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thriller

Traveler Tenshi no YamiChloe QuinnCiro
+3
4Mins Each
24
ENTRIES
D&D-Like: Survival Meeting in the Afterlife Re-Do
✪ Ending IN 55 DAYS
PG-13
49
508
64
Community
Vote

Choose a character that died in one of your stories or a character that you have not written of yet but want to test out.

Your character will wake up in an unknown dark warehouse with only the bare essentials. All of the contestant's characters will be separated into different warehouses in this old abandoned town. It's up to you to guide them into meeting up with the other contestants to figure out where they are and how to leave. If your character has powers then those powers have to be taken back throughout the story.

The direction of the story, twists, and turns, all depend on your creativity and teamwork with the other participating writers. I hope this will give birth to new friendships and renewed creativity.

Also, the first one to post on here will be the Main Character of this 12-week long saga, write with that in mind.

Serial
Community Vote
Read More
Take the Challenge!

D&D-Like: Survival Meeting in the Afterlife Re-Do

Choose a character that died in one of your stories or a character that you have not written of yet but want to test out.

Your character will wake up in an unknown dark warehouse with only the bare essentials. All of the contestant's characters will be separated into different warehouses in this old abandoned town. It's up to you to guide them into meeting up with the other contestants to figure out where they are and how to leave. If your character has powers then those powers have to be taken back throughout the story.

The direction of the story, twists, and turns, all depend on your creativity and teamwork with the other participating writers. I hope this will give birth to new friendships and renewed creativity.

Also, the first one to post on here will be the Main Character of this 12-week long saga, write with that in mind.

Read More
Take the Challenge!
Unicornbliss1168
11Mins Each
28
ISSUES
...Cry, so I may laugh by Nikki Paiva
Updated Feb 24, 2020
R
86
1444
0
Thriller
Dark

Write a Brief Intro Here...

In a time when inter relations were unheard of, a girl fell in love with a boy.

Their story spans over decades. What they endured for loving each other, the obstacles they had to face, because it wasn’t legal to love outside your race.

Nichole tells the story of her childhood. The abuse she endured, even violence that was inflicted upon her. The heart choses. That was her motto. She tells her tale in graphic detail.

Zulu-land and all its splendour is brought to life. The young warrior who had saved her life, as a child, was her best friend. As time passed, that friendship evolved into something deeper.

Something forbidden. Nevertheless, the heart choses.

The chief that fell in love with a lady. He was a man with roots that dated back to King Shaka himself.

Not time, nor threats of being imprisoned could stunt this love, these two people had for each other.

Times was on their side, but not all the time. When freedom did come, they had no idea what to do with the concept. Their love was timeless.

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Drama
Thriller
Dark
Read More
Solo Work

...Cry, so I may laugh by Nikki Paiva

Write a Brief Intro Here...

In a time when inter relations were unheard of, a girl fell in love with a boy.

Their story spans over decades. What they endured for loving each other, the obstacles they had to face, because it wasn’t legal to love outside your race.

Nichole tells the story of her childhood. The abuse she endured, even violence that was inflicted upon her. The heart choses. That was her motto. She tells her tale in graphic detail.

Zulu-land and all its splendour is brought to life. The young warrior who had saved her life, as a child, was her best friend. As time passed, that friendship evolved into something deeper.

Something forbidden. Nevertheless, the heart choses.

The chief that fell in love with a lady. He was a man with roots that dated back to King Shaka himself.

Not time, nor threats of being imprisoned could stunt this love, these two people had for each other.

Times was on their side, but not all the time. When freedom did come, they had no idea what to do with the concept. Their love was timeless.

Suggestions:

Tell us how this story idea come about (a great way to attract readers!)A brief Intro of your storyThings you would like to let your readers know

Press Shift+Enter for multiple line breaks.

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Solo Work
Donnysixx
3Mins Each
2
ISSUES
THE SAINT : SUMPAH IBLIS
Updated Jun 30, 2020
PG-13
7
111
0
Thriller
Spiritual

"A promise that is bound to hell.

Adam dan Maria adalah sepasang suami-istri yang berprofesi sebagai Pendeta. Mereka ditugaskan secara diam-diam oleh organisasi gereja, untuk  pergi menyembuhkan seorang anak konglomerat yang menderita sakit yang aneh. Mereka mendapatkan tugas itu, setelah kedua orang-tuanya datang meminta bantuan kepada organisasi gereja yang ada di sini. Kata orang-tuanya, mereka telah melakukan Segala macam cara dengan pengobatan medis yang sangat mahal. Namun, malah semakin memperburuk kondisinya. Lalu mereka mulai mencoba meminta pertolongan kepada gereja-gereja, tapi tak ada satu pun dari gereja itu yang mau menolong. Kata mereka, harus ada seseorang yang mampu melawan kuasa jahat itu, karena mungkin, anak mereka telah dirasuki oleh ‘Iblis. Dan mereka mendapatkan informasi, bahwa masih ada tempat yang mungkin bisa menolong nyawa anak mereka. Nama tempat itu adalah "Bukit Tinggi" di mana,  Adam dan Maria ditugaskan untuk melayani jemaat di sana. Setelah mendengar pernyataan dari salah satu anggota petinggi gereja, Adam dan maria pun memutuskan untuk bersedia dan pergi ke tempat tinggal mereka. Karena mereka rasa, ada sesuatu di sana yang mungkin berhubungan dengan kejadian yang sudah mereka alami di sini. Mereka pun bergegas dan langsung pergi kesana. Setelah sampai di rumah itu, Adam merasa seperti kembali ke rumah yang pernah ia tinggali bersama keluarganya, saat ia masih kecil dulu. Tempat ini mungkin menyimpan rahasia gelap dari keluarga adam yang belum ia ketahui sampai sekarang, semenjak pamannya membawa ia pergi dari rumahnya, saat ia masih berumur 7 tahun. Dan mungkin saja, sakit yang di alami anak itu, berhubungan dengan masa lalu Adam. Karena kata kedua orang-tuanya kepada para petinggi gereja, bahwa anak mereka mengalami sakit, semenjak pindah ke rumah barunya itu. Adam dan Maria pun langsung masuk dan menolong anak itu. Dan ternyata ia dirasuki oleh tiga ‘Setan. Adam dan maria pun sampai kewalahan melawan tiga "Setan itu. Namun dengan keyakinan mereka yang kuat, akhirnya mereka berdua berhasil menolong anak itu dari tiga ‘Setan yang merasukinya. Setelah selesai menolong anak itu, mereka berdua langsung kembali pulang. Akan tetapi, Adam tidak menyadari bahwa tiga ‘Setan itu ternyata belum musnah. Malah mengikutinya, meneror dan mengincar putrinya. Membawa keluarganya dalam bahaya besar. Karena mungkin para ‘Setan itu mempunyai hubungan dengan masa-lalu keluarganya yang gelap dan membuatnya harus menginjakkan kakinya, kembali ke tempat itu.

Adam dan istrinya pun harus berusaha mencari cara untuk kembali melawan para ‘Setan itu, meskipun mereka harus mempertaruhkan nyawa, untuk menyelamatkan keluarga mereka.

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Tell us how this story idea come about (a great way to attract readers!)A brief Intro of your storyThings you would like to let your readers know

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Horror
Thriller
Spiritual
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4 Collaboration Spaces Available

THE SAINT : SUMPAH IBLIS

"A promise that is bound to hell.

Adam dan Maria adalah sepasang suami-istri yang berprofesi sebagai Pendeta. Mereka ditugaskan secara diam-diam oleh organisasi gereja, untuk  pergi menyembuhkan seorang anak konglomerat yang menderita sakit yang aneh. Mereka mendapatkan tugas itu, setelah kedua orang-tuanya datang meminta bantuan kepada organisasi gereja yang ada di sini. Kata orang-tuanya, mereka telah melakukan Segala macam cara dengan pengobatan medis yang sangat mahal. Namun, malah semakin memperburuk kondisinya. Lalu mereka mulai mencoba meminta pertolongan kepada gereja-gereja, tapi tak ada satu pun dari gereja itu yang mau menolong. Kata mereka, harus ada seseorang yang mampu melawan kuasa jahat itu, karena mungkin, anak mereka telah dirasuki oleh ‘Iblis. Dan mereka mendapatkan informasi, bahwa masih ada tempat yang mungkin bisa menolong nyawa anak mereka. Nama tempat itu adalah "Bukit Tinggi" di mana,  Adam dan Maria ditugaskan untuk melayani jemaat di sana. Setelah mendengar pernyataan dari salah satu anggota petinggi gereja, Adam dan maria pun memutuskan untuk bersedia dan pergi ke tempat tinggal mereka. Karena mereka rasa, ada sesuatu di sana yang mungkin berhubungan dengan kejadian yang sudah mereka alami di sini. Mereka pun bergegas dan langsung pergi kesana. Setelah sampai di rumah itu, Adam merasa seperti kembali ke rumah yang pernah ia tinggali bersama keluarganya, saat ia masih kecil dulu. Tempat ini mungkin menyimpan rahasia gelap dari keluarga adam yang belum ia ketahui sampai sekarang, semenjak pamannya membawa ia pergi dari rumahnya, saat ia masih berumur 7 tahun. Dan mungkin saja, sakit yang di alami anak itu, berhubungan dengan masa lalu Adam. Karena kata kedua orang-tuanya kepada para petinggi gereja, bahwa anak mereka mengalami sakit, semenjak pindah ke rumah barunya itu. Adam dan Maria pun langsung masuk dan menolong anak itu. Dan ternyata ia dirasuki oleh tiga ‘Setan. Adam dan maria pun sampai kewalahan melawan tiga "Setan itu. Namun dengan keyakinan mereka yang kuat, akhirnya mereka berdua berhasil menolong anak itu dari tiga ‘Setan yang merasukinya. Setelah selesai menolong anak itu, mereka berdua langsung kembali pulang. Akan tetapi, Adam tidak menyadari bahwa tiga ‘Setan itu ternyata belum musnah. Malah mengikutinya, meneror dan mengincar putrinya. Membawa keluarganya dalam bahaya besar. Karena mungkin para ‘Setan itu mempunyai hubungan dengan masa-lalu keluarganya yang gelap dan membuatnya harus menginjakkan kakinya, kembali ke tempat itu.

Adam dan istrinya pun harus berusaha mencari cara untuk kembali melawan para ‘Setan itu, meskipun mereka harus mempertaruhkan nyawa, untuk menyelamatkan keluarga mereka.

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4 Collaboration Spaces Available
Lskritokun
7Mins Each
4
ISSUES
Lost Of Valentine
Updated Jul 4, 2020
G
3
70
0
Suspense
Thriller

(SINOPSIS)

Kisah berawal dari ledakan misterius yang terjadi di Kota Sasebo, Prefektur Nagasaki.

Banyak masyarakat mencoba untuk mencari tahu dari mana asal ledakan tersebut, namun sayang- Bukan jawaban yang ditemui, tapi malah tanda tanya besar.

Siapa yang menduga bahwa ledakan itu masih saja menjadi momok menakutkan, bahkan setiap empat tahun sekali di tempat yang berbeda.

Suspense
Suspense
Thriller
Read More
Solo Work

Lost Of Valentine

(SINOPSIS)

Kisah berawal dari ledakan misterius yang terjadi di Kota Sasebo, Prefektur Nagasaki.

Banyak masyarakat mencoba untuk mencari tahu dari mana asal ledakan tersebut, namun sayang- Bukan jawaban yang ditemui, tapi malah tanda tanya besar.

Siapa yang menduga bahwa ledakan itu masih saja menjadi momok menakutkan, bahkan setiap empat tahun sekali di tempat yang berbeda.

Read More
Solo Work
kkarenpereira
5Mins Each
7
ISSUES
Tales from Beyond
Updated Jul 9, 2020
PG
1
243
0
Short Story
Thriller

A collection of really short psychological horror stories as a tiny extension to my latest release 'After Hours'.

These stories explore the mysteries of human nature in a gory and dark way.

Every story had an underlying social meaning to it, that is masked by a gruesome event. These stories don't really follow any kind  or story line when looked at as a broader perspective; but do give an insight on my 12:00am dark thoughts as I type each one of in the comfort of my bed!

Feel free to comment on each story to let me know what kind of story you would like to read next!It can be in the form of a prompt, a line, a genre or anything you please!

Looking forward to updating this at least twice a week!

Check it out!

These stories can remind you that everything is not as it seems to be.

Horror
Short Story
Thriller
Read More
1 Collaboration Space Available

Tales from Beyond

A collection of really short psychological horror stories as a tiny extension to my latest release 'After Hours'.

These stories explore the mysteries of human nature in a gory and dark way.

Every story had an underlying social meaning to it, that is masked by a gruesome event. These stories don't really follow any kind  or story line when looked at as a broader perspective; but do give an insight on my 12:00am dark thoughts as I type each one of in the comfort of my bed!

Feel free to comment on each story to let me know what kind of story you would like to read next!It can be in the form of a prompt, a line, a genre or anything you please!

Looking forward to updating this at least twice a week!

Check it out!

These stories can remind you that everything is not as it seems to be.

Read More
1 Collaboration Space Available
Naveen Kumar
1Min Each
1
ISSUE
Orders Of Fate
Updated May 19, 2020
G
5
212
4

Marin discovered that she was stuck in a web of problems. Her grandfather's daughter murdered her dad's dad. To make matters worse, she was kidnapped by her dad's sister. She was drowning in her Fate's orders and someone should lend their hands to save her!

PROLOGUE

The year was 2009.In the far end of a city, called Chennai. there were a few houses in a lonely street. The street comprised nearly twenty houses. Most of the people in the street were rich and well-educated. Out of those, a house didn’t look like a house at all.

The house looked awkward and nasty in its appearance. The neighbors didn’t know anything about the house. To the neighbors, it just looked like a dustbin. They dumped their waste into the house. No one knew the owner of the house. They didn’t have enough time to enquire those matters.

The house was painted blue. But it had faded away. It was a two-storey building. The front of the house had a name printed on the wall:

BAY HOME 1985

But it barely stood there. Also there was a kitchen garden behind it. All the plants, which had been planted by someone, maybe by that “Bay”, had gone rotten. There were no more plants.

The neighbors thought that no one would be coming to that house. Also they assumed that the owner of the house would be dead.

But they were obviously wrong. There was a guy in the house. They would have known the entry of the guy, if they had bothered about the house. The guy might have entered the house through the rusted gate or through the kitchen garden.

The ground floor of the house contained nothing. There was only a wooden staircase to the first floor. The first floor comprised a hall, a bedroom and a bathroom. Obviously there were no water and electricity supply to the house. The guy was in the bedroom. There were a bed and a wardrobe with no clothes. The guy was sitting on the bed. There was only one window in the room. The guy had opened it just an inch. Opposite to him, there was a bungalow. It was huge and majestic.

The guy was wearing a school uniform, blue striped and a dark pant. That revealed that he was a school student.

The time was around 6:00 pm.The guy’s age was sixteen.He was holding something in his hands. A gun. It was his fate’s orderto be there with a gun in his hands.

His name was Kasper Dravid.

1

In the heart of Chennai, there lived a rich family. Their house seemed like a majestic palace. Their family was the richest in the city. The owner of the house as well as the head of the house was an old man. He was in his earlier eighties. Though he was an old man, he looked energetic.

His face was wrecked with prominent nose. He had straight teeth in square jaws. He was thin and often he holds a white cane with him for his balance. The top of the cane had a symbol, which was an English alphabet,

F

‘F’ was the first letter of his name. His mane was Franklin. He was the richest man in the city. He had a wife called Carina, who had died due to cardiac arrest.

He was blessed with two sons and a daughter.

His house was two-storey. The walls were painted dark violet and that was the favorite color of Franklin .There were a garden and a fountain in front of the house. The garden comprised a variety of flowering plants with different aroma. The ground floor contained a kitchen, a dining room and a hall. Every pieces of furniture looked modern. There was a metal spiral shaped staircase which led to the first floor. The first floor contained a long corridor. It had three bedrooms. Each bedroom was identical to the other. Each bedroom had a bed in which three persons can sleep without any disturbances. It was attached with a bathroom and a toilet. It had a 32 inch television, opposite to the bed, so that they could watch TV while lying on it.

There were eight members in the family. Everyone looked delightful and they spent their lives happily.

Ten years ago, Franklin’s daughter, Paigne was found dead. She and her son were in their friend’s house and suddenly there was a leakage in the gas cylinder and all were dead in an instant. They turned to ashes.

Now Franklin has only two sons. Both were working in high posts in their own industries. Both were married and they had children.

Franklin’s first son was Milan. He looked handsome, with curly hair and looked charming. He was married to a lady called Rossy. They were blessed with a girl child. They named her as Marin. Marin had completed her school life and entered her second year of her college life. Her age was twenty.

Franklin’s second son was Jake. He looked so lean as if he were a stick. He had a round face with an irregular haircut. He was married to a lady called, Saggy. They were blessed with two children, Cole and Silvio. The two brothers were studying in a private school. Cole was two years older than Silvio.

The date was February 1, 2019. It was the last day for Marin in her semester. She could get a couple of weeks as her vacation. February 2, the next day will be her twenty first birthday.

The time was 5:00am, when Marin’s alarm started to ring. She opened her beautiful brown eyes. Tomorrow is her birthday. She was so excited to celebrate it. She got to her feet. She was wearing her nightdress. Idly, she decided to revise for her exam. To overcome her laziness, her mom, Rossy, gave a cup of tea to her.

Marin’s life was a bed of roses. She could buy whatever she wants. More than that, she had a lovable family.

It was 5.30 am, when she refreshed herself and finally decided to revise. Like most of the students, she had her mobile phone near to her study table. One eye was on her book and the other was on her mobile phone. Suddenly, there came a notification.

She took the phone in a hurry as if someone would take it from her. She had been waiting for a message from her bestie. Her bestie sent a message to her through Instagram. She opened it. The message was,

Gud mrng.i knew that u were waiting fr my msg. Switch ur phone off and study fr the xam, Plz let me study!’

Marin smiled. She replied ‘OK’.As her boyfriend said, she turned off her phone and started to study.

*********

The breakfast was served at 8.30 am. There were no servants working in this huge house. There was only one security guard, who sits closer to the main gate. His name was Rahim. Moreover there were several security cameras in the house.

Rossy and Saggy would look after the house. They cook, they clean and the other works would be done by them. Franklin took the middle seat of the dining table and Milan and Jake sat on the other two sides. Marin, Cole and Silvio took their respective seats. The aroma of the food was great. Rossy and Saggy had prepared fish biryani for their family. It was the favorite of Franklin. They started to eat.

After a while, Franklin broke the silence and said, “Marin”. Marin looked at her grandfather. Franklin continued, “Tomorrow is your birthday. We have to celebrate it in a grand manner. Which hotel shall we select for the party?”

Marin was too excited to hear this. They are going to celebrate her birthday. Party time!

“My choice will be yours.” Marin replied.

Marin knew all the hotels in Chennai. Whatever be the hotel it might be, she would be excited. Franklin smiled and said “Harry’s restaurant is my choice.”

Marin knew that Franklin would suggest that hotel as it was his all time favorite hotel. His taste buds were addicted to the food served there. Everyone accepted. The party will start at 7:30 pm tomorrow.

Marin decided to invite her bestie to the party.

2

Marin was sitting in a coffee shop at 6:00 pm. She informed her family that she would return home quite late. The boy, who was sitting opposite to her, was her bestie. Both of them had completed their exam successfully. To invite her bestie to the party, she asked him to come to the coffee shop. Also right from tomorrow their college will be out. Double enjoyment!

They ordered their drinks. None of them spoke for a while. Finally, Marin broke the silence and said, “OK, Lavan, will you come to the Harry’s restaurant tomorrow?”

Her bestie’s name was Lavan. He was a handsome boy, with blue eyes, crisp hair. He was a pro player in the famous game called PUBG and he had his own YouTube channel called,

LAVyou

He had lost his mother, Preethi, in a car accident, when he was seven years old. His father was also an industrialist like Franklin. His name was Henry. He was in his late forties. There was a rumor that Franklin had given the ownership of one of his industries to Henry. No one knows why Franklin had given the ownership to Henry. It knows only to Henry and Franklin.

Lavan also has a brother, named Greyson.

“OK. I shall”, Lavan replied. “Shall we meet again tomorrow?” Marin asked. Lavan thought for a while and said, “Sorry, Marin. My father is returning home .So, I should be there .I shall come directly to the party.”

Marin was disappointed. She thought of spending her vacation with Lavan. But she didn’t show her disappointment. “That’s fine. We shall meet at the Harry’s.”, she replied. She finished her cold coffee and paid the bill. When she thought of leaving the place, Lavan stopped her.

“What?” she asked.

“I’ve something for you.” Lavan said as he bent down to take his bag. He searched something. Marin stared at him. Then Lavan took out a gift box. Marin knew at once that it was for her. Lavan rose from his seat and extended it to her. “Have it Marin. Many more happy returns of the day!”

Marin gazed at him in surprise. Tomorrow is her birthday .But why did Lavan present the gift to her now?

“Thank you”, Marin said, “I would be glad if you gave it to me at the party”. Lavan smiled and said, “You will get another, tomorrow!”

He started to depart. Marin smiled to herself and she too started to depart. While they were moving out, Lavan said, “Don’t open the gift box today. Open it when you receive the second gift, tomorrow” Marin was perplexed but she didn’t ask why. She knew that Lavan would have any suspense in it.

They left the shop.

*********

The man, who wore black suit, got out of his blue car. He was probably six feet tall. He wore black sunglasses and except his skin everything was black. He might prefer that color. He parked his car under a big banyan tree. Opposite to him, there was a two-storey building, painted brown. He was standing several kilometers away from the heart of Chennai. He went in. He was in the ground floor. The house looked simple and less-attractive. The ground floor comprised a kitchen, a hall and a dining room. The second floor comprised nearly three rooms and a washroom. He rushed to the house. He was searching for someone. Finally, he found the person in the kitchen.

It was a lady. She might be in her late fifties. She had a scar on her forehead. She noticed the entry of the man. They were childhood friends. Before the man could open his mouth, the lady spoke, “Will our plan be executed correctly?”

The man sat on the sofa and stretched his hands and legs. “Yeah”, he replied.

The woman was preparing dinner in the kitchen. The man was sitting in the hall. The woman sat closer to the man. Her eyes showed that she was excited to hear more from the man .The man removed his sunglasses and slipped it into his pocket.

“I’ve arranged everything”, he said. The lady stared at him for a while. “Are you sure? Will it happen?” she asked once again .But, the man was confident. “Sure, don’t worry”, he replied.

The lady got to her feet and nodded and said, “Let’s show them who we are!”

She said those words and stepped into the kitchen. On the way, she stared at the wall. There was a photo frame hanging on the wall. It was a family photo. It contained a couple with a male child. She stared at it for a while and went to the kitchen.

3

Marin was too excited to celebrate her birthday. She woke up at 8:00am. She took her smart phone and checked all the messages .All was birthday wishes. Her family members were much delighted. Marin felt as if she were flying in happiness. It was Sunday and so her cousins, Cole and Silvio were present in the house. She got blessings from her parents and from Jake and Saggy. Also she got blessings from her hero, Franklin. To her surprise, Franklin offered her a blank cheque! She felt happy. Marin became very delighted on seeing the birthday wishes from Lavan. Interestingly, he sent the message at 12.00 am.

She put on her new clothes and felt like a princess. Like most of the girls, she took many selfies and posted them in social networks. Time passed away. She was waiting for the party. She had her delicious lunch.

By 6:00 pm, she decided to get ready for the party. She would be the center of attraction in the party. Just 90 minutes left!

*********

Franklin was standing in front of the huge mirror to admire his beauty. Though he was in his eighties, he felt himself young and handsome. He was wearing a costly white coat and a black tie. He applied some talcum powder to his face to steal others’ hearts.

He had finished his dressing. He took his white cane in his hands and decided to go downstairs. His family would be waiting for him. He turned his back to the huge mirror and decided to go to the wooden door.

When the door was several feet away from him, he noticed that the door was being opened by someone .He thought it would be his family members.

Suddenly, the door opened.

Franklin, who wore spectacles, was taken up on seeing the person who came in.

It was a lady.

It was not Rossy or Saggy. Not Marin. He knew her. The woman also knew him.

Franklin couldn’t believe who he had seen. He barely breathed. The woman might be in her late fifties. She had brown hair and there was a scar on her forehead. She was wearing a brown coat. Her name was Paigne.

She wasthe daughterof Franklin.

The one who was found dead in her friend’s house due to a leakage in the gas cylinder was standing alive in front of her dad! And she was the one who lived in the brown painted two-storey building and who stared at a photo frame when she moved to the kitchen.

“Hey! You, how did you come here?”Franklin asked in fear. As a dad, he should have embraced her. But he didn’t do that. Instead he held his white cane tightly and decided to hit his own daughter! Before he could go closer to her, Paigne took out a gun from her pant pocket.

She fired it.

Instead of a bullet, a dart, which had tufts of violet feather, at one end headed towards Franklin’s chest. It didn’t contain any poison in it. It was an injection to make Franklin dizzy. It was fired to make him unconscious. Franklin sensed a bolt of pain in his hand. He trembled. Paigne, the daughter of Franklin went closer to her dad and murmured something to his ears .Franklin heard it:

“ORDER OF YOUR FATE”

Franklin’s eyes widened out on hearing those words and all of a sudden he went unconscious.

4

Lavan was worried about his family.

He lost his mother, Preethi earlier. His dad was an industrialist and so he went to various places often. His dad, Henry hardly spends time with his sons.  Moreover, his brother, Greyson, was also jobless and ineffectual in his life. He fought with his father since he had compelled him to join in his industry. Greyson wanted to become a software engineer. He decided to move to Karnataka. He stayed in a place called, Minjur. He stayed in his own house and he rarely visits Chennai. Lavan missed his brother a lot.

But, right now, he was excited to celebrate Marin’s birthday. Lavan requested Greyson to come to the party. Though Greyson refused to come, he accepted. He would bring a gift to the party. That was the gift which was told by Lavan to Marin at the coffee shop.

He was in his dressing room. He got dressed and decided to depart. His father, Henry, who came to the house earlier, had left once again for an urgent meeting. Lavan knew that Greyson would be on his way. He took his mobile phone.

When he closed the room door, he received a text message. He expected that it would be from Marin or Greyson. But, to his surprise, the message came from an unknown number. He read it;

Marin is in my control… If u want her alive, do what I say!

Lavan laughed out loudly. He thought that Marin was making fun of him. But, there came a call from the same number. He attended it.

“Did you read the message?” a man asked in a croaking voice.

Lavan smiled and said, “Don’t do prank calls with me, Marin”. The man at the other end grinned and said, “You fool! I’ve kidnapped her!”

Lavan felt sick. He cut the call and tried to call Marin. But there was no response from Marin. The wave of reality hit Lavan.

His bestie was kidnapped by someone.

He was frightened. Many questions circled in his mind. After all, who was this man? Why did he kidnap Marin? Again the man made a call. He attended it. Before the man could speak Lavan spoke, “Hey who are you? Where is Marin?” He yelled in tension.

The man at the other end laughed and said, “I can’t answer both the questions. Now, go to your garden. You’ll find something there. Then, I’ll ring you.”The man cut the call.

Lavan couldn’t believe anything. But, Marin was important to him. He believed the words of the man and went to the garden with uncertainty.

*********

Go to your garden.

You’ll find something there.

Those sentences stirred Lavan’s heart. He couldn’t make out the things happened in his life for the past ten to fifteen minutes. He wasn’t sure that the man would leave Marin. If the man wants ransom or something, why didn’t he approach Franklin’s family? What did Lavan do? He became the scapegoat.

Lavan reached his garden. There were variety of plants and trees. He found a rectangular box at the middle of his garden. He moved towards it. The sun had drowned between the mountains. He prayed to God that the box should not contain any explosives. It looked like a gift box, wrapped by a black paper. He took it in his hands. He found a label, with a few words written on it. He read it:

“ORDER OF YOUR FATE”

He barely understood it. He was confused. The man told him that he wound ring him. After a few seconds, the same man called him. Lavan grew angry at this man.

He wanted to yell at him. But, his bestie was with him. He controlled his temper and attended it.

“Open the box.” the man ordered. Lavan obeyed and opened it.

Waves of astonishment and fear hit Lavan. Inside the box there was a gunand a bangle. Lavan recognized the bangle at once. It belonged to Marin. What was the purpose of the gun?

“Do what I say.” the man went on, “Take the gun with you and go to the building which is opposite to the Harry’s restaurant. Youhave to kill Franklin.”

Lavan was dumb struck on hearing those words. To save his bestie, he has to kill his bestie’s grandfather. His face turned pale. He remained silent. The man on the other end continued, “Your phone will be hacked by me. You can’t use it any more. To save Marin, kill Franklin. If you fail to do that, Marin will be found dead.”He cut the call. Though his mobile was useless, he slipped it into his pocket and made his heart hard as a stone and decided to kill Franklin to save Marin.

He headed towards the building opposite to the Harry’s restaurant. He remembered those words on the label and told himself that it was his fate’s orderto kill Franklin.

*********

The time was 7:10pm, when Franklin came back to consciousness.

He found his sons looking at him sadly. He was lying on the bed. Someone would have kept him on the bed. His sons expected him to talk. But Franklin reminded himself not to say about the return of his daughter, Paigne. He said that he felt sleepy and so he slept on the floor. Though it looked unbelievable, he made it look believable.

Milan said that Marin had left the house a few minutes ago to the restaurant.

Franklin got to his feet and washed his face. He as well as the others decided to leave the house. While going through the stairs, Franklin took out his mobile phone and typed a message to a person. The message was,

Paigne gonna kill me…

He asked his grandson, Cole to keep his phone in his room. Cole obeyed and kept the phone in his room.

Franklin gazed at the photo frame, with a garland, which was hanging on the wall. It was Paigne. His daughter.

The family headed towards the Harry’s restaurant.

5

The rich family reached the Harry’s restaurant in their Mercedes. They stepped out of the car and gazed at the majestic look of the restaurant. The Harry’s restaurant was a grand five-star hotel and it was one of the best hotels in the city. If you go to this hotel, you will have the tendency to eat all the dishes. Franklin, who tried to look normal, admired the beauty of the hotel. This became his favorite hotel, when he was a youngster. He knew that he should not have come here. But he forced himself to come to celebrate his granddaughter’s birthday. He knew that today might be his last day in this beautiful earth. But he remained silent. He went closer to Milan and said, “Where is Marin?”Milan nodded and said, “She will be inside”. Franklin nodded and the family members entered the hotel.

The entire restaurant was air-conditioned. There were many places to eat. At one end of the hotel, a girl was sitting on a chair. The dining table contained nearly ten chairs. She was sitting on the first chair. She had her mobile phone in one of her hands. She was sitting there for nearly thirty minutes and she was sad. Because, after her arrival to this hotel, her father informed her that her grandfather had became unconscious. She was too worried about that. She was Marin. Marin noticed the entry of her family. She was excited to see her grandfather .She realized that they were searching for her. She rose from her seat and waved at them. Jake was the first to notice her. Soon they went closer to her. Marin hugged Franklin and wept .He was the hero in her life.

They sat in their seats and started to order their food. Franklin ordered his all time favorite, fish biryani.

*********

After a few minutes, Lavan reached the building which was opposite to the restaurant. The building was incomplete. It was a two-storey building.

There was a tea stall closer to the building. When he approached the basement of the building, the man at the stall called out his name.

Lavan was surprised to hear his name being called by a stranger .At first, he thought that it would be the man who had contacted him when he was in his house. He went closer the man. He was the owner of the tea stall. The man came closer to Lavan and whispered, “Show me your gun.”

Lavan froze on hearing that. He twisted around to see whether anyone noticing them or not. Next he took the gun out from his shoulder bag. He showed it to the man. The man nodded and asked Lavan to keep it with him. The man showed Lavan the way to the terrace of the building. Lavan grew angry at this man. They are using him to kill Franklin. He raised his voice and said, “Who are you?” The man chuckled and said “That’s none of your business. If you want Marin, kill Franklin. The security cameras will be hacked by my boss so that you will not be arrested. Now go up.” Lavan couldn’t tell anything. He came to know that the man who was standing opposite to him was not the man who had contacted him. He also came to know that a gang was ready to kill Franklin and Lavan became the scapegoat. To save his bestie’s life, he went to the terrace of the building with the gun.

*********

Marin’s eyes were searching for her bestie. More than thirty minutes had passed, after the beginning of the party. Lavan didn’t come yet and that made Marin sad. She wanted to see him. He told her that he would give the second gift to her at the party. But nothing had happened. She tried to smile and tried to look excited. She barely enjoyed the party.

*********

Lavan could feel the gentle breeze touching his skin. He made a plan. He didn’t know anything about the gang who wanna kill Franklin. Actually, something told him that the boss of the gang was not there. So he couldn’t know whether Lavan killed Franklin or not. The only threat was the presence of the tea stall owner. Lavan stood at the terrace of the incomplete building. He took his gun out and held it firmly. He decided not toshoot Franklin. After a minute, the boss of the gang made a call to him. Lavan attended it without any second thoughts.

“Are you ready?” the man asked. Lavan knew what he has to tell .He said, “Yes. You have to keep up the promise.”

“Sure. Marin would be released the next second when you shoot Franklin.”, the man said. That made Lavan a little happier. The man cut the call.

Lavan prepared a plan. He decided to shoot somewhere else and that might make the man release Marin. He didn’t bother about the tea stall owner.

After thirty minutes, the family came out of the restaurant. Lavan stood rooted to the place on seeing the two people coming out.

His heart stopped for a second. He was holding the gun in his hands to kill an old man to save his bestie. But his bestie came outwith her grandfather. His instincts told him that he was cheated. What did he do? He received a message. He read it,

Kill Franklin or I will kill you!!!

Lavan made his decision. He decided to shoot up. He didn’t bother about the man and the message. He let out a deep breath and raised his hands up and pressed the trigger.

Lavan heard a girl screaming. He recognized the voice. It came from Marin, who was holding one hand of Franklin and getting out the hotel.  Lavan saw blood trickling out from Franklin’s shirt. Lavan was baffled to see this. He shot only towards the sky. He couldn’t believe anything at all.

Suddenly he felt a bolt of pain in his chest. He bent down to see his chest. Like that of Franklin, blood poured out from his shirt. He trembled and lay still. He came to know that he was tricked by someone. Like the words on the box said it was his fate’s orderto die.

6

The man rushed to the house with a sniper in his shoulder bag.  He found his friend in the sofa watching TV.  He kept his shoulder bag in a shelf and sat next to her.

The lady was Paigne, the daughter of Franklin.

She looked exhausted. She noticed the entry of her friend and waited for him to speak. Opposite to them there were a glass table and a jug of water. The man drank nearly half of it and said, “Mission completed.”  Paigne looked delighted and said “Did the boy shoot Franklin?”

The man laughed and said, “He was a fool! He thought of cheating me but I cheated him.” Paigne looked doubtful and said, “What are you saying?”

The man stretched his legs and said, “He tricked me and shot up. But he did not know that I and my friend, Lima were there during the incident. When I found that he tricked me, I took my sniper and shot Franklin first and shot him second”. Lima was the name of that tea stall owner.

The name of the man was Fatan Khan. He was the one who tricked Lavan and shot Franklin and Lavan.

“Did you shoot Lavan?” Paigne asked.

“Yeah. He was also has to be killed according to us. That’s why I did.” Fatan replied.

Paigne got to her feet. She looked happy. Her dadwas dead. The time was around 10.00 pm. She decided to sleep. She went to her bedroom. On her way to the room, she glanced at the photo frame. It was the same photo which was hanging on the wall near to her kitchen.

She kept her right hand on the boy who was smiling in the photo. Tears trickled from her eyes. The boy was her son. He looked beautiful and his age would be

sixteen or seventeen. Next to him there was a man. The man was Paigne’s husband. She stopped weeping and went to her room.

*********

INDUSTRIALIST FRANKLIN WAS SHOT DEAD

That was the headlines of every newspaper. Everyone in the city was shocked to see that. The policemen could not find who the murderer was as the CCTV cameras had stopped functioning when the murder happened.

Marin sat dumb struck in her room.

She couldn’t make out anything which happened in her life yesterday night. She saw her grandfather die in front of her. She remembered how Franklin behaved with her before his death. He smiled always in the party and made funny jokes. He behaved like a father to Marin. He hugged her. When he was shot dead, Marin saw something in Franklin’s eyes. She noticed him smiling a little when he was shot dead and closed his eyes.

Marin wept. All the family members wept. They lost their head of the house. Marin knew nothing about the man responsible for her grandfather’s death. Moreover she didn’t meet her bestie, Lavan yet. She didn’t know whether Lavan knew this incident. When she contacted him, he was unreachable. She assumed that Lavan’s father, Henry might have taken him anywhere.

Her birthday ended miserably. February 02 became Franklin’s death day.

She decided to go to her grandfather’s room. Some instincts told her to go there. She left her room and went there.

*********

Marin had visited Franklin’s room only for several times. She admired the size of the room. There was a bed at the centre of the room. And there was a 32 inch TV opposite to it. She found a wardrobe near to the TV. She went closer to it. On her way, she found her grandfather’s mobile lying on the bed. She ignored it and went

to the wardrobe. It was huge enough to keep the required clothes. She found many formal clothes. To her surprise, she found a photo.

The photo was old and it lost its color. But Marin could tell that it was a family photo. It was not her family. She recognized nearly four persons. She recognized the woman. It was Paigne. She saw her many times in the photo frame which was hanging on the wall near to a round clock in the hall. She didn’t know who the man was standing near to Paigne.  She guessed that the man would be the husband of Paigne and she hardly knew the name. Also she didn’t know the name of their son. She kept the photo inside and closed the wardrobe.

