Chapter 1 of 5
Compiled by students : Rajasthan Institute of Engineering and Technology (RIET Campus, Jaipur)
Sweet Strawberry Concoction
On a blazing summer afternoon, Dr. Gaitonde was experimenting on gaining powerful energy from the sun, which may kill a person or may convert a normal person to a superhero. He was expecting successful results as he was a brilliant and popular scientist. He wanted to attempt this experiment on him, but the destiny of an eight-year-old girl, daughter of Dr. Gaitonde, was yet to be discovered. Neerja never liked her father’s profession as she thought there was always a risk in her father’s experiment……
Nevertheless, Dr. Gaitonde always continued his experiments, but maximum times he saw the face of failure. However, one day when he was running a few errands, his curious daughter, Neerja, strolled into the basement. Her inquisitive mind observed her father’s laboratory, especially as she was utterly bored during this Sunday weekend. As she wandered here and there in her father’s lab, a fuschia pink colour liquid in a miniature glass bottle caught her eye. Neerja presumed it was strawberry juice and opened the lid of the bottle. She whiffed into the bottle and smelt sweet strawberry concoction. So without a second thought, she drank it! Who knew that it was a secret concoction!
Unfortunately, Neerja wasn’t aware that it was not strawberry juice, but an antidote called Anthropedo! As she drank her so-called strawberry drink (Anthropedo). Her head started spinning, she collapsed onto the hard ivory marble floor and fainted. When her father returned home and entered his lab, he found Neerja unconsciously lying on the ground, he worriedly ran towards her.
When he Dr. Gaitonde out to her and held her in his arms, suddenly she woke up and was in a daze of what happened. Neerja’s head was throbbing painfully, and she couldn’t stand up on her two feet. Dr. Gaitonde asked her, “What were you doing in my lab?” Neerja pointed at the Anthropedo bottle, and her father instantly realized what was the accident. Yet, was it really an accident?
So rather than being annoyed or angry, Dr. Gaitonde was rather anxious and he started asking questions about how Neerja felt. For the first time, he saw his daughter turn from a respectable angel to an angry devil. Although, was she really an angry devil?
Nevertheless, Neerja angrily limped out of the lab and headed to her bedroom. After a few hours she was feeling slightly better, and everything was normal. Neerja completed her homework, watched cartoons, had her dinner and went to sleep at 10pm. However, Dr. Gaitonde knew this particular night would turn into a strange night for his daughter, Neerja. Especially as the strawberry concoction (Anthropedo) would have started to take effect after these four hours. Though a thousand thoughts worried Dr. Gaitonde, that would the concoction empower Neerja or destroy Neerja?
Empower Neerja or Destroy Neerja
Midst of the deep and dark night, Neerja began tossing and turning frantically. She was not dreaming but have horrid nightmares, and suddenly woke up yelling, panicking and frightened. Her ebony black eyes were as large as tennis balls upon seeing her bed’s quilt had burned saffron orange flames and her hands felt the pain of blazing red burns. Soon, Dr. Gaitonde entered and calmed her down. She didn’t know what happened to her, but her father was alert and dashed her to the bathroom to relieve her pain with cool running water.
Neerja looked at her father with tearful and woeful eyes. Her silent expressions spoke of a deep fear that shook this 8-year-old’s mind, body and soul. Neerja feared what happened to her bed in her room and what was happening to her.
Her father calmed her down, but she couldn’t sleep that night. More so, Neerja was terrified about what her mother would say when she returns soon, from her brief office trip. Yet, her father said, “Don’t worry, I will explain to your mother, upon her return, that it was a mere accident with a candle.”
Neerja felt relieved that her father was supporting her.
Neerja’s Strange Behaviour
The next day, Neerja was curious about the burning sensation in her palms, but discarded the thought and was called to come down for breakfast, by her mother, Mrs. Harsha. Neerja greeted her mother and felt relieved that no questions were asked about the disastrous night. Thereafter, she was warmly served breakfast by her loving mother.
