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Mystery Suspense Thriller


He had tears in his eyes and his slender body was shivering.

He never knew that one email could change his life forever.

He couldn’t believe what his eyes saw.

It seemed surreal, bizarre!

It was as though the universe had played a joke on him and he couldn’t help but laugh and cry, quiver and stand still at the same time.



*

6 hours earlier


It was a dull Monday morning for 25 year-old IT Professional, Scott Harris.

With an impassive look laid over his face, he entered into his office.

He didn’t want to work today; and certainly not after having the most adventurous trip with his boy gang over the stretched weekend from Thursday until Sunday.


He couldn’t get the trip out of his mind and how and why would he when he’d put a check mark on the most challenging wish on his bucket list: Skydiving!


It had been an experience of lifetime wherein his adrenaline had crossed a whole new level of emission. However, all good things, like bad things, come to an end.

Not that he disliked his work but he didn’t enjoy it as much as he enjoyed his weekends.


All he could think of was getting done with his work as quick as he could and plopping himself on his much-loved bean bag while enjoying a bottle of cold beer as he watched his favorite TV show; and then he realized he hadn’t even started to work, leave alone finishing it.


With great effort he managed to turn on the computer and waited for it to boot up.

As soon as it did, a small square box emerged on the bottom right corner of the screen.


It was the email notification.

He had 10 new emails in his company’s work account and 3 in his personal account.

He hovered the cursor over his work account first and tapped opened it.

Scott quickly glanced over all the emails; it was the usual, some from clients seeking help, some from potential customers seeking information and a couple of junk advertisement emails.


He left the computer screen open to that and got up and helped himself towards the coffee machine.


“Hey buddy, wassup!” it was James, his colleague and good friend, making himself a cup of black coffee.


“Hey James” Scott said, “Well, just dragging along to work today!” he continued in a flat tone as he pushed the button of the coffee machine and placed a Styrofoam cup under the nozzle.


“Well of course you would! Anyone would after the adventurous skydiving experience you had. I saw your post on Instagram bro; it looked surreal! How did it feel when you jumped out of the plane? Didn’t it feel like suicide for even a second?” he chuckled.


Scott let out a small laugh and said, “Not if you see what’s beyond the jump! That feeling where you just let it go and literally fly in the sky like you’re a freakin’ bird and just be in the moment, forgetting everything else, all the clutter and chaos, that feeling my friend, is worth more than a billion bucks lying on your sofa!”


“Whoa! You just made me want to go for skydiving right at this moment” James said.


“Not possible brother, we’re in the office where piles load of work it waiting to get done! For now, just sip that coffee before it turns cold; skydiving can wait!” Scott chuckled.


“Right” James pursed his lips, “Welcome to reality” he sang in a squeaky thin voice and raised his fist up for a fist bump.


Scott laughed and shook his head as he raised his fist up and bumped it with James’.


“Catch up at lunch again then!” Scott said as he took his cup from under the machine and turned to get back to his desk.


“Yeah man” James said as he raised his hand and turned to the other side towards his desk.


Scott was back at his desk.

He took a generous sip of his latte and relaxed back on his chair, swiveling it around.

There was a lot of work to be done and enjoying a good dose of caffeine didn’t do anyone any harm.


The swiveling stopped when there was a notification beep that came out of the computer and grabbed his attention.

Another email!


His eyes squinted as he moved forward to check whom the email was from.

The email was unnamed.

No name of the sender, no subject line!

Another junk email he thought and went on to delete it without even opening it.


He checked the other emails, one after the other and responded to them with the necessary details and information while drinking his coffee alongside.

Scott was back to his working mode.


There was a project now that he was to finish; he’d had to prepare a presentation for the same and thus he started off with it.


Two hours passed by and he was yet immersed in his work when James came in from behind and patted on his shoulder.


“Hey buddy, let’s go have lunch! It’s 1:15 already!”


“Oh” Scott breathed out as he looked away from the screen and turned to look at James and then his watch, “I didn’t realize” he sighed.


