"You will find it John."
Frank turned off the camera and saved the video in the computer.
He had placed a ten ton iron cupboard in a way such that it was supported by a chair tip from falling horizontally on the ground. "This antic piece of your grand pa weighs hundred ton. It would crush off a man like a truck if it falls." He had said once to his wife while shifting, but that was in the days of happiness. Now things had changed.
He slept under the inclined cupboard; placing his head under it.
He smiled and pushed the wooden chair by his weak hand. The chair screeched under the pressure of the cupboard, which fell straight on his head. The skull crushed, the bones sank in and were powdered instantly mixing with the blood, which oozed out from his now headless body. His heart beat grew stronger for a second and stopped.
"TRING TRING" the phone interrupted Raj, who had planned for a short trip with his small family.
"Pick up the call," Shouted his wife Rekha from the kitchen.
He picked up the receiver.
"Who is it?" No answer.
"Chintu's dad," Shouted his wife again, like a good cultural Indian wife, "who is it?"
Again no answer! Raj was hit by a thunder bolt.
He came back to his senses when his wife shook him. "Who was it?" "It it was!" he recollected his thoughts together, "It's from my work and I got to go there today. It's it's important, sorry." He lied.
Raj left home cancelling the trip that they had planned after almost a year and his wife was supposedly angry with him.
They slept peacefully that night unaware of the calamity that was pacing towards them like an unstoppable missile.
Their four year old son died that night. The neighbors around woke up in the morning to hear the sirens of the ambulance. Their kid had fallen from fourth floor balcony; police were still investigating the reason of fall. The door was opened from inside and the kid had fallen, that meant it was an accident but still was a mystery.
"Sir, I'm telling you, that incident has something to do with these," said Samir, handing a file to his boss with the newspaper.
"I know there were reports from around the world in past few days but this is just a coincidence and nothing else." Amir replied and handed the reports back to Samir; with all the patience that a director should have; Director of SPTF - Special Police Task Force, a private organization licensed by police and government.
The previous year it had won an international award for an investigation lead by Amir Hussain.
Samir Arna wasn't convinced with Amir's reaction. He left to Bangalore the next day. He loved Bangalore's whether and more often found new reasons to visit Bangalore.
"Okay, but please wind it up soon," Said Raj groggily, still caught in the sorrow of losing his only son.
After a little struggle Samir had convinced him to talk about the mishap Raj never wanted to recall of.
"Thank you sir, thank you very much."
"Sir, did you get any call before the mishap?" asked Samir, after some formal questions.
"Sir, it is important and might be related to death of your son."
"How do you know?" Raj broke off.
"That I had got a call?"
"What was it?"
"It was a blackmail call."
"He asked to send one lakh to an address in two hours or my son would be killed. He had a terrible voice and didn't let me speak. He said no police would save my kid. I thought it was a joke before he said the
name of my son's school; I was too afraid." He explained all of it in a single breath. He had lied to his wife that it was from office.
"Did you send the amount?"
Samir couldn't believe what he heard, "On just a call you gave away the money." He knew what the answer would be.
Raj earned a lot and even to think of losing his son was a tragedy for him.
"Where did you send it?"
"I went to the address the caller said and threw it inside a dumpster. Do you think he killed my son even after taking the money?" Samir stayed quiet. "Give me the address?"
Samir went to the address he was told and was surprised to see that the place had a CCTV survey as the said dumpster was behind a mall. He checked the CCTV records of that particular day. At that moment he had thought he would find out the criminal. But the case went back to blank state same as it was reported from other countries.
After Raj had dropped his bag of money in the bin no one ever took anything from there. A garbage van had picked the garbage and accidentally the bag with money.
He later got to know from some of his sources that the money was shared by some street side gamblers who had by chance found the bag.
He rode back to Mysore.
"Boss, there was a blackmail call for money again." Samir reported to Amir Hussain with much confidence this time.
"Samir I told you not to worry about it."
"Sir, there was a blackmail call and the money was sent but not picked up. The whole incident happened as it was reported from Bangkok, New Delhi and U.P."
"Samir ,I know what is happening and I agree that we must get serious but please tell me who do you think is travelling from all over the world to kill a kid just to take no money?"
