Friday, March 20, 2009

Witness to a murder

I was a fifteen year old boy then. My parents and siblings had all gone for a marriage. I was alone in the independent house. I could not accompany them as I had school examination the next day. My parents had asked me to sleep in the adjacent house for the night. I was tall and well built belying my young age. I felt shy to go to the neighbour’s house for sleeping. I decided to stay in my house though it was the first time I was alone in my fairly big house. I locked all the rooms and came to the front room facing the road for studying. I had many lessons to revise. I was sitting by the side of a window facing the road. It was around 11-30PM. The road was dim lit and it was deserted and silent. Some cows were grazing with a few dogs barking at each other now and then. I was afraid of the darkness outside and the dogs barking. I had heard someone telling that dogs bark when they see ghosts. My mind was not on my lessons.
It was then that I heard some running steps on the road and a desperate cry from by the window from someone asking me to open the door. I could hear more steps from a little away coming towards this side. The man anxiously pleaded with me to open the door telling they were chasing him to kill. He was a young man in a lungi and sleeveless banyan with fear writ large on his face. A chill went up my spine when he tried to grab my arm that went out to shut the window. I quickly withdrew and switched off the light so that none can see me. Two or three men should have followed him as I heard repeated blows rain on him. I hid myself below the window lest I be seen as a lone witness to the horrid crime. I heard a shrill cry which I suspected was followed a slit of his neck with a knife. The cries in agony soon faded into moans in pain only to die down totally after a few minutes. My neighbours must have heard the commotion but they dared not venture out fearing their own lives.
I could not study after that having seen a murder at such close quarters though I could not see the murderers. I sensed the acrid smell of murder in the air. It was after a restless hour or two that I dozed off to sleep.
The sun was already up above and the street had come alive with milkmen and paperboys criss crossing on their cycles. I woke up with a start and got up from the chair eager to see the inert blood soaked body lying outside on the ground.I opened the window fully and looked out. There was no sign of any body or a murder having taken place. The cow was chewing the cud across the road and the dogs were playing with one another wagging their tails. What about the heart rending plea for a safe shelter, the blood chilling murder and the cries in agony of pain? I was in a state of utter bewilderment when my mom came with a cup of coffee. “Raju, when we came unexpectedly around 12 in the midnight, I found you sleeping in the chair. I thought you were taking a short break. Why, what happened, it looks as though you had a nightmare?” she asked.


  1. gives an image of the scene, and in the end, it made me laugh my heart out. well written.

  2. A well-written story. Perhaps the dream was meant to teach the narrator of the story a lesson in real life: such things happen and how to deal with it if it happens.

  3. Great unexpected ending as usual, its hard to take quick decisions in life that is why it becomes imp to listen to your heart.

  4. A really good one with a gripping narration.