Story Contest 2020 #2 Highly Commended »

Highly Commended Story - Worthy Words

“Worthy Words” by Apoorva Jaiswal, Ryan International School, India, is the Highly Commended story in the junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2020.

Apoorva Jaiswal lives in Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh. He is studying in one of the most preeminent schools of India, Ryan International School. His chief inclination is towards works of fiction and mystery, having Sherlock Holmes Series on top. He always received support and encouragement for enriching writing skills from school and family. Along with writing, he enthusiastically participates in activities pertaining to sports, art and craft.

Worthy Words

The people of the whole town gifted their prince, William Edward, whatever splendid and precious things they had while he was making a royal march on the streets of town. This was his twelfth birth anniversary and entire town was painted with vivid colors of decoration.

“This is for you, my lord,” said a young boy with an adorable smile. He presented a small marigold flower which had a bright yellow tinge to William.

“What hell is this? A flower!? You’re gifting me a marigold flower. Me!? Who has a garden laden with rare Ghost Orchid and Juliet Rose,” said William arrogantly. “Don’t you know? You’ll be punished for this offence,” he added.

“No. Don’t do this Lord!” cried a woman dragging poor little child back to herself.

“Get this woman and this poor fellow out of my way!” ordered William.

The royal guards acted the same as commanded by their uncouth and heartless prince. He continued his march and found an old woman crossing the road. The old woman was bent forward and walking by the means of a stick. William stared the old woman in anger but she still walked with the same rhythm, maybe her old eyes and ears could not notice the charm around her. Blindly, she hit a stone laying on her way and her stick fell from her hands. She looked around for assistance and finding William standing closest to her she pleaded, “Lad! I’d be grateful if you would lift my stick. I can’t bend so low. Please.”

“Get lost! You poor and filthy woman. How did you dare to order a prince!? You ought not to command the one who can command ten thousand at once. Go away otherwise you’ll be imprisoned for this offence,” the rage was at its zenith inside William.

“A request my lord. Not a command.”

“Ha! You scoundrel!” he paced towards her with intention of shoving her behind but she vanished.

“Prince! Your arrogance is your bitterest enemy. Your words are arrows that pierce the heart of humanity. I curse you that from now what you speak will worth, will cause effect and will show that ‘Words are potent weapons for all causes, good or bad’,” said a voice which came from infinity and then light and mist covered the whole ambiance under its blanket. This light awoke William and he sat perplexed, on his royal bed, with protruded eyes and rapid pulse. He took a rapid glance around and found no one save a pair of crows sitting and cawing on the window post.

“Go away noisy creatures otherwise I’ll eat you up!” said William rushing towards the window with his hands waving in air to get rid of crows. The crows flew away. Then, he went for a shower to freshen himself from that horrendous dream. While he was dressing up, a maid came to notify that he was awaited at the breakfast table. He was hungry so he hastened towards the hall. He seated himself, ignoring the greetings of others, and ordered the waiter to serve him fast. The waiter uncovered the food kept in a huge vessel. William became startled to see that it was the same pair of crow he saw this morning.

“What rubbish is this!” cried William furiously. It took no time for the cooked crows to turn into a heap of putrid trash. From that heap flew out a housefly which sat on piece of dessert which was only a few inches away from the mouth of William’s sister, Julia. She threw her spoon which hit a glass and grape juice spattered all over William. He pushed both his palms hardly against his mouth and ran straight towards his room. He sat on bed with his face opposite to room’s door and pondered- Was that reality? Or is this another dream? Or a prank? All these questions cluttered up his senses. Meanwhile, Julia came to him to apologize for staining his dress.

“I’m extremely sorry, William,” she said mildly. Listening this, William became more infuriated and putting her mildness and selfless love to ignorance he cried, “Get lost! What ails you?”

No reply. Not even a sound of movement. He turned back and searched her sister in the whole palace. No doubt she was lost, just as he said.

William, full of regret and remorse, went to his mother whom he always found helpful in dreadful situations. When he went to her room, she turned towards him on hearing the footsteps and he was astonished to find that it was the same old woman. William started sobbing and said, “I beg for apology, Madam! I repent over that every unkind and rude word that I’ve spoken to numerous humans and even animals.” The old woman smiled and again the same dazzling light filled the atmosphere. William’s eyes closed in this luminosity. When he opened them, he found himself lying on his bed. A pair of pigeons was there on the window. William fastened towards the hall and found everyone including Julia awaiting him on the table. He greeted everyone smilingly and sat on his seat. The waiter served William’s favorite dish- CHOCOLATE CAKE and BANANA SHAKE. Oops, banana shake spilled over William’s gown while the waiter was pouring it.

“What the h…” everyone went quiet waiting for William to utter further. “Happy Day!” said he ecstatically. Everyone chuckled at this and that is how William became a boy, a prince and then later a king who was known for his heartwarming words and selfless devotion to others.

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