“Mark… I think I accidentally killed someone.”
It was a lie though, Donghyuk knew this someone. Maybe not knew knew, but he’s seen this kid before around his campus, walking together with Renjun or doing homework with Jisung. But fate or other more sinister natural force must’ve stopped him from becoming more than just a familiar face in Donghyuk’s lexicon because of this. Because he was fated to kill him.
“You WHAT?!” The person at the other end of the phone call yelled so loudly his voice clipped. And with how anxious Donghyuk was starting to get, it was enough to send him into a broken mess of incoherent blabberings and teary snot,
“I don’t know! I don’t know what happened he was there! Suddenly he was there in my apartment... and I didn’t know that it was a kid from school the lights were off and I just grabbed my baseball bat and I swung it and now he’s NOT BREATHING! I think…”
There was a long stretch of silence and Donghyuk was afraid he might’ve called a wrong person. Mark might’ve been his reluctant partner in crime but usually Donghyuk’s crime never exceeded the limit of some stupid ‘I stole a tangerine from the corner shop.’
He was just about to beg Mark not to call the police on him when he heard words that for the first time that night, managed to give Donghyuk a little bit of relief. At least afterwards he didn’t feel like he was on the verge of throwing up the entirety of his dinner.
“I’ll be there in five. Don’t you dare do anything stupid.”
_ _ _ _ _
What could be more stupid than accidentally swinging a bat at an innocent boy who just happened to enter a wrong apartment room?
Ruining one’s alibi by failing to lie at one easy question of, “have you seen Chenle?”
Renjun called him, asking if somehow Donghyuk has seen someone he didn’t even know the name of until that very moment.
He could’ve just said no. He could’ve very easily just say no but Donghyuk found himself rambling out this convoluted lie of seeing the boy at his floor, then how he chatted with him for a while before sending this poor Chenle kid to the right floor to make his appointment with Renjun.
When Mark barged into his home, he took one look at Donghyuk who was still talking on his phone and Donghyuk could see five years of his friend’s life being sapped out from his very being.
“I… I have to go.” He didn’t wait for Renjun’s goodbye before terminating the call and throwing his phone on the dining room table as if it was made out of red hot coal, “I’m sorry I couldn’t stop myself-,”
“Where’s the body.”
From his first panicked observation, Donghyuk didn’t realise that Mark was lugging around a big duffel bag. It let out a loud, heavy thud when he dropped it on the floor and inside was an arsenal of cleaning chemicals, tools, and a roll of gigantic trash bag.
“Right beside you,” Donghyuk pointed at the lump of bedsheet just to the left of Mark’s feet and however hard he was trying to be the no nonsense logical person in this situation, Mark still jumped away and let out a pathetic yelp.
“Jesus christ,- you just left him there?!”
“WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO WITH IT?! Tuck him in my bed?? Wash him up??? Dress him for his funeral?!”
In the middle of Donghyuk’s fuming, Mark bent down to take a peek of who was this person that Donghyuk accidentally bashed with his baseball bat. One little glance was more than enough to cause all of the blood to be drained from his face, turning him to a sickly greenish hue, similar with the complexion of the corpse. The corpse who looked far too peaceful to be a victim of a panic induced bat-based bludgeoning.
If he didn’t know better, Mark would’ve said the kid was only sleeping.
“You… killed… Zhong-fucking-Chenle.”
“I don’t think we should address the dead in such a disrespectful way,-”
“I DON’T CARE HOW I ADDRESS THE DEAD. THEY’RE DEAD. But you,” Donghyuk was surprised when Mark suddenly leaped to his feet and squared up to him, his hand grabbing the collars of Donghyuk’s shirt with such intensity in his eyes that for a second Donghyuk was afraid the night will end in a double murder, “you killed the son of our university chairman, you stupid shit.”
“You know I didn’t mean to!”
“The court of law will not care that you didn’t fucking mean to.”
Donghyuk was slightly disturbed with how much Mark was cursing, because usually he’s the person who’ll glare at Donghyuk with a tired look on his eyes after he pleaded for him to ‘please tone down on the shits and the fucks.’
But who was he to say anything. At that moment, Mark was Eagle 1 and he’s just a mosquito stuck on the side of a plane, hoping that he’ll survive the ride.
Mark immediately went to his ‘evidence cleanup’ toolkit and unfurled a black trash bag with one firm tug.
“Go get your biggest suitcase. Now.”
_ _ _ _ _
“Why are we taking the train again?” Mark hissed into Donghyuk’s ears, the regret and dawning of how quickly everything has gone down the schute of stupidity thickly coating his wavering voice.
“Because… no money for taxi.” Donghyuk answered after he managed to swallow the phantom phlegm from the back of his throat. Both of his hands were gripping the handle of his suitcase so hard his knuckles are turning into a disgusting shade of yellowish-white. Mark had to periodically slap his arm to remind him to act natural, but how much 'naturality' can you convey when you’re lugging around the city with a dead body on tow? Not that much, evidently.
Donghyuk couldn’t believe the kid could fit into his meagre medium-sized suitcase. He felt kind of bad looking at the neatly folded up, lifeless body of his murder victim before they zipped him up, that it even caused him to suggest that they should probably give the boy a better resting place by using his more expensive suitcase.
