“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.
That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”Octavia E. Butler
Honestly, I have no clue why I’m doing this to myself. I’m hella embarrassed and yet I’ve here uploaded my first ever short story, unedited. At this point, I don’t even know why I do what I do.
A short disclaimer: I wrote this story ages and ages ago, and I didn’t even know how to create a story in the first place. All I wanted was to explore the idea of writing. Also, I had the guts to let other people read my story because I was rather proud of what I had written back then, which in all my senses I find terribly written now.
A little insight into the short story – I was crazy for Enid Blyton’s boarding school series St.Clare and most of the boarding school vibe in the story is adapted from that series. Also, I was at that point in my life when I thought everyone hated me, especially my parents, and that my friends were my saviour. Stupid young, dramatic mind!
With this short introduction, my short story creatively named Just A Broken Limb will be posted. I couldn’t bring myself to read it since I know I’ll start editing it right away, and I wanted you to read the raw version as in my next blog, I’ll analyse this story and throw in a few tips as to how to write a proper short story.
Without further ado, here you go –
It happens many a time, and it even happened with me. Many times when one escapes from a narrow point of death, then any injury seems very negligible. I will narrate to you my story, and you must listen to it well- for it’s a short story about my life, so I will begin at the very beginning- from the time I was born.
I never ever knew who my parents were for as I was told- I was taken from an orphanage and was chosen from among the many orphans waiting for someone to make them their own. I was about two years old then, as I was so young I didn’t knew anything and believed that I had a family of my parents, a brother and a sister. And- when I knew that I was an orphan I wasn’t too old, I was only ten- Oh! What a shock it was, it seemed as if all my happiness were being snatched away from me- as if I belonged to nowhere. . It was a shock that I never forgot. That’s the reason I thought that I never had a birthday-maybe they never knew.
I will tell you a little elaborately about my stay in my foster home…
I wasn’t treated very nicely or was loved by them in any way. It was alright until I was ten, because then I knew why I was ill treated by them. I needed to do all the works like washing clothes, dishes, cleaning the house and all, while my sister and brother used to loll about lazily. I always used to get very irritated with them and often asked my foster mother why they didn’t work and it was only me who did all the work, and to this she always said that it was because I was the oldest among them. It was just an excuse as I know now, Though I became very tired after coming from school every day I still had works left to do, and I may be bone-breaking tired but still I needed to do all those works. And the worst was on Sundays since I needed to do all the works from morning till night and I only got the chance to study after eleven at night. It was very unfair on my part, but my mother always used to shut me up by saying that I was sort of a teacher to my younger brother and sister and they will learn from me. As they had adopted me so, according to they needed to provide me with some essential things that are very useful.
Anyway, it’s all over and I will continue the rest of the story apart from this….
One day in the morning of the cold, frosty November 29th, I was sleeping in my bed covered up with warm blankets for it was very cold. I heard a noise and then another as if a thing was being taken- a chain being closed and then…… and then, I suddenly saw a shadow passing over my face, frightened I woke up with a start and sat upright in my bed. Phew!!! It was just my foster mother who was just going to wake me up. I was sort of puzzled for no one ever comes to my room so early. And then I knew -‘I was sent to boarding’. They… I mean my foster parents had already discussed it and that too without my knowledge was sending me to some ASIAN HIGH BOARDING SCHOOL FOR GIRLS, my bags were already packed and I just needed to get ready and board the train which was just after an hour.
I felt then that I didn’t have any significance and that they wanted to get rid of me. I remembered that they weren’t my own and so I didn’t protest, for I wanted to get away from them to somewhere where no one knows me.
I was all ready and boarded the train, I cried a lot about going away from them, though they never really treated me well. It was my first train journey and that too alone, I was very nervous. It was a three hour journey. In the meantime, I had lunch and read the books that I had brought along with me, I even thought about the new school I was going where I didn’t know anyone and no one knew me. At the end of three hours, the train stopped in the platform with a board having ASIAN HIGH written on it. I alighted from the train. I didn’t know what to do then I saw some of Asian High girls-for they wore the school coat- getting up the Asian school coach. I also boarded it and soon reached MY SCHOOL.
I don’t know why, but when I saw the school, I felt as if it was for me- only for me. It seemed so warm and welcoming.
Everything was silent except for the few girls going about and I soon knew why for all the girls were in the prayer room.
I will tell you very shortly about the times there for I need to get on quickly with my story to the point of the time of the great……. Anyway, you will know soon…
After the prayer the girls started on their way to the common room. The common room was like a long hall with desk and benches on both side and everyone had their own personal locker to keep all they want.
Days passed and I soon got used to the girls, the teachers, my new school and the ways of the school. I was completely settled. Everyone liked me and I also liked them. I respected my teacher and soon occupied a proper place in their hearts. There was only one regret- my foster parents never ever called me or didn’t even thought the use of making out how I was- was I happy there or not- it didn’t matter an inch to them. But soon I sort of forgot them for my happiness was fulfilled with my friends and school.
My stay there was so fun that I did like to tell you about that in detail.
