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by ayushinav

“Nothing can stop me now from going to the Bergs Hill!”

The young Joy ran out of the shop, carrying a soft drink in his hand. He had been waiting deliberately for this day since his family shifted into this city. He had asked his parents almost every day to take him to the hill, or atleast allow him to go but the persuasion was never successful for they knew the perils that lay near the hills. After almost an year, he would now fulfil his wish. He beamed as he remembered how brilliantly he’d fooled his parents into going to Lee’s place.

With a bright smile on his face, the thirteen-year innocence danced towards the hill. The sun was playing hide and seek in the morning sky and the birds were riding the soft wind as if trying to impress each other with their flying skills. It seemed that the weather too was celebrating the birthday of this young joy.

By the time he reached the foothill, he was panting but the sight of destination just right in front of him didn’t allow him to rest and he raced up the hill. The hilltop was more beautiful than he had anticipated.

He laid down on one of the grass patches, a smile of satisfaction spread across his face. Still holding the drink in his hand, he curiously observed the clouds and the wonderful shapes they made in the sky. His nostrils drew in and out a large amount of air as he laid there, silent, allowing the breeze to relax his muscles and cool him by drying the sweat. His body was motionless after the tiring expedition but his mind wandered, wondering at the unique creation of the clouds and the world.

A bird landed near him as his reverie broke and he dropped his bottle as he got up and walked slowly to a side. His eyes were enchanted by the view of what he saw, blocks of houses and bushes to tall buildings, everything seemed small to him, but the sky, now covered by grey clouds, still seemed large.

He looked up at the sky.

“One day, you’ll be in my reach!”the eyes said it all.

He drew in a deep breath and spread his arms to embrace the coolness in the slowly speeding wind, his eyes closed as he smiled at the beauty of the nature.

When he felt thirsty, he went back to the grass patch to grab his bottle. As he bent down, his eyes caught the sight of a small black millipede, running in between the grass. He got on his knees and slowly observed its motion and as the small insect continued its journey, he followed it, his eyes fixed on it. Wherever it went, he followed. Suddenly, he was rolling down the hill. He shrieked, screamed and shouted in pain.

His right cheek bled while there was a deep cut on his left forearm and one on his right thigh and also had rashes on his palms. There were small injuries and scratches all over his body. He laid on the rough ground as he glanced at the hilltop, only to realize that he had reached the steeper end, while blindly following the millipede.

He tightened his fist and clenched his teeth in frustration. He tried to get up and in the process, saw the torn and broken body of the millipede; but his attention shifted to his aching body. Climbing up the steep slope was itself not easy and considering the dire situation he was in, it was almost impossible making him slowly move into the large forest that lay in front of him.

He was not able to walk properly but still kept on dragging himself with the help of the trees that populated the entire area.

He was scared and was hoping only to get home safely as he found himself lost in another world. He cursed himself for not obeying his uncle and the millipede for landing him into this situation.

It was not much time before he heard the first voice in the jungle, of a lion.

His heart fluttered. His eyes widened as they tried to scan everything in sight. He knew that his already paining body won’t allow him to run and so if he was spotted by any animal, it would be the end for him.

He tried to move as fast as possible, but the cut in thigh dragged down his pace. His eyes welled as he lost the hope of living. His throat tightened as he tried to suppress a sob. Not knowing what to do and where to go, he sat against a large tree and looked around in search of any help although he knew it won’t be there. He took his head in his hands and cried, the tears and the sweat caused burning on his palms and only added to his agony. He was now convinced that he could not help himself.

“If only I had not followed that small insect, if only I had not climbed up the hill, if only it were not my birthday today”, in a moment the silence of the forest was filled with the pattering sound of rains, “if only it had rained before”, and the tear drops, showing exact resemblance with the weather, fell down his eyes.

It was only after sometime, when he got tired of crying that it dawned upon him that it was no use sitting there and got up. Joy was drenched to skin and the rainwater, mixed with forest atmosphere was now creating a harsh effect on his wounds, making it difficult for him to sustain each moment.

After walking a few steps, he stumbled against the protruding roots of some old tree and a loud shriek escaped his mouth. He tried to get up, but in vain. He felt like crying again. He tried once more, but as he was about to make it, he slipped in the mud. Tears were again back in eyes but he didn’t cry and made one last attempt with all his might as he got up. Standing never felt so pleasing and amidst the tears, a smile found its place.

He looked up at the sky. “ I won’t quit, do everything in your might!” the eyes said it all.

The rains stopped and a ray of hope could be seen.

He was now all set to continue his alien journey.

As he looked around to decide the path he would be taking, a sight drew all his attention. This time fear, and not tear, found place in his eyes. His hands trembled as he tried to cover his mouth to prevent any sound. He slowly moved backwards as he tried to avoid any attention of the ferocious lion that stood proudly in his sight. The body drenched in rain, looked magnificent. It was sure that the lion had already taken his smell but had still not found him. He moved back a step as he tried to crouch. But then, he slipped. He managed to save himself from falling again as his hands got hold of a lower branch but the swift movement caused a hustle in the leaves, which was enough to draw the attention of the predator.

His eyes met the lion’s as it began its move. Joy moved back a step but then the very same tree against which he cried a few moments ago held him from moving back and he could only stare the death moving towards him. He could hear his heartbeat, his breathing getting shorter with each passing moment. Beads of sweat drenched him to soul. He knew he could not do anything. Running was never an option and he did not have even a name-sake weapon. The hunter increased its pace and ran towards him. When he found the lion pouncing upon him, he closed his eyes.


