The Day the Sky Fell On Me: A Few Unworldly Hours

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic
At the insistence of his playmates, Dubbo, a ten-year-old boy, unwillingly enters a dilapidated house to retrieve a cricket ball.The experience that he has soon after is beyond human belief.

Submitted: April 17, 2017

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Submitted: April 16, 2017

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As I started to get up, something heavy fell on my head, and I collapsed.

 

I do not know how long I lay there. When I came around, I clutched my wounded head with both hands and staggered to stand on my feet. I swayed and walked a few unsteady steps, and then I ran almost blindly till I overcame the initial shock and intensity of the excruciating pain.

 

Somehow, I managed to half-run and half-drag myself to reach the threshold of the cursed house. As I stepped out, I noticed a strange trapezium-shaped, silver-coloured metallic box (of about 6’x6’x7’dimensions) with dual antennae and four metallic sticks as pedestal. ‘I’m sure it was not there earlier’, I said to myself. ‘Is it some sort of a container or … somebody’s science project? ... Abandoned? By the way, where on earth are my pals? They’re supposed to wait here for me. Moreover, this street never is so deserted at this time of the day! It sure looks creepy, what’s wrong?’

 

While myriad questions troubled my muddled brain, I walked towards the freak for a closer look. Suddenly, the box started lowering gently but swiftly to the ground. At once, a silver shutter slid up to expose a cell into which I entered like a zombie. There was nobody and nothing inside (not even a seat) except lights of various colours which so hazed my vision that I could not determine their source. It was cosy inside, yet I felt cold. Was it the strangeness, the solitariness or my throbbing head that caused me to shiver? However, before I could think and look around further, the silver shutter went up again, and I alighted. I was not walking but was only being drawn towards something. ‘Am I possessed?’ I asked myself.

 

Outside, there was a strange soft light –brighter than the full-moon’s but duller than the sun’s. It was neither hot nor cold, and a sweet smell, just like that of the lotus, filled the air. ‘Where am I? Am I in a different planet? And hey, so was that an automated spacecraft I was in?’ I turned back to have another look at the queer box, but it was not there. It had vanished soundlessly. ‘Now, how will I go home?’ I wondered. Fear gripped me but only for a second. A sense of awe made me forget everything as I looked around.

 

Totally immersed in the uniqueness of the surrounding, I quivered all of a sudden on feeling a cool, pleasant breeze against my body. ‘Whoa…, eh!’ was all I could utter, for my eyes almost popped out of their sockets as I turned to face a smoky mirror- image of mine. I had apparently, in mundane words, bumped into him. As I looked at the foggy form intently, I found that he sported an almost divine and contented look which was enhanced by a benign smile, contrary to my perpetually irritated and “google-search” kind of expression (as my cousins always pointed out). “Oh…alright, so that’s not me after all,” I assured myself.

More composed now, I asked in an inveterate, bullish tone, “Who’re you? What’s this place?”

I was disconcerted by the melodious sweetness of his reply, “This is planet Brahm and I’m your counterpart here.” My jaw dropped, but before I could enquire further, he evaporated.

I moved forward, rather was pulled by some invisible power, till I reached a small globe-like thing hanging freely in the air. It was like a pale blue crystal ball with tiny red symbols. I was so engrossed in examining the novelty that I failed to notice when a white-robed, smoky figure had come and stood near me. He touched a red symbol with his finger-tip, and what zoomed in was a planet whose surface seemed to be dirty-green marshland with no trees and whose space above was flocked by a number of strange-looking creatures of one particular species.

I turned to ask him hesitatingly, ‘Is your name …mmm…by any chance, God, and is this your monitor?’

The next fraction of a second took my breath away, for I was looking into the face of my dead grandfather. ‘Grandpa!’ I screamed.

First, I spread my arms to hug him. Then I hit him and punched him frantically and shouted, ‘You left us to come here? Why grandpa, why? Do you know how much we miss you? You’re so cruel grandpa, don’t you feel for us?’…I went on and on till I was exhausted and found that my blows were landing only on void. Strangely, my action had no effect on my grandfather’s smoky countenance which bore no other expression than the same benign smile that I had found on my clone’s face earlier.

Finally, Grandpa spoke. He said softly, ‘I’m no more your grandfather, child.’ Those words hit me like a bolt from the blue which made all my emotions surge, and I started crying. ‘Oh dear, you still retain the earthly sentiments! They must go.’ I forgot crying and gaped hard instead.

‘What do you mean?’

Grandpa explained more calmly than he used to on earth, ‘Sorrow is a disease, you know. So are the other negative emotions, like anger. This is the planet where most good souls reach after death to get rid of these emotions. Once you are free from all grossness, you become light enough to rise to the next sphere called Om or home for all pure souls. If it loses not only negativity but also the impressions of its complete journey through cosmos, then it becomes one with the eternity.’

