It was a huge, dark, dingy room with lamps lit only at the corners. He looked around, trying to find a familiar face but found none. Watching people walk in and out of the room, made him feel more lonely and lost. He suddenly spotted a hefty man entering the room and recognized him at once.
It was him.
It was him, he knew it. He tried hard to scream but in vain. The man was already charging after him like a bull. As a reflex action, he began running franticly. He had no idea, what the man wanted from him. He ran up the stairs, two at a time.
Panting hard, he stopped at the third floor. He turned right and barged into a room.
Inside, a man far from human, sat on the sofa… singing a very familiar song
It gave him the creeps, it always did. The song sounded as spooky as the singer himself.
He ran to the balcony, screaming for help. The next thing, he was falling straight into a pool, a pool as dead as him.
And then “Kevin! Kevvv – inn!! Wake up!”
Kevin opened his eyes to see his History teacher, glaring at him through his bi-focal glasses. He squeezed Kevin’s ears ruthlessly.
Kevin could almost see steam come out of his nostrils.
He heard his friends, laughing at the back.
Things were happening too fast for him.
Everyone watched as though it were a play and he’s playing the main role!
Sweat dripped from the tip of his nose as Prof. Henry dragged him like a piece of rag.
He literally mopped the floor. His hair was in a mess.
His neck hurt, but Prof. Henry didn’t show any mercy.
Kevin didn’t protest but instead just watched, as all eyes followed him.
He didn’t want to believe this was happening to him.
“Kneel down” Henry yelled, once he reached the blackboard.
He still hadn’t yet woken up fully from his dream. He thought this was another cruel nightmare… but no… the school bell rang, as if answering his question, telling him you’re back to ‘reality’.
Henry was saying something but it had got eaten up by the shrilly bell.
He wondered if he was glad for the good timing of the bell.
Prof. Henry looked at his watch, thought for a moment and then looked up at the class.
“We shall disperse for lunch.” sounding disappointed.
“ And you follow me into my cabin. ” pointing at Kevin.
Just then there was a loud roar outside the classroom as children ran out, to their freedom, which Kevin truly envied. This was a common scene every lunch hour. But Kevin’s class still maintained pin drop silence, as Prof. Henry hadn’t yet left their class.
Kevin followed Henry to his cabin walking with his head down, trying hard to think… but he couldn’t.
He continued the ‘ashamed look’ as he watched his shoes walk into Henry’s cabinet.
“I am to call your parents today…” Henry said, as he closed the door behind Kevin.
“I’ve warned you, son… you leave me no option”. His voice was low and grave. He felt his coat and found a diary, which he carefully set on the table and went for the phone on his desk.
“Prof. … I’m sorrrie … “
Kevin said, before ‘twas too late
“I had a bad headache… I’m sorree…Please don’t call my parents
…It wo’ happen..” is all he could manage before he burst into tears.
Henry looked at him cry bitterly for a minute or two until he was satisfied and said, “Alright, this is your last warning”.
It had actually worked, Kevin thought, smiling inside.
“Go! …Before I change my mind” he blurted.
Henry then replaced the phone and watched Kevin as he scurried out of the room like a scared rat.
That day Kevin got back home with two things- humiliation and a project assignment. Both troubled his mind equally. He got to his room, threw his bag to one corner of the room and picked up a note he found on top of the pile of books; His mother usually kept them when she was away, it was to help Kevin have everything in order, which was difficult to see how it helped! This one told him to pack, as they were to leave early the next day. That’s when he realized that it was his birthday the next day and his dad had promised to take the whole family to The Hilltop Hotel for a week. He was a day short of being 13 years old. This lifted his spirits a little, as again all the highlights of the day ran through his head, like a tape, making him feel sick. He crept into his bed, put his head under the pillow as if hiding from the cruel world. Hiding from the humiliation.
Hiding from everyone.
Dozing off slowly into a very familiar dream…
He was in a large, well-decorated room. The ceiling stretched far beyond the line of sight. He looked around, only to see faces he didn’t recognize.
A deep feeling of loneliness filled him.
Continue reading Short Story #1 – Wish it were a dream…