And He will come back!!
Marcy Conrad sat on the hospital bed staring blankly through the window. She moved her hand on the bruises on her face and winced. Outside, the sun had risen, flooding the trees and shrubs with its tender rays. The drone of the Air Conditioner muffled the chirp of the birds. At a distance, automobiles snaked slowly on the road, like an irregular locomotive. From within, the window looked like a large TV set with its voice muted.
Marcy tried to get up from the bed, but found it hard. Her entire body ached. Her knees were bandaged. The wounds on her knees were severe, due to several hours of keeling. She was raging with anger and at the same time, she felt chills run down through her spine.
She gave a start when there as a knock at the door. A few moments later a pleasant looking nurse entered the room. "Hey, sweetie! How are you feeling now?" She asked Marcy.
"Much better," replied Marcy.
"It's time for the pills, Baby," she said. Marcy made a disgusting face. For the last couple of days, she has been dumped with pills of all kinds. She never had so many pills in her lifetime. Circumstances change, every time. The nurse handed her three different coloured pills and a glass of water. She gulped the pills and flushed with the entire glass of water.
"Dr Phillips will be examining you in the afternoon, and will decide your discharge. We have called your mother. She will be here anytime." The news of her abduction and escape had reached her mother the same day of her escape. The following morning Mrs Conrad had flown to Mumbai. She had taken a cab directly to the hospital upon her arrival to the city.
When she came to the hospital, and saw her daughter, she broke into tears. Marcy was darling kid to her. After her father's death, Marcy was the only close family she had. As soon as she had got the message of her abduction and miraculous escape, Tracy Conrad had rushed to the city she had loathed. The city had snatched all she had. Her husband had moved to the city ten years back with their daughter. Her work had forced her to say in the US against her will. A year back, Mr John Conrad, had been killed in a Car Accident. Marcy had stayed back despite her mother insistence on moving to the US.
When Tracy Conrad reached the hospital, she rushed towards the post-emergency ward where her daughter had been admitted. After she had settled down, she asked Marcy what had happened. She narrated the incidences of the last two days.
Last Sunday, when I returned home after a late night party, I found something amiss in the house. When I opened the door, I found the security lock disabled. Thinking I would have forgotten to set it on, I ruled out any foul play. I looked at the wall clock, it showed past midnight. I headed towards the bathroom to take a wash. My intuition of something wrong, was confirmed. A figure appeared from the bedroom and grabbed my arm. I tried to scream, but found it hard as he held a handkerchief around my mouth. I smelt something pungent and passed.
When I came to senses, I was in a large pit, gagged with hands and legs tied. It was dark inside. The moonlight fell on the walls of the pit. I tried to estimate where I was. The pit seemed to be a dried up well, which meant, I was in the outskirts of the city. I thought about the possible reason of my abduction. Political reason would be the last thing that came to mind. Since Papa's death, last summer, I never thought anybody would bother to abduct me for ransom, or release of any terrorist held as prisoner in India. Moreover the extremists would not be stupid to abduct an US citizen. That would be too risky. It would be like stirring the hornet's nest. The city is infested with psychopaths. Maybe I am the victims of one of them. I guess had been right. When I tried to loosen myself, I felt something hard below me. They were many in number, and at first it seemed to be pieces of wood in the dark. I felt them with my hands, and gave an involuntary scream. Bones!! I had to look hard in the meagre moonlight to confirm they where human remains.
So I had been, after all, kidnapped by a psycho. I recalled some of the news that appeared in the newspaper a few years back, about the mysterious disappearance of teenage girls from the city. No traces of them were ever noted thereafter. The newspapers said the case had been closed. The thoughts scared me to death.
The thought made me desperate. Desperation led to thoughts of escape. I looked around and tried to find something that would help me in my escape. Nothing seemed encouraging. Then my eyes fell on one of the bones around me in the dimly lit pit. Can it be used to cut the rope tied to my hands? My hands were tied in the back. So cutting would be difficult. I moved my hands below the hip, slowly towards my heels, and got them in front of me. It was an easy task, given my flexible body.
The bone with sharp edges had been lying few feet away from me. I crawled towards it, grabbed the bone between my bare thighs and rubbed the rope on the sharp part of the bone. The gruelling task must have taken more than 15 minutes, and my wrists hurt with bruises and tied hands. Finally, the rope gave in with a snap. I untied my legs and stood up. I felt as if I had grown ten years old. My body ached and so did my joints.
The mouth of the pit must have been about fifteen feet high. I lost hope. I felt like crying. I looked at the walls of the pit, to check if I can find anything to grip on. There were protruding stones all over. So I tried to climb up using these rocks. I slipped many times landing on the heap of bones below. On several occasion I reached about halfway. The feeling reaching the half way was good. But the fear of slipping and falling from that height made my legs wobble.
