Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What the Hell is Happening?

I am a journalist no doubt, but even I am losing track of what is happening here. There seems to be nothing but chaos today that is taking a grip of my life. What the hell is happening to me?
I was standing right there, with the witness in front of me, when Maher had rushed in. All hell broke loose that moment when he agreed to the fact that he had been a witness to that ghastly act of the play of life that had unfolded that dreaded night. And yet, he is not in the condition to do so, for he is “too weak to be exerted upon”, as the doctors said that day. Maher, in the meantime, was giving a piece of his mind to his subordinates.
“What the fucking hell were you doing huh? Sleeping on your asses? This git of a reporter manages to get to the bottom of the matter and identify a witness, and all you give me is that they did not want to talk. What am I supposed to do with you guys now, huh?”
I looked at him. He was really pissed off with his subordinates, who, like swatted flies were strewn all over the floor, with their heads hanging in fear of what the chief might say to them.
“Maher, leave them. What is important is that we have a witness. What are you going to do now about it?” Somehow, even in such a heated moment as this, I could not hide the journalistic instinct of mine, and slipped in a question.
He gave me dirty glance, clearly indicating that he was in no mood to humour me, which made me slip behind to prevent myself from being drilled into, while his rant continued.
The whole outburst lasted for about half an hour, most of which had to be done in the corridor amidst the disapproving glances of hospital staffers, who had pushed us out of the intensive care unit to “avoid mental agony to an already distraught patient”. But what about the agony that all of us were standing in the corridor, listening to an impromptu lecture being delivered by this asshole Maher?
I began to yawn behind his back, seeing which, a couple of officers started to smile guiltily.
“Don’t you dare to smile; I saw that. What do you think? Is this some sort of a joke going one here? We are playing with lives here, not guns or drugs or words,” he emphasized, which beautifully managed to wipe the smile off our faces. “Get lost all of you. Arrange security for this chap before I wring your necks.”
Hearing this, the entire force ran around like kids in a playground to make all the necessary arrangements. Maher turned around, and blurted out, “Thanks Ms Young, your job is done now. Now it’s our turn.”
“Not yet Maher,” I spoke, at which Maher looked at me with a puzzled look, wondering just what more trouble was I intending to be to him.
“You have to allow me to know all that is going on. You know that I will not cross any lines of journalism, but you have to be sympathetic towards me as well. After all, such stories do come once in a journalist’s lifetime. Should I allow this chance to slip away, just like you did with this witness?”
Maher looked at me with a blank face. Then he took out a cigarette, and lit it up, while offering me one, which I accepted, and saw him light it up while I held it in between my teeth. “You know,” he spoke after we had a puff, “you are one bitchy woman.”
“I’ll take my chances on confirming that one Maher,” I replied, while we smoked outside after being pushed out of the hospital by members of the anti-smoking lobby. Dusk had just begun settling in, and the smoke began to play with the breeze blowing, contorting into different shapes before flowing away. “So, is it really him?”
“Is the interview still on?” he retorted back with a tone that smelt of utter contempt. I coolly ignored it and continued. “All this is off the record.”
“How can I be sure?” he puffed away, without even looking at me.
I was stumped. This was the first ever big assignment I had obtained, and this was the first time ever that I had ever confronted someone so out rightly frank, who was two steps of such a smart person as me. And yet, that bitterness in him reflected everywhere, in everything he did. I was staring at him to figure him out, and yet, an understanding of him eluded me. Why?
“To be honest, even I don’t trust myself now. The hunger for fame in this profession keeps gnawing at my conscience the way termites eat up wood; it is only the hollow framework that keeps standing at the end of it. But let me assure you, some of it has still not been eaten up, so take my word for it,” saying which I smoked another puff.
Maher looked at the empty space along the walls in front of us. He was thinking something for sure, but his shields allowed non to look through him. Then, all of a sudden, he spoke up.
“What do you know about Ernst Stanley?”
“You mean the culprit who died in the flood?” I asked, totally surprised at this question. What was going on in Maher’s mind?
“Yeah, that’s him alright. But tell me, how did you come onto that conclusion?”
“Well,” I began, “I was trying to get a background on you before coming in for the interview the other day. I went through the old archives of our papers, searching about you, when that interesting murder case that took place fifteen years ago came to my attention. And that’s how I managed to get a grip of that story.”
“What made you think it could be him?”
