by Marjan Safiyari
At the Pomelo police station, all the policemen and policewomen are investigating cases and sending criminals to jail then a young well-dressed detective named Oni comes in.
The position of all the heads change to him as they have never seen anyone like him before in their lives. A big purple onion head with the bright snowy streaks on his face and two misty silvery eyes, an athletic body wearing a black modern trench, a smokey wigens cap, khaki pants and a pair of black lace up flat oxford shoes. Oni introduces himself as he is a well-educated detective who has learned all the necessary things in the university of humans, he also mentions that he is a specific onion, he has no similarities to any types of onions in the land of humans.
He has been sent here to solve the difficult documents with the help of others.
Oni wants to know where the office of Chief is. A nice policewoman gets close to him, she has wine-colored hair and emerald green eyes, her face is so sweet as it transfers a calm feeling. Oni follows her. On the way to the Chief's office, the nice policewoman introduces herself that her name is Katherine, all her colleagues call her “Kate“ but Oni is free to call her in his own way. Oni is glad to meet a kind-hearted lady like her on the first day of his work.
When they arrive at the front door of the Chief's office, Oni knocks on the door and enters. Chief is speaking on the phone, suddenly the phone falls down and hits the ground as he gets amazed at seeing Oni's face, an unbelievable spot. Oni just salutes his Chief.
After a few seconds, Chief gets back to his normal state, and gets closer to Oni to welcome him to his station. Then Chief shows Oni a cozy room that has been prepared for him so he can easily start his work today.
Two days passed, in a strange silence without having any work for Oni. The third day comes, all the officers including Oni are busy doing their own duties. When suddenly an impressive loud panting sound of an old woman smothers the police station, and all the police get shocked to hear her mysterious news. At midnight, when she wakes up to have a glass of water in the kitchen, she sees something weird, a strange man with the umbrella shaped hat joined to his head carrying a breathless body on his shoulder. At that moment, she thinks that it is just a hallucination because she’s still sleepy. But in the morning, when she leaves her home, she notices the open door of the front house so she realizes that the midnight's event had been real.
Chief calls Oni to his office, Oni has no idea what is going on so he knocks on the door and then enters. Chief looks at him nervously, he doesn’t know how he should explain the case so he puts on his overcoat and asks Oni to follow him to a weird crime scene.
When they arrive at the crime scene, a strange smell is in the air. Oni recognizes the smell, it doesn’t relate to the land of humans and it takes him back to his land, specifically the most awful times when a dreadful expert killed many of his people. He feels scared about what has happened in this house!
Oni enters a room where everything has taken place. There are peculiar fingerprints next to each other on a table that a camera man is taking photos of them. Then the expert of fingerprints comes in to get some samples but he encounters an earsplitting shout that comes from Oni‘s mouth, "No, don't touch them!”
The wide-eyed expert looks at Oni, he wants to know why he can’t touch them.
Oni explains that the surfaces of the fingerprints have been poisoned and even if the expert touches them with the greatest and most unique gloves, he will be dead in a flash as the poison on the fingerprints is the strongest one.
All the officers get surprised by Oni’s words, and Chief is really curious to know what the strongest poison on the victim's fingerprints is.
A long “OOF” sound comes from Oni’s mouth, then he says that the poison belongs to a hazardous Mushroom. His colleagues laugh. Oni continues "Mushi has returned and unfortunately he has found a way to the land of humans."
Chief asks Oni about Mushi. Oni explaines that Mushi is the most dangerous killer and unfortunately a knowledgeable expert, he used skeletons in his dark experiments. He killed so many people in his land especially the members of Celery, Radish, Beetroot, Turnips as he thought they should have the best skeletons!
"Unfortunately now he is in your land so we should work together to capture him immediately otherwise the killings will not stop."
Kate arrives at the crime scene with an important news about this mysterious crime. When Kate wants to inform Chief, she encounters with Oni’s strange request.
