About the Short Fiction
Set in the backdrop of sex trafficking, Zoya is a small but a darkly controversial moment in the life of a Muslim Mumbai police officer, Mr Khan. The brutally terrifying consequences that results after the horrific suicide of Zoya.
Mr. Khan is one of the two protagonists from the crime-drama thriller with supernatural undertones,
THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF MAYA SAMPATH. Set before this.

“#ifeelsafewhen… Justice is delivered NOT delayed.”
– unknown
Chai With Lakshmi

Chapter 2- Red Lights

Mr Khan was on the road, the night pitch black. Turmoil tugged at his emotional state until they become one. The mute whirling amber flash of his mechanical siren stood over the hood of his vehicle, like a traveler stood on the height of a mountain. Beaming as it extinguished the darkness. Making way for visible wavering eyes. He knew exactly where he needed to travel. This destination? The deep underbelly of Mumbai, the red-light district. Dingy, claustrophobic cramped lanes overlooked by gleaming brothels, where girls were trafficked into India’s thriving sex industry. Run by an illegal network of sex-traffickers. This is exactly where he would find her assailant. Sinners had their hell house. Where the value of a girls innocence was torn out from her soul, and money was the only physical currency that sold their lives to a buyer, like it were a birthday toy. The spiritual essence that once stripped off, left them naked with contemplating shame. In the brothels, death was out of the equation. They obeyed, and remained a play toy. Selling themselves constantly, like being hooked on prescribed medication. They needed the money to survive, at least a shelter. But the more it happened, their self worth shrunk, yet they struggled to keep your innocence alive. Even an atom worth that remained lingered.
He was breathing rapidly, his anger ferociously elevated far outside the levels of insanity.
Like an inflating balloon, you inhale air in to blow it into a huge looking bulb, and take a
breath, repeat. Between sanity and insanity, the difference was how your emotions filled it
up. Do you contain it to keep sane, or let it burst? The bubble of sanity. Which, has burst to
emptiness already. The after effects, fumes of rage adding to an inevitable explosion. His
white shirt strained by Zoya’s fingerprints. His thick strong hands, palms of which had been burnt partially. He could still hear her screams harrow in his thoughts.
He arrived at the location, his eyes searched rapidly from one person to the next and caught the sight of the assailant’s companion. Swung his door open quickly, and hunched out aggressively. Lay his hand over this stranger and nudged him to face him. The stranger first threw a hostile stare, then grew frightened instantly, his jaw parted with dread, eyes shook with disbelief when he registered and recognized Mr Khan. His hand shook and pointed towards the location where his companion would be located. Mr Khan flung his thickset hand forward and slapped him across his cheek to the ground, causing reddish bruising of his cheek, followed with a burst of nose bleed. Tears welling up. The vibration numbed his face for a moment, The sound echoed off walls leaving the heart of onlooker’s pounding. Their mind in chaos. Mr Khan tilted his head towards the direction of the brothel. His eyes darted left to right like taking steps. His neck almost stiff to one side. His eyes wavered as the intensity of the red lights gleamed over him. The large bulbs of red, yellow and orange that hung on the wall of second floor, above the entrance. Despite this kind of strong fluorescence, it could never overlook the darkly, disturbingly harrowing nature of the slums.

Follow the Blog to read the last chapter, next Friday!

M. Aamir Naseer For Beyond Sanity Publishing

Artwork by Syeda Fatima

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