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The Dead Man's Eyes - Chapter 8

by Geetashree Chatterjee
(New Delhi)

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Chapter 8

The sun had now dipped into the pond. The birds were chirping their last good byes. The boy came out of the attic and shut the door behind him. His demeanour was unusually placid. His eyes had lost the searching tinge. Truth had always been the harbinger of unruffled calm. He slowly climbed down the stairs.


Someshwar was exhausted. The day's activity had taken a toll on him. Meetings, discussions, dictation, going through and signing documents, the paraphernalia of busy office time, which once considered revitalizing, now, irritated him. He had a throbbing head ache. He had rubbed a balm but it seemed useless as the pain continued. He closed his eyes and reclined on the sofa next to the bed. The lights were deliberately switched off. Darkness was somehow soothing to stressed nerves.

There was a soft footfall. Someshwar opened his eyes. The sofa on which he sat faced the door. The curtain moved a little. Someshwar jumped, "Who is it?" The boy entered and stood there looking at him or perhaps through him, he could read his face and mind even in the dark. "Oh! Its you?" Someshwar sounded relieved, "Why don't you come inside and sit?" The boy did not move but his lips parted, "You did it. Didn't you?"

Someshwar opened his mouth to ask what but at the same time he knew it was futile. The dreaded moment had come. The boy knew. But how? The boy spoke again, "You killed him, didn't you?"

"I was not alone," Someshwar replied, his voice was unexpectedly calm.

"No. You were not. Dr Roy helped you in forging the reports. Did he also assist you in administering the lethal dose?" The boy sounded accusatory.

"It was meticulously planned and executed over a period of six months. Slow poisoning which would only damage the heart but not the eyes." Someshwar's voice was a tired whisper.

"You did it just for the eyes?" The boy was strangely agitated quite against his nature.

"No! My boy. It was Mukherjee's rash, drunken driving which caused the accident in which your parents died. He then used his contacts to hush up the case." Someshwar ejaculated.

"Then how did you come to know that it was him?" The boy asked.

"Money, my son, money speaks, especially at the lower rung of the ladders that are more conversant with the gory details but are compelled to keep mum because of the higher up's orders or pressure."

But the boy was unstoppable. "A crime begetting another crime, Dadu! How do you justify that? Not only did you wrong but also made others wrong with you." The boy cringed visibly as he said these words.

"I did not force anybody, my child. Manik, Bela, they all had their reasons to hate him."

"Even Beladi?" The boy sounded incredulous.

"Yes, the poor woman never got the status of his wife though she sacrificed her entire life for him." Someshwar agonized.

"And Manik Kaku?" The boy was plain curious.

"Manik's son worked in Mukherjee's firm. To save his skin from a million dollar scam, Mukherjee put the entire blame on Manik's son who was otherwise innocent. All evidences were made to point towards him. His conviction was a foregone conclusion. The day previous to the final verdict, Binoy committed suicide. The stage was set so impeccably that Manik, though suspicious, could not point a finger at Mukherjee." Someshwar continued his voice tearful,"Raghavan as Mukherjee's family solicitor had to assist him in the macabre game. But he could not pardon Mukherjee or himself thereafter. He might have smelled something fishy behind the old man's death but chose to let sleeping dogs lie. My boy! It is natural justice that the man who was responsible for snatching away your eyesight had to pay for it by giving you back his eyes?" Someshwar relapsed into an uneasy silence!

"Untimely though!" The boy ended the incomplete sentence.

It was pitch dark inside the room. The dim light of the corridor outside threw ghostly patterns on the floor through the filigreed net of the curtains. The boy took a step back without speaking further and melted in the corridor. Someshwar sat immobile for sometime. Then he heard the click of the cordless phone fitted on the corridor wall. His limbs went cold. He got up with a lurch and staggered outside.

