A Mystery Fiction Contest

Have you always wanted to solve a mystery? Are you a fan of thrillers and whodunnits? Do you always try to analyze and solve mysteries in your mind? After the overwhelming response to the ‘Tribute to Mom‘ contest, we are back with another one. ๐Ÿ™‚ This week it is ‘Whodunnit’ contest.

Update: Sidin Vadukut will be ready with the results pretty soon. He had to hire some CBI guys to help him in this one. ๐Ÿ™‚

BlogAdda, in partnership with PringOO, is proud to announce this Mystery Fiction ‘Whodunnit‘ contest.

Read the story written by the talented Ajay Nair titled ‘Reunion’

Reunion

There were five of us who were suspects โ€“ and each one of us had a motive.

Three of us were ex-husbands. Lila was democratic that way; she liked to spread her love around. M. was her first husband, someone she had married when she was only twenty three. M. was a loud, brash young kid at the time. He liked bikes, bikes and bikes, in that order. Lila settled for riding pillion for a while but she wasnโ€™t the sort to do that indefinitely. Their marriage lasted six months.

I was the second husband. Lila courted me for three years and bagged me. She was twenty nine at the time. When I look back at all the wooing she did, what I can remember is that at no point did she let me realise that I was the one wooing her. She was smart about that. Very smart. Our marriage lasted six years. It was the most miserable period in my life. Like I said, Lila was democratic โ€“ she liked to spread her love around.

After our divorce, I didnโ€™t keep in touch with her. I heard from someone we both knew that she married R. soon after. R. had been the guy I had confided in during the troubles of my marriage and I had been surprised that he had stopped returning my calls soon after my divorce. Evidently, he hadnโ€™t listened to me closely enough. They lasted one year. From what I know now, R. has since proclaimed celibacy and joined some religious cult. He sported a short rosary with beads. He said it helped him stay focussed.

And now, fifteen years after our divorce โ€“ and from the last time Iโ€™d seen her โ€“ sheโ€™d called me to this party. When you are over fifty, old memories fade to an in-between shade of nostalgia and old hurts have the texture of the pleasant pain that you feel when you pull at a loose nail. A heady mix of wistfulness and curiosity took me to her house. I shouldnโ€™t have been surprised to see M. and R. there too.

What surprised me โ€“ and I suspect surprised everyone else as well โ€“ was G. turning up. G. was the last lover sheโ€™d had. Theirs had been a public spat โ€“ heโ€™d cheated on her in the open and in a weird twist, sheโ€™d left him for that. Sheโ€™d used all her fame โ€“ and she was famous โ€“ to drag his name through mud. It had not been a seemly spectacle.

Then there was the affable Sia, her twin. Sia had abandoned Lila long before any of us had come into the picture โ€“ and all of us knew the story of how theyโ€™d once tried to drown each other. As far as twins go, they werenโ€™t exactly equipped to feel each otherโ€™s pain. They said they found it funny. They carried identical arm-bands wherever they went. To remind them.

That was the common thread between us, of course. We all had tried to kill Lila. M., in an act of breath-taking foolishness, had tried to drive his bike off a cliff with her holding onto him, when things had gotten ugly between them. He had chickened out the last moment and instead of shooting off the edge, they had tumbled down a slope. Lila was proud of the scars she acquired from that. She even retained a piece of the muddy scarf from that day.

Iโ€™d been more subtle. I had tried to poison her โ€“ I used to serve her tea in bed everyday. Every day, a little concoction that Iโ€™d brewed was mixed with it. Sadly, all it resulted in was a long stay in the hospital in the last few months of our marriage, something she capitalized on during the divorce proceedings. I couldnโ€™t find the tea leaves again though. She must have got rid of them. Like I said, Lila was smart.

R. had shot her. Twice. And missed. She had retrieved the bullets though. She wore one of them as a pendant around her neck. It was embarrassing. G. had been more successful. Heโ€™d given her the virus.

And that brings us to the party. Lila, even at this age, looked magical. In my invitation, sheโ€™d mentioned that sheโ€™d only a few years left to live and wanted to bury the past. Well, the past came alive when I saw her. My notion of beauty had changed with time, but sheโ€™d remained a constant benchmark. At the party, she proved why that was so.

