Part 1: Killer Jeans
Part 2: Troubleshooting
Part 3: Blood Vessel
“A blood vessel?”, blinked Roohi, “How do you mean? And what’s so practical about all this?” she added as she suddenly remembered her escape from the morgue. She had walked all the way to Shivani’s, and that too in a lab coat. Mortification made her purse her lips until they were deathly white.
Shivani sighed condescendingly and said, “Your body is a vessel”, she outlined an imaginary pot in the air, “Filled with blood. Like, literally, no?” Roohi didn’t know what to make of it, which clearly showed on her face. Isn’t every body a ‘blood vessel’ then? she thought. Okay, maybe occupying these jeans makes you an indestructible one. But does this make me immortal, or not?! The uncertainty made her heart thump and her face twitch.
“It’s a superpower, Roohi. Think with me for a moment”, she framed her thumbs and index fingers to form a make-believe screen, “These bad guys are shooting and slashing away at you, and you’re strangling the sh*t out of them. You end up with not a single scratch on you, and they end up dead! Finished!” she said crassly imitating Mrs. Verma’s mangled dead body. “Capisce?”
“Not really”, said Roohi quite unmoved. “It’s too mainstream”, she shrugged as if it wasn’t a big deal.
“Really? You came back from the dead and that is too mainstream for you?”, said Shivani, frustrated by Roohi’s obvious lack of enthusiasm. But Roohi wasn’t even listening to this little homily; she was lost in her own thoughts.
“I’ll tell you what would be cool,” said Roohi, brightening up for an instant. “Invisibility”, she mused before realizing she wasn’t half as cool. She was, in fact, a mass-murdering psychopath who hadn’t even witnessed her own crimes. “This is no comparison, really!” she said with feeling.
Shivani wasn’t too sure if it was a good idea, but considering nothing happened as long as Roohi wasn’t in a bad mood, slowly unlatched the door and stepped inside. She sat on the bed next to Roohi, who didn’t seem to have registered the amount of stupidity her friend was trustingly displaying.
“We’ve got to figure out what’s going on though. It feels like we’re sitting on something.” said Shivani softly. She decided that as long as she kept her tone in check, Roohi wouldn’t fly off the handle and make for her throat. The last thing she wanted was to end up dead in her own house – tongue lolling, eyes bulging, like Roohi’s first two unwitting victims. “We’re sitting on your bed..” said Roohi distractedly.
Before Shivani had a chance to comment, the doorbell rang. Both of them started at the unexpected sound and looked at the clock. It was 6:45am. Shivani had a bad premonition, but kept it to herself lest it freak Roohi out.
She took a few deep breaths, walked as calmly as she could to the main door and opened it without thinking to look into the eyehole first. As soon as she saw the three police officers, she realized how foolish she had been. She’d have had a moment or two to compose herself had she checked to find out who was on the other side of the door before opening it. She wondered whether they’d buy it if she simply played dead now.
“Ms. Shivani, we would like to ask you a few questions in relation to the unexplainable escape of your friend Ms. Roohi from the… erm…. morgue. May we come in?” asked officer number 1. A high-pitched “No!” escaped Shivani’s throat before she could stop herself, and it did more damage than she could have ever imagined.
“Step away from the doorway, Ms. Shivani!” yelled officer number 2 and pushed her away before she could obey this instruction.
“Do you have a warrant?”, she asked feebly as the three of them forced themselves into her house.
Shivani didn’t know what to do, so she stood dumbly by the door, holding it open. She could hear them open cupboards, cabinets, and even drawers, overturning bins and baskets, probably looking for clues in the kitchen. Little did they know they were soon going to find their deranged criminal.
After a minute, she wondered why they were still rummaging around and was just about to investigate this, when she heard their footsteps coming towards here. She braced herself for the worst and was on the brink of a panic attack when the sight of just the three of them reappearing in the hall puzzled her.
Officer number 3, an elderly man, patted her on the back and said, “We are very sorry for your loss, Ms. Shivani, but please co-operate with us. Have you heard from Ms. Roohi since the time you were notified of her death?”
She just stared at them in response, speechless. The officers concluded that she was shaken by the turn of events and needed some time. One of them gave her a phone number, just in case she ‘wanted to talk’.
As soon as they left, Shivani ran into the house, checking every room on her way to the bedroom. Here, all the cupboards were open. Save for the bed, they had disheveled everything. She looked everywhere – under the bed, in the cupboards, the loft and even the drawers; there was no sign of Roohi.
Absolutely amazed, she turned round to face the bed and stifled a small scream when she saw Roohi sitting on the middle of its low headboard; she was hugging her knees tightly to her chest.
“Whoa, there! You gave me quite a fright, hon. Where were you hiding? That was brilliant!” gushed Shivani as she collected herself, jumped up on the bed and crushed Roohi in a bear hug.
Still in shock at what had just happened to her, Roohi said, “Nowhere. I was right here all this while.”
(to be continued)