Oni wants to stay in the room to retrieve the poisonous fingerprints. He asks for a glass and a spoon, then fills the glass with a mixture of his saliva and the sharp sweat of his hands. He combines them as well and pours the mix on the surfaces of the poisonous fingerprints. He asks his colleagues to draw the curtains and make the room dark. Slowly the color of fingerprints turns into red and also an upside down capital letter appears. It is a “Q”. Oni looks at the changes cautiously with his sharp eyes which act like an ultra-advanced microscope. Then he reverses his head and tells everyone that Mushi is going to his hideout in the northwest.
His colleagues get amazed as it is really hard for them to accept such a strange situation.
Kate asks what the meaning of "Q" is. Oni tells her, Mushi has realized that a member of his land has been chosen as the detective in the land of humans. The shape of "Q" represents a magnifier which means Mushi wants me to find him. And also this upside down letter has another meaning. The hash is pointed toward the northwest.
Kate wanted to tell Chief that a witness has seen a strange man moving toward the northwest. Oni asks for a map because the final meaning of this upside down "Q" should be the name of a city in the northwest which starts with “Q” and they ought to find that city immediately.
Oni recommends his colleagues never underestimate the intelligence of Mushi as all his activities have profound clues and signs, Mushi is so genius and knows very well what he is doing.
Oni receives the map and starts searching to find the “Q“ city. In a flash, Kate informs the name of the city and it is “Qbell“. Oni tells her “well done” because “Qbell” has been written really tiny and is a small city. Although Oni asks Chief for permission to start an immediate mission to “Qbell”, he wants to go alone. Chief believes that a cautious person should be with him in this serious situation. So, Chief looks at the policemen but none of them are eager to be Oni's partner in this specific mission.
Then Kate informs that she is ready to go with Oni as there isn't any fear in her heart because it is her job to be a fearless and protective policewoman.
Oni disagrees because Mushi needs to have more skeletons and take Kate as his partner should be too dangerous but Chief agrees that Kate be the partner of Oni in this case. So, Oni and Kate put on their protective outfits then get in a well-equipped squad car and head northwest to Qbell. While Kate drives, she is eager to know about Oni’s childhood. Oni tells that he used to separate himself from all the kids of his age. During the break times, he pretended to be an outstanding detective, able to find the hardest clues and arrest the most dangerous people. And at this moment, he has achieved his dream. Before he became a detective, he strongly believed that he could be an impressive detective so he tried hard to attain his dream, he learned everything in their specific ways. So, now he can call himself a great detective.
A few hours later, they arrive in Qbell. Oni gets out of the car and goes into a supermarket to buy some food. In the supermarket, all the people stare at Oni’s face. He quickly buys everything that he needs and leaves the supermarket.
Back in the car, they eat and discuss which route they should take. Oni is sure that Mushi should be in a cold, dark and damp place, like an abandoned building in a Jungle. Kate takes her phone out of her pocket and searches the Internet to find a building like that. She finds an old church that is surrounded by the red mossy sky high cedars in the heart of the Jungle.
People of Qbell call it “Church of Broken Hopes” because all the bright colors have been swallowed by the strongest poison. This church should be Mushi’s hideout so Oni steers the car toward that destination. Once they arrive in the Jungle, Oni parks the car in a safe place, then both retrieve the instruments they need for the mission and go to the heart of the Jungle.
On the way to the abandoned church, they look everywhere. They walk a long time and become exhausted so they sit on the ground for a rest. Kate closes her eyes. Oni scans the area. The sky is getting dark, then Oni hears an eerie sound, something like a ringing bell from the west so he stands and follows the sound. Around the corner, the cursed church emerges.
Oni gets back to Kate and wakes her up. They walk toward the church of broken hopes. It is really scary because it has no big windows just a tiny broken cross shaped window that is close to the roof of the church.
Oni and Kate notice that two bells are near that tiny broken window.