Her easy wit rolled comfortably over the awkwardness of the guest list. Everyone knew she was suffering. G. managed to look suitably penitent. After dinner, she called us all one by one to her bedroom โ€“ a procession of ghosts from her past.

When it was my turn, I offered her a single yellow rose. Not because I was foolish or sentimental โ€“ we were beyond that โ€“ I just did not want to go empty-handed. She took it with a smile and asked me whether I had sprayed some new poison over it. I let the remark slide by.

We talked about this and that. She talked about how she tried to remember the good times. There was some of that, especially in the beginning. I waited for an apology but it never came. My head ached. She offered me some strong tea. I refused. I looked around the room for water. There was none in the glass jar. A beautiful arm-band lay by its side. Shaped like a snake. The hood gleamed. Without warning, she asked me to send R. in.

The last to go in was Sia, and she was weeping when she came out. For all their twin-ness Sia was as different from Lila, as possible. Quiet and dignified, plain. One was sweet, the other was smart.

When Lila came out, she looked withdrawn, anxious. Her words and gestures were hurried. Gone was the easy grace and charm of her performance at dinner. Just when it had gotten to a breaking point, all of us ready to leave, she asked us to wait for a minute and went back to her room. She never came out.

The cops later surmised that one of us had done it. They searched but found nothing on us. They did find some interesting pieces in her room though.

  • Stray mis-shapen beads on the floor of the bathroom.
  • A crumpled scarf beneath the pillow.
  • Pieces of cracked porcelain cup.
  • A mangled arm-band.
  • An open bejewelled case on her bedside cabinet, emptied of its contents. It could have been anything. A bead, a pendant, a bullet!

The fact that each one of us had a motive and an incriminating history was particularly inconvenient.

As I looked at the rest of my fellow-suspects โ€“ some crying quietly, others stiff, I think I had a fair idea of who it was. After all, there was only one person in this house capable of killing Lila. And perhaps, only one person who really wanted her dead, after all these years.

M., despite his receding hairline, had yet to acquire the maturity or the sophistication to pull something off which required planning. Besides, he was still plainly in love with her, the fool.

R. had been brainwashed sufficiently by his cult; he now believed women are divine entities to be worshipped. The inherent flaw in that line of thought escaped him. Though given that he directly experienced the proof of Lilaโ€™s indestructibility when he shot at her โ€“ and her divinity was a better excuse than his inability to shoot straight โ€“ maybe there was some logic to his belief.

G. โ€“ well โ€“ G. had already killed her. In that sense, he was the only one among us who didnโ€™t really want to intentionally kill her earlier โ€“ perhaps, thatโ€™s why he succeeded in causing her genuine damage. Sia did not have a motive any more. Among all of us, she escaped Lila earliest.

That left me. I did have the ability to pull it off – the problem is โ€“ I simply didnโ€™t care enough to try to kill her again.

Like I said, there was only one person capable of killing Lila in the house โ€“ and that person had succeeded.

  • You have to guess the killer, there are a lot of hidden clues, some are obvious some are not, some are distractions, some are for real
    so you have to get very smart to crack the puzzle. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Tell us WHO killed Lila? How/Why? Post the answer on your blog, answering these questions in less than 400 words.
  • Incorporate an image (with a linkback) of an object you think you saw at Lila’s house from Pringoo.
  • Add a Link in your blog post, mentioning this BlogAdda contest announcement AND leave a comment here (stating the link to your post), so we know for sure, that you are participating.

CLUE: A big clue lies hidden in the T&Cs itself!!’

The contest runs an entire week, starting Wednesday May 12, ’10 and ends on Tuesday, May 18, ’10, 11:59 pm IST. Entries will be judged on the basis of correct answer, and most creative reason behind your answer.

Results will be announced on the BlogAdda website by Friday, May 21, ’10.

And here’s the most interesting part, the TOP THREE winning entries can choose personalized goodies (T-Shirt/Mug) from Pringoo and will also be showcased on the BlogAdda website for the entire duration of the contest. So, what are you waiting for? Here is a chance to discover the detective in you and solve this mystery. Let us help the police find the ‘Real’ Killer.

Make sure you solve the mystery on YOUR blog and just provide a link to it here.

