Chapter 1: The GIFT
Robert woke up in the morning, very excited. It was his birthday today! He would be turning fourteen years old! He had been looking forward to this day eagerly. He hopped off his bed , brushed his teeth and ran outside his room still jumping excitedly. ‘His happiness knew no bounds .’ His family and dog wished him. He was busy until evening answering phone calls of people greeting him for his birthday. His house was decorated beautifully. His friends were invited. They all had a very good time together . There was dance , food and chatters. Everyone enjoyed the party and played games. Finally, the party got over and all his friends went home. He was now left with his family and the gifts wrapped in sparkling sheets. He hurried to open his gifts . There were so many things – lunch bags , binoculars , a pair of jeans , a cricket bat , slam books and a beautiful , stylish PEN. The pen fancied Robert. It brought his attention which was quite surprising as he was not at all into pens. Nobody really realised this behaviour of Robert. He was so into himself that he went to his room holding that pen.
He took the pen and a piece of paper . He wrote his friend’s name , ‘Mark’ on the sheet.
Next morning Robert went to school. But Mark was absent that day. He was absent the next day too. In fact, he was absent for the whole week. Then after a fortnight ( Mark still absent) the principal entered the class to tell them the most unexpected , the most unhappening , the most unforeseen, the most unpredictable news. He said that ‘Mark was dead’ Everybody stared at the principal in awe ! Nobody moved ! They were all in shock ! They were blank ! They didn’t know what to say !
The principal left , everyone still with open mouths .
The news of Mark’s death spread like wildfire. Robert did not realise that it was him and took out the same pen to write his teacher’s name.
His teacher fell ill the next day. She was taken to the hospital. Robert went to see his teacher. She tried opening her eyes. Everything was a blur. Her ears were ringing. The world was spinning. People were screaming her name, begging her to wake up. She couldn’t see them. All she could see were the flashes of the past, of what happened. She didn’t know how she got to the hospital. Or how she was hooked on several machines. She couldn’t even feel herself. She closed her eyes. Alas! The doctors could not save her. Robert felt scared. Was he doing all this? This could not be a coincidence. The names written by him were dead the next day! How could this be possible? Was he dreaming? He pinched himself. Ouch! That hurts, said Robert. Is the pen magical? No, it is not. You are getting scared unnecessarily. His conscience was arguing. He ran home scared without telling anyone and started writing things with the pen like ‘bottle’, ‘socks’, ‘glasses’. He waited but nothing happened. The things did not even move from their place. One thing was confirmed, ‘the spell is valid only for humans’ he thought. He felt a sense of relief. He did not use the pen for the whole week but was eager to know the secret behind it.