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The Wolf of Karachi
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M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Dec-7-2018 16:55

It could not have been more than a week since they defeated the mysterious Jack, the mastermind behind the Order of the Sphinx, and his dastardly plan to create a "perfect world", a world full of eunuchs making everyone the same.

In that time, Marc made an enemy and then a friend though Edward Carlyle, a soon-to-be disgraced FBI agent. Edward's team died fighting Sphinx, he was held responsible for each of their deaths. But it was Jasper who sacrificed himself to create the perfect distraction.

Marc sat alone in the dark nursing a bottle of gin, reflecting on the past events. He jumped at the sound of a lout rapping on his door.

"It's open!" He called out without looking up.

Riza walked in. "We're heading to the train station. The train leaves in an hour to Karachi. You ready?"

Marc gulped the last of his gin and tossed the bottle behind him, shattering the glass against the wall as he stood up. He heafted his bag over his shoulder and smiled.

"Let's go get our friend."



Jan-12-2019 07:42

The seven days of inebriated celebration almost came to an end. The scent of Marigold and Mehndi mixed with turmeric and mustard oil lingered through the lavish dance hall, but only the sounds of veena and sitar now accompany the departing parties.

‘Finally,’ Camak thought as she gave her blessings to the last few guests. Her chelas had performed brilliantly, with heartfelt singing and vibrant dances that marked their near divinity. Camak knew the groom’s family would tip them handsomely, not that they needed it. Their main income lied elsewhere, but performing in these celebrations upholds their reputation as the best and most feared Parivaar - a reputation that had served her well for many years.

Camak wondered how her dear wolf is doing. He should be onto the friends of that good-for-nothing prying ferret by now. Camak knew right away that the ferret was not one of them, but her chelas were too trusting and welcomed her into their embrace. Well, no one could steal from Mother Camak and get away with it. She could hide all she wanted, but what she had suffered so far was only a trickle of what was to come.

The hall felt empty now. Suddenly a few chelas cried out.

‘What’s going on my dear daughters,’ Camak calmly inquired.

‘Dear Mother,’ an older chela with a silvery voice ran into the hall, ‘please help Aarti!’

Camak quickly scanned the name in her mind and remember Aarti to be one of the many younger cousins of the bride. He was at the edge of puberty but already a great dancer, who was very kind to her lot. The boy was now badly injured and several chelas carried him inside.

Krishna, the older chela explained, ’His father was angry with him for dancing the female parts with us, he called him a freak and beat him on his head repeatedly.’

‘He said he will douse Aarti with gasoline and light him on fire!’ cried a younger chela.


Jan-12-2019 07:43

Tears rolled down Camak cheek. She cradled the boy in her arm, ’no one is a freak here, everyone is blessed.’ Her stubby fingers were wet with blood from Aarti’s forehead. The poor boy was still whimpering.

Camak had made her decision, ‘we are taking Aarti with us.’ She smelled fear from a few younger chelas.

‘What is going on here?’ The father of the bride stood by the doorway, looking onto his bleeding nephew, but his tone of voice betrayed that he knew exactly what went on, both with what Aarti’s father did and with what the Parivaar was about to do.

Krishna reassured the rest of the Parivaar in her silvery voice, ‘they cannot touch us. Aarti is meant to join us. So say the gods!’

‘So say the gods,’ the chelas repeated, and they all began to clap in unison. The man by the doorway knew all too well the warning sign, and he swiftly stepped away, not wanting to be cursed, especially not at his daughter’s own wedding.

As they exit the hall, Camak felt a subtle burning sensation on her face. Somehow she knew it was tied to Bhedyia. She must return as soon as possible.

Camak made a hand gesture and the Parivaar hastened their retreat. Soon they were quiet far from the wedding ground. Camak could feel Aarti gradually relax beside her. His bleeding had finally dried, but he was still weak and emotional.

‘You are mother goddess Bahuchara Mata incarnate,’ the boy told Camak between sobs, ‘I am forever in your debt.’

‘Don’t you ever worry, child. No one will ever beat you again. You will come with us to Gujarat. Our home is your home now. You are free to be whom you are born to become.’ Camak reassured the boy.

From squeezing Aarti’s arm and cradling him earlier, Camak could tell the boy would grow up to be thin and not very tall. A fine Hijra he will become. She could not wait to perform his nirwaan soon, to preserve the divinity as much as possible. Such fine specimen will have many buyers over and over again.


Jan-12-2019 07:43

Camak could feel a satisfaction flooding in but not of her own. She was still unsure where the unseen tie between them two came from, but she was certain her wolf had succeeded in setting the game afoot.


Jan-14-2019 18:55

Just outside Karachi, two hours northeast of the city was Shakoor Lake, which shares the border to the state of Gujarat, India. The Bhedyia arrived at the lake just as the sun was beginning to set behind the mountains in the distance, turning the sky a purple and gold color. It was a beautiful sight to behold. But he didn't have much time before it became completely dark. He had to hurry.

He quickly pushed his canoe into the water and began to row towards the Indian border. By the time he reached the shore it was late. The sun was completely gone but the moon shone just bright enough to show a figure sitting on the ground.

