By Neel Anil Panicker
Inspector Sharma took a while to orient himself to the near blinding darkness. Only seconds before he stepped off the torturous 47 degree summer madness that was Udaipur and arrived at the ghostly single room dilapidated mud house located a kilometre and half off the city municipal limits; the nearest signs of civilisation being a rusty hand pump sans its handle at the roundabout leading to the gravel led pathway.
And then commenced the sensory badgering.
Pressing a handkerchief to his nose to fight off the all pervasive smell of ammonia, stale cigarette smoke and cheap country hooch liquor, the senior cop’s eyes began to scan the mayhem that lay all around him.
The place screamed debauchery with a capital D; empty beer bottles, condoms packets, cigarette butts completed the picture.
It was then that he saw it. At first they looked like betel stains. Small irregular blotches of near fading red imprinted onto the yellowed walls that was sans any distemper; an assembly line of insects moving, albeit in super slow mode, in and out of the tiny slits between the purplish brick laden walls.
He inched his way through the muddy dankness and flashed a torch.
Red blotches flared to life.
He knew what they were.
The elusive serial killer was back in business.
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Photo Prompt: C.E. Ayr