Generally, Neerja fills her belly with only two buttered toasts and drinks a glass of cold chocolate milk in the morning, but that day, she just ate and ate and ate……
However, now Neerja shocked her mother that a small 8-year-old girl gobbled nearly twelve buttered toasts with her favourite strawberry jam, along with drinking four glasses of chocolate milk. Neerja’s mother was astonished as well as curious at the same time. She was wondering what had happened overnight that her daughter was chowing down her food, like a baby elephant!
Neerja ignored her mother’s expressions, and soon left home to go to school. She recently began studying at this new school after moving to this new city, since her father was posted here. Still she kept a low-key personality in her class, in fear of some bullies.
On the way to school, Neerja realized her walking speed had increased like lightning speed. As her pace hastened, she encountered some of those bully students who were always known for bullying younger or weaker students. “Boom Bam Boom Bam!” a fight broke out in Neerja’s classroom as two boys were shoving each other into the school cupboards. Neerja wanted to help, but the lead bully looked at Neerja and said, “Hey, what are you gawking at? Aren’t you new here, skinny girl?”
Encounter with Bullies
Now, Neerja could feel her blood boil as she was infuriated but she tried to lash her anger out. She confidently and sternly replied to the bully, “Yes, I am new to this school. Do you have a problem?”
“Yes, I have a problem with you,” replied the bully and continued, “I will pulverize…..,” but just then the class teacher walked in, and all the students occupied their seats. All started studying, but Neerja knew that she had invited a problem. Yet, she knew she had to teach this bully and his gang a lesson! She thought about it for several minutes and came up with a plan at the end of the school day. She would watch the bullies leave first and then observe how they terrorize the other children.
So a few meters from the school gate, where no teachers and no principal could see the bullies, they were standing there and waiting for the weak students of their class. Nervously, the students strolled nervously from the exit gate, headed home, but the bullies blocked their path. The bullies smiled viciously and moved closer to these innocent children. The bullies were saying, “Game over for all of you, over-smart creeps.” They started annoying the students – by making fun of their name, their caste and creed, body structure, and mothers and fathers.
Just then, Neerja walked speedily to the younger students, ready to give a piece of her mind to the bullies. As she saw the bullies in action of their wrongdoing, Neerja confidently folded her arms, narrowed her eyes in anger, and stood behind the young innocent children as if she was a soldier ready to defend them.
The head bully was aiming to punch a skinny, weak boy, but he couldn’t as Neerja stood like an erect tower and stopped the hand of the bully in mid-air. The bully’s hand began to tremble and burn, as Neerja angrily retorted with crimson red eyes, “Punching is bad and I hate bullies! Prevail with Justice!”
Thereafter the bully was in severe pain and confused because he had never felt heat blazing in his hand by the touch of a human being! So, the bully, in excruciating pain, began wondering what was happening to his hand, which became crimson red with pain.
Within split seconds, the three bullies surrounded Neerja and the innocent students. One of them asked Neerja, “Who are you to come between us and these children?”
Neerja simply replied, “I am Neerja, and always stands strong for the Right Justice!”
The other bullies surrounded Neerja and glared at her to scare her, but she was not. Now they started pushing and shoving her backwards. She warned them three times, “Listen, you unethical insects, back off and get your hands off me. If you touch me again, I would surely do something which would not be good for any of you.”
Yet, the bullies did not listen to her and thought her warnings were useless. Thereafter, Neerja held the bullies’ fists and suddenly an urge of excruciating burning sensation began to burn their skin with heat like from an overheated-oven.
Does Justice Prevail?
All the bullies were afraid and fled from the scene immediately. Whereas the innocent children could not understand what Neerja did, but thanked her for saving them.
Neerja smiled, but more so, Neerja was wondering about how she could have burned the bullies. What was wrong with her, or did the same strange occurrence from last night repeat itself? Does she have “Fire Super Power?”
(Continued to chapter 2 – to be published soon!)
Stay connected with us on our Facebook Group : https://www.facebook.com/groups/tswwritersworldwideclub/
Learn more about the RIET Campus, Jaipur : https://www.rietjaipur.ac.in
Learn to write 5 Elements of Stories on : https://www.sunitabansdawala.com/5-elements-of-essays-stories/