Murders in the Mansions

Bhatnagar posted under Flash Fiction



In an inebriated state, he stumbled across the big statuette while making his way towards the room. The imperial servant tried to intervene and gave him support only to be belittled by his majesty. You filthy rat! Get away from me! snapping angrily he went to his room . The room, though massive, was dimly lit. It was cold, bleak and completely dark. The somberness there was enough to give someone a heart attack. The darkness as it seemed wasn’t just from the absence of light, but was the sign of something sinister and eerie.  Why the hell the lights are down, his hands tried to reach the switch board. And Bang…………… ****** The forensic team and CBI thronged the site. The servant was standing in utter shock and droplets of sweat trickled down his face as he was watching the team investigate the dead body of his master laying in the pool of blood. Whosoever has done it must be full of hatred for Mr. Maheshwari. The newly appointed inspector, Dev, showed his investigating skills to his boss, ACP Tushar Sahai.  Hmmm, ACP Tushar was clearly not interested. Sir, what about the murder weapon? Did the murderer take that with him, Dev chuckled and ACP gave him a tough look. When did the murder happen? Asked the ACP The murder happened somewhere around 12:00 in the afternoon. The head injury is so intense, that this person must have died within a fraction of seconds. The murder weapon is something very sharp that pierced straight through the head causing the fracture in the skull. Like something made from hard metal, said one of the member from forensic team. Tall, dark and handsome, ACP Tushar is the man of remarkable personality and confident demeanor. His investigation skills have always been the talk of the town. No criminal can be spared from his eyes, is what public used to say. Dev, I would like to have the call records of him since last few days. Let’s see if we can find something relevant from there and next I would like to have the people closest to him in my office by tomorrow. But, sir…..tomorrow? Dev’s voice was stammering. Yes, why not? It’s not a rocket science after all! ACP left the place. With a deep sigh, Dev instructed the remaining team to seal the place before he too left from there. Three days passed and still there was no clue about the murder. The pressure from media and politicians only made the situation worse. ACP Tushar was fuming with rage. Dev, I told you I wanted everything in my office ASAP. Where the hell have you been? S-i-r, this brat Mr. Maheshwari wasn’t in contact with anyone off late. We didn’t find anything in call records except for some random numbers related to home deliveries like food, groceries etc. And coming to people closest to him, we couldn’t find them either. O really! He was the public figure and you are saying that he didn’t have any contacts, snapped ACP Tushar. I w-a-s t-t-trying sir but finding myself helpless, Dev tried to make himself clear. Yes sure you were trying. How difficult it is to gather contacts huh? It’s not a rocket science after all. Dev was well aware of his boss’s nature and his catchphrase ‘it’s not rocket science after all’. Until the case is solved, he prepared himself to bear his mood swings. Though he was always scared of him, but at the same time never stopped admiring him. Deep down, he was so impressed with ACP Tushar that he craved to be like him. Tomorrow we’ll again be visiting the murder site. Having said this, ACP stormed out of his cabin.  The next day both of them were standing outside the huge mansion. The architecture of mansion was exquisitely chosen and each corner depicted the riches. The whole place of twelve rooms was definitely everyone’s dream. White statuario marble flooring, the Clark Sickle Leaf Persian carpet gracing the living room, the expensive souvenirs from all around the world on the walls and cabinets of mansion was boasting of the money possessed by Mr. Maheshwari.  Dev and Sahai were closely examining each and everything. Phew! Sir, if we look at all the things so closely one by one, it will take us years to examine everything. Dev, haven’t you heard that ‘no man can hope to find out truth without proper investigation’. Even, if we are investigating closely, some things tend to ditch our eyes.  Yes sir. While they were investigating, the servant was again standing in the corner. Hey you! You said that you heard your boss’s shriek, right? Servant was clearly frightened. Okay, what did you do next? I rushed to his room, turned on the light and saw him dead. I already told you Sahab. Yes you have told me and you are supposed to tell me as many times I ask, demanded ACP Tushar. Is there anyone who is close to Mr. Maheshwari? Someone who used to visit him often? ACP again asked the servant. No, sir. After his parents’ death, most of the time maalik used to be alone and….he stopped speaking. And what? ACP was curious.  And nothing sir. One day he brought a girl home. She seemed to be his friend. But I didn’t see her after that day. Then why the hell didn’t you tell this earlier. You did not ask. ACP Tushar sensed audaciousness in servant’s words. He was fumed but chose not to react. Can you identify the girl if you see her again? Yes sir, maybe….. Dev, call the sketch artist and with this servant, create a sketch of that girl. Yes sir. The sketch artist was called and the servant was made to provide the clear description of the girl he had mentioned. She had lusciously long and lustrous hair down to her butt. She was fair complexioned with almond shaped bluish grey eyes and approximately five feet seven inches tall.  