The Other World

Short story, Photo prompt, fiction, fiction writing, children stories, fantasy
Write Tribe Fiction Festival – Photo Prompt

Rhea took Pixie for a gallop in the woods. Far away from her house by the lake and her parents who fought all the time, when there was a reason and when there wasn’t. She had had enough of their bickering. Very soon she would go to a boarding school.

Rhea realised that she had reached a part of the woods that she had never been before. There was a clearing in the middle of the forest with a big patch of thick green grass. Getting off Pixie, she tied her saddle to the nail on a tree. The grass and the warm sunshine beckoned Rhea to lie down and very soon she went off to sleep. When she woke up Pixie was nowhere to be found.

Where had Pixie gone? An agitated Rhea pulled at the nail on the tree. Suddenly there was a loud noise and the tree started splitting from the middle. Rhea immediately stepped back. There appeared a large blue door in the middle of the tree. Excitedly Rhea pushed the door and stepped on the other side.

There was a stream of fresh water gurgling over the stones. Cattle were grazing on the mountain slope. At a distance, she could see kids playing. She walked towards them. It was a huge square with park at one corner. Kids were playing in the park while adults were having their lunch in the sunshine.

Rhea’s tummy gave an angry growl. She realised she had left her lunch untouched on the table as her parents had started arguing.

An old lady with a crown of grey hair and a face full of wrinkles looked at Rhea and offered her a sandwich.

Rhea shook her head. She had been told not to take food from strangers.

“We are nice people. We are not mean to our kids.” The old lady said. Rhea felt like trusting her and took the sandwich.

“Come sit. You seem to have come over from the human world.” The lady commented.

“Human world? Why what is this place? Where I am?”

“This is the other world. There are nails on trees strategically placed in different parts of the world. The nail acts as a lever that opens up the door to this world. Only people with pure heart who are miserable in the human world can find this nail.”

No wonder that nail looked suspiciously odd on a tree in a forest. Rhea thought.

“What is this other world?” Rhea couldn’t contain her curiosity.

“It’s a happy place. Here, we do not fight. There is no greed. We grow our own food and share the surplus with our neighbours. There is no poor, there is no rich. Every one is equal. And also, there is no money.”

Rhea had never experienced poverty herself but she knew it was not a nice thing. Also, by now, she knew that having lots of money didn’t necessarily make a person happy. Her parents were good examples of that theory.

“We do not have TV, computers and phones. Here, people hold real conversations and parents spend time with their children, take them on picnics, go for treks and camping.”

“Wow!” This seemed like a very nice place. Why couldn’t they have something similar in the human world? She wondered.

“Young girl, I think you should leave now. The sun is about to set. Once it does, you will never be able to leave this place.”

Rhea stood up and planted a soft kiss on the elderly lady’s cheeks which felt like crepe paper but smelled of love, purity and wisdom.

She then turned towards the way she had come. On the way, she saw a lone horse grazing at the grass. That was her Pixie. Taking hold of her reins, she started walking towards the blue door. The door opened.

As Rhea was about to step over, she hesitated. And the next moment the door closed with a finality. The sun had set. And for once, Rhea was happy. But where was she?

Where do you think Rhea chose to be?


I am participating in the Write Tribe Festival of Words – June 2018

Write Tribe Festival, Short Fiction, Flash fiction
Write Tribe Writing Festival

47 thoughts on “The Other World

  1. Wonderful fantasy anshu. Another genre to hear from you. I wish rhea is with her parents again and not the other world becos it pains for the parents. Being a parent, i can’t see the child staying away.. Also grass is green on the other side. She could try to bring a change in her real world by doing her part, instead of getting locked in the other world. Well written.. After so many days seeing your story again with a suspense for the readers.

    1. Thanks Deepa, wanted to try something new. I am glad you liked it. 🙂 You are right for a parent nothing can be worse than being separated from their child. And Rhea can bring change in her real world, but does she have the sensibilities to understand and do that? She is a young girl of 13-15 years old.

  2. This is an amazing fantasy Anshu. I hope that Rhea stayed back in the magical world. No child should be subject a to life that results from them r parents’ unhappy marriage.

  3. She might have realized life can be happy without money, TV and gadgets. She might have gone to parents with a decision to spend more time with them and sort out problems.

    1. Ramya, when I click on your link, it takes me to an unused wordpress account. Can you please fix the problem because I am sure many of your readers don’t reach your blog because of the incorrect linking?

  4. I hope she chose her parents. Anyway she was on her way to boarding, away from them. Running away from problems is not the way forward. However far we may run from circumstances and people, we take them all in our minds where ever we go. That burden remains. Removing from mind is the way forward. Don’t you think so?

    1. I agree with you that one should not run away from the problems or circumstances. But again, she is a teenager and not wise enough to understand that. At this age, most people would take the easier step, I guess. As a teenager I thought my parents were my step parents as they scolded me a lot. 🙂 As an adult, we still have the wisdom to take on things head on. I appreciate your comment Meena!

  5. I love this fantasy tale. Another realm so perfect. As it is a fantasy story, I see her staying back, one day even her parents joing her. finding their ‘happy ending’. I love stories with open endings.

  6. I believe Rhea came back to the real world armed with the wisdom from the other happy place. Good writing, Anshu. Almost gave me a Alice in the Wonderland feel.

  7. What a lovely fairytale, Anshu. You had me enthralled. I would like to believe that Rhea came back to her parents. I loved the concept of the nails of the trees. Brilliant!

  8. Escaping into the world of fairy tale to search answers for real world! Good one Anshu. I wish Rhea returns to the real world of imperfect people and still enjoys lie!

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