Day 2, 05:50 am
Asheeta was driving her car at top speed. Her father was sitting in the front set and mother in the rear seat. Her mother was pleading her to slow down, but Asheeta did not care to respond. She was laughing merrily and her father too joined her in her laughter.
They were interrupted by the honking sound of a vehicle behind. Asheeta looked at the rear view mirror to check who it was. She could not see the man's face, but the vehicle was a lorry. She realized it was the same lorry that had killed her parents in a car accident few years ago. And she realized it was going to happen again. She frantically did a zigzag trying to move away from the lorry's path. She quickly turned to her parents to assure them she would not allow them to die again. But they were both gone.
She realized she was sitting alone in the car, and the man behind was continuously honking which irritated her to a great extent. Unable to control herself any longer, she shouted NO! NO! NO!
Her screams thankfully aborted her nightmare and she opened her eyes wide. She sat in an upright position unsure if it was just a dream. She heard the same honking sound from her dream, which turned out to be the calling bell.
She was perspirating heavily. She took in some deep breaths, allowing herself to calm down. Her eyes glanced at the clock next to her bed. She wondered who was calling her at that time. She slipped on her night robes and went out. She peeped through the key hole and found Sagar impatiently buzzing the calling bell.
Asheeta could not imagine why Sagar had come so early. Unsure she opened the door.
"Hey Ash, you..." Sagar said and stopped mid-way.
Asheeta was wearing a semi-transparent night dress which did not fail to project the curves of her femininity in an elegant manner. It rose where it had to rise and fell where it had to fall.
Sagar simply stood staring at her for a couple of seconds. Then he quickly gathered his thoughts back to the issue at his hands.
"Can't you wear some proper dress?" Sagar managed to ask
"It is morning 5:50 and I was still sleeping. What else did you expect?" Asheeta replied with gritted teeth and stormed inside.
She came back after 5 minutes and was wearing a white Tops and pink skirt. Sagar was still standing outside the house unsure if he could go in. He thought Asheeta still looked extremely gorgeous. Asheeta greeted him inside and made him sit on a sofa in the living room.
"So...what is the matter?" Asheeta asked
"Um...We have got ourselves a situation Ash. Take a look at this photo" Sagar said and handed over a photo to Asheeta.
Asheeta stared at the photo for a few seconds trying to recognize the woman in it.
"Who is this?" she asked confused.
"This woman's name is Sabitha and she is missing from last night"
"Can you recall what you wrote in your serial story yesterday?"
"Oh my God! Do you still believe it? And you woke me up for this?" she asked irritably.
"Sabitha was kidnapped the same way as you have described in your story"
Asheeta stared at him unbelievingly.
"You have got to be kidding me"
"No, I am not"
"Are you sure about this?"
"I was there when she was kidnapped"
"What do you mean?"
"Yeah, I...I was there with her. I read your story last evening and I was sure someone was going to make it real. I just knew. I raced to the beach and found a man usher a woman into a car. But the woman claimed it was some personal problem and that the man was her brother. And I just let them go. It was my fault"
"But why did the woman lie to you?"
"I don't know. But after learning that she is missing, I remembered something else. The woman kept staring at me all the while, like she wanted to convey something through her eyes. She would have been begging me to understand. But I missed it. I can never forgive myself if something happens to her"
"Did you see the man who kidnapped her?"
"Yes, but he kept staring down. He never dared to look up at me. I should have known" Sagar admitted guiltily.
"Don't blame yourself" Asheeta said in a pacifying tone. "I can't believe all this. Why should someone do what I write in a story?"
"I don't know. First tell me what is going to happen in the next episode? Why did he kidnap? I want to know everything"
"See, the protagonist of my story is..."
"Sorry to interrupt, but what is his name?"
"OK, carry on"
"Yeah, as I was saying, Kathir is a sexual psychopath, who was abused by his parents as a kid. His girl friend breaks up with him, which acts as a stressor and he devolves into a serial rapist cum killer. He kidnaps women, tortures them, rapes them and finally kills them"
"So, why did he send a suicide note to
"Um...He feels nothing can stop him and to stop him, he has to die. He is a narcissist and to gain attention from the public and press, he sends a suicide note"
"So, is he going to kill Sabitha today?"
White writing the story, Asheeta found it pretty interesting. But now the fact that it is really happening somewhere sent her shivers through her body.
