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Niki was a little nervous about tonight’s dinner party. Three of her closest friends were coming over. She hadn’t met them in a long time and wanted everything to be perfect. She started with cleaning her tiny apartment.
As she fluffed the pillows on the couch, she noticed something between the cushions. Thinking it was the remote, she reached down to pick it up when it started ringing. Startled, Niki stared at the phone and stepped back for a brief second. Then reached down and picked it up. It stopped ringing.
Perplexed by this unknown cell phone, she stared at the dark black instrument. She turned it over. It was a Nokia. She was baffled. She wondered whose phone this was. She didn’t have anyone in her apartment for over a month. So who put it there and when?
As the phone rang again, the screen read, ‘unknown number.’
“Obviously!” she said resignedly then hit the green button, “Hello..”
“Someone coming over tonight will try to kill you” the deep voice on the other end of the phone said, “Good luck!”
“Who is this? Karan, is this you?” Niki asked, but heard nothing. The person on the other end had already hung up. She dropped the phone back on the couch and stared blankly at it.
She tried to shrug it off as a crank call but was visibly shaken by it. She stood in the middle of her apartment with the oddest look on her face and studied every nook and corner of the room wondering if she was being watched. Slowly and nervously she walked towards the drawing room window and closed the blinds and drew the curtains. Her apartment was on the 10th floor but she still felt uneasy with the open blinds.
The phone started ringing again. She had almost decided not to answer it but something of an instinct made her pick up the phone.
“Who is this?” she demanded with what she thought was a strong voice.
“Shutting your blinds Niki won’t keep you from dying tonight,” said the deep voice “They’re still coming over for dinner tonight, don’t forget!”
“What are you talking about? Who’s trying to kill me?”
“That’s for you to find out!” laughed the caller “Good luck Niki.”
“Wait, wait don’t hang up. Hello, Hello…!”
The line was dead. So he knew her name. This call was meant for her. She rushed to the window, pushed the blinds aside and stared out of the window looking for some sign. She couldn’t see anyone suspicous. She walked around to her kitchen, opened her fridge and took a swing from the water bottle. She carried the bottle and walked back to the couch where she sat with her feet up and reasoned why anyone would want to kill her and what she would do about it.
When the clock struck 5 pm, Niki was revived from her deep thought. She went to the kitchen and started cooking. A few hours later, Niki finished with the dinner. She set the table, plates, glasses, wine. As she put down the last spoon on the table she opened the bottle of Chianti and poured a glass for herself, then dumped various substances back into the bottle and proceeded to seal it up.
The cell rang again, this time Niki picked it up with confidence.
“What!” she barked into the phone.
“Let the game begin!” the deep voice said.
Niki smiled cooly, then tossed the phone on the couch. Just then the doorbell rang. One by one her friends walked into her drawing room. She poured everyone a glass of wine and they toasted to a long lasting friendship. And then one by one, Niki’s friends collapsed to the floor. Niki stared. Then she went over each one of them and looked at their lying forms. Which one of you, she wondered smiling slyly.
Just then she heard a faint knock on the door. She walked to the front door and peeped. Looking at the person on the other side of the door, she became ecstatic. She flinged open the door and stepped into her brother’s open arms. She cried with joy and hugged him for a long moment.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
“I came to play the murder mystery game, remember? I’ve been calling you all afternoon.” he said.
“That was you?”
“Oh – my – God!” Niki turned and starred at the bodies on the floor.
“Can I have my phone back please?” Karan asked.