“Grocery Shopping” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Nicholas Lim Min Xiang, Malaysia.
One day, I was doing some casual grocery shopping. As I was leaving the store, a storm was brewing. And this wasn’t your average “Oh, it’s a storm I better get going” kind of storm. This was a lot more serious. The streets were flooded with rain, the wind blew away trees, and most importantly the hot dog man had been struck by lightning! I looked up and saw that this was no ordinary storm. A shadowy silhouette appeared everytime a streak of lightning appeared. Things were being consumed by the storm. At first I thought it was a tornado but looking closer I could see a faint purple light illuminating inside it. Before I knew I had become a victim of the tornado. I was being sucked up. I instinctively grasped on to the nearest lamp post and held on for dear life. Alas, the lamp post and I were sucked up into the vast greyness of the tornado.
Y’ know, I’m not sure all tornados are supposed to make you feel like this but it was the best experience in my life. I don’t care if I lost the grocery. I really couldn’t be bothered if my wallet fell out. I would have gladly given everything I had to do it again. It was like a water slide but instead of going down I was going up. As I ascended, I saw clouds. I mean I expected there to be clouds but these clouds were as white as snow. I thought am I in heaven? I still don’t know up till this day. But judging by the surroundings I’m pretty sure it was. There were two gargantuan figures battling it out. I couldn’t make out what was happening as they were very far away from me. But first things first, I needed to figure out if I was alive. I touched myself and I seemed pretty solid if you asked me. I climbed up onto the clouds (because for some reason they were solid) and I ventured on into the middle of nowhere (by the way if you wondered what heaven looks like, it’s just clouds). I walked for what felt like an eternity before it seemed like the two figures were getting closer. Every instinct in my body told me to turn back but my legs wouldn’t stop. I walked closer to the figures when suddenly I bumped into someone. It was an angel. It looked like cupid minus the bow, the diaper and the freaky eyes. She (do angels have a gender?) looked gorgeous but at the same time frightened. She was shivering so I asked her “Are you cold?”
“Are you taunting me?” she replied
“No, it’s just that you were shivering so I–
“I was obviously shivering out of fear!!!”
“I’m sorry, ever since losing my coat in the tornado, I’ve felt pretty cold!!!”
“Wait… You were in cyclone?”
“Well I was in the cyclone I guess.”
“No no I don’t think you understand that “cyclone” was a god.”
“Wait… Gods exist?”
“If that’s true that means…”
“Let’s not talk about that.”
“Ok, if we’re not going to talk about that then can you explain who and what these things are?” as I pointed towards the figures. She explained that two gods were having a war … and said that they would destroy the entire world. “What!!!” I screamed “How do we stop them?”
“Oh, you can’t.”
I needed to think of a solution to fix this problem. I couldn’t let the whole world be destroyed. I dashed towards the two figures. I didn’t care about the angels warnings, I didn’t care if my legs hurt a lot. I just wanted to save the world. When I arrived, the battle was worse than I thought. It was a complete bloodbath. These two gods were in the worse condition possible. They were bleeding profusely and had wounds everywhere around their body. Without any hesitation, I leaped into the battle.
The two gods ignored me and continued fighting. I walked up to them and said “Why must you quarrel?” One god looked at me and said “We are fighting over a matter you puny humans wouldn’t understand.” Two things went through my head why gods were such jerks, and I’m not that small I’m like three feet tall. I walked up to both gods and said “Can you stop fighting?” They stopped and stared at me for a while. One of them said “This one is brave.”
“Fine we will tell you why we are fighting,” replied one of the Gods.
“We are trying to determine who is stronger.”
Are you serious? The amount of damage they’ve caused was because of that? “Okay, but can you not destroy the entire city please?” I said.
“Fine, fine” they replied “Here go back to your puny human life.”
I fell through layers and layers of clouds and fell back to the Earth. For some weird reason nobody cared about a boy falling out of the sky. Somehow, it was a soft landing. I think it’s some godly magic. But the sky was clear and it looked like the storm never happened. Huh, I guess some stories do have a happy ending.