Mystery Suspense Thriller



“Follow that car,” Shekhar yelled as soon as he entered a taxi.

It’s a late evening in Delhi. Rain has poured tons of water in the city, and there is not sign of it to stop soon. Loud thunderstorm is deafening, and heavy lightening turning city milky white.

The driver who was sleeping in the taxi woke up in a panic.

“Hey you, get out of my taxi,” the taxi driver told Shekhar, rubbing his eyes.

“It’s very important for me to follow that car. Please help,” Shekhar begged.

“Didn’t you hear what I said? Get out of my taxi. Right now.”

“If the taxi is not for hire, why its parked in the To Hire queue?” Shekhar asked.

“That is none of your business. It’s me who will decide if I want to be hired or not, and where will I park my car. You get out of my taxi,” the driver yawned.

“I need your help. Please don’t say no. There are no other taxis around.”

The driver gave Shekhar a cursory eye scan before he decided.

“Okay. I can help, but it will cost you ten thousand rupees.”

“I am fine with that, but please start your car before that car is out of reach.”

“Five thousand in advance.”

Shekhar groped his pockets, and handed over five thousand rupees to the driver.

“Will you start now?” Shekhar asked.

“Let me count it first.”

“Don’t you believe me?” Shekhar said.

“Who are you? Why should I believe you? With money, I don’t even believe my dad,” the driver chuckled.

The driver completed his counting, started the ignition, pressed the accelerator, and very next minute he was on the road.

“Which car to follow?” the driver asked.

“That red car,” Shekhar pointed his finger at a car that was already at a suitable distance.

The driver squinted to spot the car as visibility was low because of rainfall, but he sat back as soon as he spotted the car that he has to follow. The driver started observing Shekhar from his rear-view mirror and kept following the red car. 




“Why are you following that car? Who is in it?” the driver broke the ice.

“None of your business. Do as I say,” Shekhar replied.

“Sir, you bought my service, not Raghav. Raghav does what he wants. I can throw your advance back on your face. First off, you are doing something that doesn’t seem lawful; if you don’t tell me, I will stop the taxi right away,” the driver said.

 “Calm down. I need to clear my old account with someone today,” Shekhar said.

“What do you mean by clearing an old account? Will you kill that person?” The driver made his eye contact with Shekhar through the rear-view mirror.

“No. I don’t have such a plan to kill anyone today. Is your name Raghav?”

“Yes, Raghav. If killing is not the plan for today, you may think about that tomorrow. Just give me some more bucks to me, and I will do that for you today. Close your books,” Raghav chuckled.

“Do you think taking a life is that easy, just for money?” Shekhar asked.

“Why not? Whoever has come on Earth has to leave it one day, sooner or later, naturally or accidentally, through me or you. How does that matter? It’s all written in destiny, who will go when and how. Money is eternal. So, yes! I can do it for money,” Raghav preached.

“I agree to disagree. But I don’t need your help in anything than just following that car,” Shekhar cut off the topic.

Red car kept going on through the city. Raghav maintained a reasonable distance.




There was a brief silence in the car before Shekhar broke it this time.

“I have not seen you around my apartment complex. Don’t you come here often?” Shekhar asked.

“I don’t get good passengers in this area. They are kind of poor, give no tip, and forget about extra money. Standing in this area is a waste of time. I park where rich people live,” Raghav said.

“I know.”

“How do you know I don’t come here? Do you stalk me?” Raghav gave a stifled laugh.

Shekhar didn’t say anything, but set his gaze on the car they were following.

“How do you know I don’t come here?” Raghav asked again.

“I use taxies for daily commuting, but I have never seen you around.”

“Okay. Last time I was here… maybe six months back,” Raghav Said.

Raghav tapped his fingers on his head as he is trying to remember something.

“Do I know you?” Raghav asked.

“Do you know me?” Shekhar asked in return.

“I don’t recall vividly, but it sounds like I have spoken to you when I was parked near your apartment last time,” Raghav said.

