Contest Entry by Nusrat Osama: ‘Voices’

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Contestant Name: Nusrat Osama

Topic: Voices

For the umpteenth time she glanced at the small package she had prepared to take along. Thank fully Pappu was asleep; Dadi was folding her prayer mat. She lay still pretending to sleep. It was not long before she heard her snoring.

‘Think Again.’ Her conscious warned. She shrugged not bothering to listen to sanity. She was still under the spell of the romantic words Karim had whispered in her ears, as she stood drawing water from the pump in the lane. They had planned to elope that night.

‘Lali Beta! Dekh pappu ne bister tou nahi geela ker diya?’

Subconsciously she put her hand under Pappu to feel the wetness. But Where was Amma? She felt frightened. It was only her imagination. Feeling relieved, she pretended to sleep. The front door creaked, she could hear Abbu closing and bolting the door. Soon he too was snoring loudly.

It was time to go. But!!

What if she is caught like Gori?

For days the scene of Gori being dragged out and taken somewhere had haunted her. Her father returned without her, some said she was gunned, some said she was buried alive and some said she was sold to an old man of another village. She shuddered.

‘Lali Beta zra dekh tou Pappu ko phir se,’ Amma was watching her from heaven. Heaving a sigh of relief, she wrapped her arms around pappu and closed her eyes to sleep.

Total words: 239

This is a short story entry by PLB member Nusrat Osama

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Mehreen Farhan

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