Crime Horror Thriller
Sharma, the Real Estate Agent turned the key into the lock and made a gesture with his hands. Rohit who was staring hard at the old house jolted up from his reverie and followed him in.
“You will never get such a pretty house at such cheap price,” Sharma said while constantly munching a pan.
“Yeah sure,” Rohit replied rather sarcastically.
Sharma mistook it for a compliment and grinned as he walked ahead to show the rooms to him. Rohit had quit his job of a journalist after he had signed a three book deal with a publishing giant. He needed a quiet, secluded and serene place far away from the crowd and pollution of the city to write his first book. He took this house as it provided him with the perfect location for writing his novel. After Sharma had left, Rohit took time to scrutinize his new home. The house was named ‘Vani Villa’ by its owner as indicated by a rusted name board hung at its gate. A corridor from the central hall led to the bedrooms which were adjacent to each other. At the far end of the corridor there was a glass door that led to a neglected garden which was full of weeds and creepers. Right in the center of the garden was a well which was nearly sealed with dry leaves of the nearby trees that had fell into it. Rohit had a long journey from the city to its outskirts and he was tired. He took a leisurely bath and went to bed to ward off the exhaustion.
In the evening he opened his laptop to start writing. He typed a few words and deleted them all. The vicious cycle of typing and deleting went on till midnight. His eyes were bloodshot by then. He took a break and fortified himself with a few pegs. He took his laptop and went out to sit in the weedy garden outside the house. He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply and filled his lungs with some fresh air and started typing again. Almost suddenly, as he opened his eyes, a girl clad in a saree appeared in front of his eyes. She was walking slowly towards the well. The girl was unaware of his presence behind her. She was roaming leisurely. He took time to analyze her. She was slim, tall and had waist length of brown silky hair. She seemed to draw him towards her by a mystic bond.
"What kind of girl will roam in someone else’s garden at this hour of night?” Rohit thought.
Rohit was curious to know who she was and more than curious to see her face.
“Heyyy…. who are you?” He shouted, “What are you doing here?”
She walked ahead as if she hadn’t heard a word of it. As she reached near the well she turned to face him. She had a beautiful face and soft brown eyes that added on to her charm. She parted her luscious lips and uttered,
“Avni…” then she added in almost a whisper, “This is my house.”
He stood staring at her as if mesmerized by some spell. She stood by the well for a second and then vanished all of a sudden. The spell was broken and Rohit opened his eyes to face warm rays of the morning sun.
“So it was a dream.” Rohit said as he stood up from his chair, “Anyway, it has introduced me to one of the protagonists of my story.”
He let out a sigh and went inside to freshen up.
As Rohit switched his laptop on to start writing, Avani’s face and her beautiful brown eyes flashed in front of him. He thought of the melancholic look in her eyes and his thoughts wandered back to last night. He made up his mind to do a little research on his protagonist before writing further. He typed ‘Vani Villa’ on his laptop and hit the search button as he couldn’t contain his thirst to acquaint himself with the past of the bungalow. A newspaper post popped up which read-
‘Murder in Vani Villa’
He eagerly clicked on it and started reading.
A sensational murder that took place in Varuni Villa late yesterday night had sent shock waves across the town. Mr Varun Mehra, who was the owner of a textile showroom in the heart of the city, was brutally murdered by his own wife Mrs. Avnita Mehra. She is absconding and police has set a rapid search operation to trace her. She stabbed him in the chest and stomach and had hid the knife drenched in blood among her things in the cupboard before fleeing. Police has recovered the knife that bore her fingerprints.
The rest of the article conveyed the opinions of their neighbors and various Police Officers about the incident. Rohit’s eyes scrolled through them and he was left bewildered in the end. A few seconds later, he sprung into action and set out to find more.