To Deserve or Not!!!
“To Deserve or Not!!!” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Pragathi Lakshmi Murthy, Hunsbury Park Primay School, UK.
To Deserve or Not!!!
“Lucy, Lucy! Wake up, you are going to be late for school!” shouted Lucy’s mum.“Gosh, wake up, all you do is late night reading and your teachers, they praise you over the moon – ‘She’s so smart’, ‘she’s a mastermind’” yelled Lucy’s mum in frustration.“Get ready, BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO BE IN SCHOOL IN 15 MINUTES!” Lucy frantically shoved into her uniform, her hair bobbing up and down while running down the stairs. Then she gorged coco pops (a type of cornflakes) into her mouth, her mum combed her hair into a miniature bow before plaiting her hair. She jammed the books in her bag and crammed her feet into her nicely polished shoes. She only had a few minutes to spare, so she waved bye to her mum, then rushed away to go to school.
“Late night sleep or too much reading, let me guess, ummm… too much reading!” joked Becky, Lucy’s best friend. “You’re sure right!” laughed Lucy in delight, they both laughed a joyful giggle.
“Ah, here comes Chloe,” whispered Lucy to her friend at the beginning of class time, only the most popular girl at school. From the corner of Lucy’s eye she could see Chloe’s mum lifting her bag.“I’m late for school” Chloe shouted at her parents. Her voice was sweet but her speech was never.
There was an announcement by the teacher, “As you all know, next week is the annual day function and two of the best readers will get a mystery prize which will be presented to you by the Mayor.” She carried on, unaware of the excited looks on her students faces. “You will each have ten cards to fill in with the book reviews. The student with the best book reviews will win the prize!”explained the teacher.
“Hey Becky, sounds cool!” Lucy exclaimed. “Wouldn’t be amazing if we win that mystery prize and everyone is cheering and clapping and throwing flowers at us!” Becky said dreamily, until Bailey and Chloe rudely interrupted their lovely conversation.
“Hey, beck, beck, buck, buck, chick, chick chicken, don’t get over excited, you’re not going to win, only Chloe will win!” she flattered just to get in Chloe’s good books. Becky and Lucy got offended and walked away to avoid an argument.
As the days passes on, Lucy used her free-time to read her favourite books and updated her book reviews in the cards. Whenever Lucy had play-dates at Becky’s house, she noticed that Becky had sacrificed her favourite games to reading books and she is very pleased with Becky’s determination to compete in this challenge.
On the other side, both Bailey and Chloe are wasting their time playing video games and chit-chatting, oblivious about the reading challenge. Just on the day of book review submission, Chloe fills it by taking the help from her mother. Chloe thought to herself cunningly, “I am the most popular girl at school and nobody would find out that I am cheating.”
On the day of the function, everyone gathered in the majestic and vibrant auditorium. There was a lot of excitement amongst the students to see who would win the mystery prize. The teacher announced in a loud voice, “Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen! Well done everyone for participating in the reading challenge and I have selected three students for their wonderful book-reviews”. There was huge cheers and claps from the students.
The teacher announced the names “The first person on the list is Lucy, then Chloe and finally it’s Becky!” Teacher continued “Since I have only two prizes to give, I need to ask some questions to the three finalists about the books that they have read”.
Hearing this Chloe was tensed as she had not read any books rather asked her mother about the book reviews and jotted it down in the cards. She did not expect to be questioned impromptu about the book reads.Teacher took all the three finalists back stage to question about their book reads. Chloe straight away confessed about her wrong doing.
The surprised teacher came back on stage and announced “Chloe, you’re disqualified! I thought highly of you but you have disappointed us!” Chloe felt ashamed.
“Congratulations girls, here are your prizes” the Mayor avowed. “Not any book, it’s a book series signed by most of the famous authors alive today” explained the teacher. “Becky, I believed you have worked super hard to get this prize because you normally don’t read much, how did you do this?” questioned the teacher. “Well miss, I wanted to prove a girl in my class wrong and the main thing is I believed in myself,” answered Becky while Bailey’s face turned chili red. Chloe and Bailey were both very embarrassed. Everyone congratulated Lucy and Beck.
The very next day, the teacher addressed to the whole class, “So we have all learnt a lesson: The moral don’t cheat and don’t boast, because you will only get what you deserve for your hard workand if you believe in yourself.”