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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

Vatsal Parekh

Drama Thriller


4.8  

Vatsal Parekh

Drama Thriller


The Parked Car

The Parked Car

21 mins 192 21 mins 192

Surely, it was Dr Michallgen Shaw, the District Goods Checking Officer (DGCO) who drank tea with Mr John Falai, the Senior Improvising State Goods Checker (SISGC) who was his boss. Dr Shaw was in a good mood and his face was lit up with excitement. With such high limits of hope and joy he asked, “May, I even get some snack with a glass of buttermilk.” Mr Falai asked, “Why such good mood? Whenever I ask other times you fully refuse to my request. I shall immediately demand the canteen man to bring some fish soup, prawns curry and a glass of buttermilk.” He then called the canteen man and ordered him to bring these things with some chocolate cake. The canteen man agreed to bring our orders and went away, whistling shrilly and waving his small, tiny head. Mr Falai asked Shaw, “Why are you so cheerful, today?” “Sir, today the Great Trade Branch or a wide range of items will come from the west. 


If the ships reach here successfully and the goods enter the country, believe me sir, England will be rich and flowing with goods which would be rich and luxurious,” said Shaw. Then came the food and Dr Shaw’s craving stomach could not stop. His saliva began drooling fiercely. He picked up the spoon, fork and knife and started eating the food violently. Mr Falai grinned gleefully and asked, “What has happened to you today?” “Sir, when I had a call from Mr Doughlas about the Great Trade Branch, I grew extremely joyful and did not eat anything. I just directly came here to tell you about it. It’s the reason I was craving for food.” “Ok, so when are you going?” asked Mr Falai. “Ummm… maybe now,” said Dr Shaw. He got up, gently bowed Mr Falai and walked out of the room. Shaw took out his car keys, opened the door of his Morris car and drove to the port where the trade ship was about to arrive. He was humming the song that was the most famous in those times. 


Cheerfully driving the magnificent car on the highway, Dr Shaw noticed that the highway was abandoned and lonely on the particular day and had a peculiar feeling that someone was watching him continuously. He reached the port on time after a forty five minutes trip from Mr Falai’s office. Five minutes later came the ship that Dr Shaw was waiting for: a Cargo Ship. Now there was only one doubt left; whether it was the ship he desired or it was not. Then a pigeon flying above him dropped a message in a velvet red coloured envelope. Velvet red was the favourite colour of Mr Doughlas and he sent every letter in the velvet red envelope. Maybe it was a letter from him. He read the letter aloud “YOUR SHIP HAS ARRIVED AND IS STANDING IN FRONT OF YOU.” Dr Shaw told the ship captain to open the cargo and the captain obeyed him. Dr Shaw found a lot of chocolates in the cargo. He was shocked to find chocolates in England’s biggest cargo! He asked the captain, “Was there no other things in this ship? Was there no Great Trade Branch?” The captain replied, “Great Trade Branch? What is that? This candy ship is bringing imported candies from different parts of the world.” “Oh thank you,” said Dr Shaw and he had understood that it was a prank and someone was just acting like Mr Doughlas. He grew extremely furious. 


While returning home Dr Shaw saw that dusk had fallen and the sky was a dark shade of Prussian blue with stars tinkling and lighting the very dark sky. They were the only sources of light he could see. Then his car stopped and he saw that the fuel indicator was almost pointing at ‘E’, which means empty. A car stuck on a lonely highway, a very bad coincidence! Dr Shaw saw a short cat road with a signboard saying “LONDON- 10 kms.” Dr Shaw said, “I have enough fuel for 17 kilometres.” Dr Shaw drove on the cart road and…

Mr Joshua Bridge, the British detective was having a stroll in the local park. It was somewhat seven o’ clock and whole of the town was enjoying their sleep in the chilly winter morning of the London countryside. He was just walking back towards his house in the next town, which was the Bobby Town in Manchester, when he saw a something standing near the back gate of the garden which was closed by the garden authority a long time ago. It looked like a car. The thing was wrapped in a piece of white cloth. Till yesterday it was not there, but today somehow there was a car parked near the garden in the centre of the town. 


