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Short Story

The Right Thing


20/05/2017 1205 hours 

They were stuck in a stalemate. His wedding suit, which had been quite a handsome specimen a few hours earlier, was in tatters. His left hand was pointed out straight and his palm was starting to sweat after holding his Glock 17 too tightly. But these were the least of his problems. His right leg was bleeding profusely, and his right hand was the only barrier blocking it from raining down.

“Help! JANITH!!! Heeeelllp!!!” she screamed from the other side. She did look beautiful except for the fact that she was held by her neck by his newly-made „Best Bud‟, who had her Ruger LC9 pressed against her head.

“Pull that trigger, putha,” said the Best Bud, “And you can examine her brain,”

 

20/05/2017 0705 hours

 

Geethi‟s face had blossomed into a bright smile an hour ago and it still hadn‟t vanished. Yes, this was not the kind of wedding ceremony she had expected. Like all girls, she had imagined her wedding to be quite an extravagant affair…”What‟s to be done?” she thought. Janith and his team had planned everything, and even after all the preparations … she still felt a little nervous.

“There you go. Darling” her woman dressing her said, “You look absolutely splendid”. And yes, she did. The mirror confirmed it to her. Pity it would all go to waste.

She smiled and thanked the woman, who left in a hurry.

“Today is my day…Today is the easy part…”She said that out loud to calm down the butterflies

fluttering inside her.

But she looked at the contents of her dressing table, took her modified Ruger Speed-Six LC9 and strapped it on to her waistline and covered it with the waist belt. It doesn‟t hurt to take care.

 

20/05/2017 0945 hours

 

Janith was real nervous now. Geethi was standing by his side, her face red with happiness, shyness or even possibly anger (the photographer was late. Their plan depended on everything being accurately timed), he would never know. And right now, he didn‟t care. Rana was standing by his side as his best man grinning like a moron and stealing glances at her. His Glock 17 was rubbing on his back. He had just played a hunch in bringing it and looking at Geethi‟s slightly bulging waistband, even she seems to have played the same hunch.

From the back Sarath gave a thumbs-up signaling everything was ready. The stage was set. Let the Game begin.

 

20/05/2017 0955 hours

 

Officer Sarath was alert to any changes in the setting. His keen gaze was upon everyone, especially on their target.

But he couldn‟t help but crack a smile as looked at the new kid who was their team leader. In all of Sarath‟s 20 years of service, he had never seen anyone similar to him. Unlike men like Sarath, who always went by the book and blamed the system for everything, the new kid, Janith Weerasuriya, was enthusiastic and taught everyone on how to think out of the box. But the most likeable thing about him was his pleasant demeanor, which in sarath‟s point of view, was a vital thing for leader. And this situation too was thought out in his creative head and it had worked out exactly as they had planned.

The wedding hall had just 40 participants, 10 federal agents and the rest were fillers. Some English song was playing in the hall. The waft of the impending lunch was prominent in his nostrils. The “Poruwa Ceremony” was about to start.

“The mission should be accomplished by 10.30,” was Janith‟s last words to the team yesterday. His watch told him the time was almost 10.00. The drama will start in a short time.

 

23/02/2017 1445 hours

 

Rana was stalking the girl. He had eyed her from his bench and had loved her body. They did have good cargo in Kandy. He followed her to some alleyway, probably where her home was. He was just about to grab her by her hair when suddenly startling blow landed on the side of his head knocking him off balance and on to the gravel floor.

The girl screamed and ran. What a waste!!

“How dare you!!” shouted his attacker, “You pervert”. It was a cop in his khaki uniform. Bearded, with a moustache like Vendetta. Not anyone he knew. Just a passer-by he thought.

Rana slowly got up. Obviously the cop didn‟t know who he was. Else he would have shot him already. But alas, what to do, no?

“HANDS UP!!!” shouted the cop.