Amir had a point and Samir knew that.
"Who do you think will travel all over the world even faster than an aero plan just to kill a kid and not take money?"
"Son if I say this thing to the higher authorities they would just make a joke of me. So just forget about it."
But Samir wouldn't stay quiet so easily, he wanted an answer.
The blackmail calls were made from internet and even the IP address was untraceable by many of the international trackers.
Samir posted all this on his account of SPTF website unknowing of the consequences. Many newspapers had found the whole story intriguing. And some political nemesis had made SPTF look insane by this.
"BEWARE OF THE DEATH CALLS."
"SPTF gone insane - believes our new commissioner."
Those were the headlines in the newspaper the next day.
And there were many similar calls of blackmail around India for money. Most of the families who got these calls reported to the police. Finally this news came to the desk of SPTF.
"Sir, I told you this was serious." Samir said to Amir in a warning tone still not realizing how terrible a mistake he had done.
"People are terrorized and many of them are ready to give away the money to the said address." Reported one of the media people on television. Now Samir finally grasped the stupidity of his mistake.
"There are rumors that many people haven't even informed to the police and are going to give their money off."
"A terrible mistake by SPTF."
"I told you to keep quiet in this case." Said Amir; eventually losing his nerves. "But sir," "Don't, don't you say anything."
"Listen we were given strict orders from International Security Force to keep quiet about this case and that's why I ordered you to and now you made it more chaotic and SPTF is losing its well established reputation."
Samir's updates on this case on web had flagged many hoax callers and kidnappers a way to earn.
And the political nemesis of SPTF had taken a full fledge advantage of the situation.
Amir Hussain was talking continuously on his nerves. But still knew Samir is such a person who would rectify his mistake very soon. So proved Samir who never digested a thing what he told now. He waited for one last chance.
Next day it was reported that no killing had happened as per blackmails except in two places; One in Bangalore and other one in Chennai.
Bangalore's case was not reported to police and a 6 year kid had fallen from stair case and died.
"Death calls, that's what people are calling them." A media person reported from Bangalore.
"We even had given money." Father of the dead kid cried in agony.
Again strange but familiarly the money was not picked up by anyone till the police reached the place and picked it up.
Chennai's case was reported to the police and even after police security a nine year old kid was found dead with a knife from the kitchen. All finger prints that were found were the kid's. And no door or anything was opened or broken.
"Many hoax callers have taken advantage of this thing throughout the nation." Reported another reporter from Chennai; "Forensic report says that it might be a suicide since the knife had gone in the kid's stomach with a very less force. Even though it seems reasonable the police doubt that any kid of that young age would commit suicide."
After hearing all that a Tsunami of thoughts came into Samir's mind. But only one logical thing he could explain was suicide.
But how would so many kids commit suicide in so many places in two consecutive days? An unanswerable creepy question; Samir shivered at the thought of a kid and suicide.
One thing caught his mind, In Chennai kid had died due to knife and in Bangalore from the fourth floor.
"Why?" He couldn't figure out a proper answer for that question.
But however he was near one of the answers.
The kids had died only ways that were supposed to be easy for suicide. Chennai house was not elevated from the ground so that the kid would jump and die as in Bangalore, so he killed himself by the knife.
The only way to find this out is to actually be awake beside the kid all night, Samir decided and this could be only done when the blackmailer calls again.
After two more days he heard that a rich personality of India had got a blackmail call of same kind. It was Lambani Mehta of Alliance, "We got a blackmail call from unknown person who wanted just 1k to be sent to some address or my kid would be killed. Please leave my kid, whoever you are; I would write my whole property for you." Cried Lambani Mehta on the interview, as he was dragged by the police; calming him down the Commissioner said "It's a hoax call and no one needs to panic."
"Sir this thing is been happening everywhere?" Questioned one of the reporters, "No questions please." He ignored them all and the media was then pressed out of the place.
Samir immediately left to Mumbai, to personally handle the case from SPTF. The way he got this case was that if something goes wrong he would have to lose his job permanently. Amir Hussain would never take a risk like that until it was a capable person like Samir.
He soon reached the place and found foolproof security everywhere.
