A noir story.

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The last few months have been a daze. I don’t remember much about it, because my life is quite uneventful. I seldom find myself anywhere worth taking note of. The amount of time I spend outside the house is less than the amount of time an Abra stays awake.

This is an Abra

Abra: Trolling little children since 1996.
So I’m going to start a noir style story here. Before you start, do the following. It will increase your experience a thousand fold.

1) Open Rainymood.com.
2) Play this or this in the background.
And enjoy.

The day was done. The darkness shone from the wings of night. I looked out of my window in the misty haze of the night sky. The sole creature I could spot was a man hastily making his way towards the corner of the street. The rain made it more difficult for him as he narrowly avoided getting hit by a taxi. I looked back inside. The musky smell of old potpourri mixed in the air with cigarettes and whiskey to leave a smell that never left this room. Just then there was a knock on the door.

“Come in,” I spoke. The door was opened by my assistant. “Someone’s here to see you.” “Send them in.”
I briskly hid the whiskey bottles behind the sofa and got up to rid some ash off my coat. A young lady in a black dress entered. I recognised her from before. She was one of the chapters in the story of my life. Her hair wasn’t tied, but I tried not to pay attention to that.

“That’s the name I go by.”
“We need your help.”
“I know. Have a seat.”
“It’s urgent, I don’t have the time to sit,” she said frantically.
“There’s always time for a drink,” I said as I poured myself another glass.
“Not this time. You need to be there. Now.”

I couldn’t help smiling. Life can always wait. It isn’t the nature of the world, much less the streets and alleys, to change instantly. There is always a lingering bout of madness, a sense of paranoia, a feeling of apprehension, that stops people from acting instantly. There are people who pick at the cracked leather on a seat. And then there are people who get up and act, and I was the latter kind. I obliged her request, and whiskey in hand, left with her to the scene of the crime.

Her description of the situation was less than coherent. I could sense her rage and fright in the way she tried to speak; something was definitely amiss. Something I had to solve once again.

I threw the whiskey glass out of the car window. It shattered a few feet behind us. The satisfaction of breaking glass is only outmatched by the sound of flesh getting pounded. I stopped the car with a skid. Life is too short to brake like a civilian. I paced myself towards the only building in sight. My gun was ready in my hand. My cigarette, firmly tucked in where it needs to be; between my lips.

Just then I heard the noise of shattering glass once again in a span of two minutes. It came from above, and in a split second a single man came tumbling down from two stories above. I ran towards him; I was barely two feet away when he hit the ground with a devastating thud. Instantly I could tell that he had broken a few bones, but that was the least of my worries at the moment. I looked at the huge window that was now broken. There was only one thing there; a face. An apprehensive face, like that of a kid caught cheating in an exam. I knew what to do.

After an exhausting bout of stair climbing, I was standing at the place I had seen the face. The entire house was dark. The only light came from the waning moon and the tip of my cigarette. I lit a lighter with the hand that didn’t hold my gun. But I could make out a noise. I signaled the lady to keep quiet as I made my way into the corridor to my right. She was frightened beyond belief, either by the eeriness of the house, or by the blood on the ceiling. The noise was growing stronger as I walked towards the only door at the end of the corridor. There was definitely someone inside.

I kicked open the door and fired a shot. Some things broke and others fell. In the dim light of my lighter I could make out another face beside the one I had seen earlier. The two of them were young, and peculiarly bald. I fired a shot in the space between both their heads. The bullet went straight through the thin wooden walls. The noise of thunder grew louder at that moment. The boys were frightened. They were almost crying, and they dropped the strange object that was emitting that noise. I realised that the man two stories below us must have died by now.

“Who was that man?” I asked them. I received no reply. I rephrased my sentence.
“You get two options: tell me who the man was, or a bullet replaces your brains in those skulls of yours.” That was, for all intents and purposes, enough for them to tell me that the man was a robber. I had figured out that much.

My lady friend informed me that she knew nothing about the robber. She had called me here for another thing, and she pointed at the strange, glowing object that was emitting the noise. I picked it up. It was flat like a sandwich. I remembered it from my youth. It had given me many fond memories.

“The power went out a while back just when this happened,” one of the boys told me, pointing towards it.
The DS’s power light was red. It was almost out of battery. On the screen was a rather funny looking Abra. I knew what to do to catch the shiny cat. I looked at the boys and sensed that they wanted me to do something; this was what I was called for. I gave one of them my gun and the other my lighter. I pressed X, A, Down and A.

I had only one chance. If it didn’t work the Abra would teleport, and everything would be lost. The pokéball moved once. It moved once again. The suspense was building up. The rain continued falling as it moved once again. It was a split second of panic, after which was elation. My job was done. Three stars appeared. The Abra was caught.
Follow Upamanyu Acharya:

IIM Ahmedabad MBA 2021. My hobbies include being vague, bending rules, time-travel, and embellishment of words. This is my personal blog where I write on topics ranging from blockchain, to leadership skills and the consistency of jam.

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