Highly Commended Story - Reality Redefined
“Reality Redefined” by Nishant Dahma, St. Thomas School, Bahadurgarh, India, is the Highly Commended story in the senior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2019.
Nishant Dahma is a sixteen year old boy who loves to read whenever he has some spare time. He studies as an eleventh class student at St. Thomas School in Bahadurgarh, India. His hobbies include gaming, reading, writing and learning new facts. He can be said as a photoshop and a comic book expert but he aspires on learning more and more about the topics. Nishant is also a science enthusiast who wants to keep himself updated with each passing day.
It was a strange place. I was in the middle of a stage daubed with all sorts of fancy lights. I could hear a growl that was unmistakably of a ferocious tiger that would not in the least restrict itself from ripping me into pieces. I was afraid, my heart was beating faster than I could possibly count, I could not help but tremble.
“Help!” I cried, and then it caught a glimpse of me. The beast was running amok towards me with all the wrath and fury that effortlessly surpassed what I could withstand. My hand moved in protest and I realized I wasn’t a prey, but its master indeed. There was a whip in my hand. I was therefore, a ring master and the stage was in fact, a circus. I was so terrified that I whipped wherever the whip took me. Though the whip might not have touched the beast, the very movement of the whip built terror inside its heart and it maintained its pace.
I gradually took control over the stage. I also heard the applause and saw people bursting into peals of laughter each time I whipped. I was now browsing through my mind might I remember a trick up my sleeve; I remembered a few and successfully performed them but the list was not endless, it was about to end. I paused for a moment to think, all eyes were glued at me.
I thought of a last trick that would wind up my act. Hence I moved my hand and whipped in the air. The tiger cooperated and moved aback. The sound echoed around; this caused such a deafening cheer that the circus shook in agony. I turned towards the audience and bowed. A claw hit my face.
My face that once was red with blush was now red with blood. I was at the time standing before the tiger upon which bloodlust had already descended. No mere whip could overpower the inevitable death the audience was about to witness. But a desperate man does all things and hence I chose to fight, a Hobson’s choice it was. I was utterly desperate and therefore, I examined the ambience for the whip. Alas! It was quite afar, the whip was not going to work after all.
The despicable beast sprung upon me, I tried to evade but it was too late. I was about to lie stone dead, on the stage that I once so enjoyed working on, for I know the beast would carry no guilt of killing a feeble man like me. The last thing I remember of the tiger before I collapsed was a bite, the strongest bite I have ever got. The tiger bit me and I was unconscious.
When I regained my senses, I found myself floating in a void of complete darkness where nothing awaited me but madness. After a while, a flash appeared which successfully filled the void and brought light. Every coloured light I knew of and more.
Not long after, I found myself in a land I had neither heard nor imagined. The skies were tinted with crimson and the land was striped into any or every colour that existed. Perhaps, it was heaven, or purgatory; else, it was poignantly, hell. Or maybe it wasn’t one of the three legendary realms but something else instead. I rose up and organized myself. I chose to explore the land no man had ever set foot onto.
I was strolling across the terrain when I spotted few creatures. They were not quite far and neither was I forbidden to meet them. I was intrigued and hence I considered the possibility of finding a friendly fellow in this strange yet beautiful domain highly likely. I moved towards them. I was quite near when I recognised them, they weren’t peace-loving creatures but dragons who would love to have a roasted meal, I was a perfect choice.
I was not a warrior wielding a mighty weapon who is destined to kill the dragons by summoning some godly attacks. After all, fighting and I are like chalk and cheese. Therefore, I screamed and ran, that scream caught their attention, foolish me. I wished for a safe abode and I found a cave near me. This was the thing I sought. Just as I was about to enter, one of the dragons breathed out fire and set me aflame.
I woke up in my mattress, perspiring all over. It was, indeed, a dream. Perhaps it was a nightmare, as I was killed in it two times over, but it didn’t feel like one. Nevertheless, it might not be real but it sure did give me new definitions for reality.