Posted in 2022 short story challenge, short, story

February Story: The Cave on The Mountain

As the morning rays from the mountains poured in through the window, little Geet sat on the floor dressed up for school as her mother braided her hair, and she ran her hands through her doll’s hair.

“So… no one goes there?” she began with her usual questioning routine.

“In the cave? No,” her mother answered.

“But you haven’t actually seen the demon, have you?”

“No, I haven’t. But-“

“Your Ma told you there’s a demon. And her Ma told her that.”

“Yeah, right.”

“Why do you believe it? Maybe it was just someone crafting tales?”

Her mother smiled. She had seen this before.

“Do you really think there is a demon in the cave? Maybe it was just a tale,” little Chutki would say.

“It’s been passed down through generations. No one’s ever questioned it,” her mother would then say, very sweetly.

“It’s a folk tale, been going around for generations,” answered Geet’s mother.

“So?”

“You don’t question folk tales,” she said.

“Maybe they were too scared to ask questions. Or too dumb. I’m neither,” Chutki would say.

“Whoever said that, was either really dumb or a coward.”

“And you are neither?”

“Exactly.”

Her mother would laugh. “I know. But there are some things you shouldn’t mess with.”

“Well, some things are just not to be messed with.”

The room went silent then as Geet braided the last few strands of her doll’s hair, and hurried out of the room for school.

“I hope you’re not cooking any plans in your head,” Chutki’s mother had said that day, a little sternly.

“You aren’t thinking of actually going there, are you?,” her mother asked as she buckled up her shoes.

“No, of course not,” said Geet.

“No, of course not,” said Chutki.

***

The sky had started to turn pink, but there were no signs of Geet in the house.

Chutki, too, had taken longer than usual to come home that day.

“Have you seen Geet? She isn’t home yet,” her mother asked the girls playing outside.

“She was with me when school ended,” one of them said. “Then she left for Golu’s shop, I think.”

More time passed than would have taken her to return from the shop.

Chutki’s best friend had betrayed her that day. She had entrusted her with all her secrets. How difficult would it have been to keep it from her mother?

There was just one person then who would’ve known Geet’s whereabouts.

“Sh-she l-left for the m-m-mountain, I think,” said Palli.

Geet’s mother took a lantern and left for the crooked road that led to the mountain. It was a chilly evening, but she was sweating.

Chutki had never seen her mother so worried. She had been sweating, despite the cold air that blew through the mountains. She had carried a lantern, whose glow had washed Chutki in relief.

She was halfway up the mountain when she saw a tiny figure running towards her.

“Geet? Is that you?”

She increased her pace and looked searchingly at the figure with the lantern. It was indeed Geet.

“Ma?”

“Ma!” Chutki had said and had leapt into her mother’s arms. She had sobbed and sobbed and her mother had said nothing but calmed her.

She hugged Geet the tightest she ever had.

“They had g-guns. A-and knives.” Chutki had said when she had finally stopped crying.

“Did they hurt you?” her mother said as she scanned through her body for a possible wound.

“Ouch, Ma! It hurts!”

“Where? Where did they hurt you?”

“What? No one hurt me. It’s your hug!”

“Oh,” she said and quickly let go of Geet.

“You know, I went into the cave! And do you know what I saw there?” she said excitedly.

Chutki could never forget what she had seen that day.

“You don’t have to tell me,” Geet’s mother said suddenly. She caught hold of Geet’s hand and started descending the mountain.

“But Ma! There weren’t any demons in the cave!” Geet said, while struggling to keep up with her mother’s pace.

Chutki didn’t see any demons that day. They were humans, but much worse than the demons she could imagine. They were huge, with scary faces. And with hundreds of weapons.

“That’s enough. Let me get you home first.”

But that wasn’t what had scared Chutki. It was what she had seen.

“But Ma! You won’t believe what I saw there! It was such a different place, and it had lots of-“

“Enough, I said,” her mother said, a little sternly this time.

Skeletons. Many more than she could have counted. She was lucky, just escaping in the nick of time, and being passed as a rat.

“But I even brought something for you!”

