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Story time: Family reunion

January 12, 2013

Oh! Ouch! Stop! Slow down you giant monsters. Let me through!” Augustus shrieked while making way through humans with much difficulty, narrowly escaping from being crushed to death by big human feet looking like boulders to him.

“Phew! Yes that place seems safe,” said Augustus, heaving a sigh of relief. He quickly rushed to a dark hole in the wall of a nearby building.

He felt safe as soon as he reached there. Panting, Augustus wiped sweat from his forehead. While he was catching some breath, someone tapped him on his shoulder. Nearly jumping out of his skin, he turned around and found out that he was actually facing his brother, Jerry!

Seeing Jerry’s face, a torrent of memories poured into Augustus’s mind. His mind raced back to the day when he had had the last glimpse of his brother or of anyone in his family.

That day had started off as a great one for the whole rat clan but soon it turned out to be the worst one for the lot and especially for Augustus. The day had been a time of great rejoice — the whole clan had gathered in the drainage tunnel to celebrate the discovery of a huge supply of cheese and a large comfortable place to live.

Celebration and happiness had been in the air when all of a sudden a violent storm with thunder and lightning hit the city and it started to rain cats and dogs. The water in the tunnels started to rise which turned all the joy and glee of the rats into anxiety and worry. Augustus’s father, Octavious, being the head of the clan, immediately took control of the situation.

“Be quick everyone!” Octavious directed. “Move this way, this pipe will lead you to a safe place.”

“Augustus? Where are you?” His father inquired.

“Dad, I am down here making sure nobody is left behind.” replied Augustus.

“That’s my brave boy! Keep going son!”

Having sent everyone to the safe area, when it was time for Augustus to cling to the pipe, the water level in the tunnel suddenly rose and vigorous waves splashed along the walls, making the pipe wet and slippery.

“Dad! I cannot get hold of the pipe! It’s too slippery,” Augustus shouted at the top of his lungs.

“I think I would not be able to...” As he was about to say more, a sudden high wave gushed into the tunnel sweeping Augustus along, leaving the whole clan in utter shock and disbelief. Augustus cried out for help but gradually his voice faded away into only a whisper. All that was left behind were the thundering sound of water and deafening silence of despair.

That was the day when his whole world turned upside down. His fate had brought him to hell. He had to lead a miserable life, with risk of death at every single turn. During this whole time, Augustus realised the strength of being united. He came to know that united even the humans could not harm them easily, but alone, humans grabbed every single opportunity to crush them to death.

Talking about the cats, the same or even worse was the case. Be it humans or their cats, it had not only been difficult but impossible for Augustus to stay at one place for long. He didn’t have any home, family, friends or anyone he could trust. He had been all alone!

A slap on his face jolted him out of the past. It was his father standing right beside Jerry. Augustus opened his mouth to say something but nothing came out. He was in ultimate shock and disbelief that he could do nothing but stare at his father.

“Son! Wake up. We are real!” Octavious exclaimed slapping Augustus face again.

“Dad! Is it really you!” said Augustus, wildly giving his father a big hug.

“Yes son, it’s me!”

“Where have you been this entire time dad? Why you never looked out for me? Why didn’t you come for me?” Augustus cried out to his father with his eyes full of tears.

“Oh son! You have no idea how long we searched for you. We looked for you at each and every place we could think of. All those places that you always wished to go to, but our entire search resulted in nothing but despair. But now it doesn’t matter, what matters is that we are here! Together!”

“Yes dad! You are right!” he said while sagging with relief.

Jerry, joining the family reunion, put his arm around Augustus and the three of them shared the bitter sweet moments of the past.