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Just Another Day

She cracked her one eye open before stretching out her hands and switching off her alarm. Lifting herself on her elbows she peered at the contents of her bedside table. Satisfied that all was as she had left it the night before, she flung her head back on the pillow. Another minute later, she rolled off the bed and landed on the hard cold hotel floor before finally standing up with a groan. As she stood to her full height she pulled the fading white bed sheet off her small bed. Looking out the window, she saw the sun just kissing the peak of the Cathedral roof in the distance. She blinked her eyes, once, twice, before rubbing her eyes and fully opening them. Just another day, she sighed as she laid out the bed sheet on the floor. Stepping onto the centre she slowly began her daily exercises. Usually she would have had music in the background, but today she needed the time to think. Every now and then her head would snap towards her cell phone on the table. Forty minutes later, having warmed up each and every muscle of her body she lazily sauntered towards the bathroom.

Peeling off her sweaty T-shirt, and wiggling out of her shorts she stepped into the tiny shower cubicle. Turning the tap, she hissed out in pain as the hot water hit her skin. If there was one good thing about this tiny hotel room, it would be the supply of hot water at any time of the day. As the hot water hit her scars she fingered them lightly, the newest one still a light pink, the oldest almost a crude line against her taut stomach, impervious to the hot water. She took a quick bath and right before stepping out of the shower, she turned off the supply of hot water and turned on the tap with the cold water. The temperature difference was most painfully felt. But this was her secret- hot water building up all the heat and energy within the body, the cold water shutting out the pores on the skin, thus effectively trapping in all that energy within her. And today, after many days she needed all that energy.

She took longer than usual to get ready. But when she was finally done, she observed herself in the stained mirror with a smile. The simply black skirt and blue pinstripe shirt showed off her shapely figure. She rued the absence of truly great curves, but shrugging on her beige trench coat she turned around once to get a total view, to see if there were any unusual bulges. Then finally she stepped into her pair of black Christian Louboutin’s. Her toned milky white legs seemed to acquire a life of their own. Dressed to kill, she smirked to herself before picking up her handbag and file. Before stepping out of the door she looked back into her now almost empty room, save the single travel bag on the bed.

She moaned in satisfaction as the coffee hit her throat. The Old Square was already bustling with activity even at the relatively early hours. She surreptitiously checked her watch for the nth time since she sat down at the little outdoor café overlooking the square. Prague was a beautiful city, she observed, as she bit into her bagel. And over the last one week she had roamed quite a lot in the city, but sadly when she leaves, she would be careful not to carry any memories of the place. She was interrupted from her quite reverie by a chirpy male voice.

“Hey, do you mind if I join you?” the young man asked in Czech accented English as he laid one hand on the chair in front of her. His chiselled face covered partially by unruly brown curls came into focus. He smiled a winning smile. Blue-eyes, Blonde hair, never fail to draw attention, she mused to herself.

“Not at all” she said in her perfect British accent. “However I don’t know how my husband would react to it” she finished as she wiped her mouth with a paper napkin and smiled up at him. The smile fell from the man’s face as his hands slipped from the chair. “Aarr…” he stammered for the right words. “I just, I saw you sitting here all alone, and I thought…I was watching you…I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to” he said rapidly, his pale face turning a bright shade of pink. She held up her hand slightly to stop the man from rambling away and embarrassing himself further. “He’s running late as usual” she supplied easily. “Well, have a good day” and with those words and a kindly smile, the man was off.

She laughed lightly at the man’s retreating form but she quickly looked around to check if there was anyone else watching her. Most tables round her were occupied- couples, young and old, groups of college friends in the corner, two squabbling men a few tables away from her, a young mother and her little son with a violin case between them- everyone spending their morning, just like any other day, paying no attention to her. The sight of the mother wiping away at something that her son had dropped down the front of his shirt, tugged at her heart-strings. How easily she had lied to the stranger about her fictional husband. The guy was definitely not her type. But that did not mean she wouldn’t like to have someone special in her life at some point, as much as the very thought of it terrified her. From time to time, she regretted the life she led, one which gave her no opportunity to lead the “normal” life. But not now, not as she watched two black SUVs stop by the grand stairs of the building she had been watching for the past one hour. Even as suit after suit trooped out of the two cars, she gracefully got up and placing enough and more bills on the table, she grabbed her handbag and began walking towards the said building.

Once in close vicinity of it she pulled out her cell phone and activated the fake call. 5 minutes, she felt the adrenaline beginning to wildly course through her body, even as she slipped her cell phone back into her handbag. She moved with renewed dexterity towards the revolving doors of the building. She gave a customary smile to the smartly dressed guard before stepping into the cool foyer and immediately walking towards the stairs. She turned her head to see the group of men waiting for an elevator carriage to arrive as she climbed up the stairs two at a time. Reaching the first floor, she darted towards the elevator and pressed the button. She waited, this was the difficult part. If she got this part right, the rest would go off smoothly.

After three whole minute the elevator dinged to a stop on her floor and opened to reveal a smartly dressed man in his late forty’s flanked by four burly black-suits. She let her fake plastered smile falter as she began stepping into the carriage, her hands rising up in hesitation. “Umm” she swallowed visibly as her eyes roamed over the men. The man in the centre, who was visibly in command, grunted something in German and two of the other men shrugged their shoulders before brushing past her and out into the corridor. “Please” he drawled in his deep voice even as he lecherously grinned and scanned her from top to toe.

So they had done their homework well, she mentally noted as she stepped into the carriage. “Merci” she said as she stepped in and turned around in front of the men. “Which floor?” he asked as he leaned forward and his arms brushed against her’s as he extended it to punch in the required number on the panel. “Umm…24” she replied letting as much nervousness as she could muster be heard in her voice. She could feel his eyes roaming on her body. She looked at her watch. Roughly 15 minutes, without any unforeseen intrusions.

 “You’re a lawyer?” he asked, trying to make conversation. The bastard was smart, she had to agree. “How did you know that?” she countered in a flustered voice. “All floors 20 upwards have legal office, till about 30” he smiled showing off his chipped stained front teeth. Of course, 30 onwards were his offices, the legal front to all his illegal works. “My client is not a very law-abiding citizen” she winked as she said it. He laughed as he extended his hand “Arnold Schuster.” She smiled, shuffled the file and handbag around and was about to take the proffered hand when her cell phone rang. She furtively looked up at the two black-suits before digging into her hand bag. Schuster still held out his hand. As the notes of Tchaikovsky’s Pezzo capriccioso began filling up the little chamber, she drew out her Heckler and Koch USP 45 and managed to shoot the man closest on her right before the other two had any chance to react. “Sorry” she mumbled as she took out the other man as soon as he had loosened his gun from his belt.

