WSPI-2012-03: Suspense Thriller Short Story – Decoy
This short story is participating in Write Story from Picture India 2012 – Short Story Writing Competition.
[Suspense Thriller Short Story – Decoy]
23rd April, 2005
Mayank: “Hello! Dad, I have reached Zurich”
Dad: “Great, Enjoy your vacation son, you might be feeling tired take rest I will give you call tomorrow morning, good night”
Walking towards the city he finds one hotel for accommodation
Huh? Hotel Anathema (what kind of name is this?).
He moves towards the reception area checks the name plate
“Mr. Harley? Hello anybody there?”
Mr. Harley – “Yes, how may I help you?”
Mayank – “I am looking for a room is there any available in this hotel?”
Mr. Harley –“Yes we do have sir, give me your credentials for on boarding”
Mr. Harley – “Room no. 401, here are the keys, help yourself towards the room in case you need any help you can dial 111”
Mayank – “Thank you!”
Mayank didn’t mind for helping himself as he certainly saved some money rather than spending as tip
“It has been a tiring journey to Zurich. Let us order something for dinner.
He picks up the receiver and dials- 111
Mayank – “Please send tonight’s special menu for dinner in 401, thank you”
Having some shower he moved towards bed, watching outside the window he could see one owl hooting over the bark of the tree.
“You can keep over the table”
Mayank had the dinner, it was less spicy as compared to the food he is used to but was delicious enough to eat.
He fixes the bed and lies over it; he starts thinking of his tomorrows’ plan to hire a car and a guide and goes to sleep
Hooting of owl was not letting Mayank to sleep properly; he was changing his sides, position of sleeping every now and then. Suddenly he wakes up and being irritated he goes down stairs to call for help in getting away with the Owl.
“Mr. Harley… ? Are you still awake? Mr. Harley?”
He opens the care takers room where he thought Mr. Harley could have been but finds no one.
Over all structure of Hotel was good enough but Mayank was not comfortable of the atmosphere since he entered the hotel.
Finally Mayank finds Mr. Harley in the backyard he was cutting trees in the midnight, it was unusual though to do such activity in night.
Mayank – “Mr. Harley, could you please help in getting away with the Owl over the tree near to my room’s window, I not able to sleep”
Mr. Harley –“Alright, show me where is it”
They both move towards the room.
Walking down the aisle Mayank Mayank was the call from other end of the floor; he turned around and started walking towards the area from where the sound came. He entered a visitors’ waiting room he saw a girl lying on the floor behind the couch. Her face was smeared in mud so he was not able to identify her. She had minor injuries over her neck because of prickles, she uttered again in grief,
“Mayank where were you I was looking for you over the airport, we have to move quickly from here, why have you been here in this hotel”.
Voice was familiar to Mayank it sounded like her cousin Reema who was staying in Zurich from past 5 years.
Mayank replied – “Reema, is this you?”
Girl – “Yeah, I know you are not able to recognize me because of this muddy face, why have you been here, this place is haunted?”
Mayank –“What?” his throat went dry listening to this
“Okay let me remove these prickles from your neck, you require a first aid, let me clean this up”
He quickly goes to his room get the paramedic box and treats her. By profession Mayank is a doctor he was able to handle this trauma.
“I waited on airport for over 6 hours, somehow I found this hotel and thought to stay here for a night, and your phone was not even reachable. How have you been in this condition?”
“Some goons were following me so I thought to hide in this place, I saw you talking alone in the backyard, who were you talking with?
Mayank turned around and started looking for Harley
“Where is Mr. Harley?” – Mayank asked
“Who is he? There is no one in here
“He is manger of this hotel; I was talking to him to get rid of a hooting Owl.”
“No one stays here since past few years it is totally secluded area”
“What are you saying? I spoke to him tonight, I had a dinner in this hotel, and how could you say there is no one in here?”
They both went to his room.
“Unreal, look at this” – Reema stammered
“How could have this been happened?”
Mayank started pondering over the entire incident that has happened since past two hours; he started linking all the scenes that had occurred one by one.
“Wait a moment give my camera in that bag”
Reema hurriedly pulled the bag and gave the SLR to Mayank. He browsed few pictures he was shocked seeing those.
“You are right Reema this place is haunted it seems there is no such person called Mr. Harley we have to move out quickly.”
Mayank packs all his stuff, holds Reema’s hand tightly and starts moving across the aisle.
“We will move from other way and not from main entrance; follow me, over here there is a back door heading towards other side of the road, we will go from here so that those goons should not see you.”
It was not easy for both of them to move over as goons found them which led to fight; Mayank got hit by a wooden stick in his head and falls unconscious.
24th April 2005
In the hospital over the bed Mayank regains consciousness, he sees in front of him Reema, few doctors and nurses.
“How are you feeling?” one of the senior doctor asked
“I am fine, what was happened to me? Why am I here?”
“You were hit in your head, you fell unconscious and so you are here”
Some agent from police department arrives he confirms the validity of evidence and assures Reema that they case against the culprit is strong enough to convict him.
“Thank you for your help Mayank, get well soon” Agent appreciates and leaves the room.
“What is this all about, could you please explain?” Mayank asks Reema
“You helped us to find the evidence against culprit that killed Neha two years back. You were in trauma since that incidence and could not recollect due to loss of memory”
Neha was Mayank’s fiancé she was murdered in the Hotel where both Mayank and Neha were staying on their last tour to Zurich. Local police tried to investigate the case but could not find any evidence to put the murderer behind the bars; this act was set up to find weapon of assault by Reema with help of local police and few doctors who were treating Mayank to get out of the trauma.
Manager was found guilty of the act and sentenced to life term.
1 year later
Mayank has been recovered from trauma and has resumed his practice
On the sea shore Mayank pondering in his mind while taking a deep breathe
“Sometimes you have to act for your own script to save your life”