The Haunted Hostel — #14

…Everyone swiftly got up and peeked towards the dark entrance.

I spoke, ‘Draw a thin line between read and read. You don’t actually feel the difference until told’ and looked at the silhouette — ‘Welcome Sir! Thanks for being there all the time. You required a solved case and here you go.’

The figure walked near the stage and a dim ray shone on his face as Molly spoke in awe — “Principal Sir?”

He walked to the stage and smiled at me. “What is your presumption, Mr. Sangeet?”

‘Well! Just like we discussed and everything that you heard from outside is… my presumption.’

He looked at Wilson — “I thought you were the best among us. And when you were unable, you brought in Sangeet and now he has flagged the ones I entrusted.”

I snickered, ‘Well! That is an ultimate problem we all have.’

“But first, how is your mind capable of perceiving such things? I am not sure if you may know it. But we had even discussed having Molly crack open our haunted hostel case but she was starting to deal with the fact of a dead father. Then Nandhan… posing as VP came inside the picture. Everything went reverse.”

‘Molly?’ and I looked at her. ‘You never mentioned this? And Wilson has never talked about this too. Even when before the day of competition while talking about Mr. Alexander, yo…….’

Wilson — “Sangeet?”

Principal tapped my shoulders— “Mr. Sangeet?”

Faiyaaz in a loud voice — “Sangeet sir!”

Are you watching closely, now?

My mind went blank for a moment. No memories converged. I realized that my mind was multiplying between reality and BrainGround. All the characters from reality appeared in a white infinity space. People were trying to snap me back to reality as the voices were echoing and suddenly it was silent as a graveyard.

In the BrainGround

Me: ‘Jeff?’

Wilson: “Yes! I’m here to answer”

Me: ‘You played flute for a few mins on the day of competition. I never realized that you played the exact same note at the temple on the day of my capture.’

Molly: “Bravo! Now you found the real truth, no matter how much I admitted I said the truth.”

Me: ‘Oh shit! So, that was Jeff posing as Janavi. Janavi admitted that Molly wasn’t accepting the role and Molly interrupted with an obvious lie.’

Janavi dropped something on the floor and chuckled.

Me: ‘That’s a voice modulator.’

Everyone in unison: “BRAVO! Mr. Sangeet”

And I snapped back to reality. Some of the lights were now switched on and everyone were on their feet.

I had no support and was standing like a statue. Turned myself towards Wilson, ‘It was you who tortured me. Oh! how fool I was! How could you ever reach the place the ghost disappeared from the scene? I didn’t think. The computerized voice. The ghost image. Everything was you?’

Wilson smirked like a villain, “Voice modulator!”

Molly couldn’t speak a word as she was just a weapon who still cannot fall on my side.

Wilson continued, “Well! How the turn tables. I thought you lost to a freaking amateur. But I understand that you’re accusing me a Bishop of this game. Who is the King, Sangeet? Now, who is the King?”

Slow clapped and laughed. Principal acknowledged with a smile.

VP panicked and stepped down to whisper at Wilson. “What? What is happening Wilson? I thought this would never have happened when warden’s story ended.”

I looked sharp at him. Smiled and readied my loud voice, ‘NANDHAN! You’ve distracted me long enough and all it took for me is just one sentence from you to understand who was behind all of this’

He was biting his teeth and answered, “What?’

I volunteered myself as I had been your point of contact more than Principal Sir. Do you remember this statement?

He scratched his head, “I think?”

‘You said you are going to talk with Molly. I have never seen anybody else other than you address her as Mallika. It took me a while to understand what kind of connection you have with her with the tone you said her name. So, Mr. Nandhan a.k.a The King of this game. You are the ultimate brain of everything.’

Principal — “What are you inferring now, Mr. Sangeet?”

Took two deep breaths and spoke, ‘I’m here to find the culprits. And I gave them to you. It’s all up to you now, sir. It’s gonna happen anyway, if you decide to retain Wilson and Nandhan in the same room.’

He thought for a while and started to speak. I spoke first, ‘Sorry for the interference. The ultimate aim of Mr. Nandhan is to make students addicted to drugs. His recreational drug use has actually made him a huge druglord and if I might dig deep, lot of things could be uncovered. But that’s not my concern right now. I want Wilson out of this. Just like Molly, he’s just a weapon.’

Principal — “Yeah I understand. Do you think that these people are going to digest for what’s going to come further?”

I acknowledged with a teeth-smile and gave a brief look at everyone. Janavi was in shock. Faiyaaz was confused. Molly was filled with guilt of choosing wrong side and so was Jeff for falling in wrong hands. He was on the verge of falling into cry-zone.

‘So? Are you ready to come out of the accessories room, Warden?’

Everyone along with Principal screamed in unison — “WHAT!”

The door unlocked and warden walked out of the room. Smiled at me and mouthed, “Thank you sir!”

VP stuttered — “Didh…da….ba…. How are you alive?”

I turned my head towards VP, ‘Elementary, My dear Nandhan.’

~ to be continued

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