Z is for Sleeping Like A Zombie - #A2Z2018

Z is for Sleeping Like A Zombie - #A2Z2018



Vikram drove Mat to his house and he was soon put up in the guest room. Mat had a meal, cooked specially for him by Vikram's cook. He had at first refused to leave Karen's side at the hospital. But Shivani had gently persuaded him and finally, he had allowed himself to be goaded into taking a rest.

He got into the comfortable bed in the guest room of Vikram's house. He was sure he would not get a wink of sleep. Within minutes he was snoring gently, sleeping like a zombie. Finally, he woke up to find Shivani gently shaking his shoulders. It was 11 AM. He immediately tried to jump out of the bed, but Shivani restrained him. "Don't worry about anything Dada, Karen has been discharged from the hospital and Vikram is driving her here this very minute."

Slowly Mat got out of the bed and Shivani left him to dress. Mat came out of the bedroom after dressing up and heard a car being driven into the garage. Within minutes Karen came rushing into the hall and leaped into Mat's arms. He showered her with kisses and held her tightly. There were tears streaming down his eyes. "Thatha, thatha," screamed the child in delight.

Finally, after a full three minutes, he sat down on the sofa with Karen on his lap. Vikram and Shivani sat down too. The maid brought in some fruit juice and scones. Vikram said, "Now tell me Mat, how did you figure it all out?"

Mat took a deep breath and said, "The first thing that struck me as odd was the dipping temperature. The temperature was dipping but the body functions were normal. This struck me as something unique and I was was wondering if something supernatural was after all the cause of all this. But I am not very religious and definitely do not believe in that kind of spooky nonsense. After you sent me the case details the one thing that struck me was that the gardener was the only person who came out of that house alive after the Gabriel shootout and he had not been thoroughly investigated by Lakshman Singh. 

And my suspicions were aroused. To eliminate anything supernatural being the reason for all this I first spent some time checking on human sacrifices and satanic rituals involving ice. Because ice is the one thing that brings down temperature. I found even in ancient times ice was hardly ever used while offering human beings as a sacrifice. There were plenty of other methods used. Burning people alive, putting them on a stake, there is no end to it. But ice, very rarely."

Mat paused and Shivani shuddered. Mat smiled at her gently and continued, "And another thing that led me to the truth was Lakshman Singh's impression of the boy Jack. He had handled the case very poorly indeed. I think he allowed his judgment to be clouded by the assumption that this had something to do with the supernatural. But the one thing he had intuitively realized was that by nature, Jack was not capable of the extreme cruelty being attributed to him. 

Unfortunately, he failed to pursue what his intuition told him. Then I did some research into the resistance of the human body to low temperatures and the scientific advances made in that direction and immediately one of the results Google threw up included Viktor's findings. It also threw up the name of Wharton Chandran who had been Viktor Fenniston in the US. And he was an Indian. I read the whole story and compared the image you sent of the gardener to the image of Wharton Chandran thrown up by Google. There was a strong resemblance. 

The fiddler had employed a rather poor plastic surgeon to alter his face and he had done a very bad job. At that point, I had only a strong resemblance to support my theories. Nothing definite. Then I stepped out of my hotel at midnight and the fiddler, having traced me to Shimla, tried to kill me. I employed Pramod to get to the bottom of things and get me all the finer details about the case. The fiddler made another attempt to kill me when I was driving back from Shimla. The fiddler had by then realized I was on his track and wanted to eliminate me desperately. And then Pramod sent in the details of his investigations and I knew for sure. Well, you know the rest of the story."

Vikram asked a question, "How did Pradeep meet his end?"

"That could have been an accident or a murder. It was dark and I doubt if the fiddler could have pushed a boulder on to Pradeep's car in the dead of the night. Pradeep suspected something but he was not sure what exactly and probably had some vague notions of black magic. He was a doctor and was seriously worried. He might easily have lost his concentration and driven off the mountain road. We will never really know," said Mat.

Vikram asked one more question, "What about the fiddler standing in the roadside and yelling about doomsday?"

"I think the man was genuinely insane," said Mat, "He was getting old and was slowly beginning to lose his mind. He told me that at times he was beginning to have insane rages. Remember this man has been indulging in horrific acts for a long time. He has been living in terror of being discovered and sent to the gallows for thirty years. His mind might have been going to pieces. I was myself beginning to lose my head and was dreaming and imagining all kinds of things as I worked my way through the case."

There was a pause as Vikram and Shivani digested all this. Then they looked at each other. Finally, Shivani said hesitantly, "Dada, there is something we want you to do for our sake."

"Ask away my dears, I am all ears," said Mat.

"Well Dada, We want you and Karen to come and live with us," blurted out Shivani.

Mat was taken aback but he rallied quickly and looked at Karen and said, "Lachchu darling, how would you like it if we live here with Vikram uncle and Shivani aunty?"

Karen smiled delightedly and said, "Wow, that would be great thatha."


(The End)





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. All the knots are tied up into a bright parcel. The story has reached its logical conclusion. Good job, Jai. Congrats on a successful AtoZ.

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  2. Great epilogue Jai, wrapped everything up nicely and a thoroughly satisfying story - and Karen is fully recovered! Hope to read more from you in the future. Well done, Iain

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  3. I'm glad you had this wind up chapter to explain Mat's thought process. And we come to the end of a fascinating story, well written. Congratulations on completing the challenge.

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  4. It was great reading this trilling story. Wish your ebook a great success Jai..

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  5. Phew! That was quite a start to your first #AtoZChallenge 2018 post, Jai! You´ve brought in so many elements in one single story...Memorable indeed! And congratulations for the #AtoZChallenge completion. Cheers :)

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  6. A great ending to a greater story. Congratulations on finishing the A-Z challenge 2018. Your story kept me on the edge of my seat at all times and never seemed to disappoint!

    Visiting from the A-Z 2018.

    Follow the Adventures of Leo on my blog.
    A is for Ahoy : https://thedreamgirlwrites.wordpress.com/2018/04/01/ahoy/

    Cheers,
    Dream

    ReplyDelete

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