Category: Mystery and adventure

Mysteriously yours: Chapter Seven

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Mr. Roberts was shocked. The woman turned around to see what had happened. “Hello Dr. Pristine, Edward’s favourite cousin!”, said Veronica with contempt. Evan looked at Veronica as though she was his saviour. Had she been a minute late, he would have been killed just as Sonia was. “Come here, Evan”, she signalled him to come near her and enquired, “Are you okay?” “Yeah”, he said, though frozen with terror. “Throw away the injection now, Pristine!”, shouted Veronica. “You killed my sister! She never died of sleeping pills! Death was injected to her by you!”, she cried, “Mrs. Roberts recommended Sonia that you could help her out of her emotional trauma! But you killed her!!”

“Yes, I killed Sonia”, she continued coldly. “Mr. Roberts is my uncle. After Edward’s death he came to me and asked me why did he kill himself. Edward had only told me about his fantasy for Sonia. I tried convincing Sonia to marry him , as she was my patient. But she madly admired Evan and just didn’t listen to me. Six months ago, Edward asked her out for a millionth time. I accompanied him to Sonia’s place. She slapped him in frustration. Taken aback, he killed himself. When uncle came to ask me, I narrated him the entire incident. Together, we planned to kill Sonia at an appropriate time. For the next six months I tortured Sonia whenever she came to me for being counselled. I threw away her paintings and made her feel guilty about Edward all the time. I made her hate Evan as well as herself. Devastated, she stopped coming to me.”

“You cruel lady!”, Veronica was about to slap her when a police officer stopped her. “Mr. Roberts, how did you kill her then?” “One day, my wife was not at home. I kept a close watch on Sonia’s movements. I called up Pristine and asked her to carry her death injection. It had a fatal drug called Fatalizine, which when once injected to someone, could kill them within a few seconds. We entered Sonia’s house. I told her that I was going to showcase a drama. The protagonist has to kill herself and thus I need her to write a suicide note. Sonia was the only artist I knew. I said I had not brought any materials and asked her to use her own. She wrote it as I dictated, not knowing that I was going to use it to portray her own murder as suicide. She wrote it for me and Pristine took over. She asked her how she was feeling. Sonia said she was very upset. Pristine offered to inject her a drug that would relax her. She assured her it would not have any side effects. After convincing her a lot, she agreed. She was willingly taking it, hence she did not shout like how Evan did. Within a moment, Sonia was over and our revenge was taken. Then, Pristine kept this empty pack of sleeping pills near her corpse. We quickly left from there as though nothing had happened. We were back home before my wife.”

“The next day my wife told me she was going out. She stupidly went to visit Sonia because Sonia had hardly come to see us ever since Edward’s death. She saw her dead and screamed. She called me. I myself called the police as it would ensure nobody suspected me.” “Well played, Mr. Roberts. And as for you, Pristine, I suspected you from the moment I visited your clinic. Your name plate- Dr. Pristine Roberts was enough to beget suspicion. Your picture at the Roberts’ place and your affection towards Edward was evident of your involvement in my sister’s murder. You both planned your game well, but your mistakes helped me trace your trail. I played it your way and you were trapped. Have a great time planning things in prison, both of you!”, Veronica yelled.

The police officers arrested both of them. While they were leaving, they saw Mrs. Roberts outside the door, weeping. “I never expected my son’s father to be a murderer! You killed an innocent girl for no reason, John!!!!! Arrest him, officers”, she said and made way for them to leave. Veronica went to her and hugged her. Both of them cried for long, without uttering a word. After a long pause, Veronica asked Mrs. Roberts to shift to her place as both were without a family now. Evan married Veronica and they all stayed together at Veronica’s place, along with Evan’s mother. Time and again, they missed their beloved ones who were gone. But they stayed happy for the rest of their lives, as Sonia and Edward would have wished to see them, always.

