Sleeping Beauty

Ravi slowly opened his eyes, his head still the felt the blow that had knocked him out. His vision finally cleared, he realized he was being held captive. His hands and legs were tied to a chair. The room was dark and moist, water spread on the floor and a stinking smell he could not comprehend what.

“Where am I?“ , he yelled.

No one came, or responded. He tried yelling “Help” a few times at the top of his voice, before realizing the futility of the exercise. The pin drop silence was only punctuated by the chirping of crickets. Giving up , he reflected back on the moment he had decided to help a complete stranger in the middle of nowhere, look where it landed me, he thought.

After what seemed like an eternity, he heard footsteps approaching. The door opened and the same stranger who he had stopped his car for helping, entered.

The guy was lean and skinny , barely in his 30-s , may be late twenties , but his hair had shades of white and his eyes looked tired. He wore an old pair of jeans, torn  in random places, a dirty t shirt portraying some rock band , completely indiscernible. He had earphones plugged into his ears. The volume was so loud , that if Ravi had heard that song before, he probably would have recognized it.

The guy paced nervously around the room, completely oblivious of the fact that Ravi was sitting there. He seemed to be in a lot of pain, he kept pressing his calf muscle, he was barely able to stand, his hands were shaking. When he tried to take out his iPod, he could barely handle it because his hands were shaking so much and dropped it to the ground.

Damn it!!!! , he yelled, he slammed his fist into the ground and his hand started bleeding. He was cut by one of the glass pieces lying on the floor. That’s when Ravi realized that the floor was full of random glass pieces here and there.

“You are bleeding”

The stranger suddenly jerked around as if he had been awaken from a trance.

“What….oh , ah…….oh yes, you are awake,  missed you altogether there”.

“ Yes , I can see that” .

“I…..I ……I  was lost in my thoughts”, he stammered , suddenly felt his throat dry and short of breath.

Ravi couldn’t have told whether he was more afraid of the stranger or the stranger was more afraid of him, judging by the way he was behaving.

“Why have you kidnapped me? Money?”

“Kidnap? Oh no no no , you have got me all wrong “

“You knocked me out and now I am tied to a chair , what would you call that?”

“I…..I….I just”

“You just WHAT!! “ , yelled Ravi.

“ I just want to talk.”

That was the last answer Ravi was expecting , the reply was ridiculous at least to begin with , and he would have laughed his guts out had someone told this situation to him as a story.

“You what”

“I just want to talk”

“Gee, talk about what? Politics , sports , technology ……….what  the fuck do you……….”

“ I am a murderer”

If the previous statement was a surprise , this was a shock right out of the blue.

A brief silence followed, while Ravi was still trying to comprehend what was happening.

“You are a murderer? “ , Ravi finally got his voice back.

“Yes”

“How many people have you killed?”

“Just the one”.

“Not much of a murderer , are you ?? only one “ , Ravi thought , he was amazed at his sense of humor  even in this situation.

“So is this some kind of a confession? “ , asked Ravi, not sure what else to say.

“You can put it like that, I just need a distraction”

“Distraction from what?”

“Distraction from living in constant fear of being caught!!” , his voice dripped of pure frustration.” Every sound seems like its gonna be the police knocking on the door , I haven’t slept for 2 weeks now. You see this (he gestured at his ipod , his breathing was gradually getting faster ) , I have tried sleeping with earphones plugged in full volume , in the hope that it would block out  every other sound and noise and hoping that just keeping my eyes closed will finally help me get some sleep .

But it didn’t help. You know how it feels when you start doubting yourself that the sounds and noises are just inside your head. You have started going mad. I can hear even pin drops , you would think all that loud music would affect my hearing ability , but it has only increased it seems”

“Why did you kill him?”

“2 weeks ago, I was sitting right where you are sitting now , tied to that chair”

“You were kidnapped?”

 “Yes!! as I was saying, I was tied to the same chair. I had no way to escape, it all seemed lost. The ransom they had demanded from my family, they could never have arranged for it. He tortured me for days , kept me hungry ”

“So how did you get out?”

“When he realized he wasn’t going to get his money , he came at me with a knife to kill me. Only God knows how I survived that day . I dodged his first blow , but not completely the knife went deep into my shoulder , but I was still tied to the chair and my shoulder burned with pain. I mustered up all the strength I had and flung towards him with the chair. I knocked him over , before he could recover I had grabbed the knife he dropped and cut the ropes on my wrists. What followed was ruthless battle for survival , I landed a few misguided hits on him which pushed him back , before I finally grabbed the old tubelight lying there and shattered it on his head. He was knocked out, but hatred and anger had consumed me till then. I killed him. I…..I …..really didn’t mean to, I really didn’t mean to.” , he finished and broke into uncontrollable sobs.

Ravi was at a loss for words, he could not picture the sheer brutality of the context.

“What did you do with the body?” , not sure if he wanted to know the answer.

“Even after killing him, my hate still did not subside , I started cutting him into pieces. When I was finally finished , I realized what I had done . I puked over and over. I could not look at those cut-up-bloody-body-parts , I barely managed to stack them there into that corner, look “ , still sobbing.

It was Ravi’s turn to puke. He turned away his eyes, that’s where the smell was coming from.

“You do understand why I did all this , you realize what I had went through , you forgive me right.”

“Of….Course, Of course I forgive you , I completely understand you , he deserved it” , he was just saying what the guy wanted to hear.

The guy broke into an uncontrollable smile , he wiped his tears.

“I feel really light now, telling you all this …….its like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I’ve never felt this good in days”

Thanking Ravi profusely he just lay down on the floor , and before long he was sleeping. The smile on his face said it all.

This is my chance , Ravi thought . I have to escape some how . He saw the glass pieces on the floor. He grabbed one of them with his toes  and started cutting into the rope . The whole process was really slow and took some time, but the guy seemed like he wasn’t going to wake up any time soon. Ravi kept at it and finally managed to get himself free.

He started walking quietly towards the door, walking backwards eyes on the guy.

“I am gonna get you arrested you freak, you just wait , this will be the last time you sleep before they hang you “ , Ravi thought.

Just then he felt his leg tripping a wire , before he could realize , he was falling. He saw a huge blade coming down at him from the ceiling. The blade went right right through his neck , severing the head from the body. It popped up in the air , before coming down with a thud.

The guy woke up from the sound and looked at his watch.

“3 hours of beautiful sleep , that’s 1 better than the last one got me “ , he smiled.

He got to cleaning up the blood and put the body into the existing pile of corpses.

Today the thrill of killing and resounding nap were enough to keep him happy , before the worries and fear of getting caught would consume him again tomorrow .

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