“Well, you never found his body, did you? Absence of a body could well mean that he had survived the dreadful flood that mad e you who you are today,” I chose to taunt him, to which he decided not to respond at all. Is he human at all?
Maher was lost in thought, and did not speak a word out of that. The tension however, was too much to bear for me, and I was relieved when my editor called me on my cell.
“Thank God you called,” I spoke in an exasperated manner, walking away from Maher, “Could you not have given me a more fucking stupid assignment than this, huh? You had rapped on about my big break in the office, and what am I stuck with now? An asshole of a detective who doesn’t speak! A witness who cannot speak! Goddamn your big break! Screw you and your big assignment!”
“Relax,” a strange voice spoke from across the phone that stunned me for a moment. I had never heard this voice before. “Who the hell is this?” I demanded.
“Relax Ms. Samantha Young. You are exerting yourself too much. Did I forget to tell you that your editor is dead?”
“Dead?” I shrieked, only to hear Maher’s footsteps coming towards me. “Who are you? And what the hell did you do to my boss?”
“Chill, Ms Young. Did I tell you, by the way, that he died a horrid death? I’m extremely sorry, that must have slipped out of my mind. Now print this.”
“By the way, thank Maher on my behalf. He did me a good favour by letting loose of me in that current fifteen years ago, but I am not going to repay it to him.”

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Wintess Awakens-Chapter 7

I woke out of the deep slumber that time had pushed me into, only to gasp for life.
“Doctor, doctor!” screamed a voice around me, as I continued to fight against an invisible force that was pulling me away from this world. Why had it not pulled me away earlier was all that rang in my mind like the church bells.
“What’s the matter?” rushed in another voice, which like the first one was totally blurred for me, as my sight had been reduced to a blur, and life revealed its true opaque side to me.
“He’s hyperventilating.”
“Quick, put him on oxygen!”
Suddenly, a pair of hands pulled up my head and made me wear a mask; and I could breathe again. The mist in my eyes began to clear up, and I could now see an army of white surrounding me, all looking at me as if I was a curio in an antiques shop.
“Can you hear us?” asked a woman, apparently a nurse, as I followed her voice towards her face.
I motioned towards her that I could, but somehow I did not have the voice in my mind being followed up by the voice in my throat.
“I think,” said a man in a long white coat, “that he cannot speak right now. Maybe, he is too weak to do so.”
Everybody nodded in assent, while I tried to sort out my mind, and attempted to figure out my presence in this ward.
“Thank God someone brought him here on time, else he would not have survived.”
“Survived? Look at him! He was in coma for such a long time. You call such a thing a miracle.”
“Never use that word,” a strict rejoinder flew in from somewhere, “We are doctors, not evangelists; it does not suit our profession.”
Utter sadness filled my mind. I had not died that night; in fact, the killer had perhaps saved me from the fate that I had so desperately wanted that night. Damn his balls!
“Do you want to say anything? You could write it out,” came a voice from somewhere, and I saw a woman not dressed in white step out towards me, while the others dispersed.
“Hi, my name is Sam Young. I am a reporter for the Daily Star. I came here to talk to you about something really important.”
I saw this woman. Expectation on the verge of desperation filled her eyes, as if she had pinned all her hopes on something that only I could give. But what could I give her, save for my misery and my anger?
“Do you recognize this woman?” She had raised her hand, which had held a photograph in it, and pointed towards it with her other hand.
I took a look at the photograph, only to be stunned.
It was her, no doubt.
Sam had figured out that I recognized the face. Maybe, it was from the way my eyes must have widened, or the way my face must have contorted, for she latched onto the moment.
“So, were you her stalker?”
I looked at her with condescension, for she had dared to reduce the primal human instinct that we humans try to shamefully hide to a criminal act. She quickly sensed it, for she changed her question to another.
“Do you know that she was murdered the same night you were found half dead?”
How could I not know it? I was there, when the entire episode had happened, and yet, she asked me such stupid questions. Dumbass that all reporters are, she too continued the act.
“And do you know what had happened that night?”
I nodded my head in approval. That night would always remain etched onto my mind.
“Oh my God,” she whispered, “We actually have a witness. I need to tell Maher about this.”
Saying so, she ran out of the room, leaving me behind on the ventilator to watch her go out, and pondered over what the fuss was all about.
Within some time (I do not know how much time elapsed, for there were no indicators of the same around me), an army of policemen had run in along with this Sam, with a man growling loudly at his men.
