“The Encounter” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Vanshika Agarwal, G.D.Goenka World School, Gurgaon, Haryana, India.
“Where am I? How long have I been here?” I questioned myself coughing heavy clouds of smoke in the suffocating dungeon I was trapped in. There were four massive oak doors on all the sides of the rooms surrounded with dusty and disgusting cob webs. A frisson of fear ran down my chilly spine as my limbs trembled horribly with terror. My stomach churned as I was completely unaware of my surroundings…
A week ago my sister Rebekah disappeared. The tyrant of the rival planet took her hostage. We have seven vicious and petrifying planets around our mystical solar system each being ruled by a monstrous and vile ruler. Nobody here seems what they look like. Each of them competing against each other profoundly; nobody cares how many people die in the process. Each wants to own something special, and one of them fancied my pitiful sister.
My sister wasn’t an ordinary human being, she was special. She had a fate, a fate no one can ever have, a fate that could change everything. She was made of pain, unable to control herself. In the feel of her touch she could transfer unbearable pain and when her victim would be ‘touch-free,’ the pain would be gone instantly. Nobody could ever escape unscathed from her. They were clever enough to take her away with metal chains to avoid the pain.She was just like a blade, a special and daring quality that the tyrant of the other planet adored and admired.
No one knows where I am. All of a sudden, I hear large, thumping footsteps approaching me from one of the oak doors. I was so impotent and unable to walk because I was starved for days; I crawled gently across the floor, preventing getting hurt from the minimal wood pieces scattered all over. Peeking through the jagged ends of the door, I noticed a resplendent and an appealing man (dressed in a sailor’s outfit) walking serenely in my direction. Before I knew, the door was kicked open and was flat on the floor. “Come with me little boy, hurry! Let’s rescue your sister,”whispered the man in a dark, husky voice. I was too numb to ask questions so I just quietly followed him. We stopped, panicking, in front of an enormous ship and without wasting further time, we left the shore.
On the way, I queried him, “Who are you and why did you save me? Where’s my sister?”
“I am your godfather,” he responded jokingly, acting as if he didn’t hear the other question.
I was least interested in arguing with him and so I kept shut and just remained with him. I don’t know why I got a soothing and protected feeling around him, it felt as if I can trust him undoubtedly.
We arrived in front of a colossal but creepy castle. I guess this is where we were supposed to get down. It seemed as if he knew everything. Before exiting the vehicle, the man, or you can say my so called ‘godfather’, wrapped a beautiful, golden cloth around my shoulders. “This will keep you and me invisible, don’t take this off; now let’s go.” Again, without interrogating him, I silently trailed behind him like a homeless dog. We strolled confidently, but carefully (making sure not to touch anyone or anything) across the castle knowing that we aren’t visible anymore. We paused with a thud in front of a long pipe leading us directly to the terrace of the castle.
“Come on, we got to climb that!” he growled.
“No I won’t, until you tell me what’s going on!” I snapped back. He decisively held my waist like I weighed nothing and briskly climbed like a ninja up the pipe. In a spur of a moment, we were already on the terrace.
“Rebekah!” I yelped with happiness as I saw her, but all of my happiness faded away instantly as I saw her dreaded face and fragile body helplessly hung with metal chains with the support of rods. They knew exactly how to torment her to keep her lifeless. I was about to remove the cloth wrapped around me and run hysterically into her arms when I felt a stiff hand resting on my right shoulder. I turned back and my ‘so called godfather’ gave me ‘a not so assuring look’ of doing what I think I was doing. It seemed as if he could read my thoughts; I backed off abruptly. Unexpectedly, he whistled plangently as a funky -looking machine flew through the air. Sitting on it, we sped downwards towards my sister. Still, not removing our cloths, we tried unchaining her but it was inefficacious. My savior searched for something in a petite box. He pulled out a laser gun and cut the metal off, leaving huge chunks of it on the floor. I had no idea from where he got such gadgets.
Rebekah looked confused and hazy as to what was happening around her because she couldn’t see us. Guards ran frantically towards her with swords ready for war after they heard the metal pieces clanging with the marble floor. Without wasting a single second more, we pulled her upwards with all of our strength and our bare hands. Unfortunately she slipped. She transferred surfeit amount of pain against her wish to the guards but they didn’t leave hold of her even for a second. We couldn’t save her; we couldn’t save my little sister.
After 7 years – My savior is named Damon. He hasn’t left my side since my sister left me. I discovered that he is my long lost brother after looking through some albums. He was possessing special powers (such as transferring thoughts), which was the reason my whole family was massacred and he was taken away when I was small. This was also the reason I felt protected and safe seven years ago. We have lost all hopes in finding our poor sister. I hope we will be reunited with her one day and avenge our family’s death.