‘Ahaana, I am home. Where are you? See, sir is here also. Ahaanaaa…’, Dheeraj entered the house with his senior. Dheeraj, who is a crime branch inspector of his region. Those days, he was working on a very complex and one of a kind case with his senior Mohit. Mohit has joined the department of this region a few days ago only and it was his first case.

‘I am in the kitchen. Coming in a minute’, She shouted from the kitchen.

‘Do we have any case study for a case like this. Something in past like this?’, Mohit asked Dheeraj.

‘No sir. Even the Nithari case of Noida is far fetched normal, if we consider this.’

‘How is it possible? So we have found 9 half rotten male dead bodies recovered from the dump, and we have not received any complaint?’

‘Right sir. Also, no connection between them? Whatever documents we found or through internal research, seven of them were working professionals and the other two were students, both of them were from different universities and different hometowns. Same is the case with the working professionals. Different business, different hometowns and no complaints of missing from family members or from the friends’

‘Strange. Very strange. Do not inform the families or anyone for now. We need to understand this case first. Also, I want to know the reason behind their deaths. Get the reports ready for me.’

‘Ohh, I think, I shouldn’t be hearing this also’, by the time Ahaana came up with coffee.

‘No, no. It’s ok. Just don’t let anyone know about this for now. Ok? By the way, sir, she is Ahaana. My wife.’, Dheeraj said to Ahaana and introduced her to Mohit.

‘Nice to meet you, Ahaana. Thanks for the coffee. Anyway, I should be going home. See you tomorrow, Dheeraj’, he said and left.

Next Day

‘Any updates?’, Mohit asked.

‘Sir, this case is getting stranger. There is a connection between all of them. All of them died because of the intake of a huge amount of perchlorate ion. In simple language, it is a poison.’

‘Good. So it is a case of mass murder. Next thing I want to know is why no complaints have been registered by anyone for these people? Go and check from the family members, their office colleagues, university friends etc and do this activity casually and undercover. Something is very serious in this case.’

‘Sure sir. We will get back to you’

‘Don’t break the news in the Media also’

Two Days Later

‘Ramesh, why are you calling me at this hour. It’s 2AM. We can talk tomorrow?’

‘No sir, It’s quite urgent. Need to meet you now’

‘Okay, call Dheeraj also. Come to my house’

‘Sir, Dheeraj sir is not picking up his call. I am outside Dheeraj Sir’s house only but there is no one inside and I need to tell you something very serious. I am coming to your house sir’

One Hour later

‘What happened Ramesh? Tell’

‘Sir, on your instructions, Dheeraj sir asked me to find out why no complaint was registered for the missing people. To my surprise, the reason why no complaint was registered because apparently, no one is missing from home. All of them are working fine. Forget dying, my people have met six of the nine persons you have told about’

‘What, how is it even possible? Then whose dead bodies are there in the Mortuary?’

‘Sir, I seriously don’t understand this. Although, on deeper inspection, we found one thing common. They all were not in their place of work or in touch with anyone on 30th December, from 9 AM to 5PM. This is the only common thing I found’

‘Okay, you go home. Don’t tell anyone about this. Not even Dheeraj. We will talk tomorrow’

Next Morning

‘Dheeraj, where were you last night?’

‘I was at Le Meridien sir, why?’

‘Ohh, I called you and you didn’t pick up my call. I thought you were busy’

‘Sorry, sir. Last night was my first month anniversary. I drank too much and dozed off after that there only. Don’t remember anything. Coming from there only’

‘Ohh It’s only been a month. Congratulations. Are you good now?’

‘Yes, sir. Although, I have not seen Ahaana since the morning and she is not answering my calls. I am worried about her’

‘We should definitely go back to your home and check on her then. Let’s go’

Dheeraj and Mohit entered the home.

‘Ahaana… Ahaanaa’, he shouted. They entered the bedroom to find Ahaana with a big suitcase.

‘Ahaana, where were you? And what’s in this suitcase?’

‘What.. Nothing?’, She fumbled.

Dheeraj opened the big suitcase to find a body. A dead body of his own. Dheeraj and Mohit could not believe their eyes.

Dheeraj was witnessing his own dead body.

‘What is this? Who are you?’, Mohit pointed the gun towards Ahaana and asked.

‘This is of no use. Still, let me explain it to you. You remember, around two months back, some people in Indonesia claimed that they have witnessed something in the sky but your NASA ignored. That was us, entering your world. It all started when you humans tried to encroach our planet. In a disguise, you gave us hope for another planet. We didn’t know about the Earth. It’s beautiful but not as beautiful as Mars. Twenty four thousands of us came to your planet, distributed ourselves to different places. Our target is to replace your humans with us. Those nine people are just an example of how we want to achieve this. The only issue is that we don’t know how to dispose of the body’

‘ It’s impossible’, Dheeraj said.

‘Haha. There is a chip inside you. Once activated, you are one of us. It’s obviously possible’

‘Am I also like you?’, Mohit asked.

‘Not now, but soon it will be a new beginning for you also’, she said and laughed.

***

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The above story is an entry into the writing event(Feb. 02nd – 20th) hosted by ArtoonsInn: #PullTheRug #UniK-3

Event rules and guidelines: https://artoonsinn.com/pull-the-rug-unik-3-writing-event/

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Written by Sandeep Jumrani

Hailing from Agra, Sandeep is a business developer by choice and a storyteller by passion. He believes that writing stories allows one to build their own fictional world. According to him, we all are playing characters and different roles in people’s life stories.