"I Have Been Poisoned"-Chapter 10

And I was brought back into action for inspecting another body. It feels strange sometimes that all I do is to tear up some already torn, mutilated or rotting bodies for a living. But that’s what people do; some kill for a living, some bury them. Me; I just inspect them to ascertain reasons of death.
I was looking through this body, which was relatively neater than the others, when my second assistant came in to say that Maher had come in. I was perplexed; Maher had not met me for several months now. What could he possibly have to do with me now?
I instructed him to ask Maher to wait, while I washed my hands at the sink, and moved out of the room that should also be called “The Museum of Death”.
Maher was there, waiting for me besides the lonely window that was the only source of natural light for my room, and seemed a bit lost, when I entered in. “So,” I spoke directly, “what’s up? What brought you here?”
He turned around to look at me. Those piercing eyes conveyed a sense of frustration that meant something, but I could not understand that. “Is everything alright?” I asked, curious about this strange turn of events that was playing itself out like a c-grade suspense thriller.
He sat down in the chair, while I sat in mine, and what followed was perhaps the longest pause, the longest moment of silence that could have ever been possible. They say something about the theory of relativity, and how time is relative. Well, in our case, the relative frame was perhaps stretched to infinity, for the momentary silence became unbearable, as the smoke rose in whirls from his burning cigarette, which he did not take all the way to his mouth for some time, perhaps trying to figure out what he should say to me, or perhaps how he should say something important to me. Eventually, he gathered some nerve to say it.
“Do you remember Stanley?”
I was stunned into a moment of contemplation. What was the point of asking about someone who is already dead? A whole set of ugly scenes began to roll in my mind, slowly like a movie projector slowly unwinding a reel, only that this reel was not wanted. I was recalling some scenes that I did not want to. “Well,” I said finally,” what about him? He’s dead, isn’t he?”
Maher made an expression that could never have been positive in spirit. I began to feel weird. What did he mean with that?
“I am afraid he is not. He is very much alive, and has committed two murders.”
My head began to spin for a second. How could that have been? He had been washed away in that horrifying flood, as if nature wanted to remove the filth that crawls about on its surface forever. And yet, even nature did not manage to beat this insect’s resilience. Why? I began to think, while fidgeting with my pen, and stared outside with so many questions racing in my mind. Maher looked at me with a bit of concern. It was obvious, for there was a lot of history between me and Stanley. And this was nothing but a matter of concern for a police officer past his prime, and an autopsy woman who did not want to carry on.
“I fear that he will target you, very soon. I do not know how, but he will do that, sooner or later. I think we should build a safety net around you, so that nothing happens to you,” spoke Maher, who was crushing the cigarette that he had not smoked at all. “That’s the best we can do for you right now.”
“That is the best you can do, Maher,” I spoke in an absent-minded way, for I was far, far away from the entire scene, and was recalling what had happened so many years ago, which had the power to make me sleepless on some nights still. How can I forget that night, when he had tried to kill me, and had it not been for Maher, I would have been dead?
You may be surprised at all that is happening here, but let me tell you; there is a history between me and that killer. He almost had me the last time, and somehow the thought of that night is making my stomach churn. Or is it something else, I began to wonder, as I experienced a searing pain rise in my stomach. I was surprised. My periods were far away; then what was this?
Suddenly, the horror dawned on me, as I fell out of my chair, to the shock of Maher, and began to writhe. “What happened?” he asked me, agitated with all that was happening here.
“Call the ambulance. I have been administered poison,” I managed to speak, and was soon losing consciousness, while sounds kept drifting around me, of Maher calling the ambulance, and of that night I want to forget.
I am hiding behind the bed, while Stanley is moving around in the house, plodding his heavy feet on the wooden flooring of my house. My breathing is getting heavier by the minute, which I am trying to relax, but how can we relax in such a tense moment, with the rush of adrenalin in my system taking me on a nervous high, while I hear his footsteps get closer with each passing moment?
Suddenly, I hear the door of my bedroom clicking. I scamper to hide myself under the bed, while Stanley’s feet keep moving around, right within my sight, much that I do not want to see it. He is toying around with me, I know that; and there is nothing that I can do in turn to save myself; I can only bide my time.
Just then, someone stormed into my house, and then, a medley of footsteps march in, while I can still see nothing more than feet, and hear the voice of Maher, seeing whom perhaps Stanley is now trying to find a way out of the room….
I opened my eyes, to see myself on a ventilator to allow easy breathing. Maher was there, along with some woman I had seen somewhere…ah, that journalist, whose photo came in the paper. I look at them, while Maher spoke to me very quietly,
“You had been given arsenic.”
Hearing this, I just began to drift out of consciousness again, much to the chagrin of several unknown faces and voices that I managed to notice.


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