Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Carousel






I slid into the driver’s seat, let in the clutch, and we were off. I knew it was illegal, but it didn’t matter any more. All that mattered right now was where I was heading. What I was doing. Saving a life.

8 hours before…

“I’m so excited. I’ve never been to an amusement park with so many rides before. And they’re all so high. Wow.”



“Ok, I need you to keep quiet. For a while at least, I’m going to make a call. So don’t move.”
We both knew that I had just wasted my breath. As if keeping silent was possible for Libby. She had yakked all the way to the park.

“Ooh ooh! Look at this!” Libby cried.


God, when is she going to shut up?
Ignoring Libby, I continued to argue with my agent on the phone. She hadn’t managed to land me a role in months.

Ishita!”

“Shhh!” I waved my hand at her without turning around, motioning her to stay shut.

“Ishitaaa!” Libby cried again.



“What is it?” I snapped, turning around. “I thought I told you to–“
There was no Libby. Only a large throng of people enveloping me.

“Libby?” Great. Just great. Now she got herself lost in the crowd. “LIBBY!”

My phone rang. “What?” I angrily snapped into the phone, seriously considering hanging up.

“Looking for Libby?” A sinister voice called from the other side.

“Who is this?” I said cautiously into the phone.

“Now, how does that matter? All that matters is that you want Libby back. Am I right?”

Who is this? Where is Libby?”

“Oh don’t worry, Libby is with me.” He snarled into the phone.

“Then give her back to me.”

“Of course I will. Why would I keep her from you? I just need something in return.”

“You want to trade her?”

“For a price, obviously.”

There was silence. I had just received a ransom call from a stranger who had my niece, and I didn’t know what to do.

“How much?”

“Ah. There’s my girl. It’s not much. Only five lakhs.”

My mouth went dry. I hadn’t had a job in months. Where was I going to get so much money?

“You’ll get it. Just don’t hurt her.”

There was a sinister laughter on the other side. “You just get the money, I’ll take care of the rest.”

“How do I know that she’s alive?” Immediately I heard Libby scream. “Libby!”

There was that laugh again. “Oh and just one more thing.”

“What?”

“You have only eight hours. Or she’s dead.”




I closed my eyes and prayed to God, asking him to help me through this. Taking a deep breath, and pulling my ski mask on, I slunk through the huge backyard. Reaching the building, I broke the window with one swift kick. Jumping in, I loped to the large safe.

“Fifty five, thirty one, six, and ten, two to the left… ah!” I muttered; as I cracked open the safe. All those years of safe - cracking finally put to some good cause, instead of stealing. Everything should be a safe - cracker turned actor. Both skills were useful during a crisis. Like now.

The safe had opened completely, and in front of me, I saw bundles of cold, hard cash. It was everything I wanted, everything I needed. And more. Taking exactly five lakhs from the safe, I put it in the bag, shut the door, and fled.

I should be counting my blessings. There had been no alarm, no hidden cameras, no police, and best of all – no one had seen me. And everything contained in the posh abode screamed rich. It was as though God had willed this crime. How ironic.

Pulling off my ski mask, I jumped into the car, and immediately sped to the amusement park. The journey to the park felt like eternity. I just couldn’t get there fast enough, all the while hoping, praying Libby was safe, and unhurt.

Reaching the park, I tried to jump the turnstile, but as soon as I did, I was stopped a security guard.
“Ma’am, the park is closed. You can’t enter.”

“But I need to go. My niece is in there.”

“We will go look for–“I silenced him with one swift punch to his nose, and I heard the sickening sound of cartilage snap as he fell unconscious to the ground.

“Sorry.” I muttered, as if he could hear me, and ran to where I had lost her first.

“Libby!” I screamed desperately searching. “LIBBY!”

And then I saw her, taped to the carousel. Screaming her name, I ran to her, but I was stopped by a man. It was he.

“You came.”

“Here’s your money.” I said to him flinging the bag at him. He let me go, and I ran to her. Libby was bleeding, and her breath was shallow. I could feel tears roll down my cheeks, but I didn’t bother to brush them off. I gently removed the tape of Libby, as fast as I could. When I was done, I picked her up and ran to my car. The man was gone, I noticed.

