The jeep drove past the Silk Board signal even as buses from the other side were trying to cross the signal. Zaltrac had put up the siren above and the noise made him feel nauseated. He had hated sirens from his childhood as they reminded him of his father. He was only 9 back then when his father was murdered by his uncle in the local flea market and by the time the Ambulance screeched in blaring its sirens, it was too late.
“Sir, we are here.” The driver disturbed his chains of thoughts.
Zaltrac got down from the jeep and asked the driver to fetch him some cigarettes. He hadn’t smoked in a week and all he wanted to do was break them or just light them up to hear the crackling of tobacco. In front of him stood a huge 40 storey building and behind him were scared residents of the housing society. Everyone had gathered around the jeep mumbling up their doubts and queries.
Zaltrac ignore all of them and opened up his phone to check for the mail in which he had received the address of the crime scene. He looked around momentarily and walked towards elevator. At the reception desk on his way up, he was stopped by a man wearing a white shirt and a trouser.
“You must be the president of the housing society?” Zaltrac asked him.
“No, I am the treasurer here. The President is the victim. My name is Virat Bhai.”
“Makes sense, white clothes suit only the rich ones. It is easier for them to cover up their black souls behind them.” Zaltrac remarked as he pressed the elevator button for the 13th floor.
“I am sorry, I do not get you.” Virat Bhai replied back.
“It happens, I understand. The truth is hard to digest when you play with lies more often than not.”
“Are you a nutbag? Who sent you on this case here? Why are you talking here in riddles?”
“All the residents are shit scared out there, and yet you are extremely calm and flashing your gold chain which you must have probably bought after looting one of your business client. There is no riddle here and to answer your first question, I sent myself for this case.”
“I don’t want to talk to you.” Virat Bhai turned his face away as the elevator slowly made its way past the 5th floor.
“Nor do I. Wait till I reach the 13th floor and you can take the same lift back. Do not forget to tell all residents that the investigating officer is a total nutbag.”
It was the corner most apartment on the 13th floor. Everyone had the same design on their door except the one in question. There was a huge sculpture of Ganesha on the door and there was no handle as well. The door opened only from the inside.
Wonder what they do when everyone has to go outside!
The body was decorated on the dining table in the living room. Glass pieces and a few fishes lay scattered across the floor with intermittent puddles of water. Someone just him with an aquarium!
“Janak, what did you find out?” Zaltrac screamed out loud. The driver came in running by this time with a pack of cigarettes and handed it over.
Janak came walking in from the kitchen and asked the driver to wait outside.
“Sir, I have cleaned the kitchen.” Janak informed Zaltrac.
“When did I ask you to clean the kitchen here? It was in the previous crime scene.” Zaltrac furiously looked at Janak.
“There were rotten eggs here as well in the kitchen sink.”
“What else?” Zaltrac sighed.
“Male, 38 years, stabbed in the heart twice and once in the eye. He lived with his aged mother who is also missing. Neighbors told me that she never left the house.”
“Hence, there was no handle on the door from the outside and yet she is missing today when her son is murdered.”
“We also found a magnifying glass, some beads and a Hindu calendar smeared with blood in the balcony.”
“We have a serious issue at our hand. A serial killer, who stabs people in their eyes, throws rotten eggs in their sinks and disposes off tools of predictions. First, the tarot cards and now the magnifying glass used to read hands, and the Hindu calendar to predict the future.”
“Only two incidents have been reported so far, Sir.”
“Oh, he will kill again. He hates people who predict future and misguides people. That is his motive and there are plenty of them out there. Get me a list of all the famous astrologers, tarot readers and everyone who does similar shenanigans.”
A few miles away, with his hair still tied, the killer entered his small cottage. He untied his long hairs and dried with a cotton towel. He threw the knife on the bed and took off his pants to nurse the small wound the knife had caused near his groin while he was walking swiftly. I need something better to conceal my weapon!
He wiped his body with a solution of alcohol and hot water while he stood in front of the mirror admiring his deeds today. He picked up the knife from the bed and his hands started shaking again. He was fed up of his physical shortcoming, there was no control over his hands when they shook and it drove him even more insane.
He took the knife high up in the air and kicked the bed aside. Below the bed were two bodies concealed in jute bags. He stabbed both of them until he lost his breathe and he slept next to them.
A month ago, his parents were reported missing but only he knew the truth behind it.
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