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The Indelible Night
The Indelible Night

© Rishikaa Anerao


4 Minutes   1.5K    57

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I had just had dinner with my family that night. That night, was just like any other.

My father and my uncle were discussing something about politics, about the stock-market and business matters that I never looked into, grandparents thinking about their past and diving into nostalgia, the ladies of the house clearing up all the vessels and getting ready to retire for the night. There was a casual atmosphere in the house. The lights were dimmed out after dinner, moonlight softly pouring in through the windows, along with some breeze now and then. I decided to watch some TV. Resting my head on the soft, fluffy material of the pillows on the opposite couch, I began surfing through various channels. Before I knew it, I began to feel sleepy and was soon drifted off to a deep slumber.

When I woke up, it was still dark. I couldn't sleep again. I checked the time, it was 2:00 am. I decided to take a stroll on the roof of our house. The night air was cool and appealing. I looked at the vast universe above me, the night sky adorned with little balls of fire shining at an unimaginable distance. I touched the cold metal rod of the railing that encompassed our terrace floor. I looked down at the street. It was then that I saw it. The sight of a man holding an old woman at gun-point. The gun was placed on the woman's forehead. I couldn't believe what I saw. I told myself, "It's 2:30 in the night. You are just imagining things." The man was saying something, I couldn't hear him properly. My heart skipped a beat and my brain knew very well that what it saw was true. I bent over the railing further, to confirm what I had just seen. I knew that if I didn't act fast, I would see a murder. I wanted to run and scream out to everyone what was happening just outside our door. But my legs were paralysed with fear. The fact that I was the only one who knew about this, scared me even more.

I went down the stairs, my legs shaking with fear. I thought about telling everyone about it. But, then I realized that I did not have that much time. My parents would not believe me at first, I would have to convince them. Thinking this, I dismissed the idea. I could still hear that man saying something to the woman. I quickly rushed to the backdoor of our house. I took hold of a huge rock lying in our backyard and then, went to our storage granary. I knew I would find there all that I needed. Seeing a discarded jute sack, an idea struck me. I convinced myself that I had no choice but to do it. Before coming into the light, I dashed towards the storeroom and took a roll of duct-tape. The man had now stopped talking. There was no noise coming from the front. "Anytime now," I told myself.

I silently tip-toed behind the man, hiding in the shadows. I could actually hear my heart beating. The woman saw me. I signalled her and then, gaining momentum, I hurled the huge rock at the man's head. Blood poured on the street. The gun flew from the man's hand. I couldn't believe myself. The woman looked at me. I was speechless, and dazed. I wanted to cry. But, controlling myself, I started tying both the hands of the man with the duct-tape. He tried to struggle, he was saying something, but his speech was slurred. I gestured the woman to help me put the huge, burly man into the sack. We finally managed to put him into the sack, leg-first. The woman began thanking me profusely. Hearing the ruckus, my family and the whole neighbourhood had woken up. My father saw blood dripping from my hands and the sack. They couldn't make head or tail of the situation. I told them what had happened. The woman told how she was just returning home from a party and had encountered the hoodlum. The man had demanded some money from her.

We called the police and told them that he could wake up anytime. They quickly reached our place and praised me for my bravery and wit. Seeing my tear-stained, and bloodshot red eyes, my mother couldn't stop crying. My family were very proud and the whole neighbourhood eulogised me.

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