Thank you Ajay Nair for writing this wonderful mystery as a part of the contest.
Thank you Pal for thinking about this mystery contest and editing this story.

Ajay Nair lives and works in Mumbai. He is an entrepreneur at a live music events firm, having been a private equity investor, an investment banker and a business consultant in the past. He believes that Tendulkar is god, which regrettably is a notion his wife Anita disagrees with.  More of his writing is up at http://ajaynair.wordpress.com and at http://www.fictionaut.com/users/ajay-nair.

85 Replies to “A Mystery Fiction Contest”

  1. Brilliant. Superb. This one is a great story. I read it twice and am still thinking! ๐Ÿ˜‰ – You guys are great coming up with another powerful contest.

  2. and am wondering – how did the murder happen? what is the cause of death ?
    the answer to this will lead to the killer…I am thinking this is all misdirection. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. And I am drooling ๐Ÿ™‚ .. what an awesome story. would love to crack this one. Hey GB with you around I see little chance of getting in first three LOL .. wanna team up :p ?
    Thanks Blogadda for this one .
    Hey Pal .. what an awesome idea. you write so well and now this.
    Went to Ajay’s profile . It is a treat . Thanks Ajay for this delicious treat .
    Yay!!

  4. Gr8 idea Pal and gr8 story Ajay ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks BlogAdda for all these interesting contests ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Attention

    I have a question . Do you want is a story written further – a continuation of the given story and we can just build a completely original plot line . it is not a puzzle where the clue as to who the killer is, is hidden in the given text? OR is the story complete and we just need to solve the puzzle from the given plot?

    Ajay , blogadda please let us know.

  6. Besides the plot has too many open ended questions…am struggling to wrap up a story in 400 words or less. – alternatively, if we dont write it in a finish the story format – then there could at least be 3 possible logical conclusions.

    Please advise –

    a] format ? finish the story types or just bullet points?

    b] if finish the story – then word limit needs to be a bit more , say about 800.

  7. I agree with Gyanban. I too have atleast three options and some pointers as to how one has to go about need to told.
    One needs to give motive, some history , method and solution . It is not fitting into so few words

  8. @tikuli: The story is complete and you just need to solve the puzzle from the given plot.
    @gyanban: The story is complete and the clues are hidden in the post. There is just one logical killer. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Fair enough – because you had mentioned write a post…hence the story question.

    I would nt bet on one “logical” killer…the given story has a lot of open possibilities.

  10. my post has gone beyond 400 words, but thats because i have used extracts from the story for every hint i found, so that i can explain nicely. hope that would be considered.

  11. wasnt this like supposed to be a creative idea kind of thing? The solution is pretty straighforward and would be the only one right solution. but isnt this about letting the inner “Ekta Kapoor” out of the bag and create as whacky solutions as possible?

  12. LOL GB you are not making matters good for anyone. Bloggers here are so confused that they should be called Confucius ๐Ÿ™‚

    I know you are smiling .. check what you eat or drink things may be spiked.
    As for me I am also sitting with two very strong possibilities .

    Reading the entries is good fun ,some are very convincing .

    Good luck all ..

    Ajay ,Pal Am sure you guys are having a ball while we are scraching our heads LOL

  13. Pingback: Soumya
  14. If you are worried about results, and it’s bothering you,
    Keep looking skywards and you will always find a clue;
    For that’s a another mystery, we folks have to solve,
    That’s how the newer and newer contests evolve….

    Maybe Lila swiped the results, from M who was reading,
    R shot the papers twice, because he thought G was leading,
    But the narrator, sits smugly, in a know-it-all pose,
    You can find the results if you can find the yellow rose…..

    So many people searching, amidst broken glass and tea,
    Checking crumpled scarves, thinking that’s where it could be,
    And Lila arises from deep slumber, gives everyone a hi-five,
    Saying, “All results invalid, now that I am alive….”

  15. Awesome is the word, Suranga. We are super impressed!
    Make no mistake, Lila is dead
    If you think you have guessed it right, then you win
    But you gotta wait till the winners are announced by
    our beloved judge Sidin!

