Saturday, January 26, 2013

Madness: Part-II

Part I: http://creativejuiceshop.blogspot.in/2012/10/madness-part-i.html

There's a bar near the bridge. Not the sort of bar you would want to take your girl to. Not the sort of bar you yourself would go into unless there is a gun pressed to your head. Its not so much a bar as a breeding ground for all the creatures of the urban night.

I know for a fact that A used to come here a lot. During my last conversation with him, he'd told me to come here and ask for B, if anything should happen to him. He gave no details, just a name.

Whatever else its not, this is the sort of bar that will give me answers. So, armed with just a name, I make my way there, my feet squelching in the mud that passes for a road, my mind squelching about in the muck of uncertainty.

The lights on the street have long gone off, smothered, possibly, by the hopelessness that has become a part of the place. However, the silence is what makes its presence most felt as I make my way down the street. No hookers line the street, selling their wares. There is no bar brawl that has spilled out onto the road, no deranged, drunk fighters and no crowd to egg them on.

For a street that has become notorious for both of these, this is strange. And not mildly disquieting.

The lights in the bar are dim. I can vaguely make out the waitress sitting behind the counter, reading a magazine. The cover of the magazine shows a green lawn, a white two-storey house and a dog frolicking on the lawn. As I move closer, I realise that she's not reading so much as staring wistfully at the cover.

"You must be C", she said, barely looking up.

"How..?", I let the question hang in the air, where it gives company to the palpable stench of squandered lives.

---------------------------------------------
The man who approaches me is just as A described him. He's tall, somber and moves about like somebody died. Well, A did die, so I guess his mood is not out of place. He, however, sticks out like a sore thumb. My peripheral vision tells me this much.

"How do you know who I am?", he demands, after his initial vapid "How..?"

Now, I'm extensively practiced in the art of giving people what they demand. What they want. All of them are looking for answers. For most of them, the answer lies in temporary exhilaration -injected or snorted or smoked.

I look up from the magazine. I take my time.

"A said you might come.", I say, searching his face for any hint of how far he's willing to go to solve the mystery of his friend's death. Because, God knows, he'll have to go far.

"Yes", he admits, "He called me the night before he.. died. He told me to come look for you, in case anything should happen to him."

"Well, he's dead now. Ain't a thing you can do about it. I suggest you go on home before you end up dead too."

He leans closer to me, his face as dead as a dodo, and whispers, "And I suggest you tell me all you know. I'd rather not come here with a warrant. That might not end well for you."

He takes out his badge and keeps it on the counter.

I can't lay claim to have learnt many things in life. But one thing I have learnt is that it doesn't hurt to have a friend in the force. Especially in my line of work.

So I tell him.

About Madness.

About how its the most potent drug to ever hit the streets.

About how it lets the user experience first hand what mad people experience, a completely different view of the universe- where space is time and time is space, and the past and future are places which one can stumble upon from the present, if one lets go.

And about how the only way to make this wonder drug is by extracting a complex hormone found in abundant quantities only in mad people.

I stop there and let him make the last leap. Given the above facts, I think he's smart enough to figure out why his friend, with a history of mental illness, disappeared.








7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reading this makes me want to do something dark. Like stalk you. Oh wait, I already am stalking you. Aren't you spooked enough yet? Or worse, haven't you noticed at all?

Anonymous said...

lol. always good to have stalkers!

Anonymous said...

Glad to know you find it funny.

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