Wayland Middle School's Literary Magazine

The Midnight Carnival, a mystery by Katy Scott

Written By: Rachel Barker - Jun• 19•18


It was Saturday morning, my day off from work, and I was calmly sitting on my porch swing, the breeze gently prodding my face as I swayed to the whistles of the birds. The fresh morning dew glistened on the grass as the sun came up from its sleep. This is my favorite time of day. I am Dr. Arthur Wells, Detective Dee Cipher’s assistant detective. Sometimes working with Dee can be stressful, she has high expectations given she notices everything, and I try to keep up, but sometimes it gets hard. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath and–bring! bring! bring! I opened my eyes. Detective Dee Cipher was calling.

“Hello Dee,” I sighed.

“Quick. You gotta come down to the carnival. There has been a murder and we need to solve it!” I paused for a moment.

“Wells!! Are you listening to me?!”

I jerked awake. “Yes! Dee, I am coming. See you there.”

I yawned, trying to shake the sleepiness out of me. So much for my day off! I grabbed my coat and raced down to the carnival.


I arrived at the carnival and an instant wave of gloom hit my body. My fingers convulsed and a feeling of emptiness crept up my body from my feet reaching up to my head. Everything looked abandoned, the sun that was so bright when I was sitting on my porch now seemed dark and hidden, like it was trying to hide from something. I saw Detective Dee Cipher by the ferris wheel and raced over to her.

“Hey, Dee. I came as soon as I heard! What is the murder?” Although my day off was interrupted, I was quite thrilled to have a new mystery to solve.  

“Oh! Great, your here. This murder is going to be a tough nut to crack.” Dee frowned slightly and put her hand on her hip.

“What happened? Are there any witnesses here?”

“Yes! In fact there are!” Dee jumped up as a new wave of energy hit her body, her pale brown jacket bounced up with her. “Abigail and Becky are right over there talking to the owner of the carnival. Abigail married the father of Rachel and Becky after his divorce with his previous wife, Elaine. He passed away three years ago and left his fortune with Abigail, Rachel, and Becky. Abigail, and Becky were out celebrating Rachel’s 24th birthday with her at the carnival. Becky and Abigail say that they went on the ferris wheel after they ate dinner, and Rachel seemed very healthy and good spirited, but when she came back down, she was dead,” Dee Cipher took in a big gulp of air.

This was going to be a lot harder than I thought. Who could have killed Rachel during the ferris wheel ride? I looked at the cars on the ferris wheel. One of them had a shard of broken blue glass in it. That’s odd. I wonder…

“Hey Dee,” I called out, “Come over here.” Dee rushed over and started examining even though I didn’t even tell her what I am talking about. “Look at that piece of broken glass. Do you think that has to do with the crime?”

“It must,” She had a gleam in her eye. “I will come back to this later. Come with me, I will introduce you to Abigail and Becky.”

We approached Becky and Abigail. Becky looked a mess, her hair in tussles, she looked like she was wearing the same clothes as the night before. Abigail however, was more put together. She wore all black including black gloves and had her handkerchief out.

“Hello, Abigail. Hello, Becky. How are you holding up?” Dee asked, her shoulders squeezing together with concern.

“Good morning, Detective Cipher. You must be Dr. Wells,” She nodded towards me. “We are hoping you had some leads on what could have caused this horrific event,” Abigail looked melancholy and pale. Becky burst out crying.

“Oh dear! I will grab you some tissues from the bathroom. Please excuse me,” Abigail migrated towards the bathroom and Becky suddenly stopped crying.

“I need to tell you something. Quick,” Becky looked serious.

“What’s wrong? Are you alright?” I looked Becky straight in the eye, and there was a sadness in them that made my heart want to deflate.

“I don’t think my stepmother would kill Rachel, but I saw that she had spent a lot of money on clothes, and I mean way too much. Maybe she thought she could get Rachel’s birthday money if she killed her,” Becky looked ashamed for saying it.

“Oh my,” Dee looked troubled and I wonder if she felt as bad as I felt.

“But here’s the thing, the man running the ferris wheel was eyeing the necklace she was wearing. Maybe he thought he could get it to sell if he killed her, and get lots of money,” Becky stopped speaking and I looked over my shoulder to make sure nobody was coming. “I am sorry, I have to find my stepmother. Goodbye,” Becky rushed off.

“That was strange. I wonder if she is okay,” I looked over at flustered Becky.

“I am sure she is fine,” Dee shrugged  at me. “We should get back to the ferris wheel to look around for clues. Come on Wells, let’s go.”

We walked through the carnival  back to the ferris wheel and I noticed Doug, the man running the ferris wheel the night Rachel was killed was sitting on the bench playing the ukulele.  

“Ouch! I can’t play with this cut!” He yelled angrily throwing the instrument. Dee nudged me.

“Hey, look at his hand. There is a gash on it.”

I gasped. “Could that be from…”

“The glass,” Dee paused. “I mean we have no proof, but, we really could be on to something. We have a meeting scheduled with him tomorrow so he can tell us what happened. We will talk to him then,” Dee sighed. “It has been a long day. I am going to get some rest and see you early in the morning to get ready for our lunches with the suspects.”
I looked around and realized she was right. The sun had set, and the crickets were chirping loudly.

“Goodnight.” I waved goodbye and headed towards my car.


The morning came and I journeyed backed down to the carnival.