Mysteriously yours: Chapter Six

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“Now look at Sonia’s diary and the third painting! You join the dots and you know who’s done it!”, she said triumphantly. Veronica opened Sonia’s diary. All its pages had been burnt. However, the last page was intact. It read:

Revenge has been taken.

One down, one to go.

Sonia 

Evan

Veronica looked at the third painting carefully. The meaning sank in now. “The coffin in the painting indicates Edward’s suicide. The ‘I didn’t’ speech bubble leads us to the conclusion that everyone considered Sonia responsible for his suicide. Someone close to Edward had been plotting against her in order to avenge his death. The murderer might have been blaming Sonia for Edward’s death. She has been murdered for the same reason”, said Veronica. “The murderer’s next target is you, Evan. You too are in danger now”, Veronica alarmed him.  “But why me?”, he asked out of fear for his life. “You were the reason why Edward could never get Sonia. She wanted to marry you, so she refused to marry him. Depressed, Evan killed himself. The murderer will assume that he has successfully avenged Edward’s death only when he kills you as well. After Sonia, it was you who was responsible for Edward’s attempt to kill himself, according to the assassin”, informed Veronica. “I don’t want to die, Veronica!”, he yelled out of terror.

“We won’t let you die. Two deaths weren’t avoided. This one will”, she said with determination. “We need to set a trap to beckon the murderer. We shall trap the hunter by pretending to feed his prey to him”, she said. “What?”, asked Evan, his mind boggling. “Just do as I say,” she said, “Wait here at the table. I’ll be here in a while. Do not move till I ask you to, no matter what happens.” “Okay”, he said, still not able to get even a word of what she was saying.

Veronica left the house. She rushed to the Roberts and rang the bell. Mr. Roberts opened the door. “Oh hi. What brings you here?”, he asked, a bit annoyed. She replied, “I was only here to tell you that the doctors had given me some tampered postmortem reports. Evan has got the actual reports on my table in the living room. Please take care that nobody enters my home. I have to go out for a while”. “Alright”, he said and slammed the door. His behaviour vexed her, but she did not say anything. She fled from there. She waited quietly in a corner, where she could not be seen.

Ten minutes later, she saw a woman climb the stairs. She was tall and quite young. Veronica could not see her face as it was very dark. The woman entered the Roberts’ house and the door was shut. Veronica waited patiently. She knew what their next step would be. Within fifteen minutes, Mr. Roberts and the woman stepped outside. They knocked at Veronica’s door. Evan opened the door. Mr. Roberts slammed it shut. For the next few moments, there was no noise. “Help!!!”, suddenly she heard Evan shouting. She rushed towards her home and pushed the door ajar. “The game is over, Mr. Roberts”, she said and switched on the lights. Following her was a team of policemen, the same ones whom the Roberts had called the day they discovered Sonia dead.

Mysteriously yours: Chapter Five

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Veronica rushed to the Roberts. Only Mrs. Roberts was at home. Veronica rang the bell. Mrs. Roberts asked her to get in. She seemed pleased to see Veronica. “How are you, dear?”, she asked her. “Mrs. Roberts,”, she continued in a grave voice, “We both are in the same boat now. We’ve lost a loved one; we can help each other feel better.” “Yes, my child”, said Mrs. Roberts. “I am sorry to ask this, but when did Edward…”, asked Veronica, hesitatingly broaching upon the subject. “14th September, 2013. It’s been six months, but it seems as though it was yesterday. He popped in too many sleeping pills, just like Sonia. Sad that both met the same fate at the end. Sonia also stopped visiting us after that. i suddenly felt I lost two children and not one”, she sobbed. Veronica was convinced that Edward’s death had something to do with Sonia.

Veronica observed their house. It seemed as though many paintings had been removed from the walls. “What’s wrong with the walls?”, asked Veronica, hoping to change the topic. “Edward removed all the paintings in the house before ending his life. Maybe he was too angry. He never shared anything with us though”, Mrs. Roberts said. Veronica was intrigued. Everything had to do something with Sonia and Edward! She thought of moving around the house, looking for some distinct clue. “May I use the washroom”, she asked. “Oh yes. Go straight and then left”, Mrs. Roberts showed her the way. Veronica saw the house- a clean kitchen. One door had Edward’s name on it. The peculiar ER shone, gilded on the door. This too was made by Sonia. Veronica had guessed it right. ER was none other than Edward Roberts.

