“There have been way to many deaths this week. I want the complete report on my table by tomorrow two o clock or you can plan to disappear from the department,” Commissioner’s voice thundered through the crisp morning air.

There had been not a day in the past one week when this scene had not been repeated.

I wanted to figure out a way to end all this, and its not like I wasn’t trying. But everytime I figured out his next move, the killer had already moved on, leaving behind another dead body for us to handle. But the dead body never came without some lead or a clue for the next victim. A scrap of paper with address or a name in blood on the floor.

All clues were encrypted. He was playing with us, challenging our intellect and planning his next move keeping all our actions in mind. He was aware about our limitations. He somewhere knew what we could do and what we couldn’t. And what we could think and what we couldn’t even fathom. There lies the difference. He understands us, manipulates us and then puts ahead his move. He doesn’t want us to win he wants to show it to us that despite all his clues and helps, we lose. Its this defeat that propels him further.

“I am giving you two days time Shekhawat after that you are off this case. Do you understand?” his voice went piercing through my body.

I quietly walked outside his office. I had to act fast and this time there had to be no mistakes or else we would be handling another post mortem. No this time I need to know what he is upto before he does it.

What had happened that night? I had received a call. There had been a few policemen with me and then there had been that lady. Yes that lady had said she had seen the man. He had been walking with a limp she claimed and he held a dog under his arm.

Cross-examine the lady again. I quickly scribbled in my red diary.

“Ram bahadur! Ram bahadur!” I shouted out for the head constable.

Jee sahab,” he came running across to my seat.

“Who had spoken to that old lady last night? Who had taken down her bayaan?” I asked him slowly.

Sahab I had,” he replied.

“Sit down. Now I am going to ask you a few questions and you are going to answer them like you are a witness not as a policeman. Ok?” I asked him.

I saw him settle down on the chair across me in a very uncomfortable way. I made sure I allowed him to first become at ease before I start the firing of questions. It had been a strange string of events. And everytime there had been something or someone which never quite fit the scene that had caught my eye. .

“Where did you meet her?” I asked.

“Right outside the gate of the society,” he replied.

“Where did you say you met her?” I asked again.

“At the gate of society. Sir kuch galat kiya kya?” he looked a bit alarmed.

“No No lets first continue. What did you ask her?” I continued to question.

“I asked her if she had seen anything suspicious or whether she saw someone running from here,” he continued to reply.

“And what did she say?” I asked some pieces falling into the puzzle now.

“She said there was a man with a mask and a dog under his arm limping away towards band stand area,” he replied.

“Ram Bahadur. Did this woman look a bit strange? Would you say there was something about her you would categorize as not normal?” I asked him.

To be continued. at We have our man-Part 2

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