They also get aware that there isn’t any cemetery around the church and it’s really odd that the church has no door. Kate wonders how this is possible. Oni tells her that this is the work of Mushi not to let anyone enter the church.
Kate looks at the bells again and notices that they are strange as in front, they seem to be the complete bells but from the corners, they are incomplete. Kate asks Oni how this can be possible. Oni gets closer to the bells and pushes them together. They are clicked and in a flash, a door becomes visible in front of their eyes. In the beginning, Kate isn’t eager to go into this eerie church. So, Oni tells her that she can get back to the car and call Chief. Although Kate is scared, she doesn’t want Oni to go there alone. When their feet touch the inner part of the church, the door vanishes and they are stuck.
From that tiny broken cross shaped glass window, the light of moon enters, and they see something they’ve never seen before, the cemetery which they looked for around the church is inside the church.
Oni tells Kate, this situation causes a lot of trouble for them because one of the graves should be the door to the underground.
The inner light isn’t enough so Kate searches her backpack for a flashlight but she has forgotten to pack one. Oni carefully walks through the church to find a candle or something like it to make a bright torch, a bit later, he finds a thick piece of wood near a grave and with his lighter illuminates it.
He looks at each grave meticulously. they have no names, just numbers.
Kate recalls something who read on the internet about this church. She tells Oni that these twelve graves belong to the innocent children who were swallowed by a heinous heart of this church. Kate figures out that the children had become aware of Mushi’s presence in the church so he killed them through his strongest poison!
Oni is sure that this is the work of Mushi but he wonders why the graves have numbers and no names. He feels distraught and nervous as this is an unsolvable mystery to him.
Then Kate looks at the stony parts of graves, she thinks maybe she can solve the riddle of numbers but suddenly she focuses on the ground of each grave. There is a different dry muddy shape on each grave like a piece of art. She finds a ladder in the corner of the church so she climbs up and from there, looks down at all graves which have different dry muddy shapes. Then Kate calls Oni to look at the dry muddy parts of graves from the ladder. Oni sees a face and realizes that the stony parts of the graves with the numbers aren’t the answer.
It is a face with its tongue hanging out. Kate suggests this out tongue is the door to the underground but Oni tells her it should be a trap and if they choose it then they will never survive.
The door should be in another part of this face. Kate climbs down but Oni stays at the top of the ladder and looks at the dry muddy face. His attention goes to the pupils of eyes, in the center of each pupil, there is a picture, the right pupil has a diamond shape and the left pupil has the crescent moon. Oni talks Kate about them and Kate suggests the right pupil is the door to the underground but Oni believes that diamond is the symbol of greed so it shouldn't be the right door.
Oni gets dubious about the left pupil because the crescent moon is the symbol of death, its shape is like sickle so it can’t be the right door to the underground.
Oni isn’t able to choose which one is the right door.
Kate says maybe diamond is the sign of blooming not greed and it is the right door.
Oni wants Kate to be a little more patient as the answer will reveal itself soon. Five minutes later, the moonlight moves through that small cross shaped glass window onto the left eye and the crescent moon in the pupil becomes a full moon.
Oni and Kate are so delighted, they knew they would find the door to the underground. Oni descends the ladder and they both go to the left eye. They carefully move the stony part of the grave. A gap appears and they go in.
Inside, there is an unbearable smell. Oni has no problem with that smell but Kate can’t breathe very well. She doesn’t have anything in her pockets and her small backpack to cover her face. So, Oni removes a cloth from his pocket and gives it to Kate to cover her mouth and nose. They start walking inside the muddy tunnel but in the middle of the walk, Oni with his special eyes notices two big bodies. He stops walking, tells Kate to be silent and not move, then goes toward those bodies and realizes that they are moles so they aren't alone here and these moles should be the soldiers of Mushi!
Oni gets back to Kate and tells her that he should cover her face, neck, arms, hands and uniform with the wet mud which is in this tunnel and the sweat of his body otherwise she will be found easily by the moles because of her body odor.
