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THE DRUNKARD'S WARNING PART 1

Welcome to another captivating episode of OBSCURUS, dear readers and listeners! Today, we venture into the intriguing and shadowy world of "The Drunkard's Warning Part 1." I am thrilled to have you accompany us on this mysterious journey. I encourage you to deepen your connection with our community by joining our site membership and subscribing to my mailing list. Your perspectives and insights are invaluable; please don't hesitate to express them in the comments below. Also, don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more enthralling stories and updates. I am open to all feedback, whether applause or constructive criticism, as it is vital to my growth as a writer and podcaster. Dive into this story with us and let the adventure envelop you.



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INTRO 00:00:00

 

Welcome to OBSCURUS, your weekly dose of paranormal fiction. Every Wednesday OBSCURUS features new short stories and serialized novels written by novelist, screenwriter, and voice-over artist Biswajit Banerjee. The realm of the paranormal stretches far beyond the usual horror story. So, while you will get to listen to lots of ghost stories on this podcast, there will also be many tales of lesser-known paranormal themes. To get us started, here's your host Biswajit Banerjee.

 

HOST TALK 00:00:47


Hello and welcome to OBSCURUS. I am Biswajit Banerjee, your host for this show. Today, I will bring to you the first installment of a three-part story where a police inspector is forced into overnight duty, leading to a mysterious encounter at a morgue.

Before we delve deeper into this intriguing tale, I invite you to visit my website, biswajitbanerjee.com, and consider becoming a member. My website is a treasure trove of information about my creative projects.


Please also check out obscurus.buzzsprout.com, the website dedicated to this podcast. Here, you can find all episodes of OBSCURUS, complete with transcripts and chapter markers.


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Now, let's immerse ourselves in the story. A senior police inspector is forced to extend his duty hours due to a colleague's accident, causing tension with his family. Responding to a report of a dead body, he and his team find a corpse at a bus depot, with no witnesses or camera footage to provide clues. Facing an unusual reluctance from his constable to go to a specific morgue, the inspector decides to stay there himself, only to confront an eerie, unsettling atmosphere. Let's dive into what unfolds next.

 

THE DRUNKARD’S WARNING PART 1 00:03:56

 

Written and Performed by Biswajit Banerjee


A police inspector in the middle of a nightmarish evening!

00:04:23

 

It was around eight in the evening, and I was about to start my bike when I got the displeasing news.

 

"Sir," a constable came with a stack of papers.

 

"What's the matter, Prasad?" I asked, taking my helmet off my head.

 

"A call came from the head office. They want you to continue today."

 

"What is that supposed to mean?"

 

"Mr. Sethi will not come today. He met with a small accident and has hurt his knees."

 

"But he was fine an hour back when we talked on the phone," I said.

 

"Sir, the accident happened half an hour back."

 

"So, the head office wants me to do another shift now."

 

"That's right, Sir."

 

"I haven't gone home since last night."

 

"I know that, Sir."

 

"My daughter and wife must be waiting."

 

"But, Sir, there's no other officer available to replace Mr. Sethi. Even Mr. Sabharwal is unwell."

 

"Oh yes, the head office will target me … my family …"

 

"A cop hardly ever …"

 

"I know what you are going to say, Prasad … a cop hardly ever gets time to spend with the family."

 

"When my sister …."

 

"Well, Prasad, I know that story, too. You couldn't be by your sister's side when she was breathing her last because you were deployed to deal with a communal riot in Sultanpur. I can sense what you must have gone through."

 

Prasad wiped the moisture from the corners of his eyes and went back into the police station. I parked the bike and dialed my wife's number on my mobile.

 

00:06:31

 

"Don't tell me you are not coming back even today," she reacted when I informed her that the head office had extended my duty hours.

 

"Please understand, Tuhina, some Officer has to be there for the night."

 

"And you are the only police officer available in the Department? You are the only cop existing in this city!"

 

"Tuhina, I cannot go against the head office's command."

 

"Well, they know there is one man who will never say no to 'duties.' Let others enjoy with their families, and you be concerned about the city's law and order."

