Stories For Thing

Unfinished

girl

Today on the bus called Back Home
I dangled my legs and wrote a pome
About when I’d be a lady and all,
Jiggly chest, lipstick and tall.

I should like to marry a millionaire
And own a bookshop, one here, two there.
Or I’ll marry a bookshop and turn it out
With tea and scones and an orange cat stout

I would butter my cats and pet my scones
And pour tea down red tellyphones.
I’d knead and bake old Rumpelstiltskin
Top him with Playdoh, sprinkle him with mint.

I’d stand on fat books to trap the fairy (tales) in
Order them to stop being so pretty, and pull out a wing.
I’d tell rude old women, who came in for tea
Exactly what I think of them completely for free.

That’ll show them for pinching my cheeks
Or crushing my face to their pudding chest of fleece.
I’d run far away if I was asked to be polite
Disappear to secret places and give my folks a fright.

I’d empty the refrigerator and leave open the door
For my polar bears to climb in, to slumber and snore
My flamingo would be my sceptre, my staff
Or would I need something taller, maybe a giraffe?

I’d make a thing, all shiny and clean
that goes around call it the More and More Machine.
what would it make more of i don’t quite know
more and more rubbish maybe, a lot more than before

i could tell you about my teachers in school
wearing a man’s shoes, missing a toe, keeping the rule
but the Back Home Bus has brought me home
where I’ll be too busy to finish this poem

By Sandhya Menon

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Party in the rain

 

a

Umbrellas, open, strewn all over the living room halted Mama in her tracks.

She was confused. She had cleaned this room, hadn’t she?

Then she heard her ChumChum giggle, like bells in the wind and she wasn’t confused anymore.

She peeked inside the nearest umbrella, “What are you doing, little Miss?’

“This is my fort”, said ChumChum, “it’s where I hide from Rain?”

“You love the rain, why are you hiding from it?”

“Because Rain always pours when I’m not looking”, ChumChum said patiently, “and if Rain pours I can go out to play.”

Mama nodded. “Ok then, have fun.”

“No, you can’t go Mama. Come have soup with me.”

“This is delicious ChumChum”, said Mama taking a sip, ‘what’s in it?”

ChumChum rolled her eyes, “It’s just water, Mama”.

“It’s delicious water.”

Rain didn’t pour that afternoon. Mama and ChumChum didn’t notice. They were too busy shoring up ChumChum’s fort, building boats from super strong paper, drinking soup.

Ninja Duckie

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Thing slays dragons for breakfast

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Thing slays dragons for breakfast,
And dunks aliens in her soup.
She spells “mulligatawny”.
While twisting giraffes to a hoop.

She turns cabinets to rockets
And rockets to snails.
She takes them to the movies
After supping with the whales.

Thing’s waterslide’s a crocodile.
Her aeroplane’s a bee.
Her hair is the Amazon.
Her handkerchief’s a tree.

Thing takes tadpoles to the opera.
And waits till they become frogs,
And frogs become princes,
And princes become hogs.

She trains Cyclops to reggae
And Pluto to hip-hop.
Hercules to jazz
And Caesar to rock.

Thing’s closet’s a sanctuary
Of yellow-orange coats.
Of hot pink cyclones.
And biscuit-flavoured boats.

Her pencil can turn broccoli
Into tufts and tufts of smoke.
Homework into candy floss,
Erasers into soap.

Thing drinks up the Milky Way
In one giant gulp.
The stars and the planets,
The Queen and the Hulk.

Then, in comes Mum
To turn off the lights.
Thing shuts her book
And closes her  eyes.

Off she goes dreaming
Of  strawberry skies,
Of lemon meringues,
And blueberry pies.

Gauri Burma

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Adventures of FAT LOUIE. Episode 4: The Party & the Intruder

Fat Louie

Fat Louie (for those who just joined us, is a brown Bear and) is a class hero of 5th Grade in Jungle Tot’s school. Today he was at his best friend Ninja Duckie’s birthday party. The party was being held in a secluded Party Place away from all the homes of Jungle tots. Fat Louie had never been here. It was breath-taking! The whole place was done up to look like Lisbon; or so he was told, he didn’t know what Lisbon looked like! No wonder it was called “Portuguese Party Place”. Fat Louie had never seen a sea or waves. He had seen a river and even a waterfall, but not waves & a sea shore. They had created all this at the Party Place. Fat Louie wondered what Portuguese food would be like. He hoped they would have some fish here for him to eat!

