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Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra

Gayathri Nair

Action Crime Thriller


3  

Gayathri Nair

Action Crime Thriller


The Conceiting Portrait (Part 10)

The Conceiting Portrait (Part 10)

5 mins 156 5 mins 156

“Jo, wake up.” Jo heard a faint whisper in her ear. “Wake up Jo.” She heard again. She was regaining her senses. She could feel that she was moving. There was an oxygen mask around her mouth. Someone held her hand. She could hear the rolling of wheels as that ‘someone’ called out for her. The bright light blinded her vision as she slowly opened her eyelids. “Jo!” the ‘someone’ yelled again. She could hear her own heavy breathing but couldn’t sustain her consciousness so she fell asleep again.


“Don’t worry, there is nothing much to worry about her. She’s probably neglected her health for too long. She will be fine in another couple of hours.” Jo heard when she had finally regained full consciousness and felt refreshed. She opened her eyes and found herself staring at the city hospital’s ceiling for the second time. She tried to get up when Max came to support her and said, “Don’t strain yourself. You heard what the doctor said. Just sit here and take rest.” “I can’t Max. Clara contacted me. I need her diary!” Jo said as she searched for her bag which had Clara’s diary. “What?! Are you alright?” Max placed his hand on her forehead. “Where is my backpack Max?” Jo asked. “With Blake of course. There is no way I’m holding that bag of yours. Always freaked me out!” Max chuckled intending to make it a joke and lighten the atmosphere but Jo didn’t seem to bother and had grabbed Max’s phone even before he knew it. She dialed Blake. “Blake, get here right now, else you’re dead!” She cut the line and stared at the door. “I’m here.” Blake slammed the door open. Jo jumped out of bed and took her backpack off his shoulders. She unzipped her bag and turned it upside down. Everything inside it fell down on the bed and stumbled upon the floor. She picked up the diary and re-read the pages Clara had asked her to. “That’s it!” she exclaimed. “Michele de la Vanilli is an excuse! It is not the spirit, it is the nano-tech!


Someone is emitting small particles of nano-tech in the viewer’s mind and messing up its brain chemistry which is causing an increased amount of hallucinations in one’s mind causing the person to believe the existence in all sorts of things that doesn’t exist!” she concluded. “I did not get any of that.” Max was perplexed. “So, Michele de la Vanilli is a diversion.” Blake said with raised brows. “Bingo! Clara said that Michele de la Vanilli is a part of the story but not the protagonist. There is someone who is doing this on purpose by making Michele the culprit and escape with the treasure.” Jo explained. “Wait, how did Clara say that in anyway? She never mentioned any of those in her diary.” Blake asked. “Her soul contacted me. Don’t ask me how; neither do I know but she did it somehow. She said that there is some kind of nano-tech and someone who has planned all these murders. Those twelve people before Clara and including Clara and me, there were 14 people on radar to be murdered. I’m the one who’s on his or her radar currently.”


“But how is murdering so many people going to help that person get the treasure you’re referring to?” Blake asked. “That is something we have to find out. But before that, we have a small task at hand.” Jo said sitting down on the bed. “Uh… Can anyone tell me what’s going on?” Max finally spoke. Jo looked at Max and then at Blake. She took a deep breath and narrated the entire story. Max listened carefully. There was a turmoil feeling of curiosity as well as anxiety but one thing sparked in him that no one else could figure out. “Guys, you have the answer right in front of you. Michele’s treasure is under Le musée Franco-américain de de ‘la Vanilli. It is so simple.” “How can you conclude that?” Jo asked. “It is so simple. If the world gets to know that nearly 14 people have died just because of looking at the hologram of a missing painting in Le musée Franco-américain de de ‘la Vanilli, not to mention the number of diseased citizens, the government will be forced to sell the remaining paintings and close the museum.


Since the museum will no more serve any purpose and will be a waste of the land occupied, they will tear it down and put up that plot of land for sale. Then there are two possibilities- One, the murderer himself will buy the plot and excavate the treasure with the help of some labor. Second possibility, which I feel is more certain to happen, is that he will himself dig in the ground in search of the treasure at night time when the museum is not completed torn down. If he does find the treasure in any of the two ways he will bid it or pawn it to a suitable consumer.” “But both of the possibilities are difficult to be executed. In the first scenario, if he uses labor, won’t the word get out? It’s is certainly possible that one of the laborers might spread the news. And even in the second scenario, won’t the CCTV cams capture the footage of a man digging in public property?” Blake asked. “Both of them are possible. About labor first; we live in a world of corruption and bribery. Once he finds such a large sum of asset, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind sparing some for the silence of the labor. Then the CCTV cams? You’re quite aware that all CCTV s are turned off in a metre’s radius of any under-development site, may it be construction or demolition. For a person who has killed so many people, it is a piece of cake!”


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