Geet’s mother froze in her tracks.

“Look here,” she said to Geet, kneeling down and grabbing her by the shoulders. “I believe you, alright? There is no demon in the cave.”

“But-“

“It’s ok. You don’t have to tell me anything. Whatever you have brought, just leave it here.”

“But Ma-“

“I know what you must have been through, and it’s all my fault…”

“No-“

“… I should’ve just answered your questions. Poor girl, you must be so scared…”

“No, I’m not-“

“… but don’t worry, you’re safe now ok?” And she gave Geet a calming hug, but it felt more like she was trying to calm herself.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about Ma, but-“

“We can talk when we get home. Just throw those things away and let’s go.”

“But Ma-“

“No buts. please. We can talk when we get home.”

“But I brought these flowers-“

“Throw them I said!” she shouted. “I’m telling you throw them and- wait. What?”

“F-flowers. I brought these flowers for you,” Geet said, pulling out handfuls of bright little sparkling things from her pocket.

Her mother stared at her in disbelief.

“Flowers?” she said in a blank shaky voice.

“Yeah. There were lots of flowers in the cave. I picked some for you.”

“Just flowers?”

“Yeah. No demons.”

She broke into tears and laughter at the same time. She dropped to her knees and hugged Geet once more.

“What is it, Ma?”

“Nothing,” she said, as she sighed in relief – as Chutki, sighed in relief.


This was my first story for the 2022 Short Story Challenge by Katie! (It ought to have been out in January, but a little late is better than never.) This year’s theme is ‘Folklore’ – very exciting and you’re always welcome to join in the fun!

Posted in poetry, short

Midnight Snack

Dark night.

The street lights

all blacked out,

It’s a new moon night;

Perfect for when

they hunt.

No one hears a sound

as they go about

doing their ‘job’

in total silence.

They’ve got wings

that light up

like a neon fire,

But only those can see

whose time’s near…

Petty little humans

get attracted

like iron scraps to a magnet,

And then they dig

deep into the flesh.

Meoww!

Then the lights come on

and everything’s seen.

Sirens blow,

People rush;

A body lies

in the centre of the square

and no one knows

who did the crime.

Curious humans

surround the scene,

and among them

stands the one

with blood on its fangs.

Posted in 2021 short story challenge, short, story

June Story: Paper Boats

Being in Mr. K’s office was never too fun, but a dark rainy day only made it worse. Sanya’s eyes drifted lazily towards the window as she tried to decide which one was gloomier – the hazy cloudy sky outside, or the atmosphere inside the office.

Mr. K was a grumpy businessman, somewhere in his fifties. He was rich, his personality boasted it. No one knew much about him, he wasn’t anywhere near chatty and no one dared to go ask him about his personal life. His face was almost always twisted in a scowl. His company was making profits, which was the only reason people worked with him, and under him. If you were lucky, you could go a whole day without having him scream on you and throw tantrums. That is, if you were lucky – lucky enough to get to see the sun rising from the west.

He’d never had a personal assistant who lasted more than a year in his office. Sanya, though, was an exception. She was going to complete five years as his PA. It was a real feat. People said she was extraordinary. She, on the other hand, was only here because she couldn’t get a better job. The moment she found a better paying job, she would slam down her resignation.

“I’VE TOLD YOU A HUNDRED TIMES TO SERVE ME BETTER COFFEE!” Mr. K’s booming voice broke Sanya’s train of thoughts. She rushed into his cabin to find him screaming on the peon. She indicated him to leave and tried to change Mr. K’s mood.

“Shall I open the curtains sir? It’s too dark in here.”

He glared at her as if he would eat her up. She ignored him and pulled the curtains away. The tiny amount of light that poured through the clouds into the room seemed to lift the mood up a bit. The rain had stopped by now and there were puddles all over the road.

“We have to leave for the meeting, sir,” she reminded him. “The new deal, at the hotel,” she added when she realised he was so angry that he had no idea what she was talking about. He nodded, still fuming, and stomped out as she followed.