“Great! You bastards could not do what a tit of a reporter managed to achieve in such a short while. Fuck your asses! We had a witness all along, and none of you tried to figure out the people of the neighbourhood properly? What am I supposed to do with you motherfuckers, huh?”
They all looked mute, while Sam spoke to this man, “Maher, you can do that later. Do what is important first. Talk to the doctor to see when he can start speaking again, or whether he can communicate with us in any other way.”
Maher then turned around towards me, and looked at me with a bit of a doubt. But soon, he cleared his face, and then asked me,
“So, can you tell us anything about that night?”

Friday, December 26, 2008

Me, The Journalist

As I left Maher’s office, I had some doubts about the case, but none about the man. The swine was an absolute no-nonsense guy, and always means business. That’s something, you know, that I appreciate in people, unlike most of us, who shiver at the mere idea of the truth and its gory details coming to the fore.
Anyways, I’ll be honest with you. I, Sam Young, am not just any another reporter, who wants to make something big out of herself with a sensational story that garners the first page; no sir, I am sorry to disappoint you about that. I am fresh, and believe in my principles, though everyone around me scoffs them off, saying that this profession of ours does not have room for them. But I, dear readers, am determined to prove to them just how damn wrong they all are, and that they can go screw themselves up.
The Daily Star interview was getting me a lot of attention, though I am not sure if the reason for this attention was a saucy photo of me that was put up on my editor’s behest. “Sex sells, at least more than the news today. And so I need to do that, for I have a chair and a board to answer to at the end of the year, who keep searching for a reason to shove their pens up my ass for not selling the paper enough.” Fair enough, I said to myself then, but now, looking back at it, I somewhere keep asking myself: did I compromise my ethics there?
Anyways, I do my research and background check when I follow a story (this is my first ever!), and try to get to the bottom of every minute detail that there is to understand, till I have unraveled what is real, what is true in the eyes of time. And so, I had gone across the neighbourhood, pretending to be someone from similar areas, asking around about any suspicious movements that had occurred around this place. They all are the same, are people, irrespective of class, creed, colour or sex. They first eye you to size you up, to make some sense out of you. If they can figure you out, fair enough-you’ll get your story; else its tough luck, as they shoo you away like some vile creature who mistakenly invaded their home. And while I got my fare share of shitheads and fuck-offs and “damn you, bitch”, I did get some juice on the whole picture. It seems someone was stalking this Jones, who has since not been seen. Interesting.
I had read while researching on Maher about that dreadful case, where the convict got washed away in the flood. It hid him hard, did that loss, and Maher was never himself again. He aged fifteen years ago to what he was now, and it seemed that he had sensed that I thought on the same lines as him. But he was dead. Or was he really? What if he had survived that flood, and had now, after so many years, come back, and thrown a fresh challenge to an ageing body. Would he pick it up, or was he skeptical that it was not the same guy?
It makes no sense to me that the same guy…what’s his name? Yeah, John Bryant would have survived the massive flood. But then again, the world is a strange place. Truth indeed proves to be stranger than fiction. And I assured myself that I would get somewhere. But, as a good journalist, I need to tell the police about this stalker news, while minting some publicity out of it. But never would I compromise on my principles in any way.
Help me God, for I am starting to contradict myself severely.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Could It be Him?

Again, I was being pulled into the water, as I struggled with the bastard to save myself and get a grip of him at the same time. The fucking currents were so strong that it was nearly impossible for the either of us to keep hold of the rail that had broken down. And yet, he continued to pull at me, even as his own grip was loosening, screaming at me above the deafening current, “I’m going to hell, and you are coming with me.”
And soon, he lost grip of me as well, and away he floated into the darkness in that flooded night…
I woke up from the slumber that had enveloped me in this summer heat. It had quietly invited me into its laps, promising me comfort and warmth, and continued to do so, till someone had placed his hand on my shoulder.
“Sorry I fell asleep,” I spoke, while rubbing my face to awaken myself. “So, what does the report say?”
“It’s difficult to ascertain whether she was raped or not. However, some man is responsible for the murder. The autopsy woman thinks that the killer is a psychopath, and wants a forensic psychologist to map out the killer’s profile.”
I don’t know why I feel I know this killer. I feel as if he is challenging me to chase him, to track him down. I cannot recall when I met this guy, or where I had met him, but this bastard knows me too well, and is making a mockery out of me and my team. Damn that shithead.
