Story Contest 2018 #1 - Outstanding Stories (Senior) »

A Fire Lamp

“A Fire Lamp” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Dhrupadi Deka, Maharishi Vidya Mandir, Guwahati, India.

A Fire Lamp

It was late, at night. Irea was preparing for her annual exam. “I badly want a break from all these. I want to go to a far peaceful land. What do you think which place it would be Hammy?” Irea asked her little hamster.

“Squeak ! Squeak!” the hamster replied most probably not understanding a thing.

“I think my childhood was better, no studies at all.” She said while checking for something in her bottommost drawer, which she called as ‘Memory Box’. It contains lots of pictures, letters, dolls, chocolate wrappers, paper planes and many more things, which contains precious memories.

“Here, it is!”

She took out a picture. It was a picture of her and her friends catching fireflies. Her mind flashed back to her childhood days. With her friends she used to catch fireflies in jars. After closing the lid with few holes, they called it as “Fire Lamp.” The most beautiful part was when they opened the lid of the jar and those tiny fire balls would rush out in a swirl, enjoying their freedom.

“But now? Hammy, do you think people had really forgotten those natural lights, our reason of joy, those fire balls.” It is rare to see fireflies in cities. Now a day’s people are creating day during night. Those artificial lights! And the poor fireflies are just a memory in peoples’ mind. Irea said, looking at the picture, “I wonder where they are now. I want to meet them again; I want to dance with them again.”

Sadly, she gazed out of the window. The vibrant city lights were now gone. “Most of the people are now in their dreamland. Dreams of horror or dreams of being a brave warrior. Dreams of being inside the heart of nature or dreams of pain and torture. Dreams of some magic to solve or dreams of being in love. Dreams of places we have ever been and dreams of people we have never seen. Or maybe someone is dreaming about fireflies.”

“Thuck, Thuck!”

Her cloud of imagination was broken by this sound. She saw a littlie flashy light outside the window. “It’s a firefly!” Irea exclaimed, she rushed towards the window and opened it, making way for her tiny visitors. “I can’t believe it. God heard my wish!” she exclaimed in joy.

The firefly circled above her. It went towards the window, but again came back to her. It repeated this motion again and again. It looked liked it was signaling her something. She went towards the window and it was guiding her outside and upwards. She jumped on the window roof and used the emergency fire stairs to reach the terrace of her apartment.

“Wow! The sky! I can’t believe my eyes.” In an utter disbelieve she said. The sky was breathtaking. The stars perfectly covered the whole sky with their twinkling lights. And now when the city is in their dreamlands, the stars ruled everywhere. The stars were colourful as if someone, using paintbrush sprinkled paint on it. She had never seen so many stars in her life. Soft cool breezes were taking there changes in this silent night. She closed her eyes and begun to feel the night. The smell of the ocean, above where the wind was born. The smell of flowers, from the gardens it had crossed. And the smell of the earth after the clouds danced in the sky clashing with each other and cooling the city with its rain. She felt as if she was in a grassy plain with some wonderful company.

She opened her eyes. One, two, three, there were thousands of fireflies. She was in between a swarm of fireflies! “Where am I!? She cried out. She looked at her feet. She was standing among some grasses. She turned around and said, “a grassland?!” The fireflies were shimmering. It seemed that they were dancing. Some of them sat Irea’s shoulder and she loved the night more. The fire balls and Irea danced together in the music of the breeze, under the starlight. She ran from here to there enjoying every beat. She closed her eyes to take this moment to her memory lane.

Suddenly she felt some kind of warm light in her eyes. The next moment she opened her eyes and she regained herself in her study desk. “Was it a dream?” she wondered. She found the picture of fireflies in her hand. “Must be a dream, the best dream ever!” She said looking at her hamster.

From then on every night she sat on the terrace, looking at the stars waiting for those tiny fire balls again.

After her exams got over, she and her hammy went for a holiday, to grassland full of fireflies. Maybe inside a big Fire Lamp.