Rishi held tightly to the torch in his left hand, pointing it outwards. There was no one around. It was dark and all he could see was burnt barren land. He shivered due to the cold and looked to himself. His clothes were dry but smelled of sweat and blood.
He kept on walking. The place looked completely destroyed and the buildings around him were vacant. He was searching for his friend. He didn’t know if his friend was safe. The torch could barely light the path ahead as the light spread aimlessly.
Rishi kneeled as his legs had given up. He rubbed the face with a hand and shouted for help. But there was no one.
He got up and moved towards the village heads residence, the Shankar mansion.
As Rishi opened the gate and moved inside, he felt a shadow creep on him from behind. He turned around quickly and waited with the torch to see if there was someone. As he blinked his eyes, he noticed the area under the torch light decreasing in size. The shadow was getting to him. He moved swiftly and ran to the mansion door. Rishi went inside the house and locked the door behind him. He heard a thud on the door and was glad that he was safe inside.
He had never been here before.
“Hello! Is anyone there?” Rishi looked around the house pointing the flaming torch. It was empty. The floor had blood stains and a trail leading to a room a few meters ahead. Rishi gulped and checked in his pocket if he had the pill. All this was not making sense to him.
Instinct took him inside the room where he noticed the horror!
Biradri and his son Bheem were cut in parts and intertwined, connected in a mesh of metal wires tied to the walls. The body parts were supported by the mesh as they seemed to float in midair. Rishi held his stomach as he felt uneasy. He looked around the room searching for a gun or a cleaver or any potential weapon which would make him feel safe.
He looked again at Bheem’s face. Bheem’s eyes opened and saw Rishi. They were transfixed to Rishi before he realized that there was something in his pocket!