Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
If you haven’t read the first part of this story, please click here to be brought up to speed on when I first started to notice something was off about my freshmen roommate.
Time seems to slow down as I try to process what it means that I have been sleeping in the same room as psychotic murderer for a week and that the picture of my girlfriend is now missing. I try to quickly scan through everything that I know about “Zach.”
He listens to music on his iPod a lot. He likes to look out windows and people-watch. He supposedly goes for long walks late at night. He stares at me while I sleep.
Suddenly, I realize that “Zach” has only begun conversations with me twice in the past week: the night he was staring at me while I slept, and move-in day when he asked me about Andrea’s picture.
“Joel! I’ve got to talk to Andrea! I think “Zach” is going after her.”
“What? Why would he do that?”
“I don’t know, but our first day together he asked about her picture and I told him she went to IU. Now the picture is gone!”
I immediately pull out my phone and call Andrea. No answer. Frantically, I call again. No answer this time either, but I leave a voicemail.
“Andrea, it’s me, Eric. Listen, call me as soon as you get this. I’m serious. Call me immediately please.”
“What do you want to do, man?” asks Joel.
“I’ve gotta go down to Bloomington and make sure she is all right. She’s probably just out with friends right now and missed the call, but I need to be sure.” I’m desperately hoping this to be true. “Joel, you still need to alert the cops about this bastard. Can you borrow someone’s car and go to the police without me?”
“Yeah… but I think you should come wit—“
“I can’t! But I’ll be back as soon as I can get Andrea and make sure she’s ok,” I interrupt. “Just please do this for me. The sooner we get the cops involved, the sooner we can catch this guy.”
I run to my car while texting Andrea to “call me ASAP.” I pray that she responds. As I begin the hour-long drive down to Bloomington, I’m so nervous that I can’t even listen to music. I just keep telling myself that she’s alright as the sun begins to set. After what seems like ages, my phone rings and my heart skips a beat as I see that it’s Andrea.
“Andrea? Are you ok!?!” Please tell me you’re alright!”
“I’m fine, Eric. What’s going on? I got your message and I’m a little scared. Did something happen to someone? Are you ok?”
“Kind of… Listen, it’s probably better if we talk in person. I’m about 15 minutes away from you right now. Are you in your dorm?”
“No. I’m out with some friends.”
“Can you meet me at your dorm room? I’ll be there in 15 minutes. And don’t talk to anyone who you don’t know!”
“Eric, what’s going on?”
“Please, just listen to me for now, Andrea. I’ll explain everything when I see you. 15 minutes.”
“Ok. See you at my place.”
It’s late when I arrive at Andrea’s, but I’m flooded with relief when she opens the door and I see that she’s ok. After a long embrace, I tell Andrea she better have a seat. I lock the door and sit beside her.
I begin, “Do you remember when I told you Tuesday how strange my roommate was?”
“Well, things got a whole lot stranger in the past few days.”
I tell her all about my first week with my new roommate and all about “Zach’s” weird habits. I share about how he supposedly goes for late night walks for hours every night and how he was watching me sleep the previous night. Then I share with her what I found out about the real Zach when I Googled his name. I can tell she’s a little unsure of how to react or what to say, so I tell her that I can prove it. I grab Andrea’s laptop and type in the search for the news article concerning Zach’s murder from two weeks ago. She reads it out loud.
ZIONSVILLE TEENAGER ZACH _________ STABBED TO DEATH, CULPRIT STILL MISSING Last night, Zach ______, 18, was found brutally murdered and mutilated in his bedroom at his family’s Zionsville home. His parents, Richard and Alice ______, found his body in his bed when they returned home around 11:00pm. They immediately called the police.
This gruesome murder is a shock to the normally safe suburban community, as Zach is well remembered for being a likable and pleasant teenager. Before his death, Zach had recently graduated from Zionsville Community High School and was a member of the marching band and an actor in many of the school plays. He was an honor student that was planning on attending DePauw University as a freshman at the start of the fall semester next week.
IPD is reporting that the body had been stabbed repeatedly. It had been severely mutilated and was then purposely tucked back into the victim’s bed. Currently, the police are reporting that they have no suspects and few leads to go on. All blood samples found in the room have been confirmed to either belong to the victim or have been mixed with an ammonia-based solution rendering them unidentifiable. The only clue the police have to go on is an origami flower that was left on the victim’s body.
Andrea’s voice trails off as she finishes reading the article. Her face looks stricken as she slowly backs away from the computer.
I point to the picture of the real Zach and say, “That is not the person that I have been sharing a room with for the past week! I think the guy I’ve been living with has been pretending to be Zach _________. I think he’s the murderer. Andrea? Andrea?”
Andrea is still staring at the screen in horror, but then reaches into her closet and pulls out three objects. Shakily she states, “I started receiving these three nights ago, one each night. The first two were just set out in front of our door late at night. My roommate and I saw them in the morning. The third one was left on my nightstand last night, but I swear we locked the door! Eric, they were cute, so we thought they were from a secret admirer or something!”
In Andrea’s hands are three perfectly folded origami flowers.
“Do you know what time these were left here?” I ask frantically.
“I don’t know… Sometime after I go to bed, which is usually around 12:30. They were there each morning at 7:00 when I wake up to shower.” I can hear the fear seeping into her voice just as I can feel it seeping into my thoughts.
“That bastard! He wasn’t going for late night walks, he was coming here! I don’t know how he found your room, but we’ve got to get out of here. Joel went to the police already. We should go there and join him.”
I grab my phone to call Joel. No answer.
“He’s probably still explaining everything to the cops. I’ll try him again in a few minutes, but we should start making our way there.”
“Eric, a killer was standing next to my bed last night…” Andrea barely whispers. I bring her in close and hold her tight.
“I know, babe, and I’m so, so sorry. But the best thing we can do now is meet Joel at the police station. They’ll know what to do. It will be safe there.”
I go to the door and unlock it, but stop in my tracks. Sitting on the floor in the hallway is a beautifully folded origami flower. And sitting underneath it is an iPod. I know immediately whose it is. I grab them both, slam the door, and lock it.
“What are those?” Asks Andrea timidly.
I show her the flower and iPod and say, “Gifts from my ‘roommate’.”
Andrea starts to cry. I go to hold her again, still holding the flower and iPod. As she’s sobbing into my shoulder, I see that there is writing on the white side of the origami flower. Slowly I step back from Andrea and carefully unfold the flower. In it is written a note from “Zach.”
Eric, you once asked me if I knew what I wanted my major to be. I’ve decided perhaps photography.
And below that:
Your friend looks very peaceful when he sleeps, Eric. But I don’t envy him.
My hand shaking, I turn on the iPod. There’s nothing on it except the factory default programs. There’s not even any music on it. That psycho was listening to nothing all along! I press the Photos button and my knees start to go weak.
There is one photo album with five images in it. Each one is a different shot of a severely mutilated human body. Blood and gore flood each photo. Cautiously, I flip through the photos of carved human flesh and organs. When I view the last image, I drop the phone and begin to weep.
On the iPod’s screen is an image of Joel lying in a bed. The sheets are saturated in blood and sitting on top of his chest is an origami flower.
Credit To – legendaryhero27
This is a small miniseries that will be posted in three parts over the next few days. Once the other parts go live, I will edit in links to their posts here. You can also track the Freshman Roommate Series tag to see all posts in this series.
This story first appeared on reddit’s /nosleep/ board and is being hosted here with permission from the original author.