Short Fiction

Ryan – A Short Story by Shreya Pothula || Yay! It’s Fiction Friday

Well, it’s not only Fiction Friday, it is also Children’s Day. Literature Studio wishes all it’s readers, followers, contributors, and of course students a very Happy Children’s Day. And on this day, we present to you a short story titled “Ryan” written by our student Shreya Pothula. So here goes: ************** Ryan Ryan deboarded the bus and looked around. The same old school, the blinds falling off like always, the field free of bloodsucking leeches for once. He smiled. Ryan was happy to be back after two months. He turned around and found himself looking straight into John’s face, and that was enough to wipe the smile off his face. John, on the other hand, was grinning in a rather horrifying manner. “Oh, so you’re back? I thought two years of torture were enough. Well, I don’t mind dealing with nerds for three years in a row.” “Please,” said Ryan timidly as John cornered him against the boundary wall. John clenched his fist, but before he could punch Ryan, Mr. Rajesh intervened. He was their Science teacher. “Good morning children!” said Mr. Rajesh. “Good morning Sir!”exclaimed both the boys. Mr. Rajesh handed out some pamphlets to them. “I would love it if you students could take part in this year’s Inter-school Science contest and win the trophy! Ryan, think about it,” Mr. Rajesh gave Ryan a meaningful look and walked away.   A few minutes later, Ryan was sitting in the Art class. The Art teacher was yet to arrive and as usual everyone was shouting on the top of their voices. But Ryan sat in his chair and stared at the paper that contained the details of the contest. He looked around, and was glad to find that John wasn’t in his division this year. He heaved a sigh of relief and, grabbing a pencil, started drawing a picture of a boy holding a big trophy, with the words “SCIENCE CHAMPION” carved on it in bold letters.   During the snacks break Ryan left his snack box unopened and ran off to find Mr. Rajesh. Ryan found him in the cafeteria with his colleagues. All of them were laughing. Perhaps a teacher had cracked a joke. Ryan went up to them and cleared his throat. Mr. Rajesh didn’t hear him. “Excuse me, Sir,” Ryan said. This time he managed to catch Mr. Rajesh’s attention. The teacher seemed surprised to see Ryan there. “Well, Ryan!” he asked, “What are you doing here, child? Shouldn’t you be having your snacks now?” “That’s okay Sir, I’m not hungry,” Ryan said, looking the teacher in the eye. “Actually, sir, I came to get the form for the science competition.” “Oh, that!” Mr. Rajesh still looked surprised. It wasn’t too often that a student missed the snacks and came running after him for something academic. “I was anyways planning to bring a few forms to your class during the Science period today. I will hand one over to you then. Don’t worry,” he smiled. “Now go back. Your snack break’s almost over.”   And sure enough Mr. Rajesh remembered to bring a form to the science class, and handed it over to Ryan first thing, even before scribbling the topic of the day on the blackboard. Ryan carefully folded the form and placed it in the first compartment of his school bag.   Ryan rang the bell a hundred times till his mom opened the door with an annoyed face. She started, “Ryan! What were you trying to do?! What’s wrong…” “Nothing is wrong Ma! Everything’s going just right!” He dropped his backpack on the...

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Fiction Friday || ‘Presumed Guilty’ by Shreeya Sharma

We peeked timidly into our class to see who the new Political Science teacher was. A dark-skinned man was leaning against the teacher’s desk waving his thin bony arms as he talked to rest of the class. How I had wished to make an outstanding first impression on the new teacher. And here I was, standing outside the class, late on the very first day! “May we come in sir?” Ayesha had taken the initiative and had already asked for permission to enter while I was lost in my thoughts. He turned around at this interruption and looked at us through his horn-rimmed glasses and then at his watch. We braced ourselves for the coming outburst and put on our most innocent faces and looked at the floor. A few seconds later, we heard a soft spoken voice, “Oh yes please. You are a little late but never mind. Please take your seats and we will continue our class.” We stood there with our mouths open. What? No scolding? No “stand out of the class”? Surely, a teacher can’t be so polite. Was he being sarcastic? The scolding should come now. But all he said was, “What’s the matter? Wouldn’t you sit?” We murmured an apology and walked to our seats as if we were in a dream. His name was Rajeev Chaudhary. The topic being discussed in the class that day was Federalism. By the time I had reached the classroom, he had already explained the concept of vertical power sharing between different levels of government and horizontal power sharing between various organs of government. I was on high alert as I tried to pick up the threads of the discussion. I was eager to make up for the lost ground. I had already promised myself that I would show him what an awesome student I was. So what if I had started on a wrong foot. Soon, I was confident, he too will be dazzled by my brilliance, just like rest of the teachers. “Now, there are two types of federations. Let me explain with examples. Let’s take India and USA, both federal countries. Can you identify any distinguishing feature between the functioning of power in these two countries?” My hand shot up in the air. “Here’s our very own Hermione Granger,” said one of the students seated behind me. I tried to answer all the questions he asked, but he preferred to give chance to other students. He would smile in approval whenever my hand shot up but would ask someone else who had not even raised their hands. What does this mean? I am here, ready with the answer, and you are asking someone who doesn’t even seem interested in the class? We got to know him better through the course of our classes. He would try to explain Federalism by using examples and stories from around the world. ### “Doesn’t he look as if the wind will blow him away?” “Yeah, look at the way the sunlight is playing games on his head. Baldy!” “And don’t forget his ever-smiling face. Dude, doesn’t his mouth ache?” These types of comments were in general circulation in the class. And Chaudhary sir was an easy target as he looked so peculiar. His dressing sense was old fashioned and he was bald and skinny and looked funny. I giggled at these comments but rarely participated. I was just in time to divert my attention from Rahul’s comments back towards Dr. Chaudhary. “No language has been given the status of National Language.” “But surely, Hindi is our National language,...

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