By Neel Anil Panicker

At exactly half past eleven the lift doors opened and a lone figure stepped out.

The lone security guard, a man well past superannuation age,  who kept vigil at the entrance was too lost to sleep, his body half slumped onto the rattling steel chair, to notice the man slip past the half open grilled gates.

A sudden a gust of wind greeted the man who looked up at the skies. As he did so, the man’s face, until now half hidden under a huge Panama hat, illuminated for a while, caught as it were under the harsh glare of the Mercury vapour lamps that stood like silent shining sentinels all around the perimeter of the acre long exclusive condominium that went by the jazzy name of Shimmering Heights.

Some fifty meters away, with his legs half dangling in the air, and his lithe frame sandwiched between the trunk and branch of a monstrous peepal tree, Detective Willie chuckled to himself as he looked at the man’s visage come alive in the view finder of the long distance night vision telescopic lens that he held in his hands.

Willie’s eyes followed the man till he stepped onto a parked car on the other end of the narrow lane and disappeared into the night.

A good five minutes later, and that too only after he had gorged on one full pack of Amul Dark Chocolate did Detective Will drop down from the tree and undertake the long walk back to his home at Fort Cochin.

Some fifteen minutes later a siren blaring Police Patrol Jeep whizzed past.

Its khakhi clad occupants did not even bother to slow down, or worse, question the lungi and banyan clad silvery haired old man for roaming the streets at such an unearthly hour.

It seems keeping tabs on the nocturnal activities of half crazed souls were quite low on the priority list of Cochin City Police.

#neelanilpanicker #A-ZChallenge #day14 #NiforNocturnal #fiction


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