Posts made in December, 2014

Gross – A Short Story by Aashutosh || Yay! It’s Fiction Friday

Huff… puff… huff…. The gazelle ran away. Gross lay on the ground, tired after running the whole day after a gazelle. It was getting dark. He strode towards the den. Heavy strides. Head drooping. Eyes watery. Mother was waiting for him with a freshly killed gazelle. His two brothers too had managed a mole. They welcomed him with an anxious complaint, “You are too late, Gross.” Gross was silent, still looking down. “Don’t be sad Gross. I know it’s not easy. Keep trying. You’ll be able to do it. You still have time,” Mother purred, softly scratching his back. “Oh! let’s have dinner,” Alfred pulled at Mother’s tail. “I’m starving”. “Yes, dinner please!” said Fred. Gross did not feel like eating anything. But he sat with them and tasted the catches. The family decided to sleep outside, under the solitary tree in front of their den. Fred and Alfred had made Mother’s abdomen their cushion. Gross also cuddled near Mother’s head. But sleep was nowhere in his eyes. The twinkling stars in the clear sky were beckoning him. A star cheetah. That is what he wanted to be. But he hadn’t caught a single gazelle so far. “Why can’t I hunt at night?” he wondered. “Because you are a cheetah!” Gross was taken aback. He hadn’t realized he had been thinking aloud. And Mother was very much awake, with him, to tell him that it is okay to fail, but one should be brave to try again. “We are cheetahs, Gross. God made us this way. We need to learn to live within our constraints and work hard to fine tune our skills. That will make you a real cheetah. A star cheetah.” Gross felt Mother lick the back of his head. He closed his eyes. He would wait for the next day. — Gross and his brothers had recently celebrated their first birthday, when Mother gave them the ultimatum. They had only about six months after which they he would be shown the door. Gross was not scared, rather very excited. He would be catching gazelles on his own! He would be an adult cheetah. But so far, he had caught none. Only some small rabbits. The excitement was slowly giving way to fear and shame. But there was a silver lining. Every time a gazelle escaped, he became more determined to catch one the next time. Mother had told them many stories of hunting a gazelle. “It is not a child’s play. Only the best of the cheetahs can do it.” Gross had always watched his Mother closely. How she stealthily approached the unsuspecting herd, all the time taking care that no lion or lioness is simultaneously targeting the same herd. He remembered everything by heart – how to choose a target, how to tip toe, how to attack, how and when to speed up. But every time something wrong happened and Gross was left empty handed. Gross had started wondering whether he would ever be able to do it.! — The sun was quite high, far above the horizon. The family was ready to hunt. But Mother noticed, Gross looked weak. She touched his forehead. It was on the warmer side. “Gross, if you let your disappointment make you sick, do you think you will be able to ever catch a gazelle?” Gross was embarrassed. Yes, he was not feeling well. Mother licked his face clean and asked him to rest in the den. “Fred, Alfred, take care of Gross. He has not been eating properly. I’ll get him something to eat for now.” Gross was...

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