Mystery Thriller


How does one describe ‘Reality’?

In the words of Albert Einstein ‘Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one’

And in my own words ‘Reality is subjective’

Just like opinions everyone has their own reality, defining their own life. Just like ‘bitter truths’ and ‘white lies’ everyone’s reality is their own perception and convenience.

‘Did a 16-year-old poison her whole family? Why? What was her motive’

Read the front page of the newspaper on the table.

The concept of reality often leaves me so baffled that led to many sleepless nights.

For example if you shoot a man while defending yourself you either get minimum punishment or no punishment depending on the perception of others on the basis of self-defense, where as you could be charged with first degree or second degree manslaughter again depending on the perception if you had shot the poor man just for the heck of it.

But bear in mind these are normal circumstances, the actual part of reality comes when you shoot the unarmed man who had in the past mentally tortured you. Because then you couldn’t prove that you had killed him in self-defense. The human technology though has advanced a lot has yet to design an equipment that helped in measuring mental anguish. One could try and explain the torture but not everyone could understand the reason behind the need to shoot the man just to end it. To an outsider there may be many obvious things you could have done instead of killing him yourself, like you could have gone to cops or get an restraining order but what if the man had the capacity to bribe every one, or you could have just shut up and keep up with it. For everyone the only pertinent detail in this aspect is that someone was dead. Be it a monster or an innocent.

Like I said reality is subjective.

Reality like everything else is shaped by a person’s experiences, past and the most important thing ‘the mind’.

Like right now we are sitting here just the both of us in the closed room across from each other trying to determine the future of a young girl who has poisoned her whole family in cold blood.

Or was it in self-defense?

Both of us were quietly just staring at each other, thinking how such an innocent, frail looking orphan 16-year-old girl manage to do something so heinous. Orphaned at a very young age of 5 by a car crash that has left her with a scar that ran from her left ear to her right shoulder. All the other countless scars which were strategically inflicted in places to hide behind clothes sang a completely different tune. The scars were old. Last one may have been two months old. It was hard to determine if they were self-inflicted or not.

But what possible reason could a girl have inflicting pain on oneself if not to compensate the mental anguish. The only people who could have any kind of explanation for those were dead.

Forced to live with her mother’s sister’s family who had adopted her. She had poisoned her aunt, uncle and their sons who were about 15 and 17.

The reason why they are sitting here currently is to evaluate her psyche if she was a psychopath or a victim herself.

I had this uncanny ability to read people by their behavior, the way they sat, the way they were breathing it’s like I could see through their soul.

No one knew this about me. This story had made the headlines in the whole country. Why would such a sweet girl who looked so innocent with perfect grades kill her aunt and her whole family who were model citizens of the community. They went to church. Mother was a preschool teacher; father was an accountant and both the boys were good at school in academics as well as sports. It’s a mystery what had transpired behind closed doors that had forced the girl to kill them.

Honestly, I am starting to doubt the intentions of the person who thought it was a good idea to appoint a psychologist with kids of her own about the same age even if she is the best. But then again, they didn’t know about my ability. I could read her through. The way she is staring at me trying to read me or is she scared of me?

Because this moment right now determines everything for both of us. One of us would either remain in the psych ward or be transferred to jail and the other could have made the right decision to live happily hereafter or make a wrong decision and suffocate in the guilt of having punished such a young girl that slowly consumes you.

It is after all a very big responsibility. You could either say the girl is traumatized due to her past and may have been mentally tortured probably even physically looking at her malnutrition scarred body and leave her with a minimum of few years in psych ward endangering the rest of humanity if she in reality was a psychopath or sentence her as an adult sending her to jail looking at the severity of her crime but then there may be a chance that in reality she may have been an innocent victim.

Guilt and regret are very powerful emotions especially for someone who has dedicated their life to study different human mind and helping them.

Hence, I’m questioning the sanity of the person that appointed a mother as a consultant psychologist in this case forcing her to have a biased opinion, especially one who is constantly battling being an empathetic mother and an apathetic psychologist to a murderer.

I never liked the normal mundane chats at the start of every session that slowly assembled to the most important question as to why we were here. Many of them liked this sensual dance of mind-numbing ridiculous questions to ease the atmosphere just touching the elephant in the room like a forbidden fruit slowly and carefully, that lead to the important question. But looking at her I could read that she didn’t want to do it either.

What is the motive?

I could practically see the wheel turning in her brain and the itch on her tongue that would end this session and we can be on our way. We were staring at each other to see who would give up first and speak.

It really is a mystery why or how a girl so fragile, who looked as pale as ghost with bone line visible of her ribs carry out something like did. It looks like it took up all her strength to just sit on the chair upright.

But she had poisoned them she has confessed to it after all. But why did she? What could have compelled her to do something so horrific. She was also the one who had called the cops to let them know what she had done.

Though there is obvious trauma in the past but there are no obvious symptoms of a psychopath. No superficial charms having hardly said two words since the arrest and looking like a snow sheet; pale and thin, pathological lying but many people have only denied it. She did possess none of the psychopathic symptoms but few symptoms like manipulation, regret, etc. are still up for debate.

And that is why we are here. To answer those questions. To find out the truth of that night. The motive behind the crime.

But like Oscar Wilde said, ‘the truth is rarely pure and never simple’.

I am a voracious reader. I had found out when I was little that I could read anything and everything, like information and people. No, I am not psychic. I can’t read people's mind or  anything that silly. I read people by their subtle patterns and behaviors. Hence, I am very good at this.

I remember ones someone telling me that the secret of every magic was distraction. The human brain was programmed to look at the blatant details and always disregard the minute details.

Like the small detail that the motive may be as fundamental as greed. No one had even considered it. Everyone was busy with bigger things that how could she kill her whole family. Is she a psychopath? Was she tortured? But non considered the naked and raw sins of humanity like ‘Greed’.

The girl was to inherit millions that her parents had left for her that she was to access after she turned legal.

I am a brilliant person if I say so myself, I am really good at many things. I possess many qualities, but patience is something I never possessed.

That is why I had completely given up with her sitting in front of me. I wanted this to be over as soon as possible. I was about to open my mouth to end this right now, when she opens her mouth.

“Water?” She asked slowly.

Internally I was smiling having won this game of staring. I hated losing especially to someone like her.

“Yes Please” I said timidly shedding a tear for the effect.

I had not only won the staring game but the war as well. With that one word she had confirmed that the empathetic mother had won over the apathetic psychologist.

Picasso ones said ‘Everything you can imagine is real’.

I knew I could tell her all about the torture my aunt, her husband and my cousins never did to me. I could tell her all about the guilt and regret I am not feeling, having killed them.

I was an innocent little girl who took an extreme step without knowing how to overcome the torture. This was her reality.

My reality has always been the money that I wanted, and the only hurdle was my aunt and her family.

Hardest reality is always accepting the reality.

July 18, 2020 20:19

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22:35 Jul 29, 2020

I enjoyed reading this story. It truly is a mystery. Your explanations and definitions of Reality are very fascinating. I also have written a story under the same prompt:).


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Riyad Ghabashi
10:08 Jul 28, 2020

it's interesting how you managed to phase a new defenishion of reality in. and more interesting how you used a single fact you created, in a completely twisted story. well done.


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Evelyn Mullooly
15:06 Jul 26, 2020

Love this! It’s such a well written story full of twists.


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17:04 Jul 22, 2020

Presented well👍


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Ari Berri
20:40 Nov 23, 2020

This story is amazing. Also, I like the quote in your bio!


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