He need not have worried because he saw some orangutans dragging a net from the shore and gleaming fish were jumping in the net. He felt as if he had been transported to some far off place. He wondered whether it was all for real.

He then saw Ninja Duckie. She looked, he thought a bit uncomfortable in her part dress, and then she came & hugged him. He suddenly remembered the gift he was clutching tightly and handed that to her. She squealed in delight after opening it and seeing her favourite chocolate truffles. Her mother appeared and stopped her from eating it all right there. Fat Louie then found himself in the middle of the party with his friends Sid the bunny & Druider the sloth and a lot of others.

Parrots were doing a great Rap song and there were bodies on the floor gyrating away; Sid was doing his favourite bunny hop and Fat Louie did his own version of Gangnam style stopping now and then to nibble on the appetizers of Bombil stuffed with nuts and taking sips of mountain dew. Druider was the only one not dancing; he was sniffing around for tacos stuffed with termites.

Suddenly they heard a commotion near the front door and a scream!

The parrots stopped singing and there was an uneasy silence. They heard the Orang-utan at the door say “You can’t come in here” and the gruff reply “watch me”!

They saw the long snout of Wily the Wolf dressed in a Hoodie. The Wolf had gate crashed Ninja Duckie’s party. The 5th graders looked around aghast. Their parents had all gone leaving them to have a good time. Wily wolf entered the party room with an evil grating laugh. Ninja Duckie was paralysed with fear. All around the room it was as if they were playing the game ‘statue’. No one moved.

No one except Fat Louie. Fat Louie drew himself up to his full height and gave a big roar. The biggest he had ever done. Fat Louie then charged at Wily Wolf unmindful of the consequences. There was an audible gasp from around the room. To everyone’s surprise and delight Wily turned tail and ran out! Everyone in the room clapped! The orangutans shut and bolted the front door and the party started again.

Fat Louie was the hero again. Fat Louie had saved Ninja Duckie’s party! The jungle tots would have carried their hero on their shoulders except he was too heavy! There were lots of high fives and fist punches. Birds sang & the parrots rapped even more. Even Druider the sloth was enjoying himself.

What a memorable party this was, it would be remembered for many years! When the Moms came to collect the tots they were in for a great story!

Thing’s good friend, Rian

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Billy the Meaniebutt Shark gets a surprise

    meaniebutt

This is the third and final part of the story about the Little Princess vs. Billy the Meaniebutt Shark. Now then, how much of parts 1 and 2 do you remember? To be honest, Frisbee the cat had to remind me of everything that happened before because I didn’t pay proper attention.

If you remember, Lola the Bulldog told Frisbee a story about a little girl who liked to hunt sharks. One day, the little princess heard about a really mean and nasty shark named Billy, and so she set out on the high seas with her loyal crew of Jolly Pirates to find him.

Billy lived in a house inside of a volcano, which sat in the center of a scary, dangerous place called Shark Island. Lucky for Billy, the house was lava-proof, just in case the volcano ever got sick and threw up.

Billy loved the water, but because he was hired to keep Shark Island clean, he had to spend most of his time on land. Some sharks agreed that this was what probably made Billy extra especially grumpy.

One day, Billy was at home watching television and eating a human and cheese sandwich. “Nom Nom Nom,” he said. Humans with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo and mustard, on whole wheat bread, was his favorite.

“So what if I’m getting a pot belly,” he grumbled, thinking about some of the jokes other sharks had made about him when they thought he couldn’t hear them. “Some things just taste better than skinny feels.”

He burped. It was a very loud burp.

Billy was watching a musical. People were dancing and singing, and he liked to think about which of them he would put into his favorite sandwich first.

Suddenly, the security alarm went off. There was an intruder on Shark Island! Billy checked the security camera and saw a little girl with long dark hair and a pretty blue dress crying and stumbling along. She looked lost.

“Well, well,” Billy said. “Looks like I’ll be having an after dinner mint.”

Eagerly, Billy rushed out to meet the snack sized human, giggling to himself because he had decided to play a little game.

The little girl walked through the jungle of Shark Island, sobbing. “Oh woe is me!” she cried. “Mama was so right about me! I am my own kryptonite!” And if you listened closely, you would have heard her add, just under her breath: “I can’t believe I just said Mum was right! I’d better get an award for this performance.”

The little girl tripped over nothing in particular, collapsed into her arms, and shuddered with sobs.

