Pakistani Readers discussion

Short Story Contest > [2016, Aug] “Visit to Nowhere”  

Comments Showing 1-21 of 21 (21 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Maira (new)

Maira | 5852 comments Mod
After having a huge fight with her uncle, Charlie stood in the dark night trembling on the terrace. It was raining cats and dogs and she was watching over the horizon with her arms crossed around her chest. The view of the city was perfect from her terrace and it was her favorite spot to gain back composure.   
Tears were pouring down from her eyes but she refused to cry and let the tears win. In her head the flashback of the scene made her restive. All the things that her uncle had said about her parents and how they left her as a huge burden on his shoulders; the way her aunt was staring at her and the evil smirk on her face when she was arguing with her uncle.   
"I cannot afford any more of it, it's enough. I have endured enough." She turned around and went to the restroom and locked the door behind her.  She was staring at herself in the mirror and was biting her lips thinking about her miserable life. After spending enough time staring into the mirror finally she washed her face. Then she grabbed an old, rusty blade from the cabinet, went into the bedroom and sat down on the edge of the bed. She rolled her sleeves up and started to trace the previous cuts that she had engraved just two days ago. Watching the cuts and touching them somehow would give her peace. They were the signs of the suffering; she had endured so much in her sixteen years of life in the world. Gently she took the blade and placed it on her forearm slowly pushing it into her skin and blood started to come out. Quietude was all she needed and these cuts, blood and pain were part of the clan she owned and her solace. Slowly her eyes began to shut and she went to sleep with her imaginary friends being all around her not leaving her alone.   
It was midnight when her eyes wide opened. She went on the terrace and it had ceased to rain. She was thinking of her last way out, “suicide”. Killing herself was her favorite fantasy. She had read much about the ways of killing oneself and had chosen jumping in front of the track. One hit and that’d be all. It is what she is going to do. She sneaked out of the house through her terrace going down by the tree. Walking to the backstreet, avoiding any unnecessary attention she went towards the shortcut that lead her to the track.   
Feeling free and flying in the air with the happiness that finally her worries are coming to end, she rolled down her sleeves as night was getting colder at this hour. After reaching there, she sat on the rock near the track to wait for train to arrive. She was seeing her watch when a boy in black trench coat of her age appeared in front of her and asked her, "Are you lost?" She stumbled and raised eyes towards the boy. "No, I am not. Who are you? What do you want?"   
The boy smiled and said, "I am Illumis. What's your name?"  
 "Why would I tell you my name? It’s none of your business. Stay away from me!" And she stood. 
            He moved towards her, "Do not be afraid. I am not going to hurt you." She stepped back, "Why should I trust you? In case if you do not know, I know how to do self-defense go away and leave me alone."
Her throat was all dried up and her sound was shattering. Charlie, I know why you are here.” She opened her mouth to interrupt but surprisingly it took her a moment to actually say something, "Wait! How do you know my name? Are you following me? Did uncle send you?"  
 "No! He did not, relax! I hate him more than you do for troubling you all life. I will tell you everything with time but now just take a deep breath and please come with me, it’s not safe here."   
"I do not know what's going on and how you know all about me but whatever, I am not going with you anywhere. Stay away, else I am going to call the police."   
"Charlie just once, come with me, I want to show you something and then you decide whatever you want to do. You have to trust me. I want to help you. I want you to smile." He went near to her holding her forearm in his hand and rolled up the sleeve.   
"Ouch!" She tried to pull her hand back.  
"You have hurt yourself enough. Now it's time, you cheer." He caressed her hand with his fingers and slowly her cuts were getting healed.   
She was standing there numb contemplating what just happened. She was seeing her arm and moved her fingers on it there were no more scars; all signs of pain were gone. There was no need of having sleeves all the time down or always wearing full sleeves shirts. Her lips just changed into a cute smile and her eyes were shining in the dark. Seeing her like that, Illumis smiled too and he just noticed one side dimple on her cheek. Then suddenly she got scared and moved back and shouted, "W-W-What are you? How can you heal cuts and know all about me?"   
He held his hand in air to let her hold it and said, "Come with me, I will tell you everything. Trust me; I am not going to hurt you, if I wanted, I could have done that long ago."   
She thought for a second what to do? Should she trust some strange boy with some extra-ordinary abilities? "I want to die anyway but before that why not to take some risk." She gave her hand in his hand. He smiled, "Nice decision. Why do you always over think?" She stayed silent and was staring into the sky.  
 "Buckle up", he said and held his hand tight. She looked at him and went from relaxed to alert mode. In a moment their bodies got mixed in the air. Her eyes were closed and had held his hand tightly.  
