Onion: Chapter 1) A surprize Inspection

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
A Hostel hosted a surprise inspection while some of the students were breaking a few rules.

Submitted: May 18, 2019

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Submitted: May 18, 2019

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Murray felt safe in his locked room. Although the fear of discovery never left him completely, a sense of calm was quietly creeping through his paralyzed mind and slowly his thinking came back. He looked towards the ceiling realizing that for the past twenty minutes he was gazing at his door. Bathed in fear and sweat, he slowly got up from the floor where he found himself sprawled. As quiet as a cat, he walked towards the door and pushed his right ear against it waiting. He felt a physiologic war going on inside him; his fear surged Adrenaline in huge amounts causing his heart to pump blood at a stupendous rate but his brain urged him to act like a ghost which inevitably led him to hold his breath lest he be heard and the deception discovered.

He could not make out exactly what was going on outside because the corridor had turned relatively quiet but that was expected. Finally, when he could no longer fight his subconscious impulse, he pulled away from the door and moved towards the farthest corner, gave a huge sigh and started breathing frantically. Murray had been to the pulmonary ward and had seen patients with significant lung ailments coughing hoarsely and excessively which left them gasping for air, and thought if anyone saw him breathing now would surely prescribe him a Salbutamol inhaler. A wry smile crept up his mouth which was instantly removed by the noise outside. This time it didn’t require any effort to listen; “The stench is coming from that room ? “ asked a soft voice with authority. “But sir, the boarder has gone home. Its been locked since then.” Said another voice. Murray recognized both: the former was of the hostel warden and the latter was of the superintendent. “And when was this?” asked the warden. “Two weeks.” Replied the superintendent. “Two Weeks!” grunted the Warden in exasperation of the smell. Murray’s eyes darted towards the chillum which lay beneath the bed puffing out very thin, wire-like smoke. He took a step towards it but stopped midway. “I suppose you have the key to the room?”  The warden inquired. “No sir. He took it with him.” Came a timid reply from the superintendent. Pulling out his slippers, Murray quietly moved towards the bed and bent down, his mind was picturing the scenes of American SWAT teams blowing open doors to apprehend criminals and as he gently tapped the chillum to empty its contents on the concrete floor his thoughts started focusing on passable excuses. The chillum was already smoked half before the surprise inspection hence a substantially less amount was now lying partially burning on the floor which Murray extinguished with his thumb.

There were four of them at the beginning: Murray, Shawn, Beckham and Virat. Those were not their real names but each chose their own nicknames upon their favorite sportsmen. Although a huge debate had erupted a year and half back about choosing upon favorite actors but eventually everyone decided on sportsman, believing it to be more sporty and fashionable. The fifth member of the group Ronaldo, had left for home two weeks back to attend a wedding and was supposed to arrive a week later. Ronaldo’s roommate the Nutty professor (as the group had named him  because of his seniority and propensity of preaching wherever he could) had graduated a year earlier. After which the room imitated a classic 19th century Chinese opium den. The group named themselves the syndicate based on a movie which they saw while being high on hashish, while the room itself was named Shipwreckove (another name based on a movie). The shipwreckove had witnessed innumerable gatherings in the past year, often involving alcohol consumption and frequent coughing up of ganja smokes. 
 

“Break the lock !” commanded the warden. Murray’s heart skipped a beat. He sat motionless as footsteps echoed signifying that the superintendent has gone to get some hardware. Had Murray been in this situation being sober he would have certainly panicked, but the smoke has gripped his mind now, forcing him to think,to act. He brushed all the dry leaves into a heap and kicked it with his leg towards the wall scattering it but well beyond visibility and they resembled accumulated dust which streaked through where the walls and floor met. He then hurriedly yanked open Nutty Professor’s old cupboard which was empty except for the syndicate’s leftovers. Ever so gently he lined all the empty beer cans together and laid down the empty whisky bottles side by side, in-front and beside the beer cans. He then brought the chillum and kept it upside down along the edge of the cupboard masking the smell as much as possible while reaching into his pocket for the matchbox and the ganja pouch which he hid beside the chillum. Now he got an old dusty bed-sheet from under Ronaldo’s shoe rack and placed it gently over all of the intoxicants. Then he pulled out a canvas bag from Ronaldo’s locker and quietly started filling it with Ronaldo’s shoes and placed it just in front of the beer cans over the covered empty whisky bottles. Then he filled the shoe rack with Ronaldo’s final year books and quietly sneaked inside Ronaldo’s locker which was now empty and spacious. As he started to ponder over his facelift of the room searching for a giveaway, an enormous crash sounded just outside confirming that the lock was now being broken down. Murray felt a panic creep up his spine. The effect of the marijuana was diminishing at a steep rate owing to the work that he had to put in for another deception. The first deception was Virat’s idea. While they were slowly passing the chillum around, on a hot Sunday afternoon; a slow lil’ wayne song was playing on Virat’s phone on a very moderate volume nevertheless soothing the high they were experiencing, Beckham’s phone rang (Bob Marley’s voice boomed in the semi quiet room half illuminated with golden glow from the rays of scorching sun outside shielded by the heavy curtains on the only window) “Surprise checking!” exclaimed Beckham. Murray was still lost and Shawn looked from Murray to Virat unable to speak owing to the fact: he was so high. Virat knew he had to do something and instantly: "Lets lock the room and leave. Sneak out through the back door and head for the tea stalls outside the campus” he said. Beckham was first to reply “But what about our stash?” “Do you want to be caught smoking up?” Virat mouthed leaping out of the bed and started a frantic search for the lock in Ronaldo’s desk. “Shit! We have no choice.” And Beckham joined Virat in his quest for the lock. They were on the verge of leaving when they heard footsteps approaching. “There’s no time”. It was Murray who spoke while still wearing his shirt. “Lock It Virat.” It was done and the next moment he heard the warden enter the room opposite to them. Murray tumbled upon the floor mat and fell down sprawled on the ground too terrified to move, his eyes never leaving the door. 
 

One final jolt and the lock gave away. Murray shrunk up inside the locker praying to all the gods he knew for the deception to work. The bolt unfastened and two pairs of footsteps reached inside the room and stopped near the locker where a sweaty Murray was hiding with heart in his mouth. “The smell certainly seems to come from here” warden said “but it doesn’t look that anyone’s been here”. He paused while moving slowly around the room scanning every inch with his bare eyes. He stopped near Ronaldo’s desk, picked up a book and turned towards the superintendent holding it up for viewing and chuckled mockingly throwing the book back onto the table. Murray couldn’t see any of this but he could hear everything; the heat inside and outside him made him think the worst. (The warden found the leaves and was shifting the table to find more ; seems he found some of ronaldo’s stash and was chuckling in delight ; he will search the lockers now ; oh lord i am sorry for everything ; please get me out of this i promise i will leave everything; i woke up locked inside this room; yes. Someone is playing a saw game with me...will he believe me?) he was brought back with a jolt. Someone had opened the other locker and Murray suddenly remembered a movie antagonist saying to the protagonist “Its Inevitable”.
“There’s nothing here” the superintendent’s loud voice once again broke Murray’s thoughts and a glimmer of hope shone through his stomach which gave a rumble exactly at that time and the hope was lost; (did they hear it): he thought. Footsteps now sounded leaving and the door closed. “ Put a temporary lock for now and inform him when he comes back”. Said the warden “Yes sir.” Came the reply of the Superintendent from far signifying that they were moving towards the other section for inspection. Murray crept out and hastily left the room closing it behind him and walking towards the tea stall from the back door he kept thinking that he will be made to repeat his story for every party now and may become a stuff of legend which will be recounted by many generations to come.


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