He turned his neck to look at Shekhar again.

“Look forward to that traffic signal, that’s turning red,” Shekhar screamed.

Raghav brought his attention back to the road, but it was too late to press break. He just ignored the red light and crossed the red signal.

“Don’t worry. I keep breaking red signals all the time. These are just a waste of time,” Raghav added. 

“But lights are there for a reason, for public safety.”

“Public safety, my foot. I don’t care about the public. Raghav loves Raghav,” Raghav said.

The red car has no plan to reach a destination. Raghav and Shekhar submerged into some thoughts, and their taxi kept running on Delhi’s wet streets.




Raghav looked at Shekhar through his rear-view mirror. Their eyes met.

“So, do you know me?” Shekhar asked.

“I remember now. I have spoken to you.”

“Yes. You are right. We have talked earlier. You may not remember my this face. You may remember this face of mine,” Shekhar made a sad face and brought an expression that he is crying. “Remember now?”

Raghav took a minute before he recalled where he met Shekhar before.

“Yes, we talked at the same place where you hired my taxi today,” Raghav said.

“You are right, six months ago.”

“How’s your son now?” Raghav asked.

“He died because of extra blood loss. Doctor could save him if he was in the hospital on time,” Shekhar said.

“Okay. You could have paid me the money that I asked for. You didn’t have it, so you lost it,” Raghav said.

“A kid fell from the second floor, hit his head on the ground, and blood is oozing out profusely. As parents, were we supposed to grab money or to grab our kid to take to the hospital?

“My wife and I were begging you to take him to the hospital. You didn’t listen,” Shekhar said.

“You didn’t show me the money.”

“I promised you I will withdraw from the hospital’s ATM and will give you.”

“Will you rush your kid to the hospital or will you withdraw money from the ATM? I told you, I don’t even believe my dad when it comes to money,” Raghav said. “You are young enough to have more babies.”

“What you said is utterly inhuman. However, I don’t need your advice on what I should do and what I shouldn’t,” Shekhar said disgustingly.

“Okay,” Raghav said.

Both of them went into silence again. Shekhar unlocked his phone and sent a text. No regret at all. Time has come. We need to close it.


Six Months Ago


Shekhar and Sudha’s house was filled with Rahul’s playful screaming. Six-year-old boy, Rahul, was running all around the house. He loved playing with water, spilling water everywhere in the house: kitchen, balcony, bedrooms.

“Rahul! you better stop it now. I am in a conference call and cannot focus,” Shekhar said.

“No, Daddy. I will not stop. It’s my holiday. I want to play. Please.”

“Sudha! Can you please ask Rahul to stop it? It’s an important conference call for me,” Shekhar called his wife.

“I am asking him to stop, but he is not listening to me,” Sudha replied.

“Rahul, you stop running so fast. It’s water all over the place. You will slip,” Sudha told Rahul.

“No, Mommy. I will run even faster. Don’t stop me. Woo-hoo…”

They knew Rahul will not stop. Shekhar closed his door, and Sudha went into the kitchen. It’s almost night, and she has not even started cooking food.

Rahul was holding an airplane high in his hand and ran towards the balcony-very fast.

A thud.

Sudha and Shekhar came out, and the house was pin drop silent, which was filled with Rahul’s scream a minute ago.

They ran in the balcony. Rahul fallen down from the balcony, and blood was all around his head. Sudha wanted to scream, but her voice choked. Shekhar shook her hard.

“He will be fine, Sudha. He will be fine. We need to rush him to a hospital,” Shekhar said.

He ran towards stairs. Sudha followed him.

He picked up Rahul and rushed to the taxi stand that was just outside of his apartment complex. A taxi was parked in To Hire zone.

Shekhar open the taxi door and sat inside, so did Sudha. 

“Take us to the nearest hospital,” Shekhar yelled.

“What happened?” The driver said coldly.

He looked at the kid. Blood is oozing out, but he didn’t react.

“I will take twenty thousand rupees. It looks like a police case,” the driver said.