 "Can you leave my hand now?” he said in a contemptuous way. "And you may open your eyes," he added. She let go of his hand and slowly opened her eyes. Lo and behold it was day and sunny with strange kind of birds flying in the air. She noticed birds were bigger than normal size. Everything was different here. She was amazed; she turned her neck towards Illumis to ask where they were. As soon as she looked at him her mouth fell wide open. What she saw was very different from the Illumis she had come with. He was wearing clothes just like some prince from the stories her dad had gotten for her and would read to her every night. "How did we come here? How did you change your outfit?"  
 "Ha! Look at your own", he laughed. It's our world, you may call it nowhere and it's not like the world you were living in. Here things are different, rules are different and people are different hence everything is different. She was looking around watching houses all made of white stones with huge blocks suspended in the air without any support. Behind them were the giant mountain waterfalls coming down. The sound of the waterfalls could be heard clearly. Mountains were covered with snow and all around. They were full of long trees bearing some glittery things that were shining in sunshine. This land was more like a valley covered by mountains all around it and huge waterfalls falling down. The breeze was blowing. She closed her eyes, raised her arms to the sides and let herself feel the cool breeze. A smile appeared on her lips as she forgot all about her worries and was no more afraid of this guy or the new place she had come by travelling in a strange way.   
Illumis started grinning seeing her happy. He came in front of her and was staring at her and her beautiful smile with that one sided dimple which had appeared with smile. “You look more beautiful when you are happy, you should always keep smiling.” Charlie was too busy admiring the beauty of the world around her that she ignored Illumis’s comment. After a while he said, “Aren't you hungry? I am starving. This travelling in between worlds makes my hungry.”
"What do you mean traveling in between worlds? Where is this place?" She asked Illumis. "And it looks as if I am dreaming".   
Albert chuckled, "No you are not, and this is all real: as real as you and me."  
"I don't get it." Charlie was still confused. Illumis closed his eyes for a moment, and sighed. It wasn’t her fault that all of sudden he wanted her to come with him. But then again it’s not his fault either, he had gotten sick and tired of that ugly world. He couldn't see her cutting herself for no reason. In fact, it should be her uncle cutting and experiencing that unbearable pain.   
"Well, the people of your world call it another dimension." Illumis started explaining. Emily stopped in her tracks. "You mean, that... we... I-I am in a different dimension?" Albert nodded, "Kind of."  
"I am dead, aren't I?" Charlie was horrified. Albert started laughing. Placing his hand on her shoulder, he motioned her to move.   
"So being dead feels like this?" Charlie whispered. "Wait... wait, is this heaven?"   
"Oh! No! You are not dead Charlie, and this is not heaven". Before she could speak another word, Albert interrupted again. "No, I am not an angel."  
But I promise you, I'd try to be one. He said that to himself.   
Suddenly Charlie started feeling light headed, as if the weight on her shoulders was suddenly gone. Maybe I am dreaming, she thought. If that's the case, I'd love to be in this state forever. She smiled dreamily. They walked through the valley. There were huge trees and plants everywhere full of strange kinds of birds. Birds that could speak to each other in some mysterious language she didn’t understand. All the flowers and fruits on the trees were glowing in sunshine reminding her of pixie dust. This world was so perfect everything was awesome but they were not attractive at all just different and perfect in a boring way or maybe that’s how Charlie felt about it.  
After a while Illumis said, “Here it comes.” Charlie got attentive; it was a patch of green grass with white and silver flowers surrounding it, shadowed by a giant tree with white feather like leaves on it giving a soft, warm feeling.
“It’s my favorite place”, said Illumis in a childish way. Charlie could feel his excitement.
“What’s so special about it?” She regretted as soon as she asked the question. Of course it was beautiful but… “You know I can read your thoughts.” Illumis said playfully.
“... and you are telling me this now?” Charlie tried to show some seriousness in her voice. Somehow she wasn’t shocked like she should have after hearing this. It was good to have someone who knew how much pain she had endured. Illumis could only smile in reply.
“My parents used to bring me here when I was small.” Illumis said quietly, his eyes seemed focused on something far away. Charlie stopped herself from asking any question because of the way Illumis told her about his parents. Many moments passed away in silence.
"Hey! What are you thinking?" Illumis interrupted the track of her thoughts. She got together and wiped tears from her eyes and replied, "Nothing!" Then she looked at him, “Oh!” She just acknowledged the fact that Illumis already knows whatever she was thinking. Illumis was smiling but that was a sad smile.
Charlie got up and starting walking again, finally she stopped on the edge of the top of water fall, one more step and she would fall. "I miss my mom and dad!! They were all I had", Illumis was standing silently next to her listening to her pour her heart out. She spoke again, "They were best parents in the world. They were always there for me no matter how busy their schedule was. They put all of their efforts in me. And what am I doing? What am I doing, Illumis!? I ruined it all; I let them down. I could not stand against the world and its cruelty that's how fragile I am."
Illumis held her by her arms and said, "Look you can stay here forever and you do not have to worry about anything. Once you become part of this world it will grant everything you wish for.

