By Neel Anil Panicker

“Who’s that?”

‘Sir, that’s Raman, the cashier.’

“Ok Asif, tell me when and where did you find the body?”

‘Sir, today morning I opened the shop as usual at ten. After inspecting the daily stock register, a few minutes later, I went to the staff rest room that is in the basement. It was then that I saw the body. It was lying face down on the floor which was full of blood. I immediately called over Raman and then made the call to the police.’

“And as per Raman’s statement barring you two, none had entered the store before we came which was exactly within ten minutes of your call, right?”

‘Yes, Sir’

“Then who is this, could you care to explain?”

Asif looked into the camera console and his eyes popped out as if in surprise.

‘Sir, that’s Caesar.’

“Who’s Caesar, Asif?”

‘Sir, Caesar is Suhel Seth, our owner’s pet dog. Seth Sir’s in America. At least that’s what he said when I called to inform him about the murder today morning.’

Inspector Sharma let out a slow whistle.

A dog, it’s master, and a murder. Monday morning’s begun with a bang, he concluded.

#neelanilpanicker#fiction #shortstory #flashfictionforaspiringwriters #murder #inpectorsharmacrmeseries


FFfAW Challenge-Week of March 27, 2018





boats and bar

By Neel Anil Panicker

The view from the hill top hotel window was spectacular: a sea of blue and cutting through it, several high speed fibre glass boats choc-a-bloc with cheerful men, women and children__the flash of cameras adding an extra zing to the luminosity of the high beamed mercury vapour lamps that ricocheted off the rocks that walled all around.

Watching the panorama unfold through the periscope of his Nikon DSLR DS700, (a last minute requisition that the department had okayed, albeit a tad reluctantly), the merry unbuckling of human spirits; the rambunctious squeals and full throated laughters of the city dwellers who had converged this far, temporarily escaping from the hustle and bustle of everyday madness that was the bane of urban living, Senior Crime Branch Inspector Sharma momentarily forgot the real purpose of his visit as his senses soaked in the carnival atmosphere that permeated the azure skies.

A movement in the ground below caught his eye. His eyes narrowed and soon framed the figure: first just the silhouette___a vision in floating saffron, bare torso, large hairy arms___, and on closer examination, the tell tale hexagonal shaped fiery tongued dragon tattoo.

It’s him, the wily cop muttered. His quarry, the infamous ‘Butcher of Gorakhpur’, had arrived.

#neelanilpanicker #flashfictionforthepurposefulpractitioner #fiction #shortstory #205words





WEEK #12



This week’s photo prompt is provided by Enisa. Thank you Enisa!

By Neel Anil Panicker

Tell me Al, what time did you arrive?

“2. 15, Sir.”

You sure about the time?

“Well, 2 pm is lunch time here at the Fire Station. I’d just opened my box when the call came. We’re there in 15 minutes.”

What did the caller say? Did you note his name?

“Said there’s a fire at Clifton House. Didn’t leave a name, but it was a woman’s voice”.

Ok, now tell me exactly what you saw.

“I noticed a blaze. It came from the corner room. After we put it down, I went inside.”

It was then that I noticed the body. But before that I smelled it.”

What kind of smell was it, Al?

“Well, you can’t really describe the smell of charred flesh. It’s like when pork is grilled on the sides, you know. But this was different.”

How different, Al?

“This one smelled worse. Something noxious. It wasn’t that of a freshly burnt human body. It was decomposed. A bloater__that’s what we call it here.”

Thanks Al.

“Anytime, Inspector Sharma.”





By Neel Anil Panicker

The man in the white coat set aside the magnifying glass and proclaimed, ‘This is basalt, a hard extrusive igneous hexagonal rock with very low silica content, low viscosity and…”

“Spare me the monologue, Professor Gaikwad. I’m a police officer and…”


‘And also my younger brother’s college mate, right?


Inspector Sharma pursed his lips before replying, “Right sir, and more importantly, I am currently grappling with a murder, rather three murders, and the only clue that I have so far is the presence of this black stone with greyish patches at every murder site”.


The petrologist scratched the edges of his nose before answering, ‘Hmm…tell me, where exactly did you find these stones, Sharma?


