Murder in Manipal

It was a dark cold night that both girls will always remember. They were in the old deserted house at the bottom of the hill on the road to Parkala. Betty Newcombe and Renuka Shettigar had cone to the place for adventure. Betty was an exchange student from Germany, who was studying Printing technology at the Manipal Institute of Communications and Renuka was assigned to her as a local host.

Betty, blond and vivacious had already gotten along well with her colleague at college and both the girls had been traveling across the vast Indian sub-continent for the past couple of months. Renuka welcomed the blond stranger from Germany as a long lost sister and was a prime epitome of the warm and caring hospitality of Indian culture.  When Betty first came to Manipal, she was a bit worried about all the stuff she’d been reading about the small town and how difficult a life she would have to face in this still developing country. Her fears were totally unfounded and she’d taken to this cosmopolitan township quite well and with Renuka her trusted lieutenant by her side, she’d seen many of the tourist hot-spots in the nearby states of Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Renuka and Betty had spent each of the weekends over the past couple of months traveling.

Though Renuka couldn’t afford the travel, Betty was more than willing to cover the extra expenses for the “little girl” from India, as she called Renuka, and thus their friendship grew.

This was the first weekend they were actually spending together in Manipal after Betty had arrived from Germany and both girls were already feeling restless, cooped up in their apartment flat in the posh Mandavi Paradise overlooking the End-Point valley. The rains had begun in their full fury in Manipal, and the girls had wisely decided not to venture out in the pouring monsoon rains of Manipal. However, by evening the rains had taken a break and Betty, the more adventurous of the two pestered Renuka to go out and have a little fun.

It was already 9:00 P.M and Renuka tried to convince that the time wasn’t appropriate for adventure. But Betty wouldn’t listen and so Renuka suggested that they go for a walk along the Main road towards Parkala and return back before the 11:00 P.M. curfew imposed by the local authorities. It was around 10:30 p.m when they had turned back to return after a sumptuous meal at the Manipal Fish house that it began to pour again and the girls were without an umbrella.

That is when Betty had seen the old abandoned house at the bottom of the hill and the girls decided to take shelter in the house, despite Renuka’s protests to hire an auto and return home. About 11:00 p.m. a most hideous noise screeched through the old ramshackle building and the girls stood frozen in their tracks and trembled with fear.

As they peeked through the crack in the wall they could plainly see him in the other room.

“‘We’ve got to get out of here,” said Renuka Shettigar to her pal.

“No,” said the brave Betty. “We are going to kill him.”

“OH I can’t, I just can’t; why I never murdered anyone before in my life,” wailed Renuka quietly to her fellow conspirator.

“Well, there’s a first time for everything,” whispered Betty in a chilling voice. Renuka shuddered at this and was having second thoughts about the sanity of the person she was with. Had she misjudged Betty? Was Betty a serial killer or something? It was too late now, if she tried to run, Betty may turn on her, it’s better if I try to engage her in conversation and try to avoid a confrontation. Yes, that’s how I’ll do it thought Renuka.

“But what if someone finds it out,” Renuka protested frantically.

“No one will,” said the disgusted Betty. “If you’re going to be such a sissy, I’ll do it myself. You can stand outside.”

She quickly opened the door and with a full swing of her club, she brought an end to the life of the inhabitant of the deserted house — A Mouse – and committed a murder in Manipal.

P.S.: All events in this story are purely fictional. Any similarity to persons/events living or dead is purely co-incidental.

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About Vishaal Bhat 678 Articles
Student,Teacher, Father, Pharmacologist, Chess enthusiast, Blogger and Right-of-center political views

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