She turned back and decided to move out. After a few steps, everything around her went dark. A power cut. She knew that the inverter had stopped functioning and she felt frightened. All around her was pitch black. She stood there as if she were a statue. After a couple of minutes, the power came back. Marin felt relieved and took her next step. Suddenly, she felt pain in her right foot. She bent down and took the thing in her hands.

She came to know that it was a dart.

She had seen darts in her books. She didn’t know how it came to her grandfather’s room. Then something landed in her mind. Her father said that Franklin went asleep when they got ready for the party. Marin understood.

Someone must have entered Franklin’s room and they must have done that. She assumed that the same person or others must have shot Franklin at the Harry’s restaurant.

She let out a deep breath and decided to go to the Harry’s restaurant. Not for having food, to investigate.

*********

Marin reached the destination. The area was crowded. Marin found a tea stall, opposite to the hotel. Bottom of her heart told that she should not have come here. But, she believed that she would find something new.

She went to the stall. She found a tall man sitting inside. Interestingly, there were no customers there. The tea stall looked new. The man got to his feet on seeing Marin.  He took her as a customer. He came near to her. Marin didn’t come here to drink hot beverages.

“What do you want?” the man asked. The man was Lima. He didn’t know that Marin was the friend of Lavan.

“I don’t want anything. Do you know anything about yesterday’s incident?” She seemed to ask in a casual way. She noticed the man staring at her. After a few seconds, he said, “Sorry. I’ve started this tea stall only today. I heard some people talking about a murder. I did not know anything about that.” the man said casually.

But Marin didn’t know that the man was lying to her.

“Thanks for your reply.” Marin said and decided to go home.

“Can you tell me your name?”Lima asked.

“I’m Marin.” Marin said and left the shop.

She knew that her decision became a failure.

7

Fatan Khan was sitting in his room in Paigne’s house. He sat in a sofa, his legs crossed and deep in his thoughts. He was the one who shot Franklin and Lavan. He knew that both were dead. But no details came about Lavan. He wasn’t there at all. Those made Fatan’s head spin. Did someone come there and save him? Where is Lavan now? But Paigne told him not to think about that. She assured him that Lavan did not know anything about Fatan or Paigne. Even if he’s alive still, he will not know anything about them.

Suddenly his phone rang. He attended it. His friend Lima contacted him.

“Yes tell me”, Fatan said.

“I have got you important news”, Lima said in a hurry.

“What is that?” Fatan asked calmly.

“Today a girl named, Marin came here to investigate about the yesterday’s incident.”Lima said. Fatan couldn’t believe what he had heard.

“Are you sure?” he demanded.

“Yes. But I didn’t tell her anything.”Lima stressed.

“That’s well and good. I’ll contact you later.” Fatan said and cut the call.

Fatan rushed to see Paigne. He found Paigne in her bedroom, lying on her bed. Fatan thought that Paigne was asleep but Paigne opened her beautiful brown eyes. She sensed the entry of her friend. She sat on the bed and waited for Fatan to speak. Fatan sat closer to Paigne and said “A danger is approaching us.”

Paigne looked puzzled and said, “What’s that?”

Fatan shook his head and said, “Franklin’s granddaughter, Marin is trying to dig out the truth”.

Paigne sat still deep in her thoughts Moreover Marin is likeher daughter. She thought for a while and got to her feet. She shook her head and said, “Then she will be our next target”. She said those words and went to her kitchen. Fatan Khan went to his room and knew what he had to do.

*********

The time was 4.00 pm.  The man’s face was full of sweats. He was sitting opposite to the Police Inspector of the city. The police man was holding the man’s phone in his hands. The man received a text message the day before. It was,

Paigne gonna kill me…

“When did you receive this message?” the policeman asked. The policeman’s name was Gajan. He looked so stout that his belly would defeat his shirt buttons. “I received it yesterday at 7.15 pm. And at 9.30 pm he was shot dead by his own daughter!” the man yelled. He was the one who received the message which was sent by Franklin. Franklin mentioned that his daughter gonna kill him and that was what had happened. The man’s name was Henry. He was the father of Lavan and Greyson.

“Are you sure that Paigne was the one shot Franklin? It doesn’t make any sense to me.” Gajan snapped. But Henry didn’t give up his protest.  “It makes sense to me! Franklin is like my father. Somehow Paigne came back alive and shot her father!” Henry said in a serious voice. But Gajan didn’t seem to take it as a complaint. He said, “Paigne was dead ten years ago. How could she come now?” That made complete sense. Henry shook his head with despair and said “You didn’t get the point, sir. You don’t know the person behind the death of Franklin. But Franklin knew that. That’s why he texted me. Paigne is the person behind the death of Franklin.”  Gajan thought for a while and said, “I just’ve two questions.” Henry said, “Ask”.

“How did Franklin know that he will be shot dead by Paigne? Even if he knew that why did he go to the spot? After knowing that you will be killed in a place, why did you wanna go there?”

His questions made complete sense. His questions proved that he was an intelligent policeman. Henry said, “I don’t know that. But one thing is for sure. Paigne had killed her father. That’s it.”

Gajan gave a brief smile and said, “I believe this message from Franklin. Also I take it as a complaint. I need to complete this case. I shall arrest Paigne. She will be in the city.”

He said as he and Henry shook their hands and Henry left the station. Gajan went to restroom. He thought that he could finish this case and get promotion.

But he didn’t know that there was a policeman named “Sam” near to his room where the discussion between Henry and Gajan occurred. Sam had started a voice call to his boss Fatan Khan. Fatan had heard everything.  Fatan also knew that Gajan would make an attempt to arrest Paigne and him. But he won’t let it happen. He had already planned for that.

*********

Marin felt disappointed. She decided not to tell anything about the dart to her family. She decided to find the reality behind Franklin’s death. She sat on her bed, deep in her thoughts. She decided to go to Franklin’s room to see the photo once again. The time was 8:30 pm.

She reached Franklin’s room and had a fear that someone would notice her entry. But that didn’t matter to her. The room remained the same when she entered morning. She had the dart in her bed, under the pillow. She reached the wardrobe. Again she took the photo in her hands. She had seen the photo already. She decided to dig about the husband of Paigne from her mother or father. She kept the photo in the wardrobe and closed it. Her eyes noticed the phone near to one of the pillows. Marin wondered why anyone hadn’t taken that. She knew that it was non-sense to see other’s phone. But she took it.

She saw herself with her grandfather in the wallpaper. There were many apps in the phone. Marin clicked the Messaging.

Her common sense told her not to read others’ messages. But she found many messages. She clicked the Inbox icon. There were many messages from many persons who were unknown to Marin. Next she clicked the Sent box icon.

She found a triple worded message at the top. Before reading the message, she realized that the message was sent only yesterday by Franklin. She decided to see the message. She noticed someone entering the room. She kept the phone in hands and tried to hide it. Her mother, Rossy had come to invite to the dinner.

“What are you doing here, Marin?” Rossy asked in suspicion. She searched Marin all over the house and finally found her here.

“Nothing mom. I have just come here to have a look at my grandfather’s room.” Marin seemed to be emotional. Moreover she had a great affection on her grandfather. Rossy gave a smile and said “Come down. Have your dinner.”

Marin nodded and waited for her mother to go. She looked at the message. The message was,

Paigne gonna kill me…

Marin’s heart slipped a little on reading the message. She took almost thirty seconds to understand the horror behind the triple worded message. She knew Paigne. Also she knew that Paigne was dead. But why did Franklin want to send a message like this? How did he know that Paigne isalive? Whom did he send the message? Marin found that the message was sent to Henry. Again her heart slipped a little. She knew that Henry was the dad of her bestie Lavan. Why did Franklin send this type of message to Henry?

She found her cousin Cole standing near the door. Marin seemed to be relaxed and said “I will come.” She kept the phone on the same place where she had taken and took the dart with her and went out of the room with a mind filled with infinity number of questions.

8

Marin has a friend named Alacia. She decided to express all her feelings and discoveries to her. She had contacted her through her mobile phone and told her that she would come to her house for an urgent help. She believed that she could find any solution to the problem.

Actually what made Marin serious was the return of Paigne and she didn’t know why Paigne killed her own father. She contacted her bestie Lavan for many times but there was no response from him. She didn’t have any contacts of Greyson, Lavan’s brother. She had her breakfast at 8.30 am. Her father and Jake had gone to their works. Milan took over the ownership of the industries.

She told her mother that she would be going to meet Alacia. She decided not to tell about the discoveries in Franklin’s mobile. She tried to look normal.

While she was taking her shoulder bag with a few notes, just to show that she was going for a study matter, a question crashed her mind.

If Paigne is alive, then where will be her husband? She knew that Paigne and her son were dead in a house which was blasted due to a leakage in the cylinder. But Paigne came back and where is Paigne’s husband and her son?

She made up her mind to ask this matter to her mother. Her mother Rossy was in the kitchen. “Mom” Marin called. Rossy looked at her and waited for her question. “Mom, can you tell me the name of Paigne’s husband?”

Rossy stared at her daughter for a second. She didn’t know why Marin asked that. Then she replied, “His name is William Dravid.”

Marin nodded and realized that her mom’s eyes were filled with suspicions. She said goodbye and left the house. She had a scooty and she loved to travel in it. She started her journey to Alacia’s house. On the way she cursed herself for not asking about the death of William Dravid.

*********

Several kilometers away from the heart of Chennai, in a two storey building which was painted brown, Marin was sitting in a chair. Her hands and legs were tied up firmly with ropes.

She was sitting there for nearly thirty minutes. She was in the first floor of the house. When she opened her eyes she realized that she was kidnappedby someone.

She just tried to remember the last incidents in her life.

She asked her mom the name of Paigne’s husband, then when she was driving in her scooty, she noticed that there was low amount of petrol left and so she went to a petrol bunk and to her surprise it was empty, and when she stopped her scooty near to the fuel dispenser she found the man with the gas pump handle. She recognized the man at once. He was the man who was met by her at the tea stall which was opposite to the Harry’s restaurant. It was Lima. Marin was taken up. But before she could react, she realized a hand with a cloth being kept on her mouth from her back. Then she went unconscious.

She came back to her consciousness just a few minutes ago. She yelled for help. But that had gone in vain. She was in a room, a hall and she noticed her surroundings. The walls were painted olive green and there were several photo frames.

Marin was shocked on seeing the photo which was near to the wall clock.

She knew that it was the same photo which was found by her in Franklin’s wardrobe. She recognized other photo frames and realized the truth behind her kidnap.

She was in Paigne’s house.

She wondered why Paigne kidnapped her. She was afraid that she would be killed like her grandfather. She noticed a man emerging from the stairs. She hadn’t seen him before.

He was carrying a glass of water in his hands and extended it to Marin. Marin grew angry at this man. She wanted to yell at him for kidnapping her. She suspected that he would be the man who placed a cloth on her face and kidnapped her. The man smiled and placed the glass of water on black glass stool which was placed opposite to Marin’s chair. The man took his seat on a sofa, which was several feet away from Marin. He didn’t speak at all and finally Marin spoke in anger.

“Hey why did you kidnap me?” Marin knew that because of anger the man would kill her instantly. But the man gave a smile and said, “Wait a minute.” A minute had passed and another figure appeared from the ground floor through the stairs. It was a lady.

Marin’s heart slipped on seeing the woman. She was the one who killed her own father and she looked villainous. She was holding something in her hands and on seeing it Marin hardly inhaled.

The woman was Paigne and she was holding a gun.  She placed the gun on the glass stool and took her seat on a chair which was opposite to Marin. Marin was dumb struck on seeing all this.

She knew that her grandfather had known about his daughter and he sent a message to Henry. Marin was not relieved from that case. And before she could finish that case with her friend Alacia, now she was near to the doors of death. She didn’t know what to do. She just shook her head in shock and searched for words. After all Paigne is likeher mother. How could Paigne kill her? “How are you Marin?” Paigne asked Marin. Marin didn’t know what to tell. She didn’t reply. Paigne went on, “Nearly fifteen years had passed when I saw you as a six year old child”.

“How did you die then?” Marin asked desperately.

“Oh I’m aliveMarin” Paigne said as she laughed for no reason. Fatan, who was sitting several feet away from them too laughed. Marin felt disgusted sitting there and watching these inhumanecreatures. Then Paigne gazed at Marin curiously. Suddenly as if an ant had bitten her she rose from her seat. She said, “Do you know how your grandfather did, I mean myfather die?”

Marin didn’t waste a second. She knew that Franklin was killed by Paigne. She said, “You are the one responsible for his death!”

Paigne’s face turned pale on hearing that. She didn’t know that Marin knew the reality. She thought that she could break the truth. She said, “How did you know that?”

Marin confirmed herself that she was right. She thought of lying to Paigne but she told the truth, “Actually my grandfather knew that he would be killed by you. That’s why he sent a message to Henry.” Paigne considered for a moment and said, “We know that too”

Those words stopped Marin’s breathing for a second. “How did you know that?”She asked in tension. Paigne didn’t reply to her and went closer to Fatan and said, “Will it be over?” Fatan gazed at his watch and said “Couple of minutes left”

Marin sat behind hopelessly.

9

Gajan decided to track the location of Paigne with the help of his colleagues. He knew that it would be a tougher job. But if he finishes the case, he might get promotion. That made him smile greedily. After all before the entry of Henry, he decided to close the case. But because of Henry and his evidence he opened the case again and believed that she could keep a full stop to it.  The time was around 10:15 am. He decided to go to the office of the Commissioner of the police regarding the complaint given by Henry.

Really the death of Franklin had caused a cripple in the city. Many televisions and media had taken it as interesting newsand posed many questions to the police department. Obviously the police department couldn’t answer them at all.

The barriers to their investigation were the CCTV cameras which refused to work when the incident had happened and the public told that they heard nearly three gun fires.The last thing was unrecognizable at all. The autopsy report of Franklin stated that only one bullet had smashed Franklin’s chest and in an instant he was dead. Then how three gun fires?

But to Gajan these things didn’t matter at all. He informed his superior that he discovered a way to finish Franklin’s murder case. His superior, Helen asked him to come to his resident to discuss the case.

Gajan drove his jeep himself. The jeep was blue and a siren was placed at the roof. He was in his khaki uniform. He was travelling towards the west of the police station. His superior’s resident was in a few kilometers away from his station. It would take nearly thirty minutes to go there.

When he was travelling in a long road which would be nearly hundred feet in distance, his phone beeped. He received a message. He didn’t stop driving. He took his phone out from his shirt pocket and read it,

“ORDER OF YOUR FATE”

He blinked. He hardly understood the message. He couldn’t recognize the number. Before he could think about it, his car blasted. His car lifted up and crashed the road with a thud.

Gajan could feel fire burning him. He remembered the message that he had received and that was the end of him. Instantly he was dead. His idea of getting promotion was too burnt.

*********

“Will it be over, Fatan?” Paigne repeated.

Fatan nodded. “He will be turned to ashes right now” he said.

Marin who sat in a chair behind the two sat in disbelief. She could feel the bitter truth. Fatan had killed a person. Marin prayed to God that the person should not be her family members. She couldn’t move her legs and hands. Her hands and legs went numb. She wanted to escape. Her common sense told her that it was impossible. About thirty seconds later Paigne tuned towards Marin and came closer to her.

“Do you wanna know my history?” she asked in funny way.

This was the most wanted thing to Marin. She wanted to know everything which was unknown to her regarding this huge problem.  She nodded.

She could see Fatan Khan going downstairs and returned in a moment with a bottle of wine and two glasses. Paigne sat on her chair and Fatan extended a glass to Paigne and he helped himself pouring the wine. Marin thought that they won’t tell her anything for a moment. She noticed the both enjoying their drinks. Marin wanted to yell at them for their delay.

She remained silent and waited for Paigne’s talk. Paigne extended her glass to Fatan for her second drink. Fatan got it and poured wine. Paigne kept it on the table. She gazed at Marin and said, “Listen"

PAIGNE’S HISTORY

10

The year was 1992.

The whole nation was in celebration as the day was their Independence Day. The date was August 15. It was their 45th year of independence after getting freedom from the British. The name of the country was India.

The same day was the birthday of a famous industrialist who lived in the south of India, in a city called Chennai and his name was Franklin.

He was recognized as the emerging businessman in the city. He was confident that he would become the leading businessman in the city in a period of fifteen years. He was in his late sixties and believed that he would live for next twenty years. He had a family.  It was 7:00am when he was woken up by a girl who was in her late twenties.

He opened his beautiful round eyes and gazed at the lady who was gazing at him in an interesting way. The lady was her daughter, Paigne.

He got to his feet and put on his spectacles which were kept on his writing table by him. Her daughter, Paigne came closer to his dad and said “Happy birthday dad!”

He patted his daughter on her head and said “Thank you my dear.” Paigne smiled and said “I’ve kept your new clothes on the sofa dad. Take a bath and come to the hall. We will be waiting for you” Franklin nodded and was happy for the affection which was shown by his family, especially his daughter.

*********

After thirty minutes, Franklin was shocked to see his image in the huge mirror in front of him. He couldn’t believe his beauty at all. He was wearing a loose fitting formal violet dress and a white pant. He was too happy. Though he was in his late

sixties, he looked attractive. He decided to go downstairs to meet his family. He opened the handle of the door and went down.

*********

None of Franklin’s children were married.

Franklin went downstairs and found his children sitting in the sofa and discussing something. Milan, Jake and Paigne stopped their discussion on seeing the arrival of their father. Franklin took his seat on an armchair near to the sofa. He took out his mobile phone from his pant pocket and decided to see the birthday wishes from his friends.

After nearly ten minutes Carina asked her family to come and eat their breakfast.

There were no servants in their house. Franklin said that it was inhumane to make other humans to do our works. There was only one security guard and he was treated like their friend. His name was Rahim.

Franklin took the middle seat of the dining table and his children sat adjacent to him. They started to eat their breakfast. Normally during breakfast they won’t talk but now Milan broke the silence and said

“Dad we have decided to arrange a party for you.”

Franklin coughed a little on hearing those words. He drank a glass of water. “Are you joking?” he asked in sarcasm. He knew that he had crossed those ages.

“No dad. We have to celebrate it” Jake insisted. All the three compelled their father to accept their request of arranging a party. But Franklin refused to accept. Finally Paigne found the apt words to convince her father.

“Dad we have planned to arrange the party at the Harry’s restaurant” she said.

There came a smile in Franklin’s face from nowhere. He thought for a moment and said, “I’m obeying your orders. Let’s rock”

Milan and Jake chuckled. They didn’t expect that their father would accept it. They were excited to celebrate the party. Franklin was the one to complete the breakfast

and he walked to the sink. He turned to face Paigne, who was still eating and said, “Paigne I have decided to present a gift to you”

Paigne was taken up on hearing those words. She stared at her father for a moment and said “What are you saying dad?”

Franklin grinned and said “Suspense”

Paigne thought for a while and said “When will you give that?”

Franklin smiled and said “Today in my party. And most importantly, not to give, to show”

That made Paigne’s mind spin. What did her father say? She stopped her thinking and continued eating her breakfast. Milan, Jake and Carina gave perplexed looks at each other. A thought crashed in Paigne’s mind but she hesitated to ask to her father. But her brother said to Franklin “Dad shall we invite all VIPs to the party?”

Franklin was sitting in the sofa and thought for about a minute and said “Ok let’s invite them” He took his mobile and decided to call his friend. Paigne took advantage of Jake’s question and said “Dad can I invite my friend to the party?” Franklin gazed at her daughter for a second and smiled and said “Invite whomever you wanted to” That put a big smile on Paigne’s face.

11

The time was 7.15pm when they reached The Harry’s Restaurant in their Mercedes. Franklin, as usual gazed at the majestic appearance of his all time favorite hotel. The Harry’s restaurant was a grand five-star hotel and it was one of the best hotels in the city. If you go to this hotel, you will have the tendency to eat all the dishes. Franklin’s taste buds were addicted to the dishes served at this hotel. He admired the beauty of it.

They entered the hotel and they had booked a separate area foe celebrating the party. The area was so big and there was a stage to entertain them. The hotel was air-conditioned and the cool air welcomed Franklin’s family. There were more than fifty guests and all were friends of Franklin. Paigne was searching for someone. She asked her friend to come to the party. Her eyes were eagerly waiting for his arrival. But her family members took their seats on the dining table and started to order their dishes. Paigne sat next to Jake in disappointment. All the guests took their respective seats and they too began to order. There were smiles on everyone’s faces except on Paigne’s face. Jake was the one who noticed the change in his sister’s face. He said “What’s wrong Paigne?”

Paigne got out from her thoughts and said “Nothing. I am just waiting for my friend.” Jake considered it for a moment and said “Did you try to contact him?” Paigne said “No. But I’m sure that he will come”.

Before Jake could speak the audience started to yell in happiness. Someone clapped. Both Jake and Paigne turned to see at the stage where most of the guests have gathered.

There was a man who was in late twenties standing on the stage holding a hand mike in his hands and audience were cheering him up to start his singing.

Few feet away from the stage, Paigne’s face was delighted to see the man on the stage. She turned towards her brother and said “He is my friend”.

Jake said “What is his name?”

Paigne replied “His name is Fatan Khan”.

Fatan was her friend and she asked her to come to the party. He was a professional singer and had performed in many stages and received many rewards. Right now he gonna sing a song. All the guests applauded and cheered him. He sang,

“I will not have fear

When Paigne is near

She wipes up my tears

And I’m happy to hear

That she’s here!

And she makes me cheer

When everything is dusty

Also all over misty

She’s always with me

Yes she’s my bestie

She changed my history!

And solved my life’s mystery

…………..”

He continued his singing.

Several feet away, Paigne felt goose bumps on hearing the song sung by her bestie.

She smiled and looked at her brother Jake who was speechless. Jake turned to see her sister and said “Why did he sing like that?”

Paigne stared at her brother and said “What’s wrong in that?”

“I mean why did he praise you?” Jake asked Paigne. Paigne let out a deep breath and said “A week before he lost his parents in an accident” .Jake was shocked and Paigne went on “The death day of his parents was hisbirthday. He called me through phone and said that…” Paigne stopped for a second and said “He‘s gonna commit suicide”

Jake was taken up on hearing Paigne. Something crashed into his mind. He said, “Can you tell me the names of his parents?”

Paigne thought for a moment and said, “Akhan Khan and Hema. They worked in our industry.”

Jake lowered his voice and said, “I knew them well. I miss them”.

Before Paigne could speak, she noticed a guy coming towards them. Paigne gave a smile on seeing the guy. He was Fatan Khan.

12

Franklin and his wife Carina were sitting on the dining table and enjoyed on seeing the enjoyment of their guests. Carina placed her hand on Franklin’s hand and extended a small box to him. Franklin smiled and said, “What’s this Carina?”

Carina smiled and said, “Open it dear”

Franklin nodded and opened it. He gave a smile on seeing the present which was given by his beloved wife.

It was a ring made of platinum. There was also a letter imprinted on it. The letter was,

F

‘F’ was the first letter of his name. He said, “Thanks a lot Carina” and he wore it in his left ring finger.

He was delighted on seeing his favorite food being delivered. He and Carina started to eat while others enjoyed themselves in the party.

*********

“How are you Paigne?” Fatan Khan asked as he took his seat near to Paigne.

“I am fine Fatan” Paigne said as he took a glass of water and drank it.

Jake introduced himself to Fatan and decided not to speak about the death of Fatan’s parents. He decided keep his mouth shut.“How was my song?” Fatan asked Paigne.

“Too good. I enjoyed it” Paigne replied.

“Thanks a lot. How was it Jake bro?”

“Yeah, I too enjoyed it” Jake replied.

“Thanks bro.” Fatan replied.

“I couldn’t imagine a life without parents…” Jake said suddenly.

That made Paigne angry. She squeezed her brother’s hand and gave a disapproving look at him explaining that he should not have opened his mouth to talk.

“Uh...sorry Fatan. I just...” Fatan stopped him and said, “Its ok bro. It was just a bad dream which became real. Losing our parents in an accident, do you know one thing?”  Fatan stopped a second and went on” Before that incident, they presented me a gift and said me to unwrap it when they return from the office. But still now I didn’t’ unwrap it” Tears rolled from Fatan’s eyes.

Paigne put her hand on Fatan’s shoulder and said, “Leave it Fatan. Just forget it. Bury your past feelings and sow the seeds for the future” Fatan wiped off his tears and gave a big smile and said, “Thank you Paigne I am alive still onlybecause of you”

Jake rose from his seat and extended his arm to Fatan. Fatan shook it and said “Thanks bro. I will never forget you in my life”

Jake smiled and said, “Welcome Fatan. We will be your family from now”

Fatan gave a smile and started to eat his food.

*********

After cutting the huge birthday cake, Franklin was too excited on seeing the happiness on all faces of the guests. Though he crossed his adulthood, he enjoyed celebrating birthday parties. The huge cake which contained those sentences,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVERGREEN FRANKLIN

WISHES FROM ALL GOOD HEARTS

was distributed to all the guests. Franklin cleared his throat and said, “Ladies and gentlemen all please be seated. Now an important person is gonna come” he said and took his seat next to his wife.

“Who’s that?” somebody asked.

“You’ll be knowing it soon” Franklin replied.

Paigne, Fatan and Jake who sat several feet away from Franklin sunk in confusion. They couldn’t guess who was the “important person” mentioned by Franklin.

“Who’s gonna come?” said Fatan.

“We don’t know” Paigne replied as she took a sip of her Sprite.

“I guess that he would be the man who would bring the special present to Paigne” Jake said and giggled.

“A special present?” Fatan asked in confusion.

Paigne nodded and took another a sip of her Sprite. Jake went on, “Our father announced us that he would present a gift to Paigne”

“Oh I see” Fatan said and he sipped his glass of apple juice.

After a while, Fatan looked at Paigne and said, “Paigne where is your brother Milan?” Both Paigne and Jake gave baffled looks at each other. They have forgotten their brother. They didn’t notice the presence of Milan in the hotel.

“Oh! We have forgotten him” Jake said in despair.

“Yeah, ring him” Paigne said.

Jake kept his glass of grape juice on the table and took out his mobile out from his pant pocket. But before he could call Milan, Fatan stopped him and said, “He had arrived”

Jake saw his brother’s entry with an old couple and a young and handsome man.

13

Franklin rose from his seat and went to welcome the new arrivals.

The old man with his short wife and son had lit their faces with happiness on seeing Franklin. The old man was nearly same the age of Franklin. He was probably five feet in height and he looked slim. His wife was short and had white hair.

“Welcome to the party my dear friends” Franklin said as if he had seen God arriving to his party.

The old man said, “Sorry Franklin. We have come too late to your party”

Franklin smiled and said, “That’s not a problem Michael. Come take your seats”

Michael nodded and signaled his wife and son to take their respective seats near to Franklin’s family. Milan who had not spoken yet, asked the waiter to provide food to Michael and his family.

“You just wait for a moment. I’ll be back with my daughter and son” Franklin said and headed to call Paigne and Jake.

On his way he noticed a young man sitting on a chair with a cigarette in his hands. Franklin gave a smile at him and the man too smiled. He was wearing loose fitting clothes and a jeans pant. He had a mole in his right cheek. A week before he got the ownership of one of Franklin’s industries. Franklin passed him and found his daughter and son with a guy sitting together and chatting.

Paigne rose from her seat on seeing her dad. Jake followed her. Fatan sat there awkwardly doesn’t know what to do.

“Come there” Franklin said and smiled.

“Who is that dad?” Paigne asked.

“You will be knowing that soon my dear” Franklin replied and turned.

“Let’s go” Jake said and followed his dad to visit the new arrivals. Paigne decided to move and gave a sad look at Fatan Khan and said, “Wait here Fatan. We will be back in a short span of time”

Fatan nodded.

*********

The whole family as well as the new guests sat in a separate dining table. Paigne took her seat next to Jake. She examined the arrival of three new guests. She had not seen them before. She found a young and handsome man sitting near to his father and was drinking a lime juice. Paigne couldn’t understand what’s happening around her. Franklin broke the silence and said” Again I welcome to my party”

“Thank you Franklin” Michael replied. He has finished his butter brickle.

“Ok”, Franklin raised his hand” it’s not a time for surprises and suspense. Let’s reveal it Michael, shall we?”

“Yeah sure”

“Carina, Paigne and Jake listen up. Michael and I were school friends since childhood”

“Oh! Really? That’s cool” Jake smirked.

Franklin nodded and said, “Now we became the leading businessmen in the city. Michael now you introduce yourself”

Michael nodded and said, “First things first, warm greetings to you all. I’m Michael and she is my wife, Bella”

Bella who kept her glass of pineapple juice down and said, “Warm meetings to you all. I’m so glad to meet you”

“And” Michael pointed his forefinger towards his son and said, “this is my son William Dravid”

William Dravid gave a smile. He looked young and fit. He had curly brown hair and wore spectacles. He was wearing a brown suit which suited him well.

“He’s a manager in my industry. In fact Franklin and I have decided to work together to gain more profit” Michael said

“Really? So-”

Jake was stopped by his father who said, “Yes you are right Jake. We gonna become partners

Paigne was hardly hearing all these pep talks right from the beginning. She felt uncomfortable sitting there. Suddenly she woke up from her seat and said, “Sorry for the interruption. I thought you all gonna have a lot of fun. At least somefun. But you’re talking about your business matters. I’m not interested in business talks. So I’m leaving”

“Wait Paigne” Franklin insisted.

“What for?” Paigne barked.

“Don’t you remember what I said?” Franklin said

“I do. But I didn’t expect this type of surprise” Paigne said in annoyance.

“Ok” Michael started, “The surprise that you are waiting for is that my son William Dravid has a will to marry you” he finished.

Paigne was completely taken up on hearing this. She couldn’t believe it at all. She struggled to find the apt words to speak. Finally she said, “What are you saying? I couldn’t—”she stopped.

“Yes Paigne” William Dravid spoke for the first time to Paigne, “I wish to marry you. You will be my best life partner”. he finished.

All the family members stared at Paigne to hear her reply. Jake smiled awkwardly at Paigne.

Michael said “William will be your best life partner”.

Paigne refused to give looks at them. Though she had attended the age of getting married, something made her mind lose the ability to make decisions about it.

Franklin rose from his seat and went closer to Paigne. “Believe me Paigne. William will be your best life partner and I am not going to arrange anything before your acceptance’

Paigne got disturbed on hearing the words “BEST LIFE PARTNER”

Finally Paigne got the apt words to speak, “Ok then, I just want to have a date with William Dravid.”

She rose from her seat and moved away from that place.

“Ok let’s meet tomorrow at 10:00am in Café’s House, Paigne I’m waiting.” William Dravid said with a cheer.

*********

The guests after filling their stomachs and after completing their celebrations started to depart. They presented their gifts to Franklin. A man who was wearing a loose fitting clothes and jeans pant and with a mole in his right cheek, presented a Sonata wrist watch to Franklin.

Finally the rich man’s party had come to an end.

14

Franklin’s family and Michael’s family were still chatting among themselves inside the hotel.

Paigne who had no stability in her mind of thinking about the next step in her life came out of the hotel. She kicked a small stone in anger. She couldn’t decide what to do.  The night was so cool and she rubbed her hands for warmness. She looked at the dark sky and shook her head as she couldn’t believe that she is gonna have a date with a man.

She found her bestie Fatan Khan standing beside his car and smoking.

Paigne rushed towards Fatan and plucked his cigarette and put it down. She gave an angry look at Fatan. Fatan stood there shocked on seeing the act of Paigne.

“What are you doing?” Paigne asked in a louder voice. Fatan shook his head and said “I just remembered my parents. We too had planned to celebrate my birthday like this in a grand hotel but everything went bad and I went mad!”

Tears rolled from Fatan’s eyes and Paigne wiped it. She stepped in front of him and said, “Forget those incidents Fatan. As I said earlier, bury your past and sow the seeds for the future.”

Fatan nodded and said “Thanks Paigne. Without you my life will be incomplete”

“It’s ok Fatan. Don’t smoke from this second” Paigne said. Fatan nodded and said “What did your father tell?”

Paigne let out a deep breath and said, “That’s a waste of time”

Fatan looked doubtful. He said, “What had happened?”

“Whatever should not have happened had happened!” Paigne said in slight anger.

“I repeat the same. What had happened?” Fatan asked.

Paigne smiled and said, “They wanted to marry a man called “William Dravid” What a name it is!”

Fatan didn’t show any expressions and said, “How did he look like?”

Paigne gave a frustrated look at Fatan and said, “He didn’t look like a hero at all.”

“Why all the girls in this world are like this?” Fatan said and smiled.

Paigne rolled her eyes and said, “Ok I need to know his characterand his good qualities”

“Much better” Fatan replied.

“We have planned to meet at the Café House tomorrow at 10.00 am”

“Waiting for your decision” Fatan replied.

They embraced each other and Fatan left the place by his car.

Paigne gazed at the door of the Harry’s restaurant for her family to come out.

*********

Paigne was sitting in the Café House in a corner. The shop was beautifully decorated for the customers. Paigne was wearing a casual dress and she was frustrated.

She was sitting there for nearly thirty minutes. The time was 10.30 am. William said that he would have a date with Paigne at 10:00 am.

‘Men will be men. No punctuality!’ she thought. She didn’t order anything and her eyes were expecting for the arrival of William.

After a minute, she noticed a black Mercedes entering the shop. She knew that William Dravid had arrived. William entered the shop with a smile on his face. Paigne raised her hand indicating that she was present. William noticed her and marched towards her.

He sat opposite to her and said, “Sorry for the delay, Paigne.”

Paigne rolled her eyes and said, “No problem”

William asked the waiter to provide him and Paigne cold coffees.

Paigne said, “Why do you want to marry me?” She asked immediately.

William took nearly ten seconds and said, “Because you are the best woman I had ever seen!” Paigne blinked and said “Is it?”

“Yeah” William replied. Paigne decided to ask her questions.

“Tell me about you”. Before William could reply the waiter arrived with two cold coffees in a plastic tray. William took a sip of it and said “I was born on August 10, 1965. I had completed my schooling in Bombay and I had completed M.Com,”

“Yeah me too completed M.Com,” Paigne said as she sipped her cold coffee.

William gave a smile and Paigne couldn’t able to understand it. William went on, “At present, I am working at my father’s industry as a Manager. And if you agree to marry me, I will become the Manager of one of ourindustries”

Paigne understood what William had meant. She signaled him to continue.

“I grow many pets in my house like dogs, fishes, pigeons, budgies-” Paigne stopped him and said, “Okay. Promise me a thing”

She looked William’s face clearly. He remained silent for nearly thirty seconds and said, “What for?”

“Even this earth stops to revolve around the sun, promise me that you will never leave me behind sadness” Paigne said. William Dravid gave a big smile and said, “I promise you that I will never leave you behind sadness.”

Paigne rose from her seat and said, “I believe that you will be my best life partner. I am ready to marry you.” William’s face was lit up with happiness and he nodded excitedly.

15

Seventeen years had passed after the marriage of Paigne and William Dravid. They were living in a two storey building at the end of Chennai. William Dravid had become the Manager of one of their industries. They spent their lives happily.

Unfortunately William had lost his parents in a fire accident which happened in their house. Moreover Paigne had lost her mother Carina due to leprosy.

Paigne’s brothers, Milan and Jake got married. Milan’s wife was Rossy and he had a daughter named, Marin. Her age was just four. Jake’s wife was Saggy.

Paigne and William spent their lives happily. As per William’s promise, he didn’t make Paigne sad at any occasions.

They had a son. He was studying in a private school n the city and he was tall and fit. His age was sixteen and his name was Kasper Dravid.

“Bye Kasper!” Paigne said, standing near to the gate of her house as her son was climbing the steps of his school bus. Kasper replied, “Bye mom!”

Paigne smiled and entered her house. Her husband was inside the house and she searched him. Finally she found him in the backyard. William looked glum and disappointed. He was wearing his office suite but he didn’t seem to go to his office. Paigne sat near to William and said, “What happened William?”

William looked at his wife sadly and said, “Something wrong is happening around me.”

Paigne considered for a moment and said, “What’s wrong?”

“I mean something bad was happening in our industry” William replied in a lowered voice. Paigne had not seen her husband so sad for the past seventeen years. William stretched his legs and looked at the sky as if it would solve his problems.

“What was happening in our industry?” Paigne queried.

William let out a deep breath and said, “I have been working in our industry for more than seventeen years and –”he stopped.

“And what?” Paigne asked in a hurry.

“I’m sorry to tell this to you Paigne. I suspect that Franklin had committed a huge mistake in his life.”

Those words flew in the air for about a minute and Paigne was taken up on hearing that. Paigne couldn’t believe that her father would have committed a mistake.

“What are you saying?” she enquired.

“I’m sorry. But I had noticed him.” William looked at his wife and went on, “Yesterday when I was standing out of his cabin with a file in my hands to get his signature, I found him talking to Henry”

Paigne said, “Who is he?”

“He had got the ownership of one our industries nearly seventeen years ago”

“How did he get it?”Paigne asked.

“I don’t know anything about that. But yesterday I noticed that Franklin’s face was too red on hearing the words of Henry. I couldn’t hear them at all. But the final moment made me freeze”

“What had happened?” Paigne stressed.

“I saw Franklin extending a gun to Henry” William finished.

“Are you serious?” Paigne asked in doubt. Paigne couldn’t believe her father having a gun in his hands and extending it to Henry.

“I’m damn serious!” William yelled.

“How did my dad get a gun?” Paigne asked. William shook his head indicating that he didn’t know anything about it.

“Then what did Henry do?” Paigne asked.

“He nodded his head and turned showing his back to Franklin. Instantly I hid myself. After his depart I went in”

“What was my dad’s reaction?”

“He looked normal as if nothing had happened and signed the file and I too seemed to look normal.” William said as he rose from his place.

“What are you going to do about all this matters?” Paigne asked.

William shook his head and said, “I really don’t know what to do. But I decided to keep an eye on Henry”

“Ok. Take care” Paigne said as she kissed her husband on his cheek.

