Clues to Happiness -1

the first part of a serial story by Prakhya Bhageria

original sculpture in the illustration by Vaibhav Agarwal

Eleven year-old Fred and his 15 year-old sister Lucy thought they were the only children on the planet who had no parents. Their parents died when Fred was a year old. They now lived in Oakland, California, and their mother’s best friend, Mrs. Beatrice Flynn now took care of them. She was a strict lady, but very nice too. She rented a small apartment in which the children lived with a young and kind nanny named Julie. Beatrice lived nearby with her family and visited them every day before leaving for work. She bought clothes and other things for them once a month, and gave them gifts on special occasions.

Today the children were very happy as it was New Year. Lucy was looking forward excitedly to their New Year presents from Beatrice, but Fred didn’t care. They were sitting on the living room couch.

“I am so excited,” said Lucy. “I wonder what presents she has for us this year!

“Ah! I don’t care. It will be another set of boring books,” said Fred.

“Don’t be silly!” said Lucy. “The books she gave us for Christmas are one of the best gifts we have ever got!”

“Oh! Forget ..” began Fred, but was cut off by the door bell.

“Coming,” Julie said from the kitchen. She ran to the door and opened it. Beatrice entered and Lucy jumped off the sofa in excitement.

“Surprise!” shouted Beatrice happily as she entered. She walked over to Lucy and Fred and gave them a big kiss each.

Everyone wished each other a Happy New Year and cut the vanilla cake Beatrice had brought. After the cake and the delicious lunch Julie had made, Beatrice got up from the dining table and said, “Now it’s time for the gifts!”

They all went into the living room. There Beatrice opened a bag she had brought with her and took out a beautiful key chain for Julie. “Oh! Thank you, Mrs. Flynn. This is lovely,” said Julie.

Then Beatrice took out a very beautiful wooden statue from the bag and handed it to the children. The statue was around 15 inches long, and was of the masked face of a man. The mouth of the statue’s mask was very large. The statue was made of some light brown wood and painted golden: all except its eyes, which were made of red marble beads.

“This is for you kids,” said Beatrice smiling. “Wow, this is beautiful,” said Lucy snatching the statue from Fred. Fred, too, was fascinated by the statue. “It really  is the best gift we’ve ever got!” Fred exclaimed. Julie took the statue from Lucy and displayed it on a shelf behind the living room couch. It looked wonderful there.

The day after the New Year, Fred came home from school to find the apartment empty. Lucy had not gone to school, but neither she nor Julie were anywhere to be seen. The winter days were short and it was already getting dark outside. Fred got scared. He finally went to the kitchen and found two notes stuck on the fridge.

The first was from Lucy saying-

“Hey Fred, I am going out with my friends. I’ll come back soon—Lucy”

The second from Julie saying:

“Hey Kids, I am going for some shopping. The lunch is in the fridge. Just heat it in the microwave—Julie”

Fred was relived. But just as he opened the refrigerator, the lights went off. “Oh no! Why did this have to happen!” Fred murmured. He went to the living room for the torch. Opening drawers in the darkness, he wasn’t able to find it. Just then, he saw a red light flashing towards him. He turned back to see two red eyes watching him.

To be continued …

Prakhya Bhageria is 11 years old and a student of class VII in New Delhi, India. She loves reading and writing stories, crafts and arts, and surfing the net.

Vaibhav Agarwal is 13 years old and a student of class VIII in New Delhi, India. His hobbies include sports and crafts.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Meghna Goel
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 17:42:45

    Prakhya, your story is really very good.


  2. parulg0
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 17:44:17

    I have three comments on your story on my FB wall. They all say that they are waiting for the next chapter 🙂


  3. Shuchi
    Oct 18, 2011 @ 15:00:24

    Very gripping …ready to jump to the next chapter


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