“Do whatever she says,” I spoke tersely, and got up to walk towards the coffee machine to refresh myself with a cup of strong coffee. The coffee was good, and got me awake and kicking, and I could snap back to work.
“So,” I spoke as I walked back into our office, “What else have we got?”
“Nothing is possible. Nobody in the hood knows anything about the woman except for the fact that she was working as a waitress in a restaurant uptown. Other than that, they don’t know a thing about her.”
“That’s not something new,” I barked out, even as I saw a young woman wander into the station. I instantly recognized her from that day at the site. She was one of those bloody reporters. “What on earth is she doing here?” I shouted at my colleagues, who began to shiver, even as a couple of them scampered to save their skins, and rushed towards the upstart who had dared to enter in without any prior intimation or approval.
I do not know what arguments the three of them exchanged, though it was dead hot for sure, for fingers were being wagged at each other, and faces being contorted into those of gargoyles with sheer anger and frustration, as I stood on the other side of the glass wall. Then, one of the men came towards me back into the other room, with the other that goddamn woman towards my office.
“Chief, she wants to interview you. Her name is Sam Young, and she is from the Daily Star, whose editor, she claims, is a close friend of yours,” the guy blurted out, with an extra emphasis on the last four words to paraphrase her.
I snorted out of disgust, as you may be well aware of my contempt and disgust towards this entire breed of some alien species that subsists on the miseries of others, while claiming to bring truth to the fore. Damn the bitch, I thought, as I moved towards the small cabin I call my office in this God-forsaken place the people call a police station. “Please come in,” I spoke, barely concealing my anger towards her, which she coolly ignored, and stepped in, and placed her comfortably into a chair opposite to mine, into which I slumped. “Yes ma’am. What’s your problem now?”
“My name is Sam Jones, and I am from the Daily Star newspaper…” she began, at which I snapped irritatingly.
“I know who you are ma’am. Please come to the point. What do you want?”
She looked at me with a pensive look in her eyes, and then after her minute of hesitation, spoke up.
“I would like to know whether we have any idea of who the killer really is. Basically, I mean, do you have any leads on this case? And what do the forensic examination reports say?”
“And what would you do with what has been uncovered so far, eh? Trying to run a parallel investigation here? Do you think this is some kind of a joke going on?” I spoke tersely, letting her know the exact amount of irritation that I felt (if there were a measure of the same).
“Excuse me Mr. Maher, but our readers have the right to know the truth…” she began defensively, trying to convince me with the so called argument of rationality, though looking clearly off-guard at my analysis of her interest.
“”Fuck your readers,” I spoke out with a smirk, even as I gulped down the remaining coffee, and then lit up a cigarette. “Do you think they really care for your sensationalist ways? Do you think they like it when someone makes them cringe the way your horrid articles do?”
“Look Maher,” she began speaking with a bit of anger in her tone, “I cannot help it if others do that; I do not intend to do the same. I am here for the truth as it is; I do not give a damn if the readers cringe or throw up on the details. If they are so gross, I will exclude them. I just want the facts Maher,” she spoke angrily, pointing her pen at me, “I am not the police; I am just a reporter who wishes to report something. Get it?”
I looked the lady, who was now standing up instead of being seated. She had some guts to be so direct and frank, as well as rude, in a police station. “John sent the right person for the first time,” I spoke with a smile, and a belief that for once, somebody has the spine to say things as they are.
The interview went smoothly, with the right questions being asked, and the answers being crisp and short. Finally, as the interview came to a close, she asked me,
“Mr. Maher, there was a similar case about fifteen years ago, in which you only were involved, that seemed to have the same set of circumstances. Do you think the two are connected?”
“No ma’am, I cannot say that,” I replied honestly, “You see the victim had died in the flash flood that year. But it would be better if you refrained from reporting about it”
In my mind, however, I felt the same twitch as her, which she seemed to have sensed the same thing, and she nodded in approval, as if she understood really what I meant. Could it really be him? After all these years, he re-surfaced from somewhere. But he died that day, I re-assured myself. No, it has to be someone else, I thought. But they say a detective’s gut always senses the truth, and mine had too. But where could I get the confirmation for it?
One thing is certain though; I still hate these dogs who go by the name of journalists. I really do.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Death Visited Me-Chapter 4

I am dead now; but is it? I do not feel dead at all. I seem to be hanging somewhere between life and death; afterlife is something that still eludes me. And so I lay hanging around the place that I once called home; which is still home to me in more ways than one.