‘How do we get rid of negative emotions?’

‘The lights that you see here, work on you all the time to neutralize your negativity. The earlier you lose your negativity, the faster you go to Om. Unlike Earth, there is no existence of hunger, thirst and dualism There is one climate and one feeling and that is of serenity.’

‘I don’t want to become one with the eternity, I want to go home with you grandpa. How happy grandma will be to see you! It has been over six months since you died; she has not recovered from the shock yet.’

‘I can’t go back, child. We, here, are only balls of subtle energies who can not become human beings again. We are formless. You can see me only because the impression of my earthly body is still embedded there in your brain.’

‘No grandpa, you have to come. Look, there lands a spacecraft! Come fast, we will sneak into it. Let’s take that wonder-ball also. I have to show it to Riki and Bonny. They will never even think of bullying me again when they see this.’

‘Stealing is a sin, don’t you know that?’

Not paying heed, I tried to pull him by his hand first and then ran to the crystal-ball for carrying it in my arms. Soon after, I found myself running impulsively towards the spacecraft and jumping into it. It was only then I noticed that I neither held the ball nor grandfather’s hand, though I thought that I had acquired both. The door closed and I screamed, ‘Grandpa!’ Pain wrenched my vocal chord and heart. The spacecraft started vibrating vigorously. I fainted.

When I gained consciousness and opened my eyes, I found my parents and uncle bending over me with anxious looks.

‘What… happened?’ I asked faintly, as I felt a slight pain in my head which to my utter dismay was bandaged, and I was lying on a hospital-bed.

‘The sky had fallen in, Dubbo –it had fallen on you and us!’ boomed my uncle, though his smile only expressed relief.

‘Sky …?’ I asked sheepishly.

‘Why, have you forgotten your adventure in that forbidden house?  When Kalu wrestler, the bravest in our area, dares not to step onto the footpath abutting the ramshackle building, when Bhulu, the stray dog, avoids its proximity and when even its long-occupants, the pigeons, have forsaken it … how did it attract you my son, may I know? Was somebody waiting there for you with a bowl full of sweetmeats?’ Uncle quizzed in his resonant voice dripping with artificial sarcasm.

I remembered everything. Bittu, Chotu,Ricky, Bunny and I were playing cricket in the by-lane, when Chotu hit a sixer off Bunny’s bowl, and the ball found no other entry but a half-open window on the first floor of the dilapidated building against which the officials had stuck a “Caution” notice long back. Being the ball-retriever of the day, I had to take up the task of recovering the sole precious thing left with the team. There was no other option.

‘Look, just last week, I had to lie to my mother about buying maths-project materials in order to pay for the ball. Within four months we have lost six balls. If we lose this one, we have to give up playing.’ Ricky said in a grumpy voice.

‘What a gaderguller thing you have put me into. You know how strict my mother is! What if she comes to know that I have been to that creepy house? What sort of friends are you? You’re putting your playmate’s life at risk just for a ball?’ I said angrily. “Gaderguller” is my patented word to express the inexpressible. I use it when I do not find the apt word.

‘Scared are you, eh? Arre, there’s nothing wrong with the building. It’s just family-feud that has kept the building vacant…at least that’s what I overheard my Mom telling her friend the other day. It isn’t that dangerous after all. Exteriors sure look shabby, but inside, it’s still jhakkas…shining, you know.’ That was Bunny – manipulative and eloquent – our unproclaimed leader. ‘Dubbo, you’re the only one who can rescue us this time. You’re the bravest amongst us.’ Turning to others, he continued like an expert orator, ‘Remember friends, how he had recovered the ball when it had fallen into that garden with the electrified mango-trees? What’s wrong with you today, Dubbo? If you say you can’t, then I have to go.’ As he pretended to move, I said reluctantly, ‘Stay, till I’m back’ How could I allow my pride to be deflated after all? Shrewd Bunny!

 

I entered the building through a broken window and walked through layers of dust, rubble and cobwebs to find the staircase. The mossy smell emanating from damp walls almost clogged my nostrils.I reached the room where the ball had dropped. The heavy wooden door was locked, but I felt it could be broken easily. I started hitting repeatedly with my right shoulder till it suddenly budged and fell flat on the floor along with me accompanied by a deafening sound whose impact caused a large chunk of the festered ceiling to peel off and fall on an already prostrated me. Consequence - I plunged into an abysmal darkness…

 

What happened after that, I decided, not to divulge to my peers; for, I was dead sure, nobody would believe the story of my solitary sojourn in the other world .Do you?


© Copyright 2018 Ami M.. All rights reserved.

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