*********

The time was 4:00pm.

Henry was sitting opposite to Franklin and Milan. They were in the Café House. They had come here obviously for not getting any beverages.

“Did you complete the given job?” Franklin asked Henry.

Franklin looked too old but he was healthy. He didn’t bother his ages.

Henry removed his sunglasses and slipped it into his pocket. “Sir... sorry to tell this” he said and took a glass of water and went on, “Let me tell a story” he started.

In a huge forest, there lived a giant falcon. It won’t give any respect to the majestic animals such as lions, tigers, elephants, leopards etc. It often killed many small animals and it stole the prey of big animals. It violated the rules of the forests. So all the animals in the forest joined together to attack it andkill it. On seeing the huge army, the frightened falcon wrote a sentence,

“My fate had ordered me to escape”

So that’s the end of the story gentlemen.”

Henry said as he drank a glass of water.

“What non sense is this?” Milan asked in anger. He couldn’t understand what Henry had said.

But Franklin rose from his seat and went near to Henry and said “Good job Henry. You return that thingwhich was given by me to you. Proceed in your personal work. The danger was destroyed by us.”

Henry nodded.

Milan sat behind hopelessly and saw his father moving out of the shop to his car. He rose from his seat and said” What are you coming to say Henry?”

Henry gave a smile and took out a piece of paperfrom his pant pocket and extended it to Milan. Milan read it,

“My fate had ordered me to escape”

Milan gave a short smile indicating that he knew the back-story behind the statement.

“Oh! Sorry Henry I understood it quite lately” he said.

“You have to grow Milan” Henry said as he started to depart. Milan stopped him and said, “How are your sons, Lavan and Greyson?”

“They are pretty good” Henry replied and departed.

Milan went to his dad who was in the car and Franklin said, “You have to grow Milan”

“Sure dad.” Milan replied as he started the engine of the car.

16

The time was 10:00 pm.

Paigne found her husband William Dravid sitting in the sofa with a glass of wine. He didn’t change his dress and Paigne didn’t know whether her husband had dinner or not. She went closer to William and said, “What’s wrong with you?”

William didn’t respond. Paigne got angry and said, “What on earth made you drink wine?” She plucked the glass of wine from her husband and kept it on the table near to the sofa.

“I don’t know what to tell Paigne” William said in lower voice.

“Please tell me what had happened” Paigne stressed.

“Where is Kasper Dravid?”

“He is in his room. Don’t try to change the topic!” Paigne said. William let out a breath and said, “Yesterday I saw your father extending a gun to Henry. And today...” he stopped.

“Tell me!” Paigne yelled.

“And today I saw Henry returning the same gun to Franklin! It shows that their job was accomplished!” William shouted.

“You mean?”

“Yes. They had killed someone!” William finished. Before Paigne could speak, she noticed some movements near to the stairs. She turned to see what was there. She rooted to her position on seeing it. Her son Kasper Dravid had heard everything!

She rushed to him and said, “Go sleep Kasper. What are you doing right now?” Kasper was still sleepy and he might have woken up on hearing the voices of his parents.

“What’s wrong mom?” Kasper asked.

“Nothing dear. You go to your room.” Paigne said.

Kasper glanced at his father who was sitting in a sad mood and went to his room.

Paigne turned towards William and said, “Now you go to your room and have a good sleep. You are so tired.”

“I have an idea Paigne” William said.

*********

The very next day William rushed to Franklin’s cabin.

Franklin who was wearing a formal dress gazed at William Dravid. He said, “What do you want William?” “I just want to know the truth.” William said in an angry way. Without getting the permission from his father-in-law he sat in a chair opposite to Franklin. Franklin stared at him as he hadn’t seen William like this.

“What truth William?” Franklin asked.

“Who is Henry?” William barked.

Franklin sensed something wrong in William’s voice. He took about a minute and said, “He is one my friends.”

“What? Your friend? Everyone knew that once upon a time he was a labor in our industry. Then how did he become an industrialist?”

“He is a hard worker. So I gave him the ownership of one of my industries.”

William shook his head adamantly and said, “No you’re lying”

“What the hell you are talking?” Franklin barked as he rose from his seat and said, “Get out!”

William smiled and said, “You can’t take me out of here. You have to tell me the reason why you extended a gun to Henry.”

Franklin’s eyes widened out on hearing those words from William. He sat silently and said, “What the hell you are talking about?”

“Don’t try to be a thespian. I know everything, if you fail to tell me the reason, my wife will be at the police station.”

Franklin was taken up on hearing that. He said, “Did Paigne know that?”

“She knew that.” William snapped.

“First you listen to me. It’s true that I had given the gun to Henry. But he didn’t kill anyone. So-” Franklin seemed surrendering but William stopped him and said, “Whom did you wanna kill?”

Sweats rolled here and there on Franklin’s face though he was in an air- conditioned room.

“Why do you wanna know that?”He asked in lower voice.

“Just tell me. Or you have to meet the consequences!” William didn’t seem convincing at all. He wanted to know the truth.

“Listen up” Franklin said.

17

It was 10:30am when William got out of Franklin’s room.

His body was full of sweats. His mind was rotating with full of questions. His first difficult question was, ‘How am I supposed to tell this to Paigne?’

He decided to go to his home. He went to parking lot and asked his car driver, John to drop him at his house.

But he didn’t know that John had a call from Franklin who was in the thirteenth floor. Also Franklin had called his son Milan and Henry through his phone.

William was perplexed. Actually the things told by Franklin to him when he was in Franklin’s cabin were true. That made William’s head spin.

When he was travelling on a long road which would be nearly hundred feet in length, his driver John came to a halt.

“Why did you stop?” William asked.

John didn’t respond at all. William got frightened and yelled, “Tell me!”

Interestingly the road was lonely and William noticed a white Mercedes coming behind them.

John, the driver took out a piece of paper and threw at William’s face.

William was shocked to his driver’s activity and within a moment John went out of the car.

William yelled but t went in vain. He noticed the white Mercedes coming behind him hastily. He bent down to take the paper which was thrown by John and read it. It was,

“Time to complete your fate’s order”

William barely understood it. He got out of his car and shocked to see that the white Mercedes had reached near to his car.

William froze on seeing the persons who came out of the car. They were Milan and Henry.

“Hey what do you want?” William yelled. He thought of driving the car, but he was rooted to his position on seeing the thing which was taken out by Milan. It was a gun. William remembered the gun. It was the same gun which belonged to Franklin. Somehow Franklin had given it to Henry and Milan.

“What you both gonna do?”He yelled once again.

Milan gave a smile and said, “You should not have poked your nose in our issues.”

“Please don’t do anything” William pleaded.

Henry took several steps forward and slapped William on his cheeks. William lost his balance and fell on the road. Henry said, “How dare you involve in our matters? Also you think that I am a criminal?”

William grew angry and punched Henry on his groin and Henry shouted in pain. Milan stepped forward and placed his gun on William’s forehead.

William’s common sense told him that he could not escape from his death. Milan said, “You’re a coward William. It’s your time to complete your fate’s order.”

“Please leave me!” William yelled.

“I’m sorry, Paigne. Rest In Peace, William.” Milan said and he pressed the trigger of the gun and a bullet made a hole in William’s forehead.

*********

Paigne was sitting in the porch with her son, Kasper Dravid who returned from his school. Paigne looked glum as her husband had not returned still. She was so worried on the acts of her dad, Franklin. She couldn’t believe that her father had a gun and his plan of killing a person.

Kasper had not seen his mother looking so dull. He knew that something was wrong on seeing the scenes of last night. He decided to enquire about it to his mother. He squeezed her hand and said, “Mom I have a doubt”

Paigne who was deep in her thoughts came to reality on hearing Kasper and sad, “What’s it Kasper?”

Kasper said” What is wrong with you and dad?”

Paigne was taken up on hearing her son. She suspected that Kasper had known all the truth.

“Nothing is wrong with us Kasper.”

“Then why did you and dad were so sad yesterday?” Kasper said. His question seemed obvious.

Before Paigne could react, a jeep arrived in front of their main gate.

Paigne was perplexed on seeing a police man emerging from it. The policeman looked fit and had grey hair. Paigne went closer to him and asked “What do you want sir?”

“Are you Paigne?” the policeman asked.

“Yeah. I’m Paigne.” Paigne replied.

“My name is Xavier. I’ve come here to tell you important news.”

“What’s that?” Paigne asked.

Kasper got closer to them to hear what they were talking.

Xavier said, “I’m sorry to tell this. Your husband, William Dravid had committed suicide.”

18

Aweek had passed after the death of William Dravid.

When Xavier informed her that her husband had committed suicide, her mind started to spin. She couldn’t believe anything. She was confident that her husband had not committed suicide. But she couldn’t prove that. The police said that there were fingerprints on the gun and those belonged to William.

She knew firmly that her father, Franklin had killed William. She couldn’t believe that her father being so worried during the funeral of William. Also her brother Milan too acted well. She decided to treat this in another manner. She didn’t pose any questions to her family members. To her, two persons had changed her life. They were her mom, Carina and her husband, William Dravid. Now both are dead.

Paigne decided to go to a job. Her father asked her to replace the position of William. But she refused. She had a burning vengeance. But she remained calm for a purpose.

She was too worried about Kasper Dravid. She couldn’t do anything to compromise him. His actions had changed a lot. Earlier he used to be very playful but after this incident he became very silent and depressed. Paigne changed his school and joined him in a government aided school. He wore a blue striped uniform and a dark blue pant.

After a week of time, something crashed Paigne’s mind. She had almost forgotten that she had a friend called Fatan Khan.

It was Saturday and she returned home at 2:00pm. Her son, Kasper had gone to school and will return only at late dawn. She was in her room and took her phone from her pant pocket and dialed Fatan’s number. She had contacted him six months before and she was worried about him too. She didn’t know where he was.

“Hi! Paigne” Fatan said.

“How are you Fatan?” Paigne said. He came to know that Fatan didn’t know anything about the death of William Dravid.

“I’m fine here. How are you?”

“Not fine” Paigne said in a saddened voice.

Fatan was taken up on hearing Paigne. He said, “What’s the reason?”

“They killed my husband.”

There was a short silence at the other end and Fatan said, “Oh my God! What are you saying?”

Tears came from Paigne’s eyes. She made her mind clear to tell the whole truth to Fatan.

She took about three minutes to describe everything. She wept and Fatan consoled her.

“Where are you Fatan?” Paigne asked.

“In Mumbai. Wanna any help?” Fatan replied. Actually Fatan had a music concert in Mumbai and that’s why he went there only a week ago.

“Yes Fatan. I need revenge. Please accompany me to kill who had killed my soul mate.” Paigne said in complete hatred.

“Sure” Fatan replied as he cut the call.

*********

The time was 2:30 pm.

Franklin was sitting in his air conditioned cabin deep in his thoughts.

He disliked the attitude of his son-in-law, William Dravid. ‘He should not have worked in my industry’ he thought. Moreover he was afraid that Paigne knew the truth about the gun. But when Franklin attended the funeral of William, Paigne looked glum and didn’t say anything about the gun to him. That surprised Franklin.

He noticed his son, Milan entering his cabin.

“Dad, I’ve done a great mistake.” Milan said.

Franklin raised his eyebrows and said, “What are you talking about?”

Milan took his seat opposite to Franklin and said, “The gun was missing.”

Franklin’s eyes widened out on hearing those words. “How is it possible?”

“Please forgive me dad.” Milan pleaded. Franklin sensed that something went wrong. “Tell me what happened. “He said.

“Today morning, when I was in my way to the industry by car, I met up with Kasper Dravid. Out of pity and kindness, I decided to drop him at his school.” Milan stopped.

“What happened next?”

“He asked me about you and your today’s appointments.”

“What did you tell?”

“I told him that you gonna meet a businessman named, Alan at 6.00pm.”

“You should not have told that. And he stole the gun, right?”

“Yes.” Milan surrendered. He knew that he had committed the greatest mistake in his life. He was afraid that what decision Franklin would make.

Franklin grew angry and punched his desk and gave a terrific look at his son and said, “Does Kasper has a phone? Do you know his phone number?”

Milan said, “Yeah I got it from him.”

Franklin gave a smile and said. “Then let’s carry out a drama today.”

19

The year was 2009.In the far end of a city, called Chennai, there were a few houses in a lonely street. The street comprised nearly twenty houses. Most of the people in the street were rich and well-educated. Out of those, a house didn’t look like a house at all.

The house looked awkward and nasty in its appearance. The neighbors didn’t know anything about the house. To the neighbors, it just looked like a dustbin. They dumped their waste into the house. No one knew the owner of the house. They didn’t have enough time to enquire those matters.

The house was painted blue. But it had faded away. It was a two-storey building. The front of the house had a name printed on the wall:

BAY HOME 1985

But it barely stood there. Also there was a kitchen garden behind it. All the plants, which had been planted by someone, maybe by that “Bay”, had gone rotten. There were no more plants. The neighbors thought that no one would be coming to that house. Also they assumed that the owner of the house would be dead.

But they were obviously wrong. There was a guy in the house. They would have known the entry of the guy, if they had bothered about the house. The guy might have entered the house through the rusted gate or through the kitchen garden.

The ground floor of the house contained nothing. There was only a wooden staircase to the first floor.

The first floor comprised a hall, a bedroom and a bathroom. Obviously there were no water and electricity supply to the house. The guy was in the bedroom. There were a bed and a wardrobe with no clothes. The guy was sitting on the bed. There was only one window in the room. The guy had opened it just an inch. Opposite to him, there was a bungalow. It was huge and majestic.

The guy was wearing a blue striped school uniform and a dark pant. That revealed that he was a school student.

The time was around 6:00pm.The guy’s age was sixteen.He was holding something in his hands. A gun. It was his fate’s orderto be there with a gun in his hands.  His name was Kasper Dravid.

Kasper had cheated his uncle Milan and stole his gun. He decided to kill his grandfather who gonna come to the bungalow which was opposite to him to meet Alan. He made his mind clear. He had no second thoughts. He didn’t inform this to his mom, Paigne. He too decided to take revenge for the death of his father.

He noticed a white Mercedes entering the street. He held the gun firmly to shoot Franklin when he came out of the car. The car came to a halt in front of Alan’s bungalow. Kasper’s heart was filled with anger and vengeance.

But before he could press the trigger of the gun a hand rested on his shoulder. He turned to see who it was and his eyes widened out on seeing the person.

It was his mother, Paigne.

“What are you doing here Kasper?” Paigne asked.

Kasper was speechless. He hid the gun and said, “Mom I’ve come here to...” he stopped.

“What for?”

Kasper decided to tell the truth. “I’ve come here to kill my grandfather Franklin.”

There was a moment of silence and Paigne laughed out loud. Kasper was taken up on seeing the actions of his mom. He was baffled.

“Proceed my son.” Paigne ordered.

“Mom what are you saying?” Kasper asked in confusion. He didn’t even imagine that his mom would ask to kill her father.

“I told you to shoot Franklin!” Paigne yelled.

“Wanna shoot me?”a voice came behind them.

*********

Both Paigne and Kasper were shocked to hear a person’s voice in this abandoned house. In an instant both ran to the hall where the voice had come from.

They were disappointed o the see the two persons.

The one who gave the voice was sitting in sofa and his name was Franklin. The man standing near to Franklin was Milan and he was holding a big hammer.

“Wanna kill me?” Franklin repeated.

Paigne had decided to speak bold.

“You should not have done that to me dad.” She yelled.

Franklin smiled and said, “If anyone pokes their nose into my personal affairs, they will turn to… ashes.”

Kasper’s common sense ordered him to go to the room and take the gun. But when he turned around he felt a bolt of pain on his head. Paigne yelled behind him. He lost his balance and trembled. He felt blood dripping from his head. Paigne rushed towards him and he saw his mom’s beautiful eyes for the last time and closed them. Kasper’s uncle Milan had thrown his big hammer with a great force aiming at Kasper’s head. Franklin laughed out loud. That was the end of Kasper Dravid.

Paigne couldn’t bear her son dying in front of her eyes. She stood and her heart was filled with hatred. She took the huge hammer in her hands and decided to smash her brother and father.

But before she could act, she too felt a sudden pain on her face as her father had smashed her with an iron rod. She lost her balance and lay still near to her lifeless son. Franklin kicked her so hard in anger.

“Why did you support your husband? You should not have tried to kill me.” Franklin said as she kicked her once again. “Better you…die"

Paigne went unconscious and she could barely hear.

She heard her father saying, “Burn…house...let...turn...ashes.”

She noticed Franklin and Milan going out of the house and she sensed that they had spread fires in the house. She got to her feet painfully and gave a last look at her dead son. She moved to the bedroom and found the gun lying on the bed.

She took the gun in her hands and looked at it terrifically. The whole problem had started only because of this gun. She took it with her and moved out of the house incredibly. The fires were spreading hastily and she managed to get only a few fire burns.

She came out of the house several meters away from it and took out her mobile phone. She dialed Fatan’s number and Fatan took the call.

“Hey where is Kasper? Did you find him?” Fatan asked as he was the one who found the location of Kasper and told Paigne that he was in a house in the farther end of the city.

“He is in heaven” Paigne replied and she wept.

“What are you saying? How did he die?” Fatan asked in confusion.

“They killed him. Listen up. I need revenge. We should join together to kill those who killed my family.” Paigne said in anger.

“Sure” Fatan said as he cut the call. Paigne gave the last look at the burning house where her son would have turned to ashes.

END OF PAIGNE’S HISTORY

20

The time was 5:30pm.

Paigne had completed her flashback. The sun started to sink between the two mountains. The birds flew happily to their nests. Paigne was sitting opposite to her brother Milan’s daughter, Marin. Paigne wept a little while telling her history but she controlled her tears.

Marin as usual didn’t know how to respond to the situation. Even she didn’t know what to speak. She could barely breathe. She could feel butterflies in her stomach. She could feel pain in her legs and hands. Fatan Khan was sitting in his chair as if the chair wouldn’t allow him to get up. He was deep in his thoughts and said, “Now what shall we do Paigne?”

Paigne turned towards Fatan and said, “Wait”.

“Did you understand my history Marin?” Paigne asked.

Marin just nodded in fear and a doubt landed in her mind.

“I couldn’t reach my bestie, Lavan. I suspect that…” she stopped.

“You’re right Marin. You don’t know the real truth behind the death of Franklin. You think that Fatan and I had killed Franklin. But you are wrong. Actually Lavan was the one who killed Franklin!” Paigne said.

Marin felt as if a lightning had attacked her heart. She couldn’t believe it. She said, “Where is he now?”

Paigne giggled and said, “May be in the hell.”

“No! It can’t be true!” Marin yelled. Paigne knew that whatever she had told now were lies. Fatan was the one who shot Franklin with his sniper and he also shot Lavan who failed to complete the given order. Also Lavan went missing after he was shot by Fatan.

Marin was confused. She said, “What mistakes did Lavan do? Why did you kill him?”

Her question made complete sense. She noticed Paigne taking a sip of her wine and rising from her seat and came closer to her. She went near to Marin’s right ear and said, “Because it was his fate’s order!”

“What do you mean?” Marin asked.

Paigne sat in her chair and said, “This phrase was officiallyfound by your grandfather.”

“He is your father!” Marin said.

“He wasmy father.” Paigne replied in complete hatred.

Marin was again speechless. The pain in her body parts and Paigne in front of her made her frustrate. Paigne gave a look at her friend, Fatan to speak. Fatan nodded and rose from his seat.

“First of all I was indeed happy to help Paigne. I knew a friend in Mumbai and with his help I got many gadgets like guns, snipers, bug detectors, camera hackers and stuff like that. Our primary aim is to killFranklin.”

Fatan stopped and expected that Paigne would speak. But Paigne was busy with her wine. He went on.

“But our ultimate aim was to show Franklin that Paigne is alive still. We decided to hide anywhere in this world and decided to bounce back after ten years. He stopped and said, “It took for us ten years Marin!” he said in high pitch voice.

Marin wondered why Fatan said that in high pitch voice.

“Now check your pant pocket.” Fatan ordered.

Marin wanted to yell at this man. Her hands were tied and how can this man expect to check her pant pocket? “My hands are tied sir” she said. Fatan nodded and removed the ropes and released her hands.”Now check it madam.” he said.

Marin didn’t listen to him and watched her hands as if she was watching them for the first time. She thought of asking him to unlock her legs too, but she kept her mouth shut.

She slipped her right hand into the right pocket and searched. She came to know that she had found the dart which was found by her in Franklin’s room.

“I knew that you had taken it from your grandfather’s room. Am I right?” Fatan asked.

“Yes.” Marin replied.

“Do you wanna know about that?”He asked.

Marin nodded. She wanted to know the reason behind it.

“After ten years we decided to show the presence of Paigne in this world to Franklin. On February 02, 2019 Paigne went to his room with a gun with this dart. She showed her to Franklin and shot him as a surprise.” Fatan finished.

It seemed weird to Marin. She said “If you want o kill my grandfather, you should have killed him in his room itself. But why did you do look like this?”

“You are not getting it Marin” Paigne, who had completed her wine, said. She went on.

“Our ultimate aim is to show that I’m alive still. Also we want to cause damage to Henry’s family too. So we used Lavan as bait.”

Marin understood. It was their idea to kill one by one. Marin realized that she was their next target.

“How did Lavan accept to kill my grandfather?” Marin asked.

Fatan smirked and said, “I played with him by saying that I had kidnapped you and in order to rescue you, I asked him to kill Franklin. But at the last moment he cheated me and I shot him too.”

“How did he cheat you?” Marin asked.

Fatan gave a crazy look at Marin and said, “He shot towards the sky and I shot Franklin first and him second.”

“Avoid asking questions.” Paigne warned her.

“Shall we finish her?” Fatan asked.

“Sure” Paigne replied.

“Please leave me!” Marin pleaded. Both Paigne and Fatan laughed out loud. Paigne took her gun and said, “This was the gun which was responsible for this catastrophe.” This was the gun which was taken by Paigne when she was in the burning house.

“Please don’t kill me” Marin pleaded once again.

“Sorry, Marin. It’s your fate’s orderto die.” Paigne said.

But before Paigne could press the trigger of the gun a spherical ball sized thing came into the hall with a hissing sound.

21

None of them can understand what had happened.

Marin was sitting in her chair when Paigne aimed her gun at her. She noticed a spherical sized thing marching in by giving a hissing sound and it released white smoke. Soon the room turned misty and Marin couldn’t see anyone. Fatan barked out some words. But after a minute of time, there were no shouts and sounds.

Marin sensed that her legs were being undone. She didn’t know who was rescuing her. She didn’t even know that she was being rescued. The person had undone her legs and took hold of her hands and forced her to go with him. Marin refused at first and her common sense told her to move. Finally she moved.

The entire room was misty and it was impossible for Marin to breathe normally. Moreover she couldn’t see anything. Her only hope was the person who was holding her hands and taking her downstairs. When they reached downstairs, there was no white mist. Marin tried to see the guy who had saved her from the gates of death. The person who had saved her was a boy, probably three years older than Marin. He looked fit and his face was covered by a mask. So Marin could hardly recognize the boy.

The boy took Marin to his black Nissan car and said, “Get in.”

Marin nodded and went in. She sat near to the boy, who gonna drive the car. Finally the boy removed his mask. He had a white face with a mole in his right cheek. He had black eyes and he looked charming. Something crashed in Marin’s mind. She had seen the boy once upon a time and now she could hardly recognize him.

“Who are you?” Marin asked.

“Do you not then remember me?” the boy asked.

“No I can’t remember.” Marin said.

The boy gave a smile and said” I’m Greyson.”

Marin’s eyes widened out on hearing that name. She said “You are…”

Greyson said, “Brother of Lavan.”

*********

Paigne came back to consciousness after twenty minutes. The time was around 6:15pm. She punched the table in anger as her target had escaped. She found Fatan Khan lying on the floor without any movements. She ran to the kitchen and found a water bottle in the refrigerator. She took it with her and went to see Fatan. She sprayed some water on Fatan’s eyes and was relieved to see Fatan coming back to consciousness. Fatan got to his feet and kicked the floor with complete hatred. He shook his head in tension as he was responsible for the escape of Marin.

“Paigne who had done that?” he asked.

“I don’t know.” Paigne replied.

“What shall we do now?”

“Need to think. Can you locate the location of Marin’s phone?”

“Yeah. Give me twenty minutes.”

Fatan had done the same help for Paigne to locate the location of Kasper Dravid.

After twenty minutes, Fatan’s face had lost its brightness. He said, “Sorry Paigne. It’s not possible to track the location of Marin.”

Paigne shook her head in disappointment and said, “We have to think.”

*********

Everyone was holding their phones in their hands in Franklin’s house. They had contacted Marin but there was no response from her.

Marin’s mom, Rossy had contacted Marin’s friends but their replies were,

“Sorry aunt, I don’t know.”

Rossy was so worried and frightened. She prayed to God that her daughter should return home safely without any problems. Marin informed her that she was going to meet Alacia for completing an assignment. Rossy also tried Alacia’s phone number but there was no reply.

Every inmates of the house assembled in the hall.

“Now what shall we do?” Jake asked.

The time was around 6.00pm. Marin had left the house earlier itself. Marin’s father, Milan said, “There is only one way. We have to seek help from the Police.”

“But did you see the news today?” Jake asked.

“What news?”

“A police Inspector, named Gajan was killed in a bomb attack.”

“What’s the relation?”

“There is no security to the police itself. Then how could we believe them?”

Milan thought for a moment and said, “That doesn’t matter. I gonna give a complaint. We have to find Marin.”  Jake nodded.

Already the family members had lost their head and to make matters worse, Marin was missing.

“Alright I alone shall go to the station. Jake take care of others.” Milan said as he left the house.

When he went out of the house, he received two text messages.

He opened it. The messages had come from a same unknown number. He read the first message,

DAD! IT’S ME MARIN.I CAN’T XPLAIN EVERYTHING 2 U. DON’T PANIC. I’M SAFE HERE. DON’T GO 2 POLIS! DON’T SEARCH ME!

He was happy on reading the first message. He decided to read the second message. He read it,

SRY 2 TEL TIS. OUR FAMILY IS IN DANGER. DANGER!!! IT’S BCOZ OF U DAD. BCOZ OF U!!! I CAN’T XPLAIN EVERYTHING. TC OF OUR FAMILY.DON’T SHOW TIS 2 OTHERS. READ&DEL IT……..

His face turned pale on reading the second message. ‘What did I do?’ he thought. He deleted the second message and rushed into the house to show the message which was sent by Marin at first.

He found his family members sitting in the same positions when he went out. Jake was the first to note his entry.

“What had happened?” Jake asked.

“Good news.” Milan said and he tried to hide the horror of the second message sent by Marin. Though he deleted it, he couldn’t able to believe what Marin had meant.

“What good news?” Jake asked.

Milan extended his phone to Jake and Jake read the message. His face was delighted on reading it. He gave it to Rossy, who was weeping and she too became delighted on reading it. “My daughter is safe” Rossy said in happiness.

“Yeah.” Milan replied.

Jake had a terrific doubt and came near to Milan and said “Did you believe it?”

“Yes. What was wrong in it?” Milan protested.

“Why Marin didn’t make a phone call to us?” Jake asked.

“Le’s believe that Marin had sent it.” Milan said confidently as he had received two messages and the second message revealed the truth that Marin had sent him the messages.

He went upstairs and there were two photos hanging on the wall near to the wall clock. He didn’t give a look at it and went up. Even if he had seen the firstphoto, he would not have known what the danger was which was meant by Marin.

*********

Marin had slept only for thirty minutes. She was woken up by Greyson, the Super Man who had rescued her. He was the one who asked Marin to send messages to Milan through his phone before her sleep. She requested to have a talk with her family members but Greyson rejected it. He said that the dangers would have heard their conversation if they spoke. Marin obeyed him. Greyson threw his phone as well as Marin’s phone out of the car. He took every step in a safe way so that no one could find their location.

They were travelling nearly for an hour. Either of them barely spoke during the journey. Marin said, “Where are we heading to?”

“Minjur.” Greyson replied.

“Where is it?”Marin asked.

“It’s in Karnataka.”

“Are you living there?”

“Yeah.”

“But what’s the use of it?”

“You will know it soon.”

Marin felt frustrated. Her family is in danger. How could she go to Karnataka? She decided to keep calm and patient.

“You have to explain me everything.” Greyson said.

“OK” Marin replied.

22

The time was 8:30pm when they reached their destination. Greyson’s house was medium sized. It was a two storey building.

Greyson took Marin into the hall which comprised a 16 inch long television, two sofas, a glass table, a kitchen and the house looked clean and tidy.

He made her sit in the sofa and told her that he would prepare dinner. Marin didn’t know whether Greyson knew to cook or not but she was hungry. The pain in her hands and legs had faded away. But to fulfill her stomach’s thirst she needed some food.

“Marin please wait for fifteen minutes. Do you wanna watch television?” Greyson asked.

“OK” Marin replied. Greyson took the remote and switched it ON. He gave the remote to Marin and went to the kitchen.

The first channel was a news channel and Marin loved to watch news. It was not live streaming but it showed the incident which happened that day morning. There stood a female reporter, who would be in her late twenties. She was holding her mike in her hands, which had a symbol of her news channel.

“…..It is said that Mr.Gajan was a skillful police Inspector. He had dealt with many complicated cases and succeeded….”  Marin was not interested in it but the reporter’s next statement caught her breath.

“……he assured his higher authorities that he gonna finish the Industrialist Franklin murder case…” Marin came to the edge of the sofa to hear it.

“…..it is said that a middle aged man had given him evidence about the case. But while travelling in his way to the house of the Commissioner of Police…” The lady reporter stopped for a moment and Marin was hardly breathing.

“…..his car blasted and he turned to ashes…” Marin switched off the television. Everything struck in her mind. When she was under the custody of Paigne and Fatan Khan, she came to know that they had killed a person. Now it was confirmed that Gajan was the one who was killed by Fatan.

This made Marin’s head spin. She was afraid that Paigne would target her family members. ‘What would happen if Paigne placed bombs in my house?’ she thought.

She stopped thinking about it on seeing Greyson emerging from the kitchen. He returned with two plates and Marin wondered what would be the dinner.

Greyson placed a plate on the sofa. Marin smelled and found that the dinner was noodles.

“Wait a minute, Marin. I have a small work in upstairs.” He said as he ran upstairs quickly.

Marin was so much excited on seeing the food after many hours. She took the plate and began to eat the noodles with the help of a fork.

After five minutes Greyson came down and went to the kitchen and returned to the hall with another plate.

“Why did you turn off the television?” he asked.

“I was not interested in it.” Marin responded.

Greyson too had noodles as dinner and began to eat. After a while, they both completed their dinner. Greyson sat next to Marin and said, “Tell me everything about the problem.”

“Do you know where Lavan is?” Marin asked as she thought that Greyson would know. But Greyson ignored that question and said, “Explain.”

*********

It took nearly twenty minutes for Marin to explain the history of Paigne. She told everything shortly.

She said who was Paigne, what had happened to her family, who was Fatan Khan, who were William Dravid and Kasper Dravid, why Franklin was killed and the most important one was the involvement of Lavan in this web.

“Fatan was the one who cheated Lavan and I don’t know where he is.” Marin said in sadness.

“Alright now come with me upstairs.” Greyson said.

“Why?” Marin asked.

“To show you your room.”

Marin followed Greyson .The steps were made of wood and it made a distinct sound.

They went upstairs. It was empty and there were two rooms opposite to each other. There was a window at one end and there were also three chairs. Greyson went closer to a room and said, “Open it Marin.”

Marin was confused. “Why should I?” she asked.

“You just open and go inside. I shall close the main door and come up.” Greyson said as he went downstairs..

Marin went in. The room was too big and the ceiling fan rotated swiftly. She noticed a bed, a table and a chair. Fruits like apples, bananas, grapes were kept on the table in a basket. There was also a plate of noodles.

Marin noticed a guy lying on the bed.

In an instant, she was frightened. ‘Who it would be?’ she thought. At first, she thought that the guy was dead. Next she concluded that she was wrong. She noticed the chest of the guy rising and falling. She couldn’t see further. She thought of moving forward but a hand rested on her shoulder.

She was frightened and before she could yell, the hand was placed on her mouth.

“Don’t shout. It’s me, Greyson.”

Marin was relieved. She turned to face him. Greyson said, “Don’t you know who is it?”

“No” Marin replied.

“Go close to have a better look.” Greyson said.

Marin nodded and moved forward and saw the guy.

Her heart started to beat instantly. The guy was her bestie.

He was Lavan.

23

Lavan was lying still. He barely breathed and his eyes were closed. Marin was speechless. She noticed several stitches around Lavan’s chest. That reminded her that that was the place where Fatan had shot. He was wearing trousers.

“How…” Marin started but she couldn’t find the words.

“Don’t worry. I’ll tell you.” Greyson assured. Marin nodded and left out of the room. Greyson asked Marin to sit on any one of the three chairs and he took a seat opposite to her.

“What’s going on?” Marin asked.

“Franklin was killed on your birthday. Am I right?”

“Yes.”

“On February 01, Lavan asked me to come to Chennai to your party. We thought of giving you a surprise. On February 02, I reached Chennai by 7:30 pm. I didn’t go to my house. I thought that Lavan would have gone to the party and for confirmation I rang him. But he was unreachable. I tried for several times but there was no response.”

“Why didn’t you ring me?” Marin asked.

“I didn’t have your mobile number.”

“Proceed.”

“So I tried to track the location of his phone. I was shocked as he was present in a building opposite to that of the Harry’s Restaurant. It made me feel that something went wrong. So I rushed to that building and I saw Lavan holding a gun and aiming at the sky.”

“What happened next?”

“I thought of going closer to him. But…after a short span of time, I heard a girl screaming and my brother too started to scream in pain and fell backwards. I was shocked to see blood dripping out from his chest.”

“I was that girl.” Marin said sadly.

“I know.” Greyson said.

“How is Lavan now?”

“Not too good.” Something crashed in Marin’s mind.

“Then how did you find that I was in trouble?”

“Dead easy Marin. I found your contact in Lavan’s mobile. You too behaved like Lavan and the rest you know.”

“How did you get that spherical sized thing which gave hissing sound and white smoke?” Marin asked.

“I got it from my friend who lives several kilometers away from us. He is a gadget specialist.”

“Oh! Great”

“Yeah”

“Thanks a lot”

“No problem.”

“Main problem is one step ahead of us.” Marin said with a saddened face.

“Greyson!” a voice came from nowhere. Marin recognized the voice instantly. It was from Lavan.

*********

When Marin went in, she saw Lavan sitting on the bed. Greyson rushed to him and said something. Marin knew that he was talking about her.

Lavan turned towards Marin and smiled. Marin too smiled. She stepped closer to Lavan and gave a hug. She couldn’t control her emotions and wept. Lavan was too weeping.

“Sorry Marin” Lavan said.

“What for?” Marin asked.

“I didn’t even have a motive of killing Franklin. One man made me do that.”

“I know”

They hugged once again. Greyson felt awkward standing there and said, “No time for hugs. Time is 9:15. Time to sleep.”

Lavan and Marin got separated.

“Marin you take the room opposite to Lavan’s room and I shall sleep in downstairs.”  Greyson said.

Marin nodded.

“I hope you guys will sleep in your ownrooms.” Greyson said as he went out of Lavan’s room.

Marin looked at Lavan and said, “Everything will change.” She went out.

She opened her room’s door and went in. It was identical to that of Lavan’s room.

She switched off the lights and started to sleep. She started to dream.

The year was 2038.

Marin could see a woman weeping. The weeping woman is sitting opposite to a man.

Marinwhy are you crying?” the man asks. Dreaming Marin realizes that the weeping woman washer.She is in the future world.

“He had killed my family” weeping Marin says.

“Who had killed him?” the man asks.

Dreaming Marin couldn’t find who the man was.

“My father,Milanhad killed my son and husband.” weeping Marin says.

*********

Marin woke up suddenly in fear. She was sitting on her bed. The room was dark and she switched on the lights. Though she was in an air-conditioned room, her body was full of sweats. She will never forget this type of dreams in her life forever.

In her dream, she was in a bad situation which was faced by Paigne in the past.

Despite the sadness and horror of the dream, she wanted to know who her husband was.

But she deleted that thought from her mind and got to her feet. That dream made her sleep vanish. She searched for the wall clock and found it on her right side. The time was 2:30 am.

She decided to examine her room.

There was a 16 inch television, opposite to the bed. She noticed a mirror placed left to the bed. There was also a closet near to the mirror. She decided to open it. To her luck, the closet was open and it had three rows.

She opened the first row. It was empty and she noticed a small dead spider lying inside. She closed it and opened the second row. Again it was empty.

Finally with the hope of discovering something new, she opened the third row. This time she found a group photo. She took it.  There was a couple with their two children. Marin recognized the two children at once. They were Greyson and Lavan. Then the couple should be Henry and Preethi. Marin saw them for the first time.

Henry. He was the man who received the gun from Franklin to kill someone and it was seen by innocent William Dravid.

‘Why did Franklin give the gun to Henry? Whom did they wanna kill?’ thought Marin.

She kept the photo inside the closet and she required some fresh hair. She decided to go to the terrace. It would be very cool outside but she decided to go. She turned off the air-conditioner and opened the door.

There was an electric bulb at the ceiling and it provided enough light for her to find the way to the terrace. Her instincts warned her not to go outside during night time. But she didn’t change her idea of getting some fresh air. Her ultimate aim was to plan something to come out of this deadly web.

She found the staircase which would lead her to the terrace and walked up. There was a door and it was luckily opened. She pushed the door wide open. Fresh air smashed her and welcomed her. She decided to walk around the terrace.

The terrace was big enough to walk around and the night sky was beautiful. In the corner of her eye, Marin noticed a guy standing and staring at the dark sky. That made Marin frighten for ten seconds. But she came to know that the guy was Greyson.

