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Suspense Crime Mystery

March 21, 1957


There is blood on the bed. His stomach ripped open, his left eye mutilated, and the side table is lying near the door frame. His wife is bawling her eyes out, and there is a half-empty bottle of whiskey under the bed. The cut on his body shows that he was attacked by a knife, and the incision is so clean almost as if the murderer is an anatomy genius. The mouth of the body is gaping open, and his neck has purple splotches. My friend who is an investigator clicks photos from all angles. With each flash of the camera, I see a clue unfolding beside me. Officer Barn rushes towards me, his eyes speaking of a strange fear; he clasps my shoulder urging me to come out of the room.

I march out and stand near the door frame, my eyes speaking instead of my tongue.

“What's the matter Barn?” I ask him trying to hide the expression on my face.

“We need to hurry. This case is of very high-profile.” He coughs up interrupting himself. “He's not an ordinary person, he is the son of a famous business tycoon, this case is no longer a government record. It’s a public scandal.” He huffs at the end.

“I know he is the son of Mr. Edward, owner of the steel factory, but we cannot hurry it up leaving clues to the rats.” I breathe in with ease.

“ We cannot delay it either.” Mr. Barn speaks up. “We need to fasten our belts and rush our brains before it goes out into the hands of the media.”

I nod my head and once again enter the room, observing each minute detail. I see a leaflet in the vase of flowers. I ask my assistant for gloves. I wear them and take the leaflet carefully from the flowers, it’s a prescription. The ink is fading away in the water, but the logo on the paper is smudged yet noticeable.

“Sir, you can hand it over.” The forensic officer says, pointing out to a plastic bag in his hands. I take the plastic bag from him and carefully put the leaflet in it. I fold the upper corner of the bag and place it on the left side of my coat pocket.

“Sir, the evidence belongs in our department. I beg your pardon, but you have to hand it over to us.” The forensic officer pleads with his eyes and places out his arm.

“Even I have a small lab at my home. I would love to personally investigate in my space.” I boldly put my statement forward.

“I wish you could do that sir, but since the case is high-profile. We have to follow all the orders from our seniors and judiciary. I can't help you this time. I would love your cooperation more.”

I sign in defeat and take the bag from my right side of my coat, and place it in his hand. He bows his head in respect and leaves the place.

I go into the drawing-room where the wife of the victim is present. She has a lilac handkerchief in her hands and is wearing a black dress. Her eyes are red due to the constant crying, and her cheeks are soaked in due to her tears. She's surrounded by her neighbors and friends. I tell them to depart soon, to push my investigation forward.

Everybody leaves and Catherine gathers herself, aligning her back with her body. I sit a few inches apart from her, observing her delicate little hands which no longer has the burden of the band.

“Miss Catherine sorry for your loss. I know the departure of your husband is so unexpected, and I could understand your sorrow.” She sobbed a little and quivered her lips.

“I hope my husband gets justice, Sir. That’s all I want. I want the culprit dead.” Her eyes blazing with anger and deep sorrow.

I take her hand in mine and say to her with a coy smile, “That will soon happen, I promise you.” I could feel the coldness of the plastic in our hands.


A WEEK BEFORE


I could not take my eyes away from the bruise, which was on Catherine's left elbow. The wound itself is telling the back story of its origin. She lifts my chin directing my eyes towards her. Her hands were cold, and her little finger was swollen. Her eyes were dull, with no light or joy.

“You called me here for something?” She questions me with disgrace and disregard.

“Yeah, so I am going to dive in for cooking. You know learning a few basic skills and recipes.” I laugh at my lie and take out the tray of knives.

“So, what are you starting with?” Her voice is cold like ice, and her eyes tired. She has a small brown patch near her eyelid, hinting at her life.

I immediately try to distract myself from the bruise by balling my fists and digging my fingernails into my palms.

“I think with the stomach. Cleaning and cutting will be far easier from here.” I say pointing out to the featherless chicken on the table.

“That’s interesting. So, what help do you need from me?” Catherine asks me.

“Well, I don’t know about the cleaning and cutting. Like, see this butler's knives, it's too big for the work. We don’t need this, but this.” I point out to the medium size scalpel, with a sharp edge. “I think this will do, precision cut and less mess.”

She nods her head and a slow smile rises across her square face, “Even I think so.”

I loved the way she smiled, always.

“By the way have you read the 10th chapter of Volume 1 of anatomy?" I ask her with my eyes focused on the scalpel.


3 WEEKS EARLIER


“I always flunked chemistry. Thanks to you, otherwise I would be a technician in a hospital.” I pass a gentle smile to Catherine.

