Dunking Ink (12)
Next day at the bank, Rosa passed a rumour. She knew little secrets about Firal. They talked about Firal’s mother-in-law who spelled her with a curse to break her from prostitution. Firal sat isolated and dialed Soda over and over. Shortly, even that came known when someone disclosed a printout of the call log. She dialed Soda fifty-eight times.
Kiyaveli’s magic washed their brains and guests could not remember what happened at the party. If they started to talk about it, an image of a grey wolf or a wolf face caught the eyes. It went on for thirteen days. People only remembered getting stuck at the elevators going up and coming out of the gates carrying paper bags. A vague picture of movements crossed their minds of silhouettes in a smoke-filled hall, crowded and hot, shadowy figures dancing about to loud disco music.
Only Firal was holding a good memory about the eventful night.
Soda studied the invitation card. It read; ‘Thanks to everyone who donated and attended the Mocktail Party Fundraiser. The event was a huge success.’
Soda passed the invitation card to Jina secretly to have a check at the police lab. Soda then arrived at his lodge to find a letter slipped under the door. It was from Kidki; fifteen days’ notice asking him to vacate the room. Soda came out and bumped into him by the stairs. Kidki wore a brand-new pair of Nike shoes on his way out.
“What is this?” asked Soda.
“Notice,” replied Kidki.
“Fifteen days…too short to find a place!”
“Remember the contract. It’s in it. Fifteen days.”
“What’s the rush?”
“Sister called. Said she cannot keep mother with her. They’re moving to Sri Lanka. I need the room for my mom.”
“No better excuse,” groused Soda, “In that case, I’ll see to it.” He watched Kidki climb a brand-new Honda Revo motorbike, worth 80,000 rufiya. Somebody bribed him by giving him this cycle.
Soda looked for a new home. He came across a vacancy for a windsurfing teacher from a touristic island. He applied and won the job.
It was his departure day. Jina met Soda secretly and delivered some mind-boggling information.
“Under a UV light, I find a pre-existing area that’s been washed away on the paper,” explained the forensic expert, “This area in a rectangular shape was printed like a background with a normal simple white ink which I call a ‘Dunking Ink’. And the factual invitation was printed on top of it again with ‘Dunking Ink’.
“Something happened there. This paper touched acetone that washed out the prints,” said Jina, “Either in gaseous state or liquid form, water or vapour, I can’t say, but it left a hidden print revealed and that’s what we are seeing now on the card. These letters are 3D printed with nylon and not easy to rub off or remove with anything. You can scratch it out.”
“Can it be done here?” asked Soda.
“Possible. People have 3D printers and material.”
“Technology is there and the will is there,” Soda questioned, “but why does someone want to cover up the Cosmo Tower party? What’s it called? A Mocktail Party.”
“People who are holding these cards are donors now whether they did put the money or not. Another fact is that these people don’t want to talk about it. They can’t even remember, so I hear. Some claim to see a grey wolf when they start thinking about it.”
“A grey wolf?”
“A grey wolf.”
Soda sighed, “Thanks, buddy. I’m all packed. I’m leaving today to a resort island on my new job.”
“Congratulations!” Jina left.
25th Friday night, Kidki sat by the window gazing at a big moon on the eastern horizon, two days after the Full Moon, when he saw the gate open and a girl walk in. He knew at once it was Firal. Kidki scampered down the stairs and faced her, “Hi!”
“Is Soda in?” asked Firal. She wore a pink pencil skirt and a white tight top.
“Yes,” Kidki replied, “He went right in. Come! Let me check!” He entered the ground floor followed by Firal. He didn’t lose his shoes but Firal dropped her sandals at the doorstep. Kidki reached the door on a corridor and tapped. “Soda! Someone’s calling!” There was no answer. He tried the knob which was unlocked.
Suddenly, Kidki grabbed the girl trying to push her through the door. She delivered blow after blow with her fists. “Let me go!” It was rough. He pulled at her skirt. She shook herself free and ran out. She even failed to pick her sandals.
Two years later, under a new government, Libra and several others in his circles were accused of money laundering and a new investigation launched. Billions in his accounts frozen. President Libra was found guilty and sentenced for imprisonment.
The mystery of the ‘Dunking Ink’ or the secrets of the ‘Mocktail Party’ were not in the quest.
– END –