"You're late." Camak said.

"My apologies," The Bhedyia said. "I got..held up." His face still burned slightly from his mishap with Vulkie. If you could call it a mishap. Sometimes sacrifices had to be made when improvising a plan that didn't go the way you wanted it to. In this case, letting Vulkie escape.

"Do you have the map?" Camak asked.

"No, I-"

"What of the pilot?" Camak interrupted.

"She's dead, they'll never find her body," The Bhedyia said. "The one who stole the map escaped, but not before I took her sight from her. It is useless to her. I'm close to finding her."


"One of my contacts informed me of a friend of hers on the way to Karachi. I met her. A woman called Vulkie. I hypnotised her and learned some information. There are more people searching for her. Five others, to be exact."

"I don't care how you do it," Camak said, her voice now sounding irritated. "I want my map." She snapped.

"I'm working on it," Bhedyia said. "This isn't easy, searching a metropolis and surrounding areas for one person. I have contacts from The Circle of Light who are helping."

Camak remained silent. The silence was deafening. It was a sound that told The Bhedyia that she wasn't happy. Camak was the only person that made him feel uneasy. There was more to Camak than met the eye, a mystery that no one knew, except for Bhedyia.


Jan-14-2019 19:06

Camak craned her neck towards the sky.

"It is late," she said.

The Bhedyia grunted in agreement. He built a fire to keep them warm from the cold desert air. Even with the firelight, he could still barely see Camak's face.

There was a silence between the two of them for only a few moments. The few moments seemed like an eternity before Camak finally spoke.

"I want that map," She said. "I need it."

"I'll go back into Karachi in the morning," the Bhedyia said. "I've implanted in Vulkie's mind, certain key words that will activate her hypnosis, and she'll know what to do with the other 5 people."

"I do not wish to know the details of your work, Wolf, what I do wish to know is that you've accomplished your tasks."

That was what the Bhedyia needed to hear. Freedom to go about his business any way he saw fit. If someone had to die for that map, so be it.

"Report back to me when you have something of interest." Camak said. She was picked up by two shadowy figures and carried away into the darkness.

The Bhedyia rolled out his sleeping bag by the fire and quickly fell asleep. He needed as much sleep as he could get before morning. Tomorrow, he thought as he drifted off to sleep, is going to be a very busy day.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Jan-15-2019 17:59

Joseph Zeo lit a stick of Chesterfield as the detectives shuffled into their respective hotel rooms. Edward was receiving an earful from Molly for being a “buffoon with his bottom stuffed into his brain”.

‘Someone is relieved!’ Marc smirked while unpacking by the bed next to the window.

‘Who?’ Jospeh wondered.

‘You really can’t tell? No injuries, no arrests, no catastrophes. Ed simply forgot about the jet! I’d not be surprised if we hear a lot of noise from next door tonight.’



Marc turned out to be right, and Joseph could not sleep with the constant banging coming from the other side of the wall. He knew he should be figuring out the next steps in finding Anais, and glad that some of his friends may find a lead in the morning, but his mind kept drifting to the excessive hoax distress signals. Joseph’s mind was clouded, and so were those signals, as if someone was trying to muddle the water on purpose... but who? And why?

The banging kept him up so Joseph got dressed instead and quietly left the hotel.

Several gambling parlours dotted the city, but Joseph knew exactly which one to head into. Muslims, Hindus, Europeans, Jews, Parsis, Iranians, Lebanese, and Goans all shared the same musky air inside, all eyes focus on the betting tables lit by yellowish light bulbs. Joseph prowled around the tables, lay a few bets here and there, until he spotted a shifty Parsis in a black cap with flat top and a wooden arm. From the looks on his face the night was not going well for him. Perfect.

Joseph carefully inched his way to the man, and quickly grab hold of his good arm. Without knowing who took him, the man tried to dart away in panic, but Joseph’s grip was firm and he quickly added, ‘going somewhere Chubin my old friend?’

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Jan-15-2019 18:01

Upon seeing who it was, Chubin breathed a sigh of relieve. ‘Oh it’s you, detective Joe! You just gave me a heart attack!’ Joseph smiled and the two shuffled away to an Irani cafe nearby. It’s was Joseph’s treat and the man ordered mutton patties for the both of them. Chubin had Joseph caught up on the local buzz as they sipped their khari chai, but on Anais Nin he had nothing.

‘Never heard of that name,’ Chubin replied, ‘I would’ve heard of her if a western lady of your description with that name had been here.’

If this statement came from anyone else, Joseph would have laughed, given Karachi’s population was over thirty thousand strong. Chubin, on the other hand, knew what he was talking about.

‘Was your lady in disguise? Did she use another name?’ Chubin queried. Joseph shrugged. It was possible, only if Joseph knew why Anais was in Karachi in the first place. The search was going nowhere.

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Jan-15-2019 18:04

‘Thank you Chubin,’ Joseph slipped a swag of rupees in Chubin’s good hand. He knew they would soon end up in the gambling den they just visited. As he was about to get up, Joseph remembered about the missing pilot. ‘I’m sure you haven’t heard of it, but has anyone been up to hoaxing radio signals lately?’

