European Psychological Thrillers

  • 24 Sep - 30 Sep, 2022
  • Salaar Laghari
  • Fiction

There were two stories ahead, entitled: ‘Handwriting and Signature’; and the other one was entitled ‘My Birthday’s Midnight’. The reader began reading the first story ‘Handwriting and Signature’.

My Prides

I am Graham Norton, a professor in Berlin School of Economics and Law. In my family I have a wife Linda and my six-year-old son Jerry. I haven't visited my own house and my family since long as I live in hotels and restaurants all alone as an independent person. After every two months, I change places by leaving my current hotel, and live at a better and more luxurious places.

In my professional life, I am a very strict, mostly disliked but a capable professor.

Other than this, I have a one and only friend Clark Hay, who has always been supporting me since five years. I know that I'm quite mean with him as I haven't helped him ever whenever he has asked me to do so, but I'm not guilty for this and I don't even think about doing something for him.

I have two similar prides in my life, and those are my handwriting and my signature. No one can copy my handwriting because I have a very unique style of writing, which cannot be copied by anyone else. And my signature is also quite unique. Although some people can copy it exactly, but I can easily differentiate between my real and the copied signature.

One evening, outside the cinema home, I had just watched a movie. While leaving I bought a bottle of champagne for myself. In the meantime, my cell phone began to ring; it was my wife Linda’s call. I didn’t attend the call and went towards the parking basement. I sat inside my car and opened the champagne bottle. I started to drink, and then after getting drunk, I began to drive my car.

What’s Happening Here?

At eight o clock sharp in the morning, I woke up today and couldn’t remember what happened last night. As my eyes lost all the sleepiness, I tried to sit on my bed. But I found something unexpected. I found that my left arm was fractured and bandaged all over. I had a large bandage on my head as well. Other than all of this, I was also feeling a severe pain in my backbone. I was badly surprised to see that what had just happened with me, and I was totally unaware of the accident that might have taken place but I don’t remember anything of that sort.

After looking at myself for a while, I made a phone call to Clark. As Clark answered my call:

‘Hello, Graham!’

‘Clark, I’m all over bandaged, what has happened with me?’ I said hastily.

‘Calm down Graham, just calm down,’ he replied, ‘I’m aware of your condition and I know everything that has happened.’

‘So then tell me who did this?’

‘Listen listen, do you know that you’ve been in this state of bandages since two weeks now.’

‘What? No!’ I replied getting more surprised.

‘So listen carefully, two weeks back you had a severe car accident while you were drunk… Then after the accident, I took you to the hospital after which you were admitted for almost two weeks in an unconscious state of mind, so last night you gained a little consciousness and were brought back to your previous hotel room.’

‘Am I in the Park Plaza?’

‘Yes, and there are some medicines kept inside the drawer of your side table. You have to take them twice a day, to recover from your condition. And the doctors said that you have to stay at home for two more weeks and then continue with teaching.’

‘Oh, I see…’ I replied realising everything, ‘so does Linda know about this?’

‘I don’t think so… I tried but couldn’t contact her.’

‘Okay okay, I’ll talk to her myself… anyways thanks for everything.’

‘No problem, bye!’

We ended our calls and I kept my cell phone aside. I was feeling quite strange for what sort of accident I had experienced. I was tensed and felt uneasy, so I picked my cell phone and searched for my wife Linda’s cell number. I made a direct phone call to her. There was no answer. So I made another call and still there was no reply. I made five to ten calls, but she didn’t answer any of my calls. I got confused thinking what might have kept her so busy.

Now, I had only one question in mind that what was happening here with me, as first I had been bandaged all over because of a haunting accident. And then my wife was not attending my calls.

Back at Work

Two weeks passed away in a blink and I was almost recovered. I was taking my medicines and having Clark as guest every evening. But for the first time, I got so much busy in making assignments of my subject economics that I didn’t get time to call Linda. Neither did I receive any call from her.

Today, it was my first day at work after a long holiday of rest. Then after reaching at the staff room of the school. I saw five new faces of teachers, which meant that in my absence new staff had been arranged. While I was sitting next to my desk, they all were asking me about my health but I was giving them no answers and no response. Danny, who was my partner in teaching economics, was sitting next to me. I said to him:

‘Danny I’m not feeling well today… I’ve made this assignment, you go and just give this set of sheets to anyone of the responsible boys of each class, so that he can make more copies for other candidates.’

I gave him a set of three sheets stapled together. He took the set and then said:

‘But Norton, there are three classes. First, we’ll have to make three copies of the set, so they can be given in one class each.’

‘Yes, you do it that way…’

He stood up and left the staff room to make further copies.

On his way, he met a group of boys. He stopped there and said to one of the boys who was the most prominent among them,

‘Joseph! I have a work for you.’