“No worries buddy; good to see you work so diligently” he laughed, “C’mon now, you can do the rest of your work post lunch”


*

3 hours earlier


There were noises of laughter and jokes; chit-chatting and cutlery clinking in the dining section of their office premises, which more of had the vibe of a school canteen at lunch hours.


Scott and James along with a couple more of their colleagues were seated on one such noisy table where they were having a good time with some good food, making a good amount of noise, laughing and hi-fiving.


Half way through lunch, Scott’s phone vibrated on the table.

It was an email notification, again!

On his personal email account this time!

Emails on personal account mostly meant an advertisement email from a website you’d never subscribed to, who undeniably claimed that you’re a subscriber!


Scott’s mouth was stuffed with food and his right hand was a little dirty with the sauces that came out of his burger and spread over his fingertips; so he’d thought of checking in the unimportant email once he was done with eating and his hands were clean.


*

2 hours earlier


It was 2:00 pm now and everyone was almost done with their lunch; the noise slowly and steadily dissipating.


Scott was at the wash basin, cleaning his hands and mouth before he got himself to work again.


Now on his desk, he turned on the computer again from its stand-by mode.


The email notification box popped up once again, reminding him to check the new emails received on his personal account.

He clicked opened it.


It was the same email; no name, no subject.

Scott flinched a little and with a bit of hesitation coupled with a tinge of irritation, he opened it.


The email read:


Hi Scott,


You don’t know me but I do.

I have some riveting information that you wouldn’t want to miss!

After all, it’s about you!

If you’re interested to know more, then call me on XXXXXXXXXXX.


-Mike


What was this email? Was it even legit? Or was it someone playing a bad joke on him? And who was this Mike? What was it that he knew about him, that Scott himself didn’t?


He was caught in a web of questions but there was no way out where he could find the answers; unless, only unless, he called on the number that ‘Mike’ mentioned in his email.


He looked to his right and then to his left, gasping for some air.


‘What should I do? Should I call him? What if it’s a trap? But who’d like to trap me? And why would someone want to do anything bad to me? Should I tell someone about his email in the office or should I just ignore it as if I’d never read it and carry on with my work? Or should I deal with it myself?’ the questions trained across his mind, the color on his face beginning to fade a little.


“Hey buddy, Ryan’s sent in this file for you! He said it might help you with the project you’re working at” it was James, his body facing Scott’s back.


When Scott didn’t respond, he slapped the file hard on his shoulder and Scott jerked as he looked at him, “What?” his tone expressed irritation.


“Whoa!” James raised his hands in the air and backed off a little, “What’s wrong with you? Did you even listen to what I said?”


“Sorry!” Scott said flatly, “What is it James?” he asked, a sense of hurry reflecting through his voice.


“Are you okay buddy? Why do you seem so restless?” James asked him, sensing discomfort in his body language.


“Yeah, I’m okay…just…actually no, I’m not okay!” Scott blurted out.


James raised an eyebrow and asked him, “Care to share?”


“Look at this” Scott pointed to the computer screen, “Read the email” he said and got up from his chair and allowed James to sit and read the email while he stood with his one hand on the chair and the other nervously jittering near his jeans’ pocket.


James gave him a perplexed look as he settled on the chair and then shifted his gaze to the computer.


“Whoa! Who the hell is this Mike? Do you happen to know him? And what’s with the mystery here… ‘You don’t know me but I do’?” James said in a dense pretence voice.


“I don’t know man! It sounds crazy! And no, I don’t know whoever the hell this Mike is!” Scott swiveled his head in disgust.


He paused for a minute and then continued, “What do you think James, should I call on the number he’s mentioned in the email?” his fingers tapping uncontrollably on the desk, uncertainty and hesitation clearly visible on his face.


“Umm…I think you should! I mean if this Mike guy, whoever he is, is playing a practical joke on you, let’s make sure to report him. Don’t forget we are IT guys; we’ll take no time to figure out his location based on the IP he’s sent the email from!” James sounded confident.


“Call him Scott!” James said again.


“Let’s do this outside office?” Scott asked him hurriedly.


“Yeah…wise choice…let’s take this thing outside! Don’t want eyes glaring and people eavesdropping” James nodded as he said and in no time they were out on the quite terrace of their office’s building.