“I don’t know about the academics chemistry, but your reaction with women was always volatile.” She taunts with me her gentle smile.

“Not all, only with one. But that reaction became highly toxic for everybody.” Hearing my sharp words, her smile disappeared.

“I hate for causing an explosion in that research, if I had focused on one chemical, then my life would not have been so volatile.” Her voice sounded disapproved.

“I miss my compound too.” I sigh with disbelief.

She turns away from her face and wipes her tears. I know it's so tough for her, to gather the courage daily and to chalk out the plan. I try to lighten the mood surrounding us.

“The moviemakers are so hypocrites?” I shout.

“What?” She turns around but does not see me in the eye.

“They always show that when you place the chloroform on someone's face, the person instantly passes out. But it's not true, a person at least requires 15 minutes of continuous exposure for passing out to its fullest.”

“Movies are for entertainment not for knowledge.” We say in unison. Out timing makes me laugh, and she laughs seeing me laugh.

“By the way Catherine, I want to say you an amazing fact. Do you know, Whiskey and chloroform have the same taste.”

She finally sees me in the eye and smiles.

“Now I know.” And laughs like a small hyena.


4 WEEKS EARLIER


The church is calm and the benches are clean. It's Monday, hence the absence of people seems relevant. I smell the candles burning and could hear the faint sobbing from the room of confession. I walk towards it and open the stall. It was empty, but the nearby stall wasn’t.

I rotate my head around to see anyone's presence and finally steps in. Feeling the presence of my space the sobbing discontinued.

“It’s the result of my sin. If I hadn’t cheated the person who loved me the most and did not break his heart, this would have never happened.” Her voice breaks down, and through the thin mesh. I could guess her marble hands wiping the tears away from her face.

“The result or the outcome of your sin depends on the Lord itself. It's you and me who have the final decision. I have forgiven you already, but what about the devotion and love you offer him?  Is his response appropriate? Does raising hand on your wife courageous?” I sigh in dismay.

“But what are we going to do? Do you think your plan is proper?” She questions my intentions.

“The law won't help us. His hands are long and their pockets are full with his money. It's not about how I feel, it's about the justice you need.” I face her across the mesh digging my fingernails in my palm.

“I won't lose you because of somebody's treatment.” I choke down my tears.

She stands across the mesh placing her hand on it. I do the same.


A MONTH AGO


“Sir, there is a woman. She is stating emergency and needs urgent observation. Will you come soon?” The nurse hurried her sentences.

“Can you call another doctor, I have completed my hours?” I pack my suitcase and turn to leave.

“She says it's matter of life and death, Sir.” The nurses exclaim.

“Okay fine, only 15 minutes. Then transfer her case to Dr. Edmund.” I wipe the sweat on my forehead and put on my white coat. Sometimes the Hippocratic oath becomes the death of me.

I go to the patient's cubicle. I am in no mood to observe the patient. I remove the board placed near the bed and read the symptoms taken by the nurse.

Internal bleeding in the cervix

Partially choked

Bruises on hand and near the eyes

Lower lip cut

Fracture on the wrist

“Miss, when did this happen and how can we aid you,” I reply bluntly. My energy is on brink of exhaustion and pushed to my limits.

A pale cold hand catches my wrist, and a humble voice reaches my ear, “Just forgive me, will you?”

My ears recognize it and when I see her face, the blood in my body stills. I catch her limp hand and shout, “Catherin.”

Tears were flowing down her eyes and her face had lost the life and sunshine she had. All she could do was clasp my hand with more force.

I kiss her knuckles and run my fingers lightly on the bruises. Seeing her in this state, my mind rattles, I clench my teeth, and tears of anger rush down my cheeks.

“Who did this to you?” I ask her trying to mask my anger.

She gathers herself and with the last courage within her, utters.

“My husband.”







April 12, 2021 16:33

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89 comments

Yolanda Wu
01:35 Apr 13, 2021

Wow, what a story, Radhika! I really enjoyed every moment of the twists and turns. The beginning really captured my attention, as all murder mysteries should; I was eager to find out who killed the husband and how everything was going to play out. Your gradual backtracking back to the beginning was so clever - reverse-chronology is hard to write, so I really commend you for that. You gave us a mystery and then slowly unravelled it, leading finally to the conclusion where everything falls into place. You did so well in making the story really...

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Radhika Diksha
04:33 Apr 13, 2021

I always wait for your opinion. Your feedback is like expensive jewelry to me, it's very valuable. Thanks for understanding my story in-depth and feeling it. Ya, I totally understand your perspective about the reader concept. ANd I am deleting my bio. You are right on each point. The point where I got annoyed was, that people don't read the stories fully. They read the first and last para, or read from the surface and then start criticizing the story very harshly. When you like to cross-question them, then you get to know that haven't even r...