 

Tuhina disconnected. I couldn't have complained about her behavior. My daughter Sneha was around three at that time, and I hardly gave her time. My parents often complained about me not giving enough time to the child, although the problem lay in my job, not in my intentions. Anyway, I didn't call Tuhina again the same night because, given the fact that I would not be returning home, it would be foolhardy to expect her mood to change.

 

00:07:49

 

After moving back into the police station, I asked Prasad to unlock my cabin. The cabin was small but cozy. I pulled my chair and sat in it. It felt good to straighten my back. Not more than two minutes had passed since I closed my eyes, intending to steal a cat nap, when the telephone's ring gave my soul a hard shake.

 

"Hello," I said, picking up the receiver.

 

"Is it Awasthipura police station?"

 

"Yes, who's it?"

 

“My name is Pramod Sahai. I am standing close to the bus depot. Please come over. A body's lying here near the main gate of the depot, a man's corpse."

 

"But who are you, Mr. Sahai? Do you work in the bus depot?"

 

"No, Sir, I have just arrived in the city. I got down from the interstate bus and walked out of the gate. Sir, I am not the only one who spotted the body. Many of my fellow travelers also saw it."

 

"I understand, Mr. Sahai. Many saw it, but nobody cared to call the police. You are surely a responsible citizen. Thanks for informing us. Could you wait at the spot till we arrive?"

 

"Yes, Sir, I will. How long will it take to come to the bus depot?"

 

"Don't worry, we will be there shortly."

 

***

 

00:09:38

 

Prasad and two new police constables accompanied me to the bus depot. Mr. Sahai was indeed a model of good citizenship. He waited for us and clearly described the events that led to his spotting the body. Prasad wrote down the prima facie report and had Mr. Sahai sign it. We also spoke to the principal officials of the depot. Strangely, nobody from the depot had seen the body. The CCTV cameras were not working. So, it was impossible to find out who placed the body there. Apparently, the man had been murdered, and the killers knew that the cameras were out of order. According to the police rules, we were first required to take the corpse to a nearby morgue and keep it there for at least two days for post-mortem and possible identification by the relatives if the police could locate them after the investigations started in full swing.

 

Prasad called up the nearest morgue. The officials informed us that there was no space to accommodate another body. So, they advised us to shift the body to the morgue of the National Medical College Hospital, which was another two kilometers away from the nearest morgue. After the body was placed in the police vehicle, I spotted shades of discomfort on Prasad's face. The presence of the corpse couldn't have been the cause for his discomfort as he must have shifted thousands of such bodies to various morgues in the city during his long career in the police. Then, what was wrong, I wondered.

 

00:11:42

 

"What's the problem, Prasad? Is the sight of the corpse disturbing you?" I asked.

 

"No, Sir. I have dealt with countless corpses in my life.

 

"Umm-hmm, I know that. Then, what's the problem?"

 

"Sir, I don't wish to go to the morgue of the National Medical College Hospital."

 

"Why? You don't like that place?"

 

"You could say that, Sir. Please excuse me. The recruits will go with you to the medical college."

 

"But the head office has asked the recruits to be at the police station. You know that, right?"

 

"Yes, Sir, I have read the orders. They need to be present at the police station during the night. But they will help you shift the body to the morgue. After the morgue takes the body into its custody, they can come back to the police station."

 

"Prasad, you are behaving as though you are a recruit yourself with little idea about the rules. You know the police regulations, don't you? One police official has to be present in the morgue all through the night and can only leave when the investigating officer arrives from the head office the next morning."

 

"I know all that, Sir. In a few months, I will superannuate from the police service. I have close to four decades of experience. So, I know all these rules inside out. But I still request you to excuse me."

 

"Then whom do you expect to spend the night in the morgue? You want me to do that?"

 

"Well, inspectors are not expected to do such things, Sir. Constables do such jobs."

 

"So, do I need to remind you that it is not my job but yours to spend the night in the National Medical College Hospital morgue?"

 

"You don't have to remind me anything, Sir. I know my job well, but I wish to be excused for this night."