They stepped out of the magnificent office and started to cross the road to the other side where his car waited for him. By now, boys from the neighbourhood had gathered around to jump in the puddles left by the rain. Some also carried papers with them and sat down at the edge of the road as they carefully folded out colourful boats.

Mr. K avoided them carefully as he made his way to the other side of the road. He threw them a look of disgust each time his eyes met any of theirs. He had almost crossed the dreaded road when he paused to receive his ringing phone. It was just a second before a boy jumped into a puddle next to him and splashed the muddy water on his shiny black clothes.

Sanya froze in place as Mr. K dropped his phone back into his pocket and glared at the child, like an eagle looking at its prey. The child smiled apologetically, unaware of what was going to happen next. Before Sanya could blink, Mr. K reached out towards the boy in one leap with his hand stretched forward, but stopped just a few millimetres from him. Something else had caught his eye.

He was looking at something behind the boy. Sanya followed his gaze to find a few boys huddled around a big puddle, racing their paper boats. Mr. K slowly crept towards the tiny group. Sanya tried to read his expression – it wasn’t of anger, no, it was a bit like curiosity. He reached upto them and leaned over to study the boats.

He watched as a tiny boy, grinning through his missing teeth, dropped a pink little boat into the water. It sent ripples through the water; ripples that rang through Mr. K’s mind and hit a spot that was long buried deep into his heart.

The ripples. Ripples that were born when little Kumaran made tiny colourful boats and floated them on the rain puddles.

“Kumar!” his mother would then call, her voice sweeter than the essence of rain.

And he would run to his little cottage in the middle of the village. His home. His very own and only home.

He would hug his mother and seat himself in her lap, never getting off till she fed him food with her own hands.

And then they would go out in the rain, on the tiny swing that his mother had tied for him between two trees in the village.

“Higher!” he would say, and his mother would swing him till he was all drenched in rain and laughter.

And she would dress him like Kanha for Krishna Janmashtmi and feed him butter and say that he was the most beautiful child in the world.

All would be fun and good… until the sunset.

The sunset. Darkness would fall and he would return. He who was the only pain in his life. He who was the face of monstrosity for him. He who snatched away all his happiness. His father.

How could little Kumaran forget that night. When he smiled his last smile.

It was a dark monsoon night. Kumaran had played outside the whole day, making paper boats. He was really tired. He hugged his mother and lay on his bed, and his eyes closed involuntarily.

He didn’t know what happened after he fell asleep, but the next time he opened his eyes, he could hear voices from the other room. No, not voices, screams. His mother’s screams.

He rushed to the door, but it was locked from the other side. He cried for help, but there was no one to help him in the middle of the night.

He somehow managed to break open a window, but it was impossible for his brain to comprehend what his eyes saw.

He ran away the next day after they took away his mother’s body. It was a decision taken in anger. An anger he felt for the first time in his life, and something that never left his side again. He had wanted to run away from the man that ruined everything, but he was also running away from all the good memories of his mother, of his home. His very own home.

Sanya watched as a dozen expressions crossed his face – a sudden realisation, nostalgia, sadness, anger and back to another realisation via a bunch of emotions that she couldn’t understand. And then, for the first time in her life, she saw him smile.

She didn’t understand, and never would, and neither would anyone else. For what was happening was only known to Mr. K and his heart.

Posted in poem, poetry, short

Darkness

When darkness lingers all around,

And you see not a single ray of sun,

And it seems the clouds are after you,

Ready to engulf you in their stormy rage…

All you want is to run

And run till you leave the dark behind,

But you can’t, because it’s too dark

to see the path ahead.

And then you call for help

And someone comes to rescue-

A friend,

Someone who’s always pulled you out

of the darkest of tunnels.

“Hand me a torch,” you say;

“Why?” they ask;

“Because it’s dark!” you say.

Isn’t that obvious?!

They look at you

And burst into a laugh,

And laugh and laugh

till they turn red.

“Why do you think it’s dark?” they ask.

“Because there’s clouds all around!” you say.

They look at you and laugh again,

And laugh till there’s tears in their eyes.

