L is for Lakshman Singh the Inspector who handled the case - #A2Z2018

L is for Lakshman Singh the Inspector who handled the case - #A2Z2018


Mat sat on the sofa in his hotel room. He was going through the information that Vikram had sent him by email. Vikram had sent him everything he could lay his hands on and the email had several pdf files and images attached. These included Lakshman Singh's final report, various images of the photographs of the paintings made by Jack, the images of the photographs of the crime scene from the police files and also an image of Gabriel's suicide note. In addition, the email also included images of all the concerned parties in the case. He first took a look at the image of the suicide note written by Gabriel before his final moments. It was very short and to the point. It went like this. 

"I have wronged my beloved wife Hilda and my lovely daughter Karen terribly. I don't think even Jesus can find the kindness to forgive me. I have allowed evil forces to disrupt my wonderful house. I have to atone for the sins I have committed. Jesus tells us to forgive our enemies. But how can one forgive Satan? I have avenged Hilda and Karen. I have put a bullet into that boy Jack and that witch Irene too. As I write this, their bodies lie on the floor before me. I have made up my mind. It is time for me to join Hilda and Karen. May Jesus forgive me for the sins I have committed and the one I am about to commit. In another minute I will be pinning this paper to the cushion and putting a bullet through myself. May God have mercy on my soul.

As he read this, Mat could almost feel the agony the man had gone through as he wrote the letter. Mat realized that Gabriel had discovered exactly what had transpired in that house in the one week he had been absent. Gabriel knew the truth when he wrote that letter. And he had blamed himself bitterly for it. And if Mat wanted to save his Karen he had to find out exactly what had happened in that house that week. The bodies of Hilda and Karen had never been found. Next, Mat took a look at all the photographs of the paintings made by the boy Jack. 

He was struck with profound horror immediately. The horror he felt for the mind that could think up of such perverted means of torture and death was matched only by his appreciation of the phenomenal talent the boy had possessed. He realized that this boy would have made a great painter, in fact, a genius, had he not been so obsessed with perverted ideas. He was struck by the image of one particular painting. It was the image of a big coffin. The lid was open. But the coffin was filled with ice. Just on the surface of the ice, slightly below the top of the coffin, he could see a woman's face and just by the side of the woman's face was a child's face.

What was striking was that the woman and child had their eyes open and those eyes were alive and were appealing for mercy. They were beautiful eyes and the painter had really brought out the agony the two people were going through. Mat suddenly averted his eyes from the painting. He could no longer bear to look at that image. It was undisguised evil. 

Finally, he looked for the address of Lakshman Singh who had settled in Mumbai after taking voluntary retirement. Vikram also informed him in the email that he had already alerted Lakshman and he would be waiting for him. Mat logged into Yathra.com and looked up the earliest flight to Mumbai. It was at 3 PM. It was 12.30 PM at that moment. Mat did not hesitate. He booked his ticket and informed the manager he would be gone for a day. He also asked the manager for details of a cab service that could drop him at the airport within an hour. Promptly at 1.30 PM, he was at the Shimla airport. He boarded the Spicejet flight at 2.30 PM. The flight to Mumbai was pleasant. He had his lunch on the flight and settled down. 

After an hour in the skies, the flight landed at the Chattrapathi Shivaji airport in Mumbai and he came out of the airport with his briefcase and called up Lakshman Singh by mobile. "Hi, this is Air Commodore Mathew Williams..," began Mat but Lakshman interrupted and said, "Yes, yes, I have been expecting you. I was informed by Inspector Vikram that you needed urgent help. Regarding that old Gabriel case. Looks like there is some trouble there. Please wait in the airport lounge. I will send a car for you. My man will pick you up. He has been given your photograph. See you soon." 

Mat settled down in the lounge and soon a tall man with a military bearing came up to him and said with a smile, "Air Commodore Mathew Williams? My name is Vishal. I have been sent by Mr. Lakshman." 

"Yes, yes," replied Mat and the man led him out of the airport to the car park. Soon Mat was being driven to Lakshman Singh's house. They arrived at a gated community and the man drove the car past the security guards to a villa. Vishal parked the car in the garage and as they were approaching, the front door opened and a man walked out and said, "Hello Commodore, I am Lakshman. Please do come in." 

He led them into a hall and Mat and Lakshman seated themselves. Lakshman looked at Mat and asked, "What will you have Commodore? Coffee and some snacks?" 

"Just a cup of Coffee please," replied Mat. Lakshman nodded at Vishal and he left to make arrangements. Lakshman looked at Mat and said, "Vikram spoke to me personally today morning and updated me on things. So I am in the loop. Another thing is I was never satisfied with my handling of that case. I would also like to get to the bottom of things. Funny case, that, you know. A sixteen-year-old boy killing his step-mother and half-sister. We tried our best to find the bodies. 

Dug up the whole place but they were nowhere to be found. It is a bit silly you know. But at that time I was really up against a wall and I fervently wished Gabriel had been a little bit more explicit in his suicide note. I understand that is rather stupid of me. You can't expect a man about to take his life to harp on details in his suicide note. All right Commodore, shoot your questions and I will answer them to the best of my ability." 

