CHAPTER 2 OF ‘A NIGHT FULL OF MURDERS’
THE DISCOVERY (genre:crime)
By Neel Anil Panicker
As one just entering into teen hood, he had spent long summer months poring over spy thrillers, his appetite whetted by jaw dropping high octane adrenaline dripping tales of daring all black clad vodka consuming spyglass wielding uber spies flitting in and out of cities and continents and solving hair raising crimes, catching uber white collar fortune hunting criminals who looked as if they had just stepped out of million dollar movie sets.
Alas! How fast dreams turn to dust. The hard rock of reality struck barely a year into his joining the police force, and now after almost three decades of sleuthing (and two divorces, three live ins and several one night slam bam thank you mams’ later,) Detective Abraham Chacko, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, Cochin City Police had come to the horrific, and maybe, even regrettable realisation that life including police work is not always what it promises to be; in fact it’s entirely its opposite.
And so it were that one fine Monday evening he found himself, clad in knee high military boots and spyglass in hand, hacking his way through the dense jungles that ringed the northern periphery of Periyar Forest Reserves, in Central Kerala.
“Aaah…I guess I have hurt my leg”
Detective Chacko turned around and pointed the flashlight first at his deputy’s face, then at the ground below.
The torch beams slowly rose towards the ankles. The lens illuminated a stab of blood that had spurted out of the ankles and shone through the regimentation khakhi trousers.
He lifted the torch beam towards its owner’s face.
Constable Bose winced in pain.
‘Just a little gnash. Nothing much. It’s rocky out here. Plus, the earth’s all wet. Just go slow and fall back behind me.’
Detective Chacko inched forward; his deputy at his heels; the duo trudging forward, two amorphous shadows flitting in and out of the dreary dark expanse that loomed ahead.
It was Bose who first spotted it.
As Detective Chacko turned the flashlight towards two feet in front of him, the sight that greeted him sent an icy chill run down his spine.
There, in front of him, around a small depression in the ground, stood a almost six feet high monolithic all black stone spire, and just below it, on the marshy grounds, lay, smeared in blood a headless body, a body shorn of all clothes save for an underwear that covered the male genitalia.
As Bose from behind let out a half scream, Detective Chacko once more came to the horrific realisation that in life you didn’t need an opponent to bring you down, the mere sight of a certain human body would do the job just as well.
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(Author’s Noe: When I saw this photo, i was staring at how my second chapter would look like. The first few paragraphs of this came to mind. So I sat down to write story based on those paragraphs. I wasn’t very far into it when I realized that, although in some ways it is complete, it seems more like a beginning than a whole story. That’s when i sat down and wrote this second chapter of my ongoing crime fiction novella titled ‘ A Night Full Of Murders’. The first chapter link is attached herewith. Please read and comment. Your constructive feedback is very much appreciated. Thanks, Neel)