Vulture Among Eagles, Part Two


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons is consensual and approved by everyone involved. Enloe Eagle’s Eye discourages the use of the content of this fictional work as a means to ridicule, harass, or demean any staff members.

This is the second installment of Vulture Among Eagles. Be sure to read part one first in order to avoid spoilers. When we last left off, our suspects had just finished giving their alibis. During that time, it was discovered that Mr. Ogren was nowhere to be found…

“So, Ogren’s missing. What do we do about that?” Mr. Miller asked, echoing the thoughts of his peers. 

“Well, the next logical step is to look for him. Since his room is just around the corner in the 1700s hall, we should start there,” suggested Mr. Wilson. They made their way to Mr. Ogren’s room, but as they walked down the hall, an overwhelming odor settled over them. Dr. Lyerly, who was at the front of the group, paused at the closed door to the classroom. None of them spoke for fear of what might happen next. Lyerly took a shallow breath and then knocked on the door. No answer.

“Should we open it?” whispered Ms. Price. Brown nodded sharply, and Lyerly acquiesced. As the door creaked open, the teachers stepped back except for Wilson, who peeked into the room. His shoulders drooped as he let out a deep breath.

“There’s no one here. We can go in.” They shuffled into the room, holding their noses against the now unbearable scent. On Ogren’s desk sat his computer, a black cotton hat, some miscellaneous papers, a few textbooks, and a collection of meticulously arranged stones. In one corner sat a large stack of boxes labeled perishable and this side up. The walls displayed posters of various marine animals and infographics about diseases. Mr. Miller had opted to stay outside of the room, as far away from the awful smell as possible, and Mr. Martin volunteered to stay with him to make sure he wasn’t left alone with a murderer on the loose. 

Brown, who had gone to Ogren’s desk first, called Lyerly over. “The gloves you found earlier, they’re made of the same fabric as this hat, right? Could that mean something?”

The teachers crowded around the desk to watch as Lyerly pulled out the gloves and set them next to the hat. The fabric was an exact match. 

“That doesn’t mean it was Ogren, though,” Mr. Wilson protested. “Why would we have found the gloves and hat in different places?”

Price rolled her eyes. “Why don’t you ask him? Oh, right, because he conveniently disappeared after the unexplained murder of our coworker. We have all the evidence we need right here, it’s clearly him. Now, all we need to do is find him.” 

“Ms. Price is right,” said Lyerly. “Once we find him, he’ll have a difficult time explaining this mess.”

Shuford nodded. “So where else could he be if he’s not in here?”

Brown started making his way towards the door to meet up with Martin and Miller again, and the rest of the teachers followed. Right before they got to the hall, Brown froze, held up a hand, and gestured to his ears. They could hear Martin and Miller talking outside the door.

“You really think you can get it?” Martin asked quietly.

“Hopefully, if I play my cards right. Then all we have to do is figure out who might know. I mean, now that she’s out of the way, it’s possible that you’re the only one with real evidence of it. They probably don’t even suspect a thing.” Miller responded.

“You’re right, I’m getting worked up over it for no reason. Once you get the thing to me, I’ll be in the clear no matter what. Thank you for understanding, I don’t know what I’d do if anyone else found out”

Shuford and Price exchanged a wide-eyed glance. Wilson’s brow was furrowed, Lyerly sighed and looked down in disappointment, and Brown turned back to look at his coworkers, his face shadowed with fear.

“What do we do?” whispered Shuford. “They basically just confessed!”

Wilson shook his head. “If it really is them, we can’t let them know that we know. We don’t have concrete evidence against either of them yet, they might be talking about something completely different. We need to take this one step at a time and find Ogren. Once we have everyone’s story, then we can start accusing people, but for now, we need to take what we just heard as a coincidence and nothing more.” With that, he strode out the door, motioning for the others to follow suit.

“Find anything new?” Martin asked.

Lyerly held out the gloves and the hat for the two to see. Miller paled as he inspected them and glanced back at Martin. “Does this mean it was Ogren?”

