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Suddenly I woke up to the sound of thunder crackling outside. In an instant, the whole of my room was immersed in a white flash of light. At first I thought that I might have been dreaming. But then it came. Torrential rain followed by howling wind.

The windows started to vibrate from the force of the wind outside, And all this time the rain pounded the brick walls from all sides. My room air-conditioner made an awful noise - the sound of a thousand pellets hitting the metal cage in excess of 60 miles per hour.

Quite unexpectedly all the lights went out - so that I was in complete darkness - except for the ocassional flash of lightning which drenched the whole room in an eerie white light. And then again, another rumble of thunder. This time it did strike the ground - I felt the shockwave of the impact.

I decided that I should try to sleep as I had morning school. Gradually sleep got the better part of my fear and I was fast asleep - and all the while the storm continued to rage outside.

I woke up at last, but it was still very dark outside. I still lay in bed taking it to be some time before dawn - but it was not. It was wel past seven in the morning as a sudden glance at the clock confirmed. I got out of my room with a start. The wind had died down but I could not see anything outside of our French window.

It was dead cold when I opened it - and I was greeted with a spray of chilling cold water. The rain continued to cascade outside. I looked out of our apartment balcony and to my uttermost surprise, found that all the street had been flooded with water. Not a single soul was outside - just water, water everywhere. Well, I thought. No going to school today.

I decided to get some shut eye. I think that I might had dosed off, but I woke again to the sound of my mom shouting. I didn't had time to look at the clock - I just jumped out of bed, out the room and stopped dead in my tracks.

A good part of our dining room was drenched with water - the sofas, the showcase, the dining table, the walls. At first it didn't make any sense to me. But then I saw mom glaring at me and then everything made snese! I had left the glass door open! How foolish of me! But at that time as I was helping to clean up, I did not know that I would write an article out of my experience and that it would get published in RS! No, I did not know that. All I knew that mom was furious with me, while I stood there and helped clean up the awful mess that I made.

By Mushfiqur Rahman

Trace back

Ashley pulled the voluminous cloak tighter around her body as she ventured into the cavernous spaces of the age-old crawling expanse of the castle. It was snowing outside and her cloak did little to lessen her intermittent shiverings. The nature outside was bathed in pure pristine white with snowflakes falling; displaying the beauty of nature, and the ground already covered in a foot-deep snow. The highest spire of the castle protruded the sky, gleaming in the faintest hint of sunlight that managed to reach through the barriers of freezing clouds.

Ashley brightened the light of the dim lantern as she advanced towards the dark passages of the castle where sunlight failed to reach. Her face was laced with apprehension and her eyes squinted. She clambered up the steep step of the stairs, 'Only a few more steps', she mused herself.

Ashley Johnson was a renowned and eminent figure in the world of historians, where the unknown past was found out and was publicized or concealed, as the state wished. Over the past few years, she had gained ascendancy in her world and had consolidated her position. All through her life, she had ventured into castles and monasteries, scrutinized scriptures, and exposed many truths which were only rumoured among men.

But the thing she was proud for more than anything else was the heritage adorning her. Her ancestors were believed to be dukes, who had once ruled parts of older England; and today, Ashley, keeping herself obscured in a cloak and keeping her works concealed, was going to prove its authenticity. If true, she was going to manifest herself as the heir of a dynasty.

Ashley stopped abruptly in front of the ornate doors and heaved. The doors creaked open. She trudged to a corner and lit the torches fixed to the walls. The flames sprang to lives, a light of hope among the intangible desperation of the darkness. Ashley had already found the old papers hidden inside a shelved box. ''This is it! I've got it!” Ashley blurted, her face gleaming. She hovered over the papers and started examining of the dynasty in old English.

Her eyebrows knitted in an incredulous frown as she began reading how her ancestors who had worked under the king managed to gain a trustworthy position in the king's army and how they had betrayed.

They had aroused a mutiny among the soldiers by slandering about the king and murdered him brutally; they didn't even spare the innocent wives and children so that no heirs were left. They had relinquished the king's supporters afterwards and had killed anyone who had defied them.

There is ambiguity about how their reign ended, but it is said that a fight for power arouse afterwards among the kindred and the neighbour kings took advantage of this to vanquish them. Ashley stuffed the papers back into the box.

It was at nightfall when Ashley Johnson left the castle. The lantern was left broken inside the castle and Ashley shivered harder than ever as she tried to make her way through the snow. She didn't care anymore. Her ancestors were barbarians and she had to carry that identity forever.

Desert tunes

It's the smell of desert sand
Wet from the shower of dusty rain
It's the scorching desert-sun
Up in the sky with shadow none

It's the full moon, desert night
Calm and quiet;a cry of delight
Stars all showing lovely works
They welcome me with twinkling eyes

It's the gypsy caravan
Towards the distant horizon
Fighting Loo and desert storm
Arid earth is their charm

It's the mirage mocking me
The more I run it dashes me
O you cruel desert owl
Don't play with the thirsty soul

It's the smile of a gypsy child
Rough his skin but soft his mind
It's the taste of juicy dates
Delicious as it refreshens

It's the smell of camel meat
Roasting on the blazing heat
It's the gypsy trambourine
Dance of children with the beat

It's my lovely memory
I dare and share a tiny part
Truly speaking; not a lie
I love the desert with all my heart

By Sacred Heart


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