But Schuster was quick to catch on to the action and now had a long silver barrel pointing right at her face. “Who sent you?” He glared at her as he drew out his cell phone. From the corner of her eye, she checked the number on the panel, 15 and climbing. In one fluid motion she brought her leg in a beautiful arc and kicked off the gun from his hand. The heels doing their job as they cut across the taut skin of his hand. She moves in for the kill, raising her gun and stepping over closer to him. But he anticipates her move as he jerks forward and using his shoulder pushes her back against one wall. He has raw brutish force and is quick to cover up her smaller frame with his nearly 6ft stocky one. But before he can get his hands on her and trap her in place, she bends and feigning right, moves her left leg between his and kicking him sharply on his calves she rounds him from his left and throws her weight against him. Now his back is pushed against the wall and her hand is placed on his chest firmly holding him in his place, with added pressure of her knee pressed painfully against his groin and her gun right between his eyes.

“Was it Matthäus Noumoski?” she questions calmly even as his hands raise up to her throat. In that split second she sees the recognition in his eyes and the truth evident on his face. She checks the panel. 19 turning 20. “Tell me and I’ll spare you” she stares back into his blue-grey eyes. Even in that position he manages a bitter laugh. She presses the gun more forcefully and he tightens his grip round her neck. He’s a strong man, and she is starting to have difficulty breathing. She wishes the bastard would just close his eyes but he’s not willing to give up the fight yet, not even as they stand steps away from the finishing line. She knows there’s only one winner in this race. So she closes her eyes for a second, then again opening them, she squeezes the trigger on her gun.

Even with the silencer, the little chamber resonates with the final boom.  His hands loosen their grip and he slinks to the floor still wide-eyed. In perfect symphony the doors open and she steps out, just in time to see Schuster’s men crossing their floor and climbing onto the next. One of them catches sight of her as she hurries to the opposite end of the corridor towards the fire exit. Yanking open the door, she doesn’t look back as she hurries down the narrow stairs.

By the 13th floor her legs begin to just mechanically move her forward as the adrenaline turns everything around her into a haze. By the 8th floor, her vision is blurred and sweat drops begin to leave a trail down the stairs. Because of all her training and her constant efforts to keep in shape she’s managed it this far. If she has to make the final run, she’s sure she can make it. But she hopes she doesn’t have to and that the men take their time figuring it out. She stops only briefly at the 3rd floor to catch her breath and transfers the gun from her sweaty right hand to her left. As she reaches the final landing and opens the side door into the narrow alley she lifts up the collars of her coat to hide the marks on her neck that would now be very clearly visible against her pale skin. Brisk walk down one narrow alley then slowing down she takes the first right and continues to walk with intent till she’s back at the square. Looking over her shoulder and being assured that there is no one following her she slows down into a purposeful stride as she spots a black taxi with a yellow sticker and walks towards it.

As soon as her hand touches the handle they are covered by another tanned hand. She lifts her eyes to meet a pair of curious brown eyes set in a beautifully angelic face. “It’s a matter of life and death for me” she says lightly and flashes the woman an apologetic smile. The older woman flips back her dark golden brown hair and laughs lightly as she steps back. The lighter blonde crawls into the taxi silently and the taxi takes off almost immediately.

“The airport?” the driver meets her eyes in the rear-view mirror. She nods her head and he hands her a bag that had been lying on the front seat. She hastily shreds off her coat and unzips the bag. She goes over her new documents. Then she pulls out a purple colour cowl neck top and without hesitation begins unbuttoning her blouse.

18 minutes later she is walking towards the airport entrance. Her phone rings. She hits ‘answer’. “Cleopatra” she gives the simple password. “Is the weather sunny?” the voice asks from the other end. “Beautifully so” she answers as she slips on a pair of aviators over her eyes. “It’ll be a beautiful trip then.” With that the male speaker cuts off the call. Without missing a beat, she switches off the phone and takes out the battery and the memory chip from it. She ‘accidently’ drops the cell phone to the ground and crushes it with her expensive heels. She moves ahead and deposits the battery in the next dustbin on her way before neatly breaking the memory chip into two. This memory chip would later be flushed down the toilet some 2000ft over the ground.

4 hours and 1100 miles later she is stepping into a shower cubicle again, this time in Madrid. This bathroom is slightly bigger than the previous one and with the added incentive of a full length mirror inside it. This time as soon as she steps into the shower, she lifts her face upwards and waits patiently for the onslaught of cold water. And this time it’s a different kind of a pain. In fact the cold water is kind of numbing her pain.

Schuster’s eyes have begun haunting her. As usual it will take time for the terrible dreams that will eventually start-to stop. If not completely, then till the next assignment. But today there will be no dreams, she is too tired to even dream. Her assignment has been successfully completed, and like any other office day, she is tired out by the end of it. As she shampoos her hair, she notices that her darker hair roots have begun showing and in another wash or two, she will have her natural hair colour back. As cold water trickles down her back she looks over her shoulder into the full length mirror. She meets her own hazel eyes before they turn to the inked letters. She snakes a hand up over her shoulder and fingering the letters on the nape of her neck, she lets out a heavy sigh-

Quod me nutrit me destruit

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Posted by on August 31, 2012 in Fiction

 

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Guilty

I chanced a glance at his handsome face while he was looking away, engrossed talking to Reeves. He had a certain confidence and carried himself with a lot of ease. His appealing young face, framed with those deep black curls, had set my heart beating frantically from the very first moment we had met. I remember acting quite dumb that day, far removed from the confident Rachel Winterton, Attorney at Law. He had come seeking “a little help” and at the end of the two hour meeting I had agreed to take up his case.

Nick Rossi was twenty-three, held a degree in Political Science from Berkley and had been working in the Senator’s office when he had been accused of the murder of Lily Evans, his colleague.

I had fought the case hard in court. Clearly my client was being framed. Conceded that my client was the last person to see Lily Evans alive for he had dropped her home that night, but certainly from the pictures taken at the crime scene it was quite clear that it had been the handiwork of some psychopath. Poor Lily had been tortured and murdered and her mangled body was found on the bathroom floor and the whole house seemed painted with her blood. The only physical evidence connecting my client to the crime scene was his semen found during autopsy. There had been no doorman to confirm his presence or absence at the crime scene during the time of murder. Yes, my client and the victim had had consensual sex that night but Nick had left her soon after and had turned up the next day at office on time. He had been looking forward to seeing her all day but by evening news of her murder had reached office.

In my defence, I used his ‘good-boy’ looks and a clean record of the past and even let him face the prosecution one-on-one. I had been weary of it at first but he reassured me and handled the questions quite well- answered honestly, to the point and maintained eye contact with the jury. I brushed aside the reports of missing girls at Berkley during his college days as irrelevant to the particular case; they couldn’t prove my client’s concrete connections to either of the missing girls.

