Dunking Ink (11)
In a fleeting meeting at the parlour house, Moha told the colonel, “Mother said that she gave a portion of Black Magic Mocktail to my wife and she is under a curse. She’d not likely come under another influence.”
Colonel sighed, “Is she home?”
“Yes, she’s been released,” Moha continued, “She has been recently dating a secret lover who happened to be a cop. His name is Soda.”
“Sergeant Soda,” pronounced the colonel, “He is the guy who infiltrated into the party. He flew away on a hang glider.”
“I’m thinking of a tie-up…”
Colonel interrupted, “Kiyaveli said that anyone who saw the naked woman wasn’t under the spell. Guess she’s the only one. We have done our part. It is now up to them to patch it up. I don’t understand why they sent her an invitation.”
“Because she works in a bank.”
Soda wasn’t happy. He saved no copy of the footage in his camera. He left all his gadgets at the depot and nobody expected Deputy Waxan to fall for a bribe.
He took a look at the ‘White List’ and found few names he knew and one he could rely upon. Omar was a middleclass businessman selling paints. His house was a small three-storey complex with a little garden patch in the foreground. Few houses in the capital remained like this. Most of the tiny land plots in the island were raised ten or twelve storeys and others under construction.
“Hey Soda!” cried Omar, “What brings you here?”
“I come to talk about a little concern,” said Soda, “it’s personal. Can we have a private chat?”
“Come, sit down. I’m on my own. My family is in Malaysia, kids going to school.”
“You’d miss them badly.”
“I fly every week. Coffee?” he offered.
“Yes, please,” he settled in a comfortable chair. Doors, window frames and border lines on the walls…all wooden. Green cushioned sofas, a 72” Hisense television on stand switched on softly. “This is a beautiful house.”
“Not for long,” returned Omar with coffee, “Soon this house will be demolished. I have plans to raise a ten-storey apartment building.”
“No,” he disagreed, “I always love ground floors, a little garden, trees and nature. When it comes to money, we have to sacrifice all that and live this luxury which is materialism. So, tell me!”
“I come to ask about this party at Cosmo Tower. You’ve been there. What was it like?”
“Is this official?” he asked.
“Absolutely not. I am no longer a cop.”
“Well, I didn’t like it very much,” he leaned back on his chair, “It was quite a crowd by the lifts. Up there it was smoke-filled, loud music, crowd dancing…can’t see a thing.”
“It’s here on the card,” he reached the low table and picked a white card. Omar paused looking out of the glass panes…cup and saucer in his hand began to rattle. “Did you bring that thing here?”
“There’s a grey wolf looking at me!”
“On the steps!” he dropped the cup to the floor and scuttled up on the sofa.
“I don’t see a thing!” uttered Soda.
“Close that door!” he was pretty shaken.
Soda got up, grabbed the card, reached the door and closed it.
“It’s still there!” he cried, “You brought that wolf here!” His eyes were wide.
“No. There’s nothing out there!”
“I think you should leave,” said Omar.
“Are you serious?”
He hesitated for a moment. Then he walked out of the glass-fitted door. The wolf followed him to the gate and disappeared behind.
A few seconds later, Omar felt something in the corridor. He reached and peeped. The grey wolf sat at the end of the corridor. Omar ran out of the house to a shop on the opposite side. He called the shopkeeper. “There is an animal inside my house!” He was shaken badly.
This shopkeeper joined Omar to take a look. He found no animal. He opened the doors to the bedrooms. There was nothing. It was very strange…no dog nor wolf existed in the islands. Omar ended up booking a flight to Malaysia.
Rosa came home with twenty thousand rufiya in cash. She could not remember how she got the money but she carried the bag from the party. Next day, she tried to call Firal and there was no answer. At noon, she went to Firal’s place and witnessed some fright. A grey wolf…that she called a dog…sat inside the gate staring down at her. There was nobody in sight. She closed the gate and came home. Late that afternoon, Rosa banked the money at an ATM – no other choice since the approaching deadline.
Firal was released Saturday afternoon. She tried to call Rosa and finally got connected at sunset.
“Where were you?” cried Rosa, “I lost you in the crowd.”
“I was thrown out of the party. We need to talk,” demanded Firal.
“I can’t talk now,” said Rosa, “we talk tomorrow at the bank.” She just did the deposit.
“I was taken to the cops.”
“Don’t mention. I get it,” she responded, “I called at your place and I saw a dog. I am at Majeedi Magu near the branch office.”
“I’ll be there in five minutes.” Firal walked down the lanes towards the main street.
However, before she could appear at the corner, Rosa saw a grey hound sitting on the opposite side of the road looking at her. She quickly entered the ATM gallery in time Firal popped at the corner. Then, quite strangely, the dog crossed the road with her.
Firal reached the door and Rosa asked, “Why did you bring that animal?”
“What are you talking about?” asked Firal.
“I saw that grey dog at your home today. Where’s it now?” she peeped out.
“Grey like a wolf face we saw at the party!”
“I didn’t see a wolf face at the party,” Rosa came out of the glass door.
“Say, what are you doing here?”
Rosa whispered, “I banked the money. Did cops seize your dough?”
“What money?” asked Firal.
“Hush! They gave a bag full of cash when we left the party. You were thrown out. You didn’t get it?”
“Damn! You’re lucky!” cried Firal, “I saw a naked woman in the crowd. And…”
“Look!” cried Rosa, “There’s the dog!”
“Sitting on the pavement…looking at us!”
“I can’t see a thing!”
She began to back away, “It’s moving! It’s coming towards us…” she turned and ran leaving Firal standing there dumbfounded.