The Curious Incident of the Room

Posted by Freddy on Jun-25-2011

I could feel the muscles of my face tightening with the intensity of the situation just as these words were spoken. Raziya gave a start which spilled the tea from her cup. We knew that we were encountering a very singular case. As it was my way of preparing for the situation I made up my mind to face any kind of sinister outcome from the ordeal which I found myself deep into.

We must act quickly! I exclaimed

So there is indeed something to worry, isn’t it? Aahana’s voice sounded low.

Let’s hope not. And with this I tried to force a smile on my face and continued.

“I will inspect it myself tonight. I know it carries a lot of risk which we can possibly avoid by letting the Pai’s know of it, but then it would amount to alerting our midnight ‘intruder’. We must catch him off guard, for which it is essential to carry out this operation myself. You both will no doubt assist me in this?”

“Tell us what to do”. My wife, who appeared evidently much disturbed, said.

We will inspect the site of your building now. I expect to find answers to some of my doubts in the structure of the building.

Raziya and Aahana looked at each other in utter disbelief that I have already formed my theories, when things were still in utter darkness for them. Raziya knowing my methods chose to follow me silently.

“You have the amazing gift of silence, my dear Watson, which makes you as indispensable as a companion” the voice of Sherlock Holmes echoed in my mind’s ear.

The evening was getting late and we knew that in about an hour the darkness would render all our efforts futile. We had to literally rush to the locale of the Mr. and Mrs. Pai’. The building was a beauty- small yet with all the elegance of the British yore. It was situated in a corner where two small lanes met, which made the house quite vulnerable for an incident like the same. Aahana showed me her part of the house and I went round and round the place to take as close as possible as to find out the openings on the walls that led to the insides. There were two windows and a door. The door opened to the terrace. The windows were on the Eastern side. Just as everything seemed to be in perfect order to Aahana’s narrative, I made a turn around the corner of the road which made me see from the side the western side of the house. There was a closed window! I turned around to ask Aahana, but stopped short noticing the shock and horror on her face. She murmured in a low Tone.

“How come I don’t see this closed window from the inside?”

The three of us were in utter disbelief. Instinctively I dug out a telescope from my pocket that has been my companion at sea for a long time now. It was a fairly powerful telescope which had the greatest advantage of being really miniscule, which could be hid in my palm. I held it to my eyes, Adjusted the focus and my Jaws dropped! I have seen nothing like this before. It was a relief carved on the wall and painted so well, undoubtedly by a good artist to resemble a closed window!

A FALSE WINDOW!!!

I had made up my mind and started looking at all the possible ways to get on to the terrace by climbing up the wall, and to enter it by the terrace before it is time for the terrace door to be closed. Both the ladies waited outside with abated breath as I slid into the room. No one had noticed anything. Especially the owners of the house. So far so good! I remained as silent as I could, but couldn’t help my heart from pounding on my chest. I wondered if my heartbeat could be heard outside. Seconds and minutes passed by. The darkness was getting thicker and thicker outside, and the world started going silent, with very few hums and dins of distant vehicles. I sat on the bed near the western wall, and I couldn’t throw out the illusion of the window from my mind- why would anyone want to do it? Whom did they want to deceive? And why? A million questions! The room was now in complete darkness! The hour was getting really late. The world has gone to sleep.

Just then, I heard a faint creek. All the muscles of my body twitched as I focused on the creek sound. I started up from bed careful enough to be as silent as possible. I kept my left ear stuck to the wall and slowly moved forward in the direction of the sounds. A meter or so away where one wall meets the other, I saw a faint light that shook my mind violently! There was a false chamber beyond the wall. The light was escaping from a very narrow crack, which in day light would have appeared like an ordinary crack on the plaster. I moved close. I was sweating head to toe, and every fraction of an hour appeared like ages! I was sure there was someone ‘there’. Whether he is armed or not? I did not know. There was no option for me…so I slid like a snake towards the crack and with all my might brought my eyes as close to the crack as possible to see the other side. I did so, and to my horror of horrors, a face sprang up towards me from the crack!!!

THE FACE WAS MY OWN FACE!!!

I fell backwards as every inch of my body froze, and with a start, I opened my eyes!!!

The terrible room had disappeared and I was in my comfortable little bedroom! I reached out for the glass of water from my bedside, and heaved a sigh of great relief!!!

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