In continuation of
SECRETS OF THE NIGHT
By Neel Anil Panicker
For the third straight night the food lies undisturbed. The rectangular plastic tray watches, gloomy and forlorn, clinging to the corner walls inches away from the single door, still expectant as she desperately waits for the intended beneficiary to come and partake of her offerings.
Unmindful to all such overtures, in another opposite corner, just under the window that streams in the barest of light from the outside world, sits Bob, crouched on all fours, his hands cupping his head.
As the knuckles of his large hairy hands bore into his skull, the world around him suddenly turns pitch dark.
And then the images take over.
…he is swimming in the sea, the waves, gentle and kind, playfully splashing on him and the salt from the water licking his lips; his mind a flotilla of bitter sweet desires.
And then they change, suddenly turn into monstrous floats, restless and angry, tossing and turning and twisting, soon constricting him in a tight embrace. The little boy, terrified and nearly drowning, watches on helplessly as angry roars smash into his ears in decibels unaccustomed to a child who has barely seen seven summers.
Desperate and gasping for breath, the child flails his arms and flings his legs around but the waves show no mercy as they rise higher and higher only to unleash one final fury and shove him deep into the bottomless pits of the ocean never to rise up again.
As the last gasps of breath get sucked away, the child looks upwards, in one final entreaty, and in his dying eyes swim the smiling visage of a man who brought him into this world__his protector and father.
The prison walls break out in a maddening cry as the dead of the night gets smashed into smithereens. In his desolate corner, Bob plunges into the depths of darkness as his crazed wild eyes, reddened with rage and humiliation, threaten to pop out of their sockets as an angry dam of long restrained tears break out in thunderous roars.
For yet another night the man the international police know simply as the ‘Happy Killer’ has lost out to sanity.
The black hole of madness has just begun.
For the first time in a long, long time, Bob, the criminal, is not relishing his stay in prison.