“Fans and the Cops Await next release of Samuel Clooney” read the headlines of the newspaper. 

Clooney was in his study working on his next story of the series ‘Dr. North’s Deathstalker’. The evening was not like other days. He was restless and anxious to complete it, and it was probably the last book of the series, what he decided so far; the series that bought a huge fame to him within a span of 6 years. The deal was to be closed the next day. Not only this, he had also been under pressure by the investigation team for the fact that all his stories were emulated by a psychopathic killer immediately after its publication. The story was definitely going to help them catch the killer this time.

Clara knocked at the door. She hardly ever entered the study for her reservations about the room. 

It had been more than 5 years Clooney shifted to this 2-storeyed Victorian house. The chief feature that attracted him about the structure was the 12×12 study, with its dark walnut and mahogany furniture, which he never tried to change; not even the dark heavy curtains that provided less source of daylight. It was Clara who never liked the décor of the room; but then again it provided that perfect setting for her hubby to create those award winning crime thrillers. The small studio apartment where they lived earlier was her favourite one. It was that apartment in which she was sheltered one night by Clooney and later they got married. The orphaned and homeless girl that Clara was, she fell in love very soon with the generosity shown towards her by Clooney and as a result her devotion to him was unmatched. The unresisting wife that she was, never ever opposed to what he did. And it reflected that time also when Clooney bought this house.

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“Honey! It’s me. Why don’t you take rest ….too much stress isn’t good. Come and spend some time with us tonight,” said she peeping through the door.

Clooney waved his hand without uttering a word asking her to leave. She knew when her hubby was absorbed in writing it was too difficult to engage him in some other act. She left closing the door behind her. 

To ease his restless mind, the writer poured some whiskey in the rocks glass and sat on the sofa facing the only big window of the study. The quiet and dark sky perhaps conveyed something to him. He leaned back against the back rest. His health had taken a toll for the last few months possibly that was the fact he decided to end the series with this last story, the series where a psychopath killer Dr. North kills 10 year old boys by unleashing a deadly venom into their body.

Clooney was not sure how the story was supposed to keep on going. He decided to end it where Dr. North kills his own 10-year-old son. He gulped down the drink, closed his eyes and let himself fall back on the sofa, meanwhile he felt someone standing behind him.

“But who?” he pondered.

A chill went down his back as he turned back. The light was too dim to see the man properly. The tall figure moved towards him, his square face with strong jaw line was visible now. It was a familiar appearance, the same six feet, strong jawed man, a face with wide cheek bones. The man was wearing a black robe. Yes, he recognized him, he was the same, Dr. North, as portrayed by him. But how can he come alive? He wondered.

“Who’s there” asked Clooney.

“It’s me, don’t you recognise,” cackled the man.

“No I dont!” pronounced Clooney.

“You have called me to finish the task.”

“What the hell are you talking about?” Clooney was dismayed.

“Oh, Come on! It’s time to finish the last task, the task you made me accomplish for years now,” pronounced the figure. “Now, I have come to finish the last one, the murder of Dr. North’s son and you know what it means, its your sweet Pete….Oh! How can I forget he just turned 10 a week back!” screeched the man.

“You can’t do that, I love him, he is my son.”

“Don’t forget that is what you have decided in the story, you assigned me this job,” vocalized the man.

“I don’t know…just go away”.

“It’s my time Sam. I can’t go….I have to complete my task…Remember Dr. Sampson’s laboratory, where it all started… the stealing of that glass jar, that contained the beast, the yellow Omdurman scorpion….which Dr. Sampson was gifted by one of his student from Egypt. For the first time, you unleashed the beast onto his 10 year old son. The boy turned pale and died within a day of severe pancreatitis, and then it went on, one after another. You killed his son just because he was not letting you complete your research work.”

“I left my doctorate because of Dr. Sampson and that little crotch fruit insulted me a thousand times.” shouted Clooney.

“So! Then what made you kill John, Sam, Rick and Morgan, all 10 year olds.”

“Stop it! You fraudster…don’t you know how much I spent for that PhD. I was homeless…without a penny to survive.”

“And so you let loose your other self, that’s me.”

“Oh! I can’t take it anymore, just leave now, I am having severe headache, a hammer-like blow to my head.”

“You are mistaken, you and me, are we different? We both are same….you created me first and then you created Dr. North of your crime series…let me tell you Sam, I never go empty handed. Now, don’t waste time…go and finish it.”

His rough voice was echoing in the room. The darkest hour of the night was made more blood-curdling by his loud laughter. Clooney looked through the room, the writer was possessed, possessed by his own self. The man who was diagnosed with schizophrenia long ago but was not treated for that because he never admitted it.

There at the other end of the room, the beast inside the glass jar was tapping at the lid as if the creature knew time has come to pour out its venom through that tender skin.

“The yellow Omdurman, of which he never let Clara knew of,” thought Clooney.

Once more, the voice echoed in the room, but this time it went near Clooney and in his ears it firmly said, “Sam, hurry up, time’s running out, everyone is sleeping…open the door….go upstairs ….on your right the second room belongs to Pete. He is there alone in deep sleep. Move Sam, move!” firmly said the voice.

Clooney got up from the sofa, his dark brown robe was hanging loose as he slowly progressed towards the small table with the glass jar. He moved towards the door, crossed the whole length of the hall to reach the stairs, with his right hand holding the glass jar. He gathered all his energy to climb the stairs. The barbarity visible in his eyes was of Dr. North’s, the psychopath killer of his stories, but his frail body was not able to accompany him. His trembling hands held the metal bar and tried to push his body up the stairs. The voice was constantly asking him to accomplish the task but there was very little light in the stairs. He started to climb slowly, he reached the last step when his drunken eyes misjudged the steps, his robe got tangled and then stuck, and he fell, fell from the top rolling down the stairs and the glass jar broke open with the beast unleashed.

Next day, the headlines read, “Clooney, the famous writer dies in an attempt to save his son from the killer.”

It was Clara who knew it was the same yellow deathstalker she had accidentally noticed once in her husband’s study that the cops showed her.

*****

==>This is an entry for Artales-17, #DrNorth, an ArtoonsInn writing event.

Check the event guidelines here: https://artoonsinn.com/artales17/
Don’t forget to leave a comment and rate this story out of 10(either on the shared post on Facebook or by using the rating bar down below).

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Struggled and Soared “stories of courageous women of India”. A non-fiction that talks about the women that reflect the spirit of India – an invincible spirit to be free! Dr North till July 31stIt is the story of four Indian women who have one thing in common –courage to follow their heart and do what they felt right. Reading this book would be like taking a much needed break from the false propaganda and information that you are surrounded with on digital media. This is just the right book that will give your mind freedom to be yourself and an invaluable inspiration as well as meaning to life. The author has done full justice while accounting the life of all inspirational women from India’s past and present. We recommend this book for those who love to read well-researched works.

Link to buy this book:

Vipil Written by Vipin Chopal

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Kaberi Mukherjee’s story’s cover pic courtesy: Skeeze

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