The Devil of Diwali, a Thriller by A.E.H. Veenman
Young girls in India go missing during Festival of Lights celebrations. Police and Ministry of External Affairs discover their killer and political nightmare is an American businessman.
Young girls in India go missing during Festival of Lights celebrations.
In Boston, Pilar Montgomery learns her husband’s previous travels to India weren’t reimbursed by his employer.
In New Delhi, a famed advocate for women’s rights prepares to use a local waitress’s death in her speech at the World Economic Conference.
UK Parliament, in association with the UN Human Rights Council, announce Britain’s implementation of the Sexual Predator System 2.o.
These narratives align when New Delhi police and the Ministry of External Affairs discover their killer and political nightmare is an American businessman.
The ambiance of the celebration off the Ganges riverbank that night had drawn upon his very soul. The navy-blue heavens erupted with blossoming fireworks, and on earth candlelight delivered prayers for health and prosperity. The smell of fried food and butter was intoxicating.
Diverse melodies sprinkled the air, and an instrument sounding like a horn swallowed by a flute seemed to charm the intrepid snakes in his gut. He’d felt them wiggle and rise, while the concussive bangs of drums penetrated his chest like a thousand elephants.
Mingling with the crowds, he’d captured a glimpse of a young girl selling bowls of hot chick pea and potato curry. His focus diverted the woman handing change to a customer, and soaked in the little brown angel illuminated by stringed lights. It had been that trip he learned the truth about himself.
His first time had been filled with sheer, paralyzing fright and gut-wrenching remorse of what he’d done. Confusion had fogged his brain as if the Goa sky itself had entered his head.
Then upon his second travel, he’d promised himself that would be the last time. He’d seek professional help when he’d return to the States. He’d make some excuse to Pilar for wanting a shrink (an exorcist) like the stress of four walls overlooking Boston taking a toll on him. His wife simply wouldn’t understand the truth, and that thought dreaded him from the moment he checked out the hotel, all the way to the plane.
But on the third flight back there had been a sense of comfort, complacency. He’d taken his seat at the window, a seed planted in his subconscious blooming ever so spritely with a guilty joy. He was at peace, with himself and the Devil inside. He smiled as he’d accepted a drink from a beautiful Asian stewardess. If only she knew….
Hours before, he’d journeyed south to a rural area. Homes were made of discarded materials, ranged topsy-turvy on uneven ground, a shanty town. There, by the Ganges, he encroached the banks where the local women bathed their animals and children alike. The water glistened off the boys in the wake of the sun browning their bodies. Their delightful whoops blended with the moos of the cows, as they splashed each other. The women’s voices cackled in Hindi to one another, their attention absorbed in early morning gossip.
Rick had concealed himself with his sweater’s hoodie raised over his head, a pair of shades over his eyes, and had approached the shores. He’d tossed the small raggedy dress, in hopes one would simply wash it along with her own laundry. It was a brilliant plan, the stagnant water so murky and red from the riled soil beneath, no one would immediately notice the blood stains on the tattered material.
By the time someone realized the horror held in her hands, Rick would already be at the airport, and long gone before police ever arrived on the scene.