*


1.5 hours earlier


Scott dialed the number on his keypad.

He gave a quick glance to James who was standing beside him, as though seeking one final approval.

James nodded, giving him the unasked approval.

Scott hit the green call icon.

As soon as there was the sound of the ring, he kept the phone on speaker mode.


On the third ring, someone on the opposite end picked up the call.


‘Hello’ said an unexpectedly sublime voice. 

‘Umm…hello…I…umm…I received your email…umm…is this Mike?’ Scott spoke and glanced once again towards James.

‘Scott!’ the voice spoke.

‘Yes!’ Scott said, his heart thudding a little faster now.


The voice was so transcendent, there was a strange comfort he felt when he heard it, but the uncertainty of the situation made him bemused.


‘Ahh…so nice to hear from you…’ the voice spoke and then paused, ‘For a while, I’d thought you’d never call’

‘Are you Mike?’ Scott asked once more.

‘Yes, Scott! I am Mike, Mike Morgan’ he said.


James prompted Scott to ask him what it was that he knew about him.

Scott nodded and spoke, ‘What is it that you know Mike?’

‘Impatience takes man nowhere Scott!’ Mike spoke calmly, ‘If you want to know, meet me in an hour at Rosie’s Café, downtown’


‘How can I trust you? How do I know that you do have something to tell me about me that I myself am unaware of?’ Scott spoke in a slightly higher tone, his patience running out.


‘Scott, I repeat again, Impatience takes man nowhere! What I have to tell you is not something you’ll be able to digest over the phone…you have to trust me…just as you trusted me somewhere when you decided to call me’ Mike spoke, his soothing voice bringing about a calm wave upon Scott.


James was nodding a ‘No’!

Scott ignored him and spoke back, ‘Rosie’s café in an hour then!’

‘Good to hear that…cannot wait to see you’ Mike spoke, a satisfaction reflecting through his voice and ended the call.


James looked at Scott with exasperation.

“Are you out of your mind buddy?” he spoke, bewildered.


“It’s okay brother; you heard him right? Doesn’t sound harmful to me from his voice”


“Seriously, Scott? You’re judging how dangerous a person is or isn’t on the basis of his voice? Have you lost your wits? Actually, it’s me! I shouldn’t have encouraged you to call this Mike…what did he say his last name was? Morgan? Right, Mike Morgan! Who the hell is he?” it was as though Scott’s anxiety and panic had shifted onto James.


“Relax James; he’s called me at the café! I’m sure he isn’t going to do anything wrong in the midst of a stream of people! Besides why would anyone want to do anything to me? I have to know what it is that he knows; that’s the only thing that’s bothering me in my head as of now” Scott said.


“Will you accompany me buddy?” Scott asked James.


“Of course I will! My friend here who probably has left his brains at home today and wants to do something stupid would require someone to watch over!” James said, all hyper now.


“Thanks man! The next skydiving trip is going to be with you…all on me…that’ll be my way to pay you back…now let’s get going” Scott smiled and started moving out of the terrace.


“I cannot believe you brother; you are unbelievable” James shook his head as he followed Scott out of the terrace.


*


20 minutes earlier


Scott and James had arrived at Rosie’s café ten minutes earlier.

They were seated on a table, waiting for Mike to arrive.


The color on James' face had fizzled out due to the anticipation of what was to happen while Scott here was lost in the river of his own thoughts.


Five more minutes had passed when the door to the café opened and a lean bodied man of medium height, around 25 years of age, with light stubble and oval spectacles, wearing a plain blue T-shirt paired with a jet black jeans, entered inside.


Scott wasn’t looking; he was looking on the ground, thinking something but James had his eyes fixated on the door and he was looking right at him.


James looked at him and then he looked at Scott, he again looked at that guy and then again at Scott; he did this for five more times until Scott noticed and when he did notice him playing the look here-look there game, he saw that James was gaping, his eyes on the door.


“Shut that mouth, James; what are you….” He said and stopped half way as he shifted his gaze to where James was looking.


Now it was Scott and James both, who were gaping; a look of astonishment and surprise written all over their faces.


“How is…how is this…what is…James…do you see what I see?” Scott was spellbound.


