A Murder In The House

Call it the effect of reading thriller novels of Ian Rankin or the investigative series of ‘The Killing’ or the hit sensational crime stories on one of Indian TV channels ‘Crime Patrol’. I really don’t know which one of these had the impact but I have been imagining stories and that too crime stories with my eyes open.

I know it’s scary. But that is how ideas are formed.

So, here is the story……….

“Hello Mum, how are you?” said Anita on the phone tugged between her ear and shoulder. She listened a moment. “It’s been so long I haven’t seen you. Are you free to do a Skype now?” she said.

“Cool thing,” said. “I am going to connect now”

She hung up.

It was Anita’s mother on the other end of the phone. She had been out of city on a month-long business trip due to which she could barely talk much to her Mum, is how she addressed her. Except for the two times when she called home but then it was always a late night call. She would just ask about her parent’s well-being and then doze off as she had to get up early the next morning for meetings.

Today, Anita was back home in her one bedroom and hall apartment where she lived alone. She worked in a multi-national IT firm and held a reputable position. Going by looks she was smart and her nature had the charm which attracted many.

“Oh Mum, so nice to see you,” said Anita as she connected on Skype with her Mum. She lifted her laptop from the centre table on to her lap and took a moment and said “It’s been a month I didn’t see you Mum. And Papa is he home?”

All this while, Anita’s Mum was quiet as if trying to capture as much of her daughter as she could. And that was obvious as she was seeing her daughter after a long time.

“How was your trip dear?” asked her Mum finally.

“It was awesome Mum,” she replied while getting up to answer her mobile phone that was now ringing.

“Hello.” “Hello”. “Hello”. A brief pause.

First there was no answer and then the person on the other end hung up.

Crazy people, they just call and don’t talk, she murmured to herself.

“Work call, Anita?” asked her Mum.

“No, wrong number,” she responded.

Anita now back on her sofa talked to her mother about the trip and how brilliantly she managed the team presentation. She also told about a wonderful guy who she met on the trip. Her mother like a keen child paid undivided attention to her and with every sentence her daughter would finish, she would drop a word of praise.

Anita being the only daughter was the apple of her parent’s eyes. Her father, owner of a business in textiles had invested good amount in her studies. But he never wanted his daughter to pursue her career away from her family. This created a rift between the two. On the other hand, Anita had always felt that apart from money, her father never gave her Mum and her the quality time. And with every passing year, the father-daughter grew more apart and had few conversations. Most times, Anita’s mother acted as the means of communication between them.

“Aah, see who is here?” said Anita’s Mum. “It’s a surprise that you are early tonight. Did you have pre-monitions that Anita would call?” she said now facing away from her computer in the opposite direction of the room where Anita’s father was standing.

Anita’s father was a workaholic and would come home from his office only after midnight. He liked to spend most of his time at his firm and be involved in most matters concerning the firm. He had built his business from scratch from a meagre amount and established it to a present day empire.

“Hello Anita, good to see you,” said her father as he came towards the table where her Mum was seated. It was a hello said in a manner which did not necessitate a response. He briefly patted his wife’s shoulder as if making a hint and moved away from the PC towards his bed in the same room.

A moment of silence fell in the room on both sides. Anita seemed perplexed. Well, it was the rarest thing to see her father this early and now that he was home it meant her Mum would have to shut the PC down and cease the conversation. Her Mum was already bidding bye with her eyes. And Anita with her lips half open was contemplating to say something.

Just then Anita’s door-bell rang.

“Who could it be so late at night?” asked her mother.

“I had ordered food from out Mum. I will go quickly get it but I have to say something. Please stay for a while,” said Anita.

Anita quickly got up from the sofa and kept the laptop on the centre table facing the sofa on which she was sitting. She went towards side table in the living room, dipped her hand in her purse and pulled out some cash. Calculating the amount, she moved towards the door and pressed the latch on the door. The door opened.

The burble at the distance from the door to Anita’s laptop on the table which was still connected to her Mum’s PC suggested some kind of protest. Her mother sensed something and started to panic. With every passing minute she grew impatient thinking of what could be the noise about. “What’s the noise, what’s the noise,” she kept saying fidgeting with her PC trying to capture the slightest glimpse of her daughter’s room.

“Muuummm,” came a choking voice of Anita as she fell on the sofa she was sitting on earlier. Her body was in a pool of blood and her body, now lying on the sofa stayed still with her Mum staring at the screen with great horror reflected on her face.

“Aayyyyeee, no, no, no,” screamed her mother. “See what’s happened to my daughter. Are you listening?”

Her father who felt a sudden shock was now on his feet rushed towards his wife and peeked into the PC from her behind. Feeling the chill in his veins, he shouted “Help! Help! Help!” “My daughter.” “Somebody please.” “Anita, Anita.” “Dear get up.”

Suddenly a hand comes on the screen of the laptop and shuts it down.

*****

Well, the story does not end here. But the thing is I have been able to imagine it only till here. The interesting part is that I have a few options of ending the story but I am still not sure which one to use. I will post the ending in my next post.

But, if you can think of any other ending or ideas, do suggest.

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