 

"Why are you trying to avoid doing your job?"

 

"I am simply requesting you to do me a favor, Sir. Since you are a top officer, the hospital authorities will make arrangements for you to be comfortable. Surely, they will not make such arrangements for a constable like me."

 

"Prasad, if you had not been a senior constable, you would see a different side of mine today. We, cops, are not supposed to be making ourselves comfortable on some cushiony bed close to a hospital morgue. It is a part of the police regulations for a constable to hang around in the place till the investigating officer arrives the next morning."

 

"Sir, they will surely make some arrangements for you. But if I go, I will have to spend the entire night sitting on a bench in front of the cold room where they keep the bodies."

 

"Listen now, if I stay, I will not be spending my time sleeping in some comfortable hospital room. According to the rules, the cop staying back must stay awake all through the night and be in the vicinity of the cold room. But the question is – why should I stay? You are supposed to be staying there.

 

"I can't spend the night on that bench. Please understand."

 

"What's so unique about that, Prasad? You have spent countless nights sitting on such benches facing the doors of the cold rooms."

 

"This place is different, Sir."

 

"What do you mean?"

 

"About five years back, I took a body to that morgue. The experience wasn't a good one."

 

"What happened?"

 

"Sorry, Sir, I don't wish to talk about it. I am only requesting you to be in the hospital for the night. If we had been taking the body to some other morgue, I wouldn't have made any such request."

 

"You got to tell me why do you not want to spend the night in the medical college hospital morgue."

 

"I don't want to relive that experience by narrating that ugly incident. Please forgive me."

 

Prasad folded his hands and repeated his request.

 

I felt sorry for him and let him return to the police station. The two recruits and I took the body to the National Medical College Hospital morgue. After the morgue officials took the body into their custody, the recruits left. I stayed back.

 

***

 

00:16:50

 

An hour after they had placed the body in the cold room, a tall and fat guard arrived with three bottles of locally made liquor. Upon his arrival, the other morgue officials left.

 

Prasad had given quite an accurate description of the place. The bench faced the door of the cold room. Dim blue light poured out of the room. Cold smoke also escaped the door. Now, the guard and I were the only breathing people over there. However, Prasad was wrong about how the hospital authorities would treat me. No cushiony bed was offered to me. They expected me to do what constables did – to stay close to the morgue till the investigation officer arrived the next day.

 

Also, I wish to confess that my bravado was giving way to fear. The atmosphere was too dull and morose for my comfort. Blue smoke in the blue backdrop sent waves of discomfort up my spine.

 

"Why are you here, Sir?" The guard sitting in a chair a little distance to the right of the cold room door asked.

 

"I am on duty."

 

"A police inspector is not supposed to spend nights in the morgue, Sir. Didn't you find a constable to do the job instead?"

 

"My constable didn't want to be here."

 

After giving me a long stare, a smile appeared on his lips.

 

"Probably, your constable knows."

 

"What?"

 

"Your constable must have experienced it."

 

"Come on now, can you be clear?

 

"I don't have to say anything, Sir. You will know everything if you sit here for some more time."

 

And that, dear listeners, marks the end of today's episode of OBSCURUS. As we leave our senior police inspector in the dim, chilling corridors of the morgue, a sense of unease and mystery hangs in the air. What secrets does the morgue hold? What disturbing experience made the constable so reluctant to stay there? And most importantly, what will the inspector encounter as the night unfolds in this eerie setting?

 

Join me, Biswajit Banerjee, in the next episode as we delve deeper into the shadows of this enigmatic story. Will our inspector uncover more than he bargained for, or will the night pass with more questions than answers? Remember, the darkest stories often hide in the most unexpected places. Until next time, stay curious and keep exploring the obscured corners of our world.

 

OUTRO 00:21:06

 

Thanks for listening to OBSCURUS. If you like what you heard, please subscribe and visit biswajitbanerjee.com for more information about Biswajit's books, movies, documentaries, and other creative pursuits. We shall see you next Wednesday with another episode of OBSCURUS. Till then, take care!



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