As Sally drove to the police station she was quite restless. “Who it could be and why?” resonated all along in her mind. The flurry of emotions made her jump few red lights too, but was fortunate enough not to meet any untoward incident.
She was received by Josh Edward, police officer and Sally’s senior in the college. They used to represent their college in chess and were members of college’s debate society. They shared a good rapport. It was by chance that he was assigned this particular case. They were seeing each other after almost a decade and the reunion wasn’t cheerful at all considering the situation surrounding it.
“Hello Sally, how are you” Josh greeted her cordially extending his hand for a handshake. His gesture was met with a nervous smile that stayed just for a fraction of seconds. “I want to know” Sally said in a rather shaky voice, fixing her impatient gaze on Josh’s face.
“This way please” Josh guided Sally towards the interrogation cell. She saw a frail looking man there at the centre of the room that had just a table in the centre and two chairs on both sides of it. One was occupied by the man, who could be in his late 40s or early 50s, had salt and pepper hair & beard, lean build, hands were cuffed and was staring the ceiling & walls of the empty room. There wasn’t a slightest hint of nervousness or fear on his face that ought to be evident from a convict’s face. He was calm and static as a stone and cold as grave.
Sally observed him from behind a window and asked Josh “is he the one?” The fragile frame of the man had churned the wheels of confusion in Sally’s mind for her late father was a well built man.
“Investigation is running in full throttle. You mentioned in your statements of having seen a masked person running away. And he is a serial killer infamous for his signature Mask. The police has been on a lookout for him for 10 cases in and around the city, including your father’s…” Josh was still talking when Sally stormed into the interrogation room.
“Did you kill my father? Did you kill Mr.Pattinson? Answer me” Sally was mad with rage, as she banged her fist on the table. She thought her emotions can evoke a reaction from the convict. But she was wrong. He was still composed in a quirky manner.
Looking away from Sally, he said in a soft tone “I don’t remember names. I just love the sound of crackling bones, sight of gushing blood gives me an adrenaline rush, the wailing bodies are symphony to ears. I have only numbers – 1,2,3,4…”. He was chuckling as he counted. This enraged Sally even more. She opened her phone gallery and showed her father’s picture to him “I am sure this would ring your memory bells. Now tell me why you killed him” Sally boomed at him. He looked at the photo for a moment but before he could say anything Sally was taken out of the room by Josh citing the norms and regulations of the interrogation laws.
Sally was now impatient than ever, awaiting his answer, rather a confession.
As Josh entered the scene he asked the convict about Mr.Pattinson “you are the masked killer, isn’t it? Confess it”.
The convict took a deep breath and started laughing like a lunatic. The room was echoing with his cynical laughter. After few moments he stopped, catching his breath and said “someone used my signature to hide their identity. And when I say signature I mean my identity, would never hide it. This man was never my target. But yes other 1,2,3,4….” he whistled a rhythm. His unruffled calmness opposed to the raging tempers made his words sound menacing even in those secured doors. Josh left the room.
Came to Sally who was in the other room having a view of the interrogation cell. Before she could bombard him with her questions, he took his cigarette case and left for the smoking area. Sally followed him.
After few puffs, having calmed down his nerves he said “May be we are knocking a wrong door. If he could confess about killing his other victims, I see no reason him denying this. Something is missing. Someone might have used his trademark Mask modus operandi. I am sorry for unnecessarily troubling you Sally. Ufff” he sharply exhaled. Sally was calm now.
She just patted on his arm as if saying “its ok”. And she went silent. But her silence couldn’t camouflage her nervousness. “Is there anything you want to say Sally?” Enquired Josh.
“Nothing” Sally dismissed the question with a smile. “Since you are in the city now, how about dinner this weekend, my place? Sally thoughtfully diverted the intriguing glares of Josh. But Josh knew that something was bothering Sally.
“Hmm, thanks for the invite. I shall let you know soon. Would love to meet your better half” Josh obliged.
Before leaving though Sally made a strange request “Josh, I forgot to tell you, don’t tell Henry about this meeting”.