She went near to him and said, “What are you doing Grey?”

Greyson was taken up on seeing Marin and said, “What are you doing here Marin?”

“I’ve come here to get some fresh air and to plan.”

“What do you gonna plan?” Greyson asked.

“We have to save our families.”

“Two things are barriers for us to plan.”

“What are they?” Marin asked.

“First one is that Paigne had not done anything wrong. But we are planning to stop her. Second one is that Franklin had given a gun to my father to kill a person. Who was that person?” Greyson said.

Marin considered for a moment and said, “You are right. But we have to save our family members.”

“You are not getting it Marin!” Greyson snapped.

“I got it Grey.” Marin said.

“Stop calling me Grey!” Greyson warned.

“OK.” Marin said.

They stopped their talks for a moment and stared at the black sky.  Suddenly an idea arose in Marin’s mind. She said, “Greyson you had mentioned me that you have a friend who is a gadget specialist, right?”

“Yes” Greyson nodded furiously.

“Can we seek help from him?”

“Oh! Sure” Greyson replied. “But what do you gonna do with his gadgets?”

“Let’s kidnap Paigne and Fatan and let’s stab them.”

“Hey have you gone mad? How is it possible to kidnap and kill older persons?” Greyson remarked.

“You just request your friend about it. We have to finish it soon.” Marin said in confidence.

“Look before you leap Marin.” Greyson warned.

“I’ve looked and measured the depth of it and I’m red to leap, Greyson.”

“Then it’s your wish.” Greyson gave in.

“What’s the name of your friend?” Marin asked.

“Marcus Red” Greyson replied.

24

THUD.      THUD.    THUD.

The time was 4:00 am, when Milan heard this voice and woke up. He was in his bedroom. To his right, his wife Rossy was deep in her sleep. She didn’t hear that noise. Milan got to his feet and saw the time in his Sonata wrist watch. He put on his spectacles which were kept on the writing table. He searched for the water jug and found it on the table which was neat to the window.

THUD.      THUD.    THUD.

He was frightened on hearing the same noise once again. His wife Rossy didn’t show any response. He decided to drink some water and went near to the table. The window was open and when Milan took the jug in his hands, he found that there was no water. He was shocked to see a hand, which was holding the window. He thought that it was a thief. But two legs came down vertically from the top.

Milan’s adrenaline started to increase its production. The legs continued to come down and Milan came to know that it was a man.

While the legs came vertically downwards, the hands started to climb vertically up and Milan realized that it was a lady. The lady was wearing a torn T-shirt and it was printed with the words,

I am your FATE

Milan could feel his body full of sweats. The man and the lady had terrible faces and they laughed out loudly. The man had a hole in his forehead and the lady had a scar on her forehead.

“Who are you?” Milan yelled.

He sensed that some fluid was dropping on his head. He touched it and was taken up as the fluid was blood. He moved his head up and found a seventeen year old boy hanging vertically downwards holding a huge hammer in his hands. Blood was dripping out from his head.

The man had a gun in his hands and the lady had an iron bar in her hands. They counted,

Three.  Two.  One

The man and the lady came into the room and the man fired the gun and the lady smashed the iron bar on Milan’s head and the boy at the ceiling smashed the huge hammer on Milan’s head. Blood spattered.

“No!” Milan yelled.

He was sitting on his bed. His wife Rossy extended him a glass of water to drink and Milan realized that it was a dream.

“What had happened?” Rossy asked.

“Nothing. It was just a bad dream.” Milan said and he lay down once again to sleep. He knew that who those three ghosts were. He also knew that why did they kill him in the dream.

25

It was 6:00 am when Marin woke up. She felt sickened and she was depressed. Her mind was not stable and she thought about her family.

Still she was lying on the bed and starring at the ceiling as if that would tell her answer to solve to this problem.

‘Today will be crucial’ she thought.

Half of her mind forced her to think that Paigne didn’t do any mistakes. All the mistakes were committed by her father and grandfather. Franklin was dead obviously.

Both Franklin and Milan had taken utmost care of her. How could she turn against them in order to save Paigne?

She couldn’t make the apt decision. She came out from her thought and got to her feet. Suddenly the door of her room opened. She was shocked for a second and was relieved to see who it was. It was Greyson.

Greyson entered her room with a medium sized plastic bag in his right hand and a cup of tea in his left hand. He seemed to have taken a bath earlier in the morning and he looked fresh.

“Good morning, Marin.” He said.

“I would be definitely happy if it occurred to me!” Marin said in sadness.

“I bought you some clothes from the local textiles shop.” Greyson said. He extended it to Marin and Marin got it with a smile on her face. Greyson placed the cup of tea on the closet near to the mirror.

“Thanks a lot, Greyson.” Marin thanked.

“Nope. Today will be very crucial to us.” Greyson said.

“Yeah, I too was thinking about it. Did you contact the gadget specialist, Marcus Red?”

“Yeah, I did through the telephone.”

“What did he tell?”

“I’ll tell it soon. Now refresh yourself. You, Lavan and I can discuss it after breakfast.” He said and got out of the room.

Marin understood what he had meant and decided to have a hot shower.

*********

It was 7:30am when the inmates of the house completed their breakfast and assembled at the hall.  Lavan looked much better than the day before Marin’s arrival. He could feel pain in his chest rarely. He wore a loose T-shirt and jeans. He looked normal. He admired Marin a lot. He had a wish to marry her after settling in his life but that was out of the topic now.

“Still I have a doubt.” Greyson broke the silence and said. He too looked fresh. He went on.

“Marin you told me that William Dravid saw Franklin offering a gun to my father. But why did he give?”

Marin thought for a second and said, “I don’t know. Even Paigne don’t know that.”

“Was that your doubt?” Lavan spoke.

“Yeah. If we knew who Franklin wanted to kill, we would get some clues.”

“I knew who knew it.” Marin said.

“Who are those?” Lavan asked.

“My dad and your dad.”

She was correct. The truth was known to Franklin, Henry, Milan and William Dravid. But Franklin and William Dravid were dead.

“So what we gonna do?” Lavan asked.

“We have to ask them.” Greyson insisted.

“But why?” Marin asked in confusion.

“I suspect that the man who was planned to kill by Franklin, Milan and my dad would be still alive in this world.” Greyson said in confidence.

“I’m not sure.” Lavan encountered.

“Even he is alive still, what would be the use of him?” Marin asked.

“To complete this problem, he will be influential. We need to find him.” Greyson insisted. Marin gave a disappointing look at Greyson and said, “Oh! Come on Greyson. What do you gonna do with him? Do you think Paigne would stop killing us on seeing the man?” Both Greyson and Lavan thought for a minute. Then Greyson said, “Though he will not be a full stop to this problem, he would be useful for us at the end.”

Marin let out a deep breath and said, “How will you find him?”

“Let’s ask our dads.” Greyson said.

“But where is our dad?” Lavan yelled in shock.

His father, Henry didn’t show up after the death of Franklin. He didn’t even have a contact with his sons.

“Let’s find his location with the help of Marcus Red.” Greyson said.

“So shall we go to him?” Marin said.

“Yeah. He would provide us some gadgets which would be useful for us to kidnap Paigne and Fatan.”

“Shall I come with you?” Lavan asked.

“No Lavan. You stay here. I and Marin would return in a couple of hours.

Lavan nodded.

Both Marin and Greyson started their journey to meet Marcus Red.

26

‘What type of gadgets will be useful?’ Marin thought.

She was sitting near to Greyson who was driving the car rashly. Marin was keen on seeing the gadget specialist. She had not used such gadgets in her life. She believed that those gadgets would be useful to her. Marin reminded herself that she was far away from Paigne and Fatan Khan. She escaped from them narrowly and she was grateful to Greyson.

Suddenly Greyson slowed the car and stopped it. Marin looked puzzled at him. Greyson said, “Don’t worry. There’s a Samsun showroom out there.” he said as he pointed his right hand towards a Samsung showroom which looked quite big. He went on.

“Marcus said that we should have mobile phones and so you go there and buy a cheap smart phone for you and me.” He finished and glanced at Marin for her reply.

“You are not coming?” Marin asked.

“No you alone go.” Greyson said as he offered nearly 10,000/- rupees to Marin.

Marin got it and said, “OK.” She said and she got out of the car and went to the Samsung showroom.

After fifteen minutes Marin returned with a bag which contained two brand new Samsung smart phones. Also she bought SIM cards for the new phones.

Greyson thanked her and started the engine.

“How many minutes to go?” Marin said as she put on seat belt.

“Less than twenty minutes.” Greyson replied.

Marin nodded.

After a few minutes a thought crashed in Marin’s mind. ‘Why I can’t tell this to Jake?’ she thought.

According to Paigne’s history, Jake did not do any mistakes. He didn’t kill anyone.

“Why can’t we tell this Jake?” she asked Greyson.

Greyson thought for a minute and said, “Won’t he kill Milan?”

“No!” Marin shouted.

“If no, we shall try.” Greyson said.

Marin nodded.

*********

They reached the gadget specialist’s house.

“Here it is.” Greyson said as he stopped the car.

The sky looked so dark and indicated that it would rain soon. Greyson had parked his car under a banyan tree. There were a few houses scattered in that area. The whole are looked completely silent.

“Come with me.”   Greyson said. Marin followed.

The house was not too big. It was painted brown. It looked old and Marin doubted that whether Marcus would be there or not.

They went closer to the house. Greyson touched the gate of the house and glanced at Marin. Marin didn’t know why he glanced at her.

“PURPOSE OF YOUR VISIT”

There came the voice from a speaker hanging on the wall which was near to the wall.  Marin looked puzzled and Greyson smiled.

He said, “To meet Marcus.” To Marin’s astonishment, the gate opened automatically. Greyson went in and signaled Marin to step in.

Without any second thoughts, Marin went in. Then the gate closed automatically.

“What would happen if any thieves tried to come in, if they knew this?” Marin said.

Greyson looked over at her and said, “There are nearly fifteen CCTV cameras positioned around the house. Right now, Marcus would have noticed our entry and he would be coming for us. The main door of his house was made of titanium. Also there was a code for it and it was known only to him.”

This made sense to Marin. Before she could open her mouth to speak, she heard a distinct sound in the door and finally it opened.

Marin noticed a guy standing closer to the door. He was fit. He was wearing black suits which suited him well. Moreover he wore gloves and his face was enveloped by a mask. His appearance made him look like a scientist or geneticist. The guy was Marcus Red. Marcus raised his right hand and shook it. Greyson too did the same indicating that they were best friends. Interestingly he had six fingers in his right hand.

Greyson signaled Marin to come in as he stepped in. When Marin went in, the door slammed shut immediately. It took about a minute to make out the interior beauty of the room.

The interior walls were painted blue. The place where Marin was standing was square. It was leveled with blue tiles and there was a ceiling fan. On one corner Marin noticed a fish tank with five guppies in it. Another thing which puzzled her was that there were nearly ten switches on her right. There was only one ceiling fan and three tube lights. Also she found a distinct square marking in front of her, where Greyson and Marcus were chatting. Still Marcus didn’t remove his mask and he spoke through it. But after a minute, Greyson came over Marin and said, “Come with me.”

Marin said, “Where?”

“To that marking.” Greyson said and went to the square marking. Without any arguments, Marin too went there.

Marcus went near to the wall which bore switches and pressed the third one and came back to his position.

Within three seconds, Marin felt that she was moving downwards. Marin screamed in fear. She felt as if she were in an elevator. The three were in a descending motion. Within ten seconds, they came to a halt. Marin was breathing heavily as she was frightened. Greyson came near to her and said, “Come out of the marked area.” Marin nodded and came out of it. Within a couple of seconds, the same square area went up. Marin was puzzled.

Marin was standing in a white room and they were in underground. She wished that there should be adequate oxygen supply to her.

“How was this experience?”Marcus spoke for the first time to Marin.

“I couldn’t believe it.” Marin said in surprise.

For the first time, Marcus Red removed his mask and gave a smile at Marin. Marin looked at Marcus carefully. He had a round face, blue eyes and dark grey hair.

“Nice to meet you.” Marcus said and he extended his hand to Marin.

Marin shook it and said, “Thanks.”

The room contained many shelves with many different objects. Marin assumed those as gadgets.

There was a ceiling fan and there were three plastic chairs underneath it. The three took their seats.

“Let’s enter the topic.” Greyson said and looked at both Marin and Marcus anxiously.

“What type of gadgets do you want?” Marcus said. Marin admired him as he directly asked the most important question.

“Well, we need some gadgets which will be useful for us for kidnapping.” Greyson said.

“OK. Wait a minute.” Marcus said as he went near to one of the shelves and took out a gadget from it.

At first Marin thought that it was not a gadget at all as Marcus took out a TORCH LIGHT.

Marcus said, “You may think that it’s an ordinary torch light. But it’s something special.”

“In which way?” Greyson asked.

“Let me explain.” Marcus said as he held the torch light in his right hand and he positioned himself in front of Marin and Greyson as if he were a college lecturer.

“I can assure you that it would be very useful for kidnapping.” he said as he showed the switch of the torch light and said, “In normal torch lights the switch is used for turning it ON and OFF. But here there are two buttons labeled as 1 and 2.”

Marin looked baffled and Greyson was admiring his friend’s invention.

“It’s uses?” Marin asked.

Marcus nodded and said “In every torch lights there will be a light source which emits light. But here instead of it there is a chip inside and it plays two vital roles. When you press 1, the chip will emit a series of waves which will cut off all the phone signals. So while kidnapping no one could receive or dial a call.”

“Will it work?” Greyson asked.

“Check it out.”

Greyson and Marin nodded and took out their new smart phones and asked Marcus to press the number 1. Both were shocked as there were no signals in their mobiles. Greyson clapped with a cheer. Marin was excited as well as shocked.

“Now I shall explain the use of number 2.” Marcus said.

“It will play the vital role as when you press it, it would jam all the CCTV cameras in that particular area.” He stopped.

This time Greyson was too excited as he hugged Marcus. Marin was confident that these two would be very useful for carrying out their act of kidnapping.

Marcus nodded and went closer to one of the shelves and took out a small thing which fascinated Marin. This was used by all the students. It was a SHARPENER.

“This sharpener has a GPS in the place of a blade which would be present in all sharpeners. You could use it to show your location to your partner.” Marcus finished.

“That’s cool.” Greyson exclaimed.

Suddenly an idea dashed Marin’s mind. She was confident that that idea would be very useful. She rose from her seat and said, “I have an idea.”

“What idea?” Greyson asked.

Marin nodded and said, “I could carry out that idea myself with the help of the sharpener."

27

Paigne was watching television in her room. She was alone in her house. Fatan Khan had gone out to meet his friend. His friend was a smuggler. His friend smuggles many illegal weapons like bombs, snipers, poisoned bullets and stuff like that. Fatan had killed Gajan, the Inspector of Police with the help of his friend. Fatan had asked his sleeper cell, Lima to place the bombs in Gajan’s car.

And even now Fatan had gone to meet his friend to get plastic explosives. They had changed their plan. They had decided to blast Franklin’s house.

Yesterday, their target, Marin had escaped due to her luck. Paigne should have shot Marin but the white mist diverted her. Before she could make her mind stable, she felt a hand with a handkerchief being kept on her nose. She felt a smell of chemicals and she went unconscious. Fatan Khan too felt the same.

During the last night, Paigne decided to blast the house of Franklin. Fatan was sitting opposite to her. “Let’s forget Marin.” Paigne said.

“Yeah. But she hadn’t returned to her home. She is hiding somewhere. Also we don’t know the person who had saved her.” Fatan said.

“That guy and Marin will not a problem. Are Milan and Jake not searching Marin?” Paigne asked.

“I don’t know. They didn’t seek help from the Police.” Fatan said.

“Let’s leave that.” Paigne snapped.

“What is our next plan?”

“To blast Franklin’s house.”

“Then what about Henry?” Fatan asked.

“Let’s finish him later.”

Fatan nodded as he understood the task given to him.

Paigne was sitting on her bed and watching a boring serial. She felt a slight pain in her head and turned off her television. She took her mobile phone in her hands. The phone showed the time 3:35pm. They planned to blast the house at 7:30 pm.  Suddenly she received a notification. She had received a text message through Whatsapp. She went to it and viewed it. There was no profile photo. Also she couldn’t recognize the number. The message was “Hi”.

She was shocked to see the message. Only Fatan, Franklin and Henry knew that she is alive in this earth. But who would be the sender of this message?

Her eyes widened out on seeing that the person is in online still. Every instinct told her not to text but she texted. Her message was “Who r u?”

Ten seconds had passed and the person sent a voice message. Paigne heard it.

“Hello Paigne! You are my blood. You are like my second mom. I love you so much!”

That was the end of it. Paigne smiled greedily as she recognized the voice of that person. It was from Marin.

She typed“R u Marin?”

“S”was the reply.

“Wat 2 u want?”Paigne typed.

Again Marin was recording her voice. She sent it and Paigne heard it.

“I believe your history. Really…I can understand your situation. What you are doing is correct. So I think I should help you.”

At first Paigne couldn’t believe her. ‘Was it Marin really?’ she thought. To prove that question, she typed” Send me a pic of u.”

About a minute had passed and Marin sent a picture of her.

Paigne confirmed it. It was Marin for sure. On seeing the photo of Marin, from somewhere in bottom of her heart, she took pity on her. Tears were at the edge of her eyes. But she controlled it.

“What help u gonna do?”she typed.

This time Marin typed” All mistakes were committed by my father and grandfather. So whatever u do 2 punish them, I shall remain in ur side. I think it’s my fate’s order.”

Paigne believed Marin and typed” How did u escape?”

“I was rescued by a boy named Greyson. Do u know him? He is the first son of Henry! Also Lavan was present with him.  He decided to kill u and Fatan so he sought the help from a gadget specialist. In order to save u I killed them!”Marin typed.

‘Did Marin kill a person?’ Paigne thought. Again Marin sent a message.

“I hope u believe me. Shall I come to ur home? Let’s prepare!”

Paigne thought of saying this matter to Fatan Khan. But he would return only by 5.00pm.

“Where is Fatan Khan? Can u give me his no.?”Marin typed.

Paigne forwarded the number of Fatan Khan to Marin. Marin sent a message.

“I’m coming there. Let’s finish this soon!”

Paigne smiled and told herself that, “Milan! I and your daughter are coming for you!”

*********

A car was approaching Chennai with a speed of 90km/hr. The driver saw the welcome board of the Chennai. He smiled on seeing that. Next to him a girl, younger than him, was sitting with her new phone who had texted to someone before a couple of minutes through the Whatsapp. There was also a boy sitting on the back seat. He and the girl were at the same age. The girl had chatted with her aunt.

The driver’s name was Greyson. The boy at the back was Lavan and the girl was Marin. Marin had chatted with Paigne. In her chat, she typed that she had killed Greyson and Lavan. She promised Paigne that she would help her. All these were lies.

“I couldn’t believe it at all.” Marin said.

“Yeah, I thought that Paigne would find out the truth. But she believed your talks.” Greyson smirked.

They were heading towards Adyar to kidnap them. They had decided to keep them in an abandoned building which was two kilometers away from Paigne’s house.

Paigne had committed a blunder mistake. She forwarded Fatan’s mobile number to Marin. Marin decided to track the location of Fatan with the help of the gadget specialist, Marcus Red. Everything became dead easy to them.

“We have to finish it quickly. I don’t know what they had planned to kill my family. We have to be careful.” Marin advised.

Greyson and Lavan nodded. Lavan looked sleepy but he listened.

“We three have three vital jobs to do.” Marin said and looked at Lavan and said, “You have to meet Jake and tell him the whole truth.” Lavan nodded.

Before the start of their journey from Minjur to Chennai, Marin gave Jake’s mobile number to Lavan.

Marin pointed at Greyson and said, “We don’t know where your father Henry is, so Marcus will track his location and will update the location of Henry and you meet your father and… ask the wholetruth.”

“And I will go and join with Paigne and take her to the place where we have planned to keep Fatan Khan.” Marin said.

She said as she took out the sharpener from her pant pocket and said, “You can track my location to know where I was moving.” Both Lavan and Greyson nodded.

“That’s it. It’s the best chance we have.” Marin said.

Marin forwarded Fatan’s phone number to Greyson.

“Let’s finish our fate’s orders today.” Marin said confidently.

28

The time was 4:00pm.

Rossy and Saggy were preparing evening snacks for Cole and Silvio, as they were expected to return from their school at any time.

Rossy was still disappointed since her daughter, Marin had not returned home. Though Marin had sent a message indicating that she was fine, Rossy was not confident. Her husband, Milan looked so glum and saddened. He too missed her daughter a lot. But more than that he had a terrible dream last night. He only knew what had happened in his dream. The persons who were killed by him had returned in his dream for revenge. To make matters worse, Marin had warned him that he had done a great mistake. He couldn’t make out what Marin had meant to him.

Before the arrival of Cole and Silvio, a man rang the bell of their house. Saggy was the one who went to open the door. She opened it.

She saw a middle aged guy, with two huge bags in his hands which comprised sarees and blankets.

“Madam, I would like to sell some of these sarees and blankets to you.” The man replied.

The man’s appearance was completely absurd and he was wearing an overcoat, a dhoti and the most miserable part was his face. His face was black and there was a large mole in his right cheek. Distinctly he wore a blue turban and he might have belonged to Rajasthan.

Saggy ignored him and said, “Rahim! Why did you send strangers inside?”

Rahim was their security guard. There was no response from Rahim. The man said, “He had gone to the tea shop which is several meters away from here. He granted me the permission to come in.”

Rossy too came near to Saggy to take a look. The both whispered something and the man took out some sarees and spread it over his shoulder and said, “This will be very beautiful for you madam.”

Saggy gave a disgusting look at Rossy that none of them were beautiful. They didn’t like any one of the sarees as there were no proper designs. They looked old.

“Sorry we don’t need any of these.” Saggy said. The man considered for a moment and took out few blankets from the second bag. On seeing those, Saggy thought’ Those sarees are better’

“Sorry. We don’t these too.” Saggy repeated.

To their surprise, the man finally nodded and said, “Can I get some water?”

“Sure.” Saggy said. She went in and Rosy followed her.

After a minute they returned and Rossy offered a glass of water to the man and he drank it swiftly. The man left and they closed the door.

The man went out of the gate and glanced at the security, Rahim lying breathlessly away from his seat and if anyone entered the house, he wouldn’t be spotted by them. The man was responsible for all this.

The man walked several feet away from the house along the pavement. On his way he kept the two bags of sarees and blankets and continued his walking. He didn’t bother about those. Because he was not a saree seller actually. He took out his blue turban and threw it. A mole which was in his cheek was not real. It was just a sticker and he removed it too. He got his old face again. His name was Lima. He was working under Fatan Khan.

He took out his mobile phone from his coat’s pocket and dialed Fatan Khan’s number. Fatan accepted the call.

“Fatan I’ve completed the job.” Lima said.

“Cool. Have you placed the plastic explosives with the correct timing?” Fatan asked.

Plastic explosives. Fatan had got the plastic explosives from his smuggler friend and ordered Lima to place it in Franklin’s house.

“Yeah. I have set the timing at 7:30pm. I’ve got just a minute to finish the setting.”

He placed the plastic explosives in Franklin’s house when he asked water to Rossy and Saggy. He hid the explosives in his bags and placed them at the apt time.

“Good. Thank you very much!” Fatan exclaimed.

“You’re welcome. When will I get my commission?” Lima asked.

“Tomorrow.”

“OK.” He said and cut the call.

29

It was 5:00pm when Cole and Silvio returned home from their school. They looked delightful as tomorrow was holiday. They threw their school bags and said “Mom give us some snacks.”

Saggy emerged from the kitchen with a tray of two glasses of lemonade and two plates of fruit salads. Cole and Silvio took their seats on two sofas and began to eat their snacks.  After a minute, Jake rushed into the house with a reddened face. He climbed the staircase to his room. He took two steps at a time.

All his actions were noted by Rossy and Saggy. Saggy thought of stopping her husband and query about his actions. But she remained quiet as she was afraid that Jake would scold her.

“There would be any problems in the industry.” Rossy said, “My husband was too there in his room with a saddened face.”

Jake marched towards his room and closed the door. There was a bed, a studying table, a television and an air-conditioner.

He sat on his bed and looked confused.

Thirty minutes before, he was asked to wait at the Children’s Park which was near to his industry. The guy who called him was the second son of Henry, Lavan.

Lavan told him that he had important news to tell him. Jake accepted the request and went to the park.

The park was depeopled. Jake noticed a young guy on a wooden bench. Jake rushed to him and came to know that it was Lavan.

Lavan was wearing an Adidas T-shirt and jeans. He was sure that Jake would believe everything.

“Hey! I’m here.” Jake said.

Lavan said, “Please sit near me.”

Jake did so and Lavan began to tell him everything.

He told him the presence of Paigne and Fatan Khan, how William Dravid and Kasper Dravid were killed, how Franklin was killed, and where Marin was. Most importantly, he told about Franklin, Milan and Henry. Jake sat next to him and listened to everything though it was difficult to hear someone saying bad about their family. There were a series of different expressions in Jake’s face. It was 4:30pm when Lavan finished.

He guessed that Jake would believe him. Finally Jake rose from his seat and said “I’m with my sister’s plans.”

That sentence broke Lavan’s heart. He was not expecting that reply from Jake. He also knew that he had made a terrible mistake. ‘I shouldn’t have told this to him’ he thought.

“No! You’re wrong. Marin did not want you to do anything. She will take care…” Lavan said.

Jake thought for a moment and said, “Did she tell that?”

“Yes. She will ask your help when she needs!” Lavan said.

“OK.” Jake and said and left the park. Lavan was happy on seeing the sudden change in Jake.

And right now, Jake was sitting on his bed in confusion. He wanted to see Marin and embrace her. Also he wanted to see his beloved sister. But he was afraid that due to anger she might even kill him too. He was angry with his brother Milan who was in his room. But he kept quiet as he obeyed Marin’s orders.

30

Marin reached Paigne’s house at 5:00pm.

Paigne was waiting for her in the porch of her house. Marin was not sure whether Paigne believed her not. She was unsure whether to step into the house which would have become her grave.

Paigne looked happy on seeing Marin. Her aim would be fulfilled by night. She will kill the family who had killed her family. She knew that there will be no more use of Marin. But she accepted her in her pack.

“Come in Marin.” Paigne said as Marin kept her foot on the first step.

Marin nodded and went in. She was running out of time. She wanted to know what the plan of Paigne and Fatan Khan was. After knowing that she had to kidnap and…

“Shall we go for a walk?” Marin asked and her plan was to take Paigne to take to the place where they had decided to kidnap her. Paigne thought for a minute and said, “Sure. We shall.”

That boosted up Marin’s confidence and she decided to ask the most important question. “Where is Fatan Khan?” she asked.

Paigne said, “Still he didn’t return.”

That made Marin happy. She understood that Lavan and Greyson had carried out their job. She was confident that Lavan would have talked with Jake and Greyson would have talked with Henry. Probably he might have known the completetruth.

Paigne closed the door of her house and went closer to Marin and said, “Let’s go.”

Marin smiled herself as her plan was being carried out smoothly. The sharpener which was given by Marcus Red was in her pant pocket. Marcus will be updating her movements to Greyson and Lavan.

According to Marin’s preparations, Fatan would be kidnapped by her pack when he was returning home. She would surely congratulate the two mighty brothers for their mettle.

They started to walk. Marin couldn’t understand the behavior of Paigne. At first, Paigne looked so terrified and she was filled with dander. After Marin’s act of becoming friends, she exhibited a different character. She became solicitous. She showed more affection on Marin and Marin noticed a pleasant smile on Paigne’s face. Marin glanced at her wrist watch. It was 5.20pm.

The start of the drowning of the sun into the mountains will occur soon. She broke the silence and said, “What’s our plan?” Paigne reduced her walking speed and glanced at Marin as if she were seeing her for the first time.

“Don’t worry. Fatan would have executed it.” She replied.

Marin was completely taken up on hearing those words of Paigne. ‘Did Fatan assassinate my family members?’ she thought.

She removed that question from her mind and said, “What did he do?”

She asked in a tone that she was on their side. “Let it be suspenseto you.” Paigne said with a cheer.

Marin got frustrated on hearing those words. Without knowing their plan, how would she save her family? Marin decided to keep her mouth shut as her questions might make Paigne suspicious. Even Fatan had killed her family, Marin would take revenge on Fatan and Paigne. But that will not occur. They turned right and this time Paigne spoke, “I really like you Marin. Don’t ask me the reason why I thought of killing you. I loved your courage when you were kidnapped and now your affection towards me.” She let out a deep breath and said, “You’re like my…Kasper Dravid.”

Tears rolled from Paigne’s eyes. Her son was killed by her brother Milan. Marin didn’t know what to do. She too felt tears at the edge of her eyes. She controlled them. To her height of happiness, Paigne hugged her. Marin was speechless and she too hugged her. Paigne got back and stopped weeping.

She said, “Let’s continue.”

Next fifteen minutes they remained silent. Suddenly Paigne asked the most important question. “Where are we going?”

Marin shocked and said “Um…we shall go to the Kanaka Coffee Works. We shall have a cup of coffee there.”

Next they took right and Marin reminded herself that it was the time for their break-up. Also the time for betrayal.

Everything happened so quickly.

While they were walking, a boy stepped in front of them with torchlight. He had turned it ON before his entry. And back of them another boy was standing with a handkerchief. Paigne had not noticed that boy. Marin went closer to the boy who was holding the torchlight.

“Hey!” Paigne yelled in confusion.

The boy behind her kept the handkerchief on Paigne’s nose and in an instant Paigne smelled the same chemical smell a day ago.

The boy with the handkerchief was Lavan and the boy with the torchlight was Greyson. The building was on their right. No one had noticed it and the CCTV cameras would not have worked due to the torchlight. They carried Paigne to that building and Marin was delightful on seeing the presence of Fatan Khan too sitting in a chair in unconsciousness. They placed Paigne too in another chair and tied her hands and legs. It was 6:00 pm when they finished their act of kidnapping.

31

The building was incomplete and someone should have stopped their construction due to any problems. But that was not a problem for Marin. There were no security guards. In the first floor of that building, Fatan Khan and Paigne were placed in chairs. They were insensible. Their hands and legs were tied up with ropes. Marin, Greyson and Lavan were standing in front of them.

Lavan was in his peak of temper as he was cheated by Fatan Khan. Fatan had used him to kill Franklin and he cheated him as well. If Marin and Greyson decided to kill them, Lavan would be the one who would stab Fatan. The right side of Fatan’s lips was bleeding and Lavan was responsible for that.

Marin was the saddest one. Paigne said that she was like her son, Kasper. But she had betrayed her. She was the one to see Paigne weeping in happiness and she embraced her. She knew that Fatan Khan would come back to consciousness within twenty five minutes. Lavan said that he would kill Fatan when he came back to his consciousness but Marin rejected his idea. Paigne told her that Fatan was the one who executed their plan. But Marin doesn’t know what the plan was! So she has to wait for Fatan to regain his consciousness. There was no water with them and so they couldn’t use it to make Fatan awake. She prayed to God that Fatan should not lie to her.

Moreover she noticed the actions of Greyson which were unnatural. He did not talk to her even during the kidnap of Paigne. Marin was sure that Henry would have told the truth to Greyson. ‘Was that the reason for his actions?’ she thought.

Fifteen minutes had passed. Ninety nine percent of Marin’s body cells said that Fatan would not tell her the truth. The time was 6:45pm.

Greyson, who looked dejected rose from his seat and walked several feet away. It seemed to Marin that he was lurking something to her. She too rose from her seat and went closer to him.

“What’s wrong with you?” she asked.

For the first time in her life she noticed Greyson crying like a child.

“Hey! What happened?” she exclaimed.

Greyson shook his head. He thought of saying the reason. But before he could open his mouth to speak, he noticed the movements of Fatan Khan. Fatan came back to his consciousness. Marin noticed a change in Fatan’s face.

Fatan seemed to be normal and looked like he had come back to reality a few minutes before. He cleared his throat and said, “He knows the truth.”

Marin was rooted to her position. ‘How did Fatan know that?’ she thought.

“Did you know?” she asked Greyson.

Greyson gave a look at Marin and said, “Yes. He’s …that guy!”

Marin couldn’t believe what she had heard. Obviously she knew that Greyson knew the truth. But she didn’t expect that it would be Fatan Khan. ‘How did Fatan become that guy who was planned to kill by Franklin and his gang?’ she thought. Millions of questions rotated in Marin’s mind.

“Are you sure?” she asked.

“I’m damn sure!” Greyson yelled.

Marin turned and faced Fatan and went to sit on her seat by slipping her hand into her pocket. She sat opposite to Fatan and said “Tell me everything.”

Fatan who was beaten by a pack of youngsters gave a greedy smile and said, “Why did you wanna know that?”

“Who are you? Please tell me everything.” Marin pleaded.

Fatan laughed out loud and said, “I wasa human. Now a monster!”

Marin knew that Fatan was beating around the bush. She controlled herself and said, “Please tell us everything.”

“Sure. I can. Your family members are demons. My parents had worked in your grandfather’s industry.”

Marin realized at once that this time too Franklin was responsible for a crime. She grew angry at her dead grandfather.

“My parents were Akhan Khan and Hema. They discovered that Franklin was seizing the lands of the poor people. He wanted to construct industries in those lands. He knew that he was against the Government. But if anyone complaints to the Police, he will kill them instantly. To say in short, he was a monster!”

“So your parents tried to stop him and they were killed. Right?” Marin asked.

“My parents were honest and trustworthy. At that time I was a youngster, so they don’t want to share their problems with me.” He stopped for a brief moment and he continued.

“They knew that they will be killed by Franklin.” Tears rolled from Fatan’s eyes and he went on. “They presented me a gift box and asked me to open it when they return. But till now they didn’t return…”

“What did it contain?” Lavan asked.

“Everything had happened on my birthday. They presented me that gift on that evening. They told me that they had an urgent work and left me alone. Within an hour I received a phone call…”

“What had happened?” Lavan said.

“They informed me that my parents were dead in a car accident and closed the case.”

“So Franklin had killed them.” Marin said hopelessly.

“Yes. Do you know one more thing? I went hopeless and decided to commit suicide…but this lady, who is sitting near me, my friend, Paigne consoled me. She became my parents and my world. ” he said. Marin knew that too. Paigne had told her when she was explaining her history.

“But one day, I opened that gift box.” Fatan said and let out a breath and continued “Do you know when I did it?”

“I don’t know.” Marin said in a lowered voice.

“I opened it on Franklin’s birthday after the end of that party.” Fatan said.

“What did it contain?” Lavan asked.

“A letter describing the truth about Franklin which was written by my parents. They knew that they would be dead soon and so they wrote this letter.”

There was a silence and Fatan continued “My soul burned in anger and I wanted to take revenge on Franklin. But Franklin knew everything about me. Before I could take a step, with his pack he decided to finish my chapter! I was frightened and placed a piece of paper in my house which contained the words,

“My fate had ordered me to escape”

“And so you went to Mumbai. Am I right?” Marin asked. She remembered Paigne’s history. When Paigne sought help from Fatan, he was in Mumbai for a musical concert. “Yes. I went there to meet my friend who was a smuggler. I decided to kill Franklin’s family. But before that, that old man committed another terrible mistake. I think what I meant.” Fatan said.

Marin knew that Paigne’s husband, William Dravid was the man who was killed by Franklin and his gang. Everything had happened as if it were pre-planned.

“Orders of Fate”, Fatan muttered and continued “What to say! Paigne called me through phone and sought my help to kill her father without knowing that I was too preparing for that! And I joined with her and it took ten years for us to bounce back.” Fatan said.

Marin understood why Fatan Khan was too aggressive when she was kidnapped by them.

“And you!” Fatan said as he pointed at Lavan and said, “Do you know how your father Mr. Henry, became an industrialist?”

“Nope.” Lavan replied. That question stirred both their hearts.

“He was the guy responsible for my parents’ death. He rose to his position only because of eavesdropping! He heard Franklin’s orders to kill my parents when he was waiting outside Franklin’s cabin and Franklin noticed his eavesdropping. In order to escape from Franklin, he shook his hands with Franklin to become an industrialist.”

Lavan was taken up on hearing the secret of his beloved father.

“He’s right.” Greyson said from the back with sadness in his voice.

“What did my father do?” Marin asked.

“He was the second criminal in this case. You know that he was responsible for the death of William Dravid.” Fatan finished.

On hearing those words, Marin took out her mobile phone and kept it closer to her ears and said, “Did you hear that Jake?”

She had dialed Jake’s number before the start of Fatan’s history. She did it to prove that her father was also a culprit.

“Yes” Jake, who was in his house replied.

“I’ll call you.” Marin said and cut the call.

One important thing is to be asked. Their plan. Marin glanced at her wrist watch. The time was 7:15pm. Before she could open her mouth to ask her heart was broken into pieces as Paigne had regained her consciousness.

“Why didn’t you tell this to me Fatan?” Paigne asked.

32

That question from Paigne revealed that she had regained her consciousness during Fatan’s explanation. Marin was not willing to see her face since she had betrayed her. She was on the wrong side. Fatan and Paigne didn’t do any mistakes. Then why did she kidnap them? The time was 7:20 pm.

“I was in complete hatred, Paigne.” Fatan replied.

Marin reminded herself that she had to react quickly. “What was your plan?” she shouted.

Fatan chuckled and said, “How did you know that we had a plan?”

“She had played a trick.” Paigne said and gave a terrific look at Marin. Marin felt embarrassed but she had no time. She hardly believed that Fatan and Paigne would answer her.

Fatan seemed to play with her by not telling the truth.

“The plan was…” Fatan stopped and laughed out loud in a mocking way. Paigne too laughed.

“What was that?” Marin stressed.

