From poetry to short fiction—U of O students write it all. Photo: CC, pexels.
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Gwendolyn Ratchett vs. the Burrito

There are things said about the dorms of Dunston College that I disagree with. Between the patchy stains on the carpet, and the socks and stuff hanging from door knobs, it’s not that bad. But every now and then, something goes wrong, and that’s where I come in.

On days like today, I spend most of my time lounging in bed. But, suddenly I hear arguing from down the hall. I try to listen in now that my curiosity is piqued.

“Tim, what’s going on?” I ask Tim as he walks past my open door.

“Some first-years are just making a fuss in the main room. Don’t worry about it.” Tim shrugs, but I’m never one to turn away from that.

“Come on, Timmy. Would I be a good role model if I didn’t do my job?” I get up from my bed to follow Tim down the hall.

“Gwen, you’re not a good role model either way. And, don’t call me Timmy.” He scoffs but says nothing more as we head to the main room.

My name is Gwendolyn Ratchett, one of the RAs on duty. This is Tim, my unofficial Watson. Our moms are good friends, so I basically took him under my wing when he enrolled here last year—not that he would see it that way. He always claims that my mom sent him here to keep an eye on me.

We enter the main room. The first thing we notice is a raunchy sour smell, and a few first-years around the couches in the corner. I, being the responsible one, step forward to ask, “what’s going on here?”

“Someone left their food behind the couch, and now that it smells disgusting, no one wants to clean it.” One of the boys grimaces. He points to the soggy bag behind one of the couches, and it looks as disgusting as it smells.

“Well, let’s just get rid of it now.” Tim suggests, while going to grab the bag before I stop him.

“But Tim, what about justice? We need to find the culprit and let them deal with their own mess.”

“Are you serious? Gwen, there are over 30 dorm rooms in this building and you want to find the one guy that did this?”

“Timmy, my dear. I’ll crack the case, or my name isn’t Gwendolyn Ratchett.” I cross my arms with a confident smile.

“Fine, whatever,” Tim sighs in frustration, but relents nonetheless. “What do you want to do, Gwendolyn?”

“Well first things first, we need to get everyone together to confront the culprit,” I exclaim as I walk to the doorway, smashing the glass on the fire alarm switch, and setting it off.

The alarm blares through the halls as doors are swung open and stomped footsteps come from the stairwells. Soon, everyone is gathered in the main hall, buzzing with questions and confusion. This was my moment to step in, and give the people answers.

“Thank you all for coming here today.” My voice draws everyone’s attention.

“Gwendolyn Ratchett, why did you pull the fire alarm?!” I hear Roche, the head RA, shouting.

“Because Roche, I needed everyone here to deal with a serious crime.” I declare proudly, “Someone has left their disgusting, half-bitten, sun-baked burrito behind the couch, and I now know who did it.”

“Not again.” Roche groans—not that I care right now. I’m on a roll!

“Judging by the smell, the grease soaking out of the paper bag, and the receipt I found inside it, I’m guessing it’s been there for about a week. So…” I scan the crowd, looking for the likely suspect.

Sure enough, there’s a slobby looking guy among them. It must be him, so I call him out. “It was you! Wasn’t it?”

“What? I don’t even live here!” The guilty sap looks shocked, like he’s offended that I think it’s him.

“That’s not an alibi, and doesn’t mean you didn’t do it.”

“Are you insane?” He snaps, starting to look guiltier than before. It’s got to be him!

“No. She’s one of us.” Roche stops us from glaring holes into each other’s faces, before turning to the crowd. “Ok guys, everything is fine. Go back to your rooms and we’ll deal with this.”

Everyone looks at each other in confusion, but doesn’t question Roche as they all head back—including the filthy jerk, as he shoots me a death glare.

“No!” I can’t stop now! I was so close…

“Gwendolyn! Don’t you dare.” Roche’s voice stops me.

I have no choice in the matter, but I’m not happy about it. I even pout at him to make it clear.

“You clean up this mess. I have to explain this to the fire department.” With that, Roche leaves the room. Tim looks all smug, with a ‘I told you so’ look on his face. I sigh remorsefully as I start cleaning up. The world will never know the truth now.

Yi Wen Neoh is a volunteer contributor for the Fulcrum, and a fourth-year student at the University of Ottawa, studying Communications and English. This is her first time publishing short stories for the Fulcrum, so she took a lighthearted approach. Please enjoy, and have fun with it!


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