By Neel Anil Panicker

“It was around four. To be precise 4:15.
How do I know? Well, I was watching television. And CNN English Healdlines were just ringing in.  So  as I was saying there I was sitting on my sofa, drinking whisky, my very first of the long night ahead, dipping my fingers into a bowl of crispy Tacos when i had a noise.
Initially, it was just a rumble, a slight rattling sound.

Then, maybe a minute or two later, I heard a  rustling, hissing sound and looked up to see the window  curtains swaying to and fro.
Slightly alarmed, I got up and moved closer to the window that overlooked the garden.
It was then that it happened.
There was a heavy thunderstorm; the wind snorted outside, rattling the window panes. I peeped through the glasses but all I could see were a gust of thick darkish smoke and the tree branches outside swaying dangerously.
At that instant I heard something else—a different kind of sound. A gun shot, perhaps.
Alarmed, I turned around and half ran, half stumbled to the bedroom, screaming Jessie…Jessie.

There was no response.
By the time, I walked in, she was no more.
She lay sprawled on the bed, a streak of red had escaped her right temple and spilled onto the white bedsheet. I opened my mouth, even  screamed out but words betrayed me.
A few seconds later, after I had regained composure, I called the police”.

Inspector Chacko looked at the elderly man who lay, half crumpled, his shoulders stooped, before him.

Something in his mind said this man was a liar. That he’d murdered his wife, a lady twenty years younger to him, plus, and more importantly, one who was ravishingly beautiful.

The why he could plausibly figure out. The how and when the murder was  committed was all he had to find out now.

#neelanilpanicker #flash #fiction #shortstory

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