Story Contest 2019 #1 - Highly Commended Stories »

Highly Commended Story - The Cursed Chandelier

“The Cursed Chandelier” by Thoihenba B, Vibgyor High, Haralur Road, Bangalore, Karnataka, India, is the Highly Commended story in the junior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2019.

Thoihenba Brahmacharimayum is 11 years old and studying in Grade 6 at Vibgyor High, Bangalore, India. He loves reading Enid Blyton series which inspired him to venture out into the sea of literature. Today, he loves reading various genres from comedy to Dan Brown's thrillers. His other interests are singing, playing guitar, painting and playing tennis. His story was inspired by famous fantasy and fiction novellas. Thoihenba wishes to become an aeronautical scientist and also nurture his passion for writing, singing and painting.

The Cursed Chandelier

The normal kid wouldn’t go wandering in search of unknown voices in the middle of nowhere. Well, I did………..

It all started one late chilly November evening of 2018. All the stores were shut, as a ginormous storm was predicted. Through the great thick mist and fog, I ran towards my home. I was on an errand to pick some groceries from the convenience store. Finding every building closed, I started sprinting home. The cold, quiet and eerie feeling of the overwhelming darkness sent shivers down my spine. As I ran down the footpath with the growing urge to get home, my eyes spotted a small little alley with a tinsy winsy light on. “That’s strange”, I told myself “I never noticed this before!”….

Note to self: Never go exploring unknown alleys on storm predicted nights. The alley led to a shop, a very worn down, murky, old one. It looked as if it had not been dusted for years. A lone light flickered in the middle. The tattered sign board read “Last minute furnish –“. For some reason the ‘ing’ in “Furnishing” was defaced with red paint. From outside it looked nothing attractive, but a soothing voice pulled me towards the store. The enchantment grew louder and louder. My foolish curious mind brought me closer and closer until I was forced to push the door of the shop.

A few feet across the room, sat an old lady. Her skin was wrinkled and crumply, her frail body leaning on a chair with shriveled arms crossed on the table. Her eyes though, twinkled with knowledge and her face emitted the radiance of wisdom. There were old mismatched pairs of tables and chairs lying around while a few lamps, cabinets and stoves back in eternal dust. In the midst of all the antiques there was a beautiful chandelier. Like the canon ball, a voice hit my head and pulled my mind and heart towards the room.

Now the voice wailed “Help me! Free me! You are the chosen one!” Those mesmerizing voices made my head spinning. Before long, I found my feet running out of the door without turning back. My instincts told me that the old lady had called, “You will be back here soon!” Little did I know that she would later save my life from the plunging death. The last thing I remembered was passing out at the doorstep of my house.

I could not wait to get home from school the next day. Finally, I am reaching home, I wore my boots, sacked up my hiking bag and headed towards the alley. The alley was, well, there but the voices had grown louder. Not knowing how, I was attracted to the voices once again until someone pushed me from behind. I fell on the cold stone pavement with everything turning black.

“So he is the chosen one”, a deep voice woke me up. Though at first hazy, my vision beheld a burly man beside whom stood the old woman from yesterday. “Who are you?” I managed to ask. The burly man spoke, “We are oracles from 900 BCE. Your kind calls us future-tellers and magicians.” “But why have you called me?” Then the woman spoke up “We had a very noble lord – the king of the eastern and western winds – lord Breeze night. One day, an evil witch had descended on our land. She was a monster. She swallowed our civilians. When she came for our Lordship, she uttered a curse that the next instant he was turned into a chandelier. He was lost for many years but we have finally recovered the chandelier.”

“But why have you called me then, why summon me when you can open it yourself? Why did you….” My voice was rudely interrupted by the burly man, “Patience my child! We have been told that only a child from the 21st century could free the soul of the king. When you ‘Discovered’ our secret hideout, we knew you were the chosen one. To free the soul, you must slay the witch. Are you ready….?”

Why, why, why, why did I nod ‘yes’. Before I could object, the woman stepped forward and handed me a sword. “This is his Lordship’s very own sword. It shall give you the courage to fight”. Then, she hung a chain with a bottle around my neck. “This is hope. Anytime you need a miracle, drink it. You would know when to use it. It is my gift….” She waved her hand, the bottle and the chain disappeared into my skin. I didn’t feel surprised as too many strange things were happening in one day. I realized, I was in the old store room, filled with old chairs, tables and in the middle stood the familiar chandelier once again pleading. She gave another wave and I was through the darkness in a cave. The wall of the cave was drooling with hot lava. I gripped onto my sword even tighter. It gave me confidence. Up ahead, a voice hissed, “So you are the chosen one.” I guessed, it was too late to use the bathroom now…..

“Clang- Clang!” went the swords. It was a one on one duel. I did not even know, how I was able to stand and fight without crying for so long. The nearest, I got to using a sword ever in my life was peeling potatoes. As I fought, I thanked my Mom for teaching me how to slice veggies…

The witch was a frail lady. Her bitter eyes were smashed into her rectangular face. Her jaws were droopy and she seriously needed braces. Her teeth were rotting yellow and her breathe smelt strongly of 1000 sewer rats. Her body was covered by a dangling gold armor. Her hands were quick and swift and had already bruised my body. Surprisingly, my sword deflected most of the attack. Whenever I struck my sword, the power of the wind would send her flying for miles. How many days and nights, the battle continued, I had no count.

Alas! I could not hold longer, I finally fell. The witch erupted into an echoing cackle. She carried me and knock me out.

I found myself being thrown into what felt like a mile-deep volcano, as I heard crying and hissing at the top of her voice “The chosen one is dying, the chosen one is dying!”. My glance unknowingly moved towards my neck. There shinning was the bottle. Knowing that this was the moment, I uncapped the lid and gulped the blue liquid. The next second, I found myself in Lava, but no pain. But rather, it felt like a shallow swimming pool. The Lava threw me out of the crater. “No!” The witch cried “No!”. The lava transformed into fists and pulled the flabbergasted witch into the abyss. I had slayed the witch.

My head was spinning with all that had just happened. By now, I had figured out that if I slept, I would end up elsewhere. So ultimately, I just did the same. As I expected, I woke up in front of the Burly man and the little old woman. “I slayed the witch.” I managed to squeak. “Ah! Yes, we know that, more events await us. We must not dawdle nor delay.” They chimed in chorus. I was then led to the chandelier. This time, the words were clearer. It was a riddle.

“O Brave one! You slay the witch,
Now you must answer a bit.
What is the thing ‘O brave one’,
Which can neither be drowned by fire nor water
Whose control, one can never seek
Which can never be destroyed,
Which can only be reborn again and again?”

The answer came into my mind. I answered- “The soul”. The chandelier started shaking wildly. My two companions held my hand. The candle lit up and danced in joy and finally burst into white light. The room was filled with a refreshing aura. A tall man draped in white silk from the early civilization appeared. His radiant smile filled me with hope. “Yes, you are right, it is the soul,” he declared. “The world needs a hero and that is you.”

My mind was flooding with the millions question. Sensing my urge, the king said “all in good time. For now, you must rest. When you will be needed, you shall be summoned.” Saying this, he handed me a mini chandelier shaped ring. I knelt down to give him back his sword. He said, “It shall come to you when you need it.” With this, I drifted into my original world.

I woke up to the sound of the alarm clock. It was just a normal sunny day. The time was 7 am Monday, the day when all my ‘Adventures’ had to begin. I started to wonder it was just a dream. I headed next for the bathroom. Little did I noticed, a small box on my night stand, inside which was a chandelier shaped ring.

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