Written for multiple prompts:
MURDER IN THE MOUNTAIN (genre/crimefiction)
By Neel Anil Panicker
There are moments in a man’s life when he starts to hate that which he loves the most.
Detective Chacko was up against such a moment.
Never in his wildest dreams had wily fifty year old magined that one day he would be climbing up a steep slope, several thousand meters above sea level, his feet tucked inside knee high mountain shoes, his frost filled eyes__pure white sockets peering out from behind high precision long range lens into the distant snow capped peaks.
As the biting chill tore through the high altitude gear and assaulted his frail bony frame Chacko, albeit for a second, began to have second thoughts about whether it was worth it all?
Wondered whether this was what he had signed up for when, eons ago, he had resolved to devote an entire lifetime to the pursuit of crime and criminals.
But, thankfully, that thought turned out to be just that__simply a thought__and the next moment flew out of his mental landscape much like the wind that dashed against his cold face and bamboozled into thin air.
His mind now wrestled with the question at hand: the raison de’ etre of his climb.
And that was to find the shoes; the ballet shoes, hopefully with a spot of blood or two, the kind of incriminating evidence that would confirm his suspicions about the murderer, and also, more importantly, as to what the murder weapon was.
He knew that searching for it was akin to looking for the proverbial needle in a hay stack.
Nevertheless, he soldiered on, prodding his feet around, poking the ground beneath, turning around snow balls, looking at every crevice and mound.
It was then that he heard it; first a low muffled voice as if it were of an animal, and then very distinctly, another__this time of a human’s, a full blooded throaty scream that reverberated all over the mountainscape.
Chacko, at that moment, knew he wasn’t alone.
The thought led to a cold shiver run down his spine.
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