There were many things kept in the messy room. Piles of books covered with dust. It seemed as though it had become their store room. There was another pile of scrap newspapers. On top of these, was a blue coloured diary. Veronica peeked closer. It was Sonia’s diary! But what was Sonia’s diary doing in that room? She had been looking for this diary since days. Her quest was finally over. She slid it in her bag. She saw an old picture on the wall. It had Edward along with a girl somewhat his age. It was a familiar face, thought Veronica. She went back to the living room. She asked Mrs. Roberts about the picture. “Oh, that’s Edward’s favourite cousin. They both loved each other a lot.” Veronica barely maanged a smile and said “Oh okay.”

The bell rang. Mr. Roberts was back. He was startled on seeing Veronica. “Hello”, Veronica said. “Hi. Are the postmortem reports out, dear?”, he asked. Veronica replied in the affirmative. “The doctors are lying, though. They say she died of an overdose of  sleeping pills. I know that they are lying!!”, she said, her face red. “Or maybe you’re thinking too much”, Mr. Roberts remarked. “Oh, John”,  Mrs. Roberts signalled him to keep quiet. “Thank you, Mrs. Roberts”, said Veronica before leaving, “it was a pleasure talking to you”. “Do visit us often”, said Mrs. Roberts. “Sure”, Veronica smiled and left.

Meanwhile, Evan was waiting for Veronica outside the house. “What are you doing here?”, she looked at him with disregard. “I am guilty for behaving that way with Sonia… I want to help you, Veronica, in finding the culprit”, he said. “Okay. Come in”, she asked him to follow her. “I have assembled many clues about the murderer. He/she or maybe they, are close”, she said. There was a sparkle in her eyes today. “What have you deduced?”, he asked her.

She went inside and quickly brought the three paintings that she had taken from Dr. Pristine’s clinic. She removed Sonia’s diary from her bag. “I suspect he gifts had been sent to Sonia by Edward Roberts, the Roberts’ son,” she said. “How can you be so confident?”, he asked her.

“These paintings”, she showed him the first one. “See this carefully. Do you see this door? This door looks exactly like the door of Edward’s room. His door has ER written on it. Sonia too has painted ER in bold here. This word reads DANGER. Sonia thought he was a danger or threat to her. That is why she made this painting. I assume Edward sent the presents to Sonia and pestered her to marry him. She did not agree because she loved you. Now you see why she wanted you to marry her? This could have saved her life from Edward! Edward might have threatened to kill her if she didn’t marry him”!

“Oh no”, said Evan with a sigh. He felt the guilt pangs pricking him deeper than usual.

Mysteriously yours: Chapter Four

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Veronica suddenly reckoned she had seen the date on one of those unopened gifts! She rushed to Sonia’s wardrobe where they were kept. Her prediction was right. The last gift was given to Sonia on that day. Only Evan could now answer her questions. Did he know what happened six months ago? Veronica went to bed thinking all about the scattered clues she had seen ever since she entered the house.

She woke up at seven a.m. and finished few household chores. She was about to call Evan when the doorbell rang. It was him. “How are you?”, she asked him. “Fine”, he responded. She let him in. “Evan, I need you to tell me all that I do not know about you and Sonia”. Veronica had the knack of choosing the most manipulatively perfect words while talking, which never revealed her intentions behind asking something. “Okay. We were going through a lot of problems”, he said, pensively. “Why?”, she asked. “Because I had ceased to love her.”, he replied, embarrassed. “Huh? Er.. When did you meet her the last time?”, she asked, to know whether he was the last person to meet Sonia before she died.