Kate knows well she has no choice and allows Oni to cover her. After that, they move forward with the great attention. They pass all the big moles and arrive at a place which looks like an antique shop. Kate removes that cloth on her face then looks at the objects which are there.
Then Oni sees a piano near an oval mirror. The keys of the piano aren’t in their accurate places so Oni goes toward the piano for a better look. He picks up all the keys one by one. Kate stops beside Oni. She wants to shout but puts her hands to her mouth and whispers, “Oh My God.”
There is an incomplete child's skeleton in where Oni has removed all the piano's keys, Kate asks Oni where the other parts of the skeleton are.
Oni looks at her, the other parts should be in Mushi's laboratory. Kate starts weeping. She can’t believe how a person can be so heartless, does such a cruel crime to a child.
They leave that place and go into the other tunnel, They walk for fifteen minutes then encounter two tunnels, they have no clue which tunnel can lead them to the laboratory of Mushi.
Oni sits on his feet and starts checking the mud of each tunnel then looks at Kate and tells her that the right tunnel is the right choice. She agrees so they go into the right tunnel. After a few minutes, they face a big door that has no knob or keyhole. Oni looks at the corner of the door and sees a keyboard on the door with numbers, but he doesn’t know the code. Although Oni asks Kate what they should do, he gets no answer. He turns and sees that Mushi has taken Kate.
Oni gets shocked as he has no plan in his head, he gets speechless, Mushi laughs at Oni then he calls the moles to come and take Oni to the well of starving roots.
Before the Moles come to take Oni, Mushi thanks Oni for bringing another human especially a woman as he really needed the body of a woman to complete his experiment. Oni is arrested by the moles and carried to the distinguished well to be the food of starving roots.
On the way to the well, Oni remembers that the function of his body in the state of unconsciousness can free him so he makes himself unconscious. His odor strengthens and when the moles try to wake him up, their bodies start itching and they can’t do anything but scratch their bodies as hard as they can.
Oni wakes up and goes quickly to the right direction. He arrives at the door of laboratory, The door is open so he enters and sees Kate unconscious on an autopsy table. Oni hides himself behind a big shelf and watches Mushi. Oni draws a clear plan in his mind. He sees that the room which Mushi is in, has an electronic keypad. He walks toward it and slams the door close then uses the anger function of his body to burn the keypad and destroy the electronic system of the door so that Mushi can not escape. Then Oni goes toward Kate. He examines her and figures out her health condition isn’t stable so he searches all the shelves for the effective antidote to Mushroom's poison. He realizes the venom of some insects can cure this poison, so Oni searches for the vials of cockroach's venom, millipede's venom and ant's venom then mixes them all together to make the antidote for Mushroom's poison. He takes the mixture and injects it to Kate's arm. A bit later, she comes around. Oni puts the rest of the antidote in his pocket. He looks around and notices that Mushi isn’t in the room but where he has been trapped.
Mushi escaped! Oni gets mad at himself and swears to catch Mushi, to stop him from killing. Oni notices Kate gets stable enough to protect herself so he sends her above ground to call for a quick backup.
Oni searches for Mushi. He looks in a room full of incomplete skeletons, then in another room with only skulls, Mushi appears and attacks Oni. They wrestle with each other then Mushi hits Oni’s leg with a heavy object and Oni falls down to the ground, his head hits the ground hard and results in his dizziness. Oni can see that Mushi has a needle in his hand, and is going to inject him.
Mushi is laughing at Oni’s bad luck and says that it will be over soon, he is going to kill Oni. Mushi injects the poison and laughs more.
Two minutes later, Mushi still laughs but Oni gets back to life and Mushi gets shocked. Oni tells him that he is blessed with a different body from the other people and it keeps him safe.
Oni gets up and stretches his muscles of each arm then closes his both hands and makes strong fists. Oni wants Mushi to explain that for what experiment, he needs to have the skeletons of humans. Oni threatens to turn Mushi into an eggplant if he doesn’t tell the truth. Mushi scoffs at Oni and tells him “Go to the Hell”, he’ll never tell the truth to anyone.