Tired I rested for some time, conserving my energy or recharging it, and then hit back again. I tried to climb from all sides of the wall. Finally, when I was about to give up, when I was half way my eyes fell on a rope hanging few feet away. I would have easily jumped and caught hold of the rope. I knew I had only one chance to grab the rope. I feared the rope wasn't tied to the other end. My dread of landing on the rotting corpses returned. Still focusing on the rope, I leaped on it and held it with all the strength I could muster.
I slipped and fell, holding the rope. I did not land on the ground. I hung a few feet above rotting heap of bones. I gripped the rope tight in my hands, and taking the support of the walls of the pit, I ascended to the surface. Desperation and urgency, combined with fear, force me out from the death trap quickly than expected.
Rest of the story was narrated by the police officer who had called Mrs Conrad. "We have found your daughter near the Mariana beach last night. She is traumatised, but in stable condition. Seems she has escaped from the clutches of a kidnapper. Your daughter is a brave girl. She says that she walked for about two hours to come out of the dense forest and reach the beach. Some passerby noticed her lying on the beachside and called the police. She is admitted in City Trauma centre. She says she saw bones in a pit in the centre of the forest. A search operation conducted by the cops last night has turned out to be futile. "
For last few years, many teenage girls had disappeared from several schools of the city. Not a single girl out of the fifteen who had disappeared could be traced. Not a single body found. The police have been trying to solve this mysterious case since a long time. The issue had snatched the sleeps of many politicians and in turn the police officers' too. Public pressure had been immense. Marcy's incident has given some hope to the police. This surely would lead to the culprit, they thought.
Dr Phillips entered the room just as Marcy had finished her narration. "Good Morning, Miss Conrad. How are you today? You look as you're fit to go home. Hello, Mrs Conrad, pleased to see you."
"Pleased to see you too Dr Phillips."
"I will do some routine checks and will discharge you as soon as possible."
Dr Phillips did her vital checks. Satisfied he nodded and smiled and Marcy. "You are good to go, Marcy. Your vital signs are fine. I am just worried about your dreams. They will soon cease. And moreover your mom is there to watch you. I will prescribe some pills. Take them along with the other that I have already prescribed." He scribbled the prescription on a paper slip and handed over to Marcy's mother.
"Mrs Conrad, can you come to my office. Will you mind having a cup of coffee, by the time Marcy gets changed? I will ask the nurse to arrange for fresh clothes."
Tracy smiled and followed the doctor to his office.
They both entered into a spacious and brightly lit office. Dr Phillip walked behind the glass topped table, on which a CISCO phone lay inclined, and sat on the grey chair.
"Please, Mrs Conrad, have a seat." He pointed towards one of the three chairs facing him.
As Tracy sat she looked around. A painting hung just behind the doctor's seat. On the right were several framed certificates showing the doctors degrees and achievements. Among the set appeared a degree certificate showing masters in psychiatry from Yale.
"I am sorry about, Marcy. She is sweet girl, and she had to go through this."
"Yeah, I always wanted that she move to the US along with me. However, she wouldn't listen to me."
"I want to discuss about her medical history. Since she is not in a state to give me the details, I want to get it from you. Did she have any childhood trauma I would like me to know?"
Tracy looked worried. Marcy had been brought up with love and care, so there was no question of any kind of mental or physical trauma, until now. Tracy could although remember a brief episode of Marcy complaining about some strange images appearing as vivid as it would be in dreams, when she was awake. She would go into a trance and would be found in various places in the house, including the garden, with some self inflicted wounds on her body. Having being taken through various tests by the best psychiatrist in the US, any mental disorder, including bipolar or schizophrenia had been ruled out. The symptoms had lasted only for few months, and had vanished as it had appeared. Marcy was ten-year-old then.
Tracy told this to the doctor.
"I do not want to startle you, Mrs Conrad. But I gather, this seems to be relapse of the episode," Dr Phillips said. "Some of the wound and bruises on Marcy's body are self-inflicted, as the medical report suggest. Some wound are the result of cuffed wrist. This is less evident though. The police have declined any possibility of the existence of bone filled pit in the forest. I have spoken to some of her friends. They suggested Marcy often visited the beach area she was found last night."
Tracy listened intently.
"I am yet to reach to a conclusion. However, my initial evaluation does suggest this. I would like to interview Marcy once she feels better. Till then I guess she is good hands." Dr Phillips woke up from his seat.
"I have few patients to attend. Please keep me informed if Marcy's behaviour deviates from normality." He gave his business card, and they walked out of the room.
