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The night was dark and Zara was returning home from work. The road was unusually quite. She took a turn from the 5th block when she felt as if she was being followed. Not daring to look back, she started walking hastily. She was certain that the footsteps behind her were trying to keep up the pace. She started sweating profusely. Her cellphone battery had died just when she came out of the subway, leaving her no way to call anyone. She was just a block away from her apartment when she saw a shadow. That was it. Zara clutched her handbag harder and ran for her life till she was home. She somehow switched on her phone and texted Jack about the happenings.

Inspector Radcliffe was on a routine round in the neighborhood. This added task was allotted to him when the last serial murder case had remained unresolved. Every now and then he used to start thinking about the unresolved mystery of his last case. There had been no evidence, no clues whatsoever about the murders.

Inspector Radcliffe was immersed in his thoughts but his eyes were vigilant. Just when he was about to take the last drag of his smoke he heard someone running. He threw off the smoke and rushed towards the running figure. While running he stumbled upon someone. He gazed down to find a man probably in his 30s lying dead. He checked the pulse to confirm and started running in the direction where the figure had rushed. While running he had already informed the control room about the murder.

After looking around for quite sometime Inspector Radcliffe decided to return to NYPD. As he turned around he sensed that someone is sobbing nearby. He tried look around and find out who it is. It was Zara. She was sobbing uncontrollably. Inspector Radcliffe showed her his badge and tried to find out the reason of her being there at such a late hour.  He decided to first take the lady to her residence. Upon reaching home Zara told him about the incidence that had happened with her. Inspector Radcliffe handed her his card and asked her to give him a call if in any kind of trouble. He also told her that he would be back the next morning to check on her.

After leaving Zara’s place Inspector Radcliffe rushed to the crime scene. He was shocked to see the body. The manner in which the guy was murdered was perfectly similar to the past serial murders. The body had several cut wounds on him which were done by some severely sharp object.

Looking at the corpse Inspector Radcliffe was certain that it is the serial killer. He thought to himself that this time he would not let his intelligence mock him, for this time he wanted to catch the killer at any cost.

It was 8am and Inspector Radcliffe was at the door step of Zara. He had to enquire about last nights incidence. He rang the door bell thrice but Zara did not answer it. Sensing some trouble Inspector Radcliffe broke into the apartment.

Zara was no where to be seen.

to be continued…

* It’s Day 30 : ‘Z’ of A to Z April 2013 Challenge