“All around north rural Goa, the last, in a semi-forested area that abuts a small stream.”


‘You see, such basaltic rocks are the result of volcanic lava eruptions.’


It was now Inspector Sharma’s turn to scratch his nose.

“But there no volcanos in the entire Konkan coast”.


‘I know. So, could be the killer has come from Mars, or even Moon.’


FFfAW Challenge-Week of February 20, 2018




By Neel Anil Panicker

Holy smoke! One look at the woman seated opposite him and Inspector Sharma felt a stirring in his loins even as a slow bulge began to build up under his pants.


Thick lustrous auburn hair pulled straight back only further accentuated the air brushed smoothness of a high cheek boned porcelain china face that sat majestically atop an hour glass figure that looked as it had popped out of a glossy movie poster.

Looking at the smoking hot beauty for a moment he wondered if had made a mistake, wondered whether for once his famed powers of deduction had gone wrong, that she wasn’t the killer, and that she had absolutely nothing to do with the body that lay dead in the inner bedroom of this sprawling sea side bungalow in Lutyen’s Delhi___the lifeless bullet ridden body of the man the world knew as the ‘Diamond King of India.’

In a bid to clear the doubt that was plaguing his mind, Inspector Sharma decided to probe the woman one last time.  “Could you please tell me Mrs Khurana where and what exactly were you doing between four and six today morning”?

‘I…we…I mean I was …’

That’s it!_the smoking gun. He had got the answer, the small iota of doubt that had nested in his brain, even it was for a nano second, had now completely vanished; this lady was all smoke and mirrors, she indeed was the killer.

Suave upper crust English bred women born into wealth who lived in 100 crore mansions the size of a football stadium and travelled the globe in their own private jets did not blabber and get tongue tied when facing questions from lowly keepers of the law.

©neelanilpanciker2018 #fiction #shortstory #sixsentencestories #inspectorsharmacrimeseries #285words




23 J Hardy Carroll 11 February 2018

By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Sharma eyed the corridor from behind the staircase walls.

The narrow ill lit pathway ended up in a single door that he was told led to a double room.

Opposite it were three other rooms__single, two on the left and one on the right.

‘Sir, they checked in last night_three men, and a woman,’ was all the informer had to offer.

There could be trouble, Sharma surmised. His fingers tightened on the triggers of the Glock semi automatic pistol.

He turned around and jabbed a finger at the bell boy.

It was the signal that the latter awaited.

He tiptoed past Sharma and stepped into the corridor, his right hand holding on to a tray with a tea pot and two cups.

From behind Sharma watched with baited breath.

It was the then that the unforeseen happened; the lights went off, the entire hotel plunged into darkness.

What happened after this is shrouded in mystery.

Which of the doors opened first, who fired the first shot, who escaped and how? Everything was a matter of conjecture.

A day later Inspector Sharma was suspended and charged for the cold blooded murder of three innocent civilians including a baby_six months old.

©neelanilpanicker2018 #sundayphotofiction #shortstory #200words

Sunday Photo Fiction – February 11th 2018


[Enter Post Title Here]





By Neel Anil Panicker

Inspector Sharma lifted his head from the sheaf of papers at his desk and asked, “How long have been working with me?’

Constable Pandey sprang to attention and pulling his stomach in, squirmed. “Nine months, Sir.”
‘Nine months, eight days, seventeen hours, 42 minutes and some fleeting seconds since you’ve been deputed to assist me here at the Crime Branch Special Unit, right?’

“Yes…yes, Sir”.

“Well, it’s time you prove yourself. Tell me about this ‘Delhi Psycho Killer.’

Pandey eyes lit brighter than a 100 watt bulb.

“Sir, it’s simple. There have been seven killings in the past seven years. All the killings have happened in parks during winters, between mid-November to late December, early mornings, between 5 and 6. The murdered were all women, above 60, either widowed or divorced.”

‘Hmm…impressive, but what does this imply, Pandey?’

“Sir, looks like the killer loves the winters.”

‘Or, maybe that he hates the winters but hunts for victims who love them’.


Weekend Writing Prompt #41 – Weather

Word Prompt