After a moment, when he thought he were dead, he opened his eyes. He could see the deadly face right in front. His eyes met the animal’s. The same hopelessness that rested in his eyes some moments ago were now in those of his predator. He could get its smell as it closed its eyes and fell down in front of him. He was confused at what he saw.

“You have been saved, kid.”

Somebody shouted out loud. It was shot in its head.

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12 Reviews

Points: 219
Reviews: 12

Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:18 am
ayushinav says...

@Elinor and @Boluk
I have edited this story a bit.
I know I'm not that good, as of now. I also wanted to show something to the two of you and anyone else who reads this work.
I used some symbols in the story which, I suppose, were overlooked.
Joy symbolizes humans, all of us in general.
We all try to achieve our dreams ( climbing the hill) and we are so egocentric that we feel that everything that's happening around ( nature seemed to celebrate his birthday and then the rains when he cried).
We try our best and if we are really passionate about our dreams, we feel like a little more and then I'm there ( the sight of destination right in front of him...).
Then he curiously observed the clouds and was enchanted at their uniqueness ( humans are curious about everything they see in nature ).
When he was on one of the edges, he saw everything small ( insignificance of human achievements ) but the sky and he thought of making to the skies( constant nagging to bring nature under control ).
Then he fell of the hill while following the millipede and after that blames everything for his accident. ( while following the line to our passion when we don't succeed, we blame luck, family and what not instead of accepting it )
The millipede wasn't alive but still he was not thankful that he was not dead.(selfish and egocentric self of humans)
Then he faces forest ( challenges that we come across when we fail ) and becomes hopeless
The lion in the end shows the supremacy of nature over humans.
The death of lion means that the humans, while tying to overpower nature, are destroying it.
In the end, I would request you to suggest me how I can improve my writing that it really shows the beauty that I wanted it to show.

ayushinav says...

@Elinor and @Boluk, guys will u reply?

Boluk says...

Yes, yes we will just not now.

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37 Reviews

Points: 1767
Reviews: 37

Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:35 am
Boluk wrote a review...

Well this is...interesting. This isn't particularly bad mind you it's just weird. Let me explain, this story starts off with a young kid named joy talking about going to some hill. Then Joy rushes out of the shop...the shop that we weren't informed he was in. Okay maybe I'm missing something and this is supposed to be the second part in this story but I believe each chapter should be judged solely on itself. Not on what happened before or after it took place. Also we only hear Joy's name like three times throughout this entire chapter. The rest of it is just he,he,he, annnnnnd he, not to sound mean but you should really just put Joy's name in there a bit more, otherwise it sounds amateurish. This is just a small nitpick but nonetheless it still counts: there is one part where you say that Joy was scared. I must confess that I have fallen into this trap in the past but still. One of the best things to do in storytelling is show don't tell. You should show to us the reader how Joy was acting at the current situation and then you can leave it up to us if he was scared or not. In conclusion, the idea in itself isn't bad but the execution....welll it's an execution. Because it murders this chapter. Maybe it's best that you take this one back to the drawing board. I sincerely am sorry If I happened to make you feel bad at any moment throughout this review and I just want to say that I don't hate this chapter. I just want it to be tweaked a bit more.with that in mind I'll be leaving. My name is Boluk and have a nice day.

ayushinav says...

Thanks for your review. I'll consider your points in my next work.

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1161 Reviews

Points: 6698
Reviews: 1161

Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:33 am
Elinor wrote a review...

Hey ayushinav!

Happy review day! I'm Elinor, and I'm here to review your story. I think this definitely promising. Tonally, it reminded me of Alice in Wonderland in that this starts a child's seemingly normal afternoon and then turns into a surreal adventure. The beginning is especially effective at setting the scene for the type of story you want to tell. I was also curious as to the significance of your title.

When finishing, there were still a lot of questions I had. How old is Joy? Where are his parents? Where is he that that he could walk not too far away from what I was picturing as a typical suburban town and encounter a lion?

When you look at the action of your piece, the shift from real to surreal is also rather sudden. There's a clear shift in Alice in Wonderland too, but it's marked by her falling into the rabbit hole, so we know we've exited the world we know and entered another one.

There's not a scene of Joy going off without his parents or anything like that, so as far as we know, he's just out wandering on his own and not necessarily doing anything wrong, as it seemed like the hill was a place that a lot of people knew about and visited often. The rain is a good shift, but usually, right before it's about to pour you'll be able to see dark clouds setting in. Sometimes, it happens really fast, but it wouldn't come completely out of nowhere.

Finally, the lion. Nothing really happens. Joy just stands there and he is saved by the hunters. Why is then then a part of your story?

I would recommend at thinking about the story you want to tell, and the narrative function of each moment in your story. I think that will help you a great deal.

Best of luck -- please, feel to reach out with questions!

ayushinav says...

Thanks Elinor for your review. It shows where I lagged. Also, it would be helpful if you could suggest me any work of any author that can improve me at showing and not just telling.

“Can a magician kill a man by magic?” Lord Wellington asked Strange. Strange frowned. He seemed to dislike the question. “I suppose a magician might,” he admitted, “but a gentleman never could.”
— Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell