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HALLUCINATION

by Kartik Pawar about a year ago in fiction

The investigation

SAM:

"Sam, wake up." I heard my mom calling my sleeping soul in her sluggi voice.

"Wake up kid, someone is at the door". The bell rang again. This time I gathered all my courage and got off the bed. I pushed my body to walk to the door, with partially opened eyes. The rain was pouring heavily outside, with the roar of thunder. I opened the door.

The man standing there was glowering right into my eyes. His lour sent chills through my spine. The fear took over me. I was quick to recognise that 'the man' is my uncle,Benjamin.

"Who was it?" My mom asked in slumberous voice as I came back in the room.

"Uncle Benjamin. He is resting in the guest room." The overwhelming sleep might have made her 'stone deaf' or she acted as if she doesn't care. I knew I would have nightmares if I sleep. The nightmares which haunted me for past 3 years.

It was around 7 in the morning when I got out of the bed. I had managed to get some sleep. It was like a usual start of the day. Mom had already left for hospital. She works as nurse there. I sensed that uncle too, had left somewhere. I had no interest to get in conversation with him.

After a long and exhausting soccer game, I was home. When I freshed up and was about to have lunch, the telephone rang.

"Hello, Sam here." I said picking up the call.

There was no response from the other end.

"Hello?" I tried again.

After a moment of tranquillity, the deep voice said, "the package is ready."

Before I could react, the man hung up the call. 'Maybe a wrong call.' I thought to myself, but a part of me knew that something was wrong.

I don't know if it was the tiring game or the uneasy last night, but I got 'beauty sleep' soon after the lunch.

A strong foul smell made me concious. My eyes felt heavy to open. It felt like I had not slept for years. I tried to open my eyes. With a dull sight I saw something was hanging from the ceiling. Soon I realised that it was not 'something', but 'somebody'. A body hanging from the ceiling with noose around his neck. Body of uncle Benjamin.

MARK:

Sector 27/A was not for a long drive. Me and Steve were there within half an hour.

"How are you so sure it's murder and not suicide?" Steve initiated the conversation.

"Did you examine the body.?" I asked.

"Yes, I did."

"Checked for victim's criminal record?" I asked as we got out of the car.

"No, but I am sure that won't give the evidence that it's murder." He was confident.

" The criminal record said that the victim was jailed for 3 years for the charge of murder. Murder of his own brother, George Miller over property dispute. He was released yesterday."

I could see him stupified at my statement, but his resisting attitude did not go away.

"But this too....."

" I know it doesn't lighten up the fact that it's murder." I said breaking his sentence.

"The body has several fresh scratches on his face and arms, it indicates that someone has struggled to drag the victim. While inspecting criminal record, I found out that the victim was right handed. If it was suicide, he would have tied the knot from left to right, but it is other way around in the noose we got". I finished as we entered the apartment, the crime scene.

"So, the suspect is a left handed person?"

Steve asked.

I nodded in 'yes'.

The forensic team was already present there trying to get a lead.

"Found anything?" I asked.

"Not yet, sir."

Like every case procedure suggest, I started checking the scene. The apartment was well furnished but dusty. The clothes were lying everywhere. The cupboard had nothing special. Only some clothes and medical files were filled in it.

The only way to get closer to the suspect was talking to Sam. But I knew he was petrified and was in no mood to answer my questions.

"Hey Sam, you good?" I asked softly as I approached him, trying to comfort him.

He just nodded in 'yes.'

"I am Mark, investigating officer." I said as I sat down next to him. "I just want to ask you some questions, if you are fine with it."

"Yes" he said forcing a smile on his face.

"Who else lives with you?"

"My mom. She's away, at Christopher hospital. She works as a nurse there. He was my uncle. I saw him for the first time in 3 years." His utterance hinted the fact that he had no feeling for his uncle.

"Did you see anyone around when you woke up, or something strange you noticed?"

"I didn't see anyone around. But today something strange did happen."

"What?" I asked as curiousity flowing through my questions.

"I got a call on telephone today. It was an unknown number. Someone with a horrific voice said, ' package is ready' and hung up the call. I thought it was a wrong call." His voice was heavy.

"Okay, we will try to reach out to your mother. Take care." I said as I got up.

The phone rang. It was Steve. He had gone to the hospital to find out Rita, Sam's mom.

"Did you tell her?" I asked as I picked up the call.

"No man, she's not here. The hospital staff said there is no woman named Rita working here."

"Did you show them the photograph?"

"Yes."

After a bit of silence, he said,

"Do you think she's the one?" I felt his eyebrows rising, even on the call.

"Maybe. Maybe not? We can't be sure of it right now."

"Where is Sam?"

"I have sent him to departmental residence, he was worried about his mother."