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Yolanda Wu
06:03 Apr 13, 2021

Yeah, I assumed that was where you were coming from, and I totally understand. Sometimes, people don't even read the stories properly, and then give critique without having read the whole thing. I understand your frustration. Every writer wants praise on their stories because we worked so hard to write every word, and it sucks when people don't appreciate that. Your bio didn't hurt me, so don't worry. Know that I'll always read your stories with care. :)

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Radhika Diksha
08:10 Apr 13, 2021

Thanks

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Angel {Readsy}
04:16 Apr 28, 2021

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Radhika Diksha
04:35 Apr 13, 2021

Thanks for working for this detailed feedback. I love it when someone reads my story with such focus and gives me a detailed feedback. Your feedback made my day. Thanks for the efforts.

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Yolanda Wu
06:04 Apr 13, 2021

You're welcome! I really thought this story was so clever, and I was really impressed.

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Radhika Diksha
08:11 Apr 13, 2021

Thanks, your majesty.

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Yolanda Wu
08:32 Apr 13, 2021

Haha, that's the first time someone has called me that. :)

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Radhika Diksha
04:36 Apr 13, 2021

And coming to the clues. You can check the coat pocket thing, in the first para. Where he is talking with the forensic officer and when talks with Catherine in the beginning. Hope you find out.

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Yolanda Wu
06:11 Apr 13, 2021

Ooh, I just went through and read the first little section again. That part where him and Catherine were talking, I can see so clearly how you foreshadowed that it was him - their interaction just becomes more eerie. I'm actually quite dumb when it comes to mystery stories, I really can't find clues myself, thanks for pointing that out. I read it through really carefully and I picked it up! He puts the thing in his left coat pocket, but then when the forensic officer asks for it back, he takes it out of his right coat pocket - such a sneaky ...

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Radhika Diksha
08:11 Apr 13, 2021

Yeah, he is sneaky.

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Writer Maniac
05:12 Apr 13, 2021

Woah. That was wonderfully written, and I enjoyed it a lot. I had to read it a few times to understand it completely, and when I did, my mind was blown. I love the little bits and pieces you've slowly shown through each flashback, and the last scene wraps it all up very nicely. I would like to give some grammar and punctuation related critique: 1. "There is blood on the bed, his stomach ripped open, his left eye mutilated, and the side table is lying near the door frame. His wife is bailing her eyes out, and there is a half-empty bottle of ...

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Radhika Diksha
08:14 Apr 13, 2021

Thanks for putting a lot of effort into improving my story. Your feedback is valuable to me a lot. Thanks for working on it. Yeah, even I loved the chemistry-related scene a lot. I think it's one of my best works in this genre till now. Hope to improve my writing daily and to be better with each story.

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Radhika Diksha
08:14 Apr 13, 2021

By the way, I corrected all the flaws.

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Opal Fireball
17:08 Apr 12, 2021

Hi. You ok?

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Radhika Diksha
17:11 Apr 12, 2021

I am fine. How are you? Hope everything is fine.

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Opal Fireball
17:16 Apr 12, 2021

Just wondering. I saw the comment thread about Sapphire and was wondering if you had been having a rough time as well.

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Radhika Diksha
17:19 Apr 12, 2021

Yeah, i have been having some rough time. But I am coping up with it.

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Opal Fireball
17:20 Apr 12, 2021

Praying for you :)

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Keya M.
19:50 May 05, 2021

Hey Radhika, I read your bio, and I just wanted to offer my condolences. I'm so sorry for your loss, I know how it feels. I hope that wherever your loved one is, they are happy, and at peace. My heart is with you and your family. Sending you all the love in the world. ❤

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Radhika Diksha
01:51 May 06, 2021

Thank you so much, Keya.

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Samantha Langley
14:08 Apr 23, 2021

I read your bio :( I hope everything gets better, and this is a very good story. Keep up the good work!

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Radhika Diksha
17:30 May 06, 2021

Thank you for the concern.

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Radhika Diksha
17:30 May 06, 2021

Thank you for the concern.

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:}} Silverstar
08:50 Apr 14, 2021

I liked the enticing feel you brought to the story! Morbid themes and mystery genres are always fine choices for fast-paced, captivating plotlines. I have a few minor suggestions for improvements you could make to the piece. The sentence: "Like, see this butler's knives, it's too big for the work" would come off more seamlessly with: "See these butler knives? They're too big for the work we've got here in our hands." Another sentence that could be reworked: "I rotate my head around to see anyone's presence and finally steps in." My take o...