“Good morning Wells!” Dee had a chipper look on her face. We were meeting the suspects for lunch at the diner. “We talk to Becky first, then Doug, and then Abigail.” As if right on que Becky trudged in.

“Hello Detective Dee Cipher, Dr. Wells,” She looked down. As we sat down, she started to sniffle.
“I am sorry, just, getting over this whole thing has been a real challenge for me.” Becky said.

“We know, and we are truly sorry,” Dee patted her arm. “But could you try to tell us about the night Rachel was killed?”

“Yes. I remember my step mother, Abigail was very kind to Rachel, filling up her new, tinted glass water bottle full of soda. Rachel even had soda on the ferris wheel! But what I found weird was that the man running the ferris wheel, Doug, left right after he started the ferris wheel. I saw him running up the fire escape stairs of the building next door. Maybe he could have killed Rachel from there as she came around the ferris wheel. But that seems a little far fetched, doesn’t it?” Becky slumped to one side.

“Did you notice anything weird about how Doug acted when he found Rachel dead?” Dee Cipher asked Becky.

“Well, he looked a little grossed out, and didn’t talk much. He said he was going to get the manager to help carry Rachel, but neither he nor the manager ever showed up,”

“Thank you Becky, we will see you shortly,” Dee waved goodbye to Becky as Doug came into the diner.

“Hello Doug,” Dee waved at him to sit down. He looked sad. “Can you tell us about the night of Rachel’s death?”

“I didn’t do it!” Doug yelled. “I was just standing behind my booth, and Rachel and her family came. I noticed the mother giving Rachel a bottle of something in this glass water bottle, I think it was soda or something, but I couldn’t see the liquid inside of it. I started up the ferris wheel and told my buddy John to keep an eye on it while I went to clean out the fire escape of the building next door. I came back down by the time the ferris wheel stopped running.”

“Can you tell me what that gash on your right palm is?” Dee questioned. I found all of this very interesting. Why would Doug clean the fire escape right when they were on the ferris wheel? What was with this glass water bottle?

“I got this nasty cut while using the Swiffer in the fire escape. I broke off the handle by accident and the sharp plastic cut me like a knife!” He enraged.

“Thank you for your time, Mr. Doug. We will see you around.” I waved goodbye as Dee spoke. He trudged out of the diner, looking aimlessly into the distance. Abigail walked in.

“Hello, Abigail,” Dee welcomed her to sit down.

“Hello, Dee and Wells. I need to use the ladies room for a moment. Please excuse me.”

“I actually need to go as well,” Dee replied. “We will be back shortly.” I was actually happy to have some time to myself. This case seemed insolvable! I closed my eyes to think back to my clues.

“Ahem. Wells.” Dee nudged me awake. That time went by so quickly!  I must have fallen asleep! I looked at Dee’s face, and then Abigail’s face. Dee looked like she was trying to hide some crazy enthusiasm, and Abigail looked ashamed.
“Wells. Abigail and I got to talk about the crime in the ladies room. We are all set. Thank you for your time, Abigail,” Dee waved goodbye as Abigail raced out.

“Why are you… “

“I figured it out, Wells! I can’t believe it! It is so good,” Dee was ecstatic. “But we have to go, quick. I will tell you about it later. I saw Abigail race out and I think she is trying to get to Becky before we do so she can tell her some made up story protecting herself. “

“Oh my! Come on, you drive! I’ll call the cops!” I tossed Dee the keys. I have never felt so exhilarated in my life.  What did Abigail say or do in the bathroom causing Dee to figure it out so quickly? Every turn and jerk of the car felt like I was on a rollercoaster. As we pulled up to the carnival, I jumped out of the car. I saw Abigail running towards Becky, screaming something about liars and crazy detectives. Two police officers got in her way and twisted her gloved hands behind her back. As they took off her gloves, it revealed they were covered in burns.

“Are you Dr. Wells and Detective Cipher?” The police officer asked. She had a whole team of police officers with her, I felt like I was in a movie. “And you want to put Mrs. Abigail H. Killington under arrest for murder?”

“Yes officer,” I held my head up high as Dee spoke to her. Abigail struggled to get out of the grasp of the police officers, but finally was pushed into the car. Becky raced up to us.

“Oh my goodness! What happened?”

“It was all Dee, you tell her,” I gestured towards Dee. I was hearing her conclusion for the first time as well.

“So you know how Abigail bought all of those clothes that she didn’t need, well, she did need to replace the money she spent. She knew that Rachel was getting money from her late father, and Abigail knew if she killed Rachel, she could secretly get that money. Becky said that Abigail helped Rachel get into the ferris wheel cart, and gave her a tinted blue water bottle full of soda. Rachel drank the soda and she must have dropped the water bottle, that is what that piece of broken glass in the cart was from. However, in the ladies room of the diner, Abigail went to wash her hands, and took off her gloves. She must of forgotten that she was wearing gloves to hide her hands because she quickly put them back on. I got a glance of her hands before the gloves went back on, and they were covered in burns. Not the type from heat, but from poison. Abigail must have filled the tinted water bottle with poison so Rachel thought it was soda. After she drank it, she instantly died. Abigail did it so she could have the money from Rachel’s birthday for herself,” Dee smiled with pride. I stood in awe, tracing through the steps she must have taken to get there.

“You will not get away with this!” Abigail screamed through the police car window, her hair looked like she was just shocked by electricity.

“Looks like we have solved yet another crime,” I grinned widely at Dee.


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