By the time Billy the Shark arrived, he was almost starting to feel sorry for the poor lost girl. Almost.

“There there, little lady, why are you crying so?” he turned on his most concerned uncle voice.

The little girl looked up at him. Her eyes got big and round like saucers. Billy took this to mean that the girl was quite frightened indeed.

“Don’t be afraid. I won’t eat you,” he grinned. All of his teeth were showing, which wasn’t very reassuring.

Nevertheless, the little girl said: “Oh Mr. Shark, Mr. Shark! I’m lost and hungry and sad! Can you help me, please?”

“By all means,” Billy agreed. “I’ll take you to get something nice to eat, ok?”

“Ok,” said the little girl. Um, but I can’t eat food and swim underwater at the same time.”

Actually, a little mermaid had taught the little girl how, but the shark didn’t need to know about that.

“I have a house here on the island, inside of a volcano. Don’t worry, it’s lava-proof.”

So, Billy lead the girl back to his volcano home, asking her all sorts of questions about her parents, where she had come from, and how she had gotten lost.

“My parents and I were on vacation,” the girl lamented. “We were so happy, until the storm came and smashed up our boat.”

“Terrible,” Billy said.

“My dad was only 37—it’s such a shame. At least my mum was 89, and lived a full life, you know?”

“Wow. 37 and 89,” Billy remarked. “That’s not just May-December, that’s Mayan Calender-December.”

“And yet somehow they made it work,” the little girl nodded.

“And what is your name little girl?”

“Um…I have amnesia.” The little girl said.

“Pretty name,” Billy remarked.

Soon, back at Billy’s house, the little lost girl seemed much less worried about her plight. In fact, she walked around the shark’s place with intense curiosity.

“Now, let’s find you something to eat!” Billy said, almost licking his chomps. “Fatten you up a bit,” he muttered. He went to his refrigerator and looked in. “Tell me little girl, what would you like to eat, hm?”

“Can I have a shark burger, please?” the little dark haired girl asked sweetly.

Billy the Meaniebutt Shark turned to her. “That’s not funny, little girl,” he said, narrowing his eyes.

“I wasn’t making a funny,” the little girl assured him, still smiling.

“Who are you?” Billy the Shark asked. There was something odd about this little lost girl, and he was suddenly getting a very bad feeling about all of this.

“Well, it’s not amnesia,” said the little girl. “Not even close. It doesn’t even rhyme with amnesia. Do you want to know what it rhymes with? I’ll tell you: it rhymes with sting. Not sting like a bee sting. Sting like: surprise! It’s a trap!”

Billy finally realized who this strange little girl was who had suddenly turned up frightened and alone on Shark Island, of all islands. He’d never seen her before, but he’d definitely heard of her.

The little girl whose name rhymed with shark hunting.

The little princess named Thing.

“No!” Billy the Meaniebutt Shark screamed. “Somebody! Haalp!”

“Say hello to my Big Bad Mum!” the little princess shouted.

“Oh no!” Billy cried. “Your mom’s here too! That’s not fair! How bad is she?”

“She’s awful!” the little princess admitted, “but I’m talking about my magical sword, see?”

She held it out for him to see. It was bright and shiny, and it looked very sharp.

Billy shuddered. “Please don’t turn me into Meanibutt shark cutlets!”

“Quiet down!” the little princess commanded. “If you surrender peacefully, I won’t have to.”

Billy stifled his sobs and tried to look as helpless and pathetic as possible.

“You should be ashamed of yourself, stinky shark!” the little princess said. “You’re such a bully, and just like all bullies, you’re really just a big ole coward at heart.”

“I’m sorry!” Billy whimpered. “What do you want me to do to make up for all of my bad ways? I’ll do anything.”

“Billy, Billy, Billy! You’ve been a bad boy! I’m going to take you to Shark Zoo.”

“Not Shark Zoo!” Shark Zoo was famous for being a place where sharks had to go in order to learn how to behave, and even do school work.

If they learned good manners, and promised to be good every day, the sharks would finally be set free again. Billy had met a few sharks who had graduated from Shark Zoo, and they were so boring.

“It’s not a zoo!” Billy complained. “It’s a prison! You turn perfectly natural sharks into wimpy little guppies. I betchu if I was a dolphin, you wouldn’t send me to such a nasty place–and dolphins are much worse than sharks!”

“What are you, an activist?” the little princess snapped. “Don’t talk to me about dolphins! I’m a shark hunter, okay? Now, hold still while I tie you up!”

