It had been a long day and I was completely drained. I know I’d always wanted to do this,but this was one of those days when I felt the need to seriously question my decision. People had been paralyzed and traumatized for the past three days owing to the eight serial murders that had occurred in different places across the city.
They were hiding in the safety of their homes, while it was my responsibility to go out and anyhow find this wild beast disguised as a human being. It was like finding a needle in a haystack, but I had to do it. A policeman’s job was never easy.
I stood at my front door and struggled to find my house keys in my trouser pockets. I have to admit it wasn’t easy since my trouser was bursting at its seams because of the pounds I’d piled on in last couple of years. I made a mental note to join a gym as soon as I was done with this case. A coin fell out, but the keys were nowhere to be found. For a police officer I lost things at alarming frequency. Cursing, I retrieved the keys from under the flower pot near my door and went inside.
My home was neat and tidy, a bit too neat and tidy, if there’s any such thing. After the many years this domestic help had been working at my place, I’d never known her for her expertise in cleaning or cooking, or anything for that matter. She kept up with my errant timings and that was about all I needed. Everything was perfectly in place; even my mail had been properly stacked and kept on the center-table. My policeman’s intuition suddenly took over, and I started to acutely examine what seemed to me like a crime scene.
Was I overreacting and being overly cautious? Was I hallucinating due to sleep deprivation? Possibly.
As I looked around for anything suspicious, my eyes fell on the calendar kept on the center-table. The dates from 2nd July to 5th July were circled in red with big red dots under each date. 2nd July: 2 dots. 3rd July: 3 dots. 4th July: 3 dots. 5th July: 1 dot. It was clear to me in a flash! The dates and dots indicated the serial murders! But, what about today’s date? 5th July? It didn’t make sense. No murder was reported today!
My mind was racing. Within these twenty minutes that I’d taken to come home to freshen up, had something happened? Why was I not informed of it yet? Were my suspicions right all along? Where was my maid? Had she left for the day on time or not? I frantically looked everywhere to find anything amiss. Accidentally, I glanced upon the postcard lying on top of the pile of my unread mail. It was sent by my daughter who had gone on a Europe trip with her friends, from Venice.
For a moment I forgot everything that had been hassling me all this while. My eyes were riveted on her brilliant smile and her innocent and dreamy eyes. I longed to see her and hold her in my arms. She was the apple of my eye and I missed her so much!
Just then, I thought I heard a thud and felt something hitting against my head. I took a cursory glance around but, shockingly ignoring all my instincts to check, quickly came back to the postcard. My daughter’s beautiful face was smudged with fresh blood stains. Before any of it could make sense, everything started spinning around me and became increasingly hazy. Something hit me again, much harder this time.
No questions. No reasons. I had to care for nothing now. Before my lifeless body fell on the ground in a pool of my own blood, the last image I saw was that of the wild beast and his ghastly eyes mocking me.
This is my entry for the Write Tribe Contest #1.