Alex rolled his eyes for what seemed like the tenth time. The spotty youth in front of him continued to glare at him insolently.
"Look, you can't just go parking your car where you want. This is an illegal parking place, so I have to give you a fine." he explained wearily. The young man opened his mouth to retort, but Alex cut across him:
"That's the way things are. There's no point arguing."
"How do I know you're not lying? Where's the proof that it's illegal?" he hissed, narrowing his eyes suspiciously.
"I'm a trained police officer, don't you think I know what's right and wrong?"
Again, the man began to rant on about the police, but soon he was interrupted by a shrill scream, coming from the school building. Alex froze.
"Have you seen anything unusual?" he asked.
The man shrugged. Alex turned on the spot and started towards the main doors, yelling as he went:
"Don't move! We'll finish this afterwards!"
But the man sprinted back to his car, opened the door and drove off, laughing loudly. Alex swore, but continued to run. Soon he was in the building, following the sound of sobs from the far end of a corridoor. He burst through the door, looked around confusedly, then saw a second door. Dodging between piles of books, he reached it and pushed it open, to bump into a girl standing in front of it. She shrieked and jumped out of the way. Now Alex could clearly see a second girl, lying on her back, her blank eyes staring at the ceiling. Dead.
"What happened?" he asked sharply, looking up at the other girl.
"I don't know, I just came in and found her here." she wailed.
Alex straightened up, and patted her on the shoulder gingerly.
"Don't worry, we'll get this sorted out. Why don't you sit down?" he asked, gesturing to a chair.
"What are you going to do?" she asked, tears still streaming down her face.
"I'm going to phone the police." he answered, fishing his phone from his pocket.
"Aren't you from the police?" she pointed out.
"Yes, but I don't have very much authority. I need to let my superiors know about this."
She fell silent, and closed her eyes, shaking. Alex dialled the number and waited for someone to pick up.
"What's your name?"
"Melissa." she replied.
At that point, someone answered the phone and he turned his back on her.
"Hello? Alex Easton talking. A dead girl's been found at the local school. I'll wait here."
He hung up and looked back at Melissa enquiringly.
"Who was she?"
Melissa's eyes filled with tears again and she whispered: