Friday, August 26, 2011

Murders at the hospital

A Lacron’s carver is commonly used by a dental student. They use it for carving wax mostly. It has a sharp end and a curved end. Some use the curved end for picking ears. But I have an entirely different use for a Lacron’s carver. I use it for killing people.

Amberville was not always like this. There was a time when no dark alleys existed. Every street was considered safe for women and children. But the great depression changed everything. It bought out the wild side of the men. Plundering and looting continued for months. Every honest man had to take weapons just to survive in the wilderness Amberville had become. Even women and children were not spared. They were raped and kidnapped. Soon, the good men fled the city. What started as random fights and looting slowly began to get organized. Those who had the power and means to take control took over the reins of the city and divided it among themselves. Police and judiciary were made mockery of. Greed, lust and violence gripped the city. Even on the sunniest day, the city looked dull and depressing.

I had left the city before the depression for my studies. The place I came back to wasn’t my home… it was hell. Anti social elements infiltrated the society. Brothels become the safer places for women. Many of my childhood friends were already dead. Others have chosen the path of violence. My childhood sweetheart was added to the unsolved murders in the city. I had nowhere else to go. I was on the verge of insanity when I got the job at the General Hospital. It was one the few places left as it is by the mob.

I had a steady flow of patients in the dental extension of the hospital now. Broken teeth were the most common problem which wasn’t surprising. It may be due to fights or sometimes innocent people getting hit by the petty thieves. People who disagreed with the big shot gangsters usually returned in a coffin.

A Saturday morning.

I got a call from the hospital asking me to go to room 66 immediately. Sensing the urgency of the caller I rushed. I reached there and saw a big burly man with two broken arms, a broken rib cage and many broken teeth. I needn’t guess why I was called. Nobody explained what happened either, that was left to imagination. That was how it was in the city. Nobody talked. But the rumors went around saying he was indeed the Bear himself. No one knew his real name. He had a violent history. He never took orders from anyone other than his boss Theodore. With the help of the Bear, he controlled the Westside area. I was furious when he came back to his room. Why did I have to treat him? I asked the walls and chairs of his room as there was no one else. I thought about the Bear. He had more resemblance to an animal than to a human. May be that’s why they call him the Bear. Watching the news didn’t help at all. Bear was apparently beaten up by a rival gang while he was putting his long knife into a 5 year old just to teach his father a lesson. The rival gang came and gave him a nice beating and left. They were not bothered about the kid. Why would they bother about somebody’s boy? Bear managed to pull out his cell phone and call for help. But the kid bled to death. In the heavy rain nobody noticed the red tinge of the puddles formed.

I started off with scotch to calm my nerves. After thinking again and again I finally decided to do something that could calm my nerves for a longer time. I took a Lacron’s carver and an anesthetic gel and stepped out into the heavy rain. After 10 minutes here I am outside the hospital. The hospital in the rain gave a ghostly appearance. The orange light from the sodium vapor lamp added on to this. I walked towards the rear entrance where I wouldn’t be seen entering the hospital. Surprisingly there were no body guards outside Bear’s room.

I entered the room slowly. Nothing but a thin outline could have been seen from the room. I closed the door and moved towards the bed without making a sound. In the dim light from the bathroom I looked around and found none. I heard something from the windows. Must be some sound from outside. A rat or something I guess.I checked the patient file to find that the Bear was sedated. He was sleeping like a baby. I took out the anesthetic gel and applied slowly on the Bear’s neck. He shouldn’t feel the pain. It might wake him up.My hands were shaking a bit. After applying I waited for almost 5 minutes for the gel take action. Each minute felt like an hour. The carotid pulse was felt. I imagined a beating snake under my fingers and in a sudden fluid motion I sliced both the carotid arteries with the carver. Blood spurted out. I have never seen blood flowing like that before. It made me nauseous and I took five minutes to realize the importance of the time. I covered the Bear with the blanket till the neck, cleaned my hands and the carver and walked out closing the door behind me.

As he left in a hurry he had failed to see the blue eyes observing him behind the curtain. He stood there behind the curtain well hidden from the dim light in the room. He stayed there for some more time before going to the bed. He got the familiar aroma of blood as he approached. It has always excited him. Perhaps that is why he chose to be a professional assassin.

I was badly in need of another drink. I hurried back home. On the way was the church, the church of Saint George. It was already Sunday. The big statue of the saint on a white horse slaying a dragon was there in front of the church. It wasn’t raining anymore. There was light inside. The priest must be getting ready for the morning service. The church was as old as the city itself and it used to attract large numbers. But now hardly a few went to the church. Istood there for a moment before deciding what to do. I walked inside and saw the priest.

“Father I need to confess!”

“At this hour? There is confession session every Friday afternoon. Why didn’t you come then?”

“I have done a sin and seek the forgiveness of the Lord. Surely you can’t say no to that.” “No I cannot say no to that. Come.” The priest sighed.

The Father sat and I knelt in front of the confessional.

“Forgive me Father, for I have sinned………….. “

After I was done he started advising me “Son, your path is wrong. It will lead to self destruction and you will end up in the eternal fires of the hell. No bad deed is justified in front of God. Repent your actions and say ‘Hail Mary’ 5 times and offer it to cleanse your soul.”

As the priest was saying the necessary prayers I walked out. I again looked at the statue of St.George. At that moment it was pride that filled my heart and was not repenting a bit about what I did.He killed a dragon and I, a bear. Both for the same reasons.

I reached home, finished the bottle of scotch and slept the whole day. Seems I missed a lot on the channels about the murder but the newspapers carried different vivid and colourful stories about the murdered gangster the next day morning. Media and the people suspected rival gangs but police did not comment anything. They were actually relieved to see the bear dead on a bed soaked with his own blood. The men who knew the truth chose silence.

John became an assassin to survive. He had understood that in Amberville you have to lay down your righteousness and morality if you want to live. He excelled at his job and that was why the Westside Mafia collectively hired John for finishing of what they started. Finish the Bear. Even though he did not do the job himself he still collected the fee and started inquiring about the mysterious visitor who made his job easier. John was also the main mediator among the gangs. He occasionally engaged and sometimes killed rogue members of the mafia to ensure the balance of the city. Nobody questioned the man with the blue eyes. Bear was one among them. John was well informed about the mafia and it was not difficult for him to find out about David.

Two weeks passed since that day I took law into my hands. It was a dull day as any other day when Sarah walked into my clinic with a broken filling. She was beautiful. What started as a normal doctor patient chit chat went beyond that by the time she was leaving. I guess she found me different from the other men of the city. I loved her eyes. I felt compassion and warmth in those eyes. Had never seen any of those after coming to the city. Sarah was not from here. She told me she was a journalist who came to do a feature on the city and its downfall. She was not very happy with this assignment as any wrong move could take her life. I met her again for dinner. I supported her work and gave her courage to go ahead. We started seeing each other regularly. Sarah would tell me the details she found out about the mafia and I would tell tales about my patients.Highly unethical but never the less entertaining. I enjoyed her company. It took me back to my college days. Days have become brighter.

With the same modus operandi only I eliminated two more men. This threw of the balance in the city. Nobody was sure who was killing who. I never knew about this pressure building up in the underworld. I was happy to be with Sarah. I confessed after each killing but never did what the priest asked me to do. Thank god for them. They keep the confessions secret.

Almost a month after we started seeing each other one day I found Sarah on the verge of tears. She was scared like a small rabbit trying to run from a wolf. I took her to his apartments and made her a strong coffee. It was only after half an hour or so Sarah told him what happened. She was at Jimmy’s bar, a place where these scumbags hang out. So while she was there looking for sources for her report she met this guy. He said he was the half brother of the bear who was killed more than a month ago. His name was Samuel. He was willing to do or say anything to get some information about the killer. Sarah acted as if she knew something to get some information and Samuel gave her a lot of real dirty info about the whole mafia setup. With the two new killings Samuel got very curious as to what sort of information Sarah had. When Sarah didn’t give a proper answer he put the word out that she knew something of these hospital murders. And now this guy called Smith wanted to talk to her. Smith was the agent for one of gangs. She was to go to the 5th Avenue crossroad at 10 in the night and walk east. If she did not come or go to police she would be killed. Simply put. I badly wanted to tell her about the murders. I have never talked to her about them,even though I was tempted many a times. She doesn’t seem to know anything more than what the press or people know. But I kept his desires away and said I can go with her.