Wilson sighed. “Well, as I said before, we clearly don’t have the full story yet. We need to find Ogren and get his testimony before we accuse him of anything. Martin, you said you sent him to the East Building? Any chance he’s still there now?”

Martin shrugged, and the group set off for the rooftop pool. When they arrived at the East Building, the group shuffled in one by one as quietly as possible. At the door to get to the roof, they paused to formulate a plan. 

“Martin, you go up first since you asked him to be here. If he’s not there, come back down and we’ll figure something else out, okay?” Lyerly said.

Martin fixed him with a skeptical look. “What if he is up there? What should I do if he comes at me?”


Martin took a deep breath and slowly opened the door. As it creaked open, he gulped and glanced at Miller, who nodded encouragingly.

Brown stuck his foot next to the door to hold it open as Martin ascended the stairs and began speaking nonchalantly. “Hey Ogren, I was just wondering how things were going ‘cause I hadn’t heard from you in a couple hours. I checked your room but–” he stopped abruptly at the top of the stairs. The teachers exchanged nervous glances as he walked slowly towards the pool, gesturing for the others to follow. They silently assembled at the edge of the water, tearfully looking down at the drowned body of their dear friend, Mr. Ogren.

As Brown, Lyerly, Miller, and Price removed the body from the pool, Wilson, Shuford, and Martin investigated the scene to find clues, but to no avail. 

“Check his pockets,” said Miller urgently as Martin examined the body. “He might have Sawyer’s phone.”

Martin concluded his examination with a heavy sigh and a shake of his head. “He’s been dead almost an hour. He didn’t have Sawyer’s phone, but he did have his, and it’s waterlogged. There’s no way it’s going to turn on now. But if he’s been dead for this long, he couldn’t have killed Sawyer. I’m certain of it now, one of us is the murderer. It’s an unavoidable fact.”

“So what now?” Shuford asked softly.

“Well, we should bring his body to the atrium so that he’s not left out here. Once we get back there, I think we’re going to have to split up.” Wilson said.

They made their way silently back to the atrium and moved Sawyer and Ogren to a corner on the lowest level. They assembled on the middle level once more to hear Mr. Wilson’s plan.

“We need to search each other’s classrooms for evidence. I would say we all search the rooms as a group, but that could allow the murderer to tamper with the evidence they accidentally left behind in their own classroom. We should split into pairs to search and then meet back here to present what we’ve found.” Wilson said. “We can split up the rooms by location to determine who searches where. We can have a group search Miller, Price, and Shuford’s rooms easily, then a group to search my room, Lyerly’s room, and Brown’s room, which leaves the last group to search Martin and Ogren’s rooms.” 

Miller straightened. “Martin and I can search Wilson, Brown, and Lyerly.” Martin nodded, smiling, but both shrunk back as the suggestion was met with the emphatic disagreement of every other member of the group. 

“I’ll go with Miller to those rooms,” said Ms. Price flatly. 

Miller glanced around, panicked. “What if she’s the murderer? She could kill me! You can’t trust anyone, not even your partner.”

“You seem to have a pretty easy time trusting Martin,” Price responded, eyes narrowed. “And if I was the murderer– which I’m not, by the way– I wouldn’t be stupid enough to kill you since everyone else knows I was your partner. I could end up being the only person you trust.”

Miller seemed to relax a bit at those words, but his fists remained clenched at his sides. 

“Well, since I can’t search my own room and the other group of possible rooms is taken, it looks like I’m searching Price, Shuford, and Miller. Anyone care to join me?” Martin said.

No one answered. 

Wilson cleared his throat. “I was actually hoping to get a better look at Ogren’s room, sorry Martin. Shuford would have to come with me, but since you have three rooms, Lyerly and Brown can go with you.”

With the groups having been made, they agreed upon a meet-up time of 2:45, which gave them 30 minutes to search.


2:15 – Price and Miller

“Which room do you want to search first,” Price asked Miller as they made their way out of the atrium. They were the only pair that was searching classrooms that aren’t in the towers. 

