A Murder Without The Mystery
Written by Nandini Sethi
I ran down the flight of stairs, reaching the second storey at an unbelievable pace, eager to see what the commotion was all about. The stairwell was round, and the dizziness that ensued only lasted for a brief moment, that is until I realized what was happening on the second storey: a murder investigation.
Wide-eyed and dry-mouthed, I grappled amidst the crowd, in search for a familiar face or a comforting smile, but all I got was unfriendly neighbours and their buzzing panic. I came across a lanky police officer, who looked as clueless as I felt, and asked him what was going on. From the whispers of the cops and the people around, I gathered that they were looking around for the murder weapon. It was missing from the crime scene.
“This is a crime scene, you are not wanted here.”
I understood. But I was as curious as a cat, and I wanted to see everything – the raw reactions of everyone around, the helplessness of the authorities, and the bloody body. I wanted to know the cause of death, the time, and everything in between. In reality though, I was a bit of a scaredy-cat and didn’t necessarily want to mess with any authority. So, I slipped out of the room quietly.
Only to be back several hours later, when there wasn’t a hint of light in the world, and everyone was deep into sleep. I snuck into the apartment, and looked around for evidence. Sure, it wasn’t the best idea to be pottering about a crime scene, but I couldn’t resist the temptation.
I went through old diaries, photo albums, and even flicked through channels on his television, but found nothing suspicious. Obviously, I wanted to get a hold of the victim’s other personal belongings like his laptop and phone, but the police had already swept it away for evidence. I sighed, watched a little more TV, and left soon enough.
The next morning was a funeral service. There were family members present, some bawling, others feigning sadness, but overall there was order and restraint. I shed a tear, to fit in, and decided to socialize with everyone to get to know the situation a little better.
I came across an older woman, who I assumed to be the mother, and offered her my condolences. “So sad that they didn’t find any suspects yet,” she shook her head while I added, “such a terrible world we live in.”
The woman smiled and said, “the murderer will be caught soon.” I nodded vigorously, extending my support to her, “too bad they have looked all over, but haven’t found any leads on weapons of destruction.”
She blew her nose into her handkerchief, “I was told they were yet to look at the third floor.” My eyebrows shot up, “what’s on the third floor?”
She blew her nose again, this time louder, “apparently he frequented that area.”
I gave her a kiss on the cheek, both of us pretending to be long-lost friends, the only difference being I knew she didn’t know me.
I ran out of the room and fled up the stairs. To the third floor. With no great effort, I opened the door swiftly, and made my way into the room at the farthest corner. With such grace, an outsider would think I knew my way around this floor.
I walked in, opened the drawer with the loose screw, and picked up the piece of plastic encasing an unusual item. To me it seemed like a weapon of self-defence. But to an outsider, it would look like it was the murder weapon everyone was looking for.
I scooped it up, walked out of the apartment, locked it behind me, took off my gloves and took off. No one knew where it was, and now no one will ever know.
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