They All Screamed
Her loud scream echoed through the quiet house. As soon as her roommate heard the scream, they left what they were doing and rushed to her room. What was going on?
They were not prepared for what they were about to find. Soon enough they were all screaming. One of them grew sick to her stomach, quickly running for the bathroom. They had to call the police. But how on earth did this even end up in her suitcase? Was she hiding something?
Laura, Alice, And Chloe
Laura Selwyn is a third-year Biology student at Temple University, Philadelphia. She shares a flat with two more students, Alice and Chloe: they have been roommates for two years now and consider each other their best friends.
Ever since they first met in their first year of college, the three girls have been like peas in a pod. They have shared many moments together, both happy and sad. And that’s not all.
They share everything with each other. Every time something happens in any of the girls’ lives, whether good or bad, their roommates are the first to hear about it. They give each other advice, support, and guidance.
When this incident took place, Laura, Alice, and Chloe thought of their bond as the deepest possible. It was like they were family rather than roommates. But then, something happened that turned things upside down.
Calling The Cops
After they saw what Laura brought back in her baggage from her vacation trip to Eastern Europe, the first thing they could do was scream. Then, they immediately called the authorities.
That episode was the culmination of a chain of events that made Alice and Chloe wonder endlessly about what Laura was up to. When they saw what was inside the suitcase, they felt like they had finally found out the truth.
In all fairness, Alice and Chloe had been having certain suspicions during the last year. At some point, the two of them started noticing a change in Laura’s behavior.
She started going out more; sometimes, she would leave the house close to midnight without an explanation and come back two hours later. She would also receive mysterious phone calls that she answered outside of the house, like she was afraid of being heard. And that wasn’t even the weirdest part.
Money To Burn
Suddenly, Laura started having more pocket money than she ever had before. She started buying more expensive clothes, she bought her friends gifts and even paid their part of the house’s bills sometimes. This was an utter enigma for Alice and Chloe: for all they knew, Laura didn’t have any new sources of income.
She had been working as a part-time waitress at a bar in the city since her first year. But that was just enough to pay the bills, and she still had to ask her parents for money from time to time. Where did that money come from?
One day, Alice subtly asked Laura about the reason for her sudden affluence and generosity. Alice said that one of her aunts, her mom’s sister, had recently passed away and left her a few thousand in her will.
Alice told Chloe about it. The two girls were surprised that Laura hadn’t told them before they asked, but they bought the explanation. But a few weeks later, something happened that set their alarms on.
Trying To Find Out The Truth
One night, Laura received one of her mysterious phone calls. As usual, she left the house to answer it. As she walked out the door, Chloe and Alice looked at each other and agreed to ask her about the call.
“Who was that? You got a boyfriend now? What’s with all the secrecy?” Alice asked jokingly right after Laura walked back in. Laura’s response instantly made the two girls raise their eyebrows.
“Oh no, that was my aunt. She was asking me about what to get for my mom’s birthday. I went outside because it’s quieter than here,” Laura said.
Her words sounded scripted, like it was an excuse she had prepared in case she was asked about the calls. And bringing up her aunt again? How many sisters did her mom even have? Alice and Chloe thought that wasn’t true. But the straw that broke the camel’s back came a few days later.
Spring break was right around the corner, and Laura told her roommates that she wouldn’t be going with them to Florida. This took Alice and Chloe by surprise. The three had been going to Florida together for spring break since their first year of college.
Instead, Laura told them she was going by herself on a trip to Croatia in Eastern Europe. Her roommates found this absolutely outlandish. Laura had never traveled to Europe. Why did she want to do it now, all of a sudden? And all by herself?
But She Was Determined
But that was how it was done. Alice and Chloe said Laura goodbye at the airport and then went to Florida with other friends. For their whole time there, they couldn’t help but keep wondering what Laura would be up to.
They stayed in touch here and there during spring break. Laura sent them some pictures of the hotel and the towns she was visiting. Still, her two friends couldn’t shake the feeling that she was hiding something.
Finally, the three girls returned to their shared flat. Chloe and Alice got there first, while Laura arrived later that night. She refused to be picked up by any of her flatmates, despite them offering to do so. Again, Alice and Chloe found this strange.
But soon enough, Laura was there. She hugged her three friends and promised to tell them all about her experience in Croatia right after unpacking her baggage. Then she ran to her room with her bags. A few minutes later, Chloe and Alice heard her screaming in horror.
What Was Going On?
Quickly, the two girls jumped off the couch and ran to Laura’s room. The scene they found when they opened Laura’s door was absolutely appalling.
Laura was screaming in a corner of the room, staring at an open suitcase on the bed. All around it, dozens of scorpions ran up and down the bed and the room’s floor. What were they even doing in Laura’s suitcase?
Authorities Step In
Immediately, the three girls left the room, closed the door behind them, and called the police. They told the operator about what was going on, and two officers and some pest control specialists were sent on their way.
