Beyond the strange door

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Explore your limits
Zaki, a young and energetic teenager, sees a strange phenomenon in the forest at night, unable to sleep due to the fear of being pranked by the other team. A magical being comes to his rescue as he gets lost in the forest trying to solve the mystery...

Submitted: July 04, 2017

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Submitted: July 04, 2017

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Beyond the strange door

 

In my summer vacations, it is almost a routine to visit the ancient and majestic house, or rather a palace - as I prefer to call it, along with my father, mother and the whole family. I love the cozy rooms, the twisted pathways leading to several sections of the building, some disappearing among the foliage at dusk, and it is a hard job for us, as city dwellers, to adjust to the peace and quiet of the village.

 

As always, we had a warm welcome, a get together enjoyed by young and old alike, with a lot of exciting games and events planned for the summer. I am Zaki, and I wanted to share an interesting thing that happened while I was staying there, which, as advised by the only one who knew about it, - well, till now, at least - I had kept as a close secret, and was not able to disclose it till I returned to my studies and back to the busy metropolitan life.

 

Today, as I am sitting in my room, wondering if I can prove to myself that what I saw was indeed true, I get the feeling that the best thing to do is to put this thing in writing, and stop worrying about it at present. The reason?

 

Exams are just round the corner, and I cannot concentrate on my studies at all, as I keep thinking about the night I saw a strange tree trunk, which seemed to be a little out of the ordinary, hidden in the thick of the forest, overlooking the room I was staying in during my holidays at the ancestral home.

 

I had been trying my best to stay awake that night, afraid that someone from the opposite team would try to play a prank on me. We had a prank contest on, and we were currently in the most heated stage, and my team was a notch ahead, meaning that if I slept before the 48 hour deadline, after which the contest was to end, I - being the team leader, was the most likely to be targeted. I could not afford to sleep like the other members of my team, and nobody was willing to take shifts with me that night, as we all were tired, dead tired - after a hectic day of planning, running about and the final arrangements.

 

Anyway, I was a bit overconfident, and let my teammates sleep and get some welcome rest. As far as I remember, I was lying on my bed, staring at the forest, and had sat up to investigate the quiet soft sounds of someone or something moving just below my window.

 

I was disappointed to find the source of disturbance being a cat, roaming in the moonlit forest, disappearing among some bushes just a few feet away from the window. But, as I was trying to find out the whereabouts of the cat, just glad to be able to get something to keep me awake and alert, a flash of silver light startled me, and it was certainly not lightning, as the skies were clear, and the weather calm.

 

Then, on scanning the scene observable from my window, I observed that something was moving towards the forest. I started wondering what it was up to. My first impression was that an opponent was stationed there to keep a watch on me tonight. At the right time, somebody would pull off a neat trick, getting the extra edge to win the competition.

 

I decided to go out and investigate the matter, to be sure. Taking extreme caution, I slipped out of my room, and entered the backyard of the house. I had a torch with me, in case of an unwanted emergency. As I came under my room's window, I stopped to scan the area. The strange flash was nowhere to be seen. I was unsure of proceeding to the forest, as there was a very high chance of me getting lost if I went deep inside, right at midnight!

 

But as I was about to return to the house, the flash appeared just somewhere inside the forest. I was now warring with my instincts and common sense! Should I go?

At last, I could wait no longer, and set off, at top speed, towards the forest, trusting in my capabilities. Anyway, I should be found out in the morning if I get into some sort of trouble!

 

"I should not go far" I thought.

 

That's how the drama started…

 

As if realizing my intention, and trying to tease me, this silver light was always making me follow it such that I never got the faintest idea who was the being possessing this supernatural thing! I just saw a light, like that of the torch, among the trees, flashed from time to time, just a few feet away from me, silver and unnatural.

 

Calling out to reveal itself failed as expected, and I began to get a bit scared as the deathly silence of the forest and eerie shadows formed by my torch light made me jump up in fright many times during my mission.

 

After becoming frustrated at the failure of my best attempts at reaching the source of the light, I decided that it would be best to return home, and be in the comfortable warmth of the house, rather than passing the time in a lonely, scary forest. Well, I am a brave boy, but there are limits!

 

But, just as I thought of returning to the house, I saw a tree trunk a few feet away - far too flat, not the usual round shape. Either the trunk had been cut to form this semicircular shape, or it was in some way made to grow like this from the beginning. The trunk seemed to be unnatural, so I made up my mind to examine it closely.