As it was early morning nobody had seen it until now. Joshua moved a little away from the car and with the power of his strong, muscular hand he moved the white cloth which covered the car. He then saw the most beautiful, red Morris car he had seen in his life. His intellectual curiosity led him towards the car which was a bright red Morris car. Joshua did not like cars and did not know much about the controls. He first, softly, tried to open the dented and partially broken door but it was of no use because it was tightly closed. Then he thought that his small, feeble attempts would only lead to a big drain of his useful energy that he could use to solve an important case, not knowing what was inside. He applied a strong jerk and with the same amount of energy he pulled the door towards himself. The flexible but fragile door came out and inside was laying a pen, an identity card and some other important documents. 


Also, there was Dr Shaw written on a chit of paper and the shiny, leather seats were stained with bright red blood. Joshua got scared and moved back a little. He understood that there was something fishy. He quickly ran to his house and switched on the ‘FIVE MINUTE NEWS’ on the transistor radio, going on the FLASH STAR NEWS CHANNEL that he heard every morning and liked the best. The news reporter was reading and dictating the news in a worried tone, “Exactly 30 Days ago Dr Michallgen Shaw disappeared on the short cart road leading to London. He was driving his red Morris car and was returning from the local port of London. Anyone who finds his car shall immediately report to the police.” “It is exactly like the car that I saw now. I should report it to Scotland Yard, but first I should search about proves in the car like an official detective. I should wear my clothes.” Joshua wore his detective shirt and waistcoat and put all his gear and went to the car still parked near the park wall. He opened the side door and recovered all the items related to Dr Shaw. He then put them in zip- lock pouches with ‘EVIDENCE’ written on them in red ink.


 After, half an hour of inspection he did not find anything substantial except numerous blood stains and, finally called the Scotland Yard. The cops came in numerous jeeps and towed the car to the police station. Mostly, in a police station, things happen slower than usual. But here something else happened. Things happened faster than usual. They called detective Joshua with them and hurriedly asked him various questions about the car as he had discovered it the first. All his answers were ‘no’ or negative as he had just discovered the car today only. After three hours of continuous questioning, the police saw no criminal activity of Mr Joshua Bridge and as he was a detective they, gave him the responsibility to solve the case of the disappearance of Dr Michallgen Shaw. They then recovered the car as the biggest evidence in the whole case and Joshua also had to give away his findings to the police. Then he got out of the police station and let out a sigh of relief. Now, things happened at a normal pace.


“Now, first I have to go to the cart road to check for evidence. But first I should have comrade and a trusted friend to patch up my loneliness and to help me. I should rather call Mr George Parkinson,” and the thought made him chuckle. He picked up the cell and called Mr Parkinson and after five minutes cut the phone. He was happy and jumped about as he went towards the cart road. Maybe he had got a positive reply from George! He walked towards the nearest bus stop briskly and took seat in the bus whose next stop was London port. Meanwhile, in the bus, he called Mr Doughlas who was the only person who had called Dr Shaw, five times that day according to Dr Shaw’s phone records sent by the Scotland Yard. So, he was also called to the cart road to talk with the detective. Joshua got down at the port and met his ally George, who was standing nervously and waiting for him. When George saw Joshua, a wide grin spread along his small circular face. “Hard times friend, difficult to pass time without you cracking such hard cases. So what is the case this time? Is it difficult or easy?” asked George. “A really tough case, a peculiar one. I have seen such a case after a long time, supposedly after a decade. This case has no sure evidence, I have no leads till now and I have no motive for kidnapping. So the case is as I will narrate you know. There was this man named Dr Shaw who was the DGCO and one night while going on a cart road his car and he got disappeared. Then after a month I find his car with a note, a pen and some documents in it and blood stained leather seats, but do not find him. The police question me and I answer them. I am no proud of myself, but seriously how can the police question a man of such respect and position. Now further ahead I have been given the opportunity to solve this case and find Dr Shaw,” narrated Joshua.


