E is for the Elephant that Stepped On Its Trunk – #AtoZ2018
Mat looked through the glass pane of the ICU at his granddaughter lying peacefully on the bed. He was terrified that he was finally going to lose everyone in his life. The doctor whose name was Vignesh had questioned Mat in detail, though he had already been briefed about everything by Vikram. Mat had answered all the questions the doctor had posed to him truthfully, realizing that by now, whatever had happened was probably public knowledge.
Though Pradeep had stopped working in the hospital long ago, everyone knew him and Vignesh was no exception. Vignesh had been very indefinite and frankly admitted he had no clue what was wrong with Karen. Her blood pressure and pulse were normal. Her temperature was slightly below normal, which he said was rare. Her breathing was normal and her muscles were very relaxed.
The doctor was honest and admitted he was totally out of his depth. He had finally recommended shifting Karen to the ICU. Karen’s blood had been sent for a regular test. The doctor had instructed his nurses to try and get a sample of the blood on Karen’s lips so that that too could be analyzed. He had also instructed them to try and wash off the blood stains on Karen’s lips if they could. The nurses had tried their best but they could neither get a sample for a test nor could they wash it off. The blood on the lips had dried up but had not clotted.
Finally, Mat made the decision he wanted to make since the previous night. He rang up Vikram. “Hello Mat,” came Vikram’s voice over the phone, “How is Karen?”
“No improvement Vikram,” said Mat, “but I am planning to go on the road myself now and investigate this thing. And I need your help. Can you get Shivani to attend to Karen at the hospital? And can you give me permission to try and get to the bottom of this thing myself?” Shivani was Vikram’s wife and both of them were extremely fond of Karen as they did not have any children of their own.
“Well Mat,” said Vikram with a laugh, “are you asking for my permission or telling me what you are going to do? You know as well as I do that no power on earth can stop you from doing what you want once your mind is made up. As far as Shivani is concerned, you know how the two of us feel about Karen. I will get her to take over at the hospital immediately. I have not told her anything about this whole affair till now for fear of alarming her. If she had known she would have been at the hospital already. The only thing I want to tell you is this; be careful. I will speak to Shivani now and she will be at the hospital in half an hour.”
Shivani arrived at the hospital in twenty-five minutes and embraced Mat warmly. “Dada, I was mad at Vikram for not telling me about this earlier. When I asked him last night he fobbed me off with vague answers. No need to worry. I will be here and attend to everything.”
“Thanks, Shivani,” said Mat, “You will have to drop me at my place first. I have not brought my car. Let us inform the doctor and go.”
“Sure Dada,” said Shivani and after informing the doctor that she would be back in forty-five minutes she drove Mat to his villa through a shortcut which people took only at daytime. Mat got out of his car and Shivani bid him goodbye and wished him luck in his quest. After sending her off Mat walked up the path to his doorstep wondering what his next move should be.
As he approached the front door he could see an object that had been placed carefully on his doorstep in such a way that he could not have missed it. It was only when he came close that he realized what it was. It was a toy, a child’s model elephant. It was placed lying down on its side on the floor. It was one of those cheap toys made of rubber for children to amuse themselves with.
Mat picked up the toy and examined it, turning it around in his hands. Suddenly he discovered a small piece of paper carefully rolled up and neatly placed inside the hollow trunk. Mat pulled the paper out carefully and opened it. Scrawled on it were the words:
“meet me at the shack. 10 PM. come alone. fiddler”