And before you could ask what’s funny,

They reach up and pull away the sunglasses from your face,

And laugh while you wonder

How the clouds vanished so fast πŸ™‚

Sometimes, it isn’t the situations that are dark,

It’s us who shield ourselves from seeing the right path.

Make sure to keep someone around to snatch away your sunglasses πŸ˜‰

Posted in poem, poetry, short, weird

What is it?

Artificially brewed,

Carefully dyed,

Evenly frozen,

Gargled, heated,

Instantly juiced,

Knotted loosely,

Marinated next,

Organic pineapple quarters

roughly scooped,

Tossed up vigorously

with xanthophyllous yellow zucchini.

And that’s the recipe. Only thing I don’t know… is what it is for.

What did I just cook?? Can you tell?

Posted in 2021 short story challenge, short, story

May Story: Good or Bad?

Goodness sprouts in the most unexpected of places. When the city life bustled with greed and deceit, a tiny bit of innocence was born in the slum outskirts of the city, in the form of eight year old Biju.

Biju’s family barely managed to survive on their meagre resources. They lived in a tiny ‘house’, if it could be called so, with a tin roof. His lived with his parents, an elder brother and a little sister who hadn’t yet turned one. The whole family contributed in making money for the house. But Biju wasn’t really happy with their ways.

His parents were pickpockets. Often, it started with an act of begging, and his mother would use his baby sister as a way to invite pity. And then they would steal someone’s wallet or snatch away jewellery. His father was fired from the factory he worked in once, and since then he hadn’t been able to find a job, and found it easier to steal, since it required no qualification. They had expected their kids to do the same. And so they did, at least his brother, but Biju was a rebel. He wasn’t going to do all of that.

His parents would force him to go out in the streets, and he would, but never steal. But in the evening, he would present the family with quite a humble sum of money, surely not a lot, but some. Where did he get this money from?

Well, it seems God had gifted him with both morality and creativity. He would roam around the streets and collect any small pieces of plastic, bottle caps, and bits of metal that he could find. He would then settle near the lake and join those bits and pieces together to create toys – yes, toys – small, dynamic toys. He once created a tiny car that actually ran, and a monkey that jumped and a little drum that banged itself when it was spun. He made all sorts of toys, all different. He then sold those for a sum of five or ten Rupees each.

One night, he returned home to find himself in a quarrel that took place almost every few days.

“I don’t like what you do,” he would say.

“Then you don’t have to live here,” his father would say.

“Please, he’s just a kid,” his mother would say.

“It’s alright Ma, you all will never understand,” he would say, and go to bed hungry. It was like a routine, but Biju was now fed up with it.

The next day he woke up fully determined to do something big. He worked twice as hard to collect all the stuff that he could and went by the lake to build something. Surprisingly, he couldn’t think of any ideas today. It was getting late, so he picked his stuff and went by the road to sell the toys he had made the other day.

He got a few customers, most of whom were accompanied by stubborn little kids who just wanted that one toy. Others were people who admired his skills.

Evening had fallen. He hadn’t made a really good business today. Just as much as he earned every other day, perhaps a bit less. He had started to pack his stuff when suddenly a black car stopped in front of him. He looked up at the car and it’s passengers curiously. It was obvious that they had come to buy his toys, but he wasn’t really sure, since it wasn’t the usual type of vehicle that came to buy his stuff. It was much, much bigger.

A man in a black suit stepped out of the car. He bent down, removed his glasses and studied Biju’s toys intently.

“Are you Biju?” he asked.

“Y-yes, sir,” Biju replied, surprised that someone just called him by his name.

“Did you make these toys yourself?” he asked again.

“Yes sir, all of them.”

“Where did you get these designs? Did you copy them off from somewhere?”

“No, sir. They are all my own.”

The man studied the toys once again.

“How much do you earn in a day?”

“About 80 to 100 rupees.”

“You are a really talented boy. I want you to come with me,” the man finally said. “You make these toys and I’ll sell them. I have a very big company. We’ll earn a lot together.”

“Really?” Biju asked in surprise, hopes rising to the sky. “How much money will I get?”