"Um...actually he does not kill the woman he kidnaps immediately. He kidnaps two women. He tortures and kills the first woman right before the second woman. Then he kidnaps a third woman and does the same to the second woman. And the cycle continues" Asheeta replied uncomfortably
"To give the psychological pain before the actual physical pain"
"So you mean there is already a woman kidnapped before Sabitha?"
Asheeta appeared more uncomfortable now.
"See, I know how you are feeling. But be assured, this has nothing to do with you. You just wrote a story and some psychopath is making it real. Don't beat yourself"
"Spit it out, how many women have been kidnapped before Sabitha?"
"Uh...If he is following my story from the beginning, he would have already killed 3 women and now there is Sabitha and another woman held prisoners"
"Can you tell me the dates when the previous women were kidnapped and killed?"
Asheeta told the dates. Sagar made a call and spoke to someone. He was on the call for a few minutes.
"I just spoke to my junior officer. I have asked him to check if these kidnappings are real"
"I am so sorry"
"Don't! Don't do that to yourself. As I already said, this is not your fault"
Asheeta barely nodded. Sagar held her hands in his and continued
"Look, we are now going to save those two women. And I need your cooperation. And for that to happen, I need you to be strong and able. Is that clear?"
"Good! Now listen carefully. Kathir knows that I saw him. But still he would stick to your version of the story. He is obsessed with your story and will be unable to deviate from what you write. He will do exactly as you write. So, I want you to modify the story such that Sabitha manages to escape unscathed. Is that possible?"
"What about the other woman?"
"She would have already been terrified. She may not have the physical or emotional strength in her to escape. Let us first get Sabitha. Then through her we can rescue the other"
"Alright! But there is a problem. Kathir makes the woman nude and burns their clothes immediately after their kidnap. Do you think Sabitha would be able to find a spare dress?"
"Why does he do that?"
"Nudity makes a woman vulnerable and she never dares to escape"
"Very good! Nice thinking, you know" he said in a mocking tone.
Asheeta looked hurt. Sagar immediately changed his tone.
"Fine, but there must be a way" he said
"Why don’t we make Kathir surrender voluntarily? I will make him feel guilty and he will turn over himself to
"Till now you have thought like a serial killer. But now you are talking like a B grade masala movie. Only in movies the villain changes with one sentimental scene or fight"
"You have a point"
"Think like a serial killer. He does something that goes wrong and
"What about this?" she said in an exciting voice. "He makes a call from Sabitha's mobile to warn
"Good idea! Start editing your story. I will make the necessary arrangements"
The next half an hour flew like a second. Sagar was mostly on calls, convincing people to help and cooperate with him. Asheeta modified her story and let the call creep in without much notice to it, so that the real Kathir would not find it suspicious.
At exactly 07:00 am, the edited story was published in the site. Asheeta and Sagar started waiting with fingers crossed that the real Kathir should make the call.
Day 2, 07:30 am
Sabitha was lying on the floor naked. Different images kept flashing before her eyes. She tried to block the images by closing her eyes tight, but it never stopped.
Sabitha was 5 years old. It was a bright sunny morning. She was at the beach with her father. Her brother and their dog were playing in the water. Sabitha was scared to enter the sea. She held her father's hands tight and pleaded not to put her in the water. Her father pulled her close and whispered "Never sweety, I will never do anything that would hurt you."
Sabitha was 6 years old. She was riding in a swing that her father got exclusively for her. He was pushing the swing from behind. Sabitha was screaming hysterically "Higher papa...higher...higher..."
Sabitha was 9 years old. She came running all hurt, blood oozing from several pores in her left knee. She had fallen down from her bicycle and started crying. Her mother applied some medicine whereas her father hugged her tight and consoled her.
Sabitha was 12 years old. She came home drenched in sweat. She hugged her mom tight and said she was going to die soon. Her mother later figured out that she had attained puberty. Her mother introduced a lot of restrictions whereas her father secretly supported her.
Sabitha was 17 years old. It was her first day at college. She met the most handsome guy in the world. It was love at first sight. He had swept her off her feet. Oh my dear Raju, where are you now
Sabitha was 23 years old. It was her marriage. Rajesh was sitting next to him, beaming at her. Sabitha tried to steal a glance at him. Someone nudged her from behind to be patient. Her cheeks went bright scarlet and she never dared to look up for the next few minutes. After a while Rajesh tied the mangalsutra and she was his wife. They were one now. The best moment in her life was beautifully captured and still decorates her bedroom.