“Of course, ralahami” said Rana. He put his hands up. The cop stepped nearer to him, to cuff him maybe. He would never know because exactly at that instant Rana jumped on him and wrestled him to the ground in a headlock strangling him. The cop tried to escape from his grip but it was useless. He seemed to understand that, and then he went for his other alternative. His Gun. Rana had seriously miscalculated the odds. The cop brought the gun to level with his head and Rana saw his finger tightening on the trigger.

BANG!

 

20/05/2017 1004 hours

 

Janith had despised every moment he had spent with Rana for the past 3 months. Only the fact that he was befriending this despiteful man for the good of many other victims was the only thing that had kept him going. There were times when he came real close to slapping him or even cuffing and stabbing him. Rana was lodging at his house and every moment spent inside his house tested his patience.

But befriending him was vital for the operation. It had been an arduous task. He had to be meticulous in every aspect. His team had done really well to create the confusion in Rana‟s mind. He had even taken Rana on tour of his “Workplace”. A local restaurant. Finally it was payback time.

 

20/05/2017 1010 hours

 

Geethi was ready. This was her first major league mission. Maybe bringing her Ruger was not a mistake at all. She could see the despiteful abomination taking glances at her body. She felt a terrible disgust.

But the success of this last phase of their mission depended on her.

Janith gave her two taps on the shoulder. The signal

“I need to use the lavatory,” she said. “Ane, please it‟s really urgent.”

“Ok”, said Janith, “but hurry up please. Most of the rituals are about to start.”

She quickly got off the seat and stepped towards the washroom. She was almost at the door when she heard the footsteps behind her. Tiptoeing, trying to get closer to her.

Her heart was hammering on to her ribcage. The footsteps proved that their plan was in motion. She was just about to open the door when suddenly she heard the footsteps stop and a groan come from behind. She turned, involuntarily, and immediately knew it was a mistake.

CLACK!

BLACK

 

23/02/2017 1455 hours

 

Rana‟s face was covered in pink dust and the red liquid. The cop was shot. He was dead, that was for sure. There‟s no way to live after a straight bullet shot to the heart. He looked up to see his sudden savior.

There was a young guy, in his late twenties, holding a handgun aimed at them. The muzzle was smoking. So it must have been him. Suddenly the guy dropped to his knees and the gun went clattering on to the floor.

Rana threw away the dead cop to a side and ran to the man. Rana was considering killing him too, just in case, but stopped as he saw the man‟s face. Tears were streaming down his cheeks and he was dropping saliva from his mouth, like a dog.

“I killed a Policeman!!” he shouted. “Aiyo! Oh no! God help me!” and went down to the ground. Rana kneeled close to the man and put a hand on his shoulder.

“Now don‟t worry man…” he said, “It was just a mistake. And no one saw it, no” The man kept on crying and howling. “Where do you live, putha?” asked Rana, mostly because he didn‟t know how to console him.

“Colombo,” managed the kid. “How can I escape from this? The court will order me a death penalty”

“No no…Nothing of that sort will happen putha but first we have to get out of here. Do you have a transport method?”

“My Car,” the guy said.

“Come on Come on, get to the car. Let‟s both get out.”

After trying hard he got the man to get up and get his car. He started driving. After about an hour of silence, Rana asked” What‟s your name son?”

“Janith” he said, “Janith Weerasuriya”

 

20/05/2017 1135 hours

 

“What had gone wrong?” was the only thing that was troubling Geethi from the moment she came around. Not the fact that she had been bundled into a car or the fact that they reached an old warehouse in some secluded area, or the fact that she was being dragged by her neck to upstairs of the building.

Rana had been a notorious Murderer. Yes, their plan had been to capture the murderer trying to assault her. That would make him guilty of two crimes. According to Janith‟s plan, she had hinted to Rana that she knows about his crimes, and was ready to tell everything after her marriage. They were sure that he would try to assault her the moment she was alone. It had all worked out well, except the capturing part.

After all, Rana had murdered 15 people with a pick-axe in broad daylight, and the only proof they had, the witnesses were too afraid to testify against him in the court. Their only option would have been to catch him in the act.