“Enough for you to live like a king. You’ll have a very big room, all to yourself, and new clothes and good food. You can even go to school if you want.”

“And my family?”

“You’re coming alone. This offer is just for you. You have the talent. And only talent sells. Now tell me, will you come with me?”

Biju ran the things over in his mind. Go with him, a voice said. It’s all for your own good, away from poverty, away from all struggle, away from all evil. That’s right, he thought. Good food, good clothes, education… and money, all from his own talent.

But what will he do with the money? Who’ll he earn the money for if his family’s not with him? Don’t go, a second voice said. You can’t just leave your family alone.

What will he do then? the first voice said. Go back into all the evil? Live with a family of crooks? Of course not! He’s got a whole life ahead of him.

Biju heard the two voices in silence, the voices of his conscience. Going back home was what he should do. But wouldn’t he be supporting the bad by doing that? So obviously it was better to go with the man and live a life of honesty. But wouldn’t it be bad to leave his family all alone and enjoy all the luxury alone? What was good, what was bad?

It’s not about good or bad, a third voice said, calmer and firmer than the first two. It’s about love. Good doesn’t always win, bad never should. But love always must.

***

It was 10:30 in the night. But Biju hadn’t yet returned home. His parents were pacing through the house, half angry, half worried. His brother was out looking for him in the streets. He couldn’t find him anywhere.

A while later, there was a knock on the door and Biju entered the house. His father burst on him instantly. He screamed and screamed, but Biju didn’t say a word. After he left, Biju ran to his mother and hugged her tight.

“Why didn’t you go?” she asked.

“How do you know about it?”

“Perhaps I can read your mind. Because I love you.”

“Which is why I didn’t go.”

Posted in journal, short, writing

A hiatus.. is that what I need?

For quite some days now, creativity seems to have chosen to part ways with me. Yep, we broke up. Me and creativity.

I would sit to write a few lines, maybe a poem or something, and end up with a completely blank screen hours later. I don’t know what’s happening. Maybe all my ideas are exhausted and I won’t be writing ever again? Or maybe my brain just needs a break? I think the second one.

So yeah, I think I’ll take a little break from writing, although it’s already been a lot of days. I’ll use the time to patch up our differences, and then maybe she’ll pity me and come back. Creativity, of course.

I’ll go then. See you soon.

(Does it sound like I’ll never come back? Uh uh, let me change it.)

See you very very soon!

Posted in 2021 short story challenge, short, story

April Story: The Tree House

And this morning I fed the squirrels the remaining nuts. And then I returned to my tree house in the middle of the jungle. It’s the best home I could ever have.

It doesn’t look big from the outside, but inside, it’s a complete heaven! And did I tell you about Poinky? He’s my pet monkey and my best friend. He loves me a lot! He always stays with me, never leaves me alone. He even talks to me. He’s my only family…

Family. Where’s my real family? I don’t know. I have no mum, no dad. But it doesn’t matter, does it? I have the whole jungle to myself. And that just reminded me of the Happy Tree!

Yes, the Happy Tree. I named it so because it always makes me happy. Whenever I feel sad, I just go sit under that tree. The cool air that blows through it always makes me smile. And then I climb on it and pluck the fruits that grow on it, and then I enjoy those fruits while watching the sunlight pour through the leaves of the Happy Tree and make funny patterns on the ground.

Then sometimes Poinky and I race to the Mirror Lake. The water in it is so cool and sweet and so clear! Just like a mirror. I can even see my face in it. And there are butterflies all around it.

It’s also so much fun riding Roarey’s back. The way he sprints all through the jungle, around the lake and through the trees.. it’s amazing! You don’t know Roarey? He’s a tiger. Scared? Haha, don’t worry, he’s my friend. If you ever come to visit me, I’ll let you have a ride too.

And then in the evening I go to the Happy Tree again. There’re hundreds of birds up there. But only in the evening. And they all sing together in such a melodious voice.. oh! And when I whistle to them, they all circle me and even do a little dance!