 

It was not easy, and I had to spend maybe half an hour navigating around the shrubs and grass, and was a bit surprised to find that I was still not reaching the tree. Why?

 

After a while, I noticed that the trees had somehow confused me and I had lost my path! The trees seemed to get round - trunked as I approached them, and then as I looked in another direction, the odd flat trunked tree would be to my right or left. Never in a century would I reach the flat trunked tree I was looking for!

 

It was as if I was in Alice's Wonderland! Lost, frightened, hungry, and sleepy too - without any idea where the house was, as it was the middle of the night, and I was in the dense forest.  I decided to climb the nearest tree and get some much needed sleep. The problem I was in could be solved during the daytime, after I woke up and got fresh.

 

But, to my utter surprise, I couldn't climb any tree. I slipped and fell down after climbing a few feet high. Maybe it was because of exhaustion and lack of sleep. No, there must be something else involved. No, I just am unable to climb trees. I don't know how to. Ok. I will just sleep by leaning against the tree. Once I was comfortable, I closed my eyes…

 

"Zaki!" 

"Zaki! Get up!" 

"Zaki!" 

 

That's what woke me up from my sleep, and I found someone bending over me, full of anxiety and surprise. "How did you end up here?!"

 

"I… Uh… " I muttered in my sleep.

 

"Well, whatever. Get up and follow me. You'll catch a cold waiting here under the tree." the man said, pulling my hands.

 

Once I was wide awake, I noticed that the weather was chilly cold, and the one who was leading me somewhere was a strange being, and noticed the costume it wore in detail for the first time. It was a gorgeous black suit, which sparkled in the moonlight, and the cape was bright silver. It was like a human being, and seemed to me as a smart and charming one, and I felt a bit shy and nervous to be in his power.

 

"Who are you?" I managed to ask him.

 

"Don't worry, I am taking you back to your home in a few minutes."

 

"Where am I? And who are you?" I repeated my question.

 

"Your Uncle, dear! Just wait a bit, I shall explain about the whole thing you are in. Just give me some time!" the man said, turning towards me.

 

"Uncle?"

 

"Yes, yes… you did see the silver light, yes?" the man asked, smiling at me.

 

"What?! Yyy… you were the one shining the silver light in the forest?"

 

"You will soon get to know everything. Just be patient. Don't tell about this to ANYBODY.  Otherwise you'll be in great danger. I can't explain now, sorry."

 

"Umm… When shall I know?" I said, unable to hide my curiosity.

 

"Tomorrow." the man said, "Provided you can keep your mouth shut."

 

We went in the direction of the house for a few minutes in silence. Just as I saw the house from the edge of the forest, the man stopped and turned to me. "You can go to the house now. Meet Uncle Hameed after breakfast." saying so, the man disappeared in a flash of silver light.

 

Dumbfounded, I made my way to the room I had been staying in, wondering if this was a dream. No, this seemed all real… I have to meet uncle Hameed tomorrow… What is the link between them? I shall find out soon. Well, I had hoped to find something, but the matter was still not clear, and Uncle Hameed was nowhere to be seen at the breakfast table.

 

As I was just outside my room, after finishing my breakfast, I saw uncle Hameed in my room, waiting for me.

 

"Well, Zaki?" he asked, "You have not told anyone, right?"

 

"No. Who was the man I saw yesterday at night?" I asked.

 

"Me." uncle Hameed replied, grinning widely.

 

"But how in the world…? How did you disappear like a wizard in the forest last night?"

 

"Come, I'll show you something. You were the only one to notice the silver light, right?" he said.

 

"I am positive that I was alone in the forest and nobody else was awake." I replied.

 

"You saw my Silgorian form in the forest, and it's a long story. You saw me entering my lab as I was returning from a successful test of becoming a cat, called as an animagus in the novels."

 

"You were the cat?" I asked, unable to understand.

 

"Come in the next vacations, and I shall give you a nice tour of my top secret automated lab!" uncle Hameed said.

 

"Why not now?" I asked, feeling a dead weight crush my heart.

 

"It is not yet worth visiting for young kids like you."

 

"Kid? Am I still a kid? After all I did?" I said, tears brimming my eyes.

 

"All right! Follow me!" my uncle replied, hugging me dearly.

 

"THANK YOU!" I hugged back tightly, tears of joy flowing freely.

 

I finally found the flat trunked tree, and entered the strange door to enter an entirely new world which I can't describe in words! I shall tell you this story later…

 

~ *** The End *** ~

 
 


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