The city was abuzz with the spine chilling stories of gory killings in different parts mostly in the night. Some daytime murders in secluded spots were reported. There was a uniform pattern behind the killings and the instrument used was the same. The victims were mostly young men. Old men, women and children were spared by the killer. The description of this serial killer was all hearsay as no one has seen him and the victims were too dead to throw light on.Rumours were afloat that he killed with a blunt instrument on the head.. But no evidence was found in the vicinity. The newspapers were screaming with headlines reporting the ghastly slaughters and asking for immediate action by the police. The police were not found wanting in response and many patrol teams were doing the rounds in different parts of the city at nights. It was nearly a month and more than 15 killings had taken place with the killer still eluding the police. There was a reward of rupees one lakh to anyone helping in nabbing the culprit.
Ravi was broke. He had no job. The last rupee was spent long back and he needed money badly. This was a godsend opportunity. He was a hefty and strong fellow and can tackle anyone on one to one basis. He ventured out in his spotless blue jeans and cream khurta looking carefully on all sides n for any suspicious character. It was dark and drizzling with the atmosphere somewhat creepy. The night seemed perfect for the killer to come out of his den to get his prey. Ravi leisurely walked but with alertness as the road lined with big trees was deserted with not a single soul. It was three days since an incident was reported and whole city was waiting with bated breath for the next murder and hoped the police would catch the killer. Police were also on tenterhooks setting up barricades at all intersections for the cars to stop. They even checked individuals who looked suspicious sparing the well dressed office goers.
Ravi saw a few police patrol cars whizzing past. This road was still desolate and dim with lights few and far between. Ravi had made sure that he was well armed when he went out since the day murder started happening. Still there was a slight tinge of fear as the killer managed to kill 15 unwary and unsuspecting victims. But he was well prepared for a skirmish if necessary and confident that he cannot be taken by surprise. Nevertheless he ran his hand on his side to feel the security of weapon he had hidden to be used if necessary.
It was then he saw in the darkness a well built tall man enter from a side road. There were none within sight. He felt his heart was pounding hard and that he was perspiring. There was a strange feeling of tingling in his hands and legs. He did not panic though and kept his hand on the weapon. When the man neared, he found him in Khaki uniform of the police. He was sporting a long and bushy mustache as policemen are wont to.
Ravi heaved a sigh of relief when the khaki clad man asked in a stentorian voice ”Hey, what are you doing in this road at this hour? Don’t you know that a mad killer is on prowl and that people do not stir out after dusk and if they do, they go in groups?”
Ravi laughed loudly and said “I am fully aware. In fact I am on the prowl to catch him to help you inept police people.”
“You seem a reckless guy. I would call you a foolish and rash guy to come like this alone without even a walking stick in your hand to confront a known serial killer. The moment he sees you he will make a mince meat of you” the khaki clad man said
“Don’t assume things. I have a weapon to protect myself. Why should I fear now when you are there by my side” Ravi said
“That is true. Not a single patrol car is seen for nearly 30 minutes. I think one jeep is coming behind us. Don’t you see?”asked the khaki man
Ravi turned behind to see the jeep when he felt a sledge hammer blow fall on his head. Thousand stars exploded before he felt he was floating in darkness and all was quiet thereafter.
The headlines in the paper next day screamed ”Killer active again. Sixteenth victim. Is police sleeping?”