“The plan was…” Fatan repeated the same. Paigne and Fatan laughed out loudly as they gonna finish their fate’s orders. The time was 7:25 pm.

“The plan was…to blastyour house with the help of bombs at 7:30 pm!” Fatan yelled. Marin looked at her wrist watch and realized that she had only five minutes to save her family.

She reacted quickly. She ignored their mocking laughs and dialed Jake’s number. She tried to forewarn them. But before Jake attended the call, Marin found two holes in the foreheads of Fatan Khan and

Paigne. She watched it in shock and at the same time Jake attended the call.

“Hello tell me Marin.” Jake said.

“Jake…there are …bombs in our house. Please everyone move out!” she yelled.

Only four minutes left. Marin was amused to see that Greyson was the one who had shot Paigne and Fatan Khan dead. Marin believed that Jake would save her family. But what had happened in front of her was unbelievable.

She turned and gazed at Greyson who was holding the pistol in his hands and weeping. Greyson wept and said, “My thirdmurder!”

Marin was shocked to hear that. Greyson had killed only two people but he said that it was his third murder.

Lavan went closer to his brother to convince him. Greyson hugged him and said “Sorry, man. I’ve killed…our father!”

Marin stood several feet away from them in shock. ‘Did Greyson kill Henry?’ she thought.

Two corpses were sitting behind her and their souls would rest in peace as their goals were fulfilled. Henry’s fatewas to die through his own son! Marin glanced at her watch and shocked to see that the time was 7:30pm.

*********

The time was 7:26pm when Jake cut the call.

He knew that he had to react quickly. He took a piece of paper and scribbled something. He also knew that his brother was a criminal. He opened his door and rushed to the ground floor.

He saw his children doing their assignments and Rossy and Saggy preparing dinner in the kitchen. He shouted, “Everyone move out of this place!”

Everyone gazed at him in shock. He said, “There are bombs in our house. Move out!”

Rossy and Saggy reacted soon by asking their children to move out and they too moved out. Jake stood on the stairs and suddenly Rossy glanced at him and said, “Milan is in his room. Please ask him to come out.” She said and ran out of the house.

Jake smiled and went upstairs. The time was 7:28pm when he reached Milan’s room and opened it. He found his brother lying on the bed. He opened his eyes on seeing Jake and said, “What do you want Jake?”

Jake shook his head and took out the piece of paper and threw at his brother’s face and spontaneously he closed the door of Milan’s room and started to move out.

Milan was shocked on seeing his brother’s actions. It was 7:29pm when he took out the piece of paper which was thrown at him by Jake and he read it,

THE SPARK OF FIRE YOU SET AFLAME, WILL ASK U TO BLAZE IN ITS GLORY.THE DEEDS OF KARMA YOU SOWED WILL WAIT TO SLICE & STAMP U WITH FURY! IT’S MY TIME TO TELL THIS,

IT’S UR FATE’S ORDER TO DIE

Milan’s eyes widened out on reading those sentences and he was rooted to his position. He couldn’t make out what his brother had meant.

The time was 7:30pm.

Milan’s ears deafened out on hearing the sound of the blast. He couldn’t realize what was happening around him. The entire house was destroyed instantly and the fires were spreading spontaneously. He couldn’t move out of his room and realized that he was in a furnace. His body was burning and he had no means to get rid of the fire. The ceiling of his room came down with a thud and Milan’s body was crushed. Blood dripped out from his head. He recalled the sentence.

“ORDER OF YOUR FATE”

And finally he let out his last breath in this earth and closed his eyes.

*********

The inmates of the house gathered several meters away from their burning house. Jake stood there, watching his house being burned. Cole and Silvio were weeping as they had not seen this type of things. Everything in the palatial house was destroyed. Milan would have turned to ashes.

Jake wondered how Marin knew everything about it. Somebody, maybe their neighbors would have called the Fire Service Department to put out the fire. They rushed to the spot and sprayed gallons of water to the burning house. But their efforts would be in vain as the house was almost destroyed.

Rossy found that her husband was not with Jake. Before she could query about it, a car rushed towards them.

They recognized Marin sitting at the front. Rossy went closer to her and embraced her in affection. Marin too embraced her mom and wept. Both Greyson and Lavan stood together. Marin was delighted to see her family back. Her heart was dissected to pieces on seeing her burning house. Tears trickled from her eyes but she controlled and went closer to Jake.

Jake and Marin hugged. Except Jake, no one knew about Paigne.

Jake said, “Milan is dead.”

All the members heard him. Rossy wept. She couldn’t believe that her husband was dead. Marin was the one who knew what Jake had done.

She didn’t cry and let out a deep breath.

33

Aweek had passed after the blast of their house.

Marin and Jake explained everything to their family members. It wasn’t easy for them to explain. There was no senior person in their family and Jake took his responsibility. Finally Rossy and Saggy turned to their normal lives. Rossy decided to live for her daughter, Marin.

Franklin, Milan and Henry were dead. Marin and Jake explained everything to the Police.

Lavan and Greyson had lost both their mom and dad. The Police had announced that Henry had committed suicide in his guest house. But the truth was known only to Greyson. Nothing worried Lavan and Greyson. They decided to build their lives.

Jake found a home for rent, a kilometer way from their old house. Their new house was comparatively smaller but they adjusted to live in it. They decided to forget everything what had happened, though it was difficult. They sold a few of their industries and Jake took control of the remaining industries.

Greyson and Lavan lived in the same house. Greyson who was jobless in his life, finally got a good job in a software company called, Quicknet. The salary received by him was enough for them. Whenever they are in need of help, Marin and her family would help them.

Lavan and Marin continued their studies in the same college. Their semester holidays had come to an end. It seemed a lifetime ago to them. They decided to concentrate in their studies. Their first day in their college after the semester holidays was not too easy.

Many of their friends chatted to them about the incidents. Even some boys mocked at them for no reason. But Marin and Lavan ignored them. Their ultimate aim was to study well and to achieve success in their lives.

Marin also thanked, Marcus Red, the gadget specialist who helped her in many aspects.

It was the time for lunch in their college.

They have to go to the mess which was present inside the college campus. The mess was old but it supplied good food to the students. Marin found Lavan sitting lonely in a dining table which was several feet away from her. There were nearly nine hundred students in the college.

She took her seat next to Lavan and said, “Hey! What’s up?”

Lavan came back to reality and said, “Nothing. Got struck by a tough question in my mind”.

Marin looked amused and said “What question?”

Lavan smiled and said “What may happen if your grandfather had killed someone like Fatan Khan’s family? Will anyone come again to take revenge?”

He took a piece of chicken and chewed it. Marin looked stunned by that question and said, “I’m not willing to hear someone saying once again, “ORDER OF YOUR FATE”.”

Both of them laughed and continued their eating.

THE END

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Orders Of Fate

Marin discovered that she was stuck in a web of problems. Her grandfather's daughter murdered her dad's dad. To make matters worse, she was kidnapped by her dad's sister. She was drowning in her Fate's orders and someone should lend their hands to save her!

PROLOGUE

The year was 2009.In the far end of a city, called Chennai. there were a few houses in a lonely street. The street comprised nearly twenty houses. Most of the people in the street were rich and well-educated. Out of those, a house didn’t look like a house at all.

The house looked awkward and nasty in its appearance. The neighbors didn’t know anything about the house. To the neighbors, it just looked like a dustbin. They dumped their waste into the house. No one knew the owner of the house. They didn’t have enough time to enquire those matters.

The house was painted blue. But it had faded away. It was a two-storey building. The front of the house had a name printed on the wall:

BAY HOME 1985

But it barely stood there. Also there was a kitchen garden behind it. All the plants, which had been planted by someone, maybe by that “Bay”, had gone rotten. There were no more plants.

The neighbors thought that no one would be coming to that house. Also they assumed that the owner of the house would be dead.

But they were obviously wrong. There was a guy in the house. They would have known the entry of the guy, if they had bothered about the house. The guy might have entered the house through the rusted gate or through the kitchen garden.

The ground floor of the house contained nothing. There was only a wooden staircase to the first floor. The first floor comprised a hall, a bedroom and a bathroom. Obviously there were no water and electricity supply to the house. The guy was in the bedroom. There were a bed and a wardrobe with no clothes. The guy was sitting on the bed. There was only one window in the room. The guy had opened it just an inch. Opposite to him, there was a bungalow. It was huge and majestic.

The guy was wearing a school uniform, blue striped and a dark pant. That revealed that he was a school student.

The time was around 6:00 pm.The guy’s age was sixteen.He was holding something in his hands. A gun. It was his fate’s orderto be there with a gun in his hands.

His name was Kasper Dravid.

1

In the heart of Chennai, there lived a rich family. Their house seemed like a majestic palace. Their family was the richest in the city. The owner of the house as well as the head of the house was an old man. He was in his earlier eighties. Though he was an old man, he looked energetic.

His face was wrecked with prominent nose. He had straight teeth in square jaws. He was thin and often he holds a white cane with him for his balance. The top of the cane had a symbol, which was an English alphabet,

F

‘F’ was the first letter of his name. His mane was Franklin. He was the richest man in the city. He had a wife called Carina, who had died due to cardiac arrest.

He was blessed with two sons and a daughter.

His house was two-storey. The walls were painted dark violet and that was the favorite color of Franklin .There were a garden and a fountain in front of the house. The garden comprised a variety of flowering plants with different aroma. The ground floor contained a kitchen, a dining room and a hall. Every pieces of furniture looked modern. There was a metal spiral shaped staircase which led to the first floor. The first floor contained a long corridor. It had three bedrooms. Each bedroom was identical to the other. Each bedroom had a bed in which three persons can sleep without any disturbances. It was attached with a bathroom and a toilet. It had a 32 inch television, opposite to the bed, so that they could watch TV while lying on it.

There were eight members in the family. Everyone looked delightful and they spent their lives happily.

Ten years ago, Franklin’s daughter, Paigne was found dead. She and her son were in their friend’s house and suddenly there was a leakage in the gas cylinder and all were dead in an instant. They turned to ashes.

Now Franklin has only two sons. Both were working in high posts in their own industries. Both were married and they had children.

Franklin’s first son was Milan. He looked handsome, with curly hair and looked charming. He was married to a lady called Rossy. They were blessed with a girl child. They named her as Marin. Marin had completed her school life and entered her second year of her college life. Her age was twenty.

Franklin’s second son was Jake. He looked so lean as if he were a stick. He had a round face with an irregular haircut. He was married to a lady called, Saggy. They were blessed with two children, Cole and Silvio. The two brothers were studying in a private school. Cole was two years older than Silvio.

The date was February 1, 2019. It was the last day for Marin in her semester. She could get a couple of weeks as her vacation. February 2, the next day will be her twenty first birthday.

The time was 5:00am, when Marin’s alarm started to ring. She opened her beautiful brown eyes. Tomorrow is her birthday. She was so excited to celebrate it. She got to her feet. She was wearing her nightdress. Idly, she decided to revise for her exam. To overcome her laziness, her mom, Rossy, gave a cup of tea to her.

Marin’s life was a bed of roses. She could buy whatever she wants. More than that, she had a lovable family.

It was 5.30 am, when she refreshed herself and finally decided to revise. Like most of the students, she had her mobile phone near to her study table. One eye was on her book and the other was on her mobile phone. Suddenly, there came a notification.

She took the phone in a hurry as if someone would take it from her. She had been waiting for a message from her bestie. Her bestie sent a message to her through Instagram. She opened it. The message was,

Gud mrng.i knew that u were waiting fr my msg. Switch ur phone off and study fr the xam, Plz let me study!’

Marin smiled. She replied ‘OK’.As her boyfriend said, she turned off her phone and started to study.

*********

The breakfast was served at 8.30 am. There were no servants working in this huge house. There was only one security guard, who sits closer to the main gate. His name was Rahim. Moreover there were several security cameras in the house.

Rossy and Saggy would look after the house. They cook, they clean and the other works would be done by them. Franklin took the middle seat of the dining table and Milan and Jake sat on the other two sides. Marin, Cole and Silvio took their respective seats. The aroma of the food was great. Rossy and Saggy had prepared fish biryani for their family. It was the favorite of Franklin. They started to eat.

After a while, Franklin broke the silence and said, “Marin”. Marin looked at her grandfather. Franklin continued, “Tomorrow is your birthday. We have to celebrate it in a grand manner. Which hotel shall we select for the party?”

Marin was too excited to hear this. They are going to celebrate her birthday. Party time!

“My choice will be yours.” Marin replied.

Marin knew all the hotels in Chennai. Whatever be the hotel it might be, she would be excited. Franklin smiled and said “Harry’s restaurant is my choice.”

Marin knew that Franklin would suggest that hotel as it was his all time favorite hotel. His taste buds were addicted to the food served there. Everyone accepted. The party will start at 7:30 pm tomorrow.

Marin decided to invite her bestie to the party.

2

Marin was sitting in a coffee shop at 6:00 pm. She informed her family that she would return home quite late. The boy, who was sitting opposite to her, was her bestie. Both of them had completed their exam successfully. To invite her bestie to the party, she asked him to come to the coffee shop. Also right from tomorrow their college will be out. Double enjoyment!

They ordered their drinks. None of them spoke for a while. Finally, Marin broke the silence and said, “OK, Lavan, will you come to the Harry’s restaurant tomorrow?”

Her bestie’s name was Lavan. He was a handsome boy, with blue eyes, crisp hair. He was a pro player in the famous game called PUBG and he had his own YouTube channel called,

LAVyou

He had lost his mother, Preethi, in a car accident, when he was seven years old. His father was also an industrialist like Franklin. His name was Henry. He was in his late forties. There was a rumor that Franklin had given the ownership of one of his industries to Henry. No one knows why Franklin had given the ownership to Henry. It knows only to Henry and Franklin.

Lavan also has a brother, named Greyson.

“OK. I shall”, Lavan replied. “Shall we meet again tomorrow?” Marin asked. Lavan thought for a while and said, “Sorry, Marin. My father is returning home .So, I should be there .I shall come directly to the party.”

Marin was disappointed. She thought of spending her vacation with Lavan. But she didn’t show her disappointment. “That’s fine. We shall meet at the Harry’s.”, she replied. She finished her cold coffee and paid the bill. When she thought of leaving the place, Lavan stopped her.

“What?” she asked.

“I’ve something for you.” Lavan said as he bent down to take his bag. He searched something. Marin stared at him. Then Lavan took out a gift box. Marin knew at once that it was for her. Lavan rose from his seat and extended it to her. “Have it Marin. Many more happy returns of the day!”

Marin gazed at him in surprise. Tomorrow is her birthday .But why did Lavan present the gift to her now?

“Thank you”, Marin said, “I would be glad if you gave it to me at the party”. Lavan smiled and said, “You will get another, tomorrow!”

He started to depart. Marin smiled to herself and she too started to depart. While they were moving out, Lavan said, “Don’t open the gift box today. Open it when you receive the second gift, tomorrow” Marin was perplexed but she didn’t ask why. She knew that Lavan would have any suspense in it.

They left the shop.

*********

The man, who wore black suit, got out of his blue car. He was probably six feet tall. He wore black sunglasses and except his skin everything was black. He might prefer that color. He parked his car under a big banyan tree. Opposite to him, there was a two-storey building, painted brown. He was standing several kilometers away from the heart of Chennai. He went in. He was in the ground floor. The house looked simple and less-attractive. The ground floor comprised a kitchen, a hall and a dining room. The second floor comprised nearly three rooms and a washroom. He rushed to the house. He was searching for someone. Finally, he found the person in the kitchen.

It was a lady. She might be in her late fifties. She had a scar on her forehead. She noticed the entry of the man. They were childhood friends. Before the man could open his mouth, the lady spoke, “Will our plan be executed correctly?”

The man sat on the sofa and stretched his hands and legs. “Yeah”, he replied.

The woman was preparing dinner in the kitchen. The man was sitting in the hall. The woman sat closer to the man. Her eyes showed that she was excited to hear more from the man .The man removed his sunglasses and slipped it into his pocket.

“I’ve arranged everything”, he said. The lady stared at him for a while. “Are you sure? Will it happen?” she asked once again .But, the man was confident. “Sure, don’t worry”, he replied.

The lady got to her feet and nodded and said, “Let’s show them who we are!”

She said those words and stepped into the kitchen. On the way, she stared at the wall. There was a photo frame hanging on the wall. It was a family photo. It contained a couple with a male child. She stared at it for a while and went to the kitchen.

3

Marin was too excited to celebrate her birthday. She woke up at 8:00am. She took her smart phone and checked all the messages .All was birthday wishes. Her family members were much delighted. Marin felt as if she were flying in happiness. It was Sunday and so her cousins, Cole and Silvio were present in the house. She got blessings from her parents and from Jake and Saggy. Also she got blessings from her hero, Franklin. To her surprise, Franklin offered her a blank cheque! She felt happy. Marin became very delighted on seeing the birthday wishes from Lavan. Interestingly, he sent the message at 12.00 am.

She put on her new clothes and felt like a princess. Like most of the girls, she took many selfies and posted them in social networks. Time passed away. She was waiting for the party. She had her delicious lunch.

By 6:00 pm, she decided to get ready for the party. She would be the center of attraction in the party. Just 90 minutes left!

*********

Franklin was standing in front of the huge mirror to admire his beauty. Though he was in his eighties, he felt himself young and handsome. He was wearing a costly white coat and a black tie. He applied some talcum powder to his face to steal others’ hearts.

He had finished his dressing. He took his white cane in his hands and decided to go downstairs. His family would be waiting for him. He turned his back to the huge mirror and decided to go to the wooden door.

When the door was several feet away from him, he noticed that the door was being opened by someone .He thought it would be his family members.

Suddenly, the door opened.

Franklin, who wore spectacles, was taken up on seeing the person who came in.

It was a lady.

It was not Rossy or Saggy. Not Marin. He knew her. The woman also knew him.

Franklin couldn’t believe who he had seen. He barely breathed. The woman might be in her late fifties. She had brown hair and there was a scar on her forehead. She was wearing a brown coat. Her name was Paigne.

She wasthe daughterof Franklin.

The one who was found dead in her friend’s house due to a leakage in the gas cylinder was standing alive in front of her dad! And she was the one who lived in the brown painted two-storey building and who stared at a photo frame when she moved to the kitchen.

“Hey! You, how did you come here?”Franklin asked in fear. As a dad, he should have embraced her. But he didn’t do that. Instead he held his white cane tightly and decided to hit his own daughter! Before he could go closer to her, Paigne took out a gun from her pant pocket.

She fired it.

Instead of a bullet, a dart, which had tufts of violet feather, at one end headed towards Franklin’s chest. It didn’t contain any poison in it. It was an injection to make Franklin dizzy. It was fired to make him unconscious. Franklin sensed a bolt of pain in his hand. He trembled. Paigne, the daughter of Franklin went closer to her dad and murmured something to his ears .Franklin heard it:

“ORDER OF YOUR FATE”

Franklin’s eyes widened out on hearing those words and all of a sudden he went unconscious.

4

Lavan was worried about his family.

He lost his mother, Preethi earlier. His dad was an industrialist and so he went to various places often. His dad, Henry hardly spends time with his sons.  Moreover, his brother, Greyson, was also jobless and ineffectual in his life. He fought with his father since he had compelled him to join in his industry. Greyson wanted to become a software engineer. He decided to move to Karnataka. He stayed in a place called, Minjur. He stayed in his own house and he rarely visits Chennai. Lavan missed his brother a lot.

But, right now, he was excited to celebrate Marin’s birthday. Lavan requested Greyson to come to the party. Though Greyson refused to come, he accepted. He would bring a gift to the party. That was the gift which was told by Lavan to Marin at the coffee shop.

He was in his dressing room. He got dressed and decided to depart. His father, Henry, who came to the house earlier, had left once again for an urgent meeting. Lavan knew that Greyson would be on his way. He took his mobile phone.

When he closed the room door, he received a text message. He expected that it would be from Marin or Greyson. But, to his surprise, the message came from an unknown number. He read it;

Marin is in my control… If u want her alive, do what I say!

Lavan laughed out loudly. He thought that Marin was making fun of him. But, there came a call from the same number. He attended it.

“Did you read the message?” a man asked in a croaking voice.

Lavan smiled and said, “Don’t do prank calls with me, Marin”. The man at the other end grinned and said, “You fool! I’ve kidnapped her!”

Lavan felt sick. He cut the call and tried to call Marin. But there was no response from Marin. The wave of reality hit Lavan.

His bestie was kidnapped by someone.

He was frightened. Many questions circled in his mind. After all, who was this man? Why did he kidnap Marin? Again the man made a call. He attended it. Before the man could speak Lavan spoke, “Hey who are you? Where is Marin?” He yelled in tension.

The man at the other end laughed and said, “I can’t answer both the questions. Now, go to your garden. You’ll find something there. Then, I’ll ring you.”The man cut the call.

Lavan couldn’t believe anything. But, Marin was important to him. He believed the words of the man and went to the garden with uncertainty.

*********

Go to your garden.

You’ll find something there.

Those sentences stirred Lavan’s heart. He couldn’t make out the things happened in his life for the past ten to fifteen minutes. He wasn’t sure that the man would leave Marin. If the man wants ransom or something, why didn’t he approach Franklin’s family? What did Lavan do? He became the scapegoat.

Lavan reached his garden. There were variety of plants and trees. He found a rectangular box at the middle of his garden. He moved towards it. The sun had drowned between the mountains. He prayed to God that the box should not contain any explosives. It looked like a gift box, wrapped by a black paper. He took it in his hands. He found a label, with a few words written on it. He read it:

“ORDER OF YOUR FATE”

He barely understood it. He was confused. The man told him that he wound ring him. After a few seconds, the same man called him. Lavan grew angry at this man.

He wanted to yell at him. But, his bestie was with him. He controlled his temper and attended it.

“Open the box.” the man ordered. Lavan obeyed and opened it.

Waves of astonishment and fear hit Lavan. Inside the box there was a gunand a bangle. Lavan recognized the bangle at once. It belonged to Marin. What was the purpose of the gun?

“Do what I say.” the man went on, “Take the gun with you and go to the building which is opposite to the Harry’s restaurant. Youhave to kill Franklin.”

Lavan was dumb struck on hearing those words. To save his bestie, he has to kill his bestie’s grandfather. His face turned pale. He remained silent. The man on the other end continued, “Your phone will be hacked by me. You can’t use it any more. To save Marin, kill Franklin. If you fail to do that, Marin will be found dead.”He cut the call. Though his mobile was useless, he slipped it into his pocket and made his heart hard as a stone and decided to kill Franklin to save Marin.

He headed towards the building opposite to the Harry’s restaurant. He remembered those words on the label and told himself that it was his fate’s orderto kill Franklin.

*********

The time was 7:10pm, when Franklin came back to consciousness.

He found his sons looking at him sadly. He was lying on the bed. Someone would have kept him on the bed. His sons expected him to talk. But Franklin reminded himself not to say about the return of his daughter, Paigne. He said that he felt sleepy and so he slept on the floor. Though it looked unbelievable, he made it look believable.

Milan said that Marin had left the house a few minutes ago to the restaurant.

Franklin got to his feet and washed his face. He as well as the others decided to leave the house. While going through the stairs, Franklin took out his mobile phone and typed a message to a person. The message was,

Paigne gonna kill me…

He asked his grandson, Cole to keep his phone in his room. Cole obeyed and kept the phone in his room.

Franklin gazed at the photo frame, with a garland, which was hanging on the wall. It was Paigne. His daughter.

The family headed towards the Harry’s restaurant.

5

The rich family reached the Harry’s restaurant in their Mercedes. They stepped out of the car and gazed at the majestic look of the restaurant. The Harry’s restaurant was a grand five-star hotel and it was one of the best hotels in the city. If you go to this hotel, you will have the tendency to eat all the dishes. Franklin, who tried to look normal, admired the beauty of the hotel. This became his favorite hotel, when he was a youngster. He knew that he should not have come here. But he forced himself to come to celebrate his granddaughter’s birthday. He knew that today might be his last day in this beautiful earth. But he remained silent. He went closer to Milan and said, “Where is Marin?”Milan nodded and said, “She will be inside”. Franklin nodded and the family members entered the hotel.

The entire restaurant was air-conditioned. There were many places to eat. At one end of the hotel, a girl was sitting on a chair. The dining table contained nearly ten chairs. She was sitting on the first chair. She had her mobile phone in one of her hands. She was sitting there for nearly thirty minutes and she was sad. Because, after her arrival to this hotel, her father informed her that her grandfather had became unconscious. She was too worried about that. She was Marin. Marin noticed the entry of her family. She was excited to see her grandfather .She realized that they were searching for her. She rose from her seat and waved at them. Jake was the first to notice her. Soon they went closer to her. Marin hugged Franklin and wept .He was the hero in her life.

They sat in their seats and started to order their food. Franklin ordered his all time favorite, fish biryani.

*********

After a few minutes, Lavan reached the building which was opposite to the restaurant. The building was incomplete. It was a two-storey building.

There was a tea stall closer to the building. When he approached the basement of the building, the man at the stall called out his name.

Lavan was surprised to hear his name being called by a stranger .At first, he thought that it would be the man who had contacted him when he was in his house. He went closer the man. He was the owner of the tea stall. The man came closer to Lavan and whispered, “Show me your gun.”

Lavan froze on hearing that. He twisted around to see whether anyone noticing them or not. Next he took the gun out from his shoulder bag. He showed it to the man. The man nodded and asked Lavan to keep it with him. The man showed Lavan the way to the terrace of the building. Lavan grew angry at this man. They are using him to kill Franklin. He raised his voice and said, “Who are you?” The man chuckled and said “That’s none of your business. If you want Marin, kill Franklin. The security cameras will be hacked by my boss so that you will not be arrested. Now go up.” Lavan couldn’t tell anything. He came to know that the man who was standing opposite to him was not the man who had contacted him. He also came to know that a gang was ready to kill Franklin and Lavan became the scapegoat. To save his bestie’s life, he went to the terrace of the building with the gun.

*********

Marin’s eyes were searching for her bestie. More than thirty minutes had passed, after the beginning of the party. Lavan didn’t come yet and that made Marin sad. She wanted to see him. He told her that he would give the second gift to her at the party. But nothing had happened. She tried to smile and tried to look excited. She barely enjoyed the party.

*********

Lavan could feel the gentle breeze touching his skin. He made a plan. He didn’t know anything about the gang who wanna kill Franklin. Actually, something told him that the boss of the gang was not there. So he couldn’t know whether Lavan killed Franklin or not. The only threat was the presence of the tea stall owner. Lavan stood at the terrace of the incomplete building. He took his gun out and held it firmly. He decided not toshoot Franklin. After a minute, the boss of the gang made a call to him. Lavan attended it without any second thoughts.

“Are you ready?” the man asked. Lavan knew what he has to tell .He said, “Yes. You have to keep up the promise.”

“Sure. Marin would be released the next second when you shoot Franklin.”, the man said. That made Lavan a little happier. The man cut the call.

Lavan prepared a plan. He decided to shoot somewhere else and that might make the man release Marin. He didn’t bother about the tea stall owner.

After thirty minutes, the family came out of the restaurant. Lavan stood rooted to the place on seeing the two people coming out.

His heart stopped for a second. He was holding the gun in his hands to kill an old man to save his bestie. But his bestie came outwith her grandfather. His instincts told him that he was cheated. What did he do? He received a message. He read it,

Kill Franklin or I will kill you!!!

Lavan made his decision. He decided to shoot up. He didn’t bother about the man and the message. He let out a deep breath and raised his hands up and pressed the trigger.

Lavan heard a girl screaming. He recognized the voice. It came from Marin, who was holding one hand of Franklin and getting out the hotel.  Lavan saw blood trickling out from Franklin’s shirt. Lavan was baffled to see this. He shot only towards the sky. He couldn’t believe anything at all.

Suddenly he felt a bolt of pain in his chest. He bent down to see his chest. Like that of Franklin, blood poured out from his shirt. He trembled and lay still. He came to know that he was tricked by someone. Like the words on the box said it was his fate’s orderto die.

6

The man rushed to the house with a sniper in his shoulder bag.  He found his friend in the sofa watching TV.  He kept his shoulder bag in a shelf and sat next to her.

The lady was Paigne, the daughter of Franklin.

She looked exhausted. She noticed the entry of her friend and waited for him to speak. Opposite to them there were a glass table and a jug of water. The man drank nearly half of it and said, “Mission completed.”  Paigne looked delighted and said “Did the boy shoot Franklin?”

The man laughed and said, “He was a fool! He thought of cheating me but I cheated him.” Paigne looked doubtful and said, “What are you saying?”

The man stretched his legs and said, “He tricked me and shot up. But he did not know that I and my friend, Lima were there during the incident. When I found that he tricked me, I took my sniper and shot Franklin first and shot him second”. Lima was the name of that tea stall owner.

The name of the man was Fatan Khan. He was the one who tricked Lavan and shot Franklin and Lavan.

“Did you shoot Lavan?” Paigne asked.

“Yeah. He was also has to be killed according to us. That’s why I did.” Fatan replied.

Paigne got to her feet. She looked happy. Her dadwas dead. The time was around 10.00 pm. She decided to sleep. She went to her bedroom. On her way to the room, she glanced at the photo frame. It was the same photo which was hanging on the wall near to her kitchen.

She kept her right hand on the boy who was smiling in the photo. Tears trickled from her eyes. The boy was her son. He looked beautiful and his age would be

sixteen or seventeen. Next to him there was a man. The man was Paigne’s husband. She stopped weeping and went to her room.

*********

INDUSTRIALIST FRANKLIN WAS SHOT DEAD

That was the headlines of every newspaper. Everyone in the city was shocked to see that. The policemen could not find who the murderer was as the CCTV cameras had stopped functioning when the murder happened.

Marin sat dumb struck in her room.

She couldn’t make out anything which happened in her life yesterday night. She saw her grandfather die in front of her. She remembered how Franklin behaved with her before his death. He smiled always in the party and made funny jokes. He behaved like a father to Marin. He hugged her. When he was shot dead, Marin saw something in Franklin’s eyes. She noticed him smiling a little when he was shot dead and closed his eyes.

Marin wept. All the family members wept. They lost their head of the house. Marin knew nothing about the man responsible for her grandfather’s death. Moreover she didn’t meet her bestie, Lavan yet. She didn’t know whether Lavan knew this incident. When she contacted him, he was unreachable. She assumed that Lavan’s father, Henry might have taken him anywhere.

Her birthday ended miserably. February 02 became Franklin’s death day.

She decided to go to her grandfather’s room. Some instincts told her to go there. She left her room and went there.

*********

Marin had visited Franklin’s room only for several times. She admired the size of the room. There was a bed at the centre of the room. And there was a 32 inch TV opposite to it. She found a wardrobe near to the TV. She went closer to it. On her way, she found her grandfather’s mobile lying on the bed. She ignored it and went

to the wardrobe. It was huge enough to keep the required clothes. She found many formal clothes. To her surprise, she found a photo.

The photo was old and it lost its color. But Marin could tell that it was a family photo. It was not her family. She recognized nearly four persons. She recognized the woman. It was Paigne. She saw her many times in the photo frame which was hanging on the wall near to a round clock in the hall. She didn’t know who the man was standing near to Paigne.  She guessed that the man would be the husband of Paigne and she hardly knew the name. Also she didn’t know the name of their son. She kept the photo inside and closed the wardrobe.

She turned back and decided to move out. After a few steps, everything around her went dark. A power cut. She knew that the inverter had stopped functioning and she felt frightened. All around her was pitch black. She stood there as if she were a statue. After a couple of minutes, the power came back. Marin felt relieved and took her next step. Suddenly, she felt pain in her right foot. She bent down and took the thing in her hands.

She came to know that it was a dart.

She had seen darts in her books. She didn’t know how it came to her grandfather’s room. Then something landed in her mind. Her father said that Franklin went asleep when they got ready for the party. Marin understood.

Someone must have entered Franklin’s room and they must have done that. She assumed that the same person or others must have shot Franklin at the Harry’s restaurant.

She let out a deep breath and decided to go to the Harry’s restaurant. Not for having food, to investigate.

*********

Marin reached the destination. The area was crowded. Marin found a tea stall, opposite to the hotel. Bottom of her heart told that she should not have come here. But, she believed that she would find something new.

She went to the stall. She found a tall man sitting inside. Interestingly, there were no customers there. The tea stall looked new. The man got to his feet on seeing Marin.  He took her as a customer. He came near to her. Marin didn’t come here to drink hot beverages.

“What do you want?” the man asked. The man was Lima. He didn’t know that Marin was the friend of Lavan.

“I don’t want anything. Do you know anything about yesterday’s incident?” She seemed to ask in a casual way. She noticed the man staring at her. After a few seconds, he said, “Sorry. I’ve started this tea stall only today. I heard some people talking about a murder. I did not know anything about that.” the man said casually.

But Marin didn’t know that the man was lying to her.

“Thanks for your reply.” Marin said and decided to go home.

“Can you tell me your name?”Lima asked.

“I’m Marin.” Marin said and left the shop.

She knew that her decision became a failure.

7

Fatan Khan was sitting in his room in Paigne’s house. He sat in a sofa, his legs crossed and deep in his thoughts. He was the one who shot Franklin and Lavan. He knew that both were dead. But no details came about Lavan. He wasn’t there at all. Those made Fatan’s head spin. Did someone come there and save him? Where is Lavan now? But Paigne told him not to think about that. She assured him that Lavan did not know anything about Fatan or Paigne. Even if he’s alive still, he will not know anything about them.

Suddenly his phone rang. He attended it. His friend Lima contacted him.

“Yes tell me”, Fatan said.

“I have got you important news”, Lima said in a hurry.

“What is that?” Fatan asked calmly.

“Today a girl named, Marin came here to investigate about the yesterday’s incident.”Lima said. Fatan couldn’t believe what he had heard.

“Are you sure?” he demanded.

“Yes. But I didn’t tell her anything.”Lima stressed.

“That’s well and good. I’ll contact you later.” Fatan said and cut the call.

Fatan rushed to see Paigne. He found Paigne in her bedroom, lying on her bed. Fatan thought that Paigne was asleep but Paigne opened her beautiful brown eyes. She sensed the entry of her friend. She sat on the bed and waited for Fatan to speak. Fatan sat closer to Paigne and said “A danger is approaching us.”

Paigne looked puzzled and said, “What’s that?”

Fatan shook his head and said, “Franklin’s granddaughter, Marin is trying to dig out the truth”.

Paigne sat still deep in her thoughts Moreover Marin is likeher daughter. She thought for a while and got to her feet. She shook her head and said, “Then she will be our next target”. She said those words and went to her kitchen. Fatan Khan went to his room and knew what he had to do.

*********

The time was 4.00 pm.  The man’s face was full of sweats. He was sitting opposite to the Police Inspector of the city. The police man was holding the man’s phone in his hands. The man received a text message the day before. It was,

Paigne gonna kill me…

“When did you receive this message?” the policeman asked. The policeman’s name was Gajan. He looked so stout that his belly would defeat his shirt buttons. “I received it yesterday at 7.15 pm. And at 9.30 pm he was shot dead by his own daughter!” the man yelled. He was the one who received the message which was sent by Franklin. Franklin mentioned that his daughter gonna kill him and that was what had happened. The man’s name was Henry. He was the father of Lavan and Greyson.

“Are you sure that Paigne was the one shot Franklin? It doesn’t make any sense to me.” Gajan snapped. But Henry didn’t give up his protest.  “It makes sense to me! Franklin is like my father. Somehow Paigne came back alive and shot her father!” Henry said in a serious voice. But Gajan didn’t seem to take it as a complaint. He said, “Paigne was dead ten years ago. How could she come now?” That made complete sense. Henry shook his head with despair and said “You didn’t get the point, sir. You don’t know the person behind the death of Franklin. But Franklin knew that. That’s why he texted me. Paigne is the person behind the death of Franklin.”  Gajan thought for a while and said, “I just’ve two questions.” Henry said, “Ask”.

“How did Franklin know that he will be shot dead by Paigne? Even if he knew that why did he go to the spot? After knowing that you will be killed in a place, why did you wanna go there?”

His questions made complete sense. His questions proved that he was an intelligent policeman. Henry said, “I don’t know that. But one thing is for sure. Paigne had killed her father. That’s it.”

Gajan gave a brief smile and said, “I believe this message from Franklin. Also I take it as a complaint. I need to complete this case. I shall arrest Paigne. She will be in the city.”

He said as he and Henry shook their hands and Henry left the station. Gajan went to restroom. He thought that he could finish this case and get promotion.

But he didn’t know that there was a policeman named “Sam” near to his room where the discussion between Henry and Gajan occurred. Sam had started a voice call to his boss Fatan Khan. Fatan had heard everything.  Fatan also knew that Gajan would make an attempt to arrest Paigne and him. But he won’t let it happen. He had already planned for that.

*********

Marin felt disappointed. She decided not to tell anything about the dart to her family. She decided to find the reality behind Franklin’s death. She sat on her bed, deep in her thoughts. She decided to go to Franklin’s room to see the photo once again. The time was 8:30 pm.

She reached Franklin’s room and had a fear that someone would notice her entry. But that didn’t matter to her. The room remained the same when she entered morning. She had the dart in her bed, under the pillow. She reached the wardrobe. Again she took the photo in her hands. She had seen the photo already. She decided to dig about the husband of Paigne from her mother or father. She kept the photo in the wardrobe and closed it. Her eyes noticed the phone near to one of the pillows. Marin wondered why anyone hadn’t taken that. She knew that it was non-sense to see other’s phone. But she took it.

She saw herself with her grandfather in the wallpaper. There were many apps in the phone. Marin clicked the Messaging.

Her common sense told her not to read others’ messages. But she found many messages. She clicked the Inbox icon. There were many messages from many persons who were unknown to Marin. Next she clicked the Sent box icon.

She found a triple worded message at the top. Before reading the message, she realized that the message was sent only yesterday by Franklin. She decided to see the message. She noticed someone entering the room. She kept the phone in hands and tried to hide it. Her mother, Rossy had come to invite to the dinner.

