The day looked sunny, unlike other times, and the sun was seriously contemplating doing a good while in the sky for now. Sunlight spread as far as you would see and covered everything in a poached blanket, sunny side up. The garden was being tamed, as junior decided to steal past out of the gate, hoping to escape by his dad unnoticed.
" I hate to say this big guy, but we need to talk", he said, trimming down the hedges from wilderness into cityscape mode. "Almost out", junior thought, but froze exactly where he was.He knew this would come sooner or later. Thanks to his English teacher, it had decided to beat all predictions and slap him straight across the face instead.
"Whats this that I keep hearing about you from your teacher? You writing scary stories an' all? Ghosts, lifts, rats, god knows what! You are not going far with that kind of talent my son! The teacher says that she had asked you before to kick the habit and write like other kids but you refused? Am I making any headway or am I talking to the gate in front of you?"
Junior stood where he had been frozen into his present state due to his dads words. He stuck his hands deep into his pockets and wished he was somewhere else. The birds on the trees around his house looked down, making comments at him,for being scolded in broad daylight. Not funny at all. His left hand found a loose thread and decided to pull at it while the tirade from his father continued. He kept staring hard at his feet, hoping they would turn into claws or some such.
" Other kids write happy stories", he continued. " They write about lost puppies finding their owners, friends hanging out together in parks and things of that sort! You choose to write about deserted highways, hospitals and I don't know!! Ghost journals?What are you getting at young man?"
" Ah jeez Dad! I like writing about them. I mean, isn't it cool to talk about rats and highways which are empty and.."
"Enough!", he said, cutting through icily. " Another of those short stories and its not going to be my mouth that would do the talk. My hand might do some talkin' the next time!!"
He went back to the house and decided to sit on the story that was pending for his next assignment. He wrote a story which had ducks, a pond and some kids fishing. There was nothing dark about it. In fact, it was a very happy story. Till the time, one of the edges caught fire on its own. He immediately stubbed it out and put his hands to his temples. He had his answer.And it wasn't a happy one.
He hung his head and decided that it was time to finally get his legs moving. He went out of his house and sat on a pavement the whole day. He saw people go around, running, milling around like little insects around a candle. What was the hurry? The sun, in the meantime, having got a cue from the kid decided to slowly hide behind some buildings and let darkness come in. The stars, finally braving the night, came out one by one, salt crumbs from a shaker on a used dinner table.
A slight gust had picked up, sweeping up lost paper planes and forgotten toffee wrappers. It was time. He would be standing exactly at the same spot as always! The little kid hurried his steps, as he braced himself for the explaining he would have to do. This was not going to be easy. He had heard of punishments which were so scary that kids often had them as nightmares. He closed his eyes and hoped that this would be a dream. He opened his eyes to the footpath he was on, something that was soon going to turn into a nightmare.
He stood there leaning against a lamp post, the only lamp post which seemed to be switched off in the whole lane. He wore an overcoat and his skin resembled the pallor of faded tomatoes. He breathed deeply and kept his eyes down. A passerby would have taken him to be a crook who hangs out at night with bats. A little stub seemed to be poking from the back of the coat.
His hat almost managed to hide his little horns.
The kid now stood in front of him staring at his clawed feet, the ones which he wanted. He did not know how, but it had to be done. So he did.
He breathed out and began, "forgive me father, for I have sinned..."
[ The story was inspired by echo's comment to change the content on my blog.A big thanks for the idea. And the update did not happen earlier due to a heady mix of busy and lazy. Laters.]