Chubin suddenly tensed up, ‘so you heard too?’

Joseph sat tight and fixed his gaze on Chubin, ‘go on.’

Chubin licked his lips. His eyes darted around to ensure no one was eavesdropping. ‘Someone in the deep was making sure no one can find her.’

‘Who? Do you mean Amelia Ear—‘

‘Shhhh!’ Chubin hushed the detective. Everyone seem to go about their usual business but Chubin seemed to see ghosts around him. He squeezed his wooden arm with his good hand as his mind struggled, ‘no I’m not getting involved with this, sorry Detective Joe,’ he finally said.

‘At least give me something! A group, a place, a name, anything!’ Joseph hissed.

Chubin knew he owed Joseph for having at least one good arm. He took out a pen and wrote down something in Persian on the paper napkin, then he flipped it face down and slid it to Joseph. ‘This is as far as I can go. Thank you for the mutton patty and have a safe stay in Karachi.’ The shifty man quickly scurried away.

Joseph had no idea why he insisted on finding out about hoax signals, but it seemed important to him. Joseph carefully placed the paper napkin in his inner suit pocket and returned to the hotel.

At the early hours before daybreak, sitting on a lounge chair in the quiet lobby, Joseph took out the paper napkin and looked at the Persian characters. It looked like two snakes with a slit on top of each one: گرگ

M. Lacrimosa
M. Lacrimosa
Sleuth About Town

Jan-17-2019 19:23

Marc found himself back in France. He held a rifle in his hand. On his back was a large bag with a stretcher and crutches. Slung around him was a bag of medical supplies. He was back in war, leaning against the trench wall, the smell of smoke filled his nostrils and burned in his lungs. “Oh, God,” he thought to himself. “We’ve come a long way, boys!” A booming voice called out. A whistle shrieked, echoing in the distance. He climbed up the latter, and charged across the “No man’s land” and into the heat of the fight.

Marc jumped awake. Another nightmare. He wiped the sweat off his forehead and sat up in the bed. After drinking some water, Marc lay back in his bed, unable to fall asleep. All he could see in his mind was Riza. God, she was beautiful. Had he crossed the line on the train? Was it just a fling? He could still feel her soft skin against his, the smell of the shampoo that she used. He took in a deep breath and sighed. “Am I falling for her?” He whispered to himself?

Do I stand a chance? No matter how hard he tried to fall asleep she was still there every time he closed his eyes. Her eyes, her dark hair. He could feel it in his hands still.

He sat up in bed and lit a cigarette. Marc stood up and put some clothes on. He needed some fresh air. He stepped outside into the cold desert air. Shivering slightly until his body adjusted to it. Dry air was something he wasn’t used to, not with the weather in London or New York. Karachi was different.

He walked around the hotel and into an alley. “You lost, boy?” Someone asked with a deep English accent.” The man approached Marc, standing a whole head taller than Marc. Looking down at him he snarled again. “Are you lost?”

“Look, I don’t any trouble,”

“Well, you’ve found it.” He slung his fist punching Marc in the mouth, bringing Marc to his knees and splitting his lip open with a sicken splat. Blood poured from his lip down the front of his mouth and into his mouth.

Marc stood up seeing the tattoo on the man’s arm. Eye shaped with a ringed plane

Joseph Zeo
Joseph Zeo
Tale Spinner

Jan-22-2019 09:18

The Circle of Light. They didn’t operate out this way. Did they?

Marc, once again, distracted, took another punch to the face, knocking him down, yet again.

He stood up wiping blood off his face. This time, he fought back. The man had strength. His muscles felt like iron in Marc’s hands. Marc wrapped his arm around the man’s neck and squeezed. The object wasn’t to kill the man, but to knock him unconscious. The man tried to pull Marc’s arm of his throat, but Marc only squeezed harder.

Just as the man was about to pass out, Marc heard a yell in the distance, immediately followed by a shot that rang through the air. Marc felt a sharp pain on his left shoulder as blood slowly oozed out through his jacket. Marc immediately looked up to see a familiar face holding her Colt 1911...


Joseph stared into the two snake like characters, wishing he had picked up Persian back when he picked up his contacts along the way. He just had to consult his friends or the library when the rest of the world wakes up.

Just then, Joseph noticed movements from the corner of his eyes. A lady with short hair quickly sneaked through the hotel exit. ‘Vulkie?’ Joseph muttered under his breath. He quickly followed, worried about his friend.

Once outside, Vulkie swiftly dashed around the hotel and stopped abruptly before a small alleyway. She pulled out her pistol like a string puppet and aimed into the alley. As Joseph came closer he realized the gun was targeted at the two men locked in a struggle, one of them being Marc. Joseph was not fully certain but Vulkie seemed to be aiming at Marc’s head.

‘No!’ Joseph yelled, but the shot was fired too soon. Marc was shot in the shoulder and the burly man took the chance to jab his elbow into Marc’s chest. Seeing that he was out numbered, the man scurried away, melting into the dark alleys.

Vulkie seemed to have woken by her own gun shot and cried out seeing what she had done. Joseph ignored her and attended to Marc’s wound immediately.

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