogers

Emily Rogers

175 readings

26

FINALIST
Jury Selection

The Texas weather had been relentless the last few days of the semester. The week of finals came and so did the rain. Anyone knows that this campus has the worst drainage system, so by the Thursday of finals week, you had to wear waders to get from place to place.
PSYCH 4517- The Psychology of a Murderer- Final Exam 8 pm.
One last exam.
It all started with a misunderstanding... and now it was too late.
Thunder shook the ancient walls of the Tremble Hall basement. This was where certain classes and professors were banished when they no longer held value to the university. Monroe had requested to change rooms, but his request had mysteriously gotten lost. No respect for psychology. Monroe’s thoughts are interrupted by the door opening. Slowly but surely the ten students shuffled in.
“Good evening everyone. As you know, today is your final exam, and as you should also know, this exam is worth a majority of your grade. All I have to say is follow the directions to a T...” Five of the more determined students dive immediately into the exam, speeding through it with no hesitation. The one on the front row finishes in 30 minutes. He picks up the test and walks it to Dr. Monroe. Biting his lip, the student waits anxiously in front of Monroe for his grade. With a single swipe, Monroe's hands back the exam with a blood-red zero on the top. The student's face grows pale, but knows that arguing his grade is pointless... One down, nine to go. Twenty- five minutes pass and four other students finish with the same result of the first. Failures... Idiots... Cowards. “You have half the time remaining. Use it wisely.” The five remaining students looked at each other nervously. The two guys shifted in their seats and the three women let out heavy sighs. Dr. Monroe looked on at the people before him, Let the game begin!
A loud clap of thunder rattles the walls again, plummeting the room into darkness. Someone lets out a scream and a series of cacophonies in sue. A loud crash in front of the two guys sends the girls scattering around the room, all three trying to find a way out or the light switch.
“Who turned off the lights?!?” Someone jiggles the door to get out, but it is locked tight. Someone runs into another, sending each to the hard ground. After what seems like an eternity, a rough and calloused hand grazes the switch. The lights in the old building sputter on, with only three lights coming on fully. A few seconds pass and the room is fully lit. The scene before the students is one of pure chaos. Two of the girls are rubbing a spot on their foreheads, the other woman helps the two to their feet. The guy with the baseball cap is untangling himself from one of the many knocked over desks.
“Is everyone okay?” The other guy walked to the front of the room where the others had gathered.
“Other than this massive headache I have now,” the redhead looked angrily at the short brunette, “I’m fine.” The others agreed in unison. But one thing about the room wasn’t returned to order as quickly as the rest. Something catches the eye of the guy in the baseball cap.
“Oh my God!” The others turned to meet his gaze. The pale blonde screamed and the taller guy ran to the trash can, hoping he’d make it in time. Laying just past the front desk was Dr. Monroe. His face was paler than usual and his square-shaped glasses were broken in one lens. The short brunette walked over to the body and knelt down to look closer. She picked up his wrist-
“Don’t touch him, that’s so gross!” the redhead cringed.
“I’m checking for a pulse you idiot Maybe he had a heart attack!” she pushes the wrist harder, moving a few inches down, “He’s dead.” The others take a step back, each one trying to process what had just occurred. The brunette closed Dr. Monroe’s glazed-over eyes. The redhead rub her hands together nervously. The taller guy wiped the corner of his mouth and sat down in one of the front desks. The guy in the baseball cap went over to where the brunette was and the two examined the body. The pale blonde remained where she stood. Panic came over her, was this her fault? Who did this? What was going to happen next... She had to get out of there. She sprinted for the door and just like in the dark, the door refused to open. She pulled out her phone but because of the rain and where this class was banished, the cell service was nonexistent. Fury and worry came over her and she furiously began banging on the door.
“Help! Anyone out there?!? Help us!!!” She banged on the door until her hands were a deep red. The redhead rushed over to her. The blonde turned to meet her gaze and was instantly met with a hand to her cheek.
“I’m sorry, “the redhead backed away, “We cannot panic right now. We have to figure out what happened, and losing our minds won’t do us any good.” The two walked back to the front where the others had gathered. No one could make heads or tails of what just happened. But one thing they each knew, they did not do it.
“This is some kind of joke, right?”
“Did anyone else read the directions on the exam?” the guy in the baseball cap asked. To his surprise, the others nodded yes, “What did yours say?” The redhead walked back to her desk and picked up her exam.
“To the lucky students who actually read the directions. You have been selected to take part in an amazing opportunity to really understand what it means to be a murderer. When I announce that half the time remains, each of you will have an important job. Look on the back page for your roll in this exciting learning opportunity...” She chokes back a tear. The guy in the baseball cap picks up his and chimes in,
“To pass my class you must prove to me you understand what you have learned. Each one of you will play a part in my murder. Do your part and you will be rewarded greatly. Ignore your part or skip the directions entirely and you will fail... So, who did what?” for a moment, the guy couldn’t believe what he just asked.
“I was the one who turned off the lights,” the pale blonde stated. She gazed at Dr. Monroe, disgusted at what she had done.
“I locked the door,” the redhead brushed back a lock of hair.
“I’m the one who flipped all the desks,” the taller guy admitted.
“I’m supposed to call the police in the morning,” the guy in the baseball cap turned his hat on his head. That only left one job... the four looked at the brunette, already knowing what she was going to say.
“He told me to kill him,” the others looked at her in fear, “Look, I would never do that, none of us would! I don’t think anyone of us is desperate enough to kill someone. Besides, he probably died from a heart attack. The man was seventy-five and could barely move!”
“I can move enough to fake a heart attack!” A voice rose from behind the brunette. Dr. Monroe adjusted his glasses, “You all clearly did not follow my directions. You all were supposed to play a part in my demise and you all failed!”
“We failed?!?” the brunette could not believe what she was hearing, “Now you listen here, you had no right to subject us to this kind of torment! We are here to learn about murderer’s not become one. If this is your sick idea of messing with us, congratulations you did it. Just because we are told to do something horrible does not mean we have to! Screw you, Dr. Monroe! Fail me, fail us for all I care!” The heat of anger flushed her cheeks. The others waited with bated breath. Dr. Monroe smiled slightly. He picked up his briefcase and walked over to the door. With a simple turn, it opened. The five remained inside, unsure of what just transpired.
The silence was broken by the various chimes of phone notifications.
“It’s a Canvas notification for the exam... I got an A.”
“I did too.” The others said in unison. The five gazed at the door and wondered why. The infamous words of Dr. Monroe echoed in their heads, “A murder is the decision to do something that you are told to do. The truth is doing what you believe is right, not what you are told.”

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Image of Jose Salazar
Jose Salazar · ago
Great job! It instantly captures your attention.
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Image of Matthew Smith
Matthew Smith · ago
Awesome story! Thanks for writing.
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Image of Chasidah Fried
Chasidah Fried · ago
Very interesting, I hope to vote soon.
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Image of Kristy Chavarria
Kristy Chavarria · ago
Thank you for writing such an amazingly fun and twisted story !!
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Image of Ruthann Brown
Ruthann Brown · ago
A true author and teacher all in one!
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Image of Rebecca Sales
Rebecca Sales · ago
Good job!
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Image of Shirley Horsley
Shirley Horsley · ago
I enjoyed this story very much. Well done!
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Image of Howard Rogers
Howard Rogers · ago
Nice, well done
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Image of Janet Rogers
Janet Rogers · ago
Good job kiddo!!!!
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