“Interesting. So have you found any leads?” questioned George. “Yes, maybe. I have contacted Mr Douglas, Dr Shaw’s work partner. He had ringed up Dr Shaw five times on the day of Dr Shaw’s disappearance,” replied Joshua. In their talks they had covered more than five miles and reached the area where the cart road diverted from the main highway. There Joshua saw a confused man standing, peering here and there and tapping his foot to show restlessness. According to his behavior, it looked like he was waiting for someone. Joshua asked him, “Can I know what or who has troubled you to bring here, on this lonely highway?” The man in his extreme restlessness and anger shouted furiously on Joshua and asked him to go away. He then relented and answered Joshua, “A dumb detective has called me here. He thinks I am involved in Shaw’s disappearance. You look like a detective. What has brought you here?” “Oh, then maybe I am the person who shall be obliged to meet you. I’m detective Joshua Bridge and you should be Mr Frankston Doughlas.” “Oh, so you are the one who called me for an inquiry. You think I killed my friend,” argued Doughlas. “How do you know that he was killed?” asked the detective. “Uh… not killed, disappeared. You doubt my loyalty towards my friend. Ask what you want to ask.” “Then let us go towards the cart road.” 


They went in the direction of the cart road. They kept walking until they were tired. Luckily, they saw the skid marks of a car. Black, they looked like charcoal. “Luckily we have found our lead. So, Mr Doughlas when did Dr Shaw call you the last at the last day he was seen?” asked Joshua. “He called me at 8 p.m. and said that his car fuel is about to finish and he is stuck on a lonely cart road. There is forest beside the road and he is hearing strange sounds. Just then his car tyres screeched and the call was cut. Five minutes later he called again and shouted ‘Mr Hill, Mr Osborne Hill, the metal goods seller. He is about to kill me’ and then his phone went switch off.” “He went missing after that.” “Thank you, Mr Doughlas. Now you can go,” and Doughlas went away, “George, do you know who is this Hill?” said Joshua. “Yes, his shop is near Bobby Town, near Manchester,” replied George. “So let us pay him a visit,” said Joshua and they went towards Bobby Town.


After some time they reached there and went towards the metal seller’s shop. He greeted them with a low bow and courteously said “Good Morning.” “Mr Hill, do you know who is Dr Shaw?” and Joshua showed him the black and white photograph of the elderly man. “Nope, never seen him,” said Hill after he had peered at the photo for a long time and swallowed a big gulp of saliva. “Don’t lie Hill, we have political as well as police support. No way to escape, even narrowly,” warned George. “I am not lying. Really, I do not know him. If I would have known him, I would have told you,” objected Hill. “Then I have to take some strict action against you,” said Joshua and as he started moving away, the metal seller blurted out whatever he knew. “Wait, I will tell you. I was contacted by an anonymous person who said that I had to become Mr Doughlas and invite him to the London Port and say to him that his order had arrived. When I asked him why he said if I don’t do he said he would close my shop. My shop is my only way to earn. What would I do?” “Okay, we understand. Can you please give us the caller’s landline number?” “Okay.” “Now what do we do Joshua,” asked George. 


“Well, this case is like shooting on the bull’s eye in the dark. What we can do is just a wild but accurate guess without letting the criminal know what we are doing. Meanwhile let us just talk to Shaw’s boss, Mr Falai. Maybe we can get some valuable information,” said Joshua as he walked towards the bus stand.

Joshua reached Mr Falai’s office and started asking about his missing employee. “So, Mr Falai, exactly who was Shaw? What work did he do? Was he ever bad to anyone and was there any motive for anyone to kidnap him?” “I deny that Shaw was a bad or evil personality and nobody could have kidnapped him. There was no motive for anyone. But yes, on his last day in this office he was very excited about the great trade branch or something but if there was something like that I would have been informed but nobody bothered to inform me. I just ignored his utter excitement in vain that day and see what I have done,” said Mr Falai as he started crying. “Don’t blame yourself sir. Somebody has just played a very dirty prank on Dr Shaw,” said Joshua as he comforted Mr Falai. “We have received no information received,” said George as they got out of the office. “Maybe we have only two choices, now. Either we can check the evidences again or we can go to that cart road for a simulation of what happened to Dr Shaw that night,” asked Joshua. “It is dusk. Maybe we can try option two,” asked George. Then came a call to Joshua.


