Staying at school past eleven was the last thing Ariadne had planned. Being stuck with the classmate who annoyed her the most made matters worse. She was trying to finish a 3D model of a house she designed, due the next day. Ariadne would have done it sooner but the computers in the building were down. Ariadne could have installed the program on her own laptop but it could only hold so many gigabytes.
Miles could have been generous enough to extend the due date. Despite the Professors kindness, he was very strict when it came to his students' homework.
Now in the library, Ariadne was working away at the model of her dream house. A cup of coffee sat beside the mouse pad. The only light minus the computer screen was from a desk lamp.
Bernie, her classmate that got on her nerves a lot, was sitting by the computer next to the one she was using. While he worked, Bernie would constantly try to pick up a conversation. Secretly, he had a big crush on Ariadne but she never got a hint.
Tonight, he was going to ask her out. It's now or never, he told himself.
" he started.
"Yeah?" she didn't take her eyes off the screen.
"Your not supposed to have coffee in the library."
Way to break the ice, he thought. Ariadne sipped her hot coffee. "Technically, the library is closed. The rules don't apply."
Bernie laughed nervously. "So
are you busy at all this week?"
"With all this work and a test coming up, yes."
"In what class?"
Ariadne's eyebrows cocked up. "Architecture."
"That's right!" Bernie exclaimed. "I have so many tough classes, I miss track sometimes. Anyway, you wanna go on a date?"
Ariadne paused, completely shocked at his request. "Bernie
are you trying to invite me on a date?" she asked in disbelief.
Bernie gulped. "Well I was hoping." He said awkwardly, looking down at the floor.
Ariadne sighed. "I'm sorry. I can't."
"Then next week?"
She shook her head. "Your funny, but I can't imagine myself dating you." Ariadne put him down gently. "Sorry."
"No, no. That's ok." But he sounded like a wreck. "I'm going back to the classroom."
"You have keys?"
"Oui, I have keys." He sat up and proceeded down the long aisle out the door. Ariadne felt a little ashamed but brushed it off, figuring he'd forgive her. When she was done, Ariadne realized she left her red jacket in the classroom.
She gathered her school bag and walked down the dark deserted halls to Miles's classroom. He always locked his room when he wasn't there but trusted her enough to give her keys if she needed to get in.
Bernie must have left the building because all the lights were off. Stepping through the door, she hit the switch and advanced up the aisle to get her jacket. Ariadne grabbed it and put it on. As she was about to close down, something written on the board caught her attention.
I took her Arthur
Ariadne gulped but tried to stay calm. Maybe it was a different Arthur who was in a relationship with one of Miles's female students. From the back wall, something swung at her like a pendulum and kicked her shoulders.
Everything in her hands fell as she covered her mouth. "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!"
The object that hit her was a pair of feet. Feet that belonged to Bernie. There was a cord tied around his neck and his eyes were wide open, starring into her soul. Ariadne looked around the room then grabbed her phone off the floor. As she was about to dial for help, her battery died.
"No not now!" she begged, shaking the mobile phone. Ariadne didn't know what to do in this situation. For moments she was petrified.
"It's a good thing you left your jacket here, doll." Ariadne turned around and screamed at the sight of a tall man in a ski mask coming towards her.
"Please don't kill me!" she cried, tears springing from her eyes as she slowly backed away.
"I'm not gonna kill you, doll." He laughed, holding out a soaked rag.
There was nothing ok about this problem. Ariadne didn't know what was worse: seeing a classmate hanging by the neck, being drugged, or being kidnapped by a stranger. She turned to run to the other door at the end of the aisle.
When she reached the door, the knob wouldn't move a bit. Looking for her keys, she realized she dropped those as well. "Help me!" she screamed. "Somebody help---"
The stranger's two hands landed on the door, cornering her. He grabbed a bunch of her hair and yanked it backwards. "There's no hope of escape, doll. Why don't you relax?"
The rag was forcefully compressed against her nose and mouth. Ariadne tried not to inhale the sweet scent as her arms flailed for a getaway. The stranger put more pressure by pushing the back of her head toward the rag. "Mmmph!" She began to struggle.
"It doesn't hurt unless you breathe." He said soothingly. "Sleep now Ariadne."
How did he know her name? Ariadne wanted to find that out, along with a million more questions, but the idea got off her mind when her head fell back. The stranger pulled her lymph figure into his arms and put his gloved hand over her ear.
"Sweet dreams, doll."