I slid into the driver’s seat, let in the clutch, and we were off. I knew it was illegal, but it didn’t matter any more. All that mattered right now was where I was heading. What I was doing. Saving a life.

“Who’s here for Libby?”

“I am.” I said, rising. “Is she alright? How badly was she hurt?”

The doctor’s face was serious, but otherwise blank. She spoke monotonously.

“Libby was shot in the chest five times, and she was very hurt. I’m surprised that she survived that. But-“Oh no. Oh no no. The doctor continued to speak, but I couldn’t hear a thing. Blood rushed in my ears, and the whole world became a blur. Libby was gone. Gone. Forever. There was nothing else I could do but sink down on the floor and cry.

This was the essay my daughter Ishita wrote for her English class. Thought you people would like to read it.

54 comments:

Lazy Pineapple said...

OH MY GOD...what a budding writer,,,this is fantastic...
I love thrillers..and the language and the narration is perfect :)

Nona said...

Wow! It is very good!

KParthasarathi said...

It is a gripping story well told.She has apromising future as writer.You must be a proud mom.Congratulations

Sharmila said...

Gosh! What a wonderful story! I told you ... she takes after you. :-)

A New Beginning said...

an extreamely gripping story...

Dr.Banashri Bhuyan said...

Wow! What imagination and and detailing.........Congratulations for being the mom of a budding writer !!

Meira said...

What a story! She's gor immense talent, Aparna. this is excellent!

bbsearchingself said...

Excellent!!, wonderfully written

Jyothi said...

WOW! That was amazing. It was gripping,it was descriptive and short. Great work! I hope we get to read more from her!

The Holy Lama said...

Looks like we should opt for VRS. The next gen is too good.
Congrats on being the mom of a writer-to-be.

PURN!MA said...

Just one word "WOW"!!!

indianhomemaker said...

Fantastic!!! She is a writer!!! What a gripping story, you start and you can't breath till you reach the last line, and then a twist of sorts :( Brilliant.

Sandhya said...

This is tooooo good, Aparna! I could never guess that it is written by a first-time writer, she is too good! Congrats to a future great writer's mom!

Congrats, Ishita!

ZB said...

wow, your daughter is potential Booker winner...nurture-nurture...... and she has given me a hard inferiority complex...Thee shall never write again.....how shit is my writing.Man....epiphany of epic proportions... TC:)

Anu said...

wow!!!Please congratulate your daughter for this wonderful piece of writing! tell her I wish i could write like her..... and to keep writing... and a note for you: please do keep posting her work... or make a separate space for her....

kirti said...

This is too good. Can't believe its coming from a kid .
Aparna , will you please ask the author to change the ending for her reader's sake. I love happy endings.

Ritu said...

The narration, the story, the tempo, perfect!!

Harish said...

that was wonderful

The Panorama said...

Wow, she is talented. Gets it from her mom:-) Nice read. she should keep writing.

Samvedna said...

wow! your daughter has inherited your gift of writing.

茹順茹順 said...

知識可以傳授,智慧卻不行。每個人必須成為他自己。.................................................................

Smita said...

That is such a well written piece!!!

Can't believe it is her first!

The Ketchup Girl said...

why, she is your daughter surely!! :D Absolutely brilliant! phataphati.

Aparna said...

Lazy Pineapple, thank you very much. She loves to write.

Nona, thanks!

KParthasarathi,thank you.

Sharmila,I would like to think i passed on the love for english to her.

A New Beginning,thank you.

Banashri, thanks so much.

Meira, thank you.

bbsearchingself,thanks.

Jyothi, i do tell her to write more often, she feels lazy.

Holylama, I think I''retire and let her take over the blog.

Purnima, thanks.

Indianhomemaker, thanks. the twist in the tale was tragic though.

Sandhya, this is not really her first time, she keeps writing on and off.

ZB, don't get too disheartened! We all wait for posts from you.

