Ashna Chand is a passionate Indian writer artist. She loves to explore art, nature, creativity, and all the positive aspects of life. She believes her writing possess strength of vision and cheer. You can explore more of her writing and ideas at SchoolOfShine and blogspot. You can reach Ashna on LinkedIn.
This story is by Ashna Chand and won the Readers’ Choice Award in our 2018 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
It was a dark midnight. The howling dogs broke his sleep. As he opened his eyes, a floral green face with blood red eyes and dark brown hairs verged upon him.
“Oh! Go away, please,” yelled trembling Amar.
“There is nobody here, honey. Why are you scared?’’ his mother inquired in worry.
“A wild monster, Mom. He was about to smash me.”
“Did you see that weird monster again? I have told you endless times, stop watching those horror movies with your wimp friends.”
“Oh! Come on, Mom. Switch on the night lamp and let me go to sleep.”
“My sweet little honey, you had just turned fifteen with a phobia of darkness,” his mother criticized.
After a few minutes, Mother hugged him intentionally. She wanted to bully him.
“Mom . . . Mom!” Amar yelled again.
“It’s me, honey,” Mother replied.
He hugged her and went to sleep.
Mom was sipping tea and reading a newspaper the next morning. One of the taglines in bold held her attention. “MONSTERS ARE IMAGINARY CREATIVE CREATURES FORMED BY OUR OWN FEARS AND AGITATIONS” BY ASHNA CHAND.
“Good read! This is for you, Amar.”
“Thanks, Mom. I will read it on the way. Our school tour starts today and we will return after three days.”
“I would have joined you too if I could. Keep me updated and call me whenever you feel like. I wonder if your terrified friends could make your trip fun and adventurous.”
“Mom, please don’t nag on John and Riaz, as they are my best buddies.”
“What else should I say? How are they going to enjoy swimming or paragliding with you?” suspected Mother.
“I’ve met them twice and both times they were horrified. In one of the incidents, John was screaming insanely in the swimming pool all of a sudden. I was startled to see him. He was dancing over the water as if he didn’t know swimming.
“On the other hand, Riaz is overly sensitive with heights. Would you imagine? I have seen him horrified in a glass lift of Central Mall. He literary got stuck to the lift door in terror, waiting for the door to open soon. Finally, when the door opened, he rushed out yelling, ‘Oh! Everyone, please run, the scary beast is behind us.’”
“You three friends are offbeat and tend to see monsters everywhere. However, enjoy your trip to the fullest and try to make it adventurous.”
Mom’s words pinched Amar’s heart. He decided to get to the roots of that scary monster which exists only in the darkness. He desired to overcome his fear and lead a rewarding life.
On the way to the station, he read the article suggested by his mom. He reflected on the whole idea that the writer conveyed. The best lines in the article, he felt, were, “The key to dump the negative thoughts and fears is: Fill your mind with positive thoughts and consider the monster as your best buddy.”
Amar usually disliked reading; though for the time being, he found the article most needed.
I and my friends will face the monster boldly, imagined Amar. He reached his destination on time. All three boarded the train together. John and Riaz were fighting to have a window seat in the train. Amar became a mediator between them and set their turn for the same.
“Come on guys! Grow up now and stop fighting like kids. Let’s plan our adventures as they are going to be prominent throughout this whole trip,” asserted Amar.
“No! No! I won’t swim. I still dream about my last scary experience in the blue water,” replied John instantly.
“But you loved swimming,” interrupted Riaz.
“Yes, I used to love it. But nowadays, every time I start swimming that yellow beast frightens me horribly. He is huge, has big round eyes focusing on me. His octopus-like structure approaches me as soon as I start feeling light underwater. And my fun turns into terror. Would anyone believe I was a champion in swimming,” said John. He then turned around to hide his tears.
“Well! John, your sea monster is far better than mine,” teased Riaz.