Sabitha was 25 years old. She was at the maternity ward. The doctor was asking her to push. As hard as she tried, she found a part of her body tearing from herself. She thought she was not going to make it. She felt nauseated and was about to faint. Someone slapped her hard on her face and warned her not to faint. She again pushed with all her might and then it was easy. She then heard a shrill cry. It was her baby, a boy, her boy. She was laughing as well as crying. The doctor laid her son on her arms. She kissed him on his forehead. She was overwhelmed with emotions. She felt happy, sad, tired, dehydrated, and was in pain. She closed her eyes content.
Sabitha was 27 years old. She was looking at the diamond ring presented for her birthday. She was feeling depressed. Her husband had been avoiding her for the past few months. But that was not the reason for her depression. There was someone else, someone new in her life. It was Kamal, her new colleague. He was not prince charming, but he gave all the attention Sabitha needed. He made her feel like a woman again. Kamal gifted her the diamond ring for her birthday whereas her dear husband Rajesh forgot to even wish for her birthday.
Sabitha was 28 years old. She had been trying to come out of the affair with Kamal, but Kamal would not allow. Sabitha grew more and more anxious and she did not have anyone to share her problems or seek advice. That was when she accidentally stumbled upon the WonderWoman site. She shared her issues as an anonymous user and with wonderful advices from her online friends, she managed to come out of her affair as a clean slate. They also made her realize what went wrong between her and Rajesh and she managed to get back the old romance she shared with him.
Rajesh had called her yesterday about some sweet surprise and had asked her to come home early. How stupid of me. I should have gone home straight. Why did I go to the beach. Oh Raju, please save me. I really need you now.
Sabitha was ushered into the car by the man who held a knife at her neck. She saw a man at a distant waving his hand and calling them to stop. Sabitha felt relieved for a second thinking she was saved. But the man next to her had other plans. He pushed her into the car and sat in the diver seat. He ignited the car engine and then turned to her.
He looked deep into her eyes and said
"One word you say anything against me, I will tell your husband about the illegal affair you had with your colleague. The ball is in your court now"
It was a hard blow on her face. How could she ever let her husband know about Kamal. Many times she had wondered if she should confess to Rajesh. She had even tried talking but all in vain, she never gathered the courage to tell him. She would rather die than letting Rajesh know through someone else. She cursed herself for hiding it from Rajesh. If she had told him, there was a possibility that he might have accepted. But now, if he heard it from a third person, he would never forgive her. In comparison to that, death felt much better.
Just then they heard a gun shot close to their car. Sabitha decided what she had to do. She lied to
Sabitha was pushed into a room. Her clothes were forced out of her and she was made to stand naked for a while. She felt ashamed and disgusted. It was at that instant when she realized she was never going to leave the room alive.
The man then came close to her and forced some injection into her. She was drained out from all energy, so she did not protest. The last thing she remembered was the man kissing her hard on her forehead.
Sabitha woke up with a start. She tried to remember what happened to her. She felt wet on her forehead. She rubbed it off thinking the man had kissed her just then. She then thought that it was all her dream. She ran through her fingers on her body and realized she was naked. Only then did she realize it was not a dream.
She tried to lift her head, but it felt so heavy and dizzy. She managed to turn around to check where she was. The room in which she was lying was pitch black except for a small ray of light originating from a distant window that was left ajar. She tried to open her mouth to scream, but just then the window was shut tight from outside.
In a moment a door in the room opened and the man entered. He turned on a switch and the room plunged into a bright light. Sabitha had to close her eyes for a moment. She waited until her pupil got adjusted to the light. Then she turned around to check the room.
At a distance she saw a woman in her early 30s sitting naked in a fetus position. That sight totally caught her off guard and she let out a wail. She hastily covered her body as much as possible with her hands.
The man let out a giggle.
"Scared are you?" he asked.
Sabitha did not dare to open her mouth. She did not even look up at him. The man bent down and grasped her shoulders. He said in a husky voice.
"Today is not your day. But you are going to see what fate has in store for whores like you. Enjoy baby" he smiled and continued "But before that we have some work to do"
Sabitha looked up at him terror stricken. She could not imagine what the man was going to do. He pulled out something from his pant pocket. It looked very similar; she remembered seeing it somewhere else. On a closer look, she realized it was her cell phone.
He moved the phone closer to Sabitha and said "Shall we start our game, baby"