“At Christmas, when you came to spend the vacations with us”, he said. “Never after that?”, she asked in extreme disbelief. “No. After Christmas, I went to stay at my aunt’s place in London. I never saw Sonia since then”, he said. “How did you come to know about Sonia’s death?”, she asked him, recollecting what Mr. Roberts told her- he had not informed Evan about Sonia, he reached there all by himself.

“I came to know only when I reached here. I had an argument with Sonia the previous night. She was angry and depressed as I refused to marry her. I decided to visit her and sort it out. But I was too late..”, he replied. “Do you have your tickets?”, she asked. She couldn’t trust him easily. He started frisking his wallet. “Yes. Good I didn’t throw them.”, he handed them to her after looking for them for nearly ten minutes. He had gone to London immediately after New year and returned just the day Sonia died. “I didn’t love her but I could never kill her”, he said, almost at the verge of breaking down.

Veronica further investigated, “When did your problems begin?” “Three months back”, he replied. “Did she tell you about someone who was troubling her?”, asked Veronica with a hope to extract some clue regarding the murderer. “No, but I once remember her telling me to marry her as she was in danger. I ignored it thinking she had become a lunatic.” “You’re such a disgusting person, Evan”!, yelled an enraged Veronica. “No wonder Sonia never opened the gifts you had been sending her until six months ago!”, she blurted. “What gifts? She never liked receiving any gifts. I never got her any”, he said. Veronica rushed to Sonia’s wardrobe and showed him the gifts. “You DIDN’T gift these to her?”, she asked, alarmed. “No! I don’t know who gave these to her! She never told me about any such gifts!”, said Evan. Veronica had to first find who had gifted these to Sonia. Only then she could find what happened six months ago and why Sonia was killed.

“You may leave now”, she told Evan. “I hate you because you hurt my sister!”, she looked at him despicably. He left without a word. Veronica found Sonia’s telephone directory near her dressing table. She had to find another ER, who was connected to Sonia’s murder.  Maybe it was this ER who killed her. She started browsing the directory for some clue. She saw one name and she was startled. Is this the one? Veronica decided to find out for herself the very next day. She suddenly thought she was inches away from the murderer. All she had to do was to entrap him/her. The mystery was almost solved.

Mysteriously yours: Chapter Three

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Mr. Roberts interrupted. “Edward was our one and only son. He killed himself six months ago. Nobody knows why.” His face was fuming with rage as he said that. “I am sorry to hear that”, said a gloomy Veronica. She was herself doomed, she had nobody in the world now whom she could call hers. Her parents had died long ago. Sonia was her one and only loved one in the world. Now she was gone too. The Roberts at least had each other.

“Perhaps I should come later, take care”, she said and left. She reached home. Edward followed by Sonia. Was there some link that connected their deaths? Sonia’s diary!! She could find everything in it!! Sonia always poured her heart out in her diary. Veronica started frisking each corner of the house. She had to find the diary anyhow. She looked everywhere. She always kept it in her cupboard. It wasn’t there. Nor was it anywhere else. It was nowhere to be found. Her diary was missing. Maybe her diary could speak volumes about her murderer. Hence, he/she took it after killing her. This seemed a planned conspiracy to Veronica.

Veronica saw a visiting card on Sonia’s dressing table. It had the details of Dr. Pristine, a psychiatrist. She dialled the number. “Hello, is this Dr. Pristine?” asked Veronica. “Yes, who is this?”, replied the voice. “Veronica Sanders. I am Sonia’s sister. Did Sonia visit you regularly?”, asked a curious Veronica. Pristine replied, “Er… yes”. “May I come to meet you now?”, asked Veronica. “Okay”, replied the doctor in a somewhat reluctant voice. “I’ll be there in ten minutes, doctor”, said Veronica and disconnected the call.

