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Monday, December 17, 2012

Red Handed



  The strange noise from the attic startled her. With struggle she managed to open her eyes and switched on the light. The watch was showing 1.30 AM! Oh god, to be awake in the middle of the night, she cursed! The noise of dragging of a trunk, though muffled, was terrifying. Richa broke into sweat and her heart raced, as the noise continued for next minute and then there was a thud, and silence!!She wanted to reach for the glass of water lying next to the lamp but the hand refused to move!! She covered her head with the blanket, as  many thoughts crossed her mind. She was too scared to step out of the room. The weather had been playing truant since morning, with occasional shower and strong gust of winds. 

 She had been living in the house with her husband who would go out on tours frequently, related to business. Richa was married to Ajay for two years and had all the comforts of life. The couple did not have any siblings.  A full time maid lived in a small servant quarter with her family of one small child and husband.

 Richa had a sleepless night for the remaining night. The day broke as the first rays of sunshine, entered the bedroom, from the slightly parted curtains. The window was partially open, as the gust of wind, brought in freshness. Richa, got up from the bed as she heard the soft knock on the door. She collected the cup of hot tea, her maid had brought for her. She quickly finished the tea and looked out of the window. There were footprints on the grass of some heavy shoes, leading to the gate in front of her house. She remembered about the previous night, and called for her maid.

 ‘Nirmala, did you hear any noise last night’, she asked, looking at her.

 ‘No memsahab,’ there was no one, she replied staring at Richa with wonder in her eyes.

 ‘Ok, come with me; let us go upstairs to the attic’! She wanted to inspect the place, but was afraid to go to the room alone.

 She was surprised to see that everything appeared to be in place, but for the huge box, that had been shifted and there were some marks on the floor showing signs of dragging. The lock was open. The window opposite had some stain marks, which appeared to have been wiped to clean.

 Richa did not touch anything and returned downstairs. She inspected the wall and the pipe leading to the balcony of the upper room. There were some dirt marks, and then a trail of footsteps in the garden. She followed the same till the main gate after which there was a metal road. She looked around, but could only see an old picture lying on the ground. She bent and picked it up. It was wet and covered with mud. On cleaning, she felt as if a bolt of lightning struck her! This was Nisha, the unmistakable face!! The girl had been her friend till college but had lost track, thereafter. She picked up the picture and returned home as the further search was fruitless. She tried hard to reconstruct the events of the night but the jigsaw puzzle could not be solved. Nisha, had known Ajay at college but later married Kamaljit, son of a business tycoon. That was the last that Richa, remembered about Nisha.

 On reaching the house, Nirmala informed Richa that a pair of shoes was found behind the bushes outside the house, which she showed her. Amazing! the shoes belonged to Ajay but were found in the bushes!! The mystery was deepening!! Richa, was unable to figure out where all this was leading to. She halfheartedly got engaged in the domestic chores!

 It was evening time and the telephone bell rang!

 ‘Madam, I am Sanjay Naik’, Inspector / Crime Branch. ‘Your husband was caught accepting a ransom of Rs Ten lakhs( One million rupees) from Nisha for handing over some letters and photographs to her and we caught him red handed!’ He will be produced in the court tomorrow and we will come to your place by evening today for recording your statement!’

 The one sided conversation shook Richa thoroughly! She was shattered as she came to know later that Ajay had sunk into debt and to make a quick buck threatened to expose Nisha with the letters and pictures of their past association.

There was a clap of thunder and lightning struck in the sky! The sky was lit up and rain came pelting down.  What a coincidence the weather too displayed the emotions of the turmoil of Richa!!
PS : Image kind courtesy Google

80 comments:

  1. Oh gosh. I want more.
    Is Nirmala the maid, Rahul?

    Write a book, please! :-) You are so very good with this.!

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    1. I am humbled with those words, Vidya! Thanks and will now seriously consider to write a book:) Yes, Nirmala was the maid!

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  2. oh superb one Rahul sir :) I was struggling to put the jigsaw puzzle in order even before you did but I couldnt and that the success of the story :D

    Superb, loved it :D

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    1. Thanks a lot for that lovely comment, Ramya!! Jigsaw puzzles fascinate me too...

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  3. Superbly narrated, Rahul. This has the potential of being a wonderful and intriguing suspense short story. You had me hooked from the first word.

    Now I insist, do write your book, please.

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    1. Am so thankful Rachna for your kind words. I am now seriously contemplating to write a book:)

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, Bhagyashree and am happy you liked!

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  5. Replies
    1. Welcome to my blog, Manju and a sincere thanks for having liked the story!

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  6. The story makes the reader to think for a conclusion, trying to put the puzzle together all the time, great read!