And you know, when you climb on my tree house’s roof at night, you can see thousands of stars in the dark sky. They are always in so many different shapes and you can spend the entire night watching them. Such a lovely home I have…

But then sometimes I slip into a dream. I feel like I get trapped in it. I don’t live in my tree house in the dream. I live in some apartment at almost the same height as my tree house, but in a tall building.. skyscraper, they call it.

And there are people all around me. I feel very scared when anyone’s near me. And then two humans call themselves my ‘parents’, my ‘family’. How could that be possible! I say they are lying, I try so much to keep them away. But they don’t listen to me. I don’t care much, it’s just a dream anyway, right?

And you know, even Poinky doesn’t talk to me in the dream! And that’s the worst part of it. He just sits there. Doesn’t blink, doesn’t move, doesn’t eat, doesn’t breathe. I hate when that happens. And when I tell those ‘parents’ of mine that Poinky isn’t eating something, they tell me he can’t eat or move! But he can, right?

And there are more people there than I’ve ever seen anywhere. They come to me, talk to me, and when I tell them anything about my tree house, they see me like there’s something wrong with me! I feel like crying, like running away from there. They don’t believe anything I say. No one does. But you do, right?

And they all talk behind my back. They think that I don’t know anything, but I hear everything they say. Just last week I heard them saying that I was ‘diagnosed with schizophrenia’. I don’t even know what that means. Is it like a bad word? Are they cursing me? I’ll tell Roarey about it, he’ll teach them a lesson. These people, they say that the jungle isn’t real! That my tree house doesn’t exist! But I’ve seen it! I live in it! It’s my home!

It’s real, right? My home, the jungle, it’s all real, right? Right?

***

And with yesterday’s post, I completed a total of 50 posts on this blog! It’s been an incredible journey till here… cheers to the many more miles to come!

Β© 2021 Oddball Thinks

Posted in 2021 short story challenge, short, story

February Story: Forever Home

Mr. Kensley had wanted to own the mansion for a very long time. He almost fell in love with it the first time he saw it. For some reason, no one else seemed to be interested in purchasing such a good property. Money wasn’t an issue either. So he bought it as soon as he could. He sent a bunch of people beforehand to clean and furnish the place. Today was the shifting day. He started off in a good mood, but something or the other kept going wrong.

It started with a broken vase, then a shattered gold picture frame, then his sprained ankle. His wagon seemed to be in a bad mood too. It broke down thrice in a two-hour ride. It seemed odd for so many bad things to happen on such a bright day. But nothing could stop him today.

More than a bit off-schedule, he finally reached the Mansion of Spectre.

“Ah, no,” said Mr. Kensley for the hundredth time, “Don’t go by the name, it has nothing to do with any sort of ghosts.”

He had been asked this question since the day he bought the mansion.

“I prefer to call it the Snow Palace though,” he would say. “My Snow Palace.”

He entered the mansion with a whole procession of servants handling his stuff and looked around in admiration. His Snow Palace. The house of his dreams. He walked around surveying the crystal floor, the marble statues, the diamond hangings and the velvet carpets. The place really was beautiful. It seemed like a piece of heaven. Too beautiful to be true, as if it were just an illusion. Just so perfect that it was almost creepy.

“I hope my room is ready.” His tone suggested that if it wasn’t, then someone might as well be prepared to lose his job. He didn’t have any shortage of servants anyhow.

He climbed the marble stairs that led to the first floor and took a stroll around. He opened each and every one of the rooms and admired their beauty. At last he reached his own room, the biggest one in the whole mansion, and pushed open the doors.

“WHAT THE HELL?!”

The servants came running hearing their master’s scream.

“W-what is it sir?”

“YOU TELL ME!”

The servants peeped inside the room and stared in horror. Inside, everything was in ruins. The furniture was rotting. The ceilings were covered in cobwebs. A blanket of dust covered the room. But the worst of all – there was something right in the centre of the room that shouldn’t be there.

“B-b-blood.”

***

“Sir, we should have told you this earlier. But, but you see sir… there’s something, I mean, someone who’s… who’s here… I mean…”

“I very well know what you mean. And I’ve told you a thousand times that THERE’S NOTHING LIKE A GHOST!”