And so, the little princess and her Jolly Pirates took Billy the Meaniebutt Shark to Shark Zoo. At first, Billy was very sad and bored there, but the little princess wrote him letters—and even sent some tasty snacks (not humans)—which brightened Billy’s spirits immensely. Before long, Billy was the best behaved, most studios shark in all of Shark Zoo; even standing up to bullies who liked to cause trouble there.

Billy had become so good and nice that by the time he we was free to live in regular waters again, he had gotten a new nickname: Billy the Goody-Goody Shark Who Always Likes to Brag That He’s Princess Thing’s Pal.

By Saladinho

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Any Thing you want to be

Baa. Badum. BOOSH!

Thing fell on her tush. “Ow!” it hurt, “I don’t like you,” she wagged her finger at the errant stone.

“Sorry, little Miss,” said he.

“But, but… stones cannot speak!”

“Who made the rules?

Must be some fool

Whose bed was full of bugs.

You can’t be here

Causing such fear –

You shall get no free hugs.’”

Thing made a face. “But that’s wrong. If hugs are free, everyone should get them.”

“You have much to learn, little Thing

Of happy silences and liars who sing.”

But Thing had bigger worries to worry. Where was she, where were Mahm and Dada?

“Dream’s Cape” said Stone.

 

Fig 1

 

“No. Dreamscape.”

 

Fig 2

 

“Let’s go,” said Stone, wobbling from side to side.

“There’s much to see

And places to be,

C’mon girlie

Keep up with me.”

Thing skipped along – adventure time! ‘Maybe I’ll get something to eat too. My tum-tum is getting all rumbly,’ she thought.

————————————

They walked and wobbled, walked and wobbled, and in no time, they were in a white-white room with shiny-shiny things.

“Where are we?” asked Thing. All this white…and all little Thing could think about was how much better it would look if it was all coloured in.

“Why, hello!” said a big girl in a big white coat. ‘She reminds me of someone,’ thought Thing, ‘but who? Like Mahm and a little like Dada, but not exactly. Oh oh! What did she say?’ Thing tried to listen carefully.

“This isn’t your first time in a hospital, no?” said the white coated big girl.

“But it is,” said Thing. If it wasn’t, the place would not be so very white.

“Ah. But you were in a place quite like this around the time you were born.”

“How do YOU know? Were you there too?”

“In a way,” she said with a smile. “Do you know what this is?” She handed Thing a big plasticky black thingy with a shiny metallic U thingy.

“Doctor uncle carries this around. Are you a doctor too?”

She smiled again, “Indeed. And this is a stethoscope.”

‘Stethoscope. That’s a nice word. Ste-thus-cope. Stay-thus-cope. Stir-the-scope. Stereo-scope.’

“Do you want to try it?”

Thing was thrilled. She’d been thinking about the very same thing since she first touched it.

So the Doctor girl put the black tips of the U thingy in Thing’s little ears and placed the heavy disc thingy on little Thing’s chest. “Do you hear that?” She sounded so far away. And suddenly, Thing heard the most amazing thing.

“Lub dubb. Lub dubb. Lub dubb.”

She took it off her ears, “It’s like someone’s playing drums inside me!”

“That’s your heart.”

Fig 3

 

“Thank you for your patience,

But we have to get to other places.”

Thing had forgotten Stone was even there.

‘But I want to know what other instruments play inside me,’ thought Thing. But he was already wobbling away. So she waved a quick goodbye to Doctor girl and smiled her biggest smile.

“Goodbye Miss. Goodbye.”

“Bye-bye, little girl,” she said, “bye-bye.”

————————————

The ground was getting rough and walking was now tough. Every now and again, Thing thought she was lost. So many Stones, where was hers? But only one would move, muttering “C’mon, c’mon”. Good thing stones weren’t normally in the habit of talking.

Eventually, the ground smoothed out and sloped, so that Stone was mostly rolling than wobbling. Suddenly, they found themselves in a cave-like room. One wall was all glass, holding an ocean behind.

“Beyond the waves of infinity

Lie generations of my family,

Some sharp, some dull, some much like me.”

Stone was singing his tuneless song. Thing didn’t understand. So she pressed her face against the glass but her nose got in the way.

In the distance, she saw a little fish, grey and chubby and generally harmless. Its big mouth was stretched in an even bigger smile. That was growing by the second. Bigger and BIGGER OH GOD HE’S GOING TO CRASH! But there was only a slight thump as the BIG grey chubby fish hit the glass gently.

