Police vehicle, making irritating siren sound, stopped in front of the apartment. John and Sam quickly got down. John was somewhat relieved to see that still press had not reached the scene. As they got down, they almost ran to the elevator. Finding both elevators busy, John pressed the button repetitively and kicked the closed door of the elevator with frustration. This time too the murder was executed on the tenth floor. For a moment John thought to go by steps but then dropped the idea, as it was always wise to wait for the lift rather than to go on foot on the tenth floor. He was waiting for the elevator and anxiously hitting his right fist on the left. Sam was also impatiently strolling around, in between checking the elevator status. Lastly the left side elevator arrived. They entered impatiently as the door opened. Sam pressed the 10 number button. Door closed and the numbers 1,2,3,4 ... started running on the display.
As elevator door opened, both came out looking around in confusion, as the layout of the building seemed to be little complicated.
John asked one of the men entering the elevator, " Can you tell us please.. Where is flat no 15"
The man just gestured towards right side and entered the elevator. Before Sam could ask him more the elevator door closed; the man disappeared in the elevator. They looked around for some other person to ask. But there was nobody around. They thought for a while and rushed toward the right side.
Both shared triumph look when they saw 1015 written above a flat door. They became alert, removed their guns. Sam pushed the door gently; it opened, as it was not latched from in. Sam and John entered vigilantly in. In the hall things were littered around clumsily. And to one side a body was lying in the pool of the blood.
" My God" words came out of Sam's mouth.
" Let me check his beat first"
John checked the beat of the body.
Sam looked at John eagerly to know whether he is still alive.
" He is dead" John said in despair.
Sam exhaled in despair and went in to search for the other clues.
This time too killer didn't miss to draw zero on the wall and the message in it. The message was not readable from the distance therefore John went closer.
'' Zero ends from where it starts" was the message.
John pondered over the message.
Sam was still busy inside searching for the clues.
Suddenly John's face darkened with fear.
" Sam " he called out with a shivering voice.
Sam immediately came out leaving behind the job he was doing.
" What's wrong?" He asked trying to read the Johns fearful face.
John darted out the open door and before Sam could understand anything, he was out of his eyes.
" Come on... come we need to hurry" Sam heard him saying from outside.
" Where? " Sam said going out of the door.
In the corridor John was running toward the elevator. Sam was unable to get why he was running. But he could get from his movements that some thing was wrong or was going to be wrong. Sam followed him running with confusion.
As John reached the elevator he pressed the button. Luckily elevator was on the same floor. Elevator door opened.
John looked back at Sam before entering the elevator, '' Come on... we have to go immediately"
Sam rushed and entered the elevator before the door was closed.
'' Where are we going?'' Sam asked.
" I will tell you.." John said with his long breaths.
Sam stood near John, looking at him, waiting eagerly to listen, what he had in his mind to say. The elevator door closed.
Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Mugdha Apte