“What are you doing here, Marin?” Rossy asked in suspicion. She searched Marin all over the house and finally found her here.

“Nothing mom. I have just come here to have a look at my grandfather’s room.” Marin seemed to be emotional. Moreover she had a great affection on her grandfather. Rossy gave a smile and said “Come down. Have your dinner.”

Marin nodded and waited for her mother to go. She looked at the message. The message was,

Paigne gonna kill me…

Marin’s heart slipped a little on reading the message. She took almost thirty seconds to understand the horror behind the triple worded message. She knew Paigne. Also she knew that Paigne was dead. But why did Franklin want to send a message like this? How did he know that Paigne isalive? Whom did he send the message? Marin found that the message was sent to Henry. Again her heart slipped a little. She knew that Henry was the dad of her bestie Lavan. Why did Franklin send this type of message to Henry?

She found her cousin Cole standing near the door. Marin seemed to be relaxed and said “I will come.” She kept the phone on the same place where she had taken and took the dart with her and went out of the room with a mind filled with infinity number of questions.

8

Marin has a friend named Alacia. She decided to express all her feelings and discoveries to her. She had contacted her through her mobile phone and told her that she would come to her house for an urgent help. She believed that she could find any solution to the problem.

Actually what made Marin serious was the return of Paigne and she didn’t know why Paigne killed her own father. She contacted her bestie Lavan for many times but there was no response from him. She didn’t have any contacts of Greyson, Lavan’s brother. She had her breakfast at 8.30 am. Her father and Jake had gone to their works. Milan took over the ownership of the industries.

She told her mother that she would be going to meet Alacia. She decided not to tell about the discoveries in Franklin’s mobile. She tried to look normal.

While she was taking her shoulder bag with a few notes, just to show that she was going for a study matter, a question crashed her mind.

If Paigne is alive, then where will be her husband? She knew that Paigne and her son were dead in a house which was blasted due to a leakage in the cylinder. But Paigne came back and where is Paigne’s husband and her son?

She made up her mind to ask this matter to her mother. Her mother Rossy was in the kitchen. “Mom” Marin called. Rossy looked at her and waited for her question. “Mom, can you tell me the name of Paigne’s husband?”

Rossy stared at her daughter for a second. She didn’t know why Marin asked that. Then she replied, “His name is William Dravid.”

Marin nodded and realized that her mom’s eyes were filled with suspicions. She said goodbye and left the house. She had a scooty and she loved to travel in it. She started her journey to Alacia’s house. On the way she cursed herself for not asking about the death of William Dravid.

*********

Several kilometers away from the heart of Chennai, in a two storey building which was painted brown, Marin was sitting in a chair. Her hands and legs were tied up firmly with ropes.

She was sitting there for nearly thirty minutes. She was in the first floor of the house. When she opened her eyes she realized that she was kidnappedby someone.

She just tried to remember the last incidents in her life.

She asked her mom the name of Paigne’s husband, then when she was driving in her scooty, she noticed that there was low amount of petrol left and so she went to a petrol bunk and to her surprise it was empty, and when she stopped her scooty near to the fuel dispenser she found the man with the gas pump handle. She recognized the man at once. He was the man who was met by her at the tea stall which was opposite to the Harry’s restaurant. It was Lima. Marin was taken up. But before she could react, she realized a hand with a cloth being kept on her mouth from her back. Then she went unconscious.

She came back to her consciousness just a few minutes ago. She yelled for help. But that had gone in vain. She was in a room, a hall and she noticed her surroundings. The walls were painted olive green and there were several photo frames.

Marin was shocked on seeing the photo which was near to the wall clock.

She knew that it was the same photo which was found by her in Franklin’s wardrobe. She recognized other photo frames and realized the truth behind her kidnap.

She was in Paigne’s house.

She wondered why Paigne kidnapped her. She was afraid that she would be killed like her grandfather. She noticed a man emerging from the stairs. She hadn’t seen him before.

He was carrying a glass of water in his hands and extended it to Marin. Marin grew angry at this man. She wanted to yell at him for kidnapping her. She suspected that he would be the man who placed a cloth on her face and kidnapped her. The man smiled and placed the glass of water on black glass stool which was placed opposite to Marin’s chair. The man took his seat on a sofa, which was several feet away from Marin. He didn’t speak at all and finally Marin spoke in anger.

“Hey why did you kidnap me?” Marin knew that because of anger the man would kill her instantly. But the man gave a smile and said, “Wait a minute.” A minute had passed and another figure appeared from the ground floor through the stairs. It was a lady.

Marin’s heart slipped on seeing the woman. She was the one who killed her own father and she looked villainous. She was holding something in her hands and on seeing it Marin hardly inhaled.

The woman was Paigne and she was holding a gun.  She placed the gun on the glass stool and took her seat on a chair which was opposite to Marin. Marin was dumb struck on seeing all this.

She knew that her grandfather had known about his daughter and he sent a message to Henry. Marin was not relieved from that case. And before she could finish that case with her friend Alacia, now she was near to the doors of death. She didn’t know what to do. She just shook her head in shock and searched for words. After all Paigne is likeher mother. How could Paigne kill her? “How are you Marin?” Paigne asked Marin. Marin didn’t know what to tell. She didn’t reply. Paigne went on, “Nearly fifteen years had passed when I saw you as a six year old child”.

“How did you die then?” Marin asked desperately.

“Oh I’m aliveMarin” Paigne said as she laughed for no reason. Fatan, who was sitting several feet away from them too laughed. Marin felt disgusted sitting there and watching these inhumanecreatures. Then Paigne gazed at Marin curiously. Suddenly as if an ant had bitten her she rose from her seat. She said, “Do you know how your grandfather did, I mean myfather die?”

Marin didn’t waste a second. She knew that Franklin was killed by Paigne. She said, “You are the one responsible for his death!”

Paigne’s face turned pale on hearing that. She didn’t know that Marin knew the reality. She thought that she could break the truth. She said, “How did you know that?”

Marin confirmed herself that she was right. She thought of lying to Paigne but she told the truth, “Actually my grandfather knew that he would be killed by you. That’s why he sent a message to Henry.” Paigne considered for a moment and said, “We know that too”

Those words stopped Marin’s breathing for a second. “How did you know that?”She asked in tension. Paigne didn’t reply to her and went closer to Fatan and said, “Will it be over?” Fatan gazed at his watch and said “Couple of minutes left”

Marin sat behind hopelessly.

9

Gajan decided to track the location of Paigne with the help of his colleagues. He knew that it would be a tougher job. But if he finishes the case, he might get promotion. That made him smile greedily. After all before the entry of Henry, he decided to close the case. But because of Henry and his evidence he opened the case again and believed that she could keep a full stop to it.  The time was around 10:15 am. He decided to go to the office of the Commissioner of the police regarding the complaint given by Henry.

Really the death of Franklin had caused a cripple in the city. Many televisions and media had taken it as interesting newsand posed many questions to the police department. Obviously the police department couldn’t answer them at all.

The barriers to their investigation were the CCTV cameras which refused to work when the incident had happened and the public told that they heard nearly three gun fires.The last thing was unrecognizable at all. The autopsy report of Franklin stated that only one bullet had smashed Franklin’s chest and in an instant he was dead. Then how three gun fires?

But to Gajan these things didn’t matter at all. He informed his superior that he discovered a way to finish Franklin’s murder case. His superior, Helen asked him to come to his resident to discuss the case.

Gajan drove his jeep himself. The jeep was blue and a siren was placed at the roof. He was in his khaki uniform. He was travelling towards the west of the police station. His superior’s resident was in a few kilometers away from his station. It would take nearly thirty minutes to go there.

When he was travelling in a long road which would be nearly hundred feet in distance, his phone beeped. He received a message. He didn’t stop driving. He took his phone out from his shirt pocket and read it,

“ORDER OF YOUR FATE”

He blinked. He hardly understood the message. He couldn’t recognize the number. Before he could think about it, his car blasted. His car lifted up and crashed the road with a thud.

Gajan could feel fire burning him. He remembered the message that he had received and that was the end of him. Instantly he was dead. His idea of getting promotion was too burnt.

*********

“Will it be over, Fatan?” Paigne repeated.

Fatan nodded. “He will be turned to ashes right now” he said.

Marin who sat in a chair behind the two sat in disbelief. She could feel the bitter truth. Fatan had killed a person. Marin prayed to God that the person should not be her family members. She couldn’t move her legs and hands. Her hands and legs went numb. She wanted to escape. Her common sense told her that it was impossible. About thirty seconds later Paigne tuned towards Marin and came closer to her.

“Do you wanna know my history?” she asked in funny way.

This was the most wanted thing to Marin. She wanted to know everything which was unknown to her regarding this huge problem.  She nodded.

She could see Fatan Khan going downstairs and returned in a moment with a bottle of wine and two glasses. Paigne sat on her chair and Fatan extended a glass to Paigne and he helped himself pouring the wine. Marin thought that they won’t tell her anything for a moment. She noticed the both enjoying their drinks. Marin wanted to yell at them for their delay.

She remained silent and waited for Paigne’s talk. Paigne extended her glass to Fatan for her second drink. Fatan got it and poured wine. Paigne kept it on the table. She gazed at Marin and said, “Listen"

PAIGNE’S HISTORY

10

The year was 1992.

The whole nation was in celebration as the day was their Independence Day. The date was August 15. It was their 45th year of independence after getting freedom from the British. The name of the country was India.

The same day was the birthday of a famous industrialist who lived in the south of India, in a city called Chennai and his name was Franklin.

He was recognized as the emerging businessman in the city. He was confident that he would become the leading businessman in the city in a period of fifteen years. He was in his late sixties and believed that he would live for next twenty years. He had a family.  It was 7:00am when he was woken up by a girl who was in her late twenties.

He opened his beautiful round eyes and gazed at the lady who was gazing at him in an interesting way. The lady was her daughter, Paigne.

He got to his feet and put on his spectacles which were kept on his writing table by him. Her daughter, Paigne came closer to his dad and said “Happy birthday dad!”

He patted his daughter on her head and said “Thank you my dear.” Paigne smiled and said “I’ve kept your new clothes on the sofa dad. Take a bath and come to the hall. We will be waiting for you” Franklin nodded and was happy for the affection which was shown by his family, especially his daughter.

*********

After thirty minutes, Franklin was shocked to see his image in the huge mirror in front of him. He couldn’t believe his beauty at all. He was wearing a loose fitting formal violet dress and a white pant. He was too happy. Though he was in his late

sixties, he looked attractive. He decided to go downstairs to meet his family. He opened the handle of the door and went down.

*********

None of Franklin’s children were married.

Franklin went downstairs and found his children sitting in the sofa and discussing something. Milan, Jake and Paigne stopped their discussion on seeing the arrival of their father. Franklin took his seat on an armchair near to the sofa. He took out his mobile phone from his pant pocket and decided to see the birthday wishes from his friends.

After nearly ten minutes Carina asked her family to come and eat their breakfast.

There were no servants in their house. Franklin said that it was inhumane to make other humans to do our works. There was only one security guard and he was treated like their friend. His name was Rahim.

Franklin took the middle seat of the dining table and his children sat adjacent to him. They started to eat their breakfast. Normally during breakfast they won’t talk but now Milan broke the silence and said

“Dad we have decided to arrange a party for you.”

Franklin coughed a little on hearing those words. He drank a glass of water. “Are you joking?” he asked in sarcasm. He knew that he had crossed those ages.

“No dad. We have to celebrate it” Jake insisted. All the three compelled their father to accept their request of arranging a party. But Franklin refused to accept. Finally Paigne found the apt words to convince her father.

“Dad we have planned to arrange the party at the Harry’s restaurant” she said.

There came a smile in Franklin’s face from nowhere. He thought for a moment and said, “I’m obeying your orders. Let’s rock”

Milan and Jake chuckled. They didn’t expect that their father would accept it. They were excited to celebrate the party. Franklin was the one to complete the breakfast

and he walked to the sink. He turned to face Paigne, who was still eating and said, “Paigne I have decided to present a gift to you”

Paigne was taken up on hearing those words. She stared at her father for a moment and said “What are you saying dad?”

Franklin grinned and said “Suspense”

Paigne thought for a while and said “When will you give that?”

Franklin smiled and said “Today in my party. And most importantly, not to give, to show”

That made Paigne’s mind spin. What did her father say? She stopped her thinking and continued eating her breakfast. Milan, Jake and Carina gave perplexed looks at each other. A thought crashed in Paigne’s mind but she hesitated to ask to her father. But her brother said to Franklin “Dad shall we invite all VIPs to the party?”

Franklin was sitting in the sofa and thought for about a minute and said “Ok let’s invite them” He took his mobile and decided to call his friend. Paigne took advantage of Jake’s question and said “Dad can I invite my friend to the party?” Franklin gazed at her daughter for a second and smiled and said “Invite whomever you wanted to” That put a big smile on Paigne’s face.

11

The time was 7.15pm when they reached The Harry’s Restaurant in their Mercedes. Franklin, as usual gazed at the majestic appearance of his all time favorite hotel. The Harry’s restaurant was a grand five-star hotel and it was one of the best hotels in the city. If you go to this hotel, you will have the tendency to eat all the dishes. Franklin’s taste buds were addicted to the dishes served at this hotel. He admired the beauty of it.

They entered the hotel and they had booked a separate area foe celebrating the party. The area was so big and there was a stage to entertain them. The hotel was air-conditioned and the cool air welcomed Franklin’s family. There were more than fifty guests and all were friends of Franklin. Paigne was searching for someone. She asked her friend to come to the party. Her eyes were eagerly waiting for his arrival. But her family members took their seats on the dining table and started to order their dishes. Paigne sat next to Jake in disappointment. All the guests took their respective seats and they too began to order. There were smiles on everyone’s faces except on Paigne’s face. Jake was the one who noticed the change in his sister’s face. He said “What’s wrong Paigne?”

Paigne got out from her thoughts and said “Nothing. I am just waiting for my friend.” Jake considered it for a moment and said “Did you try to contact him?” Paigne said “No. But I’m sure that he will come”.

Before Jake could speak the audience started to yell in happiness. Someone clapped. Both Jake and Paigne turned to see at the stage where most of the guests have gathered.

There was a man who was in late twenties standing on the stage holding a hand mike in his hands and audience were cheering him up to start his singing.

Few feet away from the stage, Paigne’s face was delighted to see the man on the stage. She turned towards her brother and said “He is my friend”.

Jake said “What is his name?”

Paigne replied “His name is Fatan Khan”.

Fatan was her friend and she asked her to come to the party. He was a professional singer and had performed in many stages and received many rewards. Right now he gonna sing a song. All the guests applauded and cheered him. He sang,

“I will not have fear

When Paigne is near

She wipes up my tears

And I’m happy to hear

That she’s here!

And she makes me cheer

When everything is dusty

Also all over misty

She’s always with me

Yes she’s my bestie

She changed my history!

And solved my life’s mystery

…………..”

He continued his singing.

Several feet away, Paigne felt goose bumps on hearing the song sung by her bestie.

She smiled and looked at her brother Jake who was speechless. Jake turned to see her sister and said “Why did he sing like that?”

Paigne stared at her brother and said “What’s wrong in that?”

“I mean why did he praise you?” Jake asked Paigne. Paigne let out a deep breath and said “A week before he lost his parents in an accident” .Jake was shocked and Paigne went on “The death day of his parents was hisbirthday. He called me through phone and said that…” Paigne stopped for a second and said “He‘s gonna commit suicide”

Jake was taken up on hearing Paigne. Something crashed into his mind. He said, “Can you tell me the names of his parents?”

Paigne thought for a moment and said, “Akhan Khan and Hema. They worked in our industry.”

Jake lowered his voice and said, “I knew them well. I miss them”.

Before Paigne could speak, she noticed a guy coming towards them. Paigne gave a smile on seeing the guy. He was Fatan Khan.

12

Franklin and his wife Carina were sitting on the dining table and enjoyed on seeing the enjoyment of their guests. Carina placed her hand on Franklin’s hand and extended a small box to him. Franklin smiled and said, “What’s this Carina?”

Carina smiled and said, “Open it dear”

Franklin nodded and opened it. He gave a smile on seeing the present which was given by his beloved wife.

It was a ring made of platinum. There was also a letter imprinted on it. The letter was,

F

‘F’ was the first letter of his name. He said, “Thanks a lot Carina” and he wore it in his left ring finger.

He was delighted on seeing his favorite food being delivered. He and Carina started to eat while others enjoyed themselves in the party.

*********

“How are you Paigne?” Fatan Khan asked as he took his seat near to Paigne.

“I am fine Fatan” Paigne said as he took a glass of water and drank it.

Jake introduced himself to Fatan and decided not to speak about the death of Fatan’s parents. He decided keep his mouth shut.“How was my song?” Fatan asked Paigne.

“Too good. I enjoyed it” Paigne replied.

“Thanks a lot. How was it Jake bro?”

“Yeah, I too enjoyed it” Jake replied.

“Thanks bro.” Fatan replied.

“I couldn’t imagine a life without parents…” Jake said suddenly.

That made Paigne angry. She squeezed her brother’s hand and gave a disapproving look at him explaining that he should not have opened his mouth to talk.

“Uh...sorry Fatan. I just...” Fatan stopped him and said, “Its ok bro. It was just a bad dream which became real. Losing our parents in an accident, do you know one thing?”  Fatan stopped a second and went on” Before that incident, they presented me a gift and said me to unwrap it when they return from the office. But still now I didn’t’ unwrap it” Tears rolled from Fatan’s eyes.

Paigne put her hand on Fatan’s shoulder and said, “Leave it Fatan. Just forget it. Bury your past feelings and sow the seeds for the future” Fatan wiped off his tears and gave a big smile and said, “Thank you Paigne I am alive still onlybecause of you”

Jake rose from his seat and extended his arm to Fatan. Fatan shook it and said “Thanks bro. I will never forget you in my life”

Jake smiled and said, “Welcome Fatan. We will be your family from now”

Fatan gave a smile and started to eat his food.

*********

After cutting the huge birthday cake, Franklin was too excited on seeing the happiness on all faces of the guests. Though he crossed his adulthood, he enjoyed celebrating birthday parties. The huge cake which contained those sentences,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVERGREEN FRANKLIN

WISHES FROM ALL GOOD HEARTS

was distributed to all the guests. Franklin cleared his throat and said, “Ladies and gentlemen all please be seated. Now an important person is gonna come” he said and took his seat next to his wife.

“Who’s that?” somebody asked.

“You’ll be knowing it soon” Franklin replied.

Paigne, Fatan and Jake who sat several feet away from Franklin sunk in confusion. They couldn’t guess who was the “important person” mentioned by Franklin.

“Who’s gonna come?” said Fatan.

“We don’t know” Paigne replied as she took a sip of her Sprite.

“I guess that he would be the man who would bring the special present to Paigne” Jake said and giggled.

“A special present?” Fatan asked in confusion.

Paigne nodded and took another a sip of her Sprite. Jake went on, “Our father announced us that he would present a gift to Paigne”

“Oh I see” Fatan said and he sipped his glass of apple juice.

After a while, Fatan looked at Paigne and said, “Paigne where is your brother Milan?” Both Paigne and Jake gave baffled looks at each other. They have forgotten their brother. They didn’t notice the presence of Milan in the hotel.

“Oh! We have forgotten him” Jake said in despair.

“Yeah, ring him” Paigne said.

Jake kept his glass of grape juice on the table and took out his mobile out from his pant pocket. But before he could call Milan, Fatan stopped him and said, “He had arrived”

Jake saw his brother’s entry with an old couple and a young and handsome man.

13

Franklin rose from his seat and went to welcome the new arrivals.

The old man with his short wife and son had lit their faces with happiness on seeing Franklin. The old man was nearly same the age of Franklin. He was probably five feet in height and he looked slim. His wife was short and had white hair.

“Welcome to the party my dear friends” Franklin said as if he had seen God arriving to his party.

The old man said, “Sorry Franklin. We have come too late to your party”

Franklin smiled and said, “That’s not a problem Michael. Come take your seats”

Michael nodded and signaled his wife and son to take their respective seats near to Franklin’s family. Milan who had not spoken yet, asked the waiter to provide food to Michael and his family.

“You just wait for a moment. I’ll be back with my daughter and son” Franklin said and headed to call Paigne and Jake.

On his way he noticed a young man sitting on a chair with a cigarette in his hands. Franklin gave a smile at him and the man too smiled. He was wearing loose fitting clothes and a jeans pant. He had a mole in his right cheek. A week before he got the ownership of one of Franklin’s industries. Franklin passed him and found his daughter and son with a guy sitting together and chatting.

Paigne rose from her seat on seeing her dad. Jake followed her. Fatan sat there awkwardly doesn’t know what to do.

“Come there” Franklin said and smiled.

“Who is that dad?” Paigne asked.

“You will be knowing that soon my dear” Franklin replied and turned.

“Let’s go” Jake said and followed his dad to visit the new arrivals. Paigne decided to move and gave a sad look at Fatan Khan and said, “Wait here Fatan. We will be back in a short span of time”

Fatan nodded.

*********

The whole family as well as the new guests sat in a separate dining table. Paigne took her seat next to Jake. She examined the arrival of three new guests. She had not seen them before. She found a young and handsome man sitting near to his father and was drinking a lime juice. Paigne couldn’t understand what’s happening around her. Franklin broke the silence and said” Again I welcome to my party”

“Thank you Franklin” Michael replied. He has finished his butter brickle.

“Ok”, Franklin raised his hand” it’s not a time for surprises and suspense. Let’s reveal it Michael, shall we?”

“Yeah sure”

“Carina, Paigne and Jake listen up. Michael and I were school friends since childhood”

“Oh! Really? That’s cool” Jake smirked.

Franklin nodded and said, “Now we became the leading businessmen in the city. Michael now you introduce yourself”

Michael nodded and said, “First things first, warm greetings to you all. I’m Michael and she is my wife, Bella”

Bella who kept her glass of pineapple juice down and said, “Warm meetings to you all. I’m so glad to meet you”

“And” Michael pointed his forefinger towards his son and said, “this is my son William Dravid”

William Dravid gave a smile. He looked young and fit. He had curly brown hair and wore spectacles. He was wearing a brown suit which suited him well.

“He’s a manager in my industry. In fact Franklin and I have decided to work together to gain more profit” Michael said

“Really? So-”

Jake was stopped by his father who said, “Yes you are right Jake. We gonna become partners

Paigne was hardly hearing all these pep talks right from the beginning. She felt uncomfortable sitting there. Suddenly she woke up from her seat and said, “Sorry for the interruption. I thought you all gonna have a lot of fun. At least somefun. But you’re talking about your business matters. I’m not interested in business talks. So I’m leaving”

“Wait Paigne” Franklin insisted.

“What for?” Paigne barked.

“Don’t you remember what I said?” Franklin said

“I do. But I didn’t expect this type of surprise” Paigne said in annoyance.

“Ok” Michael started, “The surprise that you are waiting for is that my son William Dravid has a will to marry you” he finished.

Paigne was completely taken up on hearing this. She couldn’t believe it at all. She struggled to find the apt words to speak. Finally she said, “What are you saying? I couldn’t—”she stopped.

“Yes Paigne” William Dravid spoke for the first time to Paigne, “I wish to marry you. You will be my best life partner”. he finished.

All the family members stared at Paigne to hear her reply. Jake smiled awkwardly at Paigne.

Michael said “William will be your best life partner”.

Paigne refused to give looks at them. Though she had attended the age of getting married, something made her mind lose the ability to make decisions about it.

Franklin rose from his seat and went closer to Paigne. “Believe me Paigne. William will be your best life partner and I am not going to arrange anything before your acceptance’

Paigne got disturbed on hearing the words “BEST LIFE PARTNER”

Finally Paigne got the apt words to speak, “Ok then, I just want to have a date with William Dravid.”

She rose from her seat and moved away from that place.

“Ok let’s meet tomorrow at 10:00am in Café’s House, Paigne I’m waiting.” William Dravid said with a cheer.

*********

The guests after filling their stomachs and after completing their celebrations started to depart. They presented their gifts to Franklin. A man who was wearing a loose fitting clothes and jeans pant and with a mole in his right cheek, presented a Sonata wrist watch to Franklin.

Finally the rich man’s party had come to an end.

14

Franklin’s family and Michael’s family were still chatting among themselves inside the hotel.

Paigne who had no stability in her mind of thinking about the next step in her life came out of the hotel. She kicked a small stone in anger. She couldn’t decide what to do.  The night was so cool and she rubbed her hands for warmness. She looked at the dark sky and shook her head as she couldn’t believe that she is gonna have a date with a man.

She found her bestie Fatan Khan standing beside his car and smoking.

Paigne rushed towards Fatan and plucked his cigarette and put it down. She gave an angry look at Fatan. Fatan stood there shocked on seeing the act of Paigne.

“What are you doing?” Paigne asked in a louder voice. Fatan shook his head and said “I just remembered my parents. We too had planned to celebrate my birthday like this in a grand hotel but everything went bad and I went mad!”

Tears rolled from Fatan’s eyes and Paigne wiped it. She stepped in front of him and said, “Forget those incidents Fatan. As I said earlier, bury your past and sow the seeds for the future.”

Fatan nodded and said “Thanks Paigne. Without you my life will be incomplete”

“It’s ok Fatan. Don’t smoke from this second” Paigne said. Fatan nodded and said “What did your father tell?”

Paigne let out a deep breath and said, “That’s a waste of time”

Fatan looked doubtful. He said, “What had happened?”

“Whatever should not have happened had happened!” Paigne said in slight anger.

“I repeat the same. What had happened?” Fatan asked.

Paigne smiled and said, “They wanted to marry a man called “William Dravid” What a name it is!”

Fatan didn’t show any expressions and said, “How did he look like?”

Paigne gave a frustrated look at Fatan and said, “He didn’t look like a hero at all.”

“Why all the girls in this world are like this?” Fatan said and smiled.

Paigne rolled her eyes and said, “Ok I need to know his characterand his good qualities”

“Much better” Fatan replied.

“We have planned to meet at the Café House tomorrow at 10.00 am”

“Waiting for your decision” Fatan replied.

They embraced each other and Fatan left the place by his car.

Paigne gazed at the door of the Harry’s restaurant for her family to come out.

*********

Paigne was sitting in the Café House in a corner. The shop was beautifully decorated for the customers. Paigne was wearing a casual dress and she was frustrated.

She was sitting there for nearly thirty minutes. The time was 10.30 am. William said that he would have a date with Paigne at 10:00 am.

‘Men will be men. No punctuality!’ she thought. She didn’t order anything and her eyes were expecting for the arrival of William.

After a minute, she noticed a black Mercedes entering the shop. She knew that William Dravid had arrived. William entered the shop with a smile on his face. Paigne raised her hand indicating that she was present. William noticed her and marched towards her.

He sat opposite to her and said, “Sorry for the delay, Paigne.”

Paigne rolled her eyes and said, “No problem”

William asked the waiter to provide him and Paigne cold coffees.

Paigne said, “Why do you want to marry me?” She asked immediately.

William took nearly ten seconds and said, “Because you are the best woman I had ever seen!” Paigne blinked and said “Is it?”

“Yeah” William replied. Paigne decided to ask her questions.

“Tell me about you”. Before William could reply the waiter arrived with two cold coffees in a plastic tray. William took a sip of it and said “I was born on August 10, 1965. I had completed my schooling in Bombay and I had completed M.Com,”

“Yeah me too completed M.Com,” Paigne said as she sipped her cold coffee.

William gave a smile and Paigne couldn’t able to understand it. William went on, “At present, I am working at my father’s industry as a Manager. And if you agree to marry me, I will become the Manager of one of ourindustries”

Paigne understood what William had meant. She signaled him to continue.

“I grow many pets in my house like dogs, fishes, pigeons, budgies-” Paigne stopped him and said, “Okay. Promise me a thing”

She looked William’s face clearly. He remained silent for nearly thirty seconds and said, “What for?”

“Even this earth stops to revolve around the sun, promise me that you will never leave me behind sadness” Paigne said. William Dravid gave a big smile and said, “I promise you that I will never leave you behind sadness.”

Paigne rose from her seat and said, “I believe that you will be my best life partner. I am ready to marry you.” William’s face was lit up with happiness and he nodded excitedly.

15

Seventeen years had passed after the marriage of Paigne and William Dravid. They were living in a two storey building at the end of Chennai. William Dravid had become the Manager of one of their industries. They spent their lives happily.

Unfortunately William had lost his parents in a fire accident which happened in their house. Moreover Paigne had lost her mother Carina due to leprosy.

Paigne’s brothers, Milan and Jake got married. Milan’s wife was Rossy and he had a daughter named, Marin. Her age was just four. Jake’s wife was Saggy.

Paigne and William spent their lives happily. As per William’s promise, he didn’t make Paigne sad at any occasions.

They had a son. He was studying in a private school n the city and he was tall and fit. His age was sixteen and his name was Kasper Dravid.

“Bye Kasper!” Paigne said, standing near to the gate of her house as her son was climbing the steps of his school bus. Kasper replied, “Bye mom!”

Paigne smiled and entered her house. Her husband was inside the house and she searched him. Finally she found him in the backyard. William looked glum and disappointed. He was wearing his office suite but he didn’t seem to go to his office. Paigne sat near to William and said, “What happened William?”

William looked at his wife sadly and said, “Something wrong is happening around me.”

Paigne considered for a moment and said, “What’s wrong?”

“I mean something bad was happening in our industry” William replied in a lowered voice. Paigne had not seen her husband so sad for the past seventeen years. William stretched his legs and looked at the sky as if it would solve his problems.

“What was happening in our industry?” Paigne queried.

William let out a deep breath and said, “I have been working in our industry for more than seventeen years and –”he stopped.

“And what?” Paigne asked in a hurry.

“I’m sorry to tell this to you Paigne. I suspect that Franklin had committed a huge mistake in his life.”

Those words flew in the air for about a minute and Paigne was taken up on hearing that. Paigne couldn’t believe that her father would have committed a mistake.

“What are you saying?” she enquired.

“I’m sorry. But I had noticed him.” William looked at his wife and went on, “Yesterday when I was standing out of his cabin with a file in my hands to get his signature, I found him talking to Henry”

Paigne said, “Who is he?”

“He had got the ownership of one our industries nearly seventeen years ago”

“How did he get it?”Paigne asked.

“I don’t know anything about that. But yesterday I noticed that Franklin’s face was too red on hearing the words of Henry. I couldn’t hear them at all. But the final moment made me freeze”

“What had happened?” Paigne stressed.

“I saw Franklin extending a gun to Henry” William finished.

“Are you serious?” Paigne asked in doubt. Paigne couldn’t believe her father having a gun in his hands and extending it to Henry.

“I’m damn serious!” William yelled.

“How did my dad get a gun?” Paigne asked. William shook his head indicating that he didn’t know anything about it.

“Then what did Henry do?” Paigne asked.

“He nodded his head and turned showing his back to Franklin. Instantly I hid myself. After his depart I went in”

“What was my dad’s reaction?”

“He looked normal as if nothing had happened and signed the file and I too seemed to look normal.” William said as he rose from his place.

“What are you going to do about all this matters?” Paigne asked.

William shook his head and said, “I really don’t know what to do. But I decided to keep an eye on Henry”

“Ok. Take care” Paigne said as she kissed her husband on his cheek.

*********

The time was 4:00pm.

Henry was sitting opposite to Franklin and Milan. They were in the Café House. They had come here obviously for not getting any beverages.

“Did you complete the given job?” Franklin asked Henry.

Franklin looked too old but he was healthy. He didn’t bother his ages.

Henry removed his sunglasses and slipped it into his pocket. “Sir... sorry to tell this” he said and took a glass of water and went on, “Let me tell a story” he started.

In a huge forest, there lived a giant falcon. It won’t give any respect to the majestic animals such as lions, tigers, elephants, leopards etc. It often killed many small animals and it stole the prey of big animals. It violated the rules of the forests. So all the animals in the forest joined together to attack it andkill it. On seeing the huge army, the frightened falcon wrote a sentence,

“My fate had ordered me to escape”

So that’s the end of the story gentlemen.”

Henry said as he drank a glass of water.

“What non sense is this?” Milan asked in anger. He couldn’t understand what Henry had said.

But Franklin rose from his seat and went near to Henry and said “Good job Henry. You return that thingwhich was given by me to you. Proceed in your personal work. The danger was destroyed by us.”

Henry nodded.

Milan sat behind hopelessly and saw his father moving out of the shop to his car. He rose from his seat and said” What are you coming to say Henry?”

Henry gave a smile and took out a piece of paperfrom his pant pocket and extended it to Milan. Milan read it,

“My fate had ordered me to escape”

Milan gave a short smile indicating that he knew the back-story behind the statement.

“Oh! Sorry Henry I understood it quite lately” he said.

“You have to grow Milan” Henry said as he started to depart. Milan stopped him and said, “How are your sons, Lavan and Greyson?”

“They are pretty good” Henry replied and departed.

Milan went to his dad who was in the car and Franklin said, “You have to grow Milan”

“Sure dad.” Milan replied as he started the engine of the car.

16

The time was 10:00 pm.

Paigne found her husband William Dravid sitting in the sofa with a glass of wine. He didn’t change his dress and Paigne didn’t know whether her husband had dinner or not. She went closer to William and said, “What’s wrong with you?”

William didn’t respond. Paigne got angry and said, “What on earth made you drink wine?” She plucked the glass of wine from her husband and kept it on the table near to the sofa.

“I don’t know what to tell Paigne” William said in lower voice.

“Please tell me what had happened” Paigne stressed.

“Where is Kasper Dravid?”

“He is in his room. Don’t try to change the topic!” Paigne said. William let out a breath and said, “Yesterday I saw your father extending a gun to Henry. And today...” he stopped.

“Tell me!” Paigne yelled.

“And today I saw Henry returning the same gun to Franklin! It shows that their job was accomplished!” William shouted.

“You mean?”

“Yes. They had killed someone!” William finished. Before Paigne could speak, she noticed some movements near to the stairs. She turned to see what was there. She rooted to her position on seeing it. Her son Kasper Dravid had heard everything!

She rushed to him and said, “Go sleep Kasper. What are you doing right now?” Kasper was still sleepy and he might have woken up on hearing the voices of his parents.

“What’s wrong mom?” Kasper asked.

“Nothing dear. You go to your room.” Paigne said.

Kasper glanced at his father who was sitting in a sad mood and went to his room.

Paigne turned towards William and said, “Now you go to your room and have a good sleep. You are so tired.”

“I have an idea Paigne” William said.

*********

The very next day William rushed to Franklin’s cabin.

Franklin who was wearing a formal dress gazed at William Dravid. He said, “What do you want William?” “I just want to know the truth.” William said in an angry way. Without getting the permission from his father-in-law he sat in a chair opposite to Franklin. Franklin stared at him as he hadn’t seen William like this.

“What truth William?” Franklin asked.

“Who is Henry?” William barked.

Franklin sensed something wrong in William’s voice. He took about a minute and said, “He is one my friends.”

“What? Your friend? Everyone knew that once upon a time he was a labor in our industry. Then how did he become an industrialist?”

“He is a hard worker. So I gave him the ownership of one of my industries.”

William shook his head adamantly and said, “No you’re lying”

“What the hell you are talking?” Franklin barked as he rose from his seat and said, “Get out!”

William smiled and said, “You can’t take me out of here. You have to tell me the reason why you extended a gun to Henry.”

Franklin’s eyes widened out on hearing those words from William. He sat silently and said, “What the hell you are talking about?”

“Don’t try to be a thespian. I know everything, if you fail to tell me the reason, my wife will be at the police station.”

Franklin was taken up on hearing that. He said, “Did Paigne know that?”

“She knew that.” William snapped.

“First you listen to me. It’s true that I had given the gun to Henry. But he didn’t kill anyone. So-” Franklin seemed surrendering but William stopped him and said, “Whom did you wanna kill?”

Sweats rolled here and there on Franklin’s face though he was in an air- conditioned room.

“Why do you wanna know that?”He asked in lower voice.

“Just tell me. Or you have to meet the consequences!” William didn’t seem convincing at all. He wanted to know the truth.

“Listen up” Franklin said.

17

It was 10:30am when William got out of Franklin’s room.

His body was full of sweats. His mind was rotating with full of questions. His first difficult question was, ‘How am I supposed to tell this to Paigne?’

He decided to go to his home. He went to parking lot and asked his car driver, John to drop him at his house.

But he didn’t know that John had a call from Franklin who was in the thirteenth floor. Also Franklin had called his son Milan and Henry through his phone.

William was perplexed. Actually the things told by Franklin to him when he was in Franklin’s cabin were true. That made William’s head spin.

When he was travelling on a long road which would be nearly hundred feet in length, his driver John came to a halt.

“Why did you stop?” William asked.

John didn’t respond at all. William got frightened and yelled, “Tell me!”

Interestingly the road was lonely and William noticed a white Mercedes coming behind them.

John, the driver took out a piece of paper and threw at William’s face.

William was shocked to his driver’s activity and within a moment John went out of the car.

William yelled but t went in vain. He noticed the white Mercedes coming behind him hastily. He bent down to take the paper which was thrown by John and read it. It was,

“Time to complete your fate’s order”

William barely understood it. He got out of his car and shocked to see that the white Mercedes had reached near to his car.

William froze on seeing the persons who came out of the car. They were Milan and Henry.

“Hey what do you want?” William yelled. He thought of driving the car, but he was rooted to his position on seeing the thing which was taken out by Milan. It was a gun. William remembered the gun. It was the same gun which belonged to Franklin. Somehow Franklin had given it to Henry and Milan.

“What you both gonna do?”He yelled once again.

Milan gave a smile and said, “You should not have poked your nose in our issues.”

“Please don’t do anything” William pleaded.