“Brown’s room,” he answered stiffly. He moved quickly and Price struggled to keep up. “I just want to get this done as soon as possible.”

Behind his back, Price eyed him suspiciously. “So, what’s the deal with your whole… what’s it called? Specifics? Pacifics?”

“Phy-Civics,” Miller said.

“Right, that. What’s the deal with that? They sound like pretty difficult subjects to combine, right? How are you making that work?”

“Well, it’s a bit complicated,” Miller said slowly. “It’s in the beginning stages of development right now, so I can’t tell you very much. It has promise, though. I think our students will enjoy it.”

Price sighed, unsatisfied. “As long as you’re working hard…”

By the time they arrived at Brown’s room, Price was out of breath, but Miller began searching with enthusiasm. He went through Brown’s desk as Price inspected a collection of footballs signed by various athletes. The set was quite impressive, but she couldn’t help but notice that many of the signatures seemed to share the same handwriting. She chuckled to herself as she moved on to look through a cabinet.

There wasn’t much to find on the desk. There were a few framed photos of family members and a couple of weight-lifting trophies, but that wasn’t out of the norm. The computer was password protected, but, if Brown’s story was right, it had been off since around noon, so Miller inferred there wouldn’t be much by way of evidence on it. There was nothing of note in any of the drawers, so Miller turned around to inspect the displays on the wall above the desk. 

Price was going through a box of papers when she heard Miller gasp suddenly. She turned around to see him staring at the displays near the desk and clutching his heart. “What is it? What did you find?” she asked, walking over to him.

He pointed to an empty case. “Brown’s Olympic medal. It’s gone.”

“He has an Olympic medal?”

“Not anymore,” Miller said.

“Well obviously, but what event was it for?” Price asked, irritated.

“Weight-lifting. Haven’t you heard him talk about it? He mentions it pretty frequently, I’d say.” He picked up a picture from the desk. “See? He’s wearing it in this photo.”

Ms. Price leaned forward to see the picture and, sure enough, there was a gold glint from his shirt. “Okay, well, maybe he took it home with him? That would make the most sense, I think.”

Miller frowned. “Wouldn’t he take the case with it? It’s not exactly something you would leave lying out. And look at the front of it, the door is slightly open. I can’t believe it’s gone, this is terrible. Who do you think took it?”

Price shrugged. It was just another mystery to pile on top of the rest.


2:15 – Wilson and Shuford

“Let’s check out Martin’s room first,” Wilson suggested.

Shuford shrugged. “Whatever you want.”

They parted ways with the rest of the group and made their way to the 600s hallway. Mr. Martin’s room was a disaster. Several desks had toppled over, and flies buzzed incessantly. He clearly hadn’t put much work into tidiness, it was as if he had unceremoniously shoved everything into place. On the counters there were several partially filled glasses of what looked like water with a slightly pink tint to it. Mr. Shuford shrieked as a large cockroach skittered across his shoe. Wilson rolled his eyes and went to Martin’s desk as Shuford braced himself against a wall to recover from the shock.

“Not one for bugs?” Wilson asked, flipping through a binder labeled “Phy-Civics CI-PHYSICS”. 

Shuford glanced up. “Not particularly, no.” He started walking up and down the uneven rows of desks, inspecting several plates of half-eaten, rotten food that had become home to a number of repulsive creepy-crawlies. He grimaced and stepped away, eliciting a small chuckle from Mr. Wilson.

“My mom was an entomologist and my dad was an exterminator,” Mr. Wilson mused. “They were like Romeo and Juliet. My dad almost got fired once because he kept bringing my mom cool bugs he found in people’s houses. I used to spend hours watching mom’s ant farm.”

Shuford shuddered. “To each their own, I guess.” He pulled open a cabinet and stopped short. “Didn’t Martin say he was out of Advil earlier?”

“I think so, why?”

Shuford stepped back and gestured to the cabinet. On the shelves were almost a dozen unopened bottles of Advil. They opened another cabinet to the same sight. “Ms. Sawyer asked him for some, why did he lie?”

