“AlienATE” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Malladi Vaishnav Sai Vaibhav, JSS International School, Dubai, UAE.
It was a foggy day, my school bus engine was loud. Almost everyone in the bus was half drowsy except teachers, bus conductor and of course bus driver! I tried to be awake by recalling the previous day topic, my fingers drew few arches on windowpane – Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere and Exosphere. Suddenly, I saw something bizarre outside. It looked like a creature. I wanted to scream but then our long journey in the swinging bus, silent people inside it somehow transported me to the land of sleep.
We reached school in time. Though I was in my hoodie, still felt cool breeze touching my cheeks and fingers that gave me a tingling sensation. I entered inside the quiet classroom, sat on my bench, room was getting filled by pupils. It was quarter to 8, we went to attend the morning assembly where we were informed that we will be performing Calisthenics drill for the upcoming programme. After hearing the news, we proceeded to our respective classrooms. We hustled to the reach those shelves to pick our books.
Our Science teacher entered at 8 am. She continued teaching about the layers of atmosphere, how each layer was different from the other, last layer was the Exosphere. It sounded like a gateway for aliens to invade our Earth. The bell gonged, following hour we had to go for drill practice. We marched to the ground, began those exercises. That’s when I felt the presence of that quick moving creature. After the drill, we headed to our classrooms, had lunch. Classes went on till home time.
The dispersal bell rang, I hurried to reach my bus, got a seat next to the window, took an afternoon nap for about half an hour then my bus monitor woke me. As I opened my eyes, I saw bright sunlight and sensed something unusual once again. I wiped my face with a wet tissue to feel fresh. My stop came, I got down and hugged my mother. I shared about my whacky experience. She listened to me carefully.
We reached home. I took a shower, had some snacks then completed my homework and got permission to play with my friends. I played for a couple of hours and went home. I felt something was growing in my face. I freaked out and screamed aloud. My mom was equally shocked when she noticed me. My lips were unusually swollen. Just then, my dad returned home from his office. We rushed to emergency, where I had almost fainted and was shifted to a ward. This time, I felt something stinging my arms. I regained my conscious after an hour. I was administered antihistamines through injections, that’s about the prick I realized. It was an insect bite that caused those allergic reactions. I thought to myself, “It was a tiny insect which tried to alienate my family from me”. I had a group hug with my family and laughed merrily thinking about the whole incident.