message 2: by Maira (new)

Maira | 5852 comments Mod
But still I want you to tell me, why did you think suicide is the only answer- the only escape plan?”
“There is peace where I want to go.” Charlie said slowly bending her face.
“What if there is no peace? How can you be so sure?” Illumis asked.
“Maybe there isn’t, but I am sure it would be a better place than that gross world. You have seen all that, Illumis. You know what they are doing to me. How can you say all this stuff? How can you prevent me from doing what can…" Charlie was speaking nonstop.
"Charlie, listen to me. You are a fighter; a warrior and you have to keep fighting. What if it’s fear that is making this world a better place but in real it's different. See this world." Albert lifted his both hands in front of her and takes a back step, “See this! This is perfect isn’t it? It’s so flawless that your eyes hurts, why do you think, I visit your world?
Charlie wiped the tears from her face; it was like something finally began to make sense. “What do you mean?”
"All I am saying is this Charlie, your fears are creating a beautiful illusion of this world. The world you live in is the only true world and that you have to live."
"Why?" She asked the question that was bothering her from years. "Why, Illumis?"
"You should live because this life is a gift yet a survival mission, which she has to survive if you give up you will lose it and giving up is worse than losing."
"But Illumis..."
"Charlie, we don’t have enough time, listen to me. Your body is a result of millions of years of hard work. You cannot let it down and just walk away. Can you? You have to fight to save your genes from dying."
His last sentence made her smile. He was looking deep into her eyes and she was staring back into his eyes. For a moment she sailed in the depths of his eyes, “Hmm! I can see inside your head, Charlie.” He was grinning. Charlie’s smile deepened. “Yeah, take me back home, Illumis.”
"Wait Charlie, do you really want to do this? Will you be happy being there in that creepy house once again?" She stopped and turned around facing Illumis, "Yes! I am sure. I know it’s hard but this time I am going to uilize the opportunity providence has given me o make my life better and of those around me. I am not going to opt for the coward’s way out. And thanks to you for bringing me here. Without your help, I would have never realized the worth of myself. ." Illumis grinned holding her hand and said, "You are stubborn aren't you? Buckle up!!" Their bodies were mixed up in the air once again but this time Emily and Illumis were complacent.
Slowly, she opened her eyes and found herself in blue hospital gown. There were monitors beeping on her right side. It was all so confusing, where is Illumis?, she thought to herself. She tried to move her neck sideways and found her maternal aunt, Kate dozing off in the chair, holding Charlie's hand. She tried to get up, only to wake her aunt.
"Oh! Oh! Sweetie, thank god you are back. I was so worried about you, wait- wait don’t get up, let me call the nurse." With that she rushed to call the nurse.
Two days later.
"What happened, aunt?", Charlie asked in a weak voice.
"Loss of blood lead you to coma", Aunt replied.
Charlie felt ashamed, embarrassed. "Aunt, I'm so soo--"
"No! Don't be, honey it's me who should feel mortified for not calling you and asking if you were doing well? I called you at home and your grumpy uncle won’t put you on phone. That's when my suspicions arose. And well to tell you the truth, that night I had a terrible dream about you, and I couldn't sleep. So I called the police. And..."
Three days later Charlie was leaving the hospital with her Aunt, still wondering about Illumis. What kind of dream it was? Was I hallucinating? Is- Was Illumis real? Illumis? She repeated his name for hundredth time. Whatever, Illumis is real for me, I don't care if he was merely an illusion. For me he'd always be Illumina. Because it's him who showed me light. Who brought me back to life.
"Umm, Charlie, I hope you..." Her aunt started.
"No! Aunt, I am really sorry for what I did. And I won't do such a horrible thing again, I promise." Charlie was confident.