They had even fitted CCTV‟s to the roof of the lavatory. So “What had gone wrong?”

 

10/05/2017 1135 hours

 

It was unusual for Rana to be at Janith‟s house at this time. But today he had decided to take a break from his usual routine, which mainly was exploring the brothels around town.

RRRRIIIIING!!! Went the land phone. What a nuisance, not a moment of peace in tis godforsaken house. Again it rang. “What the Hell?” he mumbled as he got off his sofa and went to pick-up the phone.

“Hello,” he answered as politely as he could.

“Janith, Rana is not in his usual places today, has he got to know of our plans. I hope he hasn‟t.”

The voice trailed off as Rana dropped the receiver on to the table. Rage was boiling him. So this was just an elaborate plan to catch him, “Wee, two can play at that game, no” he thought.

 

20/05/2017 1045 hours

 

“He must have somehow got to know,” said Janith as he drifted their Crown Vic around the bend. The traffic was making it hard to see Rana‟s Car, but Janith kept a tab on it. Sarath could see that his face was red with anger and befuddlement as to how his plan crashed,

On the other side Sarath was red in his face for a very different reason. He was holding onto his dear life as Janith kept changing lanes at 60 km/h. Their Police lights were flashing, which made the cars on the road give them a certain allowance.

They had awaited the shout from Geethi, but as it didn‟t come for the first five minutes, Janith had gotten restless and had run towards the washroom. But to their surprise the washroom was completely clean and not a trace of a battle was there. Just by luck, one of their team members had looked out of the window and seen Rana getting on a car. Janith had run down the building as fast as he could, with Sarath in his tail and both of them had jumped into the Crown Vic.

Now as they were chasing the Ran‟s car, Sarath reminiscence the way how he had acted as the cop that got shot by Janith. They had loaded a special kind of a bullet that is used in movies to enact shooting scenes, into the handgun. It had worked perfectly well, and they had been highly successful in deceiving their target. That was until recent events

Now he could see hoe Janith was psychologically fallen due to this. And as a senior man, he should control the boy without letting him get too frustrated.

“Don‟t…be…too…hard on…your-yourself,” he said between bumpers, “He must have gotten an inside information….. Or taken a phone call that was for you”

Suddenly Rana‟s Car came to a sudden halt. It was so sudden that Janith was not able to hit the brake on time, which made them pass the window of Rana. He had a gun in his hand, which was aimed at the tires of the Crown Vic. He shot it, muzzle flashing, on to the rear tire of the Crown Vic. Its aim was true and straight. The four-wheel skidded on the road and the momentum of the Crown Vic made it smash on to the side of the road shattering the glass and destroying the passenger side of the body.

After barely opening his eyes, Sarath could see the Car pulling onto reverse gear and going back through an alleyway.

Janith slowly rolled out the driver‟s door and crawled to Sarath‟s side .

“Go go,” he said, “I‟ll call up the medics from here. Catch him… Save her.” Janith smiled at him and said “Everything is gonna be all right old man,” turned and ran after the car.

 

20/05/2017 1145 hours

 

Janith was slowly moving through the dark warehouse. He knew exactly where Rana was targeting to go the moment he saw him pulling into this particular alleyway. It was he who had shown Rana this warehouse and how told him how it would serve as a good hideout. It now seemed a very beneficial slip although he had cursed himself at that time for telling it.

He slowly went up the stairs, with each stair creaking like a scene in a horror movie. The air smelled of coir and, strangely, onions. He took out his Glock and held it at his shoulder level as he stepped onto the first floor.

Suddenly a bullet came streaking from nowhere and hit his thigh. Damn

“Helloooo!!! Janith putha!! I know you are here, no… Peek-a-boo!!!” shouted Rana from somewhere. Come out will you??” Janith did not make a single sound, but kept moving onward to the next staircase.

“Wee, it looks like you need an incentive, m‟boy” shouted Rana. “Shout for your boy will ya?”