“S-sir, we know you don’t believe in this. But they don’t call it the Mansion of Spectre for nothing.”

“I don’t care. Shift my stuff to a different room. And I want my room back in place by tomorrow, get it?”

The servants nodded and Mr. Kensley set off in rage. Whosoever had done this, spoiled his beautiful room, would have to pay for it.

Just when he was turning towards his room, his eyes caught something he hadn’t noticed earlier. Another room, at the far end of the corridor. But there was something different about it. It didn’t have carved doors with silver handles like the others. Instead. it had an old shabby door with a large rusty padlock.

Servants were called again and he made them open the lock despite their constant pleading. But the door wouldn’t budge.

“This door hasn’t been opened in hundred years,” the servants said. “This is where the girl died. They say that her sprit still lives here. She loved the house very much and doesn’t let anyone enter here.”

“Rubbish,” said Mr. Kensley.

After several attempts of opening the door, he finally gave up. He locked the door again and went to a different room to sleep.

Somehow, he couldn’t sleep. He kept tossing and finally stepped out of the room. Outside, darkness covered the entire mansion. He walked towards the ‘mystery’ door again and stood there staring for a long time. Then he shook his head and turned back. But just as suddenly he turned again. The lock was missing.

He could swear he had locked the door. He did it himself. He even had the keys with him. He slowly walked towards the door and gave it a gentle push. This time it opened with a creak. He peered into the room.

Inside was just a different world. The room was just perfect. Gleaming perfect. Not even a particle of dust. The walls were lined with a pink wallpaper and the shelves were filled with toys. There was a fluffy bed in the centre and a cartoon-drawn writing table opposite to it. It looked like a kid’s room. He entered the room.

THUD

The door closed behind him. He shuffled in his pocket and pulled out a tiny torch. A toy train track was lying on the bed as if – as much as he hated to admit it – someone had just set it up. He shuddered at the thought and walked back to the door. He tried to pull it open, but it wouldn’t budge.

“Hi there.”

He jumped at the voice. “Wh-who’s it?”

“Me? I’m your friend.”

“What friend? Who’s it?”

The voice laughed.

“Just stop this right now! Who’s there?”

“You guess. Come, find me. I’m just here.”

He slowly walked towards the voice. It was coming from somewhere near the bed. He crept towards the edge of the bed. He couldn’t see anyone there. And then he saw where it was coming from. He frowned at the cassette player.

“Ha! Fooled ya!”

He shut it off. “Might’ve knocked it off when I came here,” he mumbled to himself. Somehow, the prank cassette didn’t make the room any less creepy. Much to his surprise, the door was wide open. Without wasting a single moment, he rushed out into his own room.

The next morning, Mr. Kensley woke up to sounds of loud thudding and drilling.

“What is it?” He asked one of his servants, who was standing there with his bed tea.

“It’s the door, sir. It was jammed. You wanted it opened, so we called someone to do the job. It will be done any moment now.”

“What are you talking about? I opened it myself last night.”

“No sir, that’s not possible. It was still jammed this morning.”

Mr. Kensley hurriedly got off his bed and ran towards the other end of the corridor. They had just managed to open the door.

He pushed his way to the room. He stopped at the edge of the room and stared inside white-faced. The room was nothing like what he saw last night. It really did look like it hadn’t been opened in 100 years. It was covered with dust and cobwebs all around, just like the room that was supposed to be his. But the shelves were still filled with toys and there was still a train track on the bed, except this time it didn’t seem like it had just been set up.

Shuddering and shivering, with goosebumps all over him, he stepped into the room. There was a cassette player lying in one corner of the room, like someone had knocked it off – a hundred years ago.

A piece of paper lay on the writing table- the only thing he didn’t see the night before. Somehow, it seemed to pull him towards itself. It had something written on it in a handwriting that seemed to belong to a small child:

“I love my house. It’s white as snow and I love it. It’s forever mine. I won’t ever leave my house, even after I die. It’s my home, and I and only I can live in it. Everything in my house belongs to me and everything that comes into my house is mine. Nothing ever goes out of my house, and anything that comes inside, never goes out ever again.

