Timmy woke up with a start, it was those noises from beneath his bed again. He wanted to run to mommy’s room and cuddle up near her. But he knew the strange man would scold mommy and mommy would scold him. And he would be back in the bed and the noises would continue. Timmy was tired and sick of the noises. He got out of the bed and pulled his wooden sword out of his mattress. He scrunched his face to make it look scary, held his sword hard and pulled up the bedsheet and peered under the bed. There was no monster there. But there was a door and it opened onto darkness. Where had the door come from? Timmy took his flashlight and pointed it at the door. There was a wooden staircase, he climbed down. After a long silent climb down he reached the basement floor. The basement was huge, his flashlight could not find the walls or the ceiling.
Timmy heard muffled sounds. There was a small light far away in the darkness. Timmy walked towards the light. It was a single bulb that cast a small circle of light. In that light was a steel table and the strange man and mommy were tied up on it. Mommy’s muffled sounds increased when she saw Timmy. Timmy ran towards her. Even before he reached the table Timmy could sense him, the boogeyman, lurking in the darkness just outside the circle of light. Read more
“No, no, no…” Kavita screamed as she opened her eyes and planted her legs on the floor with force. He feet were glad to touch the threadbare living room carpet. She could feel her fingernails digging into the varnish of the sofa. She looked at the balcony, not that she wanted to. Her neck just seemed to turn on its own. The balcony was empty. An angry orange sun was setting below the railing of the balcony. She forced herself to look away. To look at her son.
Her five-year-old son was staring at her with wide eyes. His lips were puckered up, his chin ready to quiver. He was leaning against the coffee table to support himself.
Kavita’s hand trembled as it rose towards him, “I am just afraid for him…” she told herself. She pulled Ravi into an embrace. “Did I scare you? I am sorry…” she whispered as she kissed his forehead, “Don’t be afraid.” She was not sure to whom she said that.
“The police inspector is at the door…” Ravi said in a small voice.Read more
‘It stinks…’ the voices whispered in Aryan’s ear. ‘I can’t breathe’ a voice choked in his throat, Aryan bolted upright in his bed, trying hard to catch his own breath. It was way before sunrise, the sky outside his window was covered in a thick carpet of dark clouds and the carpet was leaking. It wasn’t a strong rain, the sky wasn’t weeping and shouting at the earth, the sky was murmuring obscenities and threats. And it had been going on all night long. And that meant the ground was overflowing with the rainwater and that meant the drainage was clogged. Read more
Norman stood outside his mother’s room. He sighed and balanced the tray in his hand, he had made all her favorites, pancakes, sunny-side up eggs, and freshly squeezed orange juice. He knocked on the door.
“Come in” his mother’s hoarse voice shouted.
Norman entered the room and placed the tray on his mother’s bed, across her lap.
“About damn time. What is this breakfast or brunch?” Mother hissed at him, “ I thought you had forgotten about me.”
“Sorry mother, I had to go out to get the oranges, we ran out of them.”
“This is why I tried all my life to teach you discipline. God knows I tried. You used to be better when I could get out of bed and whoop your sorry ass.” Mother took a sip of the orange juice, “ and you still cannot choose ripe oranges. What am I going to do with you?”
Norman stared at his feet. He had to hold both his hands to keep them from shivering. His mouth was dry. He tried to lick his lips but there was no moisture in his mouth. Breakfast was the best time to tell mother. She would only grow grumpier through the day. And he had been wanting to say this for a while now.
“Mother…” he whispered. She did not hear him and continued eating the pancakes.
“Mother, I have decided to leave,” he said as if testing her hearing.Read more
Little Pinky jumped up in joy because it was Diwali. It meant she got to wear her brand new red ghagra choli. It also meant she got to visit her grandmother. Little Pinky got ready even before mommy told her to get up. When mommy came into her room, mommy was very happy to see her ready and helped her into her brand new glittery ghagra choli.
“Can I go meet grandma now?” Little Pinky jumped up and down with excitement.
Mommy’s face fell. She rubbed her eyes and sighed. She forced herself to smile and said, “Yes Pinky, you can go and visit grandma…”
“Yay!” Pinky ran around the house in joy.
Mommy gave her a large box of sweets, “give this to Grandma. Wish her a happy Diwali.”
Pinky nodded, “I have my own gift for Grandma too.” She ran into her room, pulled out her gift from her school bag and placed it inside the box of sweets.
Little Pinky noticed her mom sitting sadly on the sofa. Mommy liked grandma too, just like Pinky did. But grandma and mommy had been fighting recently. Pinky didn’t know why, when she asked mommy, mommy simply said it was because grandma wanted to give her cousin Pappu more chocolates than her. This had hurt Pinky, why would grandma give Pappu more chocolates? Pinky always thought grandma liked her more. But Pinky was sure when grandma saw her in her new red ghagra choli and ate her sweets she would love her again. And she would give her more chocolates than Pappu.
Pinky went to Mommy, “Don’t worry mommy. I will make sure grandma loves me more. I will take good care of grandma.”Read more
The prince plunged his sword into the throat of a monster. It chortled as its blood spluttered on the cobblestones of the castle. The prince pushed the monster down and turned around swinging his sword. There were no more monsters on the bridge. The last of the valiant company of his men were fighting them further down. He could see the armor of the few of his remaining men, glitter in the cold moonlight. He wanted to rush to their aid, but the monster horde seemed endless. So many men lost, and it would all be in vain if he couldn’t rescue the princess. He gritted his teeth and turned towards the castle.
It took him a few tries to get the castle doors open. He ran into the empty castle, shouting her name. He wandered the halls calling to her at the top of his lungs. Finally, he stumbled into the throne room, there in the far corner on a large throne shaped from the skeleton of some long dead monstrosity, lay the princess. She lay in a nest of silk pillows and apart from the pained expression on her face seemed rather unhurt. Read more
They say it takes a thief to catch a thief. It should follow that it takes a psychopath to catch a psychopath. And that is the reason I had not been able to catch the Bangalore Butcher, I told myself. After all I am no psychopath. Hence, when they called a special officer to help me investigate the case I was more relieved than angry. That was until I met my partner, Special Officer Nishanth Karande.