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    1. A huge thanks Padmaja, and am happy this short story appeared as a jigsaw puzzle:)

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  7. Replies
    1. A big thanks Francesca and would surely write more stories with your encouraging words:)

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  8. Wow what a narration Rahulji.. Beautiful :)

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    1. Thanks a lot, Sonia and it is good to see you after a break:)

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  9. Gripping! Absolutely loved it.

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    1. A big thanks Purba, and coming from you this means a lot:)

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  10. Reading fiction from you for the first time! Good story and gripping!

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    1. Thank you, Meera! I try my hand once in a while on a few different format of writing::)

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  11. Nice one. I enjoyed reading it.

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  12. Interesting! Gripped me till the end.

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    1. I am delighted that you enjoyed the story, Vinati:)

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  13. Enjoyed reading this short story! Beautifully written Rahulji :)

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    1. A big thanks, Valli for those nice words:)

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  14. Good suspense! I thought pair of shoes were of a dead man!

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    1. Thanks Kusum! I am happy that the element of suspense did exist:)

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  15. Great read, sir! Hooked till the very end :)

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    1. Thanks a ton, Arti for your kind comment:)

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  16. Replies
    1. Wow, Ruchi... yes the last line does depict the nature and the turmoil being undergone!Thank you:)

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  17. Gripping! Like some others, write a book:-)

    Hope you have a wonderful Desember,
    regards from Tania:-)

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    1. Thanks Tania and I hope I can write a book some day! Have a lovely month too:)

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  18. What a twist. Sir, please publish a book with all your short stories, I'll be the first one to read it :-)

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    1. Ashwini, let me thank you for reading all my posts after your return and this great suggestion! I hope one day I will see some writings printed elsewhere besides this blog:)

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  19. Rahul Sir, never knew that you write fiction too....good one, keeps one engaged till the end.......

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    1. Irfan, I keep experimenting when it comes to writing:) Thanks a lot for your kind comment!

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  20. Very nice story, Rahul. Really enjoyed reading it.

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    1. A huge thanks KayEm for your nice comment!

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  21. Very well written dear Rahul, I had no idea the story would end like that.
    xoxoxo ♡

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  22. Enjoyed completely till the end..very gripping narration..

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    1. A huge thanks Latha for liking the story:)

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  23. Well written, well conceived, a short story yet so powerful!

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    1. Thanks a lot Rachna. Am happy you liked:)

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  24. you created the suspense so well.....

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  25. hmmmm good one Rahul sir..

    bure kaam ka bura nateeja ..

    so next part also can come up for sure :)

    Bikram's

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    1. Thanks a lot Bikram for those nice words! Agree with your observation:)

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  26. Never expected the ending to be like that. It was an awesome read with a surprise ending. And the last line where you say the nature was showing Richa's anger was so finely written. During the story I felt that it was some ghost stuff but proved otherwise.

    Enjoyed reading it.

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    1. Thanks a lot, Saru and am happy you found that story did not move in a predictable manner:)

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  27. A riveting read Rahul! You had us in complete suspense with your intelligent use of penmanship. Eagerly awaiting your first novel

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    1. My sincere thanks Sam for all those compliments! I hope I will write something fit enough for print media:)

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  28. The story was gripping and scary ! You write beautifully Rahul-ji. How about writing a suspense novel ?

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year !

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    1. A big thanks Rama, for reposing your faith in my writing:) With best wishes from likes of you I hope I would get something printed to my credit one day! Best wishes to you and your family too, for the Xmas and New Year!

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  29. Liked the subject of your story. :) I like the way you have framed the story. :)

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    1. Thanks a lot, Shreya for liking the story:)

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  30. That was a quick read Sir and the turning point was handled quite well.
    And the end turned out to be unpredictable.. Nice.

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  31. Nothing could be more satisfying than reading a comment like this, Manjulika:) Thanks a lot!

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  32. What gripping narration! I just love your stories :) Keep them coming!

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  33. Thank you Akanksha for that lovely comment! Will try to write more:)

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  34. Powerful and interesting narration. Loved reading.

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    1. Thanks a lot, Kavita for those comments!

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  35. After a very long time, I am giving myself the pleasure of reading fiction in blogs. What a gripping tale, Rahul. This was so very thrilling till the last bit. You should produce this to CID - the serial in Sony. They will grab this piece.

    You do have the penchant for weaving a thrilling tale. Congrats.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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    1. Thanks a lot Susan, for those encouraging comments!I now need to network with Sony TV:):)

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  36. Gripping and thrilling till the end.Loved the story Rahul.

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    1. Thanks a ton, Sharmila! Wishing you a very Happy New Year!!

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