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Dated: Wednesday, September 25, 2019

With a coo of a dove it all went wrong. I don’t know what kind of demons hacked into my mind and urged me to commit such a horrendous mistake. It all started during that late summer night when I received a parcel out of nowhere. The sender was anonymous but I was the recipient for sure. There was an antique glistening silver box lying inside the cardboard with the initials H.F. Without even imagining the probable consequences of opening that box, I simply removed its lid. The sight of a metallic shot gun sent shudders down my spine. Beneath it lay a piece of parchment and the words scribbled over it said: Henry Finn’s bull dog to be shot down by midnight. Claim hundred thousand dollars that will be transferred to your account after the killing is confirmed- The Benefactor

The clock chimed eleven and I rushed out of the house, holding the gun in my hands. The lust for money had hypnotized me that I agreed upon killing my beloved detective friend ‘Henry Finn’s dog’ without a second thought. A wreath of mist was swirling before my eyes, blinding my vision as I aimed the revolver at Henry’s dog, camouflaged amidst the bushes in his garden. My fingers quivered as I was about to pull the trigger but then I was shoved back with such pressure that the gun fell out of my hands. It was Henry who had caught me red handed and now I was doomed.

“What do you think you’re doing mate? You seriously have the audacity to kill your best friend’s dog! Don’t you recall how many mysteries Tommo has helped me unfold and how many notorious sinners are behind the bars because of him?”

Henry lashed out at me while his face was flushed magenta with fury. Now I was swirling in a whirlpool of regret, guilt, and remorse after realizing my mistake and decided to put things together.

I narrated that parcel story to Henry after which we started tracking the courier guy. It eventually led to the post office from where we extracted the name and number of the sender which was a fake. I spent days and nights over viewing my bank account, blabbering if something shady has been noticed lately over the helpline. Fortunately, after scrolling a zillion times over online shopping sites, I finally hunted down the silver box company. This was more than enough for an erudite detective like Henry to use his resources and chase the benefactor. In less than week, he was handcuffing the culprit which turned out to be one of his oldest foe with a sinister history. He wanted the dog dead because it was quite significant to Henry in solving the case and catching him. His intuitions were proven right when Henry shoved him in the police cab at the airport, when he was about to leave the state but his plans failed miserably.

As for me, it took a lot of apologies, sacrifices and promises to get along with my only friend, leave the grudges behind and turn over new leaf for which I thank my favourable fate.

Bakhtawar Imran (O-III)