1


Durquones

by Charles G Chettiar

Many wouldn’t believe if I said anything about the Durquones. They will never believe what I have seen. The road which I used to pass while on my way to office was rocky with rocks strewn around. Sometimes I thought that I was walking on heads. Child heads.
From where such a thought came I couldn’t say. All I could say was the sun grew a little dimmer and I couldn’t see for an instant. A woman walked towards me but didn’t meet my eyes. For an instant I thought that my eyes were playing tricks on me, but when I saw, I really saw the woman had three heads. The heads disappeared in her clothes. The next morning as it was my routine, I saw the morning paper. The morning paper seemed to move away from me, as if it didn’t want me to see. I scarily opened the paper and saw the woman whom I had seen yesterday. There was an article which said that she was found dead.

What piqued my interest was that the authorities were describing it as a work of some wild animal. Parts of her body were missing. And by conjecture the authorities were saying that it was not taken out by any man-made tools. It was like something had nibbled at her.

Nibbled.

If I could take away the image from my mind I would have been a happy man. But the image lingered on.

It came and went. It came and went.

But I wasn’t prepared to witness another of the Durquones when I went to work the next day.

They waved at me.

As I sat in the rickshaw thinking about not being late I saw the Durquones on the driver’s head. It then winked at me and disappeared…under his clothes.

No, no.

But I was determined to stop seeing them. I was not going to pay any attention.

The woman was murdered, the report said, by a wild animal.

Was I going mad?

The Durquones were there. I was very much sure about it. They were in my house now—arranging and re-arranging my thing—in my drawers and also everywhere in my house. I could find some signs.

“You are not sleeping much," said my wife.

“I am fine."

“I saw you on the computer at two in the morning."

“Just a little work," I said.

But how could I very well tell her? I would give an anonymous tip to the police the next time I saw one.

Each succeeding day brought about a freshly nibbled corpse. The last night I had stayed late to see if I could find any clues about those Durquones. A syndicated news feed story refreshed on the news website that another man—a rickshaw driver had been found near Raj Hans nagar, near the beach.

That was my area.

That rickshaw driver.

Then after some more digging I found that another woman had been found nibbled at near the station, just that morning.

I hurried out of the house to catch at least a glimpse of the police cordon, before I could catch my train.

But before I got away from the building, something else pricked my attention. I could see small muddy footprints, going towards my apartment’s door.

The Durquones in my home.

I unslung my laptop bag and saw inside it. It had nothing inside it. Just nothing!

Then from the corner of my eyes I could see a small dark head disappearing inside the stairwell.

Can't catch us.

I raced behind it. I burst out of the stairwell into the garden area behind the building on the ground floor.


                                                               Next Page