Highly Commended Story - Friend from the Future
“Friend from the Future” by Deetya Chaudhry, Shiv Nadar School, Faridabad, India, is the Highly Commended story in the junior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2019.
Deetya Chaudhry is a student of Shiv Nadar School in Faridabad, India. She is ten years old and studies in fifth grade. She loves to read fiction and is a big fan of Harry Potter series. Further, her hobbies include singing, watching movies and she also likes to write and act in theatre plays. She had written a complete script for a class performance. Deetya is very passionate about science & social issues and spends a lot of time doing research on her laptop. But her favourite activity is playing with her two little sisters.
Friend from the Future
Everything looked the same, when I looked out of the window in the morning. The sun’s rays were struggling to penetrate the hazy atmosphere. I could smell the grass and some smoke. I quickly got ready and rode my bus to the school. I had no idea that it was going to be the most exciting day of my life.
Hello, I am Deetya, a 21st century kid living my normal life. Today, I was precisely 2 minutes late for my school. As I entered the class, it felt that I am an hour late since everyone seemed to be settled and busy. The kid most disliked by me, Sam, who weighed a thousand kilos, whispered to me, “I think everyone is going crazy”. I said, “Or maybe it is only you. By the way, what do you mean?”
“Principal Walker just announced that someone from the future will be attending our class today. I think it is a prank.”
“Or are you playing a prank? When is this future kid coming?” I asked sarcastically.
“Principal Ma’am says in five minutes. I still think never”, Sam tried to sound like an adult.
Suddenly, Ms. Watson, our class teacher, entered the room and announced, “Who would like to volunteer to be the buddy to our guest this evening.” I raised my hand before she could complete the sentence. I don’t think I heard anything after the word volunteer since I love any new responsibility.
“Thanks Deetya. Are you excited?” As Ms. Watson finished her sentence, a bright light filled our room and a strange looking boy stepped out wearing a shiny metallic suit. He sat next to me and said, “Hello Deetya, I am EF4. Thanks for being my buddy.”
How did he know that and my name? I knew this was going to be the most exciting day.
I started by welcoming him to our school and started explaining everything about his school. Everyone in the classroom was watching us. Today, Ms. Watson simply ignored that I was speaking while she kept on teaching as if it was all normal. At the end of the period, I asked EF4 if he would like to play soccer. “It’s my favorite sport.”
We have some things in common.
I ran towards the soccer field. He followed me. “Where are we going?” he asked. I explained that we were going to play in the field. “No, I thought it was a virtual game as we play at the school.” He explained that they do not play in open since the pollution has made the environment poisonous. Being a sport, he tried to play with us but fell down as he tried to tackle a real soccer ball. As we reached the medical room, he told us that they have biotech drugs that can cure within 10 seconds. And the flying ambulance could carry patients to a hospital within 3 minutes. I tried to imagine a world full of flying cars! “Don’t worry EF4, you just have a minor bruise. You don’t need an ambulance here” I said.
As we walked out, EF4 asked me if I was thirsty. I started walking to the water-coolers as he offered me some gum. I said, “I don’t eat gum, thanks.”
“This is not gum”, smiled EF4. “There is no more water in the future so we use this chemical to quench our thirst. All our foods are like tablets too.”
I asked him, where he lived. “My parents are scientists at Mars, where I was born but they sent me to Earth for my schooling since the schools on Mars are too small”, he replied.
“Which country are you from?” I asked. He gave me a funny look and said, “There are no countries, only earth and other planets.”
I was getting curious to know about his school. “Our schools are individual pod-stations, where we can learn whenever and whatever we want. We have choice of thousands of age-appropriate courses. We can collaborate with anyone across the world for any projects. And all our teachers are robots.”
“This can’t be fun”, I said explaining about our Ms. Watson’s jokes. “Our robotic teachers are funny. In fact, they have all the emotions as people.” said EF4.
We got back to the class. It was study time and I took out my pen for written work. EF4 had a device that could write on its own. “It is connected to my brain wirelessly”, smiled EF4.
“I hope that it can auto-correct the spellings too.” I said.
Finally, the day was over and it was time for him to go back. It was difficult to say adieu. We were friends now. Suddenly, he turned back and asked, “Why don’t you come with me. I will show you the future.”
Without thinking much, I started walking towards him…