"But for now, she's suspect. I will ask team to search her." His determined voice was back.

"Okay."

The fact that a woman killing a man in front of her sleeping son, and leaving him behind as a suspect didn't convince me.

I was home. The tiring day made me sleep as soon as I fell on the cosy bed. Around 1 AM I got a call. This time it was Kate.

"Hey handsome!" She said with her dulcet voice.

"Found the dialler?" I asked ignoring her seductive tone.

"Don't you ever get bored of all this?"

"You got something or shall I hang up the call?" I said trying to act angry.

"Ok fine." She said convincingly. "The dialler is from MF corporation, the famous food company. He said he got an order from Benjamin Miller. So he called him saying the food is ready."

"Are you sure he's not lying?"

"Yes, nobody has ever lied to me after getting a teeth broken." That made me smile a bit.

Two days later:

"We have searched every possible location." Said Steve.

"And?"

"No lead. Many people from the colony said they never ever have seen or heard anything about Rita."

"The case is getting more complicated. The only suspect we have is missing. We should find her as soon as possible." I said in uplifting tone.

I was at the entrance of departmental residence. This was the place where they kept people if they are related to a case and nowhere to go.

From gate I saw Sam sitting there alone.

But from a distance, I sensed that he did not felt lonely. There was something that kept him engaged. Something that prevented him from missing his mom.

He saw me. With a smile on his face, he waved at me. He waved me saying hi, and that's when it clicked me. Something dark passed in my brain.

He was waving with his LEFT HAND!

I quickly sprinted towards my car and drove to the 27/A, the apartment, the crime scene. The apartment was same as it was earlier. I got straight to the bedroom where the cupboards were. It did not take me long to get what I was searching. The medical report files.

The report said:

Name: Sam Miller

Schizophrenia, extreme level of

hallucination

Christopher hospital.

Signature: Dr. Park.

My heartbeats took the pace. The lub- dub of heartbeats was interrupted by phone call. It was Steve.

"Listen Mark, Sam is fooling us. His mom is dead a long before. I think it's all his plan."

I was quite.

"Mark, you there?"

"Be at Christopher hospital within 5 minutes." I hung up the phone without waiting for his response.

Steve had arrived before me.

"What's it? Didn't you listen me on call? Rita is dead. We won't get anything here."

He said as I approached towards him.

"And that's why I called you here".

"Where can we get Dr. Park?" I asked to one of the receptionist.

"First cabin from right", she pointed in the direction.

I knocked on the door.

"Come in", an old voice ordered.

He mentioned us to sit.

"How can I help you?" We were in Dr. Park's cabinet.

I slided the file, which I had brought, towards him. It took Park a minute to remember his 3 year old case.

I informed Park everything, that has happened.

Dr. Park explained about happened to Sam 3 years ago.

Most of the scientific language he used didn't get into my head.

Sam was hospitalized for a mental disorder, called schizophrenia.

This took over him when he saw the most horrific crime, murder of his own dad by his uncle. His mother was dead many years before. He hallucinated about his mom when he was hospitalized. That explains why he told us his mom works in Christopher hospital. His brain was using all the possible information from the past to create a new world for himself. An imaginary world.

An NGO raised money for him and gave him a small appartment in sector 27/A after his complete diagnosis. Dr. Park said Sam was asked to visit hospital after diagnosis which he rarely did. This may be the reason his hallucination was restored back and grew to an extreme level.

"Was hallucination the reason behind the murder?" Steve asked.

"Technically speaking, it's difficult to believe that a 16 year old boy killed 50 year old man. The hallucination was so extreme that other mental disorders were triggered. The possible explanation to this is bipolar disorder. The night when he saw his uncle, all the memory of past experiences grew fear within himself. That's when the other personality started dominating. His body started accepting personality of 'strong Sam' over 'weak Sam'. When Sam thought he was sleeping, the other Sam was awake. His body gained strength from adrenaline and other harmonal changes. And when his uncle arrived, he strangled him to death."

"The voice which he said he heard on the phone was a normal one. But his brain made it feel horror." He added.

My mind was busy registering all the information from Dr.Park.

"So, is it possible to treat Sam completly again". I asked curiously.

"It's near to impossible. The secondary character has dominated. He will live his entire life being '2 souls in one body.'"

I was driving to departmental residence with Steve.

"So, what now?" Steve asked.

I didn't reply. The smile on my face might have given him the answer.

"You okay, Sam?" I asked as we walked on to Sam.

"I am fine." His eyes had a sparkle.

"Don't you want to know where is your mom?" Steve asked cautiously.

Sam replied pointing in a direction,

"She's right there, standing next to my dad."

fiction

Kartik Pawar

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