Story Contest 2018 #2 Results »

Highly Commended Story - Fortuity

“Fortuity - A Chance Occurrence” by Bhanushri Jaisimha, Delhi Public School, Bangalore South, India, is the Highly Commended story in the senior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2018.

Bhanushri is an energetic 14-year-old student studying in Delhi Public School, Bangalore South. She was brought up in Singapore and developed a flair for writing.

Fortuity - A Chance Occurrence

Yuna. Poor, unfortunate Yuna…

A few days ago, a shattering earthquake had struck Ishiwaka in Japan. With an alarming magnitude of 7.2, it had completely wrecked the Aokigahara forest. Yuna sat there lost in thoughts, her head resting on her wet skirt which hung over her bruised knee. Her dark lashes brimmed with tears, her face was buried in her hands, in a desperate battle against her inconsolable sorrow. A lone pear-shaped tear trickled down her cheeks and just like that, the floodgates opened up. Tip-top-tip… The unimaginable peril that she had missed by a few inches. She now actually wished that it had submerged her into its torturous and horrendous flames. She wished that it had crushed her bones and sealed her breath forever.

But unfortunately, she was left alive. Alive to only witness the horrendous deaths of many including her loved ones. She was now helpless; all alone in a vast universe. Was this life even worth living now?

It was as if agony and sorrow coursed through her veins. She screamed on top of her voice “Dad! Mom! Akio!” as their images seemed to be fading away into darkness.

She had heard the nurse saying, “…poor child. She can’t live alone without her family. She is 7 years old, just too young. It would be best if she is taken care of in a foster home.”

“I understand. Very well then. We can move her to a foster home once she has recuperated.” The gentle voice faded away.

It had been almost 10 years since Yuna had lost her entire family in the earthquake. It had taken quite a long time for the bitter actuality to sink in and that period of mental trauma had crushed her from within. But ever since that time, Yuna had been pulling herself together and building her confidence bit by bit.

Now she lived with the Takahashi’s, a middle-aged couple who immensely loved her and treated her like their own little angel. Yuna had also developed a sense of affection towards them. She was joyful once again.

However, her happiness was short lived. Catastrophe struck again, one winter night. Yuna’s heart appeared to have stopped. Yet again, she was that helpless seven-year-old girl. She watched, devastated, as the Takahashi’s, the people whom she thought were her new family members, being taken away in stretchers. Vicious flames devoured the little cottage making the air smell pungent.

Her walls, the walls that held her up, made her strong just... collapsed. Someone who had been trying to heal from past wounds had been smashed hard, beyond mending. She felt hollow from inside as she was collapsing both mentally and physically. She tried to keep herself awake, and struggled to breathe and then everything went dark…

Determined to change her destiny, Yuna lived deep within Aokigahara forest, surrounded by blooming flowers and flourishing bio-diversity, where she was one with nature. Exuberance radiated from her beautiful face. She was now an independent young woman who you wouldn’t believe was 25. Many people from all walks of life, in search of bliss, sought her help. The elegance and grace that she possessed in her, those tranquil vibes that flowed through her, were truly divine.

Being a virtuoso in yoga and natural medicine, all her provisions were from the invaluable haven that she had created for herself at heart of the enchanting forest. Nobody would leave her sanctuary with negative feelings. It never failed to inculcated bliss and happiness! However you came, you leave sparkling. And the payment? Yuna would say with her placid voice, “A cheerful and contented smile from you is all I ask for in return.”

That night, in Yuna’s dreams, she witnessed an alluring light. She saw her mother, father, her beloved brother and the Takahashi couple smiling warmly at her. She rushed forward to embrace their warmth, overwhelmed with happiness. She just knew she wasn’t all alone anymore…

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