Wilson grabbed one of the bottles. “Let’s find out.” He twisted off the lid and frowned as he looked inside. “It looks normal.”

Shuford mimicked his actions and looked up, confused. “Well that makes it even stranger that he has so much of it. What kind of weird obsession does this guy have?”


2:15 – Martin, Lyerly, and Brown

“Alright, we have three rooms and three people, should we split up?” Martin asked.

Lyerly and Brown exchanged a look. “I think it would be best to stick together,” said Brown. Lyerly nodded.

Martin gestured to Price’s room. “This one first?” Lyerly walked in, but Brown and Martin both stepped back to let the other in first. “Go ahead,” Martin said.

“No, no, you first,” Brown countered, eyeing him suspiciously.

“I insist,”

“No I insist,”

Lyerly walked back out into the hall, grabbed Martin by his shirt collar with an exasperated grunt, and dragged him into the room. Brown sheepishly followed. 

Martin went to Price’s desk, Brown took the room’s back counter, and Lyerly worked his way around the edges of the room to search. The counter was full of books, papers, and small cat figurines. Brown picked up a stack of paper and flipped through it. “Hey, come look at this,”

“What did you find?” Martin asked, setting down a potted plant he had been thoroughly examining.

“A school news article. It looks like Sawyer left some comments on it. Some of them are pretty rough. The article’s pretty harsh too, though, it’s called ‘Why Enloe Should Cancel Football Forever’.”

Lyerly nodded. “This could be significant. We should bring it with us when we all meet back together.”

Martin went back to Price’s desk. On it sat her laptop and some framed photos. He tapped a couple of keys and the laptop turned on. It was open to her school email and a notification read “one message deleted”. No other tabs were open, so Martin moved on. 

“What is it with you and trash cans today, Lyerly?” Brown asked, watching his fellow teacher inspect the wastebin at the door.

“Laugh all you want, Brown, but you’re not going to believe what I just found.” He set down the bin and held up a phone. Ms. Sawyer’s phone.


2:30 – Price and Miller

“We’ve been here long enough, let’s move on to Lyerly’s room so we have enough time for everything,” Ms. Price reasoned, walking towards the door of Brown’s classroom.

Miller nodded and followed her out. “What do you think we’ll find on Lyerly? He’s seemed pretty neutral so far.”

“I guess we’ll find out when we get there,” she said.

On the way to Lyerly’s classroom, Price noticed she was walking much quicker than Miller this time. She slowed her steps to match his and examined his face. “You okay?” she asked. 

He chuckled, “Well, you know, it’s been a rough day. How are you holding up?”

“I can’t even imagine how this is going to end. If we find the murderer before he kills me, I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle coming back here. This place is tainted for me now.”

Miller missed a step. “How do you know the murderer is a he?” he asked, eyes narrowed.

Price rolled her eyes. “I’m the only woman here, Miller. You want to take Lyerly’s desk? I can look in the cabinets again.”

“Is it ethical in this situation to look through his computer? It could have important evidence on it.” Miller asked hesitantly.

Price stopped and looked at him carefully. “Only the tabs he has open. Like, if his email is closed, don’t go looking through it or anything. Just see what he’s done recently.”

Miller nodded and turned back to the screen. The only websites open were what looked like a stock tracking site and Google Classroom. It seemed like most of the stocks he had been following had dropped significantly over the past week. Miller moved on to search through Lyerly’s desk drawers. Price busied herself by flipping through a stack of calculus papers. Lyerly kept his room very neat, everything seemed to be perfectly in its place. 

Miller pulled open a drawer and gasped. Price turned around to see him reach into the drawer and pull out a tape measure. “I thought it was a snake,” he explained sheepishly. He gently placed it back in the drawer and shoved his hands into his pockets. “I didn’t find anything. We can probably move on now,” he said, rocking back on his heels.


2:30 – Wilson and Shuford

“I think we’ve found all we can here. Let’s head to Ogren’s room,” Wilson said.