Henry took several steps forward and slapped William on his cheeks. William lost his balance and fell on the road. Henry said, “How dare you involve in our matters? Also you think that I am a criminal?”

William grew angry and punched Henry on his groin and Henry shouted in pain. Milan stepped forward and placed his gun on William’s forehead.

William’s common sense told him that he could not escape from his death. Milan said, “You’re a coward William. It’s your time to complete your fate’s order.”

“Please leave me!” William yelled.

“I’m sorry, Paigne. Rest In Peace, William.” Milan said and he pressed the trigger of the gun and a bullet made a hole in William’s forehead.

*********

Paigne was sitting in the porch with her son, Kasper Dravid who returned from his school. Paigne looked glum as her husband had not returned still. She was so worried on the acts of her dad, Franklin. She couldn’t believe that her father had a gun and his plan of killing a person.

Kasper had not seen his mother looking so dull. He knew that something was wrong on seeing the scenes of last night. He decided to enquire about it to his mother. He squeezed her hand and said, “Mom I have a doubt”

Paigne who was deep in her thoughts came to reality on hearing Kasper and sad, “What’s it Kasper?”

Kasper said” What is wrong with you and dad?”

Paigne was taken up on hearing her son. She suspected that Kasper had known all the truth.

“Nothing is wrong with us Kasper.”

“Then why did you and dad were so sad yesterday?” Kasper said. His question seemed obvious.

Before Paigne could react, a jeep arrived in front of their main gate.

Paigne was perplexed on seeing a police man emerging from it. The policeman looked fit and had grey hair. Paigne went closer to him and asked “What do you want sir?”

“Are you Paigne?” the policeman asked.

“Yeah. I’m Paigne.” Paigne replied.

“My name is Xavier. I’ve come here to tell you important news.”

“What’s that?” Paigne asked.

Kasper got closer to them to hear what they were talking.

Xavier said, “I’m sorry to tell this. Your husband, William Dravid had committed suicide.”

18

Aweek had passed after the death of William Dravid.

When Xavier informed her that her husband had committed suicide, her mind started to spin. She couldn’t believe anything. She was confident that her husband had not committed suicide. But she couldn’t prove that. The police said that there were fingerprints on the gun and those belonged to William.

She knew firmly that her father, Franklin had killed William. She couldn’t believe that her father being so worried during the funeral of William. Also her brother Milan too acted well. She decided to treat this in another manner. She didn’t pose any questions to her family members. To her, two persons had changed her life. They were her mom, Carina and her husband, William Dravid. Now both are dead.

Paigne decided to go to a job. Her father asked her to replace the position of William. But she refused. She had a burning vengeance. But she remained calm for a purpose.

She was too worried about Kasper Dravid. She couldn’t do anything to compromise him. His actions had changed a lot. Earlier he used to be very playful but after this incident he became very silent and depressed. Paigne changed his school and joined him in a government aided school. He wore a blue striped uniform and a dark blue pant.

After a week of time, something crashed Paigne’s mind. She had almost forgotten that she had a friend called Fatan Khan.

It was Saturday and she returned home at 2:00pm. Her son, Kasper had gone to school and will return only at late dawn. She was in her room and took her phone from her pant pocket and dialed Fatan’s number. She had contacted him six months before and she was worried about him too. She didn’t know where he was.

“Hi! Paigne” Fatan said.

“How are you Fatan?” Paigne said. He came to know that Fatan didn’t know anything about the death of William Dravid.

“I’m fine here. How are you?”

“Not fine” Paigne said in a saddened voice.

Fatan was taken up on hearing Paigne. He said, “What’s the reason?”

“They killed my husband.”

There was a short silence at the other end and Fatan said, “Oh my God! What are you saying?”

Tears came from Paigne’s eyes. She made her mind clear to tell the whole truth to Fatan.

She took about three minutes to describe everything. She wept and Fatan consoled her.

“Where are you Fatan?” Paigne asked.

“In Mumbai. Wanna any help?” Fatan replied. Actually Fatan had a music concert in Mumbai and that’s why he went there only a week ago.

“Yes Fatan. I need revenge. Please accompany me to kill who had killed my soul mate.” Paigne said in complete hatred.

“Sure” Fatan replied as he cut the call.

*********

The time was 2:30 pm.

Franklin was sitting in his air conditioned cabin deep in his thoughts.

He disliked the attitude of his son-in-law, William Dravid. ‘He should not have worked in my industry’ he thought. Moreover he was afraid that Paigne knew the truth about the gun. But when Franklin attended the funeral of William, Paigne looked glum and didn’t say anything about the gun to him. That surprised Franklin.

He noticed his son, Milan entering his cabin.

“Dad, I’ve done a great mistake.” Milan said.

Franklin raised his eyebrows and said, “What are you talking about?”

Milan took his seat opposite to Franklin and said, “The gun was missing.”

Franklin’s eyes widened out on hearing those words. “How is it possible?”

“Please forgive me dad.” Milan pleaded. Franklin sensed that something went wrong. “Tell me what happened. “He said.

“Today morning, when I was in my way to the industry by car, I met up with Kasper Dravid. Out of pity and kindness, I decided to drop him at his school.” Milan stopped.

“What happened next?”

“He asked me about you and your today’s appointments.”

“What did you tell?”

“I told him that you gonna meet a businessman named, Alan at 6.00pm.”

“You should not have told that. And he stole the gun, right?”

“Yes.” Milan surrendered. He knew that he had committed the greatest mistake in his life. He was afraid that what decision Franklin would make.

Franklin grew angry and punched his desk and gave a terrific look at his son and said, “Does Kasper has a phone? Do you know his phone number?”

Milan said, “Yeah I got it from him.”

Franklin gave a smile and said. “Then let’s carry out a drama today.”

19

The year was 2009.In the far end of a city, called Chennai, there were a few houses in a lonely street. The street comprised nearly twenty houses. Most of the people in the street were rich and well-educated. Out of those, a house didn’t look like a house at all.

The house looked awkward and nasty in its appearance. The neighbors didn’t know anything about the house. To the neighbors, it just looked like a dustbin. They dumped their waste into the house. No one knew the owner of the house. They didn’t have enough time to enquire those matters.

The house was painted blue. But it had faded away. It was a two-storey building. The front of the house had a name printed on the wall:

BAY HOME 1985

But it barely stood there. Also there was a kitchen garden behind it. All the plants, which had been planted by someone, maybe by that “Bay”, had gone rotten. There were no more plants. The neighbors thought that no one would be coming to that house. Also they assumed that the owner of the house would be dead.

But they were obviously wrong. There was a guy in the house. They would have known the entry of the guy, if they had bothered about the house. The guy might have entered the house through the rusted gate or through the kitchen garden.

The ground floor of the house contained nothing. There was only a wooden staircase to the first floor.

The first floor comprised a hall, a bedroom and a bathroom. Obviously there were no water and electricity supply to the house. The guy was in the bedroom. There were a bed and a wardrobe with no clothes. The guy was sitting on the bed. There was only one window in the room. The guy had opened it just an inch. Opposite to him, there was a bungalow. It was huge and majestic.

The guy was wearing a blue striped school uniform and a dark pant. That revealed that he was a school student.

The time was around 6:00pm.The guy’s age was sixteen.He was holding something in his hands. A gun. It was his fate’s orderto be there with a gun in his hands.  His name was Kasper Dravid.

Kasper had cheated his uncle Milan and stole his gun. He decided to kill his grandfather who gonna come to the bungalow which was opposite to him to meet Alan. He made his mind clear. He had no second thoughts. He didn’t inform this to his mom, Paigne. He too decided to take revenge for the death of his father.

He noticed a white Mercedes entering the street. He held the gun firmly to shoot Franklin when he came out of the car. The car came to a halt in front of Alan’s bungalow. Kasper’s heart was filled with anger and vengeance.

But before he could press the trigger of the gun a hand rested on his shoulder. He turned to see who it was and his eyes widened out on seeing the person.

It was his mother, Paigne.

“What are you doing here Kasper?” Paigne asked.

Kasper was speechless. He hid the gun and said, “Mom I’ve come here to...” he stopped.

“What for?”

Kasper decided to tell the truth. “I’ve come here to kill my grandfather Franklin.”

There was a moment of silence and Paigne laughed out loud. Kasper was taken up on seeing the actions of his mom. He was baffled.

“Proceed my son.” Paigne ordered.

“Mom what are you saying?” Kasper asked in confusion. He didn’t even imagine that his mom would ask to kill her father.

“I told you to shoot Franklin!” Paigne yelled.

“Wanna shoot me?”a voice came behind them.

*********

Both Paigne and Kasper were shocked to hear a person’s voice in this abandoned house. In an instant both ran to the hall where the voice had come from.

They were disappointed o the see the two persons.

The one who gave the voice was sitting in sofa and his name was Franklin. The man standing near to Franklin was Milan and he was holding a big hammer.

“Wanna kill me?” Franklin repeated.

Paigne had decided to speak bold.

“You should not have done that to me dad.” She yelled.

Franklin smiled and said, “If anyone pokes their nose into my personal affairs, they will turn to… ashes.”

Kasper’s common sense ordered him to go to the room and take the gun. But when he turned around he felt a bolt of pain on his head. Paigne yelled behind him. He lost his balance and trembled. He felt blood dripping from his head. Paigne rushed towards him and he saw his mom’s beautiful eyes for the last time and closed them. Kasper’s uncle Milan had thrown his big hammer with a great force aiming at Kasper’s head. Franklin laughed out loud. That was the end of Kasper Dravid.

Paigne couldn’t bear her son dying in front of her eyes. She stood and her heart was filled with hatred. She took the huge hammer in her hands and decided to smash her brother and father.

But before she could act, she too felt a sudden pain on her face as her father had smashed her with an iron rod. She lost her balance and lay still near to her lifeless son. Franklin kicked her so hard in anger.

“Why did you support your husband? You should not have tried to kill me.” Franklin said as she kicked her once again. “Better you…die"

Paigne went unconscious and she could barely hear.

She heard her father saying, “Burn…house...let...turn...ashes.”

She noticed Franklin and Milan going out of the house and she sensed that they had spread fires in the house. She got to her feet painfully and gave a last look at her dead son. She moved to the bedroom and found the gun lying on the bed.

She took the gun in her hands and looked at it terrifically. The whole problem had started only because of this gun. She took it with her and moved out of the house incredibly. The fires were spreading hastily and she managed to get only a few fire burns.

She came out of the house several meters away from it and took out her mobile phone. She dialed Fatan’s number and Fatan took the call.

“Hey where is Kasper? Did you find him?” Fatan asked as he was the one who found the location of Kasper and told Paigne that he was in a house in the farther end of the city.

“He is in heaven” Paigne replied and she wept.

“What are you saying? How did he die?” Fatan asked in confusion.

“They killed him. Listen up. I need revenge. We should join together to kill those who killed my family.” Paigne said in anger.

“Sure” Fatan said as he cut the call. Paigne gave the last look at the burning house where her son would have turned to ashes.

END OF PAIGNE’S HISTORY

20

The time was 5:30pm.

Paigne had completed her flashback. The sun started to sink between the two mountains. The birds flew happily to their nests. Paigne was sitting opposite to her brother Milan’s daughter, Marin. Paigne wept a little while telling her history but she controlled her tears.

Marin as usual didn’t know how to respond to the situation. Even she didn’t know what to speak. She could barely breathe. She could feel butterflies in her stomach. She could feel pain in her legs and hands. Fatan Khan was sitting in his chair as if the chair wouldn’t allow him to get up. He was deep in his thoughts and said, “Now what shall we do Paigne?”

Paigne turned towards Fatan and said, “Wait”.

“Did you understand my history Marin?” Paigne asked.

Marin just nodded in fear and a doubt landed in her mind.

“I couldn’t reach my bestie, Lavan. I suspect that…” she stopped.

“You’re right Marin. You don’t know the real truth behind the death of Franklin. You think that Fatan and I had killed Franklin. But you are wrong. Actually Lavan was the one who killed Franklin!” Paigne said.

Marin felt as if a lightning had attacked her heart. She couldn’t believe it. She said, “Where is he now?”

Paigne giggled and said, “May be in the hell.”

“No! It can’t be true!” Marin yelled. Paigne knew that whatever she had told now were lies. Fatan was the one who shot Franklin with his sniper and he also shot Lavan who failed to complete the given order. Also Lavan went missing after he was shot by Fatan.

Marin was confused. She said, “What mistakes did Lavan do? Why did you kill him?”

Her question made complete sense. She noticed Paigne taking a sip of her wine and rising from her seat and came closer to her. She went near to Marin’s right ear and said, “Because it was his fate’s order!”

“What do you mean?” Marin asked.

Paigne sat in her chair and said, “This phrase was officiallyfound by your grandfather.”

“He is your father!” Marin said.

“He wasmy father.” Paigne replied in complete hatred.

Marin was again speechless. The pain in her body parts and Paigne in front of her made her frustrate. Paigne gave a look at her friend, Fatan to speak. Fatan nodded and rose from his seat.

“First of all I was indeed happy to help Paigne. I knew a friend in Mumbai and with his help I got many gadgets like guns, snipers, bug detectors, camera hackers and stuff like that. Our primary aim is to killFranklin.”

Fatan stopped and expected that Paigne would speak. But Paigne was busy with her wine. He went on.

“But our ultimate aim was to show Franklin that Paigne is alive still. We decided to hide anywhere in this world and decided to bounce back after ten years. He stopped and said, “It took for us ten years Marin!” he said in high pitch voice.

Marin wondered why Fatan said that in high pitch voice.

“Now check your pant pocket.” Fatan ordered.

Marin wanted to yell at this man. Her hands were tied and how can this man expect to check her pant pocket? “My hands are tied sir” she said. Fatan nodded and removed the ropes and released her hands.”Now check it madam.” he said.

Marin didn’t listen to him and watched her hands as if she was watching them for the first time. She thought of asking him to unlock her legs too, but she kept her mouth shut.

She slipped her right hand into the right pocket and searched. She came to know that she had found the dart which was found by her in Franklin’s room.

“I knew that you had taken it from your grandfather’s room. Am I right?” Fatan asked.

“Yes.” Marin replied.

“Do you wanna know about that?”He asked.

Marin nodded. She wanted to know the reason behind it.

“After ten years we decided to show the presence of Paigne in this world to Franklin. On February 02, 2019 Paigne went to his room with a gun with this dart. She showed her to Franklin and shot him as a surprise.” Fatan finished.

It seemed weird to Marin. She said “If you want o kill my grandfather, you should have killed him in his room itself. But why did you do look like this?”

“You are not getting it Marin” Paigne, who had completed her wine, said. She went on.

“Our ultimate aim is to show that I’m alive still. Also we want to cause damage to Henry’s family too. So we used Lavan as bait.”

Marin understood. It was their idea to kill one by one. Marin realized that she was their next target.

“How did Lavan accept to kill my grandfather?” Marin asked.

Fatan smirked and said, “I played with him by saying that I had kidnapped you and in order to rescue you, I asked him to kill Franklin. But at the last moment he cheated me and I shot him too.”

“How did he cheat you?” Marin asked.

Fatan gave a crazy look at Marin and said, “He shot towards the sky and I shot Franklin first and him second.”

“Avoid asking questions.” Paigne warned her.

“Shall we finish her?” Fatan asked.

“Sure” Paigne replied.

“Please leave me!” Marin pleaded. Both Paigne and Fatan laughed out loud. Paigne took her gun and said, “This was the gun which was responsible for this catastrophe.” This was the gun which was taken by Paigne when she was in the burning house.

“Please don’t kill me” Marin pleaded once again.

“Sorry, Marin. It’s your fate’s orderto die.” Paigne said.

But before Paigne could press the trigger of the gun a spherical ball sized thing came into the hall with a hissing sound.

21

None of them can understand what had happened.

Marin was sitting in her chair when Paigne aimed her gun at her. She noticed a spherical sized thing marching in by giving a hissing sound and it released white smoke. Soon the room turned misty and Marin couldn’t see anyone. Fatan barked out some words. But after a minute of time, there were no shouts and sounds.

Marin sensed that her legs were being undone. She didn’t know who was rescuing her. She didn’t even know that she was being rescued. The person had undone her legs and took hold of her hands and forced her to go with him. Marin refused at first and her common sense told her to move. Finally she moved.

The entire room was misty and it was impossible for Marin to breathe normally. Moreover she couldn’t see anything. Her only hope was the person who was holding her hands and taking her downstairs. When they reached downstairs, there was no white mist. Marin tried to see the guy who had saved her from the gates of death. The person who had saved her was a boy, probably three years older than Marin. He looked fit and his face was covered by a mask. So Marin could hardly recognize the boy.

The boy took Marin to his black Nissan car and said, “Get in.”

Marin nodded and went in. She sat near to the boy, who gonna drive the car. Finally the boy removed his mask. He had a white face with a mole in his right cheek. He had black eyes and he looked charming. Something crashed in Marin’s mind. She had seen the boy once upon a time and now she could hardly recognize him.

“Who are you?” Marin asked.

“Do you not then remember me?” the boy asked.

“No I can’t remember.” Marin said.

The boy gave a smile and said” I’m Greyson.”

Marin’s eyes widened out on hearing that name. She said “You are…”

Greyson said, “Brother of Lavan.”

*********

Paigne came back to consciousness after twenty minutes. The time was around 6:15pm. She punched the table in anger as her target had escaped. She found Fatan Khan lying on the floor without any movements. She ran to the kitchen and found a water bottle in the refrigerator. She took it with her and went to see Fatan. She sprayed some water on Fatan’s eyes and was relieved to see Fatan coming back to consciousness. Fatan got to his feet and kicked the floor with complete hatred. He shook his head in tension as he was responsible for the escape of Marin.

“Paigne who had done that?” he asked.

“I don’t know.” Paigne replied.

“What shall we do now?”

“Need to think. Can you locate the location of Marin’s phone?”

“Yeah. Give me twenty minutes.”

Fatan had done the same help for Paigne to locate the location of Kasper Dravid.

After twenty minutes, Fatan’s face had lost its brightness. He said, “Sorry Paigne. It’s not possible to track the location of Marin.”

Paigne shook her head in disappointment and said, “We have to think.”

*********

Everyone was holding their phones in their hands in Franklin’s house. They had contacted Marin but there was no response from her.

Marin’s mom, Rossy had contacted Marin’s friends but their replies were,

“Sorry aunt, I don’t know.”

Rossy was so worried and frightened. She prayed to God that her daughter should return home safely without any problems. Marin informed her that she was going to meet Alacia for completing an assignment. Rossy also tried Alacia’s phone number but there was no reply.

Every inmates of the house assembled in the hall.

“Now what shall we do?” Jake asked.

The time was around 6.00pm. Marin had left the house earlier itself. Marin’s father, Milan said, “There is only one way. We have to seek help from the Police.”

“But did you see the news today?” Jake asked.

“What news?”

“A police Inspector, named Gajan was killed in a bomb attack.”

“What’s the relation?”

“There is no security to the police itself. Then how could we believe them?”

Milan thought for a moment and said, “That doesn’t matter. I gonna give a complaint. We have to find Marin.”  Jake nodded.

Already the family members had lost their head and to make matters worse, Marin was missing.

“Alright I alone shall go to the station. Jake take care of others.” Milan said as he left the house.

When he went out of the house, he received two text messages.

He opened it. The messages had come from a same unknown number. He read the first message,

DAD! IT’S ME MARIN.I CAN’T XPLAIN EVERYTHING 2 U. DON’T PANIC. I’M SAFE HERE. DON’T GO 2 POLIS! DON’T SEARCH ME!

He was happy on reading the first message. He decided to read the second message. He read it,

SRY 2 TEL TIS. OUR FAMILY IS IN DANGER. DANGER!!! IT’S BCOZ OF U DAD. BCOZ OF U!!! I CAN’T XPLAIN EVERYTHING. TC OF OUR FAMILY.DON’T SHOW TIS 2 OTHERS. READ&DEL IT……..

His face turned pale on reading the second message. ‘What did I do?’ he thought. He deleted the second message and rushed into the house to show the message which was sent by Marin at first.

He found his family members sitting in the same positions when he went out. Jake was the first to note his entry.

“What had happened?” Jake asked.

“Good news.” Milan said and he tried to hide the horror of the second message sent by Marin. Though he deleted it, he couldn’t able to believe what Marin had meant.

“What good news?” Jake asked.

Milan extended his phone to Jake and Jake read the message. His face was delighted on reading it. He gave it to Rossy, who was weeping and she too became delighted on reading it. “My daughter is safe” Rossy said in happiness.

“Yeah.” Milan replied.

Jake had a terrific doubt and came near to Milan and said “Did you believe it?”

“Yes. What was wrong in it?” Milan protested.

“Why Marin didn’t make a phone call to us?” Jake asked.

“Le’s believe that Marin had sent it.” Milan said confidently as he had received two messages and the second message revealed the truth that Marin had sent him the messages.

He went upstairs and there were two photos hanging on the wall near to the wall clock. He didn’t give a look at it and went up. Even if he had seen the firstphoto, he would not have known what the danger was which was meant by Marin.

*********

Marin had slept only for thirty minutes. She was woken up by Greyson, the Super Man who had rescued her. He was the one who asked Marin to send messages to Milan through his phone before her sleep. She requested to have a talk with her family members but Greyson rejected it. He said that the dangers would have heard their conversation if they spoke. Marin obeyed him. Greyson threw his phone as well as Marin’s phone out of the car. He took every step in a safe way so that no one could find their location.

They were travelling nearly for an hour. Either of them barely spoke during the journey. Marin said, “Where are we heading to?”

“Minjur.” Greyson replied.

“Where is it?”Marin asked.

“It’s in Karnataka.”

“Are you living there?”

“Yeah.”

“But what’s the use of it?”

“You will know it soon.”

Marin felt frustrated. Her family is in danger. How could she go to Karnataka? She decided to keep calm and patient.

“You have to explain me everything.” Greyson said.

“OK” Marin replied.

22

The time was 8:30pm when they reached their destination. Greyson’s house was medium sized. It was a two storey building.

Greyson took Marin into the hall which comprised a 16 inch long television, two sofas, a glass table, a kitchen and the house looked clean and tidy.

He made her sit in the sofa and told her that he would prepare dinner. Marin didn’t know whether Greyson knew to cook or not but she was hungry. The pain in her hands and legs had faded away. But to fulfill her stomach’s thirst she needed some food.

“Marin please wait for fifteen minutes. Do you wanna watch television?” Greyson asked.

“OK” Marin replied. Greyson took the remote and switched it ON. He gave the remote to Marin and went to the kitchen.

The first channel was a news channel and Marin loved to watch news. It was not live streaming but it showed the incident which happened that day morning. There stood a female reporter, who would be in her late twenties. She was holding her mike in her hands, which had a symbol of her news channel.

“…..It is said that Mr.Gajan was a skillful police Inspector. He had dealt with many complicated cases and succeeded….”  Marin was not interested in it but the reporter’s next statement caught her breath.

“……he assured his higher authorities that he gonna finish the Industrialist Franklin murder case…” Marin came to the edge of the sofa to hear it.

“…..it is said that a middle aged man had given him evidence about the case. But while travelling in his way to the house of the Commissioner of Police…” The lady reporter stopped for a moment and Marin was hardly breathing.

“…..his car blasted and he turned to ashes…” Marin switched off the television. Everything struck in her mind. When she was under the custody of Paigne and Fatan Khan, she came to know that they had killed a person. Now it was confirmed that Gajan was the one who was killed by Fatan.

This made Marin’s head spin. She was afraid that Paigne would target her family members. ‘What would happen if Paigne placed bombs in my house?’ she thought.

She stopped thinking about it on seeing Greyson emerging from the kitchen. He returned with two plates and Marin wondered what would be the dinner.

Greyson placed a plate on the sofa. Marin smelled and found that the dinner was noodles.

“Wait a minute, Marin. I have a small work in upstairs.” He said as he ran upstairs quickly.

Marin was so much excited on seeing the food after many hours. She took the plate and began to eat the noodles with the help of a fork.

After five minutes Greyson came down and went to the kitchen and returned to the hall with another plate.

“Why did you turn off the television?” he asked.

“I was not interested in it.” Marin responded.

Greyson too had noodles as dinner and began to eat. After a while, they both completed their dinner. Greyson sat next to Marin and said, “Tell me everything about the problem.”

“Do you know where Lavan is?” Marin asked as she thought that Greyson would know. But Greyson ignored that question and said, “Explain.”

*********

It took nearly twenty minutes for Marin to explain the history of Paigne. She told everything shortly.

She said who was Paigne, what had happened to her family, who was Fatan Khan, who were William Dravid and Kasper Dravid, why Franklin was killed and the most important one was the involvement of Lavan in this web.

“Fatan was the one who cheated Lavan and I don’t know where he is.” Marin said in sadness.

“Alright now come with me upstairs.” Greyson said.

“Why?” Marin asked.

“To show you your room.”

Marin followed Greyson .The steps were made of wood and it made a distinct sound.

They went upstairs. It was empty and there were two rooms opposite to each other. There was a window at one end and there were also three chairs. Greyson went closer to a room and said, “Open it Marin.”

Marin was confused. “Why should I?” she asked.

“You just open and go inside. I shall close the main door and come up.” Greyson said as he went downstairs..

Marin went in. The room was too big and the ceiling fan rotated swiftly. She noticed a bed, a table and a chair. Fruits like apples, bananas, grapes were kept on the table in a basket. There was also a plate of noodles.

Marin noticed a guy lying on the bed.

In an instant, she was frightened. ‘Who it would be?’ she thought. At first, she thought that the guy was dead. Next she concluded that she was wrong. She noticed the chest of the guy rising and falling. She couldn’t see further. She thought of moving forward but a hand rested on her shoulder.

She was frightened and before she could yell, the hand was placed on her mouth.

“Don’t shout. It’s me, Greyson.”

Marin was relieved. She turned to face him. Greyson said, “Don’t you know who is it?”

“No” Marin replied.

“Go close to have a better look.” Greyson said.

Marin nodded and moved forward and saw the guy.

Her heart started to beat instantly. The guy was her bestie.

He was Lavan.

23

Lavan was lying still. He barely breathed and his eyes were closed. Marin was speechless. She noticed several stitches around Lavan’s chest. That reminded her that that was the place where Fatan had shot. He was wearing trousers.

“How…” Marin started but she couldn’t find the words.

“Don’t worry. I’ll tell you.” Greyson assured. Marin nodded and left out of the room. Greyson asked Marin to sit on any one of the three chairs and he took a seat opposite to her.

“What’s going on?” Marin asked.

“Franklin was killed on your birthday. Am I right?”

“Yes.”

“On February 01, Lavan asked me to come to Chennai to your party. We thought of giving you a surprise. On February 02, I reached Chennai by 7:30 pm. I didn’t go to my house. I thought that Lavan would have gone to the party and for confirmation I rang him. But he was unreachable. I tried for several times but there was no response.”

“Why didn’t you ring me?” Marin asked.

“I didn’t have your mobile number.”

“Proceed.”

“So I tried to track the location of his phone. I was shocked as he was present in a building opposite to that of the Harry’s Restaurant. It made me feel that something went wrong. So I rushed to that building and I saw Lavan holding a gun and aiming at the sky.”

“What happened next?”

“I thought of going closer to him. But…after a short span of time, I heard a girl screaming and my brother too started to scream in pain and fell backwards. I was shocked to see blood dripping out from his chest.”

“I was that girl.” Marin said sadly.

“I know.” Greyson said.

“How is Lavan now?”

“Not too good.” Something crashed in Marin’s mind.

“Then how did you find that I was in trouble?”

“Dead easy Marin. I found your contact in Lavan’s mobile. You too behaved like Lavan and the rest you know.”

“How did you get that spherical sized thing which gave hissing sound and white smoke?” Marin asked.

“I got it from my friend who lives several kilometers away from us. He is a gadget specialist.”

“Oh! Great”

“Yeah”

“Thanks a lot”

“No problem.”

“Main problem is one step ahead of us.” Marin said with a saddened face.

“Greyson!” a voice came from nowhere. Marin recognized the voice instantly. It was from Lavan.

*********

When Marin went in, she saw Lavan sitting on the bed. Greyson rushed to him and said something. Marin knew that he was talking about her.

Lavan turned towards Marin and smiled. Marin too smiled. She stepped closer to Lavan and gave a hug. She couldn’t control her emotions and wept. Lavan was too weeping.

“Sorry Marin” Lavan said.

“What for?” Marin asked.

“I didn’t even have a motive of killing Franklin. One man made me do that.”

“I know”

They hugged once again. Greyson felt awkward standing there and said, “No time for hugs. Time is 9:15. Time to sleep.”

Lavan and Marin got separated.

“Marin you take the room opposite to Lavan’s room and I shall sleep in downstairs.”  Greyson said.

Marin nodded.

“I hope you guys will sleep in your ownrooms.” Greyson said as he went out of Lavan’s room.

Marin looked at Lavan and said, “Everything will change.” She went out.

She opened her room’s door and went in. It was identical to that of Lavan’s room.

She switched off the lights and started to sleep. She started to dream.

The year was 2038.

Marin could see a woman weeping. The weeping woman is sitting opposite to a man.

Marinwhy are you crying?” the man asks. Dreaming Marin realizes that the weeping woman washer.She is in the future world.

“He had killed my family” weeping Marin says.

“Who had killed him?” the man asks.

Dreaming Marin couldn’t find who the man was.

“My father,Milanhad killed my son and husband.” weeping Marin says.

*********

Marin woke up suddenly in fear. She was sitting on her bed. The room was dark and she switched on the lights. Though she was in an air-conditioned room, her body was full of sweats. She will never forget this type of dreams in her life forever.

In her dream, she was in a bad situation which was faced by Paigne in the past.

Despite the sadness and horror of the dream, she wanted to know who her husband was.

But she deleted that thought from her mind and got to her feet. That dream made her sleep vanish. She searched for the wall clock and found it on her right side. The time was 2:30 am.

She decided to examine her room.

There was a 16 inch television, opposite to the bed. She noticed a mirror placed left to the bed. There was also a closet near to the mirror. She decided to open it. To her luck, the closet was open and it had three rows.

She opened the first row. It was empty and she noticed a small dead spider lying inside. She closed it and opened the second row. Again it was empty.

Finally with the hope of discovering something new, she opened the third row. This time she found a group photo. She took it.  There was a couple with their two children. Marin recognized the two children at once. They were Greyson and Lavan. Then the couple should be Henry and Preethi. Marin saw them for the first time.

Henry. He was the man who received the gun from Franklin to kill someone and it was seen by innocent William Dravid.

‘Why did Franklin give the gun to Henry? Whom did they wanna kill?’ thought Marin.

She kept the photo inside the closet and she required some fresh hair. She decided to go to the terrace. It would be very cool outside but she decided to go. She turned off the air-conditioner and opened the door.

There was an electric bulb at the ceiling and it provided enough light for her to find the way to the terrace. Her instincts warned her not to go outside during night time. But she didn’t change her idea of getting some fresh air. Her ultimate aim was to plan something to come out of this deadly web.

She found the staircase which would lead her to the terrace and walked up. There was a door and it was luckily opened. She pushed the door wide open. Fresh air smashed her and welcomed her. She decided to walk around the terrace.

The terrace was big enough to walk around and the night sky was beautiful. In the corner of her eye, Marin noticed a guy standing and staring at the dark sky. That made Marin frighten for ten seconds. But she came to know that the guy was Greyson.

She went near to him and said, “What are you doing Grey?”

Greyson was taken up on seeing Marin and said, “What are you doing here Marin?”

“I’ve come here to get some fresh air and to plan.”

“What do you gonna plan?” Greyson asked.

“We have to save our families.”

“Two things are barriers for us to plan.”

“What are they?” Marin asked.

“First one is that Paigne had not done anything wrong. But we are planning to stop her. Second one is that Franklin had given a gun to my father to kill a person. Who was that person?” Greyson said.

Marin considered for a moment and said, “You are right. But we have to save our family members.”

“You are not getting it Marin!” Greyson snapped.

“I got it Grey.” Marin said.

“Stop calling me Grey!” Greyson warned.

“OK.” Marin said.

They stopped their talks for a moment and stared at the black sky.  Suddenly an idea arose in Marin’s mind. She said, “Greyson you had mentioned me that you have a friend who is a gadget specialist, right?”

“Yes” Greyson nodded furiously.

“Can we seek help from him?”

“Oh! Sure” Greyson replied. “But what do you gonna do with his gadgets?”

“Let’s kidnap Paigne and Fatan and let’s stab them.”

“Hey have you gone mad? How is it possible to kidnap and kill older persons?” Greyson remarked.

“You just request your friend about it. We have to finish it soon.” Marin said in confidence.

“Look before you leap Marin.” Greyson warned.

“I’ve looked and measured the depth of it and I’m red to leap, Greyson.”

“Then it’s your wish.” Greyson gave in.

“What’s the name of your friend?” Marin asked.

“Marcus Red” Greyson replied.

24

THUD.      THUD.    THUD.

The time was 4:00 am, when Milan heard this voice and woke up. He was in his bedroom. To his right, his wife Rossy was deep in her sleep. She didn’t hear that noise. Milan got to his feet and saw the time in his Sonata wrist watch. He put on his spectacles which were kept on the writing table. He searched for the water jug and found it on the table which was neat to the window.

THUD.      THUD.    THUD.

He was frightened on hearing the same noise once again. His wife Rossy didn’t show any response. He decided to drink some water and went near to the table. The window was open and when Milan took the jug in his hands, he found that there was no water. He was shocked to see a hand, which was holding the window. He thought that it was a thief. But two legs came down vertically from the top.

Milan’s adrenaline started to increase its production. The legs continued to come down and Milan came to know that it was a man.

While the legs came vertically downwards, the hands started to climb vertically up and Milan realized that it was a lady. The lady was wearing a torn T-shirt and it was printed with the words,

I am your FATE

Milan could feel his body full of sweats. The man and the lady had terrible faces and they laughed out loudly. The man had a hole in his forehead and the lady had a scar on her forehead.

“Who are you?” Milan yelled.

He sensed that some fluid was dropping on his head. He touched it and was taken up as the fluid was blood. He moved his head up and found a seventeen year old boy hanging vertically downwards holding a huge hammer in his hands. Blood was dripping out from his head.

The man had a gun in his hands and the lady had an iron bar in her hands. They counted,

Three.  Two.  One

The man and the lady came into the room and the man fired the gun and the lady smashed the iron bar on Milan’s head and the boy at the ceiling smashed the huge hammer on Milan’s head. Blood spattered.

“No!” Milan yelled.

He was sitting on his bed. His wife Rossy extended him a glass of water to drink and Milan realized that it was a dream.

“What had happened?” Rossy asked.

“Nothing. It was just a bad dream.” Milan said and he lay down once again to sleep. He knew that who those three ghosts were. He also knew that why did they kill him in the dream.

25

It was 6:00 am when Marin woke up. She felt sickened and she was depressed. Her mind was not stable and she thought about her family.

Still she was lying on the bed and starring at the ceiling as if that would tell her answer to solve to this problem.

‘Today will be crucial’ she thought.

Half of her mind forced her to think that Paigne didn’t do any mistakes. All the mistakes were committed by her father and grandfather. Franklin was dead obviously.

Both Franklin and Milan had taken utmost care of her. How could she turn against them in order to save Paigne?

She couldn’t make the apt decision. She came out from her thought and got to her feet. Suddenly the door of her room opened. She was shocked for a second and was relieved to see who it was. It was Greyson.

Greyson entered her room with a medium sized plastic bag in his right hand and a cup of tea in his left hand. He seemed to have taken a bath earlier in the morning and he looked fresh.

“Good morning, Marin.” He said.

“I would be definitely happy if it occurred to me!” Marin said in sadness.

“I bought you some clothes from the local textiles shop.” Greyson said. He extended it to Marin and Marin got it with a smile on her face. Greyson placed the cup of tea on the closet near to the mirror.

“Thanks a lot, Greyson.” Marin thanked.

“Nope. Today will be very crucial to us.” Greyson said.

“Yeah, I too was thinking about it. Did you contact the gadget specialist, Marcus Red?”

“Yeah, I did through the telephone.”

“What did he tell?”

“I’ll tell it soon. Now refresh yourself. You, Lavan and I can discuss it after breakfast.” He said and got out of the room.

Marin understood what he had meant and decided to have a hot shower.

*********

It was 7:30am when the inmates of the house completed their breakfast and assembled at the hall.  Lavan looked much better than the day before Marin’s arrival. He could feel pain in his chest rarely. He wore a loose T-shirt and jeans. He looked normal. He admired Marin a lot. He had a wish to marry her after settling in his life but that was out of the topic now.

“Still I have a doubt.” Greyson broke the silence and said. He too looked fresh. He went on.

“Marin you told me that William Dravid saw Franklin offering a gun to my father. But why did he give?”

Marin thought for a second and said, “I don’t know. Even Paigne don’t know that.”

“Was that your doubt?” Lavan spoke.

“Yeah. If we knew who Franklin wanted to kill, we would get some clues.”

“I knew who knew it.” Marin said.

“Who are those?” Lavan asked.

“My dad and your dad.”

She was correct. The truth was known to Franklin, Henry, Milan and William Dravid. But Franklin and William Dravid were dead.

“So what we gonna do?” Lavan asked.

“We have to ask them.” Greyson insisted.

“But why?” Marin asked in confusion.

“I suspect that the man who was planned to kill by Franklin, Milan and my dad would be still alive in this world.” Greyson said in confidence.

“I’m not sure.” Lavan encountered.

“Even he is alive still, what would be the use of him?” Marin asked.

“To complete this problem, he will be influential. We need to find him.” Greyson insisted. Marin gave a disappointing look at Greyson and said, “Oh! Come on Greyson. What do you gonna do with him? Do you think Paigne would stop killing us on seeing the man?” Both Greyson and Lavan thought for a minute. Then Greyson said, “Though he will not be a full stop to this problem, he would be useful for us at the end.”