“Yeah” James managed to speak with his mouth still open.


Hi Scott, I’m Mike Morgan, your twin brother” Mike said as he came near the table where the two starers were seated, with a calm smile on his face and his voice even more sublime in person.


The guy standing before them, who called himself Mike Morgan, who looked undeniably similar to Scott and who was now calling himself as Scott’s twin brother, was the very reason for their flabbergasted state and why wouldn’t it be!


“What…how…what’s happening?” Scott asked, tears forming in his eyes, “Are you really my twin brother?” he blurted out.


“Relax Scott! I know what you must’ve been feeling! I’ve cried for days after I knew I had a twin brother. Until now, I’d thought I had no family, I thought I was cursed for having no parents, no brothers and sisters; for being an orphan”


“What? You were at an orphanage?” Scott now had full tears in his eyes; James was still as a statue, unable to grasp the happenings before his eyes.


“Yes Scott! All these years, I’ve spent my life at an orphanage! Not that I didn’t make a family there but it wasn’t easy. I had questions, lots of questions but no one to answer them! I cried alone under my pillow when I wasn’t feeling good or when I was sick. I have so much to tell you my brother!” he cried out and they both embraced each other tightly.


“Didn’t mom dad know? And how did you find me? How did you know you have a family?” Scott asked still digesting what he was witnessing.


“Let’s say I came across some documents that I wasn’t supposed to!” a tear fell down his cheek as he spoke, “Mother and father, as I have got to know, weren’t ready financially and mentally, to raise two kids; you were the lucky one whom they picked and I, was left at the hands of the orphanage”


Scott cried uncontrollably.

Mike gave him another tight embrace as they both cried now.


“How could they?” Scott spoke in a huffed voice.


Mike, with a teary smile said, “Let’s say, in a way, I was cursed”


















August 31, 2021 13:45

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14 comments

Krishi Shah
14:49 Sep 06, 2021

Fantastic short story! I loved the little prologue and the way it connects with Scott's emotions on the revelation at the end of the story. One question though, is James finally able to experience skydiving? 😛

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Jaituni Sanghavi
17:05 Sep 06, 2021

Thank you so very much.!! 😃 And yes, Scott is a man of his words, so he’d definitely take James for a skydiving 🪂 trip .. haha.. ✌️

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Pratik Jadhav
11:23 Sep 06, 2021

Lovely!😊 Good story. Can you convert this into a contemporary fiction novel? I Would love to read this as a novel. I want to know what Mike's life was like and his realisation, etc.

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Jaituni Sanghavi
13:16 Sep 06, 2021

Thank you so much, means a lot 😃 And yes, I had this thought cross my mind and I’m contemplating upon it.. because I did want to add a lot of things but couldn’t due to the word limitation..so may be I will execute it.. thanks for this suggestion 😃

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Prachi Sawant
11:03 Sep 06, 2021

A great short read which will keep you hooked till the end. Great work done by the author. Do read this one. :)

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Jaituni Sanghavi
11:15 Sep 06, 2021

Thank you so much 😃

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Yvone Mthembu
10:38 Sep 06, 2021

2 words Jaituni well-knitted masterpiece

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Jaituni Sanghavi
11:14 Sep 06, 2021

Thank you so much..! It really means a lot to me 😃

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Ishan Shah
08:47 Sep 05, 2021

I am not a avid reader but came across this story & it got so interesting that i read it on a single go. Loved it..!

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Jaituni Sanghavi
09:34 Sep 05, 2021

That’s amazing! Thank you so much 😃

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Ami Sanghavi
07:47 Sep 05, 2021

This story has been written by my daughter and I'm not being biased but I really enjoyed reading it as it got me curious right from the start and I just wanted to get to the end as quickly as I could. Great work! 👏

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Jaituni Sanghavi
09:33 Sep 05, 2021

Mom ❤️

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Tricia Shulist
19:04 Sep 04, 2021

Fun story. Now I want to know if he’s literally or figuratively cursed. Thanks for this.

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Jaituni Sanghavi
19:57 Sep 04, 2021

Thank you so much! Means a lot 😃

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