“They are back”, we were informed. “Best of luck” Reeves said to Nick and me. I gave him a tired smile. Nick turned to me, and with sincerity in those beautiful deep blue eyes, he said to me “Thank you, for your belief in me…I have put my faith in you and I’m confident you made the jury see my innocence.” He smiled his dimpled smile then continued “and if they couldn’t see it…well…we can discuss the options available later” he waved his hand as if dismissing the very thought. My heart went out for him. Yes, I wasn’t allowed to let emotions get in the way of professionalism and cloud my better judgement but here, now, I could simply not help it. I placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder, pushed away the wonderful effect the touch was having on me and said, “We should really go see for ourselves now.”

 

 

I opened my eyes as the bright sunlight fell on my face. I had tried ignoring it for long, trying hard not to change the comfortable position I was sleeping in now. I looked at the clock on the wall and with a moan began trying to extract myself from under the heavy arm that had me pinned down. “Noooo…not yet” said Nick as he pulled me closer and began placing light fleeting kisses down my neck. I turned my head, caught his lips and while drawing back from the kiss said “We will continue this later tonight”.

Nick and I had kept up the acquaintance even after we had won the case. It started off with celebratory dinners and the occasional conversations over coffee which had turned to frequent lunch-dates and Chinese take-aways while I worked late nights. Then one day after a Friday night movie, as we were walking back to the metro, we kissed, he confessed his love and things have been on a high ever since. I was apprehensive at first, I was five years older to him, but that never came across as a good-enough reason to not continue this relationship.

As I walked into my office- my own office in the prestigious Norton and Reeves, I was greeted with the sight of Daniel Reeves hunched over his laptop and sipping his usual black coffee. “Morning” he said and stood up awkwardly as I entered. “Morning Dan. I’m sorry I’m late” I said slipping behind the desk and settling into my chair. For a minute Dan went over the ideas as to why I could be late and then he let it go with a very audible sigh. “So…” and he began in his characteristic ‘Lets-get-down-to-business’ tone. He was and still seems to be upset over the fact that I was seeing Nick. His official reasoning being that lawyers should never get personally involved with clients but I believe it also has something to do with the fact that he liked me and genuinely thought we had a chance together.

Daniel Reeves came armed with a law degree from Harvard and soon joined his father Charles Reeves at Norton and Reeves. But the always ‘proper-looking’ Dan was just too good to be a lawyer. He was a man of ideals and very high principles and as such a misfit in this legal jungle. I had a wonderful working relationship with him. He was smart, caring and always a gentleman- holding the door for me or pulling out the chair when we were dining out. But there was no way I could have with him the kind of relationship, a mix of passion and ease that came with knowing your partner well, that I had with Nick.

“There’s something I found out about Nick” he said gravely and I quickly turned my entire attention on him.

“God! Dan are you still trying to convince me that he really did kill a girl. Please. I don’t want to discuss it anymore. For Heaven’s sake you were the one who first asked me to take up the case” I said getting angrier with every sentence. He looked at me with obvious pain, that I was blindly supporting Nick. He pulled out a CD from inside his coat and slid it across the table to me “Just hear it.”

One hour later, I sat on the sofa in my office, feeling numb. “Drink this” ordered Dan handing me a glass of scotch. The CD was a recorded session of Dr. Adam Sorenson with a fourteen year old Nicholas Rossi, who had been brought in by his parents for therapy. Dr.Sorenson stated that the boy was disturbed, had a lot of uncontrolled anger and was full of contempt for his father and step-mother after his mother’s sudden unexplained death. Among his many violent tantrums the latest included throwing a china plate at his step-mother. I couldn’t bring myself to believe it. I had called up Dr. Sorenson and spoken to him myself. After ascertaining my near relation to the patient he confirmed it. He still remembered the youth who would sit glaring at him in his office for the entire session without responding to a single question. It was hard to believe that my gentle loving Nick could actually have tortured and murdered a girl or even two. But the more I went over the facts in my head the more everything fell into place- I could now see the loopholes in my defence. Nick was a murderer and he had completely used me. I let Dan hold me while I cried and when I left the office at six that evening I was heartbroken but I knew I had to confront Nick.

 

 

I felt a strong pair of hands enveloping me from behind and then as I sat down on the kitchen floor, Dan brought me a glass of water and sat down beside me. We sat silently, Dan observing my face that looked disastrous and I going over all that had happened since I came home that evening.

I had confronted Nick. He was both surprised and angry that I had gone behind his back and found out about his medical history. He accused me of not trusting him and always demanding him to prove his love and honesty. I accused him of always being so secretive. There was a lot of shouting and screaming; but all hell broke loose once I mentioned his mother, adding that he might have been the one who killed his mother and no one had caught him yet. Beyond that all I remember are flying shards of glass and a lot of pain-a lot of it.

Through the kitchen door I saw them carry away Nick’s body. With a shudder I broke down and sank into Dan’s comfortable arms. “You did it in self-defence, that bastard deserved it.” Dan was saying to me. “I’m just sorry I let you confront him alone. I should have been here…I failed to protect you…I’m…so…”he continued frantically. “But everything’s going to be okay now” he finished, kissing the top of my head and then looked me straight in the eye. And that is when I told him the truth “O God Dan! I killed him…killed him. He never admitted to killing any of the girls and now we will never know if he was guilty or…or innocent. I killed him.”

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Fiction

 

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21 Minutes…Of love, Of Betrayal

11:27 P.M. I look at his slumped figure sitting on the edge of the bed, his face hidden in his hands, the glock lying on the crumpled sheets beside him. His incoherent sentences amidst the sobs, is the only thing filling the silence that has descended upon us in this dingy motel room.

I scan the room silently trying my best to avoid looking at the helpless figure sitting in front of me. The bed is covered with documents; his laptop, still powered on, is on the table, a can of soda beside it. His jacket has been unceremoniously dumped on the chair next to the table and cigarette butts form distinct grotesque patterns on the floor. The room was a mess, he was a mess, I was a mess.

“Why?” I ask him, my hands digging deeper into my pockets. Even though the lone window in the room was shut against the cold November air, a chill ran through me.

“Look at me, please” I beg him, tears freely streaming down my face now. He shakes his head, takes in a sharp breathe then lifts his face, his deep blue eyes instantly finding my brown ones. He grabs the gun then says in a hoarse whisper “I’m sorry”.

“We don’t have to do this” I say simply, trying for the last time to keep us both alive. But I am acutely aware of the change that has occurred. I no longer recognize the man sitting in front of me- the Kyle I loved has gone and in his place is the emotionless Government Agent whom everyone dreaded.