Shuford, who had been idling by the door for the last 5 minutes to avoid the bugs, nodded quickly and stepped out into the hall.

“The bugs really weren’t that bad, you know,” said Wilson. “They’re more afraid of you than you are of them.”

Shuford rolled his eyes. “If people weren’t afraid of bugs, your dad wouldn’t have had a job. Your family is indebted to people like me.”

Wilson chuckled. “Well, maybe if you learned a bit about them, they wouldn’t bug you so much.”

“How long have you been waiting to say that one?”

“Since the cockroach crawled across your shoe.”

“You had all that time to think about it and you still decided to go through with it, huh,” Shuford teased. The pair arrived at Ogren’s room. “I forgot how terrible this room smelled, what do you think it is?”

Wilson glanced around his room and his gaze landed on the boxes in the corner. “I have a theory. Do you have a boxcutter or something?”

“Why would I bring a boxcutter to school?”

“To open boxes, obviously,” Wilson said with a shrug.

Shuford grabbed two pairs of scissors from a drawer in Ogren’s desk and handed one to his companion. They got to work opening the boxes to reveal what looked like pinkish grayish rocks. The smell was overbearing by that point, but Wilson reached in and grabbed a rock anyway. To Shuford’s surprise, he yelped and jumped back. 

“What is that?” Wilson asked, shaking his hand in disgust.

Shuford gingerly picked one up and turned it over in his hands. “It looks like a big heart. It’s definitely too big to be human, you can relax.” He held it in front of his chest to show Wilson. “I’d say it’s probably a cow heart, but we can bring one to ask Martin if you want.”

Wilson, who had gone very pale, shook his head frantically. “Let’s just put them back and get this over with.” 

Shuford laughed and closed the box. They washed their hands in one of the sinks lining the sides of the classroom. The poster above it displayed the symptoms of a blood disease and a diagram of an artery. Wilson gasped when he saw it and stepped back.

“Not one for blood? You know, my mom was a hematologist and my dad was a vampire. My mom almost got fired once for bringing too many bags of blood home for my dad’s smoothies.” Shuford said, smirking. 

Wilson laughed. “Very funny. We should keep looking for clues, though. Whoever killed Ogren may have come here looking for something.”

Shuford went back to inspect the boxes of hearts while Wilson examined Ogren’s desk. It appeared that the collection of rocks on the desk was a shrine at the center of which was a small garden gnome that had fallen over. Wilson respectfully put the gnome back in its rightful position and turned on the four electric tea lights placed in front of it. Two of them had run out of battery.

Most of the desk drawers were locked, but the lock to the top one was broken and the handle was bent. Inside of it were 3 pairs of scissors, a box of matches, and a crumpled note card that read: “Username: Gnome2, Password: GnomeAlone”. Wilson typed them into the computer, which opened to Ogren’s email. “Hey Shuford, come look at this.”

Shuford came over to the desk and chuckled at the little shrine. He tapped the gnome on its hat, causing it to fall over. “Oops,” he muttered as Wilson picked it back up.

“Stop playing with the gnome, Shuford. Look at this email to Ms. Sawyer.”

“Are you sure we should be doing this? It’s his business, I don’t think he would like it very much if we were snooping around the emails he sends.”

“That’s the thing, though. I don’t think Ogren is the one who sent it. The timestamp reads 1:22, but he was already dead by then. The murderer must have sent it after they got back from killing him. Listen to what it says: ‘Hi, Ms. Sawyer. If it’s not too much trouble, could you meet me at the top level of the atrium as soon as you can? I have a favor I need to ask of you, but it has to be in person. Thanks, Ogren’,” Wilson read.

“What does this mean, though?” Shuford asked, brow furrowed.

Wilson shrugged. “I hope we find out soon.”


2:30 – Martin, Lyerly, and Brown

“Can I see the phone yet?” Martin asked Lyerly, who was holding Ms. Sawyer’s phone hostage in his pocket.

