Jürgen Skupniewski-Fernandez

The secret of the Indian pentagram 01

Veronique lovingly brushed her dark blond hair.

"Maurice! Maurice Chéri!"

"I'm on the terrace!"

Satisfied, she looked at her reflection, smiled, and finished her skincare routine with a touch of pink lipstick. She pressed her lips together and ran her moist tongue over them. Light-footedly, she went into the kitchen, opened the fridge, took a bottle of mineral water from the compartment, and put it into a linen bag.

Maurice was sitting in a high rattan armchair with his feet up on a stool. Veronique leaned over the backrest and lovingly embraced him. She ran her right hand through his thick brown hair, and he purred like a tame cat.

"Have you already packed everything in the car?"

"Yes, my sports bag is already in the trunk. I'll just stay one night at Annabelle's. Are you eating at home or going to Pierre's?" He leaned forward, placed the glass of pastis on the side table, and stood up.

"I think I'll stop by Pierre's."

"Okay, then say hi to Manie for me. I'll get in touch with her in the next few days."

She gave him a kiss on the cheek and a playful pat on his sexy behind. In a good mood, she took the car keys from the table with a graceful turn.

"Maurice, don't forget that the doorbell needs to be fixed. Ciao!"

The door closed, and Veronique headed to her Pilates class in Tamarin before planning to spend the night at her friend Annabelle's place.

The Indian Ocean rolled sluggishly, like an old man, towards the shore. Only the foaming white waves along the coral reef seemed to break the morning silence. A small group of Indian women, with their hair pinned up and dressed in colorful saris, approached the beach. Each of them held a frangipani flower and a small cup in their hands. They offered their flowers to the waves, recited prayers, and at the same time scooped seawater with their cups to give it back to the ocean. Their gesture of scooping and returning seawater symbolized the cycle of life and nature, expressing their humility and appreciation for the gifts offered by the ocean and nature, and their willingness to give back to maintain balance. In this way, they expressed their gratitude to their deity and welcomed the new day.

The tropical air pressed on the early hours. Maurice Bertram opened the terrace door and sat in the shade of the awning. Absentmindedly, he gazed at the horizon. There were no signs of grief; nothing stirred within him. In that moment, he felt only deep uncertainty.

Two hours ago, Mauritian officials had knocked on his door.

"Monsieur Maurice Bertram?" one of them asked.

"Yes, that's me."

"Bonjour Monsieur, Constable Ephraim Elmire and Mahmud Louvet from the Abercrombie Police Station. May we come in for a moment?"

"Yes, but... uh, I don't quite understand?"

Reluctantly, he let the officers in and led them through the long hallway into the living room and then onto the terrace, inviting them to take a seat. He sat down with them at the round teakwood table and placed his folded hands on it. The two officers wore the typical Mauritian uniform: light blue short-sleeved shirts with the emblem of the state police on the left shoulder, paired with dark blue knee-length shorts. Their creole heritage was unmistakable, a fusion of Indian and African descent with well-defined European features.

"Monsieur Bertram, we have sad news to deliver," they announced solemnly. "Your partner, Madame Véronique Vervier, was found lifeless in the early hours of the morning. Fishermen discovered her body by chance in the mangroves between Flic en Flac and Tamarin."

Maurice had listened to them emotionlessly.

"What was your wife doing in that area?"

"Life partner!" Maurice corrected with a firm voice. "We weren't married; that's what I wanted to say."

"I see, but what would someone like Mademoiselle Vervier be doing in the mangroves? Can you give us any clues?"

"Nothing!" Maurice replied. "Nothing!" and looked at both of them. "Véronique was driving to her Pilates class in Tamarin, as she does every Tuesday. After that, she was planning to spend the night at a friend's place. That's not unusual; she did it often."

He looked into their faces and ran his right hand through his hair. His eyes seemed dull. The news was seeping into his brain drop by drop.

"How did Véronique die?" he asked almost apologetically.

"Likely, she was the victim of strangulation," Louvet said, looking at him. "Clarity will only come after an autopsy. Has Mademoiselle Vervier recently gotten a tattoo? Her friend has a very elaborate tattoo on her back, a very unusual symbol."

Maurice raised his eyebrows in disbelief.

"I don't quite follow you."

It was evident that this symbol played a crucial role in Véronique's death, but its exact meaning remained a mystery for now.

"She doesn't have any tattoos on her body! Why this question?"

"As far as we can tell, such symbols are associated with membership in a secret society."

Suppressing rising anger, pain, and sorrow, Maurice got up slightly agitated from the chair and offered the gentlemen water and coffee. With a long sigh, he went to the kitchen and returned with a full tray.

"What does all this have to do with a secret society?"

"More precisely, it's a pentagram. Right now, these are all just hypotheses."

"But how do you know all this in such a short time?"

The two men looked at each other in silence, avoiding his question.

"Please stay in touch with us and don't plan any short trips. We have informed your embassy in Port Louis about Mademoiselle Vervier's death."

He hadn't planned any short trips anyway. That settled the matter.

"I understand."

The policemen stood up, thanked him for the coffee, and together they walked to the front door. Elmire pulled out a business card with his office's contact information.

"You should come to the Abercrombie police station tomorrow. Chief Inspector Laurent is expecting you. We'll call you and pick you up from your home. By the way, where were you between 8 PM last night and 7 AM this morning?"

"Me? - Where else! Here!"

The two constables looked at him in disbelief and said their goodbyes.

Six hours had passed since then. He had already had a few Scotches. What on earth was Veronique doing in the mangroves, and what did the police know about a secret society they mentioned? He pondered for a while, leaning back in his rattan chair. Murder, mangroves, police, tattoo, secret society. He tried to untangle his thoughts.

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Jürgen Skupniewski-Fernandez.
Published on e-Stories.org on 08/19/2023.


The author


Book by Jürgen Skupniewski-Fernandez:


Emotionale Welten von Jürgen Skupniewski-Fernandez

In den Gedichten hat der Autor das lyrische "Ich" durch ein vorwiegendes lyrisches "Du" bzw. "Wir" ersetzt, was eine kollektive Nähe zum Geschehenen hervorruft.
Die sehr eindrücklichen Beschreibungen leben von den vielen Metaphern und Vergleichen.
Eine klare und leicht verständliche Sprache sowie wohlgeformte Reime ermöglichen dem Leser einen guten Zugang zu den Gedichten.
Etwas für Lyrik-Liebhaber und jene, die gerne über das Leben philosophieren. Eine kleine poetische Reise, die den Leser zum Verweilen und zum Nachdenken über den Sinn des Lebens einlädt.

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