“I love you, you know” his voice breaks slightly as he says it, but it’s so different from the first time he had professed his love to me.

 

The adrenaline rush was wearing off and I give up trying to move when the pain becomes too hard to bear. It feels so easy to let myself slip into oblivion, give myself up to the painlessness. But I push my fluttering eyes open-he had promised to come. “He will come” I tell myself.

It is a while before I hear sirens in the distance and seems ages before I am finally pulled into those strong arms I knew so well. Kyle Wilder’s face came into view. “Stay with me” he whispered frantically, “the paramedics are on their way”. He hugs me and it’s only the sound of his heartbeat that kept me alive, I realize now.

I try remembering how his face looked without the worry that clouded his face now. The boyish grin, the thick black hair constantly falling over his eyes. I try picturing the twinkling in his eyes when he has successfully managed to make me laugh at his witty one-liners. I touch his face, hoping that my touch would convey all that I felt for him. He wasn’t just another team member to me- he was much much more. He was what had kept me alive during the abduction and the inhuman interrogation by those Korean beasts.

But all this is too much of a strain and I let my eyes close knowing that I am safe.

I open my eyes 26 hours later in a hospital room. Kyle was sitting by my bed, his hand clasping mine. When he feels me stir he moves closer. “I’m so glad you are alive” and a small smile graces his face. His eyes wander over my face and he runs his fingers gently over the bruises covering my face. “I thought I had lost you Rachel…and I can’t imagine living through that…I…I” his voice drops to just above a whisper now. He lets out a sharp exhale and momentarily shuts his eyes. Opening them slowly, he leans his face closer to mine “I love you” escapes his lips before they claim mine in a tender, passionate kiss. I simple smiled at him when he drew back to let him know I felt the same.

 

That was three years back. The man sitting in front of me today was only the shadow of the man I had once loved. The face that once grew creased with concern for me was today darkened with brutality. The eyes that had once looked at me with so much love and fondness, today held pure disgust for me. Yes, the times have changed. I have changed. Both of us today have issues greater than our love for each other, pulling us apart. All those finer human emotions are lost it’s only about survival now.

“I loved you too” I say; my voice doesn’t crack.

 

11:33 The sound of a single gunshot echoes across the room and down the hallway outside.

 

11:33 Agent Simmons drowns the last of the whiskey in his glass, turns away from the window and takes the file from the IT technician’s hands.

“We were able to get a clear shot of the agent from the traffic cam as you had requested sir”

He nods. The Tech guy leaves. Simmons steadies himself. He had always been proud of his hand-picked team till seven hours ago. That is until he learned that one of them had sold themselves over to the other side. He opens it and stares long and hard at the face so clearly visible in the photo. “Rachel Atwood” even as he mouths those words he feels the pain arising out of his chest.

 

11:48 I was driving fast and aimlessly. One hand clutches the steering wheel in a mad grip the other reaches up to touch my lips as my eyes close involuntarily at the memory of our last kiss. As I had drawn back my face and loosened my grip on his shirt, he tumbled back onto the bed, red colour slowly steadily spreading across the front of the shirt.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Fiction

 

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Own Goal!

Image

As Detective Inspector James Mulligan of The Scotland Yard stood staring at the murder board, he realized that this case had the potential to change his future. Ryan Fraser had never been his favourite footballer; he personally thought the guy moved on the field like a cow on ice. But if this man was going to help him get a promotion and prove to be the stepping stone for his long and illustrious career in the Department, he could begin to more than “like” the guy. And all he had to do now was solve Ryan Fraser’s murder and claim that office on the exclusive fifth floor for himself.

So he took another deep breath and shook his head to clear it of all other thoughts and concentrate solely on the case before him. He sat down on the edge of his cluttered desk and folding his arms across his chest, he began going over the case from the beginning. This case had all the elements that made for an exciting murder and one which aroused great national interest- a high profile victim, a disgruntled wife publically announcing she craved for revenge, a long list of enemies and the seedy world of parties, celebrities, drugs and alcohol. His Chief had asked him to keep the investigations tightly under wrap and away from the hungry media hounds. But Mulligan personally thought his photo in today’s paper as he came out of the victim’s apartment building was quite striking and that he could very well get used to the feeling of being someone of consequence.

So firstly, there was a rich and famous yet troubled victim-Ryan Fraser. Mulligan tapped on the photo in the centre of the board with his index finger. An ageing footballer who had been found dead in his home in the early hours of Saturday following a high-stake derby match on Friday where the victim had scored the winning goal. His body had been discovered by his housekeeper in his living-room, lying in a pool of blood, vomit and glass shards. Preliminary investigation suggested the victim died of asphyxiation although his face was heavily bruised and there were clear finger-marks around his neck. Robbery had been ruled out because even though the room was in disarray, nothing, not even the victim’s wallet and cell phone had been taken. Interestingly there was a burn mark on the chest from the nuzzle of a gun, but the victim had not been shot and forensics found no stray bullet in the room.

Then there were the whole interesting list of suspects. Mulligan was quite proud of how quickly his team had moved and within the first 24 hours of the incident being reported they had already interviewed the more important ones among them. But that didn’t mean they had gotten any closer to solving it. He scrutinised the picture of a redhead, a stunningly beautiful redhead he must admit. Cynthia Griffiths had motive. Fraser was cheating on her and based on what his team had dug up she was going to get a laughable sum as alimony if she pressed forward with the divorce. With Fraser dead though, she inherited all his wealth in the name of their two young children.
“Bradley, what do we have for Miss. Griffiths on the night of the murder?”
“Some 1000 people vouching for her presence at a high-end fashion gig on Conduit Street” supplied Bradley from his desk where he was slouched over the victim’s financial records.
“But she could have slipped in and out from there, right?”
Bradley huffed and stretched his arms above his head “Not when she was playing the host’s arm candy the entire evening” he replied with a wry smile.
“So she’s alibied out.” That gave them zilch. “What about her financials? She could have asked someone else to do her dirty work.”
“Again, there is no erratic pattern in her money spending activity.” He shrugged his shoulder. “We all love a good-ole-crime of passion, Sir, but this one ain’t it. She seemed genuinely shocked to hear about it when Sam and I questioned her.”
Mulligan grunted in response.

