He sat smoking silently on the dark stairway when it all began. Heard like crackers at first. But it was unlikely - no cricket match,Diwali was still months away and the celebrations (of any kind) couldn't have started so suddenly; at least not in this area. He heard running footsteps, several of them. Then car doors opened and slammed shut. The shots continued. The stairway was half hidden behind a pile of boxes. He started descending, slowly, like a cat, to get a better view. Just then a figure appeared at the foot of the stairway, blocking the street light for a moment. Staggered, in fact. Their eyes met. He leaned against the wall, clutching his waist. Then a lone shot rang out, pushing him forward against the stairs and he slumped. He was not down yet. He lay there and pointed his gun at the half illuminated stranger, who now stood still.
"Aye! What are you doing here? Do you want to die?"
And in a moment, that face was clear. The dreaded gangster Madhav. He started getting up. But it was too late, the small swiss knife blade shone in the light for a fraction of a second, in front of his eyes before plunging deep in his neck.
The encounter was not a new thing that the city witnessed that night. But the cops were having a hard time trying to figure out the post mortem report. They were damn sure they'd shot the gangster down. But death due to a knife wound?