The Undertaker: Chapter 10
The Undertaker: Chapter 1011 mins 214 11 mins 214
The beginning of an end
Gabriel retired for his flat as the graveyard search yielded no result. The tiresome day made him sleep immediately. A light sleeper, he did not try recurring thoughts of the past and details of the day that night. The only face that appeared in his mind before sleeping was Jaan Patnaik’s. The night passed by gradually and a challenging morning came for Gabriel. Habitually, Gabriel sat in yogic position for a few minutes and enjoyed the dim sunlight. He progressed to consume some lukewarm water and avoided his phone like every single morning. As he set to work out, his mobile phone rang. Gabriel hurried towards his phone and it was undoubtedly from the Police Headquarters. “Hello!” Gabriel answered the call. “Hey Gabriel. Hope, you had a fine sleep because if you had not, your head will burst early morning” Chetry replied from the other line in a tone of dejection and despair. Gabriel tried not to panic and said calmly that his sleep was quite fine. He asked Chetry to come to the main point. “Our delicate boy killed Miss Smriti in the presence of our brave policemen” Chetry revealed.
Gabriel bit his lower lip and said “Tsss’ to himself. “I am coming, Yes” he shut the phone saying so. In his police training period, Gabriel hardly ever missed his workout and Jaan Patnaik did not even let him do his cardio that day. His phone showed notifications of both local and national media. Their boy, Jaan Patnaik was an infamous sensation already. Local news media coined some awful headlines for the dangerous killer while National media was all set to visit houses interviewing families and friends. The scene outside the police Headquarters shocked the newbie, Gabriel.
National media enclosed Khan asking questions repeatedly. Gabriel thanks the preacher from heaven for not letting him into facing the questions. He could hear the reporters asking the dilute role of police in the manhunt. They criticised both the city’s police. One among them was harsher than the rest. She told Khan in the face that the city police was a joke. Luckily, Chetry spotted Gabriel and one policeman came to escort him inside. The meeting milieu shifted to the top floor owing to the rash noises of the media. “These fagots are searching political angle even in this case- A classic psychopath case” Chetry said in an ambush. Gabriel knew that they were dealing with something bigger but kept quiet. The new plan room was even bigger and held three projectors. Gabriel studied the last night’s reports while awaiting the city SHO’s. Jaan Patnaik was seen ransacking the home by the policemen who were not unconscious but could not move either. They saw him slit Miss Smriti’s throat and the events ended under half an hour.
On his return, Jaan Patnaik hit them again. It was revealed in the morning that he stole water bottles, food and Sakha’s vehicle. The search for the vehicle was on. Further report said how Jaan was hiding in the basement of the hotel. The basement photo showed decomposing food scattered all over and the pungent smell could be predicted. There were also carcasses of rodents and reptiles in the very small basement. All it had was a slim bulb light. The guy from Sakha recollected that Jaan encountered him when everybody else was gone. He said Jaan intimidated him while eating fresh raw meat and polishing a large cutter on the other hand. According to the statement, the guy from Sakha pissed on the scene. Jaan repeatedly stabbed the man’s shoulders and completely dominated him. The guy was tormented enough to join the plan of killing Smriti. The hotel staff checked their close circuit tv cameras and there was no sign of Jaan Patnaik post his meeting at the reception. Gabriel tried theorizing the possibilities of Jaan’s entry into the basement. He however could not as he himself has not visited Sakha.
Meanwhile, Chetry entered the room and Gabriel asked him the question. Chetry said that the police had not visited the restaurant yet and he was of the opinion that it was not a necessity for the time being. Gabriel gave a sarcastic laugh at the utter foolishness of Chetry. He got up from the seat and convinced Chetry to accompany him to Sakha. They knew it would not be an easy task for Khan to return quickly. “You know, we will be giving rewards on Jaan’s capture pretty soon. In fact, the order is out” Chetry said. “I guess we should have done that earlier” Gabriel replied with sadness intact in his voice. Sakha’s customers were blunt in numbers that day. The two lawmen made their way towards the reception. With immediate permission from the manager, Gabriel and Chetry started their work.
“Jaan sat at the first table awaiting his order. Behind this restaurant, lies the kitchen with entries barred. To the front of the reception table, lies the wash basin and the rest room is adjacent to it. The basement has its entry downwards from the kitchen’s last door. He came and interacted at the reception and from there, he did an exit” Chetry explained to Jaan. The few customers hideously noticed the conversation. “Can I check the cctv?” Gabriel requested. One of the hotel staff directed them to the entry of Jaan. He could be seen interacting at the reception. Then, he sits at the first table. Throughout the clip, a smile smeared upon his face. Once the order arrives on the reception, he moves to it for the second interaction. Then, he exits. Gabriel asked the manager if he did leave his reception table after Jaan’s exit. The manager acceded to it. He said he went to his home for lunch. Gabriel’s eyes broadened and the footage shifted to the time of the manager’s dispersal. A figure dressed in a grey shirt like the staff uniform was seen entering. He hid his face bringing the cap down and avoiding the cameras. Jaan pounded hard on the table and glared at a somewhat enthusiastic Chetry. “But, how would he know of the basement?” the manager probed with interest.
