ANTHONY ON THE PROWL by Revathi Bhaskar
THE CURSE OF NEFRET by Poonam Vaze
An Alien On A Mission by Aaradhana Agarwal
TURMOIL OF ZYGOTIAN CHARU by Poonam Vaze
Interactive Novel Writing Contest PROMPT 9
Please refer the previous prompts PDF here -
Branch 1 all prompts - https://assets.storymirror.com/media/storymirror/website-assets/sm-static-pages/static_files/d8a70465-4eb5-46ef-971a-a6f37e30a125.pdf
Branch 2 all prompts - https://assets.storymirror.com/media/storymirror/website-assets/sm-static-pages/static_files/e252eaf4-52e9-45f3-958b-464ee98bf388.pdf
Branch 3 all prompts - https://assets.storymirror.com/media/storymirror/website-assets/sm-static-pages/static_files/9e757c96-768b-416a-a7e2-90c41e001897.pdf
Branch 1 (Social mystery with romance)
Sheryl had tried to separate from her evil and greedy husband, Anthony Delsworth. She was in love with Oomen, one of her estate’s trusted servants, and wanted to start a new life with him. But Anthony Delsworth refused to divorce he and did not allow her to start a new life with Oomen.
Charu is the illegitimate daughter of Sheryl and Oomen. Anthony constantly tortured Sheryl, a biotechnologist, to hand over to him her life research of the invention of a complex mind control drug. To protect Charu from Anthony Delsworth and her life research, Sheryl sent her daughter far away with Oomen. Anthony Delsworth in his desperate attempts to retrieve what Sheryl has been hiding from him continued to torture Sheryl.
With Charu sent away and having no leverage over Sheryl, Anthony in his desperate attempts to retrieve the formula from Sheryl murdered her and was sentenced for life. With Anthony locked up in jail, Mani Oomen returned to Fort Kochi with Charu and kept her away from anything and everything that had any trace of Sheryl. Man had the good intention of protecting her until present day when he was confronted by Charu and had to reveal the truth about her mother Sheryl.
Sheryl used to take Charu with her to the library when she was five years old. She knew one day her daughter would come back to the library, she believed that memories are only suppressed, they never go away really. Thus, she left a clue in her favourite unconventional story book titled “Ceto’s tears” the cover page of which is a painting of a woman with no eyes for her daughter knowing she would find the book one day.
And when Charu finds the book and the code, she sets forth a chain of action leading her to Hotel “Mount Verghese” which in turn was converted into a Mall, the old villa in the polaroid photograph converted now as “Fort Kochi Musuem” unearthing the clues and leading her to the Khopesh with the code “MV02FK09” engraved on it. Once she knew about her past, she understood what the code meant in the truest sense. The code was not only the key to open the vault but also a simple clue left by her mother; the alphabets representing the places and the numbers representing the floor/sections.
MV - Mount Verghese. 02 - Level 2 (basement where the sword was kept). FK - Fort Kochi. 09 – Section 9 (‘Fort Kochi – Archives’ section which has the book on the history of Verghese family titled, ‘The Rich and Affluent from Fort Kochi’s past’).
The name of the notorious mafia boss is Darana. The grapevine was that his full name was Daniel Rashid Nagaratnam. But police records had noted he confessed that his family used to call him Daniel or Danny.
Using her connections, Charu gets Yuvaan out of custody on bail. Yuvaan and Charu install spyware in Abhay’s mobile tracking his every moment.
While Yuvaan and Charu are becoming more vocal about their feelings for each other, Abhay is mad with jealousy. On the other hand, the deal with Darana is put on hold. Nothing is going right as per Abhay’s plan. He decides to hide the Khopesh in a pit under some tree for the time being until he is back negotiating a deal with Darana.
Charu and Yuvaan retrieve the sword as they are following Abhay’s every move. They celebrate their first success with a passionate kiss. Yuvaan promises Charu that he will keep her safe and love her forever.
Ruth who could easily come out of jail, thanks to Abhay, happens to watch Charu and Yuvaan laying their hands on the sword and professing their love. He duly informs this to Abhay, who together with Ruth, hatches a plan to kill Charu and Yuvaan.
Note – this is a social mystery / crime-based thriller with a romance angle and if you are attempting this branch, be careful not to include any sci-fi or fantasy elements. You can attempt a different question/course in the other two branches.