The boy was keeping back the receiver in its holder. He turned back. There was an odd colour to his eyes. It was no more blue. It was a shade of gray. A vivid gray!!! His lips curled in a sarcastic snarl" "Don't worry Dadu! I am not calling the Police. Moreover, I have destroyed those papers which you had hidden in the attic. You should have never done that. Why didn't you destroy them before?" Someshwar had once read somewhere that the culprit always left clues behind which in the long run gave him in. He wanted to say that he always knew that one day he would have to give reply to these questions which now floated in the air, some answered, some unanswered and some left unsaid. But he could not utter a single word. The only thing that spoke volumes was the silence which hung low and dense between the two mute figures. Nevertheless, Someshwar could feel his taut muscles relaxing. He let out a long sigh slowly almost enjoying the breath ejecting from his nostrils fanning his face. He smiled a little lopsidedly as he turned around to enter his room. He would rest now for a while.

He could feel the boy's eyes on him. Watchful. Attentive. Observant. Someshwar knew a judicial probe and verdict would have been too easy an escape for him. His secret was out. He was off the burden he had carried for so long. He did not suffer an iota of guilt, remorse or repentance at what he had done. He had waited for long to bring forth poetic justice. He was a perseverant man. He had never given in to fate. But he knew it was fate that had dealt the final blow. As long a he lived with or without the shadow of his past, the dead man's eyes would always be following him every wakeful, living moment of his remaining life.

The End

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Jul 18, 2013
Amazing drafted & connected
by: Rupak S

Hi Geetashree,

It was amazing reading your novel. I wanted to complete with break but unfortunately i have to complete in one go as the heart never listened to the mind & made me sit & complete the entire novel...

Amazing choice of words, i like reading novels & the best part is while reading I can visualize the sequences as a picture. I'm sure this can be the bestseller novel if you get this printed.

Wishing you all the best, dont know whether you'll be able to get my message but still my heartful wishes for your writings.

Rupak Sriwastwa

May 05, 2011
Dear Avishek...
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

Thanks for reading and appreciation

May 03, 2011
by: Avishek Gupta

Wonderful story Geetashree di. Loved it!

Apr 26, 2011
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

How I wait for your opinion!!!Thanks a lot for taking so much pain and reading the novella at one go. To your question the only answer is human error. A flaw in the game plan. A culprit's tendency to leave a clue behind. More so because here is a man who is not given to homicide but does so in an impassioned state of mind.

Apr 26, 2011
by: Jitendra Mathur

Geeta Ji,

Suprabhat (It's around 3.15 a.m.). I have read your complete novella in one go only, start to finish. You are a master writer, keeping the interest of the reader alive, from chapter to chapter. The mystery gets folded in the first seven chapters and unfolded in the final one, startling the reader.

Now one small question from my side. I repeat the boy's question itself - why didn't the culprit destroy the papers earlier instead of hiding them in the attic ?

I wish you all the best for your future writings. Geeta Ji, such novella is difficult to be published in book form because a full-fledged book requires a lengthier stuff. However let this excellent novella published in serial form in some English magazine.

Waiting for a full-fledged novel to come out of your brains and sending you my sincere compliments coupled with the good wishes ever-present in my heart for you,

Jitendra Mathur

Apr 24, 2011
Hi Vimala
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

I first wrote down this story in my diary. It took near about two days. But when I started posting the same on iww I found gaps in the narration which needed to be plugged in. I added a few more chapters and rewrote a few more. I am quite relieved now that the novella is finally complete and out of my system. But not very satisfied technically speaking. I don't know whether another novella will be written very soon because of my busy schedule. But I am happy that I have been able to post this on iww and you all are finding it worthy of a read. Thanks a lot.

Apr 24, 2011
Hi Lakshmi...
by: Geetashree Chatterjee

When I last discussed the novella with you I was afraid that I was loosing grip on the narration. A few portions had to be re-written and elaborated. I am glad that you liked the complete version. And very relieved too that I have finally been able to put the whole story through. Thanks for spending time in reading this serial novella. Your encouragement means a lot to me. But I don't know whether I'd be able to write another one so soon.

Apr 24, 2011
by: Lakshmi

Hi Geeta,

Thanks for writing a beautiful novella.
I enjoyed reading the whole novella, especially the concluding chapter.
Looking forward for more from you,

Apr 24, 2011
by: vimala ramu

It is surprising how you managed to pen this descriptive narrative, Geetha in your busy professional routine. Well done !

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