It was a brisk rain that disturbed the weather that night in Bangalore. The glorified potholes were illusionary puddles that pedestrians and commuters were not able to differentiate between. Walking through these morbid roads filled with remorse was a moron who had just tasted blood.
Black eyes, long hair, a set of teeth that told tales of his smoking adventures, 180 centimeters of bone and muscles that had not seen day light in months and an unusual set of hands made him stand out on that lonely road. He was proud of his hands; they were not steady and had started shaking when he was 4 years old. He could not hold a pen for long neither could he hold his drink for periods enough to keep him sane. As he walked he could feel the metal inside his pants poke him constantly, the knife was sharp and yet he had it submerged it inside his trousers, a few inches away from his manly treasure.
A few meters away, the watchman had called in the police. Zaltrac Yeda, the officer on duty had extinguished 4 cigarettes in the police jeep on his way to crime scene. Every time he lit one, he put it off immediately. He threw the pack of cigarettes away as soon as he reached the shady apartment in BTM Layout where the watchman was waiting for him at the gate. Zaltrac saw the watchman trembling with fear and was completely wet thanks to the betraying Bangalore rains.
“What did you see?” Zaltrac patted the watchman and walked with him like college mates towards the 3rd floor.
“There was a huge scream; I thought the lady is having a party at her home. These days, most of the women do that when they are having drinks.”
“True, they do scream but there is a difference but you wouldn’t know unless you have seen a murder before. Have you seen one?”
“No, sir.” The watchman pressed the elevator button as Zaltrac let go off his shoulder.
“I want to go through the stairs.” Zaltrac pointed towards the dark passage that led towards the staircase.
“It is very dark there. I have complained many times to the owner but they have not responded.”
“You come by the elevator. I will take the staircase.”
The rain seemed adamant to pour down till it got exhausted itself completely. The entire city was laidback today but not the man who had just pierced his knife through human flesh for the second time today. The first time was in his college when he had stabbed a professor in the buttocks as he would not let him sit in the class. The knife holder had always been mischievous but that day he had burnt down chemistry notes of his classmate, and the professor had punished him by making him stand on his chair. Alas! The professor could never ever sit again in his life.
Zaltrac climbed up the dark staircase and slowly opened the door of the apartment which had started to smell foul by now. He knew that it was not the body so he immediately went to the kitchen vibrating his nose like a dog hungry for meat. He peeped into the kitchen sink and shouted his constable’s name.
“Janak, clear this kitchen of these rotten eggs first else I will not be able to work here.”
In the living room, the watchman stood next to the body. Her eyes had started turning blue and her hair been chopped off and thrown around. She had been stabbed once in the abdomen and once in her eye socket. Zaltrac looked closely at her eyes and tried sniffing it like a drug addict as the watchman looked in bewilderment.
“What was her name?”
“Samita, Samita Ghorpade. She was from Belgaum and working here in an advertising agency. She came back from work today at 7 pm and did not move out after that.”
“Answer what is asked, I hate long essay like answers.”
“Yes, sir.” The watchman replied.
“Did she have a boyfriend, husband, fiancé, or any friend zoned friend or a best friend?”
“I think she had all of them. Every day, there was a new guy.”
“She was a Tarot Card reader, she had just finished her certification, and I think they were her clients.” Janak interrupted their conversation. Zaltrac stared at him with conviction until he replied again, “The kitchen is clean now, sir. It does not stink.”
Zaltrac walked around the house slowly observing each and every thing. She had pictures of Gods from different religions on her wall. Secular!
“We found her Tarot cards in the balcony, it is smeared with blood.” Janak interrupted his thoughts again.
“Match the blood with her blood.”
The rain had fizzled out by now and inside a sewage tunnel, somewhere near the railway quarters, the knife was taken out and given a bath. He was hungry. He wanted to kill again. He had already pushed his knife through bodies that night. He took out a hair band from his pocket and tied his hair up and lighted a Cigar. Something to celebrate a murder, in fact two of them!
Zaltrac was looking down from the balcony when his phone rang again. He talked for a few seconds and kept the phone down, made his way to the living room again and shouted loudly.
“Janak, seal this place up. Take a statement from the watchman, torture him if you want but I want the truth, he is lying, I know that for sure. One more body has been called in, an astrologer near Silk Board. She has been stabbed in the eye as well.”
To Be Continued….
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