1. What is Darana’s connection with Charu, Sheryl and Anthony Delsworth?
2. Possessing the key to the vault, what will be Charu’s next step?
Branch 2 (Science Fiction)
Queen Berenice realizes that in the current period as Charu, Vincent brainwashed her and controls her through a blue stone which she is wearing as a pendant. He had altered her reality and induced a false memory about her past: like she is the daughter of Oomen; that the pendent was a gift from her mother (ensuring she will always be wearing it); and that she has grown up in Fort Kochi and went to New York etc. so that she can never stop the pandemic.
When Queen Berenice had time travelled as Sheryl, she fell in love with Anthony Delsworth for a brief period of time.
Knowing her brother’s (Amon’s) intentions, she had left clues in the book in that library. In her next time travel, should anything happen to her memories, she can always figure out the entire truth about herself.
The book's cover - an abstract painting of a woman with no eyes but had tears, nose and lips; was the image of Berenice’s mother before she was mummified. She died an untimely death due to a deadly virus during an ancient pandemic. Since then, Berenice vowed that she will dedicate her life to save humanity from pandemics.
As the sword is important for her time travel, she must keep it safe. Hence, she had asked Anthony to buy her a mountain. Instead, Anthony built a hotel for her, which later became the museum. Sheryl conceals the sword in the museum, lest her brother find it.
Vincent, who was Amon, is exiled and escapes to the future to the exact time when Berenice time travelled as Sheryl, to kill her. He could not murder her and Anthony Delsworth is killed protecting Sheryl.
Anibus, the priest, has been travelling with the queen as her aide. In his recent travel, he was with Charu as Yuvaan. Vincent killed Yuvaan.
Vincent’s assistants inspect Charu’s movements in CCTV and update Vincent about the same.
Charu takes the sword along and removes the blue-stone pendant from her neck. As she is about to throw it away, she remembers that, as Queen Berenice, she had gifted a similar stone to Anibus, as gratitude towards his contributions in saving the world. It was a rare blue stone sourced from another planet.
Charu remembers Yuvaan enquiring about that pendant. She recollects him taking it in his hands and examining it. Her gut instinct tells her that there must be some clue in the pendant. She examines the pendant closely and finds a small piece of fingernail between the stone and the base plate of the pendant. This must be a clue!
She goes back to the box sent by Yuvaan before he died. She goes through all the papers carefully. She finds a small postcard with the image of her mother (the woman with no eyes but had tears, nose and lips), but no new information. That is when it strikes her that the box itself is the clue. The recipe for the concoction is inscribed on the box, brilliantly camouflaged among the carved tribal motifs.
Charu learns through the inscriptions that Yuvaan’s genetic material, which has a unique DNA mutation, is one of the key ingredients of the concoction, hence Yuvaan left his fingernail. With the concoction, she can save humanity yet again.
As Charu flips the contents back into the box, she comes across the code ‘MV02FK09 - Home’ written on the backside of the postcard. That must be a way to get back home, she ponders. She takes out the book she picked from the library that had the same cover image. She flips across and finds a glossary at the end of the book. She searches for the codes MV and FK, and the page number containing the codes.
The description there is: MV - Manual value; 02 - line 2; FK - Frequency in Kilohertz; 09 - line 9. She decodes that the manual value should be set to 4000 (from line 2) and the frequency should be set to 60 kHz (from line 9) to reach home.
Charu plans to kill Vincent with the sword she brought along, whom she has been forgiving, as he is her brother. Killing with the sword, will make him die in all time lines, hence saving the people who died in his hands.
Uncle Vincent is aware of every single thought going in Charu’s mind. He plants his assistants near Charu’s home to be ready to kill her and snatch the sword from her.
Meanwhile, Queen Berenice’s lesbian partner, Nefret, is growing anxious that Benerice is not back yet from her time travel. Fearing the worst, she starts to prepare her army in spite of Benerice advising her otherwise.
1. What detail plans does Charu make to defeat Vincent?
2. What kind of help can Nefret offer Charu?
Note – this is a science-fiction branch, hence please take care not to include fantasy elements. If you want to write a fantasy story, please use branch 3 prompt
Branch 3 (Fantasy - Alternate World)
The beautiful lady in the painting on the book cover is abstract art that resembles Sheryl and Charu. The book was left by the planetary races so that Charu would meet them. It is not in a physical form that regular people can see and pick it up. That’s where the quest had started.
