Back at the forest, it was the break of dawn, the forest slowly buzzing to life. The morning sun’s rays shone through the thick foliage lighting up a part of Mira’s face. And now as she lay dead on that thick damp carpet of fallen leaves, she looked even more striking. It seemed like even death did not have a heart to take her away.
The Cur, twitched his ears to a distant drone while his nostrils did a mini flare-up. Soon he heard a siren hooting and the buzz of engines closing in on them. He was quickly up on all fours, in obeisance around the beautiful damsel deep in sleep.
Necking forward, he gave her a fond peck on her forehead before he darted off into the wilderness. He did not turn back to look at her again.
The search party of the local crime branch had sensed blood and found her. Soon the area was bustling with human activity. Forensic specialists, the media men were all over the place. The area was cordoned off as sleuths made hurried notes, relayed messages on their jarring Marconi instruments. Someone at the control room had lots of instructions to be followed today. His DGP’s daughter had been killed.
Somebody whispered that it was a failed love affair, while some-one else guessed loudly that it might have been jealousy. But to kill a young lady so beautiful, the killer really had to be heartless.
The rains had washed away most of the trail, the heavy footprints were now water-logged; the tread-marks of the tires belonged to a Jeep. No other signs of the killer, might have possibly been a professional.
Who could have possibly killed Mira?
Sam’s social circles had grown by leaps and bounds; women simply went blush-red when he talked to them- Sam the Charmer. Sam had been linked to many beautiful and powerful women in the past, such rumors were common place among the high and mighty. Sam had always sworn to remain loyal.
Madhu, had retained quite a bit of the oomph factor that left Men gasping as she passed by. Such grace and poise hardly went unnoticed at social gatherings. She had a mighty and handsome liquor baron on her list of close acquaintances. The twosome had recently made it to the local tabloids, were seen dining at many high-end restaurants. One of them had even reported how Sam had caught the two paramours red-handed in the act by posting two of his best men on her trail. The tycoon had sworn revenge. The next evening, both the sleuths had been killed in cold blood at the local police colony. Things were getting nastier!
And now as Mira’s autopsied body lay frozen at the state morgue, the coroner had his autopsy report ready for release. Mira didn?t move, she had no reason to. She couldn’t even if she wanted to. The dead don?t move. And definitely not the ones with a gaping gun shot chest wounds. Mira had been raped; her tender body had borne the brunt of the onslaught. Such savagery! Why?? Who???
Sam’s mobile beeped, a bed-side cordless phone shrieked and rang shattering the silence of the night, in tandem. Madhu was sleeping too, she moved uneasily in her sleep. The phones continued to ring. They fell silent after a while. Sam turned on his side as he broke into a sweat in his sleep.
“Madhoooooooooooooooooo, My Miraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa “, Sam had woken up as another phone ring shook him up. Sam was weeping inconsolably.
“What about Mira”? Madhu yelled back. “Mira is dead, someone killed her”, Sam seemed delirious.
“Oh shut up Sam, don’t be a baby, Mira is sleeping”, Madhu muttered angrily in the comfort of her quilt turning her back to Sam. She went back into her cozy chamber.
“You bitch”, Sam swore at her as he darted out of the bedroom in a flash, heading for Mira’s room at the other end of the hallway. As he took off, Thud! His feet slipped on the silky doormat and he landed on his back. That hurt! And Sam winced in excruciating pain that ran a chill through his spine.
Dragging his feet, yelling “Mira, Mira”, Sam ran into Mira’s bedroom?Mira’s door was ajar!!! She normally slept with the door bolted close. Why had she left it open today?
He peeped into her room, “Mira”, he called out again, not a word in response. Fumbling for the switchboard, Sam switched on the lights; four switches at a time, Sam had learnt to play the piano in his childhood. All at once, the room was bathed in bright fluorescent light.
Oh my God! Mira??????????..
Mira, smiled lying on her bed, stretched her arms reaching out to her darling Dad, as he ran and hugged her for dear life. “My baby”, muttered Sam coyly as he ran his fingers through her hair and patted his little one to sleep.
Mira, she was the most beautiful thing in the world. Sam’s little girl! She was still bubbling with life, as he felt her breathe in his arms. “Won’t let you any harm befall you Sweetheart”, said Sam in a silent prayer. “I love you Dad” echoed Mira as she drifted into slumber land. She indeed looked so beautiful in her sleep. His lips parted into a wide smile as he hugged her even tighter. Sam necked forward, gave her a fond peck on the forehead before heading for his bed-room. He did turn back once, to look at her again. Sam was smiling! He realized he hadn’t, in a long long time.
At his study, he found a book that he had wanted to read for many years now; a moth-eaten, 1911 edition of ‘The Interpretation of Dreams ‘ by Sigmund Freud. Opening the book, he saw Chapter V – ‘The Material & Sources of dreams’- Death of persons of whom the Dreamer is fond. Just what he wanted. Pushing his horn-rimmed bifocals up the nose-bridge, slouching on the easy-chair, Sam began to read?..
Author: Amarnath Bantwal- Kuwait