13 is an inauspicious number. I have seen deaths on 13th day of months, over the years. Some says its just some mere coincidences and I shouldn’t off-truck myself in the numeric theories. Later on, I started believing the same. Anyway, I hoped for a peaceful night at the station. An old track of Elvis Prisley was playing on the radio and I felt little dizzy.
“Sir! My mother died days ago.” I woke up with someone’s call. She rushed into the police station and was devastated. That night I was the in charge. It was disturbing seeing a young lady, Suddenly rushing into the police station post midnight and started sobbing. Oh! I know her! She was Linda. Linda Winslet! She was trembling while seeing for help. I offered her to sit, just opposite to my table.
I know her since a decade. Linda once used to stay near by one of our old property — along with her family. Her fascinating pair of eyes were the attraction for the world. I wouldn’t hesitate to accept that once upon a time, I too fell in love with those eyes. Years ago, during our 20s, she was beautiful. Even now too she is!
Linda’s father was a reputed businessman and during those days. Winslet family was holding a glory and status that was definitely out of my league to achieve. Perhaps that could be the reason that I never expressed my feelings before her and we just remained as a good friend. Later, as per the news, Mr. Winslet suffered a vigorous loss in business and moved out of their mansion as the bank locked down many of their properties including that house. There was no trace of Linda or her family after that.
“Linda! I am John. Do you recognise me?” I was surprised the way she called me Sir instead of calling me by my name as she once used to do. Time helps them to get and forget!
“Oh John! I’m sorry! I couldn’t recognise. I am in trouble. Help me. Please!!!” Linda quickly recognised. She got up from the chair, held my hands and seemed a bit relieved yet didn’t look astonished. It was sure that she was disturbed. I presumed that, it was probably due to her mother died. But I was not sure what made her rush to police station now as she mentioned that her mother passed away days ago. Before she said, I predicted something misfortune might have happened with her.
“What happened to Mrs. Winslet?” I asked her while offering a glass of water to calm her down.
“Three people are murdered.” I was shocked listening that from her. Linda was beautiful and the constant fear in her eyes was clearly visible. I was asking her about the incident at the same time had to consolidate her. Being a cop, I needed to pretend rough and straight but for Linda, I was soft. I always used to be weak when it is about her.
“Who killed them and when?” I asked her, “and who are the other two people?”
“Driver Robert and gardener Bismil…all are dead. John you need to help me.” She said and looked at me as if she now needed her friend to stand for her.
“Linda! Listen to me. You need to tell me what happened there. Did you see or know the killer?” I asked the obvious questions and expected her to respond.
“Come with me. I need to show you the killer. Something is there that forced me to rush to you.” She talked confident as if she already knew that I work as a cop here! I couldn’t believe that the killer was still present at her place even after committing such horrifying act. I didn’t cross question her rather decided to go to her place for the further investigation.
“How did you survive?” I asked and she replied, “I ran out.”
“That makes sense. But how do you know the killer would still be there? Do you know him?” I was trying to figure out some sense out of her restlessness. She was confusing me at times and the next moment she would stare at me with innocent pair of eyes.
“John! I can’t tell you anything right now. You have to come with me.” Now that Linda stood up and here eyes turned complete red. She must have cried a lot. It wasn’t possible for me to leave the station and go with her. There were nobody at the police station. So I gave a call to Brad, my subordinate to come down so that I can leave for Linda’s place. I dialled his number from landline.
“Hello! Brad… Could you please be present here right now. There is a murder case. A friend of mine…..” And the call got abruptly disconnected. It was cloudy outside. Perhaps that could be one reason behind the network congestion. Brad heard that He had to come. So I decided to wait for couple of minutes till he turns up.
“John! You need to come with me right now.” Linda was impatient. Almost 10 minutes passed since I called Brad. We didn’t talk anything within that period.
“Lets go then.” I decided to leave the station. I instructed Linda to go sit in the car when I was keeping a file at its place. I was stepping out and right then, Brad arrived. He was carrying questions in his eyes and asked,” What happened? You called me at this time?”
“Thanks Brad. I am now leaving with Linda, my friend. Someone killed her mother and servants. I guess I have to rush as she is sitting in the car. Please be here and wait for me to return.” I spoke to him in a real rush and walked towards the car. Brad was giving me a suspicious look all the time. I ignored as Linda was in the car and waiting. Brad always used to be curious. But at that moment, he was constantly staring at the car and then towards me. I started from there.
Being in police, I always tried to give priority to my job and responsibilities. There were several cases I worked on, when I needed to work post midnight — at times many continued nights in a week.
