First shift started at eight in the morning.
It was my first day and I decided to reach at six, well before any worker would have come. I just wanted to walk around and feel the environment.
As I neared the boiler room I shuddered as I felt a light tap on my left shoulder. I turned around and confronted an old, sickly man. There was a deep scar on his left cheek. But his lifeless eyes were unnerving.
‘Are you the new Works Manager? There has been a killing here. Someone was brutally murdered.’
I got a bit confused; but even before I could say anything he shoved me into the boiler room, ‘There’s a dead body in the boiler room.’
A dead man was lying on the blood splattered floor. His face had been horribly mauled.
‘Who is he?’ I blurted rather weakly.
I heard only a deafening silence for I was all alone in the boiler room. I hurriedly came out of the boiler room and looked around for the old man but he was nowhere to be seen. I rushed to my office and summoned the security guard.
‘Sir, you are mistaken. There was no one in the factory. You were the first to arrive.’
I asked him to immediately go to the boiler room.
He came back within minutes, ‘Sir, I knew you were mistaken. Nothing untoward has happened.’
‘How’s that possible? I saw the body.’
I ran to the boiler room. To my horror there was no dead body in the room and no blood on the floor. I felt weak and uncertain; my legs were trembling. But I tried to mask my fear and almost barked at the security guard, ‘Go and look for the old man who told me about the dead body.’
He gave me a curious look. I tried to stare him down. But then something in him unnerved me; there was a deep scar on his left cheek.