SCENT OF A CRIME
By Neel Anil Panicker
Detective Chacko stooped abruptly; lowered his gaze, his eyes sqaured and squinted, as they studied the three flowers that lay, half crushed on the muddy earth below.
His mind went into investigative mode: its winter, and there’s no trees, no garden, no shrubbery in a ten mile radius in this near barren patch of land.
The nearest town is a good four hour walk away; and as per the old guard stationed at the edge of the town that led to this deserted circular patch, none, and that meant no man and machine had neither come in nor moved out of this place infamous and not so incorrectly as the Ghosts Abode.
And yet, a man, the lone inhabitant cum owner of this bald patch, one Savio Gonsalves was lying dead behind him; his body, cold and lying on the wooden cot, his seventy year old face, a mish mash of knife scarrings that ran from ear to ear.
The ace sleuth stood there staring at the flowers wondering if they held a clue as to who the killer was; whether this he or she was acting alone or were there more than one killer, and most importantly, what was the motive behind the gruesome murder, of a person who had long ago renounced the world, given up all worldly pleasures to embrace the path of isolation and meditation.
As one credited to have solved every single murder case that he had taken, the ace detective followed a simple thumb rule to get cracking: Find the motive; the rest including who the killer is, what’s his modas operandi, the timing et al—all neatly into place ala the pieces of a Rubik’s cube.
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