"How can be you so sure?" Aunt eyed her.
"Because I have to fight to save my genes from dying." Charlie smiled.
Across the corridor, standing in a black trench coat, the boy smiled too. Now it was time to leave... time to visit a new place and save another life.

message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 31, 2016 02:10PM) (new)

This is a beautiful story with a beautiful message :)
Great story! And the ending is wonderful! Life is indeed worth living no matter how bad things are.

My rating: 7.5 out of 10.

message 4: by Thall (new)

Thall (recantrecantrecant) | 555 comments 5.5/10

message 5: by Sadaf (new)

Sadaf | 22 comments I loved reading it. Things fit in very well :)


message 6: by Maira (new)

Maira | 5852 comments Mod
Beautifully written story. 7.5/10

message 7: by Zarshal (new)

Zarshal Saeed (zarshalsaeed) | 732 comments Great message. 7.5/10

message 8: by Arbaaz (new)

Arbaaz Khan (arbaazkhan1999) | 1592 comments 7.5/10. Wonderful!

message 9: by Arbaaz (new)

Arbaaz Khan (arbaazkhan1999) | 1592 comments Maira, you wrote the story, why are you reviewing your own story.

message 10: by Maira (new)

Maira | 5852 comments Mod
this is not my story. :p...i didnt take part in the contest. my funals ended a couple of days ago. no time.

message 11: by Arbaaz (new)

Arbaaz Khan (arbaazkhan1999) | 1592 comments Oh, got it, sorry for that.

message 12: by Maira (new)

Maira | 5852 comments Mod
btw what made you think it was mine?

message 13: by Arbaaz (new)

Arbaaz Khan (arbaazkhan1999) | 1592 comments You posted it didn't you?

message 14: by Abdullah (new)

Abdullah Khalid | 807 comments 7/10. Indeed, a very good story .

message 15: by Sameea (new)

Sameea | 292 comments A lovely message! 6/10

message 16: by Tribal (new)

Tribal Demagogue | 77 comments This story is laden with philosophical references and moral teaching. For once a didactic approach didn't sound condescending. Very well done. I can't offer any advice but keep writing. Good story. Good writing.

message 17: by Nadeem (new)

Nadeem Muhammad | 7 comments complicated 7/10

message 18: by Amna (new)

Amna  (devilishpisho) | 3288 comments 10/10

Loved the message <3

message 19: by Nigham (new)

Nigham | 4018 comments 8/10

message 20: by Faheem (last edited Aug 15, 2016 08:14AM) (new)

Faheem  (faheeem) | 1596 comments Mod

message 21: by Aakash (new)

Aakash (mistyanon) | 5389 comments Mod

A Public Service Message;

I hope many of you guys know about mod selection... I guess voting is gonna start from Sept. 29, 2016. So Guys go to the link below and read about it and vote for candidate of your choice. Make yourself count. :)

Mod Selection 2016

Thank you!!!

back to top