This kind of girl will definitely remembered by anyone who saw her for the first time, Dev thought to himself. The sketch of the girl came out to be so beautiful that even Dev couldn’t stop admiring her for once. Sir, the sketch of the girl has been made and she is so beautiful. Here, have a look. The stare from ACP Sahai frightened Dev.  One look at the picture and even the tough ACP couldn’t resist looking at the portrait again. Sir, this face look familiar. Then find out. But….but how? We don’t have her name as yet. You have her picture, moron and that’s what we are trying to find out. After all it’s not a rocket science….. ACP was belittling Dev when his phone rang. Reach 1536, South Avenue Officer. **** Another mansion, another dimly lit room, another dead body. Aahh, Dev you are not getting vacation anytime soon, Dev mumbled to himself. What was the expected time of murder? ACP Tushar asked the forensic team. It is somewhere around 12:00 in the afternoon. The head injury is so intense, that this person must have died within a fraction of seconds.  Dev, search for the murder weapon.  Yes sir. The murder weapon is something very sharp that pierced straight through the head causing the fracture in the skull. Like something made from hard metal, said one of the member from forensic team. Sir everything here seems untouched like that in case of first murder. At least check properly. And where did that investigation about the girl from the first case reach? Oh….that sir. I was busy here so…… So what! You stopped investigating that…huh?  Better get this straight in your empty head, we are now investigating not one but two murders.  Y-y-e-s sir, Dev didn’t like being insulted in front of entire team. Now get the call records of this man as well as list of all people close to him in bureau. Also, don’t forget to send me the investigating report for Mr. Maheshwari’s case and information about that mysterious girl. The murder of another hoity toity personality, Mr. Raghuvanshi, left the city in state of utter shock.  *** The atmosphere in the bureau was not pleasing as well. The headlines about twin murders of Mr. Maheshwari and Mr. Raghuvanshi and the incompetence of police was giving ACP Tushar a headache. Sir, may I come in? Dev asked politely. Yes, please. I really hope to get good news from your side at least. The mention of word please from his boss surprised Dev. Sorry sir, but this man is a loner too. We didn’t find anything from his contacts except some calls related to delivery guys like food, groceries etc. And also there is no relative or friend who came forward. Hmmm….seems like the more money you get, the more you become a loner. But just for the record, our investigation isn’t going anywhere. There was disappointment in ACP’s voice. What about that mysterious girl? Asked ACP. I have circulated the picture across all police stations and social media too. Hope to find something about her soon. Trin…Trin Hello, CBI Bureau….. *** This mansion was sure like someone Royale lived here. Dev was admiring the mansion, while the team was investigating the site.  Even if you spend your entire retirement savings, still you won’t be able to get even a single room of this mansion. Now can we please get to work? ACP was clearly not happy.  Sir, Mr. Raizada doesn’t have any enemies. He was a very humble personality. Tears welled up his servant’s eyes as he spoke.  Such supercilious personality and he doesn’t have any enemies and this idiotic servant wants us to believe that. Said Dev to himself. Dev…. Yes sir I know. I need to get the latest call records and contacts of people closest to him. Don’t worry sir. It will be done. After all, it’s not a rocket science. ACP was amused. The murder happened somewhere around 12:00 in the afternoon. The head injury is so intense, that this person must have died within a fraction of seconds. The murder weapon is something very sharp that pierced straight through the head causing the fracture in the skull. Like something made from hard metal, said one of the member from forensic team. *** In the bureau, ACP was sitting perplexed in the chair.  Mr. Maheshwari, Mr. Raghuvanshi and now Mr. Raizada…..the injury on the head……murdered at 12:00 in the afternoon…..and no call records accept that of delivery guys……Oh God! Stop madam….you can’t go inside. Sir is busy. The commotion from outside disturbed ACP. He came outside and was shocked to see the girl from the sketch as created by Mr. Maheshwari’s servant. What is this officer? Demanded the girl throwing the sketch on his face. How do you know Mr. Maheshwari? cross questioned ACP He is the empire of Maheshwari group. Everyone knows him. Then everyone is the murderer right! said the girl sarcastically. Madam we are here investigating the crime so better cooperate else you will be charged. Oh yeah…..And on what grounds? Do you even know who am I? I am the famous you tuber. Oh yes, that’s why the face is so familiar, thought Dev. Listen….I simply want to interrogate you. You better cooperate. ACP’s voice was firm. I told you I only know about this man as much as everyone knows. I do not know him personally. Then why did the servant told us that you were there with Mr. Maheshwari at his mansion…huh? How would I know officer? You circulated my pictures all over social media and hampered my image that too for the words of some lame servant. You know how much loss I have incurred in the last few days. Brands have revoked my contracts thinking that I am involved in this useless murder. Listen miss… It’s Sneha…..and you better interrogate that useless servant again and leave me for I have nothing to do with any of these happenings. The firmness in Sneha’s voice made ACP Tushar believe her.  