Sunday, July 08, 2012

Another children's story published

One of my stories appeared in the Student's Edition of Deccan Herald of June 22nd.  I've attached a photo of it, but don't bother to read it because they've edited the sense and continuity out of my story.

I know my original story could have done with some pruning, but not at the expense of continuity! :)  So I am going to produce my original story here in full.


The noisy Monster.

Achal wasn't sure if he liked it or not. Manisha had decided that she was old enough to stop sleeping with Amma and Appa. She wanted to sleep with Achal in the room meant for the two of them. Achal was glad of her company – he liked his little sister with her loud voice and whirlwind ways. But he was annoyed that she would stop sleeping with their parents when she was only four years old, while he had waited till he was seven before he could summon up the will to sleep apart from his parents.

"That's just because Manisha has you for company, Achal," said Mamma. "You didn't have anybody, and that's probably why you were hesitant to start sleeping alone in your own room."

But Achal was uncomfortable anyway, that his little sister had become a big girl much before he had become a big boy.

Yet, that night, he felt good going to bed, turning off the lights, and knowing that Manisha was right next to him. Achal smiled, listening to Manisha's soft breathing on the bed next to him. How quickly these little kids fall asleep, he thought.

His mother called out to him. "Achal, Manisha has a slightly runny nose – if she wakes up at night calling out for me, will you let me know?"

"I will, Amma," said Achal, feeling very responsible. He was only nine years old, and Mamma already trusted him to look after Manisha! He felt very proud indeed.

Very soon, he was asleep too. He dreamt of Beyblades. He dreamt of his friend Arif's football, and of hanging by his legs from the tree in Raju Mama's house. Then he suddenly found himself in a park, with a monster following him. He couldn't see the monster. He could just hear it. "Pheeeeeeeee-Pop! Pheeeeeeeee-Pop!" said the monster, and the sound became louder and louder and scarier and scarier. It seemed like the monster was coming closer and closer to him.

Achal got scared. He ran from the sound, but it never ceased. He ran and he ran, his mouth dried up and his legs got tired, but still he ran and ran, and the sound was still right there, almost as if it were right next to his ears. "Pheeeeeeeee-Pop! Pheeeeeeeee-Pop!! Pheeeeeeeee-POP!"

From some corner of his mind, a voice told him that this was a dream. It was a trick his father had taught him. "When you dream that you are falling off a cliff," his father had said, "Tell yourself to grow wings, and then you can fly away instead of falling with a thud. And if you dream of monsters, tell yourself that there are no monsters, and then your mind will realize it is a dream, and you will wake up."

Achal hadn't had the opportunity to try it before, and this was it. The voice in his head became stronger. "Wake up, Achal," it said. "There are no monsters. You are just dreaming. Wake up, and the sound will go away."

Achal tossed and turned. He shook his head, and gradually the mists of sleep faded, and he emerged from his sleep.

He sighed with relief, licked his lips, and was about to turn and go back to bed, when "Pheeeeeeeee-Pop!" The sound was STILL there! Achal froze. This wasn't a dream. This sound was real and it was coming from the room. He lay frozen for a moment, letting only his gaze move slowly and fearfully around the room. He looked at the window, he looked at the cupboard, half-expecting it to open and monsters come tumbling out....... when suddenly he saw movement – right next to him!

"Manisha!" he thought. "Manisha is in my room! And is she making that strange sound? What on earth is it?"

He switched on the night light next to his bed, and looked at Manisha. She seemed troubled by something, and yes, it was she who was making that terrible sound.

"She's having trouble breathing," Achal thought. "Her nose must be blocked."

He ran to his parents' room and woke up his mother. "Mamma! Manisha's nose is blocked!"

Mamma came to their room, rubbed Vicks on Manisha's nose, and turned her to one side. She sat for a while, stroking her back, until Manisha's breathing became regular. She patted Achal's head and then went back to her own room.

Finally, the "Pheeeeeeeee-Pop" had gone. Achal sank back into bed thankfully, but not before having a sip of water for his dry throat.

There really ARE no monsters, he thought happily, as he closed his eyes and willed himself to dream of nice things!



Chitra said...

HA HA HA that sound!

Anonymous said...

loved it.


Anonymous said...

Such a cute story :)


Aarthi said...

sweet little story Shruti

Shruthi said...

Chitra, Austere, Ano, Aarthi, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Loved it !

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