That night Tracy lay awake beside her peacefully sleeping daughter. The sedative had taken effect on Marcy, and she had drifted into a deep slumber. Tracy remembered the day Marcy had acted weird when she was about ten years old. She had narrated various incidences of that day to her mommy. They all seemed implausible for a ten-year-old. For a moment Tracy had thought her daughter may have possessed by evil spirit. Though the thoughts were disturbing, at about 2 am, Tracy passed.
She was awaked by the vibration of her cell phone. She looked at the bedside clock and realised she had slept beyond sunrise. An unknown local number appeared on the display. She pushed the green button and said, "Tracy Conrad here."
"Hello, Mrs Conrad, I am Deputy SP, Dias speaking. I have some important matters to discuss with you. Can you please come to the police station urgently?"
"Is anything wrong, Mr Dias?"
"Yes, the search squad deployed in the forest has found the pit your daughter was talking about. And we have found a body of young girl in it. She must have died at the same time your daughter was trying to escape from the pit. It seems odd madam. I would appreciate if you bring your daughter along with you. There is something else. I guess we have found the murderer."
"You know my daughter's condition, officer. She is not in a condition to be questioned."
"We can do it in the presence of your child's psychiatrist, if you don't mind."
There was a long pause after which Tracy spoke.
"I will talk to Dr Phillips."
She heard water running in the bathroom next room. Marcy had awakened early, and had been washing.
Tracy dialled Dr Phillips cell phone and told him about Mr Dias' phone call. Dr Phillips had agreed to meet her along with Tracy at the police station in an hour.
Tracy and Marcy reached the police station in an hour. The police station buzzed with noises of people chattering, shuffling of papers and other activities of the busy morning. The duo entered the police station and Tracy asked the constable at the front desk, where she could find SP Dias.
"Your must be Mrs Conrad. Mr Dias and Dr Phillip are waiting for you. Please head straight and on the right first cabin belongs to Mr Dias."
Tracy thanked him and both walked into Mr Dias' office. Dr Phillip and Dias were talking in hushed voice. As soon as they entered the office the officer and the doctor were quite. The office seemed sombre, and Dr Phillip was not even staring at them. Tracy thought something disastrous would come. For a moment Tracy wondered if Marcy was behind the killing. She immediately discounted the notion.
"Please be seated," Mr Dias said pointing at the chairs next to Dr Phillips'. "We have found the suspect. He was traced in the vicinity of the forest, where the well is located. He tried to escape and dumped a weapon, supposed to be used for killing the girls, into the woods. The police found a dragger in the place where the suspect was first seen."
"Has he confessed of the crime?" asked Mrs Conrad.
"Not yet. He is still denying he has committed the crime. We are confident the crime has been committed by him. The reports from the forensic suggest that the killing has been done by some kind of sharp weapon like a dragger. Since the bodies are decayed to extend beyond recognition, the forensic reports are not full-proof. We still think we have our man. The man we have arrested has a criminal record, and is supposed to be mentally unstable. You can be rest assured that there is no danger to your daughter hereafter. The reason I called your daughter is I want to ask if she can identify the man."
Marcy cut in. "I have not seen him, Mr Dias. Since all the time I had passed out. The only time I saw him was in the bedroom. His face cannot be seen because of the darkness. But from the silhouette, he looked of average height and built."
"Can we walk towards the questioning room and check if you recognise him. He is in the questioning room. You can see it through the glass windows."
They reached the one-side see through glass window. A man was sitting alone in a chair, handcuffed. He stared around at the walls and looked confused. He looked of medium built.
They all stared at the man. Marcy stared at him half scared and half in anticipation. The team looked at Marcy and her reaction. Her face showed no sign of recognition.
"It is hard to recognise. I am not even in a state." Marcy said pressing her temples.
Dr Phillips spoke, "Mr Dias, I think this is enough. I don't want any kind of strain on Marcy. You can talk to her when she is fit to do so. Please excuse us."
"I am sorry. I guess you are right. I am done for now. Thanks you all."
"Thank you Mr Dias." Mrs Conrad shook hands with Mr Dias. They all walked out of the police station.
Next morning Mrs Conrad saw her daughter missing from the bed next to her. Startled, she got out of the bed and searched the entire house. There was no sign of Marcy. She was about to call the police when she thought of searching the cellars.
The door of the cellar was open and a dim light burned at the end of the cellar. Tracy slowly walked towards that place. No sign of Marcy. She kept walking her heart thudding in her chest. At last she reached the place. A small gunny bag lay on the floor next to the bulb. She picked up and looked inside. She gasped with her mouth open. The dragger and handcuffs!!