So they could put the wife on the backburner for now. The next person high up on the suspects list was Fraser’s team mate Christopher Walsh. Walsh had been sacrificed by the manager to afford Fraser a place on the team. And with Fraser now finally pulling his socks up and playing well, Walsh could have felt threatened enough to permanently remove the guy from the team. Mulligan understood that football was a vastly competitive sport and there was a lot of money involved. And so, even though, during interrogation, Walsh readily admitted to a scuffle with the victim at the post-match party, Mulligan wasn’t ready to let him off the hook as a murder suspect.
“This bloke, Walsh, what’s his story sounding like?” asked Mulligan, slowly stroking his chin. He usually did that when he was seriously considering a suspect.
“Watertight” replied Bradley getting up from his chair and going over to the coffee machine, for what, Mulligan knew, was his sixth coffee of the day and it was still just early afternoon. “The chap’s young and hot-blooded but doesn’t really have the balls to pull it off. We scared the pants-off him when we raided his place for questioning. West spoke to his doorman and security cams have him at his apartment at the time of the murder.”
Damn. Another suspect with a perfect alibi. Mulligan looked at the scrawny, freckled 20-something’s picture on the murder board and scowled. With Walsh’s record number of red cards for his on-filed antics, Mulligan was really expecting the chap to have committed the crime in a moment of madness. Well, it wasn’t to be so. Now he really expected West had some good news for him.

Just as that thought flitted across his mind, his cell started buzzing and he fished it out to find that his partner George West was indeed calling him. Mulligan allowed a small smile to grace his lips.
“Tell me you have good news, Georgie” he sighed.
“Well, if eliminating suspects is good news then I have some for you” replied George West in his chirpy voice. Mulligan found it really hard to believe that a 40 year old man, in his line of work with 15 years of experience, could be that chirpy at any given time of the day. But that was his partner West, the man who found even the morgue to be a sunny place.
“Hit me” Mulligan replied in a flat tone.
“Fraser’s girlfriend, or whatever you would like to call that leggy lass, happens to be legit and has absolutely no connections to the Russian mobsters. Although, interestingly, I did find her this morning with a chav at her home in Hoxton. The chav took off like a scarred bunny, and…”  Mulligan heard him pause for what he guessed was West looking for her name in his notepad.
“Oksana” he supplied.
“Ah, yes Oksana. The way you say it James, you sound nothing short of her reverent lover” West chuckled on the other end.
“Continue” Mulligan said curtly.
“Yeah, so this Oksana she seemed pretty shaken up too. I take out my gun, say the standard silly things and next thing I know she’s confessing to possession of drugs. But it’s mostly what those anorexic girls take. And in return for not arresting her, she answered all my questions dutifully and with full honesty. You are gonna love it, mate. I mean this is the kind of story you watch in the movies…” Mulligan could her the smugness in West’s voice.
“West” Mulligan pressed. He was really starting to regret having sent out West that morning, he should have gone himself and gotten the real deal first hand.
“So Oksana” West almost sings her name, “corners Fraser by the parking lot when he’s leaving the party, confronts him for leaving her a little dry and she gently coaxes him, by tightly wrapping her hands around his neck, to part with his expensive watch. You remember Sam pointing out that the vic was not wearing a watch. Guess what, some chav is probably running around East End wearing the same.”
“So Fraser gets mugged by her that would make him very angry but gives her no motive to go back and kill him” Mulligan concludes.
“Well, yes, so we can safely put her out of the equation. She was using Fraser just like Fraser was using her and nothing could have induced her to give up her wonderful life for the sake of Fraser.”
“Unless” proposes Mulligan “she went up to his apartment later on to see if she could get out more from him, but a scuffle ensues and she actually strangles him this time.”
“Aaah! Now that’s a good theory James. I love how your reading all those crime fictions is really helping with your theorizing.” West says in his patronizing tone. Mulligan was younger to West in age and experience, but he hated it when West made a point to reinforce it. But before he could say anything West continued “But you see she was with another football player during the time of murder and has…” Mulligan could hear the mirth in West’s voice “ample proof” he said drawing out the vowels “with date and time stamps on them” he added a loud laugh at the end.

Mulligan rubbed his temples slowly. “So…” Aargh! He needed something solid now. “Did you collect the autopsy report yet?” he asked finally finding the one thing that could really help him right now.
“Headed over to the ME’s right now. Hopefully, he isn’t out for lunch and I’ll be back in the office soon. You know all this running…”
“Yeah ok” Mulligan cut the call and let his cell phone drop on his desk.

Mulligan was really starting to get frustrated. Yes, he knew from the start that this was not going to be a simple case but really, how could he be facing with so many dead-ends right at the beginning of his investigation.
“Someone tell me how does everyone alibi out?” Mulligan asked, loud enough for the entire floor of officers to hear, but to no one in particular, and everyone was smart enough to keep their mouths shut.

Just then he heard the tell-tale sound of high heels on polished floor and he turned around to look at the source of the noise. Samantha Carter strutted towards him, and as always, James couldn’t keep his heart from beating faster. Seriously, so many rules at the office, and none that stopped this woman from looking sexy in whatever she wore? James unconsciously straightened his tie and from the corner of his eye he noticed Bradley sitting up straighter in his chair, sucking in his breath and tucking in his tummy.
“Sir…” began Samantha sounding unsure. There were few times that he had seen this woman unsure.
“What is it Sam?” he asked gently. Or what West called his love-sick voice.
“Ummm…there is this strange man waiting in the lobby, he wants to speak to you Sir” she said pushing her raven hair back from her face.
James gave her a smile and then waved his hands towards the murder board “Would you let him know I’m in the middle of something important. I don’t believe he has anything that could help with this, now, does he?” Mulligan shared a brief look with Bradley.
“Actually Sir, he does. And I think you would definitely like to speak with him.” She continued.
Mulligan quirked his eyebrows up in question.
She drew in a deep breath and let out her words in a flurry “He says he killed Ryan Fraser.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

“Gavin Poole, 43” Bradley announced walking up to Mulligan with an open file in his hands “caught previously on multiple accounts of aggravated assaults. And they are all perfectly synchronous with dates when a derby match was held. Doesn’t have a permanent job, drifts around. Was married, but wife left with his three kids and so now he lives alone at his house on lower Camden. Or used to, more accurately.”
“Used to?” asked Sam, from beside Mulligan. “A new partner now?”
“Nah” chuckles Bradley. “Used to meaning he was kicked out by his landlord a week ago for non-payment of dues. Right now, he’s just crashing in here and there. Frustrated guy like that could have done anything, even murder. And now when he’s realized what he’s done, the bloke feels guilty and comes forward to own it.”
“Let’s not jump to conclusions.” Mulligan said gravely. “He could very well be our killer, but we do have to question him. He could be a mere pawn in the hands of someone more powerful. Maybe someone else who had a bone with Fraser sent this guy to do the job.”
As Mulligan now stood and watched the man sitting in the interrogation room through the one sided glass, he realized that this was very well possible. He sized the man up while rolling down his own sleeves and proceeded to button them up. Poole seemed…disturbed, yes that’s the word that could describe the man. His hair was dishevelled and his clothes clearly needed a wash, a week-old beard and dirty boots completed his worn-out look. A man like that, could have been desperate for a job.
“Carter, Bradley cross-check him against all our other suspects, see if he could have come into contact with any of them. His call log, his financials, anything you can get a hand on. And see if the man pops up in any of the video footages that we have of the night of the murder.” He paused for a response and the other two nodded. “And Carter, that gun you recovered from him when he came in…”
“A .32 colt” she answered promptly. Man, did he love his woman with knowledge of gunfire! He ignored the violent flips in his tummy and continued with a serious face “Send it to the lab, see if it’s a match to our crime scene.”
“On it.” She answered and was already sashaying down the corridor before Bradley turned on his heels and slowly waddled his way over to his computer.

