An Innocent Murder

The silence was deafening. Or perhaps I just didn’t like it that way. The deserted street was lit up by only a solitary moon. I silently cursed Ratna for not coming to tuition that day. I had been afraid of the dark ever since I knew what dark was, and though I had been going to Madhu Aunty’s for an year and a half now, a mere ten minute walk from home, I was shivering. And that was because I was alone. Now, if you are Ekta being dark is like you being in shit but being dark and you being alone in it is like being in DEEP shit.

Strangely enough the street seemed to add to my misery by being empty that day, or at least my brain was deciphering it to be that way. An orange neon light shone in a distance. Something buzzed against my legs; a scream almost escaped my lips, as I clasped my mouth with my hand. My phone. Vibration mode. Calm down babe, I told myself, but I knew my mind was working overtime. Message. Unknown number.

“Hey Babe, purple looks good on you but you are a stunner in red.  ;-)” My heart skipped a beat as I turned around to look. Nobody. I thought of calling home but I was already telling myself to calm down again. It’s just a friend playing a prank. Perhaps the bitch Ratna herself. She knows I am wearing purple today and she must be laughing imagining me scaring myself to death but my feet had gathered pace automatically already. My body knew my mind too well to be fooled by its rational thinking at this point. Footsteps. I let out a muted wail. I knew I wasn’t imagining it this time though silently hoping I was. Laughter. Eerily confident and sinister laugh. I broke into a run. The footsteps followed. This cannot happen. With the all the courage I could muster, I turned around. A figure was hastily picking up pace. A man. My worst fears raced through my mind. I heard the figure call out something, was it my name? I didn’t care anymore; I wanted to reach home as soon as possible.

My tears froze. Sweat ceased. I was running as fast as I could. I don’t know what came upon me but I picked up a large-ish stone from the pavement as soon I was nearing the neon lamp post. It was as if I had lost all control of myself and I was working at my minds orders. I turned left from the lamp post and stopped. Okay, I knew what I was doing, as soon as the man would come under the lamp post, I would hit him with the stone. That seemed the right thing to do, at least then it did. I was counting numbers and as soon as the man came under the orange light I closed my eyes and with my full might hurled the stone at him. I apparently hit bull’s eye because I heard the man let out a cry, a dry coarse cry and hit asphalt. I opened my eyes. And then I saw something else. A dark blue black fluid flowing out under his body which lay face down. I had killed him.

I ran all the way home after that. Nobody would know about this, I told myself. Nobody had seen it and I would take this to my grave. I wiped my tears, straightened my hair, brushed off clothes before I opened the door to my home and walked. Everything should be normal.

“How did you like the surprise Ekta? “ , my mom asked as soon as I entered.

The normalcy vanished again as my head began to spin, “What surprise? I shot back.

“He came to pick you up didn’t he? Came back from Spain just this evening, your brother” Mom replied.

I hit darkness and marble at the same time.

Mridul Kumar