By Neel Anil Panicker
“A matchstick, some shards of glass, and a single onion?Are you telling me this is all that you saw in the yard sale?”
Constable Bose looked a trifle disappointed at the disapproving note adopted by his superior.
He decided to clear the air.
“Sir,”, he began as he respectfully stood and faced Senior Inspector Vikram Patil.
The two were in the latter’s corner street first floor office at the Chindwara Police Headquarters.
“I had gone to the monthly sale at Vinayak Road to see if i could get a second hand dining table at a fair deal. The wife had been demanding one since the time we got married. And you know with the meagre police income it’s…”
“Ok…ok…now tell me what happened,” the senior colleague interjected, his slightly raised tone registering his annoyance, plus impatience.
Bose continued,”Sir, when i minutes before entered the enclosure, I heard a blast. At first i thought it was some a cracker sound. But soon, the air was filled with smoke, and once the maze lifted, I heard a lot of wailing and crying. People were screaming and shouting and running helter skelter. I ran towards the grounds. All around was emptiness. The tables, chairs, almirahs____all wood were charred, and there was nothing left at all. My eyes fell at a crater that had formed at the centre, near the main stall. I saw a single matchstick and an onion, and all around were glass pieces. And then it struck me___these were…”
Inspector Patil nodded his head.
He knew what it meant. The left overs were the signature of the Babbar Khalsa, the most feared terrorist organisation in the country.
The thought make him break into cold sweat.
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FLASH FICTION FOR THE PURPOSEFUL PRACTITIONER: #38