Mulligan slipped on his coat and straightened his tie. “The look” meant everything. How Poole perceived him would directly affect the kind of answers he would receive. He allowed himself a small smile. This man could get him the promotion and with it, perhaps, a chance to ask Samantha out for celebratory dinner. Almost instantly, he schooled his features, picked up the case folder from the table beside him, checked his watch and pulled out a pen from his pocket. One final breath and he entered the interrogation room.

“Mr.Poole” he started off in a calm manner as he moved towards the table that separated him and the suspect. “I hear you wished to speak with me?” he gave a curt smile, but made no move to put his folder down or sit down himself.
Poole looked up with unfocused eyes and answered in a rough voice “Saw your photo in the paper. Knew you were working the case.”
“And?” Mulligan asked in what he knew was an infuriating manner.
It earned him a death glare from the guy. “I killed him.” He replied matter-of-factly.
Now Mulligan put down his folder “Interesting. Tell me more.” But he still did not sit down.
“Well I killed the sorry piece of ass, that’s that. What else do you want?” Poole asked raising his voice.
Mulligan shook his head slightly and slipped off his coat. Then making a show of the entire thing, he hung his coat on the chair and then slowly rolled up first his left sleeve then his right. “For starters you could tell me why you killed him?”
Poole was observing him closely. He huffed. “He scored the bloody goal that night. My team lost because of him. I had every legitimate reason to kill him”
Mulligan was actually taken aback by the sincerity in his voice as he said it. He couldn’t stop the shocked laughter from escaping him. “You killed him because a freaking football team lost. Merlin! Tell me you had a better reason.”
Poole slammed his fist against the table “He doesn’t score a goal all this time and finally scores in a match that mattered to me. Hell yeah, that’s my reason.”
That’s when Mulligan caught on. “Poole, you bet money and lost it. Is that it?” he asked, sitting down finally.
Poole immediately calmed down and a defeated look took over his features. “Lost every bit of the last dime I had on me.” He wiped his forehead with his sleeves. “I was angry, so angry.” He looked directly into Mulligan’s eyes. “I was already pretty heavily drunk watching the match in the pub. Had a small fight with a lad supporting the other team. He said a few things and I got fired up. And umm… I don’t know what made me decide but…but I stalked out in front of his building and then when he came in later that night I went up via the fire escape.” He paused to draw in a shaky breath. Mulligan said nothing.
“Then we confronted each other in his living room. Both said this and that, one thing led to another, I took out my gun…I only meant to scare him.” He lowered his head into his hands and just sat there.
“Then?” Mulligan nudged him.
“He called me names, he was very abusive. There was this guy standing in front of him, who had everything one could ask for, but he had cheated on his wife, and he was squandering away everything, I felt…I felt…He needed to be punished. He deserved an awful life, not me. The recession wasn’t my mistake. And I didn’t do anything and she still left me. You know how long since I last saw my kids?” Poole made no show of holding back his tears. Mulligan felt no sympathy for him.
“That doesn’t justify you killing any one. You can’t simply pretend to be a better human being and take away the lives of others.” Plus Mulligan had also to check the other possible angles. So he pulled out the photos of the other suspects and laid them out on the table. “Do you know any of them?”
Mulligan observed Poole’s face carefully as he finally sniffed away the last of his tears and curiously looked at the photos. “That’s the wife, that’s the new kid Walsh, don’t know the other female.” He answered gruffly. “Why?”
“Have you met them?”
“Met them? No. I’ve seen them in the papers, that’s all.”
“You sure, none of them approached you. Now is your chance Gavin. Give up the person who asked you to kill Fraser, and we can reduce your sentence. You are a good man Gavin; you don’t have to waste your life away in a prison. Just tell me who it is.” Mulligan said calmly, waiting to see Poole’s reaction.
Poole looked at him like he had grown another set of head. “I don’t know what you’re talking man. No one asked me to kill him. What do you think, I took cash to do the job? That’s rubbish” he almost exploded. “I’m a man with principles. I’m not some regular low-life goon. Look mate, I was angry, I went in and I killed the man. I’m not proud of what I did but I took no money for it.” He finished proudly.
As far as Mulligan could tell Poole wasn’t lying. To be honest he was actually a little disappointed. This was after all going to be a stupid sports fan venting out his private anger and not an elaborate murder as he had imagined. He scoffed at the idea. But something was better than nothing. “Yes, apparently you are a man with a twisted set of principles.” But things were still not adding up. “Tell me Poole, why…” he was cut short by a rap on the door and then Bradley poked his head in.
“You ought to see something, Sir” he said. “Now.”
Aah! There it was. They had found his link to someone else. Poole wasn’t a man of morals after all.
“Last chance Poole. Give up the name and we could actually get you a lesser sentence for helping us out. I’ll let you think it over.” With that Mulligan rose and went out of the room.

“So who’s it?” he asked, almost gleefully.
Bradley was standing, looking over Carter’s shoulder as she clicked away on her computer.
“Our tech just emailed a photo of Poole taken from the traffic cam across the street from near Fraser’s building.” She began.
“Yes, must be from the time he was waiting for Fraser to arrive.” Mulligan answered as he stood on her other side and leaned over. He could smell her lavender perfume.
“Yes, we have evidence of that. But there’s also this” and she clicked on a small icon and it enlarged to reveal the photo of Poole headed in the direction away from the building. Mulligan looked closely. There was only Poole that he recognized in the photo. Slightly confused, he chanced a look at Carter.
“The time says 1:37 a.m. The time window we have for Fraser’s death is between 2:15 and 3:30 a.m.” she finished gravely.
“Poole is not our killer” Bradley stated the obvious.