She reached there in no time. She asked Pristine why exactly did Sonia come to her. “She was depressed. She had her own problems”, said Pristine. “If you could elaborate?”, Veronica requested. “She had problems with her boyfriend, Evan. He told her that he did not love her anymore. She loved him deeply though. This made her feel quite lonely.” Another evidence against Evan. Veronica discovered a pile of papers in a far-end of the room. She saw a familiar sign on them. It was Sonia’s ‘S’. Sonia always put that sign on whatever she wrote, drew or painted. It was also there on the so-called suicide note, Veronica recollected. “Doctor! Those are Sonia’s paintings, right? How dare you dump them like that?”, screamed Veronica. She ran and grabbed those paintings. Muttering a thank you, she rushed home to see them.

Meanwhile she called up Evan. She had to sort things out and know if Evan was really her sister’s murderer. It was one p.m. and he had not yet turned up. He said he was not feeling well and that he’d come the next day. Veronica was annoyed. She threatened him that if he did not turn up then, she’d definitely come to his place.

She went home to see the paintings. There were three of them. The first one had a door, with the words DANGER written on it in bold. While the rest of the alphabets were painted black, the last two alphabets, E and R were painted in red. This immediately reminded her of those unopened presents and the notes attached to them. Was Sonia aware that her life was in danger? The other picture had her own self to the extreme left, crying. The extreme right showed Evan walking away from her. This clearly indicated that she was not on good terms with Evan anymore. She couldn’t interpret what the third one meant, though. It showed a coffin. Sonia sat beside it and there was a speech bubble near it: I DIDN’T! Veronica couldn’t guess what exactly Sonia had referred to. What did she mean by that? Was she being accused for someone’s murder? Did she kill someone unintentionally? “These paintings are going to lead me to the murderer”, she thought.

She folded them and put them in place. Her gaze fixed at the third painting again. There was a date engraved on the coffin: 14.09.2013. She recollected having seen that date elsewhere. But where? Besides, what exactly happened six months ago? Why did Sonia paint that picture? History has many secrets buried deep inside itself, Veronica thought. Only digging into history could solve this mystery.

Mysteriously yours: Chapter Two

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Veronica held the suicide note in her hand. “Evan! Do you recognize this paper?”, she asked him. “Er.. No”, he said, as though he had asked her the most difficult chemical equation. Veronica always thought Evan was too handsome for his brains. “This is glossy paper! The one Sonia used for making greetings and letters for her clients!”, she reminded him. Sonia was an artist and a painter  by profession. She even made cards. There was no home in Rosewood street that did not have a painting made by Sonia on its wall. She was clearly the best artist in town.

“But why would someone use such an expensive paper for writing a suicide note?”, questioned a baffled Evan. “Exactly!!”, said a triumphant Veronica, “I strongly suspect someone asked her to write it! If she’d have to write it, she’d use her own personal diary! She never wrote anything anywhere else!”. Evan still thought she was conjuring a likelihood of improbable events. “What about the sleeping pills?”, he again tested her. Veronica took the packet in her hand. She turned it back and saw it had no name. “Ha! What else do you need as evidence! These weren’t sleeping pills! They have no name! This is just another clue to mislead us!”, muttered an infuriated Veronica. “I guess you should leave now, Evan. See you next morning.” She coldly signalled him to leave. Without a word, he left.

Veronica entered Sonia’s room. She saw their bed, their childhood toys, their pictures. Some of her unfinished paintings. Veronica was about to cry. She opened Sonia’s wardrobe. She saw twelve presents which were never opened by Sonia. All distinctly wrapped in red. She opened each one of them. A soft toy, a wrist watch, a new phone, a key chain, a dress, a Valentines’ card, a book, paintbrushes and other painting paraphernalia, a bag, an expensive pen, a diary and a showpiece. Each present was almost red in colour and had a note pinned to it:

“Be mine.

With love from

E.R.

