“Midnight, on the bridge. Come alone”, I warned him on the phone.

The boy’s father had been truly intimidated. I could hear it in his voice as he pleaded with me to release his son. “I will give you double the money but please release my child”, he cried.

I had planned it for 3 freaking years.

The child was a star on social media since his birth. The foolish paparazzi did the research for me.

A naturally athletic body and a few forged certificates, and I had joined the Elite school in the hills as a PT inspector.
The trust was gained on the volleyball court during the PT hours.
Raj was a fast learner. His attacking style of play made it easier for me to include him in the School Volleyball team.
I started calling him to my lair on the pretext of live gameplay with the neighborhood boys. I was the pitcher plant and the boys, his playmates, were my nectar, which attracted Raj and he was well and truly entrapped.
Raj was always chaperoned by a chauffeur whenever he came. I waited and planned for the day he would come alone!
The boy was now lying at my feet, gagged and tied. I waited for the clock to strike 12.00.
Kicking Raj in his backside, I goaded him to his feet. He could hardly stand upright. But I could sense a certain calmness in his demeanor.
‘How can anyone be so calm, especially a 10-year-old boy?’, I wondered.
I dragged him through the open fields on one side of the only bridge across a stream.
We waited in the shadows, my hand firmly grabbing Raj, who was still gagged, but now with his hands and feet untied.
Bang at midnight, I espied a portly person making his way towards the bridge. And he was carrying a heavy bag!
My eyes twinkled brighter than those in the sky.
As soon as I saw the lone person reach the bridge, I left the hiding place pulling Raj with one hand.
“Open the bag”, I hissed menacingly, aiming my pistol at Raj’s temple.
The father opened the bag nervously. Seeing the pink dough, I rushed to the bag, letting go of Raj.
My admiring look lasted but, a few seconds, as a heavy load came crashing on my head. As I slumped I saw Raj holding a big stone. My consciousness slipped and the darkness of the night enveloped me.
Regaining consciousness, I saw a pair slip away in the darkness taking my money.
Willing myself to my feet, I started running behind them. A bit away from the bridge I saw them both running into the wooded area. I followed them in hot pursuit.
I felt very light. My body was like a feather. I couldn’t avoid a tree and braced myself for a collision. But hey! I did not crash. I was on the other side! Surprised I turned to touch the tree. My fingers went through!
And there lay my body, lying still on the bridge!

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