“He said I should go alone.”

“Then I’ll keep a distance. I have a revolver given to me by the police after the hospital killings. I can take that also. And no I won’t use. It is just for a safety.” But I already made other plans.

I was thinking I could use a change of style. Whoever this Smith guy was, the city would be a better place without him. I know the location would be isolated in the night. Only drunkards and drug addicts would go there.

Sarah was punctual. She was at the 5th Avenue crossroad and started walking east. It was raining heavily. I am sure I won’t be noticed. As Sarah started walking I followed matching her pace. Suddenly out of the shadows a man emerged and started walking with Sarah. I couldn’t hear what they were talking. The rain somehow reminded me of the night he killed the bear. I felt that familiar chill up his spine. As they were walking the man suddenly pushed Sarah to one side and his went into his pocket. I jumped forward taking out my gun. I saw the flash of a metal in the man’s hand and heard a click. A suppressed shot.My first thought was about Sarah and its paining. But not in the heart. It was below, from my abdomen where the bullet pierced me. I dropped the gun and fell down face to the ground. When I turned I saw the cold eyes of Sarah. There was no warmth or compassion in them. Then the man with blue eyes said “You have caused more damage than good, my friend. Your time has come.” And they left.

As I was lying there getting soaked in the rain with the blood giving a red tinge to the puddles I thought about the priest. I started saying “ Hail mary. Full of grace. The Lord is with thee…..”

Nobody came to help him and neither did he finish the prayer.

(I got inspired from a story series by a fellow blogger who was good enough to help me with the editing also. Thank you Roshan Radhakrishnan. Amberville is a city created by him in his blog and you can more stories at the Godyears. Other stories in the series are Amberville, The Confession, Payback and Guardian Angel )

Inner Peace

Exactly four years and 24 days after I joined for Bachelor of Dental Surgery my final year results came. And I passed. Am a doctor now. (Technically I have to finish I year internship also before they actually let me pull out someone’s tooth.)

I was totally convinced that it would not come that day but a close friend of mine had an opposing view. She had a gut feeling apparently that it would come on the 24th of August. I had a rational reasons as to why it won’t come. The site was very fast in opening and was real smooth when I refreshed it again and again. Normally when they upload the results the site would be slow and stuck. The previous day it was so and I was almost sure the results would come. Again my friend had the opposing view. Even though I was convinced it would not come I still kept on refreshing the site and just like that without any slowing down it just appeared. Final year BDS results. The feeling I had that very moment is beyond words. It was something like a mix of tension, hope, fear and all.. Again words fail me. I entered my register number with shaky hands ( I don’t think my hands were shaking but just for the dramatic effect lets say they were shaking). I clicked ‘submit’. Thinking back now I should have probably waited a bit and cherished that moment. But in a matter of seconds my results came. I passed for all the seven papers. I felt happy and content. I’d like to think at that very moment I found my inner peace. ( yes I have watched kung fu panda at least 10 times!)

Though I always dreamed of that moment i didn’t know what to do. I did not feel like screaming even though I wanted to. I wanted to shout to my mother. But I just sat there looking at the result. I could tell my mother but she’ll be in the kitchen. (Ever since I came back she is always busy in the kitchen. Food seems to get over fast.) Finally I got up went to the stairs and I found mom looking at me from down the stairs expectantly and asking if anything has come. Mothers have a sixth sense for sensing these things. You talk to some random girl in your class for hours they don’t have a problem but the moment someone special calls they’ll all over you asking a thousand questions! Anyways I said yeah I passed. As every other she was not convinced and came all the way up to see the results for herself. Then she congratulated me. Another Kodak moment it was! Then I started messaging my friends. Called up the near and dear starting from my father who was my inspiration in fact. Then the people whom I would call as my friends. They had to put up with my entire psychotic and neurotic episodes during the study leave. And they should take me a bit more seriously. I called this friend who was convinced the results would come that day and told her she passed. She also was not convinced and thought I was joking; I then had to read out her marks just to convince her. She then screamed on the phone! The next day we were talking and she pointed out that such happy news shouldn’t be told in a grave voice, I should have screamed it onto the phone it seems.

Even to me its still a mystery as to why I did not jump and scream at that moment. I always wanted to. I always thought of doing so. May be I did find my inner peace.

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