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Radhika Diksha
13:50 Apr 14, 2021

I invested 4 hours for this story and I think I have done sufficient work and changes on my story. Thanks for the suggestions and your corrections. Thanks for investing your valuable time for reading my story.

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Amarah Friedman
20:39 Apr 13, 2021

Interesting story! I enjoyed the little breadcrumbs you leave for the reader throughout. I also like the tone you're going for, particularly in the beginning. It feels a lot like a noir film. There is a bit of disjoined grammar here and there, but overall, well done! A very dramatic read.

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interesting story. I'm not much for murders and such... a bit confusing tbh. I hope you are doing better than me, and I'm praying for you <3 L.W.

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Radhika Diksha
17:55 Apr 12, 2021

Ya, me too praying for you. Can you tell me the parts were it was confusing so I could work on it.

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well, just the parts when they were working together I guess. Kinda like the chicken part...that was a bit confusing.

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Radhika Diksha
18:18 Apr 12, 2021

Ok, I will see what i can do with it.

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Angel {Readsy}
04:10 Apr 28, 2021

I am a nightingale; I read and sing your stories in the flowering garden and all birds, firefly, fairy and flowers are smiling and very thankful to you for writing such an excellent story.

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16:59 Apr 27, 2021

I really like your story. But I have some things I don't understand. Can you explain to me the part with the chicken and who is the murder of the husband (Catharine) right? And who did the injuries to Catharine? Just quick who did what and what are some important text passages that were important that I could have missed.

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Radhika Diksha
17:29 May 06, 2021

Catherine herself killed her husband because he was sexually assaulting her. Those injuries were of domestic violence and abuse. The chicken part is the doctor telling her how to kill her husband, he was guiding her for the crime.

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21:18 Apr 25, 2021

I'm so sorry that you've lost someone, I send lots of love 💖💖💖 Keep writing, keep being amazing, keep being you. <3

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Frances Reine
18:58 Apr 22, 2021

I never found a time to get to comment on this and I should've. This was such a grotesque crime. Usually nothing I've read gets this vividly red. Just movies, haha. Well paced and plotted. I loved it, Radhika :)

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04:08 Apr 22, 2021

Its gonna be okay

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Radhika Diksha
04:16 Apr 22, 2021

Hoping for it.

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04:17 Apr 22, 2021

Yup.

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Radhika Diksha
04:19 Apr 22, 2021

How are you?

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04:22 Apr 22, 2021

Usual. You?

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Radhika Diksha
04:39 Apr 22, 2021

Quiet bad.

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Sapphire ~♚❄
19:37 Apr 21, 2021

Hey Radhika, I read your bio I am so so so so sorry for your loss :( I'm always here if you need to talk. It must be so hard for you to be going through that. :(

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Amara Tillington
22:51 Apr 20, 2021

Oh no! I will pray for you during this sad time, my grandmother died recently so I know how it feels :( Do what makes you happy.

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Radhika Diksha
17:32 May 06, 2021

Thanks for praying for me and showing me support in this hard time.

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Radhika Diksha
17:32 May 06, 2021

By the way, I have submitted a new story would love your feedback.

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Amara Tillington
10:25 May 07, 2021

Okay!

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Palak Shah
19:28 Apr 20, 2021

Hey, I just read your bio and I am so sorry... If you ever want to talk about it I am here.

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12:49 Apr 19, 2021

How are you Radhika? I hope you're doing well...I just saw your bio. If you need anything, we can talk, okay?

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Avani G
00:02 Apr 17, 2021

This was a very powerful story. I really enjoyed reading everything. This genre really suits you :) I think this story has probably been approved, but just in case, here are a few spelling/grammar mistakes I noticed: 1. “Who did this to you?” I ask her trying to mask my anger. - “Who did this to you?” I ask her, trying to mask my anger. 2. She gathers herself and with the last courage within her, utters. “My husband.” - She gathers herself and with the last courage within her utters, "My husband.” 3. I catch her limp hand and shout, “Cat...

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Palak Shah
09:53 Apr 15, 2021

I love the way that you have written the story and I love the ending especially. Great job !!! Also I love your avatar lol :)) Could you please check out my latest story. Thanks :)) ~Palak Shah

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Philia S.
19:11 Apr 14, 2021

Hey Radhika! I'm really sorry I didn't read the story sooner.... online school is really a headache.... The story was wonderful, apart from some grammatical mistakes here and there(very few) I would just suggest, perhaps you could elaborate more about the relationship between the MC and Catherine... Of course it gets clearer as the story progresses, but in the beginning their conversation is a bit too formal... Otherwise, the plot and detailing in the story is amazing!!!

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