“For the last time, you can’t. We don’t want anything tainting it before we bring it back to the full group,” Brown said, exhausted. They were searching Shuford’s room for clues, but Martin was doing more talking than investigating.

“All I’m saying is, it’s not fair that Lyerly gets to hold on to it the entire time. Shouldn’t we all get a chance to look at it? We all found it together.” Martin reasoned.

I’m the one that found it. We’re not continuing this discussion. If you find your own clue, you get to keep it with you for the rest of the time, deal?” Lyerly said. “Now get up and start helping.”

Martin grumbled and walked over to Shuford’s desk. It was cluttered with books and papers. There was a laptop sitting closed on top of a stack of textbooks with an external microphone plugged into it. Another wire was plugged into it too, so Martin, having nothing better to do, tugged on it to see where it would lead. The cord stopped short on the edge of the desk, so he walked to the other side. He could no longer see where the cord led because it disappeared behind a laptop cart. He turned to his companions. “Do you think Shuford would mind if I moved this?”

Brown shrugged and turned back to the shelf he was going through, so Martin shoved the cart out of the way to reveal a large black box. “Hey, I think I found Wilson’s speaker. Come look.” Lyerly and Brown went over to help wedge it out of its hiding place. On one side was a piece of masking tape labeled “Wilson” in big letters. 

Lyerly tilted his head. “Why did Shuford need the speaker? And why didn’t he just say he took it earlier?”

“I have no idea,” Brown said, frowning. “Well, Martin, there’s your evidence. Good luck carrying it.”

Martin looked up. “Why do I have to carry it? You’re the weight-lifter here.”

Brown laughed and clapped him on the back. “Lyerly said so, didn’t he? You find a clue, you get to take credit for it. You can’t expect us to do all the heavy lifting for you. Let’s head to Miller’s room now, I’m just about finished up here.”

They made their way across the hall to Miller’s room. Martin left the speaker outside the door to Shuford’s room. 

“Looks like Miller left his candle burning, should I blow it out?” Brown asked.

Lyerly shook his head. “Leave it, the hallway still smells pretty bad.”

On Miller’s desk, there was a neat stack of papers, a binder labeled “Ci-Physics Phy-Civics”, and a half empty bottle of Advil in addition to the candle. Martin picked up the papers and started flipping through them absent-mindedly. Brown was investigating a bookshelf in one corner while Lyerly, as always, checked the trash cans. After a few uneventful minutes, Brown grabbed something off the shelf and brought it over to Martin.

“What are these?” Brown asked, opening his hand to reveal a few small vials of clear liquid. 

Martin picked one up and read the label as Lyerly leaned forward to get a better look. Martin frowned. “This looks like my handwriting on the label, but I don’t remember letting him borrow anything. I’ll have to ask him about it when we all reconvene.” He handed the vial back to Brown.


2:40 – Price and Miller

“We only have a few minutes to search Wilson’s classroom before we’re expected back in the atrium,” Mr. Miller said. 

“That’s fine, we probably won’t need much time anyway,” Price replied as they walked in. 

Mr. Miller picked up a small book entitled “And Then There Were None” from a shelf and flipped through its pages. “Why do you think that?” he asked.

Price grabbed the book from his hands and held it open for him. The margins were filled with detailed annotations. “This is another one of his mystery novels that he loves. They consume his life. If he’s the murderer, we don’t have a chance of finding anything. He knows how this stuff works, and he probably knows it better than the rest of us. We just have to hope he’s on our side.”

Miller took the book back and looked at the cover. “Our side,” he echoed. He turned to face the whiteboard, which was filled with music notes, reminders, schedules, and little doodles. As he looked over it, one of the reminders caught his eye. It was just a few words. “Deal w/ Sawyer”.

That brings us to the end of Vulture Among Eagles, Part Two. Many questions have been answered since last week with the discovery of a large quantity of clues. It is up to our suspects to find out who is lying, who is hiding something, and ultimately, who is the murderer, and where will they strike next? Find out more next Saturday in Vulture Among Eagles, Part 3.