Until they got there, the three girls remained in the living room, in shocked and frightened silence. How could that happen? Why was Laura carrying scorpions in her baggage?
What Would Happen Next?
All the girls could do now was sit and wait for them to arrive. The police told them they weren’t allowed to leave their flat until they had dealt with the situation. They had no idea if they were in trouble.
When it comes to going through customs, it sometimes complicates things when the authorities don’t know what your intentions are.
After an hour, the officers arrived along with pest control. They knocked on the girls’ door and came in. The girls were instructed to sit down on the couch while they figured things out. There were two officers and one man from pest control.
The girls sat helplessly. They were now getting scared of something other than the scorpions.
A Potential Problem
The girls soon realized that they had a potential problem. It seemed that the police were taking the matter very seriously. They had no idea what would happen next and started to feel more anxious about their presence than the scorpions.
When they found the scorpions, they thought that would be the worst part of their day. They had no idea how wrong they were.
Getting Rid Of The Scorpions
Laura, Chloe, and Alice watched as the man from pest control quickly and expertly caught the scorpions. He then had a quick word with one of the officers before leaving the apartment.
The girls all breathed sighs of relief. No matter what else happened. At least the scorpions were no longer terrorizing them.
Onto The Bigger Problem
Now that the scorpions had been dealt with, the officers wanted to move on to bigger things. He asked the girls whose bag it was. Laura reluctantly raised her hand. The officer sat down across from her and got out a notebook.
“Miss, depending on how you answer my questions, things could be very serious. Try to answer as honestly as you can.”
A Pit Forming In Her Stomach
Laura felt a pit forming in her stomach. The officer had just made her feel a lot more nervous than before. She looked over at Chloe and Alice. They were by her side, at least.
They always helped each other out of plenty of jams and stuck through everything together, but would they be able to help her this time?
The officer made it very clear to Laura that she could face some serious charges if they found out that she brought the scorpions on purpose. Of course, Laura and her friends knew that the scorpions got in her bag on their own. But would the police believe that?
Smuggling animals is a serious problem in most countries. Animals and insects that aren’t native to a place can really harm the ecosystem. But what could Laura face?
Many Driving Factors
There are lots of factors to find an exotic animal smuggled through customs. These factors can be criminal intent and the impact the animals would have on the local ecosystem, to even what state the animal or animals are in.
Laura was ready to give the honest truth about the situation and hoped it would be enough. But she had no idea what officer she was dealing with.
Laura had to explain herself to the officer. She told him that she had gone to Croatia during her spring break. She had explored a bit of Europe and seen lots of attractions. She even had her plane ticket and photos to prove it.
But would that be enough? The explanation that she was just an innocent teen trying to have fun on holiday would make or break this.
But It was Just Her
After the officer heard her explanation, he asked, “And your two friends? Did they come with you?” The two girls looked at each other and remembered how fishy Laura had sounded before.
Would they be able to defend their friend? They had no idea what she was actually doing since they had their suspicions earlier.
Defending Their Friend
Even though Alice and Chloe weren’t with Laura when she went to Europe, they explained that they believed their friend. Even though they weren’t sure about her aunt’s story, they knew she would never willingly smuggle anything into the U.S.
They told the officer that she was a good judge of character. He appreciated their testimonies, but he had more questions for Laura.
“Where did the scorpions come from?” Laura thought about that question for a moment before answering as truthfully as she could. “I’m not entirely sure. I visited a lot of trails and nature parks while I was abroad. It’s possible that they crawled into my bag while I was there.”
“I also spent some time in a hostel. They could have gotten in there.” Laura had given the most truthful answer she could, but would that be enough for the officer?
Liking Exotic Animals
The officer shifted his weight on the couch. Laura knew full well that if he wanted to, he had to power to cuff her and take her down to a police station. But she didn’t want it to come to that.
The officer then surprised her with a question that she couldn’t have expected. “Miss, you like exotic animals, don’t you?”
Laura couldn’t believe it. “Of course I do! I study biology, but that means I also know that they shouldn’t be introduced into another ecosystem!”
The officer put his notebook away and told the girls that he was finished asking questions. Now he had to use the evidence he had gathered to make a decision. What was the consequence?
The decision would be final. He got up from his seat and told Laura that the scorpions would be either isolated from the local population or taken back to Croatia. But then it was a matter of what would happen to her.
He told her that he believed her and that she wouldn’t face any charges. Relief washed over Laura.
A Family Of Scorpions
“At first, we thought she was involved in some sort of racket smuggling exotic animals. She’s studying biology, she’s always been interested in animals, and all that,” Alice admitted to the press when interviewed about the story.
“But the authorities told us that it’s not the first time that this has happened, you know, people unknowingly having scorpions or other animals in her luggage, with people coming from countries like Croatia. They just get into people’s bags sometimes and lay eggs there. Still, it was really scary.”
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead are entirely coincidental.