From behind its mighty fin emerged a much smaller, much slimmer black creature, with googly eyes and pipes and things. On closer examination, Thing realised, why, this ‘thing’ looked almost human!

“Who or what is that?” she asked Stone.

“A scuba diver is she,

An adventurer under sea,

A friend of the fishes who

Is vegetarian too.”

‘Makes sense,’ thought Thing, ‘I don’t eat my friends either.’

And then she saw the diver girl do the most bizarre thing with her hand. Like an ancient gesture or an other worldly salute.

 

Fig 4

 

Thing tried to do it herself and got it wrong a few times – everybody does. But she got it eventually. The diver girl flashed her a thumbs-up and swam off, much like her fish friends. Thing looked down at Stone. He was already wobbling on his way.

————————————

They walked through a dimly lit tunnel and soon were out in the open again. Thing stretched her arms far and wide; she never liked dark places. As she tried to stretch out and out of her body, she heard something in the distance – was that music? “Uh…” she opened her mouth to ask Stone, but he had no ears. But he could hear her speak. For that matter, she never really saw a mouth on him either. He fixed her with a stony stare with eyes that weren’t quite there. She’d fallen behind again. “Alright, alright. I’m coming. Sheesh.”

Soon they were walking in a pretty little garden, complete with green grass, fragrant flowers and there’s that music again!

Up ahead was a person sitting with her back to them. And Thing was sure it was a girl because her long and curly hair was tied into a braid. The big boys with long hair never did that.

Stone wobbled up to this girl and plopped on the grass before her. So Thing did likewise. She was very polite like that. And she finally saw where the music was coming from.

“Your guitar is so small!” said Thing. The girl stopped playing and smiled. “This, my dear, is a ukulele.”

“A yuka what?”

“You-ka-ley-li,” she said and handed it to her. Thing was overjoyed. Normally, people told her not to touch this and that. But here, everyone was giving things to her without her even asking for it.

She took the mini guitar. It was just the right size for her. She strummed it like she saw the girl do.

 

Fig 5

 

“Whoa!”she wanted to keep this thing with her forever. But it wasn’t hers to keep, so she gave it back sadly. The girl took it back and with a smile that never waned, she played them a song. And the song was so snappy, boy, it was so happy, that Thing got up on her feet and twirled and jumped and swayed in time to the music. “Once more!” she cried, when the song was done. So the girl played again, and kept playing as Thing and Stone skipped along on their way.

————————————

They came to a spot in the garden that had rocks of the size one could rest their bums on rather comfortably. Thing’s tum-tum was rumbling like anything, more so for she could smell the mangoes nearby. But, big as she was, the tree was so much bigger than her. She looked hopefully at Stone, who nodded (probably). He wobbled up the tree, but kept to the lower branches – stones are not used to such heights you see. He disappeared among the leaves and one by one, mangoes ploinked down on the grassy floor. Thing caught as many as her little hands could and settled down to eat. As Stone wobbled down the tree, Thing laid out the mangoes on her lap and worked on them one at a time like a good girl, but seeing how Stone might feel a little left out, she picked him up and offered him some.

“Now that we’ve met them peoplesies,

How many things did you really see?”

Thing wiped her mouth and smoothed her dress and thought back on her trip. “Three,” she said with obvious pride, stumbling with the words, eyes open wide, “thing with UK’s layli, thing with scuba driver and thing with…um, stereoscope!”

“Try again, but this time think

Were they all different or really the same Thing?”

————————————

“Thing! Wake up. Come on now.” That was Mahm’s voice. Thing opened her little eyes. She was in her room, all tucked up in bed. “Good morning, sleepyhead.”

“Good morning Mahm,” said Thing with a huge yawn.

“Off you go to the bathroom, little girl.” Thing skipped away to brush her teeth. Mahm was making the bed when suddenly she found something under the blanket. “Silly Thing. What things she collects.” She put it aside.

Sometimes a stone is a girl’s best friend.

By Ozone Baby

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The Elevator That Went Nowhere

Somewhere in the faraway land of Boombeh, there was a little house. Inside this little house was an elevator. Now you must be wondering, what’s an elevator doing in a little house? But there it was.

People laughed about it, made little jokes about the little house with the elevator. They called it ‘The Elevator That Went Nowhere’.