I can still recall that night, when he had come in. I knew him, of course, and was gladly surprised to see him at that time of the night. “The more, the merrier,” I had privately thought. How foolish of me to even think like that! I still recall bitterly how he had slashed me up as if I were nothing more than a piece of meat. And there I was, struggling in vain to save myself. And he was watching in from outside, as I was being torn apart, being nothing more than the mute spectator like the moths that had fluttered around in my house that night. I was always told that when you see these moths which have the skull pattern formed on their backs, death is sure to visit your house; these moths are the horses that pull the chariot of death forward, for it to reach the opportune destination on time, right on its schedule.
He was there, standing out there, staring at my naked body that was playing hide and seek with his eyes from behind the partly drawn curtains hanging on my window. I always was aware that he was standing outside, and got a secret thrill from the very sensation that his sight created in my body: an invisible touch would race across my body, which I enjoyed a lot. And yet, this admirer of mine did not come to save me from this demon who came in and killed me; instead, he reveled in the murder, and was equally complicit in this gruesome assault on my senses that were inflicted by him.
Do I know that man? I do, but what good is it? The dead have no voice of their own; they can talk to only those who believe in them, who care enough to listen to us folk. But then, in this world of humans, does our word stand a chance in the eyes of this sham, this so called creature called law? No sir, it does not. It requires hard facts, real alive witnesses that it can hear, feel and see; who can swear upon some shitty book, and still babble out a whole bunch of fucking lies; who can fuck up the truth to the extent that the only shred of truth left in it is the fact that is goddamn witness spoke it out in front of some black-robed man and twelve assholes pretending to be jury, delivering verdict over someone by blinding themselves to the real truth. No sir, thank you very much, but I am glad that my word cannot be counted in as the truth, for the nincompoop defence lawyers would twist up that as well, and contort it into some evil one-eyed gargoyle to fit their versions.
That bastard, who reveled in his lust for me, who would derive some pleasure by staring at me at all times: why did he abandon me now, when he could have been of some use to helping my spirit to get some peace by getting its due share of justice (as if its some form of fruitcake!)? No, that shit-head decided to end his life, and now lies someplace that I have clues about. I still recall that first day when he had laid his probing eyes on me, as if he could pierce my breasts by just staring at them, making me hell nervous about myself for the first time ever. I admit to being the kind that every man would lust after; I even use it to my advantage. What’s there in it to be ashamed about? All of us humans are like that sirs and madams; we will use our best asset as a weapon in this dog-eat-dog world. But he was something different; he made me feel like I was vulnerable, that I was weak in front of him. He made me aware of things about myself; of how sexual was the mundane activity of undressing our body, or when we just even pour juice into a glass with the flick of a wrist. This secret admirer of mine I knew by face; I could identify him anywhere that I went; at work, around the neighbourhood; even on the subway. I never shared this with anyone, for in secret I enjoyed that a love-forsaken woman like me was getting from a man. To be pissed off was not on my mind ever; but guess what? Now I am mad at him. He tried not to save me from this jilted lover of mine, whose name I shall not reveal, for the words of the dead cannot reach the living, even if they asked God or whatever it is called to help them. I want him, wherever he may be now, to come and help me, now that I am gone; to help my spirit to get some peace. My body has been consigned to the realms of earth by unknown hands, for I had no living relatives. At least, in death, I shall get to see them. I want the police, with all its weapons and cars to scare this asshole; to beat the shit out of him to make him to confess his horrendous crime. I had not given anyone to play the angel of death, and allowed anyone to take my life away from me just like that. I want this man to be brought to the hook, and want it bad. I hope this man will come to be of some use other than just giving me cheap thrills of carnal nature. I want justice for the horror inflicted upon my body, and want it to be given back in equal amount to this monster who had swooped down on me that fateful night.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Autopsy Woman

I have gotten used to the stench of death in its myriad hues and shades, so nothing surprises me or shocks me now. They are nothing more than a number to me now; in spite of me being a ‘woman’, there is no sensitivity left within me with regards to death now, except for its causes and the timing, if I were to exclude the causes out of my daily routine as well.
Everyday I have to see dead bodies, or its remaining parts or its shreds, whatever the cops manage to recover over varying periods of time. The causes of death are several; the motives seem to remain the same, if one were to believe what the cops say. But I do not care anymore; I restrict myself from thinking too much about that.
