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While slowing for a red light, Shashi glanced at the fortune
cookie, still in wrapping, from the Chinese restaurant. He had put off
eating it earlier, but now, not to his surprise, was hungry again. Maybe he
hadn't wanted to read it in front of his friends. "What did Abra's say?"
he thought to himself. "Something about uncovering a hidden fortune in your
own garden. I knew he was on to something."
Shashi took any kind of unfounded prediction seriously. In this regard, you
could say he was a believer in fate, or karma. And this was something too
personal to reveal to friends or any acquaintance. He'd rather no one else
hear what was in store for him, at least until he'd been able to give it
He popped the wrapping open at one end, as he always did to open these
cookies, or anything whose wrapping allowed such a convenient way for
opening. With both hands, he separated the cookie, and removed the thin
strip on which his future lay, foreseen. As he read the phrase he became
plagued with anxiety.
"Your enemy will strike in an unpredictable fashion." He contemplated the
implication of these frightening words. "My enemy will strike. In an
unpredictable fashion." He glanced at the fortune to verify. "No one can
strike without me knowing," he reassured himself. A horn from behind
prompted him to acknowledge the now green light before him. He put his foot
on the gas, but drove at a slower speed, to prolong the drive and his time
for analyzing the disturbing fortune. The cookie had said it. And it had
to be right. Shashi turned to deductive reasoning, to further verify the
certainty of the statement. The major implication was that he had an enemy.
An enemy out to get him. After pondering that for a moment, it became all
too clear and he could not deny it. There was a gentleman named Santosh. A
developer, and father to former suitor of his daughter. Santosh seemed more
interested in a business arrangement than an engagement. One involving the
property of Shashi's dealership, an ideal location for one of his numerous
ambitious projects. Shashi wasn't ever seriously considering selling his
business. At least not until he retired in a few years. But if it meant
getting his daughter married into a decent family, he was willing to string
the deal along, until the desired time. However, this was not to be. As
the couple quickly proved to be incompatible, the potential property deal
turned sour. Though by no means a loss to Shashi, his former potential
in-law refused to accept the deal going out the window with the marriage.
He called constantly, trying to set-up a meeting. He stopped by several
times, with Shashi only narrowly avoiding the encounter. When it reached
the point where he was terrified to go to work, for fear of running into
Santosh, he decided to clear the air of any notion that there was a possible
deal. This did not go over well with Santosh, however, him even going so far
as to assure Shashi that, one way or another, the property would be his.
And this statement, and this statement alone, served as the indicator to
Shashi that he was dealing not with a merely bitter individual, but an
enemy. Perhaps the statement itself lacked the menace of its delivery, or
the gaze of dangerous determination in Santosh's eyes, before he walked off
the property of the used motor dealership. It was a walk that managed to
convey an only temporary departure, one promising return.
"Bloody Hell," Shashi exclaimed. He had missed the turn he would have to
have taken in order to drop off the library books as his wife instructed
him. "They can wait another day." The library was still open; he was,
however , close to home, and turning back was out of the question. "That
bloody fortune cookie's got me distracted." The distraction quickly faded,
as he turned on to his street and noticed a police cruiser on his driveway.
"A copper," he said to himself. "What would they be doing here?" There
seemed to be no obvious answer to this troubling question. And so when
Shashi got out of the car, as he neared the front door, his heart began
racing. Without even inserting his house key, he tried the door, and sure
enough it opened. He shut the door and called out, "Is everything all
right? I saw the police cruiser outside".
A male officer's voice replied, from the kitchen, "Sir, do you live here?"
"Of course I live here, what are you doing here?" Shashi responded, heading
to the kitchen.
"I'd advise you to remain where you are, sir, there's a crimes scene in
But it was too late. Shashi had reached the kitchen. His eyes had dropped
to the floor; to the spot where his wife's body was lying. It was a
terrible sight. Her face was disfigured on one side. There was blood
streaming from the nose, and a bloody pinkish fluid splattered across the
tiles. But most terrible of all were the broken up pieces of internal
tissue, surrounding her head. "Oh my God," Shashi uttered.
"Is she your wife sir?" the police officer asked, with as much sympathy as
"Yes. Who did this, what happened?" Shashi raised his eyes, to the level
of the teapot still heating on the stove.
"Hopefully we'll find out. Can I get the name of the victim, as well as
your own, sir?
"Asha Musharu. And I'm Shashi Musharu. There are those things around her,
what is all that," Shashi inquired, referring to the matter on the tiles.
"I doubt very much sir that you want to hear this, and I'm only speculating,
but it appears to be segments of brain tissue. You see there," said the
officer, gesturing with his head to a drill on the ground beside the body.
"The killer used that power tool, and apparently entered a nostril and
drilled out the brain."
Shashi's face bore a look of disgust. "How could anyone do that? It's
sickening, I feel like being sick."
"I'm sorry that you had to see this, we generally only show bodies for
identification purposes. Can you wait in another room for a few minutes,
until I finish up in here? I have some preliminary tasks to take care of."
Shashi nodded, and walked out the kitchen. At first he headed towards the
bathroom, but before entering realized he had a stronger stomach than he
thought, and so turned into the living room. He sat on the leather couch,
and buried his face in his hands. Shashi couldn't make sense out of the
scene he had witnessed, and thus no thoughts came into his mind even
attempting to do so. His normally analytical thought pattern had become
irregular with the shock and accompanying adrenaline.
After a few minutes of restlessly alternating between sitting upright and
with his head down, shaking in disbelief, he remembered his daughter.
"Thank God Vicki's not home. She mustn't see this." He got up, and headed
back to the kitchen, bracing himself for the grotesque site he'd be forced
to yet again bear. However, before he entered, a fragment of his analytical
prowess returned, and he became curious. "Why aren't there any other
officers here?" he asked, entering the kitchen. The officer was knelt down
over the destructive tool, appearing to be wiping blood from it. He
remained silent, and rose, dropping the drill onto the floor. As he turned
around, Shashi saw on his hands a pair of black leather gloves. And the
eyes on the officer's pale face met his with a cold blooded stare.
Immediately Shashi turned and began running for the door. Before he could
complete even half of the journey, there was a sudden jolt of voltage
entering his body from a taser. His legs gave way, and he fell helplessly
onto the floor, his body twitching violently. He had enough control to roll
on his back, just in time to see the officer coming towards him, gripping a
black handled knife in his right hand. Before he could attempt to stand,
the officer was over him, and thrust the blade into his solar plexus; once,
then twice, three times, four, five, six, and seven. And then he lost
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