The Rising Moon ~ Chapter 19


This is Chapter 19 of the thriller story which team 'The Spellbinders' is weaving for the Game of blogs! Read the previous chapters here:

Chapter1 – Room No 4
Chapter 2- Table No 4
Chapter 3- If Looks could Kill
Chapter 4- The Flower That Never Bloomed
Chapter 5 – The Elephant Parade
Chapter 6 – Chance Encounters and Changed Plans
Chapter 7 – Relationships
Chapter 8- When Dreams Come True
Chapter 9 – Runaway Brat
Chapter 10 – Where is Roohi ?
Chapter 11 -The Investigation
Chapter 12 -The Backstabber
Chapter 13- Breaking Bad
Chapter 14 - Mixed Feelings
Chapter 15- Broken Dreams, Sleepless Nights
Chapter 16- Get Shekhar Out On bail
Chapter 17- The Dungeon
Chapter 18- The Shadows Gather

[Chapter 19: The Rising Moon]

Mansi, the young junior copy editor entered her office hastily checking her watch as she did. It showed five minutes past twelve. I am ten minutes late for my night shift!

She hurried towards her desk and started turning on the lights. The chauffeur had just dropped her to the DDTN premises. There was a lot of work to be done and a dozens of articles to be attended to before the morning news went live. She had just switched on her office desktop when she heard it...

"Mama made your favorite breakfast today. You love sandwiches na darling?" Mansi froze.

"Mama has bought a new pink frock for your birthday. Wait till you see it my pretty doll! You will look like a little fairy! Haha." The voice went on. It was coming from the office next to Mansi's.

Mansi was very familiar with that misty voice of the person she had known for quite a while now. But what was Tara doing here? Her shift was for the day right?

Mansi went out and started towards Tara's office, her voice was louder now "Mama loves you darling! You also love Mama no?"
Slowly, Mansi slid Tara's office door open. What she saw inside made her heart bleed.

A disheveled Tara was seated on her office chair, her hands on the desk, clutching a framed picture of Roohi, and was happily talking to her as if it was not a frame but her daughter in person.

Malik was enjoying a proper dinner after a long time. The case had got him hooked to his office day and night and he had missed home food. His wife, knowing his way of forgetting everything when busy with a case had come to Mumbai along with the children.  He smiled affectionately at Nafisa who was helping him with the third serving of the delicious Biryani she had made in the circuit house kitchen. "You know, I still can't believe you are mine! I must have really done something to impress the Almighty" said Malik, his eyes filled with love.

"Oh, yeah!" Nafisa blushed, chuckling as Malik held her closer to him. "Concentrate on your food Officer!" She teased escaping his grip, still chuckling.

"Wait till I finish it!" said Malik not leaving her gaze and stuffing the last bits of food hastily into his already full mouth. "Mummy! Bachao!" chuckled Nafisa running to her room.

Malik washed his hands and ran straight after her. After a good five minutes of chasing each other like Tom and Jerry, both of them ended up in their balcony. The night was young and a brilliant sea of stars stared back at them.There was no sight of the moon. Malik brought her close and started whispering in her ear when suddenly his eyes fell on the road below and his expression changed. Sensing the sudden change in him, Nafisa followed the trail of his eyes and they both stared at the road below.
A man was standing on the street near a neighbouring building. He was chanting something and moving in circles.  The street light was bright and Malik saw clearly that the man was holding an egg in one hand and a lemon in the other. The man, still chanting, spit at the egg and then sent it crashing on the ground. Then he spit at the lemon, squashed it and threw it beside the yolk of the egg. Finally, bowing in the direction of the star filled sky, he left the street and disappeared into the night.

"Wh-what on Earth was that?" asked a puzzled Malik.
"You don't know? It's Amawasya today. That man is doing a ritual, not a nice one I think.  I have seen others do this ritual too." said Nafisa but Malik's mind was elsewhere... a sudden thought had just struck him. "Oh my God!" he exclaimed, running to get his car keys.