Anu, she used to have a blog, but she doesn't find much time to write these days. I''l keep posting from time to time.

Kirti, my daughter is 14 and if you call her a kid she gets offended!

Ritu, thanks.

Harish, thank you.

Panorama, I don't know about the talent but she has definitely inherited my love for literature.

Samvedna, thank you.

Smita, technically this is not her first attempt, she keeps writing some thing or the other all the time. She used to maintain a blog, but she discontinued.

ani_aset said...

goodness me :) this is good. The plot was awesome too

BK Chowla, said...

What can I say. You have published a beautiful post and is engrossing

starry said...

Very well written.loved it.

eye-in-sty-in said...

Now thats a story! How old is she again? Would you pls tell her she is an excellent writer! Loved reading it. How much did she score for the essay?

Nazish Rahman said...

Lovely post...simply loved it :)

Destiny's child... said...

That was so gripping. I am totally impressed :)

kavita said...

She is brilliant !My best wishes and blessings .You are a great mom Aparna.

The new template looks great !

Meira said...

you're tagged

sujata said...

I think you were being over modest with me over chat yesterday Ishita! This is absolutely wonderful, and I will say it loud and clear that at your age neither me nor your mom came anywhere close to what you are. This is fantastic and you need to keep at it!

Nikita Banerjee said...

Now thats a great start! Hope you start writing frequently! :) Way to go!

KrisMcmillen07星美 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

Corinne Rodrigues said...

Wow Aparna - a really talented girl. I truly enjoyed the story - do tell her that.

Haddock said...

A good suspense thriller.

Swatantra said...

Amazing post!! Your daughter has got the art of writing from you very well!!

Aparna Radhakrishnan said...

OMG...she takes your genes...and that's very clear...Please encourage her in all ways...and kiss from me...

Rajesh said...

Terrific writing. I was engrossed in this till the end.

Gayathri said...

Amazing!!! Great imagination,and awesome flow..

P said...

Someday she is going to give the top screenplay writers a run for their money :)

Until then can we enjoy more of her write ups please? :)

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

it was really tragic !

waste of money , a few crimes committed ... and in the end ???

王名仁 said...

人生是故事的創造與遺忘。............................................................

星美星美 said...

如果成為一支火柴,也要點亮一個短暫的宇宙;如果是一隻烏鴉,也要叫疼閉塞的耳膜。.................................................................

Sonu said...

A breath taking story ...WOW!!!
pls tel ur daughter never evr evr evr evr evr evr evr stop writing...keep going..

Aparna said...

Thanks every one for your encouraging words.
Ishita is thrilled that her story got more comments than my last post :D
I did tell her to write and acknowledge all of you but she felt a bit shy.
Incidentally, her essay got second highest marks in the test. I would give anything to read the one which got the highest.

walk2write said...

If she wants to be a starving artist, let her! And support her no matter what. Too many young people (note: I didn't call her a kid!) give up on their passion to create when faced with the reality of making a living later on in life. Her writing sparkles like a jewel.

bluebird said...

I thought you'd turned to fiction and was impressed.. and then I see its your daughter.

Mom, you gotta be real proud!

B/w, was it a fiction context or an essay?

RGB said...

As I was reading it, I kept thinking this surely isn't your style of writing...but I must admit, that the story was quite "gripping", to the end. And to think that it was written by your daughter...good going!

Aparna said...

Blue bird, this was her English test, where the first lines, "I slid into the driver’s seat, let in the clutch, and we were off. I knew it was illegal, but it didn’t matter any more. All that mattered right now was where I was heading. What I was doing. Saving a life" were given. She had to develop this into a story.

RGB, yes, totally different from my style. Can't handle fiction at all!

rama said...

It is really very good.

rama said...

It is really very good.

Sakshi said...

Seriously I was about to mail Ishita and ask why she is not updating her blog? and what do I see a whole story written by her? Brilliant and am sure she is gonna give her mom a run for her money when it comes to writing.

Hey tell her to update her blog no? I miss all her funny class stories and was hoping now that she is a bubbly grown up girl, would get to read all the romantic stuffs going on in her class...sigh!