Marin let out a deep breath and said, “How will you find him?”

“Let’s ask our dads.” Greyson said.

“But where is our dad?” Lavan yelled in shock.

His father, Henry didn’t show up after the death of Franklin. He didn’t even have a contact with his sons.

“Let’s find his location with the help of Marcus Red.” Greyson said.

“So shall we go to him?” Marin said.

“Yeah. He would provide us some gadgets which would be useful for us to kidnap Paigne and Fatan.”

“Shall I come with you?” Lavan asked.

“No Lavan. You stay here. I and Marin would return in a couple of hours.

Lavan nodded.

Both Marin and Greyson started their journey to meet Marcus Red.

26

‘What type of gadgets will be useful?’ Marin thought.

She was sitting near to Greyson who was driving the car rashly. Marin was keen on seeing the gadget specialist. She had not used such gadgets in her life. She believed that those gadgets would be useful to her. Marin reminded herself that she was far away from Paigne and Fatan Khan. She escaped from them narrowly and she was grateful to Greyson.

Suddenly Greyson slowed the car and stopped it. Marin looked puzzled at him. Greyson said, “Don’t worry. There’s a Samsun showroom out there.” he said as he pointed his right hand towards a Samsung showroom which looked quite big. He went on.

“Marcus said that we should have mobile phones and so you go there and buy a cheap smart phone for you and me.” He finished and glanced at Marin for her reply.

“You are not coming?” Marin asked.

“No you alone go.” Greyson said as he offered nearly 10,000/- rupees to Marin.

Marin got it and said, “OK.” She said and she got out of the car and went to the Samsung showroom.

After fifteen minutes Marin returned with a bag which contained two brand new Samsung smart phones. Also she bought SIM cards for the new phones.

Greyson thanked her and started the engine.

“How many minutes to go?” Marin said as she put on seat belt.

“Less than twenty minutes.” Greyson replied.

Marin nodded.

After a few minutes a thought crashed in Marin’s mind. ‘Why I can’t tell this to Jake?’ she thought.

According to Paigne’s history, Jake did not do any mistakes. He didn’t kill anyone.

“Why can’t we tell this Jake?” she asked Greyson.

Greyson thought for a minute and said, “Won’t he kill Milan?”

“No!” Marin shouted.

“If no, we shall try.” Greyson said.

Marin nodded.

*********

They reached the gadget specialist’s house.

“Here it is.” Greyson said as he stopped the car.

The sky looked so dark and indicated that it would rain soon. Greyson had parked his car under a banyan tree. There were a few houses scattered in that area. The whole are looked completely silent.

“Come with me.”   Greyson said. Marin followed.

The house was not too big. It was painted brown. It looked old and Marin doubted that whether Marcus would be there or not.

They went closer to the house. Greyson touched the gate of the house and glanced at Marin. Marin didn’t know why he glanced at her.

“PURPOSE OF YOUR VISIT”

There came the voice from a speaker hanging on the wall which was near to the wall.  Marin looked puzzled and Greyson smiled.

He said, “To meet Marcus.” To Marin’s astonishment, the gate opened automatically. Greyson went in and signaled Marin to step in.

Without any second thoughts, Marin went in. Then the gate closed automatically.

“What would happen if any thieves tried to come in, if they knew this?” Marin said.

Greyson looked over at her and said, “There are nearly fifteen CCTV cameras positioned around the house. Right now, Marcus would have noticed our entry and he would be coming for us. The main door of his house was made of titanium. Also there was a code for it and it was known only to him.”

This made sense to Marin. Before she could open her mouth to speak, she heard a distinct sound in the door and finally it opened.

Marin noticed a guy standing closer to the door. He was fit. He was wearing black suits which suited him well. Moreover he wore gloves and his face was enveloped by a mask. His appearance made him look like a scientist or geneticist. The guy was Marcus Red. Marcus raised his right hand and shook it. Greyson too did the same indicating that they were best friends. Interestingly he had six fingers in his right hand.

Greyson signaled Marin to come in as he stepped in. When Marin went in, the door slammed shut immediately. It took about a minute to make out the interior beauty of the room.

The interior walls were painted blue. The place where Marin was standing was square. It was leveled with blue tiles and there was a ceiling fan. On one corner Marin noticed a fish tank with five guppies in it. Another thing which puzzled her was that there were nearly ten switches on her right. There was only one ceiling fan and three tube lights. Also she found a distinct square marking in front of her, where Greyson and Marcus were chatting. Still Marcus didn’t remove his mask and he spoke through it. But after a minute, Greyson came over Marin and said, “Come with me.”

Marin said, “Where?”

“To that marking.” Greyson said and went to the square marking. Without any arguments, Marin too went there.

Marcus went near to the wall which bore switches and pressed the third one and came back to his position.

Within three seconds, Marin felt that she was moving downwards. Marin screamed in fear. She felt as if she were in an elevator. The three were in a descending motion. Within ten seconds, they came to a halt. Marin was breathing heavily as she was frightened. Greyson came near to her and said, “Come out of the marked area.” Marin nodded and came out of it. Within a couple of seconds, the same square area went up. Marin was puzzled.

Marin was standing in a white room and they were in underground. She wished that there should be adequate oxygen supply to her.

“How was this experience?”Marcus spoke for the first time to Marin.

“I couldn’t believe it.” Marin said in surprise.

For the first time, Marcus Red removed his mask and gave a smile at Marin. Marin looked at Marcus carefully. He had a round face, blue eyes and dark grey hair.

“Nice to meet you.” Marcus said and he extended his hand to Marin.

Marin shook it and said, “Thanks.”

The room contained many shelves with many different objects. Marin assumed those as gadgets.

There was a ceiling fan and there were three plastic chairs underneath it. The three took their seats.

“Let’s enter the topic.” Greyson said and looked at both Marin and Marcus anxiously.

“What type of gadgets do you want?” Marcus said. Marin admired him as he directly asked the most important question.

“Well, we need some gadgets which will be useful for us for kidnapping.” Greyson said.

“OK. Wait a minute.” Marcus said as he went near to one of the shelves and took out a gadget from it.

At first Marin thought that it was not a gadget at all as Marcus took out a TORCH LIGHT.

Marcus said, “You may think that it’s an ordinary torch light. But it’s something special.”

“In which way?” Greyson asked.

“Let me explain.” Marcus said as he held the torch light in his right hand and he positioned himself in front of Marin and Greyson as if he were a college lecturer.

“I can assure you that it would be very useful for kidnapping.” he said as he showed the switch of the torch light and said, “In normal torch lights the switch is used for turning it ON and OFF. But here there are two buttons labeled as 1 and 2.”

Marin looked baffled and Greyson was admiring his friend’s invention.

“It’s uses?” Marin asked.

Marcus nodded and said “In every torch lights there will be a light source which emits light. But here instead of it there is a chip inside and it plays two vital roles. When you press 1, the chip will emit a series of waves which will cut off all the phone signals. So while kidnapping no one could receive or dial a call.”

“Will it work?” Greyson asked.

“Check it out.”

Greyson and Marin nodded and took out their new smart phones and asked Marcus to press the number 1. Both were shocked as there were no signals in their mobiles. Greyson clapped with a cheer. Marin was excited as well as shocked.

“Now I shall explain the use of number 2.” Marcus said.

“It will play the vital role as when you press it, it would jam all the CCTV cameras in that particular area.” He stopped.

This time Greyson was too excited as he hugged Marcus. Marin was confident that these two would be very useful for carrying out their act of kidnapping.

Marcus nodded and went closer to one of the shelves and took out a small thing which fascinated Marin. This was used by all the students. It was a SHARPENER.

“This sharpener has a GPS in the place of a blade which would be present in all sharpeners. You could use it to show your location to your partner.” Marcus finished.

“That’s cool.” Greyson exclaimed.

Suddenly an idea dashed Marin’s mind. She was confident that that idea would be very useful. She rose from her seat and said, “I have an idea.”

“What idea?” Greyson asked.

Marin nodded and said, “I could carry out that idea myself with the help of the sharpener."

27

Paigne was watching television in her room. She was alone in her house. Fatan Khan had gone out to meet his friend. His friend was a smuggler. His friend smuggles many illegal weapons like bombs, snipers, poisoned bullets and stuff like that. Fatan had killed Gajan, the Inspector of Police with the help of his friend. Fatan had asked his sleeper cell, Lima to place the bombs in Gajan’s car.

And even now Fatan had gone to meet his friend to get plastic explosives. They had changed their plan. They had decided to blast Franklin’s house.

Yesterday, their target, Marin had escaped due to her luck. Paigne should have shot Marin but the white mist diverted her. Before she could make her mind stable, she felt a hand with a handkerchief being kept on her nose. She felt a smell of chemicals and she went unconscious. Fatan Khan too felt the same.

During the last night, Paigne decided to blast the house of Franklin. Fatan was sitting opposite to her. “Let’s forget Marin.” Paigne said.

“Yeah. But she hadn’t returned to her home. She is hiding somewhere. Also we don’t know the person who had saved her.” Fatan said.

“That guy and Marin will not a problem. Are Milan and Jake not searching Marin?” Paigne asked.

“I don’t know. They didn’t seek help from the Police.” Fatan said.

“Let’s leave that.” Paigne snapped.

“What is our next plan?”

“To blast Franklin’s house.”

“Then what about Henry?” Fatan asked.

“Let’s finish him later.”

Fatan nodded as he understood the task given to him.

Paigne was sitting on her bed and watching a boring serial. She felt a slight pain in her head and turned off her television. She took her mobile phone in her hands. The phone showed the time 3:35pm. They planned to blast the house at 7:30 pm.  Suddenly she received a notification. She had received a text message through Whatsapp. She went to it and viewed it. There was no profile photo. Also she couldn’t recognize the number. The message was “Hi”.

She was shocked to see the message. Only Fatan, Franklin and Henry knew that she is alive in this earth. But who would be the sender of this message?

Her eyes widened out on seeing that the person is in online still. Every instinct told her not to text but she texted. Her message was “Who r u?”

Ten seconds had passed and the person sent a voice message. Paigne heard it.

“Hello Paigne! You are my blood. You are like my second mom. I love you so much!”

That was the end of it. Paigne smiled greedily as she recognized the voice of that person. It was from Marin.

She typed“R u Marin?”

“S”was the reply.

“Wat 2 u want?”Paigne typed.

Again Marin was recording her voice. She sent it and Paigne heard it.

“I believe your history. Really…I can understand your situation. What you are doing is correct. So I think I should help you.”

At first Paigne couldn’t believe her. ‘Was it Marin really?’ she thought. To prove that question, she typed” Send me a pic of u.”

About a minute had passed and Marin sent a picture of her.

Paigne confirmed it. It was Marin for sure. On seeing the photo of Marin, from somewhere in bottom of her heart, she took pity on her. Tears were at the edge of her eyes. But she controlled it.

“What help u gonna do?”she typed.

This time Marin typed” All mistakes were committed by my father and grandfather. So whatever u do 2 punish them, I shall remain in ur side. I think it’s my fate’s order.”

Paigne believed Marin and typed” How did u escape?”

“I was rescued by a boy named Greyson. Do u know him? He is the first son of Henry! Also Lavan was present with him.  He decided to kill u and Fatan so he sought the help from a gadget specialist. In order to save u I killed them!”Marin typed.

‘Did Marin kill a person?’ Paigne thought. Again Marin sent a message.

“I hope u believe me. Shall I come to ur home? Let’s prepare!”

Paigne thought of saying this matter to Fatan Khan. But he would return only by 5.00pm.

“Where is Fatan Khan? Can u give me his no.?”Marin typed.

Paigne forwarded the number of Fatan Khan to Marin. Marin sent a message.

“I’m coming there. Let’s finish this soon!”

Paigne smiled and told herself that, “Milan! I and your daughter are coming for you!”

*********

A car was approaching Chennai with a speed of 90km/hr. The driver saw the welcome board of the Chennai. He smiled on seeing that. Next to him a girl, younger than him, was sitting with her new phone who had texted to someone before a couple of minutes through the Whatsapp. There was also a boy sitting on the back seat. He and the girl were at the same age. The girl had chatted with her aunt.

The driver’s name was Greyson. The boy at the back was Lavan and the girl was Marin. Marin had chatted with Paigne. In her chat, she typed that she had killed Greyson and Lavan. She promised Paigne that she would help her. All these were lies.

“I couldn’t believe it at all.” Marin said.

“Yeah, I thought that Paigne would find out the truth. But she believed your talks.” Greyson smirked.

They were heading towards Adyar to kidnap them. They had decided to keep them in an abandoned building which was two kilometers away from Paigne’s house.

Paigne had committed a blunder mistake. She forwarded Fatan’s mobile number to Marin. Marin decided to track the location of Fatan with the help of the gadget specialist, Marcus Red. Everything became dead easy to them.

“We have to finish it quickly. I don’t know what they had planned to kill my family. We have to be careful.” Marin advised.

Greyson and Lavan nodded. Lavan looked sleepy but he listened.

“We three have three vital jobs to do.” Marin said and looked at Lavan and said, “You have to meet Jake and tell him the whole truth.” Lavan nodded.

Before the start of their journey from Minjur to Chennai, Marin gave Jake’s mobile number to Lavan.

Marin pointed at Greyson and said, “We don’t know where your father Henry is, so Marcus will track his location and will update the location of Henry and you meet your father and… ask the wholetruth.”

“And I will go and join with Paigne and take her to the place where we have planned to keep Fatan Khan.” Marin said.

She said as she took out the sharpener from her pant pocket and said, “You can track my location to know where I was moving.” Both Lavan and Greyson nodded.

“That’s it. It’s the best chance we have.” Marin said.

Marin forwarded Fatan’s phone number to Greyson.

“Let’s finish our fate’s orders today.” Marin said confidently.

28

The time was 4:00pm.

Rossy and Saggy were preparing evening snacks for Cole and Silvio, as they were expected to return from their school at any time.

Rossy was still disappointed since her daughter, Marin had not returned home. Though Marin had sent a message indicating that she was fine, Rossy was not confident. Her husband, Milan looked so glum and saddened. He too missed her daughter a lot. But more than that he had a terrible dream last night. He only knew what had happened in his dream. The persons who were killed by him had returned in his dream for revenge. To make matters worse, Marin had warned him that he had done a great mistake. He couldn’t make out what Marin had meant to him.

Before the arrival of Cole and Silvio, a man rang the bell of their house. Saggy was the one who went to open the door. She opened it.

She saw a middle aged guy, with two huge bags in his hands which comprised sarees and blankets.

“Madam, I would like to sell some of these sarees and blankets to you.” The man replied.

The man’s appearance was completely absurd and he was wearing an overcoat, a dhoti and the most miserable part was his face. His face was black and there was a large mole in his right cheek. Distinctly he wore a blue turban and he might have belonged to Rajasthan.

Saggy ignored him and said, “Rahim! Why did you send strangers inside?”

Rahim was their security guard. There was no response from Rahim. The man said, “He had gone to the tea shop which is several meters away from here. He granted me the permission to come in.”

Rossy too came near to Saggy to take a look. The both whispered something and the man took out some sarees and spread it over his shoulder and said, “This will be very beautiful for you madam.”

Saggy gave a disgusting look at Rossy that none of them were beautiful. They didn’t like any one of the sarees as there were no proper designs. They looked old.

“Sorry we don’t need any of these.” Saggy said. The man considered for a moment and took out few blankets from the second bag. On seeing those, Saggy thought’ Those sarees are better’

“Sorry. We don’t these too.” Saggy repeated.

To their surprise, the man finally nodded and said, “Can I get some water?”

“Sure.” Saggy said. She went in and Rosy followed her.

After a minute they returned and Rossy offered a glass of water to the man and he drank it swiftly. The man left and they closed the door.

The man went out of the gate and glanced at the security, Rahim lying breathlessly away from his seat and if anyone entered the house, he wouldn’t be spotted by them. The man was responsible for all this.

The man walked several feet away from the house along the pavement. On his way he kept the two bags of sarees and blankets and continued his walking. He didn’t bother about those. Because he was not a saree seller actually. He took out his blue turban and threw it. A mole which was in his cheek was not real. It was just a sticker and he removed it too. He got his old face again. His name was Lima. He was working under Fatan Khan.

He took out his mobile phone from his coat’s pocket and dialed Fatan Khan’s number. Fatan accepted the call.

“Fatan I’ve completed the job.” Lima said.

“Cool. Have you placed the plastic explosives with the correct timing?” Fatan asked.

Plastic explosives. Fatan had got the plastic explosives from his smuggler friend and ordered Lima to place it in Franklin’s house.

“Yeah. I have set the timing at 7:30pm. I’ve got just a minute to finish the setting.”

He placed the plastic explosives in Franklin’s house when he asked water to Rossy and Saggy. He hid the explosives in his bags and placed them at the apt time.

“Good. Thank you very much!” Fatan exclaimed.

“You’re welcome. When will I get my commission?” Lima asked.

“Tomorrow.”

“OK.” He said and cut the call.

29

It was 5:00pm when Cole and Silvio returned home from their school. They looked delightful as tomorrow was holiday. They threw their school bags and said “Mom give us some snacks.”

Saggy emerged from the kitchen with a tray of two glasses of lemonade and two plates of fruit salads. Cole and Silvio took their seats on two sofas and began to eat their snacks.  After a minute, Jake rushed into the house with a reddened face. He climbed the staircase to his room. He took two steps at a time.

All his actions were noted by Rossy and Saggy. Saggy thought of stopping her husband and query about his actions. But she remained quiet as she was afraid that Jake would scold her.

“There would be any problems in the industry.” Rossy said, “My husband was too there in his room with a saddened face.”

Jake marched towards his room and closed the door. There was a bed, a studying table, a television and an air-conditioner.

He sat on his bed and looked confused.

Thirty minutes before, he was asked to wait at the Children’s Park which was near to his industry. The guy who called him was the second son of Henry, Lavan.

Lavan told him that he had important news to tell him. Jake accepted the request and went to the park.

The park was depeopled. Jake noticed a young guy on a wooden bench. Jake rushed to him and came to know that it was Lavan.

Lavan was wearing an Adidas T-shirt and jeans. He was sure that Jake would believe everything.

“Hey! I’m here.” Jake said.

Lavan said, “Please sit near me.”

Jake did so and Lavan began to tell him everything.

He told him the presence of Paigne and Fatan Khan, how William Dravid and Kasper Dravid were killed, how Franklin was killed, and where Marin was. Most importantly, he told about Franklin, Milan and Henry. Jake sat next to him and listened to everything though it was difficult to hear someone saying bad about their family. There were a series of different expressions in Jake’s face. It was 4:30pm when Lavan finished.

He guessed that Jake would believe him. Finally Jake rose from his seat and said “I’m with my sister’s plans.”

That sentence broke Lavan’s heart. He was not expecting that reply from Jake. He also knew that he had made a terrible mistake. ‘I shouldn’t have told this to him’ he thought.

“No! You’re wrong. Marin did not want you to do anything. She will take care…” Lavan said.

Jake thought for a moment and said, “Did she tell that?”

“Yes. She will ask your help when she needs!” Lavan said.

“OK.” Jake and said and left the park. Lavan was happy on seeing the sudden change in Jake.

And right now, Jake was sitting on his bed in confusion. He wanted to see Marin and embrace her. Also he wanted to see his beloved sister. But he was afraid that due to anger she might even kill him too. He was angry with his brother Milan who was in his room. But he kept quiet as he obeyed Marin’s orders.

30

Marin reached Paigne’s house at 5:00pm.

Paigne was waiting for her in the porch of her house. Marin was not sure whether Paigne believed her not. She was unsure whether to step into the house which would have become her grave.

Paigne looked happy on seeing Marin. Her aim would be fulfilled by night. She will kill the family who had killed her family. She knew that there will be no more use of Marin. But she accepted her in her pack.

“Come in Marin.” Paigne said as Marin kept her foot on the first step.

Marin nodded and went in. She was running out of time. She wanted to know what the plan of Paigne and Fatan Khan was. After knowing that she had to kidnap and…

“Shall we go for a walk?” Marin asked and her plan was to take Paigne to take to the place where they had decided to kidnap her. Paigne thought for a minute and said, “Sure. We shall.”

That boosted up Marin’s confidence and she decided to ask the most important question. “Where is Fatan Khan?” she asked.

Paigne said, “Still he didn’t return.”

That made Marin happy. She understood that Lavan and Greyson had carried out their job. She was confident that Lavan would have talked with Jake and Greyson would have talked with Henry. Probably he might have known the completetruth.

Paigne closed the door of her house and went closer to Marin and said, “Let’s go.”

Marin smiled herself as her plan was being carried out smoothly. The sharpener which was given by Marcus Red was in her pant pocket. Marcus will be updating her movements to Greyson and Lavan.

According to Marin’s preparations, Fatan would be kidnapped by her pack when he was returning home. She would surely congratulate the two mighty brothers for their mettle.

They started to walk. Marin couldn’t understand the behavior of Paigne. At first, Paigne looked so terrified and she was filled with dander. After Marin’s act of becoming friends, she exhibited a different character. She became solicitous. She showed more affection on Marin and Marin noticed a pleasant smile on Paigne’s face. Marin glanced at her wrist watch. It was 5.20pm.

The start of the drowning of the sun into the mountains will occur soon. She broke the silence and said, “What’s our plan?” Paigne reduced her walking speed and glanced at Marin as if she were seeing her for the first time.

“Don’t worry. Fatan would have executed it.” She replied.

Marin was completely taken up on hearing those words of Paigne. ‘Did Fatan assassinate my family members?’ she thought.

She removed that question from her mind and said, “What did he do?”

She asked in a tone that she was on their side. “Let it be suspenseto you.” Paigne said with a cheer.

Marin got frustrated on hearing those words. Without knowing their plan, how would she save her family? Marin decided to keep her mouth shut as her questions might make Paigne suspicious. Even Fatan had killed her family, Marin would take revenge on Fatan and Paigne. But that will not occur. They turned right and this time Paigne spoke, “I really like you Marin. Don’t ask me the reason why I thought of killing you. I loved your courage when you were kidnapped and now your affection towards me.” She let out a deep breath and said, “You’re like my…Kasper Dravid.”

Tears rolled from Paigne’s eyes. Her son was killed by her brother Milan. Marin didn’t know what to do. She too felt tears at the edge of her eyes. She controlled them. To her height of happiness, Paigne hugged her. Marin was speechless and she too hugged her. Paigne got back and stopped weeping.

She said, “Let’s continue.”

Next fifteen minutes they remained silent. Suddenly Paigne asked the most important question. “Where are we going?”

Marin shocked and said “Um…we shall go to the Kanaka Coffee Works. We shall have a cup of coffee there.”

Next they took right and Marin reminded herself that it was the time for their break-up. Also the time for betrayal.

Everything happened so quickly.

While they were walking, a boy stepped in front of them with torchlight. He had turned it ON before his entry. And back of them another boy was standing with a handkerchief. Paigne had not noticed that boy. Marin went closer to the boy who was holding the torchlight.

“Hey!” Paigne yelled in confusion.

The boy behind her kept the handkerchief on Paigne’s nose and in an instant Paigne smelled the same chemical smell a day ago.

The boy with the handkerchief was Lavan and the boy with the torchlight was Greyson. The building was on their right. No one had noticed it and the CCTV cameras would not have worked due to the torchlight. They carried Paigne to that building and Marin was delightful on seeing the presence of Fatan Khan too sitting in a chair in unconsciousness. They placed Paigne too in another chair and tied her hands and legs. It was 6:00 pm when they finished their act of kidnapping.

31

The building was incomplete and someone should have stopped their construction due to any problems. But that was not a problem for Marin. There were no security guards. In the first floor of that building, Fatan Khan and Paigne were placed in chairs. They were insensible. Their hands and legs were tied up with ropes. Marin, Greyson and Lavan were standing in front of them.

Lavan was in his peak of temper as he was cheated by Fatan Khan. Fatan had used him to kill Franklin and he cheated him as well. If Marin and Greyson decided to kill them, Lavan would be the one who would stab Fatan. The right side of Fatan’s lips was bleeding and Lavan was responsible for that.

Marin was the saddest one. Paigne said that she was like her son, Kasper. But she had betrayed her. She was the one to see Paigne weeping in happiness and she embraced her. She knew that Fatan Khan would come back to consciousness within twenty five minutes. Lavan said that he would kill Fatan when he came back to his consciousness but Marin rejected his idea. Paigne told her that Fatan was the one who executed their plan. But Marin doesn’t know what the plan was! So she has to wait for Fatan to regain his consciousness. There was no water with them and so they couldn’t use it to make Fatan awake. She prayed to God that Fatan should not lie to her.

Moreover she noticed the actions of Greyson which were unnatural. He did not talk to her even during the kidnap of Paigne. Marin was sure that Henry would have told the truth to Greyson. ‘Was that the reason for his actions?’ she thought.

Fifteen minutes had passed. Ninety nine percent of Marin’s body cells said that Fatan would not tell her the truth. The time was 6:45pm.

Greyson, who looked dejected rose from his seat and walked several feet away. It seemed to Marin that he was lurking something to her. She too rose from her seat and went closer to him.

“What’s wrong with you?” she asked.

For the first time in her life she noticed Greyson crying like a child.

“Hey! What happened?” she exclaimed.

Greyson shook his head. He thought of saying the reason. But before he could open his mouth to speak, he noticed the movements of Fatan Khan. Fatan came back to his consciousness. Marin noticed a change in Fatan’s face.

Fatan seemed to be normal and looked like he had come back to reality a few minutes before. He cleared his throat and said, “He knows the truth.”

Marin was rooted to her position. ‘How did Fatan know that?’ she thought.

“Did you know?” she asked Greyson.

Greyson gave a look at Marin and said, “Yes. He’s …that guy!”

Marin couldn’t believe what she had heard. Obviously she knew that Greyson knew the truth. But she didn’t expect that it would be Fatan Khan. ‘How did Fatan become that guy who was planned to kill by Franklin and his gang?’ she thought. Millions of questions rotated in Marin’s mind.

“Are you sure?” she asked.

“I’m damn sure!” Greyson yelled.

Marin turned and faced Fatan and went to sit on her seat by slipping her hand into her pocket. She sat opposite to Fatan and said “Tell me everything.”

Fatan who was beaten by a pack of youngsters gave a greedy smile and said, “Why did you wanna know that?”

“Who are you? Please tell me everything.” Marin pleaded.

Fatan laughed out loud and said, “I wasa human. Now a monster!”

Marin knew that Fatan was beating around the bush. She controlled herself and said, “Please tell us everything.”

“Sure. I can. Your family members are demons. My parents had worked in your grandfather’s industry.”

Marin realized at once that this time too Franklin was responsible for a crime. She grew angry at her dead grandfather.

“My parents were Akhan Khan and Hema. They discovered that Franklin was seizing the lands of the poor people. He wanted to construct industries in those lands. He knew that he was against the Government. But if anyone complaints to the Police, he will kill them instantly. To say in short, he was a monster!”

“So your parents tried to stop him and they were killed. Right?” Marin asked.

“My parents were honest and trustworthy. At that time I was a youngster, so they don’t want to share their problems with me.” He stopped for a brief moment and he continued.

“They knew that they will be killed by Franklin.” Tears rolled from Fatan’s eyes and he went on. “They presented me a gift box and asked me to open it when they return. But till now they didn’t return…”

“What did it contain?” Lavan asked.

“Everything had happened on my birthday. They presented me that gift on that evening. They told me that they had an urgent work and left me alone. Within an hour I received a phone call…”

“What had happened?” Lavan said.

“They informed me that my parents were dead in a car accident and closed the case.”

“So Franklin had killed them.” Marin said hopelessly.

“Yes. Do you know one more thing? I went hopeless and decided to commit suicide…but this lady, who is sitting near me, my friend, Paigne consoled me. She became my parents and my world. ” he said. Marin knew that too. Paigne had told her when she was explaining her history.

“But one day, I opened that gift box.” Fatan said and let out a breath and continued “Do you know when I did it?”

“I don’t know.” Marin said in a lowered voice.

“I opened it on Franklin’s birthday after the end of that party.” Fatan said.

“What did it contain?” Lavan asked.

“A letter describing the truth about Franklin which was written by my parents. They knew that they would be dead soon and so they wrote this letter.”

There was a silence and Fatan continued “My soul burned in anger and I wanted to take revenge on Franklin. But Franklin knew everything about me. Before I could take a step, with his pack he decided to finish my chapter! I was frightened and placed a piece of paper in my house which contained the words,

“My fate had ordered me to escape”

“And so you went to Mumbai. Am I right?” Marin asked. She remembered Paigne’s history. When Paigne sought help from Fatan, he was in Mumbai for a musical concert. “Yes. I went there to meet my friend who was a smuggler. I decided to kill Franklin’s family. But before that, that old man committed another terrible mistake. I think what I meant.” Fatan said.

Marin knew that Paigne’s husband, William Dravid was the man who was killed by Franklin and his gang. Everything had happened as if it were pre-planned.

“Orders of Fate”, Fatan muttered and continued “What to say! Paigne called me through phone and sought my help to kill her father without knowing that I was too preparing for that! And I joined with her and it took ten years for us to bounce back.” Fatan said.

Marin understood why Fatan Khan was too aggressive when she was kidnapped by them.

“And you!” Fatan said as he pointed at Lavan and said, “Do you know how your father Mr. Henry, became an industrialist?”

“Nope.” Lavan replied. That question stirred both their hearts.

“He was the guy responsible for my parents’ death. He rose to his position only because of eavesdropping! He heard Franklin’s orders to kill my parents when he was waiting outside Franklin’s cabin and Franklin noticed his eavesdropping. In order to escape from Franklin, he shook his hands with Franklin to become an industrialist.”

Lavan was taken up on hearing the secret of his beloved father.

“He’s right.” Greyson said from the back with sadness in his voice.

“What did my father do?” Marin asked.

“He was the second criminal in this case. You know that he was responsible for the death of William Dravid.” Fatan finished.

On hearing those words, Marin took out her mobile phone and kept it closer to her ears and said, “Did you hear that Jake?”

She had dialed Jake’s number before the start of Fatan’s history. She did it to prove that her father was also a culprit.

“Yes” Jake, who was in his house replied.

“I’ll call you.” Marin said and cut the call.

One important thing is to be asked. Their plan. Marin glanced at her wrist watch. The time was 7:15pm. Before she could open her mouth to ask her heart was broken into pieces as Paigne had regained her consciousness.

“Why didn’t you tell this to me Fatan?” Paigne asked.

32

That question from Paigne revealed that she had regained her consciousness during Fatan’s explanation. Marin was not willing to see her face since she had betrayed her. She was on the wrong side. Fatan and Paigne didn’t do any mistakes. Then why did she kidnap them? The time was 7:20 pm.

“I was in complete hatred, Paigne.” Fatan replied.

Marin reminded herself that she had to react quickly. “What was your plan?” she shouted.

Fatan chuckled and said, “How did you know that we had a plan?”

“She had played a trick.” Paigne said and gave a terrific look at Marin. Marin felt embarrassed but she had no time. She hardly believed that Fatan and Paigne would answer her.

Fatan seemed to play with her by not telling the truth.

“The plan was…” Fatan stopped and laughed out loud in a mocking way. Paigne too laughed.

“What was that?” Marin stressed.

“The plan was…” Fatan repeated the same. Paigne and Fatan laughed out loudly as they gonna finish their fate’s orders. The time was 7:25 pm.

“The plan was…to blastyour house with the help of bombs at 7:30 pm!” Fatan yelled. Marin looked at her wrist watch and realized that she had only five minutes to save her family.

She reacted quickly. She ignored their mocking laughs and dialed Jake’s number. She tried to forewarn them. But before Jake attended the call, Marin found two holes in the foreheads of Fatan Khan and

Paigne. She watched it in shock and at the same time Jake attended the call.

“Hello tell me Marin.” Jake said.

“Jake…there are …bombs in our house. Please everyone move out!” she yelled.

Only four minutes left. Marin was amused to see that Greyson was the one who had shot Paigne and Fatan Khan dead. Marin believed that Jake would save her family. But what had happened in front of her was unbelievable.

She turned and gazed at Greyson who was holding the pistol in his hands and weeping. Greyson wept and said, “My thirdmurder!”

Marin was shocked to hear that. Greyson had killed only two people but he said that it was his third murder.

Lavan went closer to his brother to convince him. Greyson hugged him and said “Sorry, man. I’ve killed…our father!”

Marin stood several feet away from them in shock. ‘Did Greyson kill Henry?’ she thought.

Two corpses were sitting behind her and their souls would rest in peace as their goals were fulfilled. Henry’s fatewas to die through his own son! Marin glanced at her watch and shocked to see that the time was 7:30pm.

*********

The time was 7:26pm when Jake cut the call.

He knew that he had to react quickly. He took a piece of paper and scribbled something. He also knew that his brother was a criminal. He opened his door and rushed to the ground floor.

He saw his children doing their assignments and Rossy and Saggy preparing dinner in the kitchen. He shouted, “Everyone move out of this place!”

Everyone gazed at him in shock. He said, “There are bombs in our house. Move out!”

Rossy and Saggy reacted soon by asking their children to move out and they too moved out. Jake stood on the stairs and suddenly Rossy glanced at him and said, “Milan is in his room. Please ask him to come out.” She said and ran out of the house.

Jake smiled and went upstairs. The time was 7:28pm when he reached Milan’s room and opened it. He found his brother lying on the bed. He opened his eyes on seeing Jake and said, “What do you want Jake?”

Jake shook his head and took out the piece of paper and threw at his brother’s face and spontaneously he closed the door of Milan’s room and started to move out.

Milan was shocked on seeing his brother’s actions. It was 7:29pm when he took out the piece of paper which was thrown at him by Jake and he read it,

THE SPARK OF FIRE YOU SET AFLAME, WILL ASK U TO BLAZE IN ITS GLORY.THE DEEDS OF KARMA YOU SOWED WILL WAIT TO SLICE & STAMP U WITH FURY! IT’S MY TIME TO TELL THIS,

IT’S UR FATE’S ORDER TO DIE

Milan’s eyes widened out on reading those sentences and he was rooted to his position. He couldn’t make out what his brother had meant.

The time was 7:30pm.

Milan’s ears deafened out on hearing the sound of the blast. He couldn’t realize what was happening around him. The entire house was destroyed instantly and the fires were spreading spontaneously. He couldn’t move out of his room and realized that he was in a furnace. His body was burning and he had no means to get rid of the fire. The ceiling of his room came down with a thud and Milan’s body was crushed. Blood dripped out from his head. He recalled the sentence.

“ORDER OF YOUR FATE”

And finally he let out his last breath in this earth and closed his eyes.

*********

The inmates of the house gathered several meters away from their burning house. Jake stood there, watching his house being burned. Cole and Silvio were weeping as they had not seen this type of things. Everything in the palatial house was destroyed. Milan would have turned to ashes.

Jake wondered how Marin knew everything about it. Somebody, maybe their neighbors would have called the Fire Service Department to put out the fire. They rushed to the spot and sprayed gallons of water to the burning house. But their efforts would be in vain as the house was almost destroyed.

Rossy found that her husband was not with Jake. Before she could query about it, a car rushed towards them.

They recognized Marin sitting at the front. Rossy went closer to her and embraced her in affection. Marin too embraced her mom and wept. Both Greyson and Lavan stood together. Marin was delighted to see her family back. Her heart was dissected to pieces on seeing her burning house. Tears trickled from her eyes but she controlled and went closer to Jake.

Jake and Marin hugged. Except Jake, no one knew about Paigne.

Jake said, “Milan is dead.”

All the members heard him. Rossy wept. She couldn’t believe that her husband was dead. Marin was the one who knew what Jake had done.

She didn’t cry and let out a deep breath.

33

Aweek had passed after the blast of their house.

Marin and Jake explained everything to their family members. It wasn’t easy for them to explain. There was no senior person in their family and Jake took his responsibility. Finally Rossy and Saggy turned to their normal lives. Rossy decided to live for her daughter, Marin.

Franklin, Milan and Henry were dead. Marin and Jake explained everything to the Police.

Lavan and Greyson had lost both their mom and dad. The Police had announced that Henry had committed suicide in his guest house. But the truth was known only to Greyson. Nothing worried Lavan and Greyson. They decided to build their lives.

Jake found a home for rent, a kilometer way from their old house. Their new house was comparatively smaller but they adjusted to live in it. They decided to forget everything what had happened, though it was difficult. They sold a few of their industries and Jake took control of the remaining industries.

Greyson and Lavan lived in the same house. Greyson who was jobless in his life, finally got a good job in a software company called, Quicknet. The salary received by him was enough for them. Whenever they are in need of help, Marin and her family would help them.

Lavan and Marin continued their studies in the same college. Their semester holidays had come to an end. It seemed a lifetime ago to them. They decided to concentrate in their studies. Their first day in their college after the semester holidays was not too easy.

Many of their friends chatted to them about the incidents. Even some boys mocked at them for no reason. But Marin and Lavan ignored them. Their ultimate aim was to study well and to achieve success in their lives.

Marin also thanked, Marcus Red, the gadget specialist who helped her in many aspects.

It was the time for lunch in their college.

They have to go to the mess which was present inside the college campus. The mess was old but it supplied good food to the students. Marin found Lavan sitting lonely in a dining table which was several feet away from her. There were nearly nine hundred students in the college.

She took her seat next to Lavan and said, “Hey! What’s up?”

Lavan came back to reality and said, “Nothing. Got struck by a tough question in my mind”.

Marin looked amused and said “What question?”

Lavan smiled and said “What may happen if your grandfather had killed someone like Fatan Khan’s family? Will anyone come again to take revenge?”

He took a piece of chicken and chewed it. Marin looked stunned by that question and said, “I’m not willing to hear someone saying once again, “ORDER OF YOUR FATE”.”

Both of them laughed and continued their eating.

THE END

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