P.S.: Trespassers shall be punished.”

***

It’s evening. The moon has come up and the mansion is glimmering in its light. A feast is going on inside. The party is in full swing. But it isn’t Mr. Kensley who’s celebrating. Somehow, he doesn’t seem to be anywhere around.

“And you should’ve seen his face,” says Manny, “He was barely able to make a sound! Poor fellow,” he says, laughing so hard that he’s barely able to get the words out of his mouth.

“And that ‘anything coming inside the house and never leaving again’ line really worked,” says Sarah. “He didn’t dare take any of his stuff with him. He literally ran out barefooted!”

“Silly fellow! And the way his army of servants followed behind him,” says Olive, hands holding his belly.

“He left quite a treasure behind. We’ll be feasting for the rest of our lives!”

“Hey look! We’re in the papers,” says Peck. “The cops are behind us again.”

“Let them be. They’ll never find us.”

“What if someone hints them our location?”

“Even if they do,” says Manny, “Who’ll dare to enter the ‘Mansion of Spectre’?”

Posted in poem, poetry, short

Captive

Lying there all day long,

Eyes whistling a gloomy song,

Had all food and water, and a cozy bed,

But shiny wings spread out dead,

Mind racing, yet body impassive,

The little bird was held captive.

It was for his own good though,

He knew the master would soon let him go.

He recalled the day when his friends were caught

By a gang of vultures; ah, he was distraught!

The vultures came for him too,

But a kind young man came to his rescue.

And since then he had been in this cocoon,

Promised to be led out soon;

And this thought suddenly cheered him up

For he knew he’d be out soon after sunup.

So he stretched his wings, looked up at the highs,

The sun was about to rise…

This was something I wrote last year (back then when I didn’t have a blog). When the whole world was in lockdown and I could hear people say how this was killing them. So penned it down. Was clearing up my laptop today and found this… better late than never πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

Posted in poetry, short

The Reason for Everything

There are still questions

That lack an answer,

Some mysteries

Yet unsolved,

And many many secrets

Yet to be uncovered…

The curious mind

Digs deeper and deeper

Looking for an answer

To one of the infinite problems:

The ultimate reason for everything…

But as long as the answer is hidden,

The world is safe.

Because the day the secret is uncovered,

There wouldn’t be a reason left

To live or grow or evolve

And keep going…

Posted in just for fun, short, specials

Oh hey 2021!

And the next thing I knew, 2021 was here.

With a bundle full of hopes (and loads of impossible resolutions), we finally step into the new year.

Here’s wishing all of you another splendid trip around the sun (and I hope we lose the virus thingy somewhere in the middle of the trip, he’s way too annoying).

Hope your year is filled with fun, music and all things good!

Posted in journal, short

Wow, 2020’s gonna end. Already.

So I’ve been working on my school projects since morning (trust me, it gives me a headache every time). And I look up at the calendar and lo! It’s 27th already. Just a couple of days to go, and 2021 would be here.

It’s kinda funny actually, that year end is so near. I remember being so excited at the end of 2019, like the whole of December. And then there’s this. Just five days to go, and I still don’t feel that tingling sensation yet.

Feels like it was just Jan, then Feb, then March, then woosh! December’s here! I still write “2019” in the dates.

2020 has really been a crazy year. Just so many things happened all year round, some bad, some even worse, but some still good. We’ve been looking at the bad ones all these days. But keeping those aside, quite a few great things happened too.

For example, schools closed. This was a dream come true for me. Yes, I hate school. And I got so much time for so many other things. I could explore so much more! And I started my blog!

Back in 2019, I would have never even imagined that I would be starting my own blog. But here I am- happy and blogging!

Perhaps 2021 would be a better year. Perhaps everything would soon be normal again. Perhaps the world would become a better place. Perhaps 2021 would be the best year ever!

But even if it isn’t, remember, there is always something you can do to make things better. After all, as Dumbledore said: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.”

Have a great year ahead!