Help! I think one of my podmates is a serial killer!

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Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.

So when I first met Jason, he seemed pretty chill, you know? I met him in CS161, and he was basically every other Stanford student I’ve met. He majors in CS, plays trumpet in LSJUMB, sleeps at four in the morning and takes five units too many. Sure, when I asked him about his family, he gave me a super vague answer about how he’s “not really connected with them anymore,” and my friend Katie who’s friends with Jake who’s friends with Jason’s ex-girlfriend Mai says that Mai broke up with Jason because Jason’s “vibes were off,” but I didn’t think that was super weird. 

When Associate Vice Provost Furr told us that we’d be forming social pods of eight people, I didn’t reach out to Jason immediately, because we’re honestly not that close. But then it turned out that our pod was one person short, so I thought to myself, “Hey, Jason mentioned he didn’t have a pod yet, and he’s pretty nice. He wouldn’t be terrible to live with.” So I brought him up to my friends as a potential podmate, and they all agreed that he’d be a good eighth member.

You can see my logic here, right? 

Our first week together went pretty well. But then came Sunday. 

On Sunday, I woke up in the middle of the night. I was super hungry, so I decided to head to the kitchen to heat up some mac and cheese.

And then I saw it. Jason was in the kitchen, washing a rust red substance off of a huge, glinting knife.

Maybe that’s not so suspicious, you say. He could have been butchering a piece of meat, maybe, because that’s totally a normal thing people do at three in the morning.

But there was no meat to be found, just Jason and the knife.

I managed to get back to bed without him seeing me. For hours, I convinced myself that I was just seeing things. Jason wasn’t really washing blood off a butcher’s knife, right? It was late, and I’d had a lot of soda before bed. In the morning, when all Jason did was nod to me in greeting, I was sure that it had been a mistake.

And then Mai disappeared. By disappeared, I mean we got an AlertSU about a “Missing female undergraduate student of Asian descent, 20 years of age, approximately 5’3” in height,” and then Katie told me she hadn’t seen Mai in a week. 

Coincidence, you might think. But here’s the thing, two days ago, they found her body. No guesses what the murder weapon was. 

Now, I know quarantine fever is a thing, and I haven’t left my room in three days, so maybe this is just some huge misunderstanding. But almost every other night, I get another AlertSU. And every single time, it’s another “mysterious disappearance,” and the person who’s missing is someone I know Jason hates. Sure, it could just be that Jason hates a lot of people — and I mean a lot of people — but doesn’t it seem a little bit too much like a coincidence? 

I don’t know who I’m writing this for. I can’t call 911. I don’t have any proof. All I know is that seven people are dead, the probable murder suspect sleeps one door down from me, and I’ve heard this probable murder suspect sing “Party in the USA” in the shower.

Someone’s knocking on my door. It’s one of those rhythmic knocks, a one-two-three. It’s Jason’s knock, and he’s coming in, and oh God, there’s that knife, and —

Contact Kathryn Zheng at kszheng ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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Kathryn Zheng ’24 is from Tenafly, New Jersey. She plans to major in International Relations and currently writes for News and Satire.