“We don’t have time to call the police. I will give whatever you want. Please rush,” Shekhar said.

Sudha is pressing Rahul’s wound to stop bleeding.

“Pay money first,” the driver said.

“I don’t have that much money right now. But I promise I will pay you as soon as we reach the hospital,” Shekhar cried.

“No money, no ride. Find a different taxi,” the driver said.

“Please. My son will die. He fell from the second floor. Show some mercy. I will pay you more that twenty thousand. Please take us to a hospital. I don’t see any other taxi around,” Shekhar pleaded.

“No money, no ride,” the driver said.

Shekhar and Sudha got down from the taxi. They looked for other taxies, they didn’t find one.

The driver sped up his taxi out of the taxi stand.

Shekhar and Sudha kept gazing at that taxi until it was out of their sights. Rahul is unconscious now, and blood is not stopping at all. 




The red car started going onto a ridge road.

“The car is entering the ridge,” Raghav informed Shekhar.

“Do your job, and keep following the car,” Shekhar said.

“That’s what I am doing.”

The red car stopped on a curb.

“The car stopped,” Raghav whispered.

“Okay. You also stop just behind that,” Shekhar said.

Raghav stopped his car just behind the red car.

“Now what?” Raghav whispered.

“You need to leave now,” Shekhar said.

A lady came out of the red car and walked to the Raghav’s taxi. She pointed a gun at Raghav.

“What do you want?” Raghav screamed.

“You could have some regret about my kid’s death. You are the reason that he is not with us anymore. Greedy bastard. You were so evil that you let my son die. Now you die,” Shekhar yelled, stepping out of the taxi.

The lady shot Raghav and peeked inside the car to see Raghav die.

Shekhar and the lady sat in the red car. The lady puts the gun into her purse and takes out a kid’s picture. Shekhar took the picture from her and contemplated on that. A tear fell on that picture.

The lady started the car and drove into the rainfall.

January 26, 2023 22:48

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Wendy Kaminski
20:06 Jan 29, 2023

I'm not so sure I blame them. Like Raghav said: everyone's gotta die sometime, right? His words. This was a classically dark tale, but one that was so well-done. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, Manu! Good luck this week, and welcome to Reedsy!


Manu S
23:19 Jan 29, 2023

You are right. I wanted to keep this story open ended for my readers to decide if Shekhar and Sudha did right or wrong. I am glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for your encouragement.


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Graham Kinross
23:28 Feb 05, 2023

Flicking through the present and past is hard to pull off but you did it really well. Everything is moving the plot forward here so this is a really strong first story.


Manu S
02:51 Feb 06, 2023



Graham Kinross
03:12 Feb 06, 2023

You're welcome. What gave you the idea for this?


Manu S
16:43 Feb 06, 2023

It was a work of fiction. Few points which I considered while writing, I ensured I am not taking a decision on readers’ behalf if Shekhar and Sudha’s action was justified or not. I kept it open-ended for my readers to decide. Shekhar validated, before concluding his action, if the taxi driver had any regret for his behavior. As the driver didn’t know what happened to the kid after he left the parents behind the other day.


Graham Kinross
21:02 Feb 06, 2023

Working on anything for this week’s prompts?


Manu S
16:40 Feb 07, 2023

Developing one of the prompts. Not sure though if that will work out. Thanks for checking.


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Tara Leigh Parks
15:42 Feb 02, 2023

I really like the plot. One suggestion: I don't think you need to mark the present/past. Your writing is strong enough for readers to get it.


Manu S
16:53 Feb 02, 2023

Thanks for your feedback. I am glad you liked the plot.


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13:33 Feb 02, 2023

Great story! I liked how you successfully created a realistic dialogue between a taxi driver and his passenger. The dialogues are, for me, the most challenging part of the story, and yours is excellent. Thanks for sharing!


Manu S
16:55 Feb 02, 2023

Thank you for encouraging feedback.


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Daniel E Gagné
11:55 Jan 31, 2023

Thanks for posting!


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