This story starts well, but ends abruptly, since it is difficult to write with handcuffs on, and I don’t like the people I am travelling with.
Pietr Demosthenes, my friend, philosopher and dope partner, died on a cold June night. He was in Auckland, New Zealand. There was a rumour that all his blood had flowed to his head, since he had to stand upside down. The coroner’s report, however, suggested that the culprit was a fine 9mm bullet, lodged cozily in his cranium.
Just three days before this incident, I was giving a lecture on Pietr. My audience was a collection of his mannequins in his bedroom. Just three hours before I was to finish, Julia Demosthenes, the hard-bodied former Miss San Francisco and Pietr’s wife, came into his bedroom and asked me why I was standing on her husband’s tummy. I promptly dismounted, and diverted the topic to their upcoming trip to the south-east.
I know what you are thinking. Why were there mannequins in Pietr’s bedroom? He said it helped him to write characters better. He would model the characters in his novels on the mannequins. A lot of the mannequins, however, were of tiny Eskimo girls. As far as I know, he never had an Eskimo girl as a character, although in one story, there was a silly old woman named Pamela Petrovich, who built an igloo out of cigarette packs.
I had been a friend of Pietr since the day I discovered him outside Jojo’s, searching for his breakfast in the dumpster. I had found him to be a nuisance, and had pushed him inside it. We instantly became friends, and discussed the newest stories in The New Yorker. A week later, at a strip club in Bangalore, where he met Julia’s twin sister, he took the opportunity to hit me with a tandoori roti and flick some ash into my eye.
I was a good luck charm for him, I guess, since within a month of our first meeting, the crazy hobo had had his first book deal, had won two hundred thousand dollars in a Canadian lottery without even buying a ticket, and had married Julia, the former Miss San Francisco, who then worked as a bouncer at a gay bar in Turkey. His first book, ‘Julia’s Twin’, sold six billion copies, and then went out of print.
Due to the time difference, I learnt of Pietr’s death only an hour before it happened. I was then working on a non-fiction story of mine, titled ‘Twin Primes: Why Are They Good In Bed?’ I opened the door to find Brohmeshwar Bagchi, the renowned private detective and software engineer. I thought he was smoking, but once I invited him into my drawing room, I noticed he was eating a dosa.
He informed me that Pietr would soon die, and he suspected I had something to do with it. He took my fingerprints, started sniffing my old clothes, went through my video collection and pocketed a few, fixed my computer and installed several mythological games, ate my breakfast and finished a jug of orange juice, and asked me where I will be and what I will be doing when Pietr will be murdered.
An hour later, when he had confirmed that Pietr was dead, he left my apartment, saying he would keep his eye on me, and that I made an excellent spinach omelette. I was confused, not only because there was no spinach in the omelette, but also because two was a prime number.
Julia, however, came to my apartment the next night. I mistook her for her twin, and told her she looked very good in her last video, although the cameraman could have focused more on her face. Julia grew furious, and accused me of murdering her husband. She said she had suspected my intentions since the day she discovered me giving a lecture on him. She said that I was jealous of his success, and wanted to have his action figure collection.
I told her to calm down, and made her watch one of her sister’s videos. Later, I decided to do some investigation on my own. I booked a ticket to Auckland, surveyed the crime scene, ate some kiwis, interviewed the locals, delivered a ring, and was back home before “Housewives and mothers-in-law” had started.
I had solved the case, and so I called everyone for dinner. We had a nice meal, and Mr. Bagchi praised my turkey kebabs, although they were made of spinach. At the end, just when everyone started feeling sleepy, I announced that I had solved the case and would break it to them. Within the next three days, I explained to them the seven hundred clues which had led me to the murderer. Just when everyone was beginning to suspect Winston Churchill, I produced my final evidence, a piece of gum chewed by Michael Jackson and spit out by Thomas Mann.
It was then clear to everyone, and even to me. I was the murderer. I did it because I wanted the He-Man action figure in his study. I, also, probably, wanted to sleep with his wife and her twin sister. I did it with the help of a Zimbabwean gunman whom I had hired for three billion Zimbabwean dollars. He, however, failed to kill Pietr by holding him upside down, and had to use his gun as the last resort.
When the police arrested me, they allowed me to choose my cuffs, and I chose the ones with the coconut flavour. While they were taking me to their van, I thought of my old friend. I lifted my hand high up and shouted, “Long live …,” and then was hit on my face with a piece of sardine because I was walking on Mrs. Robinson’s grass. She’s a slutty moron, you’d know. Oh oh oh, oh oh oh!
Sagnik Datta has a degree in Engineering Physics, but he is not sure
where he has kept it. His works have appeared (or are forthcoming) in:
Eunoia Review, eFiction India, After The Pause, Right Hand Pointing