“Sakha is a student favourite for events. Word of mouth!” Chetry replied. As both of them came out of the restaurant, Chetry looked at Gabriel with a weird expression. Gabriel looked back with a weirder one and asked him to speak out his mind. Chetry took a deep breath and made a puff blowing away air. “What did we yield by knowing his method?” Chetry asked finally. Gabriel nooded and pointed the index finger at Chetry. “Good question! We got to know a lot of things, you see. Jaan has been following the case. He already purchased a shirt similar to the uniform of Sakha’s employees. He made up the plan of hiding during his drive to the city itself. He is pragmatic, a dangerous psychopath. You know, we did wait at the graveyard close to Sakha and Smriti’s residence. It is the only graveyard in this area. But, he must have fulfilled his narcissist desires watching the television and following himself. He respects us and calculates his steps assuming we have a better one. Most importantly, he is a bloody stalker. He stalked the manager from far away. In my opinion, he knows he is surrounded. He cannot return to graveyards either. So, I assume he must be calculating his next step by being pretty close to Miss Smriti’s residence, again in disguise. He would not like to get lost at this moment” Gabriel explained his partner.
Chetry removed his hands from the staring and derived the facts saying “When he returned, he knocked all of them out again. So, he must have chosen a way and wanted to conceal the same”. Gabriel clapped his hands showing his agreement. Chetry started the car and before speeding up said “One extra information. The clothes of Miss Smriti have been stolen along with her wig”. Gabriel nodded to it and saw the case quite clear from that point. Khan showed his maturity and professionalism by staying calm even after the rumble with the media. A huge police team laid their foot on the last murder site and drew a radius from Miss Smriti’s residence to the area quite before Jaan’s school. The Police were sure of Jaan not risking to go far away from the place as there were many adjacent houses, neighbourhood shops, and single line shops near to Smriti’s residence. Police cars were already monitoring the city roads and the highly outcast places had policemen in mass numbers to detect any movement. Graveyards were monitored by old Christian men and the exit to the other cities were blocked.
In the national media, victims were sympathized with and speculations were made regarding reasons behind the mass murders. A tough manhunt was underway in short. However, the police were all aware that the timing should be as minimum as possible owing to the pressure and deployment of police for a single case. The team started searching houses similar to Smriti’s residence which were at a distance from each other. The police made loud announcements asking the people strictly to cooperate and remain at their own homes. The search was no fiction and three hours passed in the manner of search. Gabriel and Chetry were part of the team too. The dim sunlight vanished in anguish as if it lost forbearance. Drizzles started taking the weather back to Jaan’s evasion. Parents of the blacklisted victims intercepted Jaan coming from anywhere possible. Even the bravest of them could not subjugate eeriness and fear. Those who lost dear ones and the ones who survived accompanied anger and melancholy along with fear.
The city was in still intercepting his catch. Social media flooded with a labyrinth of theories. A legacy was building when Gabriel was busy searching amidst the cries of the sky. Finally, a message of success communicated among the search teams. The truck of Sakha was discovered scattered between weeds. It was found hit by a tree and broken glasses. The truck was discovered a few blocks away from the school. Beyond the school were situated houses of many a transferred teachers and finally an exit point of the city guarded by policemen. Gabriel and Chetry solved the puzzle finally and they headed to the particular point of interest. There were no emergency calls from the houses beyond the school. The school was closed as a precaution with only the office still functioning.
Two jeeps with guarded policemen from the other city joined Gabriel and Chetry to the very school. Khan got informed about the truck’s visible proof and he was all set to hear a favourable news. The large jeep reached the school and a few more jeeps progressed beyond the school too. A huge green field could be seen beyond the first gate and the second gate took them to a waterfall. Beyond the waterfall, was the huge building with the name of the school engraved with big letters on it. Officials were asked to evacuate and then Gabriel took the mic. “Mr Jaan Patnaik, the City Police is aware of your presence in the school. You are a smart guy. Do not make things tough for yourself. You are surrounded, I repeat, you are surrounded” Gabriel announced in a loud voice. There was no response for sure. An array of extra policemen surrounded the building at that moment. “You are smarter than people your age. Don’t do anything foolish and reduce your sentence” Gabriel repeated. There was no response yet again. Gabriel signalled the policemen to activate sirens intensifying the situation. “Alright, you are just like them, then. Come out and stop being vehement regarding your crimes. This is your last chance or we are going in with full force. The whole of the area is surrounded” Gabriel shouted again.
The officials literally perspired rethinking the moments spent at the office room. “Do you want us to go in? Don’t you want a reduced sentence, you son of a bitch?” Gabriel said with exasperation this time. Chetry and others were taken aback with the skirmish but they wanted a result anyway. “Your mother is crying. She says you are a waste of sperm. Come on! Show your bloody face” Gabriel said even more angrily. Nature paused at that moment and everyone had the intuition of something they did not know. Slowly, a figure in Indian lady suit quite extra in size and with curly bloodied wig of Miss Smriti came running at a full speed towards Gabriel. The figure looked pale and had the anguishing vehement red eyes shining. Policemen came running towards the figure before it could paunch on Gabriel. The policemen held him tight and in a fraction of second, the figure, Jaan Patnaik gave a contrasting smirk in a fraction of second.
The sudden change of facial expression from the feeling of annihilation to a cute smirk was the culmination of diabolic nature. The woman gets up along with that made things even more eerie for the ones who stood there. Gabriel’s hands shrieked as Jaan cooperated in being taken away. Gabriel looked at him go expecting Jaan to turn around. A cheer came from the policemen and Chetry. However, Gabriel was attacked even without being laid a finger upon. Derogatory past and guilt transfixed in Gabriel’s mind and he moved away from the surroundings. He let the now heavy drizzle cool himself and then moved underneath a tree. Just like the first day of the case, Gabriel lit a Marlboro once again. He wanted to cry louder than the abode of air but just could not.