 He picked up the phone and then talked to the caller. George noticed the large and heavy sound of the speaker. The call finished and after that Joshua said, “We have found our next lead. Come on let’s go to the cart road.” They reached the cart road on 8 o’clock, the exact same time when Dr Shaw was last seen. They did various simulations of gun firing at different angles but still they could not get the angle they wanted, the angle at which there were Dr Shaw’s blood marks. Just then they heard a bush rumbling. Then came out a man wearing a black mask and then came out several other similar men. “You are like Dr Shaw. Easily got trapped in our ingenious plan. Any last wishes?” said the tallest and the strongest one. “Tell me where is Dr Shaw?” asked Joshua. “I cannot tell you where is he but I can tell you what is the motive of kidnapping that old crap. See, it all started when Dr Shaw joined the District office, six years ago. Then came his first assignment. He had to transport some of my goods to France through the sea. But he cheated us and transported the goods through land through which he gained profits and we got nothing. He did this many times and then we started having losses and he extreme profits. I tried scolding him but he simply told me that the goods are reaching no, why to worry. So I made such a plan to take exact revenge. Now, get ready to die, you have heard too much,” said the same person.

“You think we came defenseless. You are the most foolish criminal I have ever seen,” said Joshua as he swiftly took out his gun from his waistcoat pocket and started firing. George followed and started firing. The man who was talking ran dropped his revolver as he heard the sound of police sirens and started running away with his comrades. The detectives manage to take down a few of the thugs but the leader managed to run away. As the police cars stopped near them and as the sirens wailed the detectives started walking away. Just then Joshua said, “We have found the motive, as I expected we would find in this visit.” And they walked towards the bigger highway in the shining, moonlit night on the rough road.


“The suspects can be Mr Doughlas, Mr Hill and Mr Falai. George, have you recorded the voice of the person who called me and the person who told me the motive,” Joshua asked George as they walked towards the police station. “Yes, friend. But the voices do not match with our suspects,” answered George. They reached the police station and asked the police inspector to take out the car. The police inspector took out the shining Morris car and the detectives started their search. They were just about to give up when suddenly Joshua found a black rubber- like thing on the surface of one of the rear tyres. He took the thing out and put it in his mouth to taste. It was a chewing gum. It tasted bitter due to the dirt but had the same sweet-salty taste of a chewing gum. And then a piece of paper fell from the surface of the same tyre, blown by the air. Dr Shaw had written the thing as the detective started reading. Marvelous man! Had hidden the letter with a chewing gum! He escorted his comrade, George and the police inspector and the detective started reading the letter aloud. ‘Whoever finds this letter please solve my kidnapping case. I am writing some alphabets now. Please jumble them and you will find my kidnapper. The letters are: NNDRBOE ELOGG. He was my work partner. You can consult Mr Falai. By Dr Michallgen Shaw.’ “We should call it day a, now. I need some time to jumble these alphabets,” said Joshua. George just made a questioning face and shrugged his shoulders.


The next day Joshua returned to George and said, “I have tried all possible configurations. Now we will show the list of all sensible names to Mr Falai, who will recognize Dr Shaw’s work partner as he has been the boss of the same office for fifteen years. Let’s go.” They went to the district office and questioned Mr Falai on the same matter. Mr Falai pointed at the name- ‘BRENDON OGGLE’. “He was also the DGCO and Shaw’s working partner. After six months Brendon left from here and approximately after six months after Brendon left Shaw went missing,” said Mr Falai sorrowfully. “Can you tell me Mr Oggle’s address? We want to talk to him,” said George angrily. “Sure,” answered Mr Falai.


The two detectives rang the bell of the 47th house on Fleet Street. A shabby looking man opened the door. He was surely not Mr Oggle. He was a servant. He asked in a rude tone, “What do you want?” “We are from Scotland Yard. We want to talk to Mr Oggle,” answered Joshua calmly. Hearing the word ‘Scotland Yard’ the servant’s voice became soft. He said, “Master is in his room. You please come and sit on the sofa. I will send master in a few minutes. Until, that time you drink water. Please.” The detectives sat on the leather couch and another servant brought them water. After, half an hour the servant came down from the staircase and said that, “Master, was bathing. It will take him five minutes to come.” “Sure, we will wait.” After saying this Joshua got up and as he started strolling about when he saw a man running away from the house they were standing in. His brain was like a machine. He quickly understood that the person running was none other Mr Oggle. 