So Oni, true to his word, turns Mushi into an eggplant then he puts handcuffs on the new eggplant Mushi and takes him out of the tunnels to the surface of the church. Oni sees Kate and his colleagues standing there with their open mouths, Oni hands the dark purple body of Mushi to Chief and then all his colleagues cheer Oni for this great arrest.
Kate thanks Oni for saving her then says that she has never had any experience like this before and that they made a tremendous team.
At the station, all the officers and Chief are vaccinated against the Mushroom's poison then Chief and Oni bring Eggplant Mushi to the interrogation room. They ask Mushi why he gathered all those skeletons not only from cemetery but also the murdered humans.
Mushi doesn’t answer, Chief asks him again but he is still silent, then Oni goes toward Mushi, picks him up from the chair and looks at him in a furious way. A few seconds later, Mushi begs Oni to stop looking at him as he can’t bear the burning of his eyes and skin. So, Oni stops and Mushi makes his decision to tell the truth. He says that he needs the skeletons of humans to bring back his family whom he has lost in a fire. He explains that the skeletons of living humans have special healthy proteins and the other useful materials. Mushi powdered them and kept them in the big bottles, then he transferred the powdered bones into a gigantic iron case with other ingredients. He tells that he is sure the conclusion of this experiment will be positive and he is able to see his family again, he declares that he should get back to his laboratory as he needs to be cautious about the probable changes that may happen in the iron case.
Although Oni and Chief have no idea what they should say, they know that Mushi has had no right to kill anyone and his work as getting back his family to the life doesn’t change anything. He has killed so many people even children, so he will receive his sentence. Chief calls one of his officers to come and take Mushi back to the jail until the time of the court.
When the time of court comes, Chief and Oni escort Mushi to court for his sentence. Mushi is convicted of murder. When a prison officer approaches to guide Mushi to the defined place, Mushi turns his head and tells Chief and Oni that he is the winner of this life as he did what he was called to do!
But Oni looks at Mushi and tells him that he is a loser not a winner because he has killed the colorful desires and dreams of so many humans.
In the end, Mushi is taken to prison and everything is over.
Her name is Marjan Safiyari, a published fiction author. She was born in 1989 in Shiraz, the captivating city of Art and Literature. She has a BA degree in English Literature at Zand Institute of Higher Education. Her first book titled “Devil Shadows and Golden Lantern With Other Stories” was published in 2017 by Austin Macauley Publishers based in London. Two stories titled “Rabby & Zabrina” besides “Coralline & Her Caring Circle Clock” were published by Cordelia magazine based in Scotland. And two other stories titled “Jimmy, A Different Plumber” and “Emanuel & Emma, An Unforgettable Night” besides two artworks were published by Meditating Cat Zine magazine based in Singapore. Her flash fiction story titled “My Brilliant Belly Button Bubbles” and short story titled “Austin & Bella” besides six photos in her creative way were published by Contemporary Jo magazine. Her artwork in the form of picturesque photo next to her words titled “Shadows” was published by Stripes Literary Magazine in Issue 2: Volume 3 titled “Unthemed” in October. Her flash fiction story titled “The Best & Memorable Winter Days” besides six poems and her photo as the cover of Issue 1 were published by The Dried Review. Her two flash fiction stories titled “Good Gary” and “The Experience Of My Detective Work At Night” besides three artistic photos were published in Halloween issue by Meditating Cat Zine Magazine. Her other flash fiction titled “A Gleaming Giant Monster“ was published in Issue 1 of Creative Bastards magazine. Her two flash fiction stories titled “The White Guest Of The Old Landlord” & “The Queen and The Little Girl” were published in Issue 5 by Meditating Cat Zine. Her photos next to her Quotes were Published in Issue 10 by Pastel Serenity Zine magazine.