Goddess Athena of the Mermitans had reincarnated as Sheryl Verghese on earth. She has only one chance to reincarnate as a human. Unaware about losing the powers, Sheryl married Anthony Delsworth, a human.
Anthony's brother and Uncle Vincent were planning to acquire the sword by any means to use it for evil purposes. When a drift between Sheryl, Vincent and Anthony's brother ignited, before Sheryl was killed and that she knew she has no powers left, Charu was given away to the Oomens.
Goddess Athena, who is still in her original form in the planet Antrina, keeps communicating with Charu through her mind after Sheryl's death. This is how Charu is also in a way being controlled.
Though Sheryl lost the powers, her DNA is not human like as she is from planet Antrina. Charu acquired the same non-human DNA. The DNA specialist also confirms the same during the DNA test, that which Charu got it done to validate herself.
Meanwhile, the original Martha and Ruth who are captured by the Zygotes are still arrested in the cabins. The Zygotes who took the form of Martha and Ruth, living in their house are waiting for Charu's decision to send back them to their planet. This is why they do no harm to Charu.
After knowing that she is not a human and wanting to check the cave where the code is engraved, Charu meets Ruth and asks him to accompany her to the cave. Once she sees the code and tries to analyse, the eclipse happens. After the passing of the eclipse, she sees Ruth taking the form of a Zygote. A shocking Charu then understands that Ruth is in captive.
Charu recollects what the Mermitan told about the Zygotes, that they lived near the ancient cave at Mount Varghese. Goddess Athena’s prompting is also heard inside Charu’s mind. Charu tries to enquire about the caves with her father Mani Oomen. But then again, her actuality keeps poking her mind. If not Oomen’s, whose bloodline does she share with?
She accidentally sees a DNA specialist doctor’s clinic and heads for a DNA test. She gets muffled when the DNA specialist informs that her DNA is not like the normal humans and in turn, asks who actually Charu is? Even her DNA code did not help her.
She goes to visit the Katipalla caves, mesmerised by the beauty of the cravings inside she looks around and finds the code engraved as Sheryl Code MV02FK09.
02 & 09 denote the date when the cursed eclipse will move away for a short period from planet Antrina and move towards its neighbouring planet - Mars. It wasn’t long before that it reached Earth as well. That's solely why the goddess got it engraved in the sword to suggest the opportune time to open the gateway. A time when the planet Antrina will be free from the evil gaze of the eclipse and the selected race can successfully return safely.
Abhay could not attend Charu’s grandmother’s funeral due to the heavy workload pressure. He wanted to meet her in person when he got some free time and wanted to console her and offer his condolences. Not only this, he wanted to express his feelings to Charu.
It was Yuvaan who had seen the scuba suit along with Charu. Abhay hadn’t seen it and was still under the impression that Charu is human. On the other hand, a question triggered in Yuvaan’s mind: Who is Charu?
Yuvaan had a plan. After bidding goodbye to Charu & Abhay at the lake, he decided to dig out facts about Charu. As the son of a corporator, he had access to anything in the city. He reaches the museum and goes into the archive section that is not accessible to common people. The archive section is highly disorganized and Yuvaan had to scour through registers, files and even loose papers tied together with rubber bands. Undaunted, Yuvaan visited the museum for a few days and then he came across an archive text. It explained the code that Sheryl wrote in her diary and enlightened Yuvaan that Charu is not human. He was surprised but then headed out to meet Charu to reveal this info.
The Zygotes in the cave surprise Charu with their entry. King Zygote reveals that he is aware of the code inscribed here. As they talk to each other, both worry about their roots and existence. With a confused mindset and no clarity in her mind, she moves out of the cave. Did her mind give a clue that Zygotes are the right heir to go to the planet? Nevertheless, she walks away.
She sees both Abhay and Yuvaan outside the cave, walking towards her.
1. Was Goddess Athena planning to take Zygotes to the planet? Is Charu deliberately pretending that she doesn’t know that Zygotes can emote?
2. Is Charu really not a human? If not, is she a Zygote or Mermitan? She has emotions. Are her emotions played by someone else?