He entered the house and found his archenemy and challenger GPC - Government Police commissioner who always envied SPTF's work.
"I would like it if you stay as much out of the case as possible." He whispered in Samir's ears, with a very formal hand shake. "Yes Sir," Replied Samir.
"Sir, all the sharp items are removed from the kid's bedroom," reported one of the sub police officers. "What about the windows?" "All locked and when one is opened it would give sirens to the whole building and alert everyone."
"Sir Can I stay with the kid tonight?" Samir asked with half nervousness and half courage. "Sir the kid's father has requested to stay with the kid," Said the officer, with a laugh of disgust towards Samir. "Oh Kay," replied GPC.
"Sir, I please request you to," Samir just kept quiet when he saw all officers around him laugh. "You being in there, doesn't make any sense, the security in and out is tight enough even to detect the
movements of a mosquito. You can sleep Mr. SPTF," GPC paused for some time "Smart pants." and then burst out in laughter.
Samir had never felt this embarrassed but this was not the first time he had to bare them.
He went into his guest room and freshened up. He had his dinner in the room and latter checked if there were any updates on this case from other places. There was no progress yet.
He was done for the day and "There is no way the kid would harm himself with such intense security." He calmed himself down.
He slept, but before sleeping he activated for an alert if there was any progress on the case. And at 2am in the night he got one.
He rubbed his eyes to read the whole story with a great confusion and shock.
He called to someone he had never called for years. That friend of his was no ordinary person.
"Dad, dad wake up."
John W woke up with a great surprise to find no one around. "Son, where are you?" He yelled at the walls in grief, he knew the hide and seek his son was playing was not a game. He knew his son would never return.
The 40 year old ISF (International Security Force) officer John now found a mail from someone very familiar to him on his computer screen.
email@example.com it said. And when he opened it to his surprise he found something he had never expected to see.
"I am rotten in a rotten place in my rotten house and I have left this place forever, never can you catch me, I have made a life where I can settle. You would find answer for all your questions John."
"You will find the answer Frank go question god, you will find it." John remembered the things he had said to his best pal Frank when he last saw him months back. He was his childhood pal. Frank was a children psychiatrist in the ISF team, and in the same worked John as a lead detective.
John got up from his chair; that fell behind with loud noise. He took out his SUV and he knew were to go. He knew his friend was not joking.
Old memories began flashing in his mind as he drove.
Frank's life was great until one day he came to know that he would never have kids. His wife left him for the same reason.
He had gone mad and had forced John to give his six years old kid to him; he wanted to adopt the only son of John. He had gone to an extent of kidnapping him.
John parked his car and looked towards the weed grown house where he could still see his son and Frank playing football. Of course they were very close and happy before the day of Frank's life turmoil. Even after that, John's son never forgot Frank. "Dada uncle Frank calling why not?" His son used to ask him. His son used to say calling in place of coming. Though John condemned him, Frank had said "kids do learn and will learn."
He hustled inside the house which was unlocked.
A suffocating stink filled his nose - which he wanted to cut off at that moment; a stink of a dead body and John knew whose dead body that was; it was Frank's. He saw a passport on one of the desks. He cleaned the passport to find out that Frank had been travelling a lot lately and that lately meant two weeks back.
A body rotten and eaten by bugs was found in the place and the head was smashed under a cupboard so dreadfully that John had never seen in his career. He called ambulance and the other investigating team.
They found plenty of flight tickets. There were tickets of all around the world including India. John wondered why his insane friend travelled here and there. And he found an answer that was more than a shock to him.
He saw something very familiar and dreadful to him and his bad memories. He heard it. A call, it was no ordinary call a blackmail call it was, and more than that it was before the night in which his son died.
He found all of them on Frank's computer. To his surprise the system was still on and working. Until latter he never knew that it was working from almost two weeks and by itself.
It was programmed to make automatic calls for blackmails on a certain time; blackmails to contacts across the world.
And that's how it was established to be the source of all blackmailing calls in India and across the world. And a video was found in the system,
"It's you John; you know it's your mistake. You want to know how your kid died with all other kids; you want to know how your kid will stay for eternity with me. I want you to beg in front of god for the answer."