He started running towards the door but the servants tried to stop him. George came running towards Joshua and slapped a servant so hard that he fell down and fainted. The other one who was holding Joshua started kicking George, who dodged his attacks and kicked him so hard that he fell on the ground with a loud ‘THUD’.


“Thank you,” whispered Joshua in George’s ear. “Yours welcome,” replied George and they started running towards the open road. As they were running, Joshua glanced at the photo of Mr Oggle. His eyes were perfectly matching with the man that they had met on the highway. He started running faster but Oggle had gone too far. Joshua and George started firing shots towards him with their revolvers, but he ducked and escaped. Then suddenly Joshua saw a bicycle and ran towards it. He sat on the bicycle and started chasing Oggle faster. He didn’t know much about vehicles but he was an excellent bicycle rider. He paddled fiercely and got ahead of Oggle and cut his route from the front and George stopped him from behind. Brendon Oggle fell down and started crying and moved his hands up, indicating surrender. “First you killed Shaw, then you tried erasing evidences by hiding the car and then you lied when I asked you the motive. Now, George can you please call the Scotland Yard.” George nodded and started dialing the Scotland Yard. “How did you know I was lying?” asked Brendon.


 “Oh that. I noticed that day that you weren’t a good actor. I noticed a very strange chronic behavior of yours that night. A criminal telling the motive does not stammer. You were. I am a detective. I have experience. You were thinking the lines, while speaking. This clearly shows you were lying that night,” said Joshua. “Oh, you noticed that,” said Brendon in a sad tone. “Now it’s late. Now it’s confession time,” added Joshua. “Okay, I will tell you. Look what happened was that first Dr Shaw and I were work partners around ten years ago. In the beginning everything was well but after some time he started cheating me. He did something due to which the money we both got in partner projects was divided unequally between us. He got 60% of the money and I got 40%. That was a huge difference. That forced me to leave job and after many years of planning I killed him two months earlier. I killed him with my very own hands,” confessed Brendon Oggle. “Just that much only. You could have told your boss Mr Falai. You didn’t complain about Shaw and that is why he thought that Shaw did not have any potential enemy. Now tell me where is Shaw?” said Joshua. “He is in the Jackson Garages. Dead,” said the Brendon and started laughing madly. 


Just then the police came and picked Oggle and locked him in the car. “This couldn’t have happened without you Mr Joshua and you too Mr George. Thank you, Mr Joshua. Are there any more people involved?” asked the police officer. “There are his servants and ask him about the people he hired and also Mr Hill. But give only a six month jail to Hill. No one else and yes, Dr Shaw’s dead body is in Jackson Garage. Retrieve him from there,” replied Joshua. “Thank you very much, then,” Mr Joshua. “Welcome.” The police officer sat in the car and drove away. “Were there really no more people involved?” asked George after the police officer drove away. “There were. Mr Frankston Doughlas. He lied. I could clearly understand his tone,” said Joshua. “So why did you not tell about him to the police officer? What did he do?” asked George.


 “Oh, he convinced Mr Hill to play a prank on Dr Shaw. I was parallel investigating on this matter too. This Oggle chap had convinced him as he was Dr Shaw’s working partner and very close to him. I will later talk to Doughlas, myself. No need for police custody. So, here the case finishes,” replied Joshua cheerfully. “So where now?” asked George. “If I would have carefully looked at the car the case would have been much easier. I told you that the case is very difficult. But if I would have looked at the car carefully it was very easy to solve this case. But we took the long route and so these weeks have been hectic. So I need a break. Now I need a holiday. Will you come with me?” said Joshua. George said, “Maybe yes! I’m currently free for two-three weeks.” “Oh! Thank you for accompanying me,” said Joshua as they both walked towards the brightly lit up city of London. 


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