No one went near the elevator. ‘What’s the use?’, they’d say. ‘Where can this possibly take us? To the terrace of this little house?’, they shrugged the idea away.

But not Thing.

You see, Thing loved elevators.

She couldn’t stop herself from trying this elevator out. The Elevator That Went Nowhere.

So, one fine day, Thing dressed up in her best dress and stepped inside The Elevator. The Elevator was the coziest elevator Thing had ever seen. It had lots of buttons and knobs and lights and fans and wonderful music played inside it. It had a mirror where Thing could see her best dress swoosh around as she twirled and danced around in The Elevator.

‘But where does this Elevator go?’, Thing wondered.

There were SO many buttons with all kinds of numbers (some of them Thing hadn’t even learned yet). Then there were buttons with images and dates and words. There was a button that said ‘I’m feeling lucky’. There was a button that said ‘Spin’. There was a button that said ‘Tweet’.

SO. MANY. BUTTONS.

What a funny elevator, Thing thought.

So she did, what she did on the normal elevators.

She pressed the button with the number ‘3’ on it.

3 – For Thing, Mama and Dada. Simple.

The Elevator made a funny noise and Thing felt as if the Elevator was rushing up a very, very tall building. As if the little house wasn’t so little at all.

After some time, when The Elevator had made enough funny noises, it stopped. The doors of The Elevator opened and Thing stepped out.

In front of her were three musketeers, muskeeting away.

‘TAKE THAT’. ‘AND THAT’. ‘AND THAT’.

Athos, Porthos and Aramis (funny names Thing thought) kept muskeeting till Thing got bored and stepped back into The Elevator.

This time she pressed ‘7’.

The Elevator made all the funny noises again and stopped once more. As Thing stepped out, she could hear faint singing. Straining her little neck a little, Thing saw seven dwarfs walking towards a beautiful little cottage, carrying shiny jewels and singing songs that spoke of a fair princess. Thing went up to them and asked them what the song was about. They told her the song was called ‘The Ballad of the Fairest of them all’, in memory of a dear friend who had gone away to live with a handsome prince. What a foolish girl, Thing thought. Who’d leave these friendly dwarfs and go live with a handsome Prince? But then, she thought, one day, I’ll get married and go live with a handsome Prince as well. Yougottadowhatyougottado.

Or maybe the Prince would come and live with her and the dwarfs? Or the handsome prince and the dwarfs and Mama and Dada and Thing could all live together. In the little House. Definitely in the little house with The Elevator.

Thing said goodbye to the dwarfs(much to their dismay) and returned to the Elevator. This time, she pressed ‘SPIN’, just for some variety you know.

The Elevator began spinning. It spun around like one of those roundabouts at the playground. Everything around Thing was becoming blurry and colorful and there was music to accompany the spinning. The Elevator kept spinning till Thing was so sleepy that she just couldn’t keep her eyes open. And then she slept.

And as she slept she dreamed a beautiful dream – of numbers and words and dwarfs and songs and lovely little houses. When she woke up, all the buttons in The Elevator had disappeared. Only one button remained. The one that said ‘I’m feeling lucky’.

So Thing pressed it.

And the doors of The Elevator opened.

Outside The Elevator was Thing’s home. And in Thing’s home were her Mama and Dada.

As she stepped outside, The Elevator made a funny noise again.

And then it spoke: ‘Even when the world tells you that you won’t go nowhere, Thing, cling to your dreams. Trust them like you trusted The Elevator That Went Nowhere and the world will be more magical than you could ever imagine.’

With those words of wisdom, The Elevator made another funny noise and disappeared.

It probably went back to its little house, Thing thought.

And so she ran into her house and into her Mama’s lap and exclaimed, ‘I’M FEELING LUCKY TODAY MAMA!’.

‘So am I’, Mama said and hugged the luckiest girl in the world.

By Tantanoo

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From Mickey

Original Art by Cool Fire

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Coming home

20120814-165553.jpg

Kia stood by the doorway, eyes laden with impatience. “It should have been here by now,” she frowned. She swung on the door, played hopscotch on the tiles and darted to and fro, all while stealing glances at the road outside. After a frustrating ten-minute wait, she heard the peal of a bell. It was music to her ears. She rushed outside, forgetting to tell her mother goodbye. But her heart didn’t rest until she sighted the locomotive. And then the most gigantic smile swept across her face.

