CHAPTER 13 (A NIGHT FULL OF MURDERS)
By Neel Anil Panicker
The police car screeched to a halt outside Government Medical Hospital.
Detective Chacko sprang out of the front seat and headed towards the main entrance.
Immediately, his senses were assaulted by the toxic potency of a multitude of nauseating smells.
Instinctively he covered his mouth with his right palm.
Hospitals and Chacko were clearly not best friends.
As he sped past the ubiquitous crowd of patients, many on strectchers and wheel chairs, a lothat he t more, plausibly their near and dear ones, walking alongside them, all either entering or exiting from one or the of the four long corridors that stretched out 360 degrees like a cross.
Chacko knew where he needed to go; it wasn’t the first occasion when the dictates of his job demanded that he visit a place that, quite ironically at that, he knew like the back of his hand, but hated like the plague.
He entered the one to his left, and quickly marched an array of similar sized rooms each painted a stark bottle green. Through the curtain less doors he could see inside a row of beds, all swathed in white and atop them hung oxygen cylinder fittings and pipes and on hooks hung glucose bottles that were further attached to long tubes that connected to patients’ veins.
His feet turned left from where the two minute long corridor ended and headed towards a slightly darkened, much quieter zone whose entrance was marked by a rectangular wooed board that hung from the wall that read, “FORENSICS/DOCTORS ONLY’.
Chacko swept past a curtain room to the left and found himself staring at a long hall like room chock a bloc with fancy medical equipments whose purpose and functionality was something that was beyond the comprehension of the layman.
Without missing a step, Chacko moved across and entered a smaller room to the extreme right corner marked “FORENSICS DEPARTMENT-ENTRY STRICTLY RESTRICTED.
‘Good afternoon Chacko, it’s been long, isn’t it’?
Chacko walked up and shook the proferred hand and sat down on the lone unoccupied chair.
Across the table that was full of copious files and small little square boxes that full to the brim with an array of coloured conical glasses sat the Chief of Forensics and Analysis, Government of Kerala, Dr. Abrahan Koshy.
Without wasting any time Chacko came to the point.
“Aby, it’s about these bodies. Though Bose had apprised me about it i thought i would come down and personally go through with the details.”
Dr Koshy swung his left hand around his head pate and brushed off non existent hair off the temple.
‘Good of you to come over. And good for the murders to have happened. Or else, how on earth could I hope to have you here. Care for a coffee, Chacko. It’s from home. I don’t trust canteen stuff, you now.?
Chacko nodded his head as his lips curled into a smile.
He knew his childhood friend had a whacky sense of humour.
Immediately two steel cups sprang out of nowhere and Abby poured hot filter coffee into them before passing one to his friend.
A couple of sips later he began, ”
“All five are of men; their ages— between 30 and 40. All of them were first administered *** ”
“What’s that”, Chacko asked.
“It’s a chemical o deadly and therefore so restricted that it is not sold over counter. In fact it is not sold for public.”
Itwas Chacko’s turn to be surprised.
“What does that mean, Abby”?
“It means it is only available in select government approved hospitals. Only prescribed by qualified doctors for use of patients who suffer from some psychiatric ailments. ”
But how is it fatal then?
“It isn’t Chacko. It only leads temporary loss of all movement. The patient feels in a comatose state for one hour after which the medicine’s starts to wear off. In five more minutes he comes to life.”
Chacko lips formed into an ‘O’.
His mind raced ahead with several possibilities.
After what seemed an eternity he asked, “Tell me Koshy, what kind of a patient is given this kind of a treatment?
“One requires high voltage electric shocks. This is a better and more humane way to dull the pain he otherwise would have experienced. In fact this chemical is the very latest in medical science”.
Chacko scratched his head, digging the blunt edge of a pencil that he’d picked up from the table into his skull.
“One more thing, ” Abby continued, “all the bodies’ private parts, the penis, was decapitated with precision. There are no awkward cuts and swipes.”
Chacko waited for this piece of information to sink in, waited for something more to follow from Abby, and when nothing as such happened, got up and took his leave.
“You’ve been a great Abby. I owe you one. Dinner plus drinks at the Manhattan Club’s on me the moment I wrap this piece of shit”.
Koshy simply waved away non existent strands of hair, smiled, and shook Chacko’s hand.
A minute later as Chacko directed the driver to head towards his home, his mind began to race with a multitude of possibilities.
He wasn’t aware then but his tryst with the killer or killers, whoever he, she, or they were had just begun.