Zacharus Zap in the makers of House Arrest

by subhadeep bandyopadhyay

(A Novella - in 5 Parts)


Characters in order of appearance:

The Symbolic Suspect
Douglas John  - Detective from the investigating agency
Pazela -  Detective and colleague of John
Radcliffe Mcanzie - Their boss
Ddr. Azacus -  Handwriting expert
Zacharus Zap - Special officer and a detective
Abozad -  His most trusted friend and aid
Mr. Listings  - The bookshop owner
Jaalmani - The news correspondent of the daily THE TRAP
Father Ignasius -  Custodian of the church and principal
M.V.Sammaddar -  The Inspector
Ramavatar -  The tea seller
Raghu, Gangadeen -  The porters
The kid and his guardian 
Mr. Listing's Nephew 

Visoscape -  variable
Includes the poem "Hack thy mind"  By SUBHADEEP BANDYOPADHYAY

Part - 1


The computer console was switched on. From the jagged wires, it took a few seconds for the picture to become clear. Appeared before the eyes, shelves full of books of all kinds. Detective novels, psychological pieces, family travels, romance, etc. in the midst of scattered pieces of scientific journals and periodicals. On one side of a small rectangular table lay an ash tray filled with a dozen cigarette ends and a fresh heap of ash.
“Appears to be quite ca freak!” remarked Douglas john from the curvature of his spectacles. “Can you give me one good reason why we are peeping in to such a boring place?”
“Can we hear the sounds too?”, asked Pazela
“No, the orders are just to watch in case……”
Before the sentence of John got completed the door of the house after a minute jolt opened and entered a tall, burly man around 6 feet in height, dark complexioned, with a prominent chin and wearing blue t-shirt and brown trousers. He was carrying a packet in his left hand.
“Can you zoom a little bit towards the direction of his hand, Pazela?”

“Why! Do you think he may be carrying bombs to explode his own house or he is a maniac?”, this time John and Pazela were joined in their venture by Radcliffe Mcanzie, their boss, who was startled by the nature of the case, but was used to such rigors of duty and liked to share his intellect with young minds on mission!
“No, just for precaution…the agency tells us that the person needs to be under surveillance for an indefinite period or so as the situation may arise.”
“John, look he is talking to someone over the phone, can you track the number? Asked Pazela
“The agency has informed me that his calls are getting tracked and very soon we will be supplied with the particulars for investigation”, added Mcanzie
Over a cup of coffee and sandwiches the trio waited patiently for major developments. Through the polished glass panes of their cabin could be seen the rush of metropolis and the cacophony of trams and buses and so too the sight of the melodramatic moon, which in the turn of events appeared even more mysterious!

The next day Pazela was meeting Dr Azacus, the psychological expert with the fine ability of assessing personalities through handwriting and was among the very few of the chosen accomplished groupings.

“How do you assess him from his poems, which we have scanned and brought it to you?”
“Madam, you see these few days I have collected my own little information about his past and hobbies and interests and he appears to know very few people, though not a loner, beyond his writing profession.
“Sir, I would like to add that he possess a preliminary degree in psychology as per our records.”
“Adding this to my file of knowledge about him, one thing appears quite interesting his poems present dynamic outcomes!”
“But isn’t that creative liability?”
“May be or maybe not, we can only tell for sure after we study his works deeply for some time.”
“Can you guess his age from his writings doc?”
“Writings give an indication of mental age not physical one but it appears at least that that he has travelled well in reading as you say and writing as we see. I will be dumb for now till I can help you further with this. Good day! Ms.Pazela.

The record of his contacts and acquaintances made and assimilated in the form of a file reached the desk of chief of agency and thereafter several officers took the responsibility of collecting whatever little information possible of him from them and after feeding the facts in to the system the trio met again, this time not in the office cabin but in a hotel room to discuss the next course of action.

“Our contacts give us the information that he works up to 5 pm in writing firm that makes money by publishing catalog stories. He returns home, I mean the place we are constantly watching at 8pm.Goes out to have a chat with friends who live nearby, visits a restaurant for food, returns home and goes to sleep. He follows this routine with almost constancy.” said John
“I am not interested in what he does on week days in the guise of the writer but a tab needs to keep on him on the weekends when he gets the maximum time for himself. Set your looking glass at that time and see whom he meets and what he says.” ordered Mcanzie.
“Somehow the person appears psychopath to me and I don’t understand how he can be taken as a threat? Observed Pazela.

“It’s good that we don’t understand certain things and that’s why we are earning our bucks”, said Mcanzie and rudely ended the conversation.

17 days after on a Sunday…
The footage recorded showed the man busy in drawing certain pictures on a sheet with the help of a pen.
“Another of his hobbies!”, sarcastically said Pazela.

With every picture that got completed, his looks suggested that he is trying his best to decipher the inner meaning of his creations.
“The sketches do not seem to be a bit impressive”, observed Mcanzie “unless they are drawn with some hidden meaning and codes and are portrayed to convey certain messages to somebody.”
“But if he meets people or discusses his sketches with anybody we will certainly come to know”, added John “the latest information is before joining a writing firm, he was a primary school teacher and after that he worked in a garment factory and everywhere he was known for his brand of ideas, that set him apart and this was the reason why he could not remain in a job for a very long time.”
“All those changing the world stuff, isn’t it?”, asked Pazela

“His acquaintances referred those as out of the box ideas, some of which were irritating and weird and now we need to investigate how much harmful his ideas can be?”,said Mcanzie.
“But somehow this entire process of peeping appears bogus to me. What if he comes to know?, Douglas John remarked.
“Dear friends, firstly for security reasons only, we want him to know that we get a first hand view of his thoughts and actions. And the moment he tries to prove that he is being watched to somebody, the people around him will consider him insane, thanks to the image he has created over the years.”, asserted Mcanzie. At this a sigh did not evade the senses of the speakers.


End of Part 1 

Continued in Part 2