I was sitting in the church… doing my prayers and waiting for a boy who used to help me communicate with my sister. Just then, the church’s father- Mr. Joseph came to me and consoled, “He’ll handle it all.” Pointing towards Jesus with the cross in his neck.
Time for a brief introduction: My sister and I are private detectives. As always, we were on a case, on which she had gone to investigate and not returned.
Finally, the boy came whom I was looking for. He had his eyes piercing through mine. He continued his stare for a minute or so. The boy then walked over to me and handed me a note. I rewarded him with a few chocolates. He left, not saying a word, like always.
As I had expected, the note was not blank. I was tensed. We never wrote a note with ink. Curiosity killing me, I unfolded the piece of paper. It read: I am fine. Don’t stress. I’ll be back in a week. ~ANNY MARTIN
Instead of assuring, the signature at the end just made me more anxious, because she never signed any letter in her full name. We always used our nicknames, despite of however serious the letter was. And there was another strange thing. This was a serious case, and it could not be left hung up for weeks, it needed immediate actions and her telling me she will be back in a week!
When I calmed myself, and try to think the possible reasons suddenly, my nose picked a scent. An unusual aroma. After sniffing two-three times I concluded it to be the smell of orange juice. Yes! This is it!
We always use the orange juice ink to communicate, as it’s invisible, thus secretive. I judged that ‘someone forced’ my sister to write that note. This could be my only clue!
I rushed home. As we always did, I pulled out a hot press and steamed the note. Between the blue write-ups, I saw a faint message emerging. With a little pressure on my eyes, I managed to read the actual note: ‘sis, I am in a huge mess! I am very close to catch the culprit. But I cannot do anything they have locked the kids and me in the *****.’
And the note ended. I stared at it confused. Later I realised that ‘the somebody’ might have showed up, and she did not have time to complete the note. But I can’t give up. This is my clue and I am going to use it to my advantage.
With lot of scanning and expanding, and stressing through my glasses, I got my clue- to a case, which was now very personal. The letters were “g-r-o-n-n-y”.
Immediately, a bell rung in my mind. My sister and I used to call the old garage at the end of the town – ‘gronny’ – our favourite pass time playground. We spent hours of our childhood there.
Without wasting any more time, I pulled my cloak, started my car and headed toward the garage or ‘gronny’ as we called.
It took me a few minutes, which seemed like hours, but I was there. When I reached there, it was all very quiet. No movement. Nothing suspicious at all. I hunted the whole garage and turned it up side down, but not even a single sign of evidence. Did I read the wrong clue? Was it a wrong assumption?
I started to wonder, lost in my thoughts. I went back in my childhood memories, where both of us was playing and laughing.
Suddenly, I recollected a manhole behind a hedge grow, where I had been hiding once while playing hide-and-seek with her. I rushed towards that spot, and I began pulling all the weeds and overgrown grasses. That is when I found my sister’s scarf. With a bit effort, I managed to pull the lid of that manhole. After entering and shining my torch, I started seeing a few faint silhouettes, soon those shadows darkened.
They were kids! Loads of them, and with them was a figure, which I recognised, it was my sister! We were tied in a comforting hug. I was just ensuring that she was safe, and with god’s grace, though there were a few scratches here and there.
“Didn’t expect you to show up so early.” A man in the dark spoke up. I realised the building tension, due to his presence. “Anyway, now that you are here, you won’t be able to go back.”
“It won’t be that way, in fact the story goes the other way.” I replied confidently. He gave me a confused look. I did not miss the tint of fear, which he quickly erased.
Soon, the air around us filled with sirens. I winked at my confused sister.
“Before coming down here, I had already shared my updates with the police. They are here now, so don’t worry.”
“That’s great!” she commented, “But, the real culprit is not him, it’s another man, he always stays in that room, but never really shows his face. But he left already...”
“Do you know anything about him?” I wondered, looking at my sister hopefully.
“Actually, I sneaked in that room today, after he left.” She replied, pulling something out of her pocket. “Guess that he left his locket before leaving.”
I began examining and the first thing that came to mind was familiarity. I quickly placed the pieces together. That one a picture came to mind. The picture of the culprit!
“Father! It’s Mr.Joseph, the father of our church.” Was my conclusion. Soon my sisters also recollected and match the facts together. However, this was really shocking; he was the shelter- the only ray of hope for all the street kids! How could he do this?
We shared our further conclusions with the police. The investigation was held, and it was found that tomorrow Mr.Joseph was going to market these kids. We just beat the clock.
How strange life is! Always the unexpected occurs, and that changes everything!