Dev on the other hand, was simply admiring Sneha’s beauty which irked ACP Tushar. Hmm….You may leave for the time being. But we may have to call you may be in future, so you can’t leave the city, ordered the ACP. Oh hello…I have an advertisement shoot at Ooty and you can’t simply stop me. Sneha stormed out of the bureau. Dev, call the servant of Mr. Maheshwari in the bureau and also find out about the YouTube channel of this girl, Sneha. So, how did you find out that something was wrong with your boss? asked ACP again. Sir, I went to keep the jug of water in his room, when I saw him lying in the pool of blood. Dev was about to say something, when ACP Sahai gestured him to keep quite. You may leave now.  Sir this servant is clearly lying. This is not what he told us when we first met, said Dev. I am glad that you remembered. Yes I too noticed but we should not open all our cards at once. Had we caught his lie and confronted him, we wouldn’t have been able to decode his next move. Now Dev, I want you to draw the outline of all three murders that had happened . Sure Sir. So first Mr. Maheshwari, he was attacked by a very sharp weapon, causing fracture in the skull and the death was instant. There were no call records except that of some random delivery guys. His servant saw him with Sneha when he brought her home. There were no murder weapon, no suspects, and no finger-prints. Next is Mr. Raghuvanshi who was also attacked by a very sharp weapon, causing fracture in the skull and the death was instant, There were no call records except some random delivery guys. He was a loner too. There were no murder weapon, no suspects, and no finger-prints in this case too. The last one was Mr. Raizada, who too was attacked by a very sharp weapon, again the fracture in the skull and instant death. No call records except random delivery guys. There were no murder weapon, no suspects, and no finger-prints here also. Oh My God sir…… Yep that’s true. Now hope you know, what would be our next step. Yes sir….it’s not a rocket science after all, winked Dev. ****  Sir, you won’t believe this. I have checked the call records of the three deceased and all three of them ordered the food from the same restaurant.  Okay….great. Did Restaurant owner gave some substantial information? queried ACP Tushar while talking to Dev on the phone. There’s more sir, there was hint of something fishy in Dev’s voice. Sir, all the three parcels were received by servant of Mr. Maheshwari. Wait….What? How is this possible? Yes sir….and restaurant owner even identified Sneha. Okay that’s fine, she’s a famous you tuber after all. God…I think I too now should be taking this social media thing seriously. N-n-n-o-o sir. She was with that servant. Also, coming to Sneha I couldn’t find her you tube channel. As if that makes sense, said ACP Tushar sarcastically banging his fist on the wall. Dev, I want you here in the bureau ASAP. Okay so you are saying that the three deceased knew each other and the murdered is the same person? ACP Tushar questioned Dev when he reached. Highly possible sir. Dev was confident with his words. And then you are saying that the murderer is none other than that servant and Sneha. Man….that girl had really played well! said ACP Tushar. That could be one angle sir. But the sites of all three murders, the pattern of murders and the similarities between the three personalities and the different statements given by the servant for the same question is indeed pointing to this theory too with only one thing missing. And that is? The motive sir. How do we know the motive behind servant or Sneha brutally killing all three of them? Okay for that, we need to take out every minute detail of that servant and Sneha. Just monitor their moves and report me of anything fishy. **** Sneha, it’s time for us to leave the city. Let’s start packing and leave before they get us. Don’t worry uncle….we haven’t leave anything to doubt us. We have finally taken revenge. The three fraudsters took everything from us and ruined my childhood. But there’s only one thing left. Sneha’s sinister smile scared her uncle.  *** The servant of Mr. Maheshwari was behind the triple murder case of three powerful personalities. In his suicide, he accepted his crime. The investigating officers Dev and ACP Tushar Sahai did a remarkable job. CBI has now closed the case. ACP Tushar put the newspaper down after reading the news. For the very first time, ACP saw the murderer leave in front of his eyes. Don’t Stress Officer. After all it’s not a rocket science! Sneha left in the train Same sinister smile spread across Sneha’s face, as she reminisced how she killed the servant of Maheshwari. He too was rewarded for his deeds, thought she.   Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!