“What! Is it? I assumed you simply had anxiety on heights. Do you too have to face the monster every time on the altitudes?” John inquired.
“Yes, it comes to me every time I go higher. It is an aerial supernatural structure. As soon as I see this dark blue beast like structure, my body trembles. Hence, I am not in for Paragliding.”
“Thank God! Both the adventurous are in the daytime,” grinned Amar.
“True, else this adventurous trip would have turned into a romantic couple’s honeymoon,” Riaz punned.
“For being in couples, we could have brought our girlfriends,” winked John.
Three of them split each other’s sides with laughter.
“Don’t worry, friends; I have got the key to face the monster. We three will fight against our fears and make this trip the most memorable.” Amar spoke with confidence.
Riaz and John were confused; they assumed Amar’s night monster had made him insane.
“Guys, I am not kidding. This is going to be fun. Believe me, I tried it last night and it worked. I had a deep calm sleep last night in complete darkness.”
“Alright, tell us what to do,” insisted John.
“Before you begin paragliding, just fill your mind with positive thoughts. Repeatedly murmur, I can do this. I can surely do this. Imagine the monster as your enemy who has challenged you to fly high. Then simply surrender yourself with your whole and soul courage. Hence, you yourself will feel the magic of flying high and will be thankful to me,” suggested Amar.
He further said, “We are what we think; our own thoughts make our own identity. The monsters which we are scared of are our own minds’ creation. If you understand this fact, you can make yourself free from the terror of a monster.”
Riaz and John were inspired by him. They agreed to take his challenge, fight, and ruin the monster by themselves.
Riaz decided to go into the pool in the evening. He wanted to be more confident during the swimming competition the next day. As he saw the blue water, he got butterflies in his stomach initially. He prepared his mind by recalling the words of his friend. He told himself repeatedly, I can swim very well. Also, there is no one in the water.
Splash! The champ jumped in the water. He was swimming easily wearing a smile. He was surprised to learn that there was no sea monster to stop him underwater.
“Hurrah!!” he yelled the next day as he won the prize in the race.
“Now, it is your turn to fly free in the sky, John,” prompted Riaz. “Also, your aerial monster seems to me a dear friend of yours who challenges you for extremely fun sport.”
The three chums were ready to float above the earth. Here they had to play a part, as for this sport each individual had to launch their flight with a licensed pilot.
“Wow! Look at those paragliders launching off from the top. This is so exciting and fabulous,” said John in a nervous tone.
“You take your flight first, John. That will give you strength,” insisted Amar.
As John got ready to fly, he buckled his seat belt. He heard his friends calling, “Enjoy, buddy; we are coming behind.”
Woohoo! The flying John was amazed to see the beautiful skies, calm sea and the tiny world beneath his eyes. In between this incredible experience, there was no space for fear or any monster. There was only purity and serenity that mattered up there.
Each one of them had wonderful smiles on their face after the flight. They felt overly thankful to the tandem pilot for showing this aspect of the world to them.
“Hahaha! In this pic, you seem to be frozen due to fear, Riaz,” commented John, as they were enjoying clicked memories on their way back home.
“Our trip was extremely adventuresome and enjoyable. We have mastered the greatest trait of wisdom — being fearless. Also, my mom is going to be very happy when she hears our miraculous experience,” said Amar, reflecting on the trip.
Suddenly the light switched off; there was complete darkness and the train was moving in speed.
“John . . . Riaz . . . where did you go?” called Amar.
He saw two monsters with a floral green face, blood red eyes and dark brown hairs moving towards him. For a moment, he thought a monster of darkness had returned. But soon he recalled the key to overcome fear that he had read in that article.
He repeatedly reminded himself, Monsters doesn’t exist. And he bravely smashed the two monsters.
Ah! Oops! The two screamed, “Dude, we never knew you hit so badly.”
Amar warmly replied, “You both never gave me the reason to hit you, my dearest friends.”
All three busted into laughter and hugged each other.