But then Mark looked at him as if he’d sprouted a second head on his shoulder and sternly said, “he’s dead. Dead people don’t care what brand of suitcase they got put in. They will still rot inside it all the same.”
Angry Mark is a scary Mark and Donghyuk, for once, didn’t have the guts to fight him over it.
So yes. They were on a train, and people have started to notice the oddity brewing in the air. Two university aged kids with a much too big suitcase and a much too anxious look on their faces.
Must be up to no good.
Didn’t help that the content of their suitcase was moving around.
“Why is he doing that??” Donghyuk sounded like he was just about to cry when he leaned over and whispered his panic to an equally terrified Mark.
“Muscles settling? Rigor mortis?? I don’t know man I’m not a medical student!” The extent to his medical knowledge was gained after watching three episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and thus he was helpless.
Thankfully, the train made another stop not long after the thing inside their luggage let out a weird noise. Like something between a moan and a grating rattle.
Mark grabbed Donghyuk by his arm and essentially dragged him out of the carriage and speed walked out of the subway station. Avoiding all suspicious stares from the security officers and dashing out of their presence before they could even say a word. Actually, one of the security guard did manage to yell out an ‘excuse me’, which would surely be followed by a polite request to ‘please show the content of your luggage’. But Mark did not let it happen. He just pinched down on Donghyuk’s sides so hard when he sensed that Donghyuk was starting to lose his will of keeping himself out of the getting jailed and they instantly broke into a jog.
The security officer almost caught up to them when the damned luggage got stuck at the exit gate. But one forceful kick was all it took to unlodge it and off they went running away from being charged with whatever-degree murder to the dark, cold night.
“To the river?” Donghyuk asked when they deemed themselves to be far enough from the station to allow for a small breath-catching break.
“To the river.”
_ _ _ _ _
The moon was bright that night. Stars too, at least Donghyuk could spot five plus one that was venus disguising as star as he was running the command Mark gave him. Collect stones to stuff inside the suitcase so they could drown it to the bottom of the river.
“What if they still catch me?” Donghyuk was not one to be deterred by the game of cat and mouse, he would usually even provoke his friends to give him a city wide chase after he stole something important from them. But stealing other people’s life is a different matter and Donghyuk knew he wouldn’t survive that long under the chasings of law enforcements with how poorly he’d shown to act under constant panic, guilt, and sin.
He understood the meaning behind Mark’s hesitation. It was as clear as the cloudless night’s sky,
They didn’t really find any common topic to talk about in this solemn activity of evidence ridding that they just did what they had to do in silence. It was broken when Donghyuk unzipped the suitcase and found something odd with the body inside.
“He moved.” Donghyuk stared at Mark, eyes wide with fear. As if he was expecting the corpse to suddenly open his eyes and chase him down for his vengeance, zombie style.
But Mark only rolled his eyes and exasperatedly said, “of course he’s moved, we’ve been pulling him around the city.”
They then started to fill the suitcase with the rocks, as much as they could fit without having to unnecessarily move the body around. However radical Mark’s idea was regarding dead bodies, he still felt the burden of sin that cane from denying someone out of a respectable funeral.
But the night was beautiful and the moon was round and full, both in the sky and on the surface of the river.
It wasn’t all that bad, wasn’t it? At least it wasn’t Donghyuk’s original idea of chopping the body up to 30 sections and dumping each parts in a different dumpster all around town.
Now that is desecration.
They shambled to the edge of the river, hidden nicely deep within the heavily forested area on a strange corner of the city. Nobody’s been there and nobody will be, Donghyuk hoped, because if so then he didn’t know if his piss poor lying ability would be sufficient to at least keep Mark out of jail time for colluding with a murderer.
“He’s doing it again.” They both stopped in their tracks when they heard another rattle coming from within the suitcase. Like someone, something was expelling all the air from their lungs. Ready to take an inhale that never could.
“You will be doing it when you die too. Let’s just… get it over it.”
The river water was murky. Brown and rolling and deep, what with the industrial complex surrounding the area. It was a perfect place to discreetly hide a secret.
Their arms were both shaking when they seemed to be unwilling to drop the suitcase to its final resting place, under the cold water and with all the eels and carps that will keep it company.
“Let’s just do it,-”
Donghyuk counted down, and Mark mouthed the words out, until three came and they both let go of the suitcase.
River water splashed on his face, far too cold compared to how heated his skin has felt for the whole entire night. The noise of something heavy plunging into the water sounded way too loud in the middle of this silent wilderness and Donghyuk almost lost all willpower to keep standing from how terrified he was that the next second he’d hear police sirens that came to round them up.
But it was only an almost. Donghyuk almost became too distracted to notice something particularly odd in the series of events that just unfolded before him.
Donghyuk slowly turned his head to look at Mark, expecting him to still be staring at the spot where they dropped the suitcase. But no. Mark was staring at him with horror painted on his face.
True horror that someone can only experience when they thought they’d just killed a man.
“Did you hear that…?”
Just before the suitcase hit the surface of the river, a faint, disoriented voice seeped from within the zipped up layers of fabric and fiberglass.
It sounded like someone who’d just woke up from a long, deep slumber.
If they didn’t know better, they would’ve said the kid was only sleeping.