The Hand of Death

Short Fiction Story for Write Tribe Festival #WriteBravely

The Hand of Death

“You’d never believe me if I told you that I saw Rohini Ghatge getting murdered, but it’s true and I can prove it. Just come over at 5 today.” Rohan told Mira, his on-again-off-again girlfriend who was presently off-again again.

After disconnecting the call, he ran a frantic hand in his hair. He couldn’t sleep since that eventful night. And he was going crazy with lack of sleep. On top of that, his editor was giving him a hard time for not finishing the article. He wasn’t even ready to consider the fact that Rohan had never missed a deadline before.

Even without meaning to, he kept on reliving the night over and over again.

It was quarter past two and Rohan was nowhere finished with the article. At this rate he wouldn’t be able to meet his deadline if the blaring music from above went on. The last time he had knocked at her door, she had promised to wrap up the party soon. An hour later, though the dancing had stopped, the sounds hadn’t abated much. Frustrated, he walked towards the door. He had played good neighbour long enough.

The door was slightly ajar. He didn’t press the bell; who would have listened to it in that pandemonium anyway. He stepped inside.

Where was everybody? The lights were on; empty bottles and glasses were strewn in all nooks and corner. A heavy stench of cigarette smoke filled his nostrils, but he could see nobody. Then he detected a movement in the balcony.

Through the see-through glass door, Rohan could see Rohini, his neighbour standing on the balcony. She looked at him; fear in her eyes.  Before he could think or react, he saw a diamanté gloved hand on her throat pushing her. She lost her balance and the next moment toppled over the marble balustrade. Rohan heard a loud scream as she did a free fall. Suddenly he realized that he had not only witnessed a murder, but also, he could be seen by the killer any moment. Quietly he ran out of the apartment.

He closed his apartment door and put on the locks and latches. The killer had not seen him but he was still scared. As his breathing returned to normal, he heard a great commotion outside the balcony. He went to the balcony and saw a big crowd in the parking below. She was lying, on the top of a white car, lifeless.

The next day, newspapers carried the story of her death.  “Lonely over-the-hill TV actress committed suicide’. They called it suicide, not murder. But Rohan knew otherwise.

Who killed her? He asked himself. There were some twenty-odd people in her penthouse when he had visited the apartment to complain of the loud noise. But later there was no one.

That afternoon Mira came right on time. She had a very irritating habit of being punctual. But, today, he was not complaining.

Rohan and Mira visited Rohini’s apartment for the condolence meet called for by her sister. Though he was hardly as they called it “in the inner circle” of the actress, they had exchanged pleasantries many a times while waiting for the elevator.

“But, you don’t know either the killer or the motive behind the murder?” Mira was doubtful.

“Finding motive is not my job, the Police can do that. But, I know the way of finding out the killer.” Rohan was confident.

Rohan had a purpose in going back to the apartment. He had a plan, he just needed to execute it. The same living room which the other night was the hub of one of the noisiest parties Rohan had ever seen was now painfully silent. There was a big crowd but Rohan and Mira stood silently in one corner. Rohan was closely observing the people in the room. He knew the killer was known to Rohini or else Rohini wouldn’t have invited to her party.

He went to the balcony. Squatting down, he picked up an imaginary something off the floor. He went on to make a great show of squinting his eye and looking at the object closely. If his plan went well, the killer would be out in the open in the next 5 minutes. He looked up and caught the eye of a woman. A tall and sturdy woman walked towards him.

“What have you found?” She asked him gruffly. Fear and menace evident in her eyes.

“The proof to nail down the killer,” He replied confidently.

Suddenly her expressions changed, like a wild boar she leapt at Rohan. Anticipating this, he ducked in time.

“She killed Rohini…I saw it,” Rohan announced.

That night Rohan slept like a baby.

*************************************************************************************

I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival of Words – June 2018

Write Tribe Festival, Short Fiction, Flash fiction

About Anshu Bhojnagarwala

Fiction Addict. Agatha Christie Fan.
This entry was posted in Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to The Hand of Death

  1. The hand of death, I like the title.
    This is so out of your comfortzone. Yet done a wonderful job, as always.

  2. Meena says:

    Lovely take on the prompt. You kept the tension going!

  3. That was brilliant. Loved the plot and the way you have taken it. And apt title too. 🙂

  4. Bhagyashree says:

    I was on tenterhooks till the end. Good job

  5. Anagha Yatin says:

    Interesting plot, interesting premise Anshu. You kept me hooked till end.

  6. Suzy says:

    You had me rivetted to the end. Nice one. Thanks for visiting my post.

  7. Ramya says:

    Interesting narration and unique title.

  8. Enjoyed the fast paced story Anshu. 🙂

    mammaspeaks posted: ” “You’d never believe me if I told you that I saw > Rohini Ghatge getting murdered, but it’s true and I can prove it. Just come > over at 5 today.” Rohan told Mira, his on-again-off-again girlfriend who > was presently off-again again. After disconnecting the” >

    • mammaspeaks says:

      Thank you so much. I have many times tried to connect to your blog, but somehow it throws an error to me saying that the blog has just been deleted. Can you post your blog URL please?

  9. Balaka says:

    You are an amazing storyteller. I was hooked till the end. The end was perfect. Your love story was a super hit and now I guess we will get more hits in the crime genre..best wishes.

  10. Akshata Ram says:

    That kept me hooked on .. I thought this is one long story you are writing for the challenge but seems not. The end was cleverly written

  11. I read this twice to make sure that this is not the first episode of a long story. It was that good. Fantastic story telling and great title. This is my favorite genre. I loved the story.

  12. findmyread says:

    Oh, loved the way you kept the suspence going till the end. Very engsging read 🙂

  13. What an interesting story. Hooked me till the end.

  14. Shilpa Garg says:

    Ooh! That was a riveting and intriguing story! Enjoyed reading it!

  15. It was a fast-paced murder mystery. By the time I moved down and down reading, I had become eager to know what happened actually. I wish I had also known the motive.

    • mammaspeaks says:

      Thanks so much for liking the post. I had it on my mind to write about the motivé but it woukd have added to the length and dragged the story. Will write another one with motivé in the future 🙂

  16. OMG! This was a gripping tale …full of suspense..for a moment, I thought Rohit would be the killer…but the twist at the end was AMAZiNG!! Keep writing! #WriteBravely 🙂

  17. shellymona says:

    Storytelling done nicely! It kept me engaged till the end. Nice Read!

  18. BellyBytes says:

    Grat story here. Another Agatha Christie in the making? Loved the nail biting end too….

  19. syncwithdeep says:

    The title and the suspense.. Very engaging.. Loved the two versions of u.. Atoz u dealt something very soft and this is contrasting. Well done anshu.

  20. Neethu says:

    Wow di…I missed reading the posts…

  21. Neethu says:

    A thrilling short story 😍

  22. Ah! Such suspense. Glad he found her.

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