By: Sri Ram
At the midnight of the owls, by the tall coconut tree whose strong and thick trunk crawled across from the house in the neighborhood and connected to the balcony of the hospital, Ramesh jumped onto the balcony. The hushing wind was the only sound that can be heard. It was so quiet.
The Informer had mentioned that, the hospital is a big shot in that corner of the city. Patients from many countries brought huge revenue. A day’s revenue easily crossed half a million. The head of the doctors usually took quality time on each patient and therefore, avoided admitting many at the same time since he cannot concentrate and focus.
The head of the hospital generally visited the bank once in every 3 days to deposit the revenue, accumulated up until that point in time, since visiting the bank every day began taking a lot of time. The informer had also mentioned of the fact that, since it was the 2nd day, therefore, at the least a million can be drawn out from the cash drawer, if everything went as expected without any flaws and that his share was 10 percent.
The hospital was wide enough for the number of patients it took at a time. Looking at the dimensions of the hospital, one could easily make out the volume of revenue that it generated per day. The watchman has already been covered. He was seen lost in sleep, without any sense on his mobile phone that fell down from his belly.
Ramesh slowly moved by the tip of his foot. Through an open window, yellow light overflowed. Ramesh went near and peaked in.
Only four were seen, sleeping. It appeared as if they were not in deep sleep. One among the four kept waking up from time to time, looked around, drank some water, stretched his limbs and fell back.
“It gets really challenging only when the people around, are not in deep sleep” Ramesh thought. He kind of felt tingling in his palm and foot.
Past that room, was the office room of the hospital, which had the Cash and Jewel safe, which would easily give way to one of his many duplicate keys. His collection of duplicate keys was like the magic wand of Harry Potter, capable of opening any safe in the world. Even if the safe didn’t give way to any of his keys, he was intended to take the whole safe with him.
When he was about to put his foot, a step past the door of the room, he heard it clearly.
To be precise, it was over-qualified for a noise. Whatever he heard resembled cry of a lost girl. He took back his foot and plunged into the darkness and laid himself motionless. He again looked inside the room through window and found that, all four of them were in sleep. Now the decibel of the girl’s cry rose a bit. It resembled the cry of the wandering orphaned cats at nights.
He looked again into the room through the window. One of the patients, an old man, was found sitting on the bed and stretching his hand. He didn’t appear to have been disturbed by the noise. He extended his hand to the Jug, kept on a table nearby, took it, and drank some water and kept it back on the table. And then he fell back on the bed relaxingly.
There was no sign of him, having heard of the cry of the strange girl.
Anyone, in a 100 meters radius, could not have missed of that noise, but neither that old man nor anyone else in the room, seemed to have been disturbed by it.
As the cry of the girl gripped his brain cells, he recalled the night; he met that girl on a burglary. The informer had mentioned that, she was a play-back artist and has gathered a lot of wealth by giving her sweet voice to many prominent actresses in TV. She was a beautiful young girl in her early 20’s. She had round big eyes that conveyed a lot of things. He instantly got fire and jumped on her. At the tip of his sharp knife he held her reddish throat and in that dark night, he took off her virginity as he heard of her moans.
He then pressed that knife into her throat just a couple of inches deep, fearing that she might go to cops, if left alive. The sight of her and the voice of her moans, as she slowly died in his arms was still in his memories.
He recalled those moans and in his brains, he failed to make out a difference between the two. Up until that point in time, he had never seen a ghost. First time, in his life, he faced a paranormal activity. Could any man in any planet, forget, the moans of his women? Could it be that girl’s ghost? Is it trying to take revenge? As seconds passed by, the cry of the girl intensified. It began to distort his concentration. He was slowly losing his grip on the situation. First time, in his burglar life, he lacked confidence so much that he feared of getting caught.
That cry, engulfed his ear drums and stayed. Like a looped playlist, it kept playing in his ears. As he stood there thinking, the noise grew in decibels approaching him and as he turned in the direction of the noise, thick moist wind crossed slapping on his face. It smelt a decomposing corpse.
Ramesh’s forehead and neck, were soaked wet in sweat instantly. The sweat made his eyebrows wet, fell down through his eye brows and involuntary, he wiped it off with his palms. He recalled that, his hands were bare. He reminded himself of the various consequences of leaving behind his finger prints. He touched nothing. He approached to the brim of the balcony spotted the coconut tree through which I jumped to the balcony.
In his mind, he had already given up. He was not in any sort of mood to go ahead with the burglary as he felt, being watched by someone. Something.
He finally jumped to catch the trunk of the coconut tree but, this time, his wet palms could not grip on the trunk. Ramesh was freely falling to the ground, yielding to newton’s gravity.
In the morning, the cops and the night watchman were having a conversation.
“You are the watchman here. So where did you go when it all happened?”
“Sir, I was very sleepy. So I watched a ghost movie in my mobile to keep myself awake all through the night”
“Is this a hospital or a theatre complex? How could you watch a movie in a hospital zone?”
“Sir, this is an ENT specialty hospital. Our doctor is an expert in ear related problems. So patients who are deaf come here to get their ears treated. So no matter how noisy it is, it will not disturb anyone”
Ramesh stood there spell-bound, watched his own dead body, soaked with his own blood on the floor, covered with white cloth and cops, doctors standing around and ‘Deaf Out Patients’ written on the door of the room, at which he stood the night before.