Mysteriously yours”

Veronica’s mind was sprinting. “Who is E.R.?”, she strained her brain. “Oh, Evan Russell”, she reminded herself. The gifts were sent to Sonia on the fourteenth of every month, for almost a year. However, the last gift had come to her six months ago. No gifts after that. “Strange”, she thought. Next, she checked Sonia’s phone. The last messages indicated that she had had a heated argument with Evan over something. Her last message to him was: “GET LOST! NEVER SHOW ME YOUR FACE AGAIN”! Evan’s reply: “YEAH! NOT EVEN WHEN YOU DIE!” Little did he know it would happen way too soon. Maybe Sonia was too stressed because of him and hence didn’t open his gifts. Was he the one who killed her?

The next morning she landed up at the Roberts residence to inquire what exactly happened that day. The fifty year olds considered Sonia like their daughter. Mrs. Roberts began to sob. “Sonia used to visit us regularly. However she had stopped visiting us since the past few months. Last night I decided to meet her as my friend wanted a painting for her new home. The door was left ajar. I went inside only to find her d…dead”, she began to weep bitterly. “Then she called me. We called the police and even informed you.”, Mr. Roberts completed the story, “However, we did not call Evan, he came by himself”. Veronica told them what she told Evan- she strongly suspected that Sonia was killed. “What?”, Mr. Roberts yelled out of terror. He sat there, transfixed. Veronica continued, “I shall not spare her murderer”, she growled with vengeance. “I still wonder how Evan came to know”, Mr. Roberts seemed to leave no stone unturned to direct Veronica’s attention towards Evan. “If it is him, today shall be his last free day”, said Veronica.

“First Edward, then Sonia!”, Mrs. Roberts was crying her heart out. “Who is Edward and what happened to him? Is this connected to Sonia?”, she asked out of utter curiosity. She thought she was nearing a treasure in the form of a clue. She had been connecting the dots ever since she saw the presents in Sonia’s wardrobe last night. All forces were evidently working against Evan. Were Evan, Sonia and Edward involved into this? Was Evan the culprit? Who killed Edward? She listened curiously to Mrs. Roberts.

Mysteriously yours: Chapter One

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Two a.m. The deserted streets were surely acting in her favour. Veronica Sanders was driving at an incredible speed. Had it been daytime, she would have knocked down more than a dozen cars in her way. She was speeding towards Victoria Avenue, her sister Sonia’s home. However, this USED TO BE her sister’s home. About an hour ago, she received a call from Mrs. Roberts, Sonia’s neighbour. Four words and Veronica’s head began to spin. Sonia is no more.

She sped up and reached Victoria Avenue. Evan, Sonia’s boyfriend was already there. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts had been wise enough to call the police. There lay her sister. Silent. Motionless. Just a body with no soul. No life. The police official turned to her. “Ms. Sanders”, he said, trying to offer her some condolence. Veronica was not someone who needed sympathy. She sat there transfixed, next to Sonia’s corpse. She did not even look at the officer. He continued, “Ms. Sonia Sanders killed herself. Here’s the suicide note.” He handed her a piece of paper. It read, “I am fed up of this world. I cannot go on anymore. I am going to kill myself. Goodbye. ” Short, but not at all sweet. Veronica read it over and over again. She kept looking at it in disbelief. The officer said, “I am sorry, Ms. Sanders. We shall take the body for a postmortem now.” Evan asked her to speak something. Veronica blurted, “She is not a body, officer! She is my sister!!” The officer did not say a word. Sonia was taken away for a postmortem. Mr. and Mrs. Roberts also asked for her leave. They asked her to come over to their place to sleep. Veronica only managed a soft thank you.

Evan and Veronica were the only ones in the room. Evan asked her if she was okay. “Sonia did not kill herself, Evan. She never could, she never would.” Evan looked at her as though she was sleep-talking. “A suicide note and an empty packet of sleeping pills. Where else do these things lead you?”, he almost yelled. “No, Evan. She didn’t kill herself.” “Then who did? A ghost?”, Evan was bewildered by Veronica’s confident words. “We’ll find out, Evan. Only if you help me.”, she replied. “Okay”, he said. “But how can you be so confident?”, he questioned. “See,” Veronica continued.