Tick, Tick, Tick.....
My high intelligence immediately recognises the ticking as that of a bomb about to go off and I realise that I'm lying on a time bomb.
Yes, that's me. You're probably wondering how I ended up in this situation. Well, like all clichéd superhero stories, this one started with a boy as well.
Around 24 Hours ago...
“Ammu, I'm going out.”
“Wait right there! Where are you going? Who are you going out with? When will you be home? Give me the phone numbers of all your friends and their mothers.”
“Ugh, I'm just going to my coaching class...”
As my mother closes the door, instead of taking the elevator, I slip into my secret lair. My secret lair is just an old broom closet that nobody uses anymore. There, I find Catniss the Cat already searching the computer for my next assignment. Catniss was part of a secret genetic research facility where she was modified to have human level intelligence but has since been rescued and acting as my partner.
“You have to see this!!”
I look at Catniss to find a horrified expression on her face. Then I turn to the computer to find the cause of this reaction. Through my electrokinetic ability, I had manipulated the computer to show all the crimes taking place in and around Dhaka city. Usually the city is brimming with crimes. So, the main purpose of the computer was to find the most pressing crime at a given time. But today, the city seemed quiet. There were no students suddenly disappearing from the middle of a busy road, no bikers trying to grab purses/phones of pedestrians, and most surprisingly, no man “mistakenly” bumping into a woman or shouting obscenities at them. It seemed everyone had finally learned to live in harmony.
“There was a power outage at night and everything has been quiet like this since it came back on in the morning,” Catniss informs me.
*phone rings* (Ammu calling)
“Didn't your class end at 12 o'clock? *looks at time* 12:01 pm.
“Uhh yes, it was supposed to but the teacher gave us this extra class which is going to last another hour.” I lied. This made me flashback to the time I had let a hijacker loose because my mother kept calling me and it distracted me. She was calling because she required me to come home. You see, it was 5 pm and 5 pm was “onek raat” in her world. But, I was not going to let this happen again. I was adamant on getting to the bottom of the mystery of this serene Dhaka. So, I turned off my phone. I decided I would risk letting my parents think I was out on a date with some boy. Yes, this might not seem like a big deal to a lot of parents but my parents had probably already promised me to my father's uncle's grandfather's boro chhele for two cows and a goat. If my relatives ever catch me outside with someone of the opposite gender I would not be deemed a bhodro ghorer meye.
The lengths you have to go to, to save the city *sigh*.
I start putting on my superhero costume which is a pink spandex suit. Then I drape my trusty magical scarf around my neck which contains the power to make me invisible in the scrutinising eyes of the city dwellers. Lastly, I put on a blonde wig to hide my identity.
*phone rings* (unknown number)
“Hey, who is this?” *sends SMS*
*phone rings again*
“Okay, this person does not get a hint”
“You must be wondering why there are no more crimes in Dhaka city. To find your answer come to the address that I've just texted you” *evil laughter* *phone cuts*
“Hey, Catniss! So, apparently this dude wants me to come to Bashundhara R/A. I think he will be able to shed some light into this whole no crime situation.”
“Well, I might just be a cat but this feels like a trap.”
“No, I have to go. I'm not a real superhero until I do something so reckless that it jeopardises my life. In the meantime, you should stay here and keep an eye out for anything unusual.”
A sweaty bus ride later...
I stood in front of the texted address feeling a little insulted that no one came to escort me. So, I decided to knock on the door of the large house that I was standing in front of. The house seemed pretty normal and had no signs of being an evil lair. After no response, I open the door myself and was nonplussed to see that the house was completely normal as well. But, there were shuffling sounds from overhead. I rushed upstairs to find a partially destroyed lab area and in a corner, a man.
“You're too late. He has already run away with The Key.”
“The Key! My lab assistant Jolil and I invented a key that could unlock both harmony and chaos. You've probably noticed the recent drop in crime rates.”
“But where is this key now?”
“You know what power does to a man. Something got into him. He said something about chaos being a ladder and then decided to take The Key for himself. I think he means to unleash chaos into the world. I fought him off for the time being but I know he will return. The Key is not safe with me. You have to take it with you.”
I take the normal looking but apparently very powerful key and put it in my bag. But, just as I'm about to leave, Jolil returns as predicted. And he brings with himself some very clichéd lines.
“I think you have something that belongs to me, miss.”
“And what makes you think I'll give it to you?”
“Oh, I knew you wouldn't willingly give it to me; so, I had brought with me some precautions.”
*Boom* A flash of light .
Now, back to present time…
I swim through the water to reach a “shore”. The immediate task at hand was to retrieve The Key and stop Jolil from opening the door to chaos again. But alas, it was 7 pm. This was waaaaay past my curfew. There was no way I could explain to my parents why I had to chase a man in the middle of the night. So, although the world was at peril, I carried my disconsolate heart in my hands and took a bus home.
Tasnim Odrika is having an existential crisis at the moment and doesn't really know who she is anymore. Send her compliments at email@example.com