by Nirupama Akella
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Matron chipped in breathlessly, ‘Lets just do it, shall we?’
Singh shook his head- they were all damn pig headed- thinking that murder was a game! He didn’t need college girls and Matrons around to catch murderers- but they just had not listened- Sue Danely had insisted on helping and had dragged the girls and a teacher into as well- and to make matters Parul had volunteered for the surprise act- she, Singh had firmly thought- had a death wish! He looked at Lata- whom he had thought of being sensible and not foolhardy as Parul! But they had all volunteered and turned up to see the show " Catching the Murderer”! He sighed and pressed the panel and the wall slid open. Parul hesitated and then went in followed by Singh and Inspector Chauhan. Parul descended the stairs slowly and softly- blood rushing in her ears and all the time thinking of her friend being struck down and left here to die! She came down and approached the inner room, neatly side stepping the dummy body, which did look like an actual human body. The inner door was wide open and she went in, the two men cautiously following her. She nearly tripped over the second dummy- but safe!- and then she frowned and automatically adjusted her spectacles- she could distinctly see a shape- a very feminine shape swathed in blue, back to her squatting on the floor reaching into the gap in the brick wall.
The two CID men were irritated- the girl was late! It was all Singh’s fault- bowing and giving in to the girls and Matron’s whims! Singh was going too soft in his old age- it was a good thing he was no longer in active service! This whole plan of surprising the murderer was going to fall to pieces if they didn’t show up fast. Crouching inn the darkness, they watched emotionlessly as the murderer reached out into the gap. Another second and their plan would be a total failure………
Parul moved in closer- this was the murderer- a woman with grey hair and dressed in blue. Deliberately, her heart beating she cleared her throat and held her breath. The figure stopped moving and sat still before slowly turning and Parul knew then she knew this person very well……..
To be continued......