By Neel Anil Panicker
‘You mean to say the money is there, right?’
Richard looked up at the beastly faces that hovered around him; two pairs of eyes stared down at him, the pupils split wide open, as if they would burst out any moment.
He looked at the swarthy man who reeked of hard country liquor, whose query he was supposed to answer, whose hairy hand rested uncomfortably on his reed thin shoulder, the long blade of a knife digging deep into his collar bone.
He was desperate, and dangerous too. So was the other guy, who stood a feet away, his blood shot eyes surveying the mountainous terrain around him, much like a famished eagle scouring for her next meal.
Richard made an attempt to move his limbs as much as he could in the foetal position that he was, and cleared his throat of all bile, ‘Yes, you guys are right. The money is there, every single penny of it.’
A sense of elation surged in the eyes of his captors.
‘But there is a problem. It is stashed away high up the hill and…’
This time Richard held his breath and looked at his foes.
They were waiting, their ears latched onto every single word that he had to say.
A wrong word could very well see his end; the men, ruthless as they were, not hesitating in riddling his body with bullets.
‘It is stashed away in Drogma?’
“In the what?”
‘The Drogma. It’s a rock. A rock like no other. A rock with the face of a lion, the shape of an elephant, and a few other distinguishable features only I am aware of, and only…’
Richard waited to study the expression of his captors. All had their mouths wide open, frames half bent, ears cocked, eagerly hanging on to every monosyllabic sound that he uttered, the anxiety on their faces writ alarmingly large.
They had bitten the bait and fallen into the trap.
Richard went for the jugular.
‘Only I can help you get back the bag that is hidden inside the Drogma, the bag that we stole, the bag that contains ten million dollars. So, do what I say and quietly follow met’.
He didn’t wait for their response, but walked ahead. He knew they would follow. They had no option.
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