“Ahhhh! Janith!! Janith!!” Geethi screamed, “I am Safe”

“What??” thought a surprised Janith. What a weird thing to say. He would never understand how a girl thinks.

Suddenly the lights came on; or rather the sunlight came on as the curtains fell away. And there was Rana directly opposite him, holding on to Geethi from her neck. He did have a flair for Drama

 

20/05/2017 1200 hours

 

“Why wasn‟t this duffer understanding her point!!??” thought Geethi. Rana had grabbed her Ruger from her waist belt and was holding it at her head.

“I am Safe!!” she shouted again. But she could see him puzzled. What a dunderhead!

 

20/05/2017 1208 hours

 

He could see that his stalemate situation was just a horrible joke. He saw how this same realization cross

Rana‟s mind too. He looked at his thigh wound and saw that it was serious more than he expected.

Suddenly he felt his whole right leg going numb, and almost falling to the floor.

“I am Safe!!” shouted Geethi again and again. THWACK!! He heard.

“Shut up you filth!” shouted Rana. ”I will kill you after him. Then let‟s see how your danger mode awakens,”

Danger Mode!! Of course! Janith understood exactly what she meant. It was like a thunderbolt striking on a tree and causing a wildfire. The realization plagued him and gave him the extra adrenaline he needed to finish off the job.

He cocked his Glock and aimed at Rana. “You better leave her, or get your head splattered on the walls!” He could see that Rana was quite disturbed by this. “I am serious!” He said, “I will shoot her, I can shoot her!”

Janith took a staggering step towards the Rana. Rana gave a cry of frustration and shot him.

Almost simultaneously, he too let his bullet fly towards him. BANG!!

The bullet went flying and lodged in the opponent‟s brain.

 

21/05/2017 1000 hours

 

She should have said it quicker. Maybe she should have given him the uncoded message. Then maybe after all, the mission would have ended well.

These thoughts had been troubling Geethi from morning. Janith had told her that these were normal, but she couldn‟t shake off her guilt. Their target, their mission was incomplete.

 

21/05/2017 1030 hours

 

Janith‟s heartbeat was rising real high. This was the moment, and it looks like the hardest thing he‟d done in his life.

He went up to Geethi. The team had taken a day off from the CID office and some were at home with their families and some were outdoors. Officer Sarath had been taken to a hospital and no fatal injuries were recorded, but will have to stay in bed for about a month or so. Janith and Geethi were the only ones in the office. So they had decided to go out for a coffee.

“Thank God No more missions in quick time,” Janith said,

“But this was my first mission and because of me we couldn‟t capture Rana alive!”” she asked

“Oh come on!” implied Janith, “at least look at the bright side. What a riddle you gave me! „I am Safe‟. That was superb”

“It was, wasn‟t it?” a smile came to her face

“Your Ruger was modified so that it had two safety switches. As it is done for all rookies, for their first field operations. To make sure that you guys don‟t misfire it while getiing it strapped or doing something else. Obviously Rana didn‟t know that. So his gun didn‟t fire.” said Janith

“But why did you shoot him?” she inquired, “If you knew that much, why did you? You could have banged him in the head or something!”

Janith‟s heart was throbbing him now. ”Because he offended me,” he muttered.

“What?” she looked bewildered, “When did he? How did-“

“He hurt you,” Janith said. It felt almost as if a he had let go of a huge weight “You are precious to me.” He went on ignoring her look, “I had wanted to do this for a long time”

He got up from his seat and kneeled before her and took out a box from his pocket, opened it and showed it to her. It contained a diamond ring given to him by his mother.

Feeling Foolish and Dare-devilish at the same time, he asked, “Geethi Wijepala, will you marry me?” he asked.

She took it. Her eyes glistening with tears. “OK” She said.

Janith felt that he would have to eat his words for the first time in his life. Because it seems that a new mission had just begun and it was important to him more than anything else.

 

KALINDU DHARMAPRIYA


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