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The heir of solitude

Story: Sarah Nafisa Shahid
Art: Fahim Anzoom


He closed the lid of the paint spray after putting the neat full stop. A full stop always adds more weight to a sentence, even on wall graffiti, as if the thought expressed was complete. And wholeness appeals to humans.

He started off on the murky road with his hoodie on and his shoe laces untied. He whistled out of tune to seem random, to seem innocent enough to want attention. He knew that it intimidated people. People were naturally intimidated by things unknown - in this case, the dissimilarity between the rogue boy's gangly appearance and his naïve essence. The mind always searches for matches and rejects confusion.

He did not fear anything much, not even walking all alone on the wet pavement in the middle of the night. He kept on imagining himself getting mugged and how he would escape the attack; he accepted that he had no physical advantage over any potential mugger so it would be rather wise to give in and run as fast as he could. Plus, he didn't have any money on him anyway. Just an original designer's wallet, which he possessed because of a twisted favour of luck, and which was worth more than the mugger would ever imagine it to be; because there's no difference between the designer's wallet and an ordinary wallet anyway, except probably the designer's name that is.

Round the corner of the street, the boy found a place to rest. He opened his jacket to expose his fair skin to the cold of the night. He was freezing; yet it seemed not cold enough to match the coldness in the souls of men. He watched drunks and lonely police officers pass by and pity the homeless fellow that was him and he mirrored the sympathy back at them.

Finally, it was almost four in the morning, and time to end the act. He brushed off the dirt from his shoulders and acknowledged the purple tips of his fingers; they were numb but it did not matter much. He made his way to his destination quick - he ran there to warm his body and he was one of the fastest runners around.

He found the luxurious mansion just as he had witnessed it before; not a tree leaf moved, not a silence broken. The palace looked exactly as lonesome on the outside as it was on the inside. He was glad at this thought; at least something in this world was not hypocritical. He climbed up the ivy and crossed over to the other side of the wall. How dumb of the owner to forget to put a CCTV camera on the west end. He made his way to his desired room and got in through the open window. Everything was just as he had left them, expensive redundant furniture adorned with even more expensive accessories.

He tucked himself in the bed just when the woman opened the door. She came near and planted a kiss ever so softly on his forehead, as if to not wake him up.

'Sleep well, son,' she said.


This entry was very well written, and the story had its hook. For next week we have 'Free Candy' as our topic. All submissions need to be sent in to ds.risingstars@gmail.com by Sunday noon. Word limit: 350-500 words. Good luck.

Baby Pictures

By Md. Wasif Akram Hussain

The balmy summer breeze creased Thanos' hair, wisps of auburn against the ethereal white of the moon overhead. The slight, tall built figure treaded across the yard, towards the rusted gates that seemed to resemble an artefact of the old and lost. Thanos gingerly coerced the gates open, strands of cobwebs blurred the other side of the entrance; it seemed that hardly no one had lived here for years.

Thanos brushed away the cobwebs and made his way across the open court, the concrete floors had cracked in places and the overgrowing weeds were blossoming in heavy oranges and reds. A musty smell pervaded the entire place. The moonlight swathed the entire premise with a creepy glow. Thanos could make out the derelict building barely; a large balcony encompassed half of the court. Moss and mildew had crept onto the walls and roofs, the trees large and unkempt.

Thanos still did not understand what he was doing here. After the death of his mother, he found this address scribbled on a piece of paper inside her jewellery box, he was not allowed to touch it when she was alive. However, the look of the building peaked his curiosity, he had to find out.

Across the balcony remained an unlocked room. The mice gnawing at the floor dispersed at the human's presence. A single wardrobe was there - a silent figure across the stretch of the walls. A mirror adorned it, broken into a hundred shards. The dim light did not help him. With a swift punch, Thanos pried the wardrobe open. There was hardly anything in it, scraps of torn fabric and some thick paper. He grabbed those and returned to the court to get a better look.

Thanos found the court filled with sudden blinks of green light, iridescent and quivering. He has never seen the summer fireflies before. Bursts of light threw Thanos into a psychedelic haze. The dim of the cricket's tune throbbed into a jarring rhapsody. The shy chrysanthemums trickled the entire court in a surprisingly sweet fragrance of nectar. Thanos pried himself from his surroundings and gazed upon the paper in the clarity of the light.

Baby pictures, all containing a smiling child with tiny crops of hair and plastered with a giant smile. Thanos's eyes grew bigger in realisation-these pictures were his! After all these years, he has dawned upon his own baby pictures. He had always wanted to see them.

Of course, Thanos had known this for a while. The auburn hair, grey eyes and chin all tied together with those photos. His parents did not have his baby pictures and every time he has asked them about his first walk or first word, each would fabricate a different tale. He had worked out the conclusion for years now, even if his parents tried hard hiding it.

Thanos finally found his evidence. He knew without a doubt-he was adopted.



Sir John Wilson School.

My dear baba,
I don't remember the last time I told you "I love you"
I don't remember the last time I gave you a daughterly hug,
I don't remember the last time I asked a good night kiss from you,
But, I do love you…

It's been so long that I expressed my love to you,
that it's almost forgotten.
But you know what?
Giving my feelings a life on paper is as hard as it would be to tell you.

you were never my friend but my soul,
you are my backbone, my support,
you are a shelter who saved me from all odds,
you are the air for which I live, I stay
That is why I love you so much…
you never shared your sorrows with me,
Even when you were not feeling well, you never told me
But I always wanted to know,
Because I love you…

I never told you,
That every night I pray for you to God,
Sometimes at midnight my eyes open wide and looks out for you.
Your sadness makes me cry,
Your happiness makes me smile,
Because , you are my hero,
you are my Baba.
Baba, I really love you.


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