He continued with a cold chill in his voice. John's mind flashed back when Frank had begged for John's kid and John had lost his patience and said "Beg before god frank, beg before god for kids, he will give you many."
The video continued playing,
"John, I have come to god and by the time you watch this even the kids will reach here, I don't have to beg now. It's you who has to beg before god, for lives of so many that have already gone. I guess you already have begged. For puzzles that the whole world is waiting to be solved; a puzzle that's eating you up more than a week; a puzzle of the death of your kid, you will find it. All of it. "
John found a dairy-cum-book in the shelf which was named My Interview with the kids.
"The kids were hypnotized to die on a certain date and the calls were automated, death was written to them on a particular date by me." Though Frank wasn't alive to say all this; his voice still echoed in the walls from each and every corner of the house.
John continued reading "As they say after death there's life, that's where I will live,
With the kids I have taken with me."
And Frank had written how he hypnotized every kid to harm himself on a certain date. The kids would be unconscious after sleeping and later they would never realize what they were doing.
And one among the last ones was this.
"Interview with the most rich and intelligent kid of India;
The kid had just come out of the school when I found him. I had to just do some of my hand work and then showed and said the date the kid had to die. Ha ha ha ha."
A malicious laugh rung in John's head; though it didn't seem that creepy but the cunningness of all this was much biter than a most dangerous cold blooded murder.
"It took full five minutes to explain this kid how to die when compared to yours who just took one minute."
He hadn't written how the kid was going to die.
"I have made all arrangements so that I have enough kids with me forever; I would have built a beautiful house for the kids to stay with me till they arrive."
Now the emotions in John changed, straight from fear-anger he started to cry. Hot tears glided from John's cheeks. He now realized how insane his friend was about kids. He regretted for the day when he had misbehaved with Frank. He regretted for not being there for his friend during a really difficult time. He could hug the rotten body of Frank now and cry if it was there.
He controlled his emotions and continued reading it.
"They say that the money given away in this world would be used in the hereafter well I would send a word to all the parents who loved their kids more than money; that their money would never go waste and their kids would be taken well care of with that money."
BACK IN MUMBAI
Now John had updated the news over internet and it spread around the world and reached at 2 to Samir. He immediately made a call to John W.
"Sir a similar blackmail call was made here and this kid's in full security now, how would the kid harm itself?" Samir questioned, after their initial greetings (and after briefing each other about the cases on either side.)
"Listen Samir there might be something, this guy here had predicted everything and the kid there is surely in some danger."
"Sir," Samir was going to say something that the battery of his phone went down. He picked up the charger and connected it.
"Samir I," He hesitated "Samir I just caught something, the electricity." Samir didn't even hear the complete sentence; he dropped his phone down and ran
towards the room of the kid and found two police officers standing near the door.
"Mr. Samir, please leave the place." Said one of them, "See, it's important;" "No, it's not important, it's you," alleged the police officer and both of them began laughing. Samir totally lost his nerves and took out his gun grabbed one of the police officer by neck and held it on his forehead. "Open the door," "Mr.Samir you know that you are doing a great mistake," "Just open the door," The officer opened the door and in a second everything happened.
Samir was shot on his leg by GPC from behind and there was a terrible shout by Mr.Lambani - who was sleeping with his son.
The six years old kid was getting electrocuted by the plug hole beside the bed. The kid's hand was in the live socket, Samir fell slowly on his one leg and leaped to switch off the supply until which one more bullet pierced in his other leg. He fell and all faces went blur.
He was in hospital when he woke up to find Amir Hussain sitting beside him angrily and GPC standing with his head down out of embarrassment. Samir wanted to ask something; he had lost much of his blood and now was slowly trying to regain his consciousness and uttered something very inaudible, "Kid?"
Amir heard him, "You never listen to me, now you lost your" Amir paused for a moment. He made a very sorry face at first but broke down smiling and continued "health and saved the kid's life." Now Samir finally closed his eyes to take rest.
He saw a dream that day, a light very bright light. A person playing with some kids came to him, handing him money the person said "Return this back to Lambani," he saw the man crying saying,
"The one rich-intelligent kid from India didn't reach."