"What happened ji?" Nafisa was taken back by her husband's sudden behaviour.
"Sorry darling! Have some urgent work at the office. I think I have just got a clue..." and before Nafisa could reply, Malik was gone.
"Wh-what on Earth was that?" asked a puzzled Malik.

It had been a week since the advertisement of the missing girl had been put up on the paper but still there was no news. Tara was dying with every second that passed. Every time there was someone on the door, her heart would beat faster and she would run to the door thinking it was Roohi but always it was someone else. She used to search for her daughter's face in every stranger she would pass by.
Sometimes when she lost control, she would go to Tara room and talk to her pictures, play with her toys and relive the little memories she had with her only daughter.
She had not given Roohi the attention she deserved and that guilt had grown to such an extent now that Tara often thought of committing suicide. If it wasn't for my ignorance, my little one wouldn't have ever left me! The thought became stronger, and now it was one of the facts she had to live with. It was becoming impossible to live inside the house whose every corner reminded her of Roohi. Thank God Shekhar is getting a bail tomorrow! Thought Tara. I can't stay here alone any longer!

Tring! Tring! Tring!

The ringing of the telephone brought Tara back from her thoughts to the present. I don't want to pick up any calls now! she thought ignoring the ringing. The telephone stopped ringing and just when Tara heaved a light sigh, it rang again, this time louder than ever.

Tara reluctantly reached for it and yelled "HELLO!" angrily.

There was a deep silence before a small voice spoke and Tara froze. Oh! Oh! Oh! 

"Mamma? I miss you!" said the girl's voice.

"Oh! My baby!" said Tara before the tears gushed. She kissed the receiver, placed it near her heart and wept uncontrollably.

"Mama, please don't cry! I am fine!" Said Roohi.

"Baby--bab--baby, my baby! Tell me where are you?" Tara said, through her tears.  She tried to control herself but failed.

"I--I can't say that Mama...but I am safe don't worry! We will meet soon--" and the line went dead.

"No! NO!!!! Noooooooooo!" Tara's screams rang throughout the house.

Malik chose the files he wanted and carried them from the shelf to his working desk. He grabbed the first file named 'Serial child murder 2004' and started studying it thoroughly. When done, he studied another and another again and again until he was finally able to connect the dots.

After three hours of studying the files and running them in his mind over and over, he finally sat up and stared at the heap of files. Then he picked up the intercom and dialed a number.

"Hello?" Said a sleepy voice.
"Aryan..I need your help!" said Malik
"For God's sake cop! It's four in the morning! Everybody is asleep here in the hospi---"
"I don't care! I am coming over to meet you!"

Malik was inside Aryan's hospital ward within twenty minutes. Sneaking up to Aryan's room hadn't been a tough task.
"So! Who is he? You find the killer right?" Aryan asked the police officer.
"err...No!" Malik hesitated. "I found a clue. It's...It's weird" he said.
"What is it?"
"Well...looks like our culprit is some kind of a werewolf!" said Malik.
"Cut the crap man! Get to the point. What are you suggesting?" asked Aryan.
"I mean...he is in some way connected to the moon. I went through all the serial child murders involved in this case and found that all of them were committed on new moon days." said Malik, his ears not wanting to believe his own words.
"You mean Amavasya?" asked Aryan, a dark shadow casting his face.
"Yes. chasiya, pasiya, Amavasya or whatever you call it!" said Malik shaking his head.

Both looked at each other for a moment then suddenly Aryan said in shock "Malik! Today is Amavasya!"

Malik looked at the shocked expression of his friend, unable to read it and said "So what?---" but suddenly he knew what he meant.

"Oh my God! Another innocent girl will be mercilessly murdered today!"

Read the next chapter here >> Tit For Tat
Team Members: Ritu LalitFarida Rizwan, Ryan FernandesBhavya Nandakumar,Ankita SinghalBushra MKunal BorahAnkit MahatoDeepa Dutta &Sunita Rajwade

“Me and my team The Spellbinders are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

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