  16. the plot thickens
    as misdirection happens
    not worried about anything
    but for Lila’s breathing,

    because if she breathes,
    then the prophecy cheats,
    the clue lies not in the rose,
    but hidden somewhere in the prose,

    the one to find those pillars,
    will get to the true killers,
    the plot is now in the chiller
    all decided who is the winner.

  17. Maybe Lila is on Facebook, and she’s written on her Wall,
    The answer to the mystery, will be clear to one and all,

    But Sia writes a blog, and has prescheduled a revealing post
    About how Lila once drowned her on a trip to the western coast,

    M G R and narrator, have escaped twittering, to the neighbor country,
    Even if Lila accuses them on the Wall, they will be actually , free….

    That country has banned Facebook, it suits them just really fine,
    Lila and Sia can shout all they want, they simply won’t come online….

  18. She loved to spread love and in her death met her match. The judge is missing from Twitter since last 19 hours . Where is he ? Did Lila rise from the dead and turn into Laila ๐Ÿ™ sweeping the coasts of this land with fury .. Did she charm the helpless Sidin Vadukut or did she played her last card , the queen of hearts ?

    No prize for guessing..

    The suspects wait … so do we … for the verdict.

  19. Let the mystery of the “results” continue, while we can enjoy commenting on this post! “Suranga, Gyanban, Tikuli” nice comments! Rather, excellent ones. Carry on! Sooner or later, we will get the results! Hopefully!

  20. @tikulicious- your last comment is so funny iam havin a good laugh,,, thanks to you and continue the good work.

  21. Lila was a lady, almost a Page 3 member,
    All her affairs , everyone does remember,
    When shot, she said “Yikes ! ,
    But I prefer M and his bikes,
    And for results, you can wait till September….”

    M’s bike licence was revoked by the RTO,
    R’s gun was confiscated when he was lying low,
    G’s meds have been hidden,
    Sia does as she is bidden,
    And the narrator restlessly walks to and fro….

    We bloggers, we simply love idle chatter,
    The imagination keeps getting fatter and fatter,
    They are all integrated,
    M G R are all related,
    As for who’s the killer, now how does it matter ………

  22. urgent help needed: can somebody tel me how to bring in the pringoo picture into your post, iam not able to figure out myself, thanks already.

  23. create a login on pringoo, then login and choose/design something on some object (tee, mug etc). It will show you a page where it will indicate an embeddable html code, for blogger etc (you have to choose your platform), which you can put in your post.

  24. @suranga- thanks so much for your, and yeah i have got till the code step but where do you paste it to bring it within your post itself, al iam ending up is the gadget area where you can add any html code….is there a way around!!! forgive me if iam blabbering… thanks muchly again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Vani,

    You know the window where you actually compose your post ? Near the compose button, there is a Edit Html button. Click that and it will show you the html code for your whole post, with the tags and stuff.

    Scroll down to the end, and copy paste the code there. Then Preview (you wont see it in Compose).

    Magic !

  26. Trying to solve a Death Mystery , and waiting for the correct answer, tends to get you all philosophical. And bloggy sonnets happen ๐Ÿ™‚

    With apologies to Death be not proud by John Donne….

    Death, by one of the 5, though some have called thee
    Suspense and cheating, for thou art not so;
    For bloggers whom thou thinkst thou dost confuse
    Think again,, poor Death, nor yet canst thou fool me.
    From armlets and beads, which but thy pictures be,
    Many clues; then from thee much more evidence must flow
    And soonest M, G, R, and Sia, with thee do go
    After ordering a last Pizza by home delivery.
    Thou art slave to Bloggers, Internet, Addas, and desperate men,
    And thou dost with poison, tea, beads and bullets dwell,
    And HIV viruses can make her sleep as well
    And better than a rose prick. Why swellst thy finger then?
    A few weekdays past, we wake excitedly,
    And suspense shall be no more; Just wondering who shall die!

  27. Some lost their appetite, their hair turned grey,
    Some wore out fingers, flipping calendars everyday,
    Rumours to left of them, twitters to the right,
    Some wasted time seeing a movie about a Kite,
    Then the Adda’s announced the result was today
    We keep forgetting there are 24 hours in a day
    BP rising and falling, as the minutes keep ticking away …
    Folks, today is the tomorrow, they announced yesterday

    ๐Ÿ™‚

    :-))) Drum roll….

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