Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Deal Unto Death – Part XIII

Ravi was not still out of the disbelief even after coming out of the police station. It had happened just too fast. He couldn’t believe that someone with whom he had talked , laughed and hanged out with just the previous day could be dead. He decided to go to Sameer’s place and collect any evidence that he can get. He knew that there could be a lot of connection between Vilas’ death and Sameer’s murder and Sameer might have been killed to stop him from blurting out anymore than he had already done. He also remembered that he had a meeting with Rishi at 10 and didn’t want to miss that by any chance. So he decided to meet Rishi and then go to Sameer’s place. He also thought that he had to talk to Meera to update her about the developments about the case and to seek her inputs before moving forward.
Just as he picked up the phone to make the call he received a call on his mobile. The display panel simply showed “unknown number” so there was no way he could guess as to who was calling him.
“Getting confused?? Afraid?? Don’t know what to do???ha ha ha “ A coarse voice mocked him at the other end.
“Hello!!Who is this??” Ravi got a little anxious.
“You don’t have to be concerned about that one bit.What you have to be concerned about is,how did Vilas die?? How did Sameer die.As a detective you should be more concerned about all this instead of my name”
“Who are you?? Do you know who killed Sameer”
“May be!! May be I can even tell you how did Vilas die. How much would you want to hear scene by scene depiction of what happened to Vilas minutes before he died??” The voice went on with the unrelenting coarseness. By this time Ravi was sure that the voice was fake and was used to cover the identity of the person actually behind the call.
“How do I trust you?? You can be the biggest lunatic having fun making crank calls, for all I know”
“It could be that or it could be the biggest outside help any detective had ever received in his case and you blew it coz you weren’t smart enough. You aint gonna lose anything by spending a bit of time on a false lead,but imagine how much you will lose if you fail to take a genuine break in the case!!”
Ravi started to think!!
“Why are you doing this?? Why would somebody do this??”
“May be Iam short of cash and want to make hay while the sun shines or may be I am really sad about poor Vilas’s demise and want to help. What the hell do you care”
There was silence for a few moments.
“Ok where can I meet you??”
“Now you are talking!!”so saying the voice gave him an address in one of the growing suburbs of Mumbai.
“I will be there in another one hour”
“or you miss me!! choose yourself” so saying the voice stopped.
The line was disconnected. Ravi was staring at his mobile for a few minutes and then started walking faster to reach his destination as soon as possible. He called up Rishi and told him that he wouldn’t be able to make it to the meeting. After an initial surprise Rishi agreed. Ravi felt that Rishi sounded as if he had already knew that Ravi is going to cancel the meeting.

Ravi knew that the caller had picked his spot really well as soon as he entered the locality. The place was eerily empty and was covered with few houses here and there. Soon he reached the place where he was told to come. It was a fairly big house and looked like the construction was abandoned at a point when it was almost over. It looked as if nobody had stepped on its floor for well over three four years. The walls were not plastered and there were no doors or windows. But the house was so big that if at all anything happened inside the inner rooms of the house, nobody would ever know.
Ravi stepped on the entrance without the steps and stood there wondering what to do. There was pin drop silence except for the wind that sounded like a distant scream . He stopped moving and had a good look around the house. There was a huge hall and spiral steps leading up to the first floor. There were entrances to other rooms one of which had a huge rectangular hole in the wall and it was clear that the room was proposed to be a kitchen.
“Hellllllllloooooooo……..anybody home” Ravi called as he tried to control the shrill in his voice.
There was no answer. He slowly stepped forward into the dark room as there were no lights and also because of the gloom that had set in the building because of its age. He made his way towards the spiral stairs with his boots making a spooky noise as it crushed the rubble beneath. He could see some more rooms but he instinctively chose to take the stairs. He let out another call of communication as he moved up the stairs.
“Is anyone there??? ………Can anyone hear me???............Hellooooooooo”
He could barely hear a slight echo of his own voice and nothing else.
Soon he reached the first floor. After reaching there he can see that there was a huge room and a passage on the right hand side with more rooms on its way.
On entering the huge room he could see someone sitting on a chair with his back to him. On the other end of the room there were two entrances taking leading into two different rooms.
“Oh here you are!! I have been looking all over for you. Cant you give me a reply” Ravi called out , slightly surprised at the lack of nervousness in his voice.
The guy on the chair did not reply. Ravi walked on towards the chair.
“I was…. Was thinking you might be down… the hell did you find this place anyway??”
There was still no reply from the guy, but by this time Ravi had reached very near to the guy.
“why dude??!! Wont reply me” so saying he placed his hand on the shoulder as his eyes grew wide on seeing the traces of blood near the guy.
The body fell to the floor spilling out some more blood as Ravi noticed the trail of blood coming from the nearby room ending up in the chair.Though Ravi had seen a lot of blood in his profession,this was the first time he was with a dead body before the police arrived. He had been shot several times with bullet wounds on his chest and stomach.
“Dammit” he cried out loud and bent on to the body and check for the pulse. It was dead. The face was oddly recognizable.He thought for a while until it struck him that it was the same guy who accidentally hit him in the mall the previous day before he met sameer. Ravi’s heart beat doubled and the blood grew hot as he perspired heavily due to the unexpected occurrences. Just then he heard someone walking and turned around to see someone moving into the room from the room on the left.
It was her.
……to be continued.

Deal Unto Death – Part XIV