“Here’s the new one,” spoke the coroner, as he shoved up the body up onto the examination table with the help of two other apprentices. Death weighs heavily upon all of us, and so was this body similarly bogged down by the weight of its own decaying mass. The body was horribly disfigured from the abdomen and below; there was nothing left for me to tear up the body for, as the coroner handed me the bag containing the remains of her inner organs, or rather what was left of them. “Here is what remains in the name of organs that have recovered from the site. Hope it is of some use to you, though I doubt it,” grunted the coroner from behind the mask to hide himself from the stench of death that surrounds all of us in this room.
The stench of death is a mystery to all of us who conduct forensic examinations day in and day out. It has several tinges to it; the bitter almonds due to cyanide, the crazy sulfurous smells arising due to gun shots, the rotten smells arising due to the maggots and bacteria having eaten away at the flesh, leaving behind a consortium of half eaten body parts held together by a half-eaten body. Anyways, what is there for me to say, but that I am so used to it that I now do not even notice the difference between the living and the dead; they all seem to be the same to me.
To be honest, there are no differences between the living and the dead today; it is just that the living have are able to move around, unlike the dead. Otherwise the two are in a perpetual state of continual decay, be it mentally, physically, socially, culturally or any other parameter of measurement that you may wish to adopt for comparison. There seems to be an endless list of faults and errors that the human race are; moreover, they snap back when one of us lower levels of human beings dares to point out the same to them.
“So, what do you say, doctor?”, spoke the assistant, as I was examining the various body parts, or any that had been spared by the vicious brute who had killed this woman.
“ Number 17165 has been killed by knife, and her private organs have been torn to shreds for sure. Seems to be a hate crime, and certainly has a masculine touch to the entire pogrom. Moreover, the weapon was a knife for sure,” I spoke from behind my mask, while I continued to peer across the naked body (or whatever was left of it) to make observations of the various injuries, scars and gashes that wrapped her body like a crochet weave pattern. “And she seems to have been raped before the murder was committed, looking at the current state of the body, around midnight.”
“So she was raped before being murdered?” asked he, as he kept scribbling down his sheet.
“Difficult to say. There are too many scratches on the body due to the sharp object, so it is difficult to assess whether she was raped or not. But the murder was committed around midnight,” saying which I walked out of the room, leaving the attendant to clear the table, and send the body to whoever was claiming it for burial.
I strolled out of the room, and headed straight towards the sink to disinfect my hands. Having done that, I headed towards the laboratory, where some of the other scientists were conducting tests on the samples collected from her body.
“Any luck?” I asked, though not expecting much. Nowadays, I never expect anything: no joy, no hope, no disappointment; nothing.
“Negative: there seems to be nothing that can help us nail the culprit. We’ll have to examine everything from the site all over again.”
“Do it fast,” I commented, “or else the evidence could get destroyed. We cannot afford to lose any evidence, howsoever miniscule it may be.”
When I go home from work, I insulate myself from all the scenes of death and murder by listening to classical music. The way Mozart’s compositions flow; the way Tchaikovsky’s tunes draw my attention; the way Brahms induces me into a state of peace; it helps me a lot to move away, to recharge, so that I can start afresh the next day. This case, however, reminds me of a very old case that had shocked me. I could not recall the culprit of that case; the case had created a similar sensation then as well in the print media; only to be replaced by the hysteria in the electronic media and the tabloid nature of the print. Let us see what it turns out to be. In the meantime, I have Beethoven to help me come out of trance.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Victim,Culprit and Witness-Chapter 2

I don’t give a damn to what their names are. They can be Judy or Jack or Germain or whatever goddamn person on this earth, they are still the same to me. They have only three names for me: the victim, the culprit and the witness.
The body was lying there, decaying, even as maggots and flies and their larvae were enjoying this unusually large feast of human flesh that had been so generously prepared for them overnight by this unique chef. I was wearing a mask on my face, which was an exercise in futility, for the stench still managed to tickle the sensory organelles within my nose, even as I inspected the lamp with the bloodstains on it, and the mish-mash of her intestines that had been created by the culprit. Only a forensic examination could further evince what was left intact within her; what was stolen from her (if my hunch proves right), and when the murder was committed along with the screenplay of this strange play being enacted in front of me right here today.