‘Yes, how can I help?’

‘Professor Norton is back today,’ Danny said.

‘Oh no,’ one of the boys said in regret.

‘He’s not feeling well but he has given this assignment for you boys,’ Danny added.

Danny gave the set of sheets to Joseph. Joseph started reviewing. Danny looked at the boys:

‘You guys make copies of this set and…’

‘…Sir, please look at this,’ Joseph interrupted, ‘it’s dated September 2011 and we are in 2013.’

‘Don’t tell me that,’ Danny said looking at the sheet, ‘No, it’s his error!’


‘Yes,’ one of the boys replied, ‘Sir Norton always mistakenly replaces 3 with 1.’

‘Yes, he’s right,’ Danny said, ‘Anyways, you boys carry on, and get the copies as soon as possible.’

Saying this Danny left them and moved forward.

Invitation to Date

During the off time, I was walking outside the main gate of the school; I sat on my car and drove it away. On the way to my hotel, while I was driving, I felt strange sort of headache, which I had never experienced before. I stopped my vehicle by pressing brakes and parked my vehicle aside. I was feeling a sort of soreness in my head. But gradually, this pain went away and I kept my eyes closed.

I heard a woman’s voice from my left:

‘Excuse me, can I help you?’

I looked towards her and saw a beautiful fair young lady, who was quite younger than me. She had a blonde hair and had worn a red dress. I was amazed by looking at her and said:

‘I beg your pardon…’

‘I was just asking that are you feeling okay?’

‘Yeah sure, I’m good.’

‘Do you want to have a date?’

‘Excuse me?’ I said getting confused.

‘You heard me…’

‘Well, I…’

‘…I know you want to, just come along to that restaurant.’

I was quite surprised seeing her flirt this way. She walked towards the restaurant. I stepped out of my car and followed her quickly.

Few moments later, we were sitting inside the restaurant at a table for two. She started talking,

‘So, Mr Morton what do you do?’

‘Well, Miss Petunia five years back, I was a principal of a high school, but I didn’t felt sort of like enjoying my work. So I just left that profession and decided to join as a teacher in Berlin School of Economics and Law.’


‘And you?’ I asked.

‘Talk more about yourself, you sound interesting to me…’

‘I have a very unique sort of handwriting no one can copy it. I can challenge anyone for this. Likewise I have a different signature, which can be copied by some people, but I can easily differentiate between my own and the copied one.’

‘So, you are quite different from other men in town,’ she smiled.

‘Well, there’s a breaking news for you which might make you leave this date unfinished.’

‘You’re married, and you have kids. It can’t be worse than that…’

‘You’re quite smart,’ I said admiring her words and attitude.

‘Well, tell me something are all men unfaithful to their wives?’

‘Well, my wife’s no different than me.’

‘Really? How come?’ she asked getting a little surprised.

‘I had this accident few weeks back and was quite injured. Since that day my wife’s not answering my calls.’

‘So, you think she’s having an affair like you are.’

‘I am? Are you giving your own reference Petunia?’

‘Yes, our affair’s going to last long. What do you say?’

‘Sure, why not,’ I replied feeling a little nervous.

Then changing the topic we kept on talking like this for an hour.

Petunia was kind of open and straightforward type of woman and I liked this thing the most about her. I spent my entire day with her from afternoon to late night. At twelve o clock she went with me to my hotel’s corridor. I asked her to come inside and stay with me, but she refused, as she had to leave for her mother who was in hospital. So she left the hotel saying goodbye and promising about tomorrow’s date.

Petunia, Clark and Myself

Next day at school, I was asked to go and teach another class, which was not part of my timetable. And I was given a specific topic for them. As I entered the class, I started writing on the black board without having any sort of introduction with the candidates.

As I turned around to give the lecture, all the faces seemed unfamiliar to me. I felt that I hadn’t ever seen them anywhere in the entire school. This made me realise that I had a nature of ignoring people and was quite weak in noticing things around.

An hour later, when I was leaving the class finishing the lecture, one of the boys stopped me from behind,

‘Professor, when are you giving lecture on the theories of the economists?’

‘So, when will I have my next class Mr…?’ I stopped trying to recognise the new face.

‘John, you forgot my name?’ he asked feeling surprised.

‘Whatever, but I don’t have any class with you,’ I replied turning away my face, ‘you can come for any extra class lecture.’

I walked away leaving him alone. The boy got totally strange,

‘No class with us? Is he retiring? Why was he acting so strange?’

When the day was off, I left in my car and while driving the vehicle. I made a phone call to Petunia,

‘Hello Graham, I’ve been waiting for your call,’ she answered the call.

‘Really, well, where are you right now?’