"Well Lakshman," said Mat, "I want your opinion of the painting in this image." He opened the image of the painting of the coffin with the faces in his iPad and handed it over to Lakshman. Lakshman looked at it for some time and then said quietly, "I remember that painting. I always thought the faces were meant to be those of Hilda and Karen. I know they are not because I have seen them, but I always suspected that the boy had them in mind when he made that painting." 

"Alright, just as I thought," said Mat, "My second question is what was that boy like in real life? You were the inspector in charge of the police station there at that time. You might have met him once or twice." 

Lakshman chose his words carefully, "You are right. I had visited Gabriel's house a couple of times over some trouble he had with his car license. I had spoken to that boy Jack and also seen him around at other times. You know what surprises me? Somehow, that boy did not strike me as someone capable of that kind of cruelty. Deep inside, I felt he was just a boy, perhaps not capable of a lot of kindness, but I could never picture him as the kind of devil who would kill in cold blood. I always felt something did not add up there. But then there were those paintings. He painted them after all. My impression of the boy must have been wrong. No one could paint that kind of stuff unless they were pure evil. He was the apple of his mother's eye. The family was a funny lot altogether. Miss Hilda was a wonderful woman. And Karen was a darling. 

I felt sorry for the two of them but there was nothing I could do. With two women living under the same roof sharing a man there is bound to be a lot of friction. I think Miss Hilda should have never tried that kind of an arrangement with another woman. Would have been better for her if she had simply walked out of the marriage taking Karen with her. Why should women suffer for men's indulgences?" 

"What did you think of Gabriel himself?" asked Mat. 

"He was brilliant. An ace flyer. But weak-willed. Very pliable," said Lakshman, "Being a policeman it is difficult to go butting into people's private affairs. A couple of times I tried to talk to Hilda and tried telling her she was asking for trouble but she pooh-poohed me and would not let me broach another word." 

"Your report says you had found some boxes of Thermocol in the backyard. Anything funny there?" asked Mat. 

"Those Thermocol boxes were empty. They were the kind of boxes that are used to stock ice. I made inquiries in the local shops and they said no one had asked for ice that entire week," said Lakshman 

Vishal brought the coffee and Mat sipped his cup. Finally, Lakshman said, "You know I don't think that case was within the normal sphere of a policeman's work. I have worked on a number of cases and solved many. There is always a natural logical solution. One just has to dig deep. But this was one case which I felt involved something supernatural. 

That month was spooky, Commodore. After the shootout, for quite some time families were afraid of venturing out after 6 PM in the evenings. The streets were deserted by 6.30 PM. The whole village was frightened and I was frightened for my family too. I was forty at that time and had two kids. You be careful, Commodore. You are treading a dangerous path. You have to act quickly and act decisively. May God be with you," said Lakshman. 

"Thanks, I will do my best," said Mat politely and took his leave.  It was 5.00 PM in the evening. He checked into a decent hotel and booked his ticket back to Shimla by a flight at 8.30 PM. He rang up Shivani. "Hello Shivani, How is Karen?" he asked. "Slightly better Dada," replied Shivani, "Her temperature has stabilized at ninety since today morning. She is still being fed through tubes and is on drips. But the doctors are happy that there is no further dip in temperature. Have you gotten anywhere Dada?" 

"I think I am beginning to get somewhere," said Mat, "I will be back in Shimla by 10.30 tonight and I will be back at Kimnur by tomorrow afternoon. I have some work here." 

"Be careful while driving," said Shivani, "I am worried about you. You are not resting at all and you must be very tired. Eat something Dada. Bye." Mat said goodbye to Shivani and switched on his iPad and began a little research into satanic rituals and human sacrifices.






Author's Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Comments

  1. It is as if I am watching a Hollywood movie. I guess it was all done by Jack's mother. She did bad with Hilda and karen, and Jack simply painted those things. I am waiting for the next post.

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  2. Another racy episode from you, Jai. But I have this sneaky suspicion that you are setting us up for a huge swerve soon. Hope I'm right. :D

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  3. The story had picked great pace and I am intrigued to know more, would you mind leaking the next few volumes to me😊.

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  4. This is as interesting a story an get! Some super suspense is being built up here, Jay. Eager to know more.

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  5. Going at great speed and we are devouring with all eagerness! As usual, you know the trick of leaving your readers on a cliffhanger every episode !

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  6. More information collected and the mystery still deepens. Can't wait to see how it all ties to the fate of his daughter. Half way through and I am very impressed. Keep up the good work.

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  7. That was a very satisfying end. Love the idea of murder mingled with satanic ritual. Looking forward!

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  8. Loving it, Jai! Its like a movie playing in my head :)

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  9. Will something totally unexpected come out? Seems like Jack wasn't the mastermind behind all of this, or was he? Like how the pace of the story is. Quite engrossing.

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An Introduction To The Blog By Jai