I always had a lot of fun in my boarding school, far more fun that I had in my foster home. We got up at six in the morning when the school bell rang, bathed and got ready for our daily classes. We had our breakfast at six-thirty, and then after four classes we had lunch break. Then again after lunch break we had three classes and then games- swimming, tennis, lacrosse or any other things that we wanted to do.
After that we could all go to our dormitory or common room and rest or read books or do stitching or anything else. There was always the wireless going on in one end of the common room and anyone always switches on their pocket radio.
I will even tell you about the most exciting thing in a boarding school ‘A Midnight Feast’…..
It was Jo’s birthday that night; she is among the many friends that I have in the boarding school. Just as usual we went to bed at the normal time 11 o’clock. As planned earlier one has to keep an alarm clock under her pillow and when the alarm went on at midnight, she is to go about from bed to bed and wake up the girls, whispering in their ears “It’s MIDNIGHT”.
Then came the most exciting hour
Everyone crept out of bed, and walked out bare-footed to the other dormitories to wake up the other girls in there. After that everyone goes to the birthday room, which may be the common room or the dormitories wherever the store is kept. I will just tell you some of the names of the food that I ate at Jo’s birthday. Firstly we had a big chocolate cake, cold-drinks of almost all kind, chocolates, tinned fruits and many other tasty things. Though there is always spreads of food in a midnight feast, yet the girls after having dinner manages to devour any amount of food present because food tasted so delicious in the middle of the night.
Before I tell you about that great night I need to tell you about the nights of practice alarm…..
I remember this night very well for it was the third night in ASIAN HIGH. Everyone was sleeping peacefully in their own cubicles. I clung to my blanket closely and covered my head for the night was cold. After turning over my bed for sometime I went to sleep. After an hour or so later, an alarm went on-I woke up with a start for I didn’t knew what it was, I saw that everyone was out of bed in a minute and someone had switched on the light. I couldn’t understand what was happening and I stayed in bed. Seeing me Jas came near my bed and asked me to hurry up for it was the fire alarm. Hearing this I got down and as almost everyone was already on the ground, I rushed down. I saw everyone standing there with the principal at the head. I stared at the school but couldn’t see smoke coming out from anywhere. Then I came to know that it was just a practice alarm. The principal praised that we did well and that we should always be aware for a fire may occur any day. Saying this she asked us to return to our own dormitories.
After returning to our dormitories I told my friends about how scared I was. They had a hearty laugh and said that hardly any fire takes place in the school so I don’t need to be frightened next time. it would just be a practice…..after talking for sometime everyone fell asleep one by one in their warm blanket in that cold, winter night
Then came the night…..the night that I wanted to tell, for that was the night when I escaped from death.
I was sleeping alone in my dormitory- six girls sleep in one dormitory. All my friends were having a midnight feast that night. It was the second midnight feast of that month. I enjoyed the first one but this time as I wasn’t very well so I needed to miss my most favorite thing in this school- a midnight feast-.
I was in a heavy sleep, the lights were switched off and it was cold so I felt very balmy in the warm blanket. Everyone had already gone for the feast. It was Kara’s birthday. Suddenly the fire alarm went on… but I kept on sleeping for I thought it was a practice alarm. But after sometime I remembered that the principal was not at the boarding school, and nobody would set up a practice alarm. I groped my way in the dark and tried to switch on the light but it was not lighting up. I rushed out, it was dark as well as thick smoke was filling up I couldn’t see anything. I groped for the stairs – slipped and fell down with a thud…………..
I stood up ran outside the school to the ground hoping to see someone, I could see no one; the whole school was in fire. I started to shout,” Where are you all?” and then as if faintly I heard ‘ we are here’. I couldn’t see anyone- a thought passed by my mind were they all dead- I don’t know. I kneeled down on the grass and prayed to god.
And then as if as an answer I heard a voice “now slowly opens your eyes.”
I thought it was god in a white dress and then I thought it can’t be…… for god won’t wear a cap and then I knew what… It was a nurse. All my friends were there surrounding me.
They said that after I fell down from the stairs I lost conscious. There was so much smoke in the school that the fire men were not able to find me. My friends even didn’t know that I was not with them; they knew when the teachers started checking if everyone was there. The fire men rescued me and rushed me to the hospital. I had a narrow escape for the fire was spreading uncontrollably.
The fire spread from the generator room, it was due to a wire that the fire was caught and so electric connection was gone. And the voice that I heard when I shouted ‘ where are you all’ was infact my friends in the hospital room and to that question they replied that they were all there. And the best thing is that I have a birthday now, for my friends said as I had got a new life that day so- 22nd January will be birthday..
Just after that my best friend, Angelina remarked-” You are safe and sound and again with us- with JUST A BROKEN LIMB”…………..
If you have reached this section, I applaud you and I’m really sorry you had to go through that. It wasn’t easy, I know. I’m afraid to read it since I know the number of times I will find myself cringe. Yet, I wish to analyse this story and understand how far I came from that time. Have I improved? Where did I improve? What to avoid in a short story and what not to? We will discover it all in the next blog.
Also, if you would like to read or gift a copy of the boarding school books that I absolutely adore, check out this link https://amzn.to/2Ja4dxK
Keep a look out for my next blog on Tuesday