To say that Mulligan was confused and furious and feeling utterly lost would be an understatement. He marched into the interrogation room and stood looming over Poole, slumped in the uncomfortable chair.
“How the hell did you strangle a man that he didn’t die immediately but almost an hour later?” He bellowed. “What do you think you’re doing? Wasting my time? Or did someone else set you up to take the fall for them, huh?”
“Strangle?” Poole quivered. “I strangled no man. I shot Fraser with my gun and he died. He died cause I saw him slump down to the ground.” He said emphatically.
Mulligan took hold of Poole’s shoulder “If you did shoot someone, then, my mate, I’m afraid you killed someone else and not Fraser. Fraser suffocated to his death.”
Before either of them could say another word the door flew open for the second time and a flush-faced West stood in the doorway. “Let him go, Mulligan. He’s just disillusioned. He didn’t do it.”
“But he was there” said Mulligan flailing his hands around. Like that explained everything.
“He was drunk. He might have threatened Fraser with the gun but no shots were fired and Fraser most certainly was not shot to death.” Mulligan just stared right on with his hands on his hips.
West waved the file he was holding “I have the autopsy report and I know who the real culprit is.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

“Poole is a fool” sang West as he drew a clean whiteboard towards Mulligan’s desk “but West is the Best” he finished with a grin. Mulligan groaned inwardly. He was not in the mood for “The West-Best Show” but there was no other way West was going to give him the details. He still tried “West, just tell us already!”
Carter helped him angle it properly and smirked “What? And not get a chance to the watch “The West-Best Show”? How can you be so cruel Detective Mulligan?” She sat down on the chair and crossing her legs, she brought down her hands to rest on her knees. She had such an amused and excited look on her face that Mulligan didn’t have the heart to call off the “show”. He simply sighed, but caught West’s twinkling eyes and he clearly understood the “caught-you” look on his face. Mulligan scowled in response. Bradley finally arrived with two cups of coffee, handing one wordlessly to Carter, he pulled up a chair beside her and sat down. Mulligan leaned back onto the desk and asked “Can we begin now?”
West bowed like a showman and then began by pulling out Fraser’s photo from the file he was holding. “Victim Ryan Fraser” and he pinned it on to the board. “Old football chap, finally as he was rising like a phoenix someone shot him down. More correctly someone suffocated him to death.” Mulligan wondered if the court proceedings took this long.

“Wife Cynthia Griffiths” he put up a photo next to the previous one. “What do we have for her?”
“A motive” answered Carter. “She was being cheated on” finished Bradley. They both loved this game. Mulligan would have to play along. “Watertight alibi” he supplied grudgingly.
“So Mrs.Fraser is ruled out.” West moved her photo to one end of the board. “Her financials will rise significantly. She will cash in on the sympathy and the free publicity and we will likely watch her play ball with someone else soon.”
That earned a snort from Bradley.

“Next up we have Christopher Walsh” he announced as he placed the next photo. Before he even questioned Bradley spoke up “Professional rivalry.”
“And we have him on tape getting into a fight with Fraser. And he has subsequently admitted to it.” Carter added.
“Autopsy report confirms that the bruising on the victim’s face is pre-mortem. And the bruising is light meaning they were carried out with bare hands. Plus the victim’s knuckles were skinned too. Corroborating the fight scenario.” West explained.
Again Mulligan was the one to burst the bubble. “But Walsh has a perfect alibi.”
“A perfect alibi or three. Three young women were with Mr.Walsh at the time of the murder. We woke up the chap when we raided his house late morning. Enough evidence to rule him out too.” So saying West moved his picture next to Griffiths’.
“Are we going to get there any time soon?” asked Mulligan in a frustrated voice.

“Yes yes” chuckled West. “Next up” he pulled out the next picture “Oksana. And I’m not going to attempt to pronounce her surname.”
“Motive not quite substantial. But she was seen with the vic before his murder.” Said Carter, sitting back in her chair and taking a sip of her coffee.
“Wanted to milk her money daddy further?” supplied Bradley.
“Pay for her drugs” said Mulligan.
“But do we know what she had on him that made Fraser pay her?” quizzed West.
When he got the expected blank stares he continued. “Miss Oksana has a wonderful way of remembering the wonderful men she meets up with. She had some very damaging photos of Fraser that…”
“But it was no secret that he was sleeping with her. The divorce proceedings would not be affected in any way in the presence or absence of photographic evidence.” Carter voiced her thoughts.
West smiled as he answered “I’m glad someone’s using their head. Yes but she did have the knowledge that he was using drugs himself.” That earned him a gasp from Carter. “And that is how she initially met him and the damaging photos are of him taking drugs.”  He passed around a couple of photos to the team. Mulligan looked at the photo in his hand. If these were ever made public, Fraser’s hopes of playing football at the professional level would vanish forever. But Mulligan had more pressing issues to address.
“Why didn’t you tell me about them earlier?” he tried to keep his anger in check.
West smiled cheekily. “I wanted to give them to you as a gift, a good piece of news at the end of the day. But that was before I knew the autopsy report would solve the case.” He paused fractionally only leaving Mulligan enough time to wrap his head around the thought but not enough to articulate a fitting response.
“So” he dragged it out “We know that Miss Oksana would have profited more from him being alive than dead.”
“But we do have her admitting to strangling Fraser at the parking lot” Bradley countered.
“Yes and the autopsy report have matched the marks around the neck as being finger-marks but there is no proof to show that they are definitely Oksana’s. We only have her word for it. Besides, she has proof of being somewhere else at the same time. She was with Gary Oldenfield” and West took out another grainy photo of Oksana with another teammate of Fraser’s.
“Is the entire team doing her?” asked Bradley, shaking his head. And his crassness earned him a hit on his shoulder from Carter.
“Ouch” he feigned being hurt.
“So it’s not Oksana” said Mulligan putting an end to their little sparring.
West smiled. “Nope” and he shifted her photo to the end to join the other discarded suspects.

“That leaves us with Gavin Poole” announced West. “Who as I stated earlier is simply an over-emotional fool.” Putting up the photo he turned around to his audience.
“The gun burn, do we have a calibre for it?” asked Carter.
“ A .32” answered West consulting his file.
“That’s a match to Poole’s gun” said Mulligan getting excited.
“Yes, which proves precisely that Poole threatened Fraser with a gun. But the forensics team could recover no bullets from the crime scene and Fraser was definitely not shot.”
“But Poole could have strangled him” theorized Bradley.
“Ok now here’s a piece of science for you, try to follow carefully.” Answered West, in way that seemed to Mulligan that West was teaching a class of kindergarten students.
“Now manual choking would have to cause damage to the larynx or fracture the hyoid bone or one of the other neck bones. Plus if the victim is conscious during the event, there would have to be signs of struggling, nail marks, for example, but none were found. All bones are intact. Trachea shows no signs of extended compressions.”
The other three slowly nodded their head.
“But he did die of asphyxiation, didn’t he? That is what the ME at the crime scene told us” said Carter, a little unsure of herself and looked towards Mulligan for confirmation.
“Asphyxiation is simply the case of the body not receiving the required oxygen” West said as if they didn’t already know that.
“Isn’t there any other way that Poole could have done it?” pressed Mulligan.
“None, without leaving some signs to show for it.” West shook his head for emphasis. “But there are other way that Fraser could have been asphyxiated” and a small smile played on his lips. He moved Poole’s photo out of the way.

