Story Time: Where is everyone?

Published November 21, 2020
Illustration by Sophia Khan
Illustration by Sophia Khan

It was a chilly Sunday morning. Sara and her family, after offering their morning prayer, had gone back to sleep but this morning something unusual happened.

It was 8:00 am when Sara was awakened by some strange sounds, like someone shouting in anguish. She rubbed her eyes and wandered what that sound was. She got up from her bed and abruptly opened the door, but there was no one in the lounge or in their rooms, and the doors were fully open. Her heart missed a beat and her blood ran cold. She could not find a trace of anyone in the house!

Her mind blurred, she was unable to think anything. She called out to everyone, but there was no answer. She then rang them on their cell phones but disappointedly discovered that their phones were turned off. She was frightened and burst into tears.

Suddenly, her eyes rested on a paper lying on the dining table. There was something written on it. She picked it up and was breathless after reading it.

It said: “If you want to save your family, then arrive at the address mentioned at 10:00 am sharp, without telling the police.”

She was numb and really scared, but decided to go there without caring about her own life. She departed one hour before the given time. She was petrified and so many disturbing thoughts came to her mind.

She wondered why would the kidnappers leave her, but kidnap her whole family. She couldn’t understand why anyone would do that but decided to concentrate on what she was asked to do. At 9:15, she reached the bus stop but, unfortunately, the bus going to the address on the note had left already. Frustrated, she decided to go by foot because if she would wait for the next bus, it would be too late, and there was no other public transport available there at the moment.

After walking for an hour, she finally reached the destination very tired. She sat down on the ground and started gasping for breath. She looked around and saw an abandoned, deserted building at a distance. She heard a strange wheezing sound. Even though the sound was faint, she could hear it in the stillness. The noise seemed to come from the building.

She armed herself with a stick and tiptoed inside the building. It was dark inside; she saw no one but could still hear that strange sound. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she saw a movement.

“Who’s there?” she called out loud, trying to appear brave.

Suddenly, two huge figures appeared. She became nervous after seeing them, but dauntlessly asked, “Where is my family?”

They held her and, without saying anything, put a cloth on her head and took her to a room. Her heart was thumping wildly. After a while, the cloth was taken off her head.

When her eyes opened, she heard a loud chorus, “Surprise!” In front of her, she saw her friends and family cheering at her. She was dumbstruck.

The room in which she was standing was quite different from the whole building and was decorated aesthetically, glimmering by a number of decoration lights and at the side there was a table having a number of eatables.

She was really confused at what was happening. Then her mother explained that they had arranged a surprise party for her for getting the first position in the board exams and they had gone to elaborate lengths to conceal it from her.

She was relieved, but still shaken. Tears of relief and happiness filled her eyes and she said, “If I had had a heart attack then you all would have been responsible for it!”

Everybody laughed and cheered her as she was led to a huge cake with ‘Well done’ written on it.

Published in Dawn, Young World, November 21st, 2020

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