“Did you see the killer? Do you know his name?” All the way I tried to gather information but Linda was silent and sometimes sobbing. So I decided not to disturb her much. I was a cop but before that I was a friend to her.
Her place was only 15 minutes away from the station. We reached. It was a A-frame old house with a name plate hanging on the gate. Winslet’s home was probably one of those left properties and was completely devastated.
I was surprised how quickly she got down the car and held the gate open! I drove towards the parking. Linda was seeming so different.
“Linda! The front door is open!” I noticed the front door was held open. She explained as she ran away to save herself from the killer, since then its open.
“You should have locked the killer inside! He would have escaped.” I said. I quickly held my revolver ready and stepped ahead of Linda. She followed me inside the home.
The house was smelly. It seemed since a long time No-one did dusting there. How come Winslet family stay here! I looked back for Linda but she wasn’t there. Surprised…!
“Linda!” I called up for her. I heard the echo of my own voice in there. By that time I was sure except me and Linda, no-one else was there. But where did Linda go! I was worried and fearful.
“Linda! Stay with me. Where did you go?” I called for her once again while walking towards the living room. The smell was unbearable as I covered my nose with a handkerchief.
Aah! There were two dead bodies on the floor. Its Mr and Mrs. Winslet! But What is this! The dead bodies were days old and parts of those started decomposing — leaving deadly smell around. Where is Linda! And why she didn’t mention about Mr. Winslet’s murder!!!
I quickly walked out of the living room and started searching for Linda. Why did she came after so many days! Why not on the day of murder! Some thoughts bothered me and the way Linda suddenly disappeared…
“Linda! Linda!!” I walked the corridor. The mysterious silence was disturbing enough. Another shocking crime scene! A bearded man in a black kurta was lying dead on the terrace. He must be the gardener Bismil — as per Linda said. Driver Robert was dead days ago and the body was hanging from a branch of an oak tree in the backyard. I almost got a heart attack when I saw that from an open window.
Wind-chimes were creating a mysterious jingle and What!! Linda is singing…!
I felt like my heart would stop pumping when I heard her voice. I saw nobody behind me but the voice was clear. I followed the jingle of wind chimes was coming from a balcony, attached to a room — upstairs.
I was walking through the stairs. Linda was now loud and clear. What made her sing lullabies now! Is she out of her mind or mentally shocked after her family’s assassination! Or something I probably wouldn’t understand!
“Linda! What’s wrong? Are you up there?” I raised my voice a little while walking towards the closed room.
The door was half closed. I pushed and it smoothly opened. I stepped inside. Linda’s voice was clear but there was no presence of her. I saw the wind chimes hanging from the roof of the balcony. There were patches and scratches of blood on walls. The room was messy and someone was been captivated in there for quite a long time! There were broken chains and one part was still attached to the bed. I saw the blood spattered cloths of a lady on the bed. It was the same dress Linda was wearing several minutes ago but they were neat! I walked towards the balcony.
“Johnny Jonny!” Lullabies stopped suddenly and Linda called my name. When I turned back, I saw her standing in front of the mirror and combing her hair… and laughing out loudly! I could only see her reflection in the mirror. Her hands and legs were tied with chains and drops of fresh blood were around her wrists. She suddenly stopped and turned her head towards me and smiled. Her teeth were filthy. She again sang and now she was questioning, “Johnny Jonny?”
“Yeeee-eee-ssss Pa-ppp-pa!” I suddenly started feeling a heart ache. I tried to connect all the dots. Back in there, at the police station, when I told I would go with Linda, Brad looked at me suspiciously as he couldn’t see anyone around me. Brad couldn’t see anyone in the car and would have thought that I was out of my mind. Oh God! Linda killed her parents!!! I looked at her. She had pale skin and one can count veins on her face now. She was looking like something inhuman. I stepped backward to move away from Linda — holding my chest. It was a deadly heart attack. And then, suddenly Linda was swifter and came closer towards me. I could see her so close that her loud breathe was hitting my face. She bent her head, smiled and with a blink of an eye, her expression was different. She pushed me down or may be I slipped!
I fell down the terrace on a rocky base in the garden. It was an abandoned grave. The only thing I could see before my eyes left closed, ‘ A Grave of Nobody’s Darling — Linda Winslet, Born: 19-06-1978, Died: 13-09-2001 ‘. What! Linda is dead? But…
Who must have killed her and buried her in backyard?
What About Winslet Family?
…I couldn’t think anything and out of pain, I fainted.
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