There a lot of other policemen, scientists and journalists moving around me; heck, there was an entire army of men and women swarming around, as the sounds of siren mixed in with those coming from the rattling generators and the eye-searing flashlights that kept flashing away to blind everyone along with deafening them. I never like these journalists in particular; they come running like stray dogs from all over as if somebody generous threw out a bone for them. Good for nothing morons! They just help to create panic and also destroy the scene of crime for us. How then does anyone expect us to solve these entangled mysteries, when half of the potential crime scene has been tampered by these Blood-sucking pests?
Anyways, coming back to the original screenplay, the room was a mess; an obvious sign of the struggle that must have occurred between the oppressor and the oppressed. The signs were all over; the splash of bloods that keeps staring away at us from all the walls, the pillow marks, the scratches on the arms and the legs, the broken shards of a glass which might have held some amount of water or wine or whisky or whatever she might have been drinking, which crashed against the wall, for the signs were evident. All of that and much more was to be seen in that room, and all of such signs and clues and symbols, like the dead moths lying on the table with the blood-stained table lamp (apparently singed by the bulb’s heat), who were mute spectators to the horror spectacle that was unleashed by someone last night. The curtains were dry now, for the blood globules stuck onto it could now be scratched off them, leaving behind traces that can be removed only by washing them thoroughly with soap and water. The sun’s rays were streaming in through the curtains that were partially parted, creating a strange scene resembling a haunted house, except that the horror had left its aftermath.
“What do we have here?” I asked in my usual indifferent manner, while pulling out a cigarette and lighting it, and slowly puffing away at it.
“Name’s Sarah Jones; 33 years old. Unmarried. No known relatives. Nobody has any idea around this place that a murder took place last night.”
“Obvious, isn’t it? The place is the low-end scum of this city. They never hear anything, for they are busy saving their own skins most of the times, isn’t it?” I commented tersely. “Any witnesses so far?”
“None whatsoever. No one has even seen the killer’s shadow, forget the culprit,” replied the other officer, while I kept walking around to see if I could get anything of use with the forensics team. “What have you got there, doc?”
“Nothing of consequence so far,” replied she, as she kept sifting through the heaps of intestines that were spilled on the floor, while everyone was simply repulsed by the odour of death that was hanging over all of us. “The killer seems to be psychotic, I tell you. I think it has to be a man.”
“Has to be,” I quipped. “Look at the mess created; has to be really strong hands that could have wrecked such carnage.”
I puffed and after looking around for a while, walked out of the room, and started looking around to see if there was anything that could be of help to me to nail the culprit, but luck does not favour us all the time now, does it? It wants to be appreciated, wishes to stress its importance to common people like you and me, and hence plays hardball very often. The body was being taken away for autopsy by loading it into the ambulance, making sure that nobody could even hint at the devastation that the culprit left behind. Just then, the bloody journalists swooped in on me, hounding me out like a piece of meat.
“What do we know about the incident?”
“What was the victim’s name?”
“What would have been the motive behind this murder?”
“Do we have any suspects?”
“No questions please,” I spoke tersely, as the volley of questions ceased immediately, only to be followed by muted fury at my refusal to yield to their pressure. “The victim’s name is Sarah Jones, age 32. Murder motive is not known, and we have no suspects or witnesses so far. The murder must have been committed around midnight, but that can be confirmed only after the autopsy report comes out. I am the detective in-charge for this case, and my name is Maher. That’s all there is to say. Have a good day folks.”
Saying so, I started to walk away from the scene, while the press resumed it s usual buzz, creating frenzy strong enough to bring people out in this impoverished neighbourhood. They all look like criminals, only that they are not; its their fate you see. But it is no surprise to me, someone working in this area for ten years now, to see such gruesome crimes occur so frequently in this part of the town. The scum of the city, the filth that it has rejected is what this part of the town is; nothing else. What else is to be expected?
Now, I have to confess something to you all. This is not the first murder I have seen folks; it will most probably not be the lat either. But there is something about this case that is not open and shut for me. Something is amiss, and I cannot figure out the missing link in this puzzle. Is this a crime of passion? If so, why did the murderer indulge into it? Such a crime may seem as a surprise to you folks who sit around, reading in their favourite snuggly chairs or bean bags, sipping some nice warm coffee. But tell me something: is lust a privilege of only the rich? Is jealousy and hatred the rich man’s guilty passions? No its not. So it is possible, but who can it be? The thought drives across my mind, as I sit in my car, and slowly drive away.

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