She walked around the engine, with butterflies in her tummy. It took her a few minutes to get acquainted with it. It was adorned with colorful ribbons, balloons and festoons as if it were decorated for a birthday celebration. There red, green, maroon, purple and violet. All her favorite colors.

She got into the engine with a bounce in her step. Gone were the timidity and the butterflies. All that remained was the ginormous smile. First, Kia plonked herself on the driver’s seat but decided the view wasn’t good enough. She made her pick of the passenger seats. Switched a few, until she got comfortable in one, right behind the driver’s seat, where she discovered was more breezy.

She clanged the bell, signaling the engine to move. And it did. Through grassy meadows with a cold stream and on slopes steep. Until Kia decided that she wanted to get off and explore a little. She clanged the bell again and the train stopped. Kia got off the train, her little feet going “plat” “plat” on the steps.

She chanced upon a cozy, colorful house. Very similar to the one she lived in, with her mamma and pappa. Only smaller in size. Smaller than even her. It was begging her to come play with it. She hopped and skipped and jumped toward it. Walked around it a few times, as if to explore each corner. And then lifted its roof. She couldn’t believe her eyes. The house was same-to-same as her house. Her bed, her bean bag, even her Winnie the Pooh. She opened the tiny windows for some fresh air as her mamma would always do, every morning. And then Kia suddenly remembered, she didn’t tell her mamma that she coming here. Her mamma would be very worried for her, no? She always insisted on holding Kia’s hand everywhere. Else if mamma got lost, she would get start crying, no? Now where will mamma look for her?

Kia hurriedly returned to the engine and this time she sat on the driver’s seat, hoping that the train would move faster. She even closed her eyes shut, not wanting to see the countryside either. She continued fidgeting until she heard her mamma call out to her for milk and biscuits. She turned around, opened one eye and immediately smiled when she saw her favorite blankie. She now knew that she had reached home. Her real home.

Inspired by an episode of Malgudi Days, I saw a long time ago.

By Flirting Shadows

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Ivan and the Snowgirl

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Clara stood there and looked at the dome. It looked like an onion! She hated onions. They made people cry. She liked tomatoes and she wanted buildings to look like tomatoes. She was counting the number of domes on the street. She tried using her hands to count them but they were busy holding candies. She loved walking back home from school. The city was beautiful.

She gave up counting the golden domes and started walking again. As she was walking back, she saw the Old Man who was always on the porch. There was a figure made out of snow in his front yard. It looked like a small girl. He was always looking at it. On some days, he would talk to it. She wondered who that snow girl was. Was it his grand daughter whom he dearly missed? She wanted to find out. She reached home and told her mother about the Old Man and the snow girl. She wanted to know his story. She wanted to know why he was always sad. She asked her mother to tell her more about him. Her mother promised her to tell the story at bedtime.

Before she knew it, it was time to sleep already. She was in her bed with her mother, eagerly waiting to listen to the story. Her mother started telling her the story of the Old Man. The Old Man’s name was Ivan. When Ivan was young, he had a family. Ivan was a happy man who used to work for the king. He was a painter and a good one. He made lot of money and he kept his family happy. One day, the old man painted a snow girl on a front yard. He left the painting to dry in his studio and returned to it the next day. He was surprised to see that the painting was still wet. He also noticed that the snow girl in the painting moved a bit. He was surprised. He was confused and he thought that there was a ghost in his studio. He tried to destroy the painting when the snow girl started talking.

She told him that her name was Zhuchka. She asked him not to destroy the painting. The painting was the only way she could see the world, she said. Ivan got scared and stood away from the painting. After a while, he realized that she was only a snow girl and she couldn’t harm him. He started talking to her. Zhuchka lost her parents and she had no one to talk to because she was all alone. He started talking to her. He told her stories. He gave her company when she wanted to play. Days passed and now the painting was hanging on a wall in his home.

Winters were gone and the summers were here. One morning he noticed that the snow girl was gone. The sun was shining over the painting and she had melted into a puddle. She was gone. Ivan liked her and he missed her dearly. Years passed and the painting still hung on his wall. Ivan lost his family and now he had no one to talk to, like the snow girl. He grew old and he hoped the snow girl would come back. When winters were around, he created a snow girl on his front yard, hoping she would come back. Hoping someone would come pay him a visit. Hoping someone would talk to him.

When her mother finished the story, Clara felt bad for Ivan. The next day when she was walking back home from school, she stopped at Ivan’s place and said, “Hi”.

Ivan smiled.

By Zecache

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