“The culprit is” West looked up to see if he had everyone’s attention. He shouldn’t have bothered. Bradley and Carter were both leaning forward in their chairs and even Mulligan was rapt with attention. West grinned and then turned around and put up the next photo on the board. When he moved away, all three bolted up straight with attention.
“A bottle of Ballantine’s?” asked Mulligan in an incredulous manner.
“Four to be precise.” Answered West.
“Yes we found four empty bottles at his apartment” began Carter in a confused voice.
“And all four have only fingerprints from Fraser. Fraser finished off four bottles of scotch at his apartment. And we know he had been drinking from earlier than that. The ME found remnants of vomit in his trachea.”
“So you’re saying” began Mulligan, running a hand through his hair “that this is not a case of deliberate calculated murder but simply an…”
“Own-Goal” Bradley finished for him.

“The fool choked on his own vomit and died.” West closed his file and grinned. “Case solved.”
The few minutes of silence was broken by Bradley’s barking laughter and seconds later Carter and West joined him.

“Should we call it a night then?” said West beaming around. “Reports can be written up later I suppose?”
“I say celebratory drinks” winked Bradley. “What say, Sir?” and that’s one everyone turned around to look at Mulligan. Mulligan it seemed was rooted to his spot, lost to the world around him. He had not uttered a single word since the revelation. He simply waved his hand in a sort of dismissal.
Mulligan was vaguely aware of what was going on around him. He was too shocked to acknowledge anything more. He heard Carter say something as she picked up her coat and from the corner of his eye he saw Bradley help her slip into it.
“I didn’t know you drank anything but Coffee, Phil?” he heard Sam’s voice rich with amusement. He could only hear her rhythmical laughter while everything else seemed dulled. But it was not a blissful dulling; it was the numbness before the pain fully struck.

When he finally came to his senses, he picked up the closest thing within his reach (which turned out to be his cell phone) and hurled it at the photo of Ryan Fraser. It struck the photo then shattered to the floor. He had never liked the man alive; a cow on ice he thought, and the man had failed to redeem himself in his death. Mulligan swore loudly to himself “If the fool wasn’t already dead I swear I would have strangled him.” He was shook visibly with anger “Bloody Own Goal!”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The End!

Image

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Fiction

 

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Murder at 1, Middleton Row

I stepped inside Galloway House, 1, Middleton Row and was instantly transported into another world. The Victorian architecture not only lent the place a sense of grandeur but also a sense of serenity; the dark wooden paneling giving the large entrance hall a welcome, comfortable dimness in sharp contrast to the scorching July sun outside. This place was to be my home for the next three years- pleasant three years I hoped. But it would not to be so.

 

Climbing up the giant staircase to the rooms on the second floor, it was on the first landing that I met Mrs. D’Mello for the very first time. I smiled at her. But instead of returning my smile, she silently sized me up and walked away.

 

In subsequent weeks I became more familiarized with the surroundings, met all the other girls and learnt a great deal about the place and particularly about Mrs. D’Mello. She was widow, as ancient as the place itself. None of us ever knew where to find her but she would turn up in the most unlikely places at the most unlikely hours. Once or twice at breakfast, I caught her staring at me with a deadpan expression and I finally admitted that I was as wary of her as the others. I wasn’t scared of her, just wary. There was no predicting how she would behave at a given instance and I had long since given up any attempts of warming up to her.

 

But she scared the hell out of me on that particularly chilly night in November. I was standing at the end of the long corridor outside our rooms, looking out at the burnt remains of Stephen Court. I had heard my seniors complain that they could still hear the hair-raising cries of people for help, but I wasn’t one to be scared by such tales. I was simply thinking about what the people must have gone through knowing that death was imminent.

 

I didn’t hear Mrs. D’Mello come up, but I felt it. I felt her glassy green eyes boring into my back and haltingly I turned around to face her. It was after lights-out so I wasn’t supposed to be standing out there in the dark. The dim red night bulb of the corridor presented a menacing silhouette of her. She was bracing herself for an attack- I had already been warned of her violent disposition. As she moved towards me, I took a step backwards and held on tightly to the railing behind me with my sweaty palms. I started to say something but it was lost amidst the series of events that happened in a flash.

 

She lunged at me and I, in my defense hit out at her with my leg. She lost her balance and as I avoided a full-on body collision with her, she went flying over the railing with a blood curling cry.

 

The night was silent again.

 

As I ran back to my room, which seemed to take almost an eternity, nothing else seemed to have moved at all. As I covered my shivering self under the blanket, I wondered if it had actually taken place- had I actually murdered her? Was she dead already or was she lying there on the hard cold ground writhing in pain?

 

Next morning, as I pulled a sleep-deprived me down to the breakfast table all my doubts were cleared. The gardener had found Mrs. D’Mello early that morning and her stiff body was lowered into the little pit that he had dug up for her, covered with mud and a single wild yellow flower was laid on top. And there lay the snow white cat with black ears and tail after taking away my peace of mind.

 

But no one missed her much at breakfast.Image

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Fiction

 

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I believe the words should be “Hi”

It is customary to begin with saying a “hello” and then going on to introduce yourself to people who have kindly taken the time out to view your blog. One would be expected to tell everyone about what they do, what their likes and dislikes are and what this particular blog is going to be all about. I hate to break this news to you- this introductory note is going to be nothing like that.
Because one, I don’t yet know Who I am. Yes, interestingly, I’m still discovering. Everyday I learn a new interesting fact about myself- sample this, today I learnt that when I talk to my laptop, pleading it to boot up quickly, it takes more time than usual to do so, and that my roomies have a good laugh watching me talk to inanimate beings!
Secondly, I am a great lover of “Circumlocution” or “periphrasis”. Which means I could simply tell you “I’m a girl. I’m a student. I love writing.” ;but I won’t. I love building up an image, an image that people create out of my words, help them paint it more deeply, and then shatter the image, eventually!
And that brings me to the most important thing. Perhaps the only thing I’ll tell you about myself upfront- I’m a dreamer. I love creating things. I would fail miserably in attempting to create even a paper boat, but I excel in creating stories of say a little boat adrift at sea, moving towards unknown isles, carrying our protagonist to his/her great destiny!( so cliche, I know!) So yes, I admit I live in this perpetual state of day dreaming. And most times I’m simply too lazy to put these into words. But lately, my muse seems to visit me more often, and I’ve finally begun penning/typing them down. So this blog, is hopefully, going to be a collection of my premature writings and even more hopefully, you will enjoy them, and show me your support!

-Love, G3

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Uncategorized