Story Contest 2020 #2 Highly Commended »

Highly Commended Story - A Leafy Day

“A Leafy Day” by A. Avyukt, Bhavan Senior Secondary School, Chennai, India, is the Highly Commended story in the junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2020.

A. Avyukt is a sixth-grade student from Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan school, Chennai, India. A studious kid, he is always on a lookout for knowing more with a passion for reading and constantly searching for new words to learn. This helped him to translate his thoughts into short stories. As a logical progression, he is currently writing a book series along with two of his friends. Avyukt is also a budding artist with his paintings displayed in exhibitions. His interest in music has encouraged him to pursue his guitar classes. He loves sports and has won in Cricket and Badminton tournaments representing his school and coaching club teams.

A Leafy Day

It was a serious cloudburst after a couple of months. The blustery winds were pressing against the windowpanes, which made the weather chillier. Vicky, a young lad of twelve was extremely fatigued and crashed into the bed along with a fiction novel. He was just peeking at every page one by one. Then, he started reading vigorously, ignoring all the rumbling sounds around him. A few minutes passed as he let fall the book to his chest and slumbered. He always had the habit of dozing off along with his favourite book. He was in deep sleep and the wind along with the rain drops from the open window was gushing through his face which made his silky hair fly. The cool droplets of water fell one by one onto the pages, which were turning leisurely due to the cold breeze. It was time for Vicky to enter his wide dream world. He always got different and awkward dreams almost every day. Dreams which always taught him unforgettable lessons. He didn’t exactly know why he was being pulled into such dreams, though he liked a few. But this dream was quite disparate and different…

The sound of a funny and awkward voice squawking and screeching was constantly heard. It was, for sure, the most astounding wake up call to him. He woke up with a jerk and started revolving his head, trying to make out the place in which he was. The atmosphere felt slushy, as he felt a cold patch of water on his arm. He was lying on the floor with a giant boulder standing alone beside his head. Gradually opening his eye, his glasses were covered with dust and sand. He removed his half-broken glass and blew it. While he removed it, he caught a blur site of a giant tree with a green bark and two gigantic leaves, reaching over to his face. He was startled and started to yell his lungs off. He shook his head as he removed his glasses again and started blinking rapidly. He was perplexed and wore his glasses again. Now he knew what it was... well, who it was.

‘Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!’ he shouted, looking at the figure, wearing his round glasses.

‘Whoa! Whoa!’ Stop it little boy!’

‘I gave the same expression when I shot out!’ it spoke. It was not a tree, though it was a giant plant with a few leaves hanging out. The plant was wearing a few casual bands around his wrist, otherwise the branch. It wore sunglasses and a cap. It gave expressions for different situations, like humans! Saying in a crisp manner, ‘IT WAS AN ALIVE PLANT, MORE LIKE A HUMAN!’

‘You are a plant!’ Vicky shouted. The plant twitched its eyebrows.

‘Well spotted. As if you belong to some other kind,’ it said, with a little frown.

‘You... you’re... talking as if I’m a plant!’ Vicky shouted.

‘Then who do you think you are?’

‘I... I’m Vicky... Vicky. Human! Human!’ he shouted.

‘You can take a look to confirm, my little friend,’ the plant insisted.

Vicky started with his hand which had vanished and turned into two leaves! He didn’t have legs and felt like they were tightly lashed down, transformed into roots! His slim, and fit body was the stem! He had fully turned into a young plant which had sprouted a few minutes ago. He was flabbergasted and tried to back off though only his stem was continuously bending back.

‘While I was a human, I didn’t see plants with sunglasses!’

‘I don’t think you were “human”, though humans see nothing don’t they!’ it said, turning its face the other side.

‘Yeah! Their eyes are blind and ears are dumb!’ a mushroom yelled, popping up behind some tall grass. It wore similar sunglasses and was munching on some nachos, playing a few video games.

‘Don’t shout Mushy. The newcomer would feel shy!’ the plant yelled.

‘Ahhh... I’m hungry! Get back to photosynthesis guys!’ he shouted at the leaves.

‘Preparing.’ a leaf squeaked. The leaf was wearing a small chef hat.

‘We were out of sunlight, what do you expect!’ another shouted.

‘Well, well, I’m not ready to listen to silly complains buddy... just get the food!’ he ordered.

‘And he’s Mushy.’ he introduced.

‘Hey there!’ Mushy yelled, dipping a nacho in the salsa.

‘And do you guys know anything about humans?’ Vicky asked, curious to know the opinion on their kind.

‘Yeah! Those heartless giants! They stamp on us for fun! Of course, it is more painful than getting cooked into some... Kadai mushroom? Even cream Mushroom soup I can bear!’ Mushy yelled.

‘Even pluck my priceless leaves and I’m out of breakfast till the baby leaves grow!’ the plant screeched.

‘And if I get them, I would choke them with my leaves and twist their limbs with my stem!’ the plant yelled when Vicky woke up with a scare. He had no plants near him and there he was, leaning to the window.

He woke up with deep understanding, and was now admiring, how much life, effort and pain there was, beyond the beautiful shades of green and the vivid hues of the dancing petals!

Lessons are learnt through experiences, even through dreams...

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