Castle of Class 8
Castle of Class 815 mins 618 15 mins 618
CHARACTERS: ME-Ananya, Mirra, Aruna, Samiksha, Ahana, Akshaya
Our school is the BEST!! They had organized competition within our school to find out the best class according to time sense, cleanliness, marks, discipline, etc. They said that the best class would get to go on a field trip! All the students of our school were very happy and excited about it. We were happier to know that there will be no teacher coming to the field trip! All the students started coming to school earlier than usual, they kept the classrooms neat, studied well and got good marks and assembled in the ground in a jiffy for assemblies or games. Our school became famous for all these things and it appeared in the newspaper many times.
After all the exams were over, we were asked to assemble in the ground. Our principal addressed us and told us how much our school had prospered because of the competition. We immediately got to know that she was going to tell us the winner, the class that would get to go to the field trip. She told us “Now, it’s the time to finally tell the class that excelled in all the qualifications. It was very hard to decide the winner, as all the classes had done their best for the competition. According to me, everyone present here are winners, but, only one class can be chosen. And that class is …….Well; I’ll first tell you where the winners will be going for the field trip. They will be going to ‘INNOVATIVE FILM CITY’”.
There was a lot of excited murmuring, talking and a few excited screams and shouts. The fact that there will be no teachers around to watch you in ‘Innovative Film City’ is the best gift any student from any school can get. The principal continued, “We have booked the rooms there for not one day, but, seven days”. A lot more screams were heard. “Now let me tell you the winners. It is class ……….. Eight!” This time the screams were only from our grade. I could not believe our grade will be going to a field trip for seven days and that too we are going to start the very next day! The only talks that were happening, while we were going back home, was about the field trip.
All my classmates went back home and started packing for the trip. We came to school the next day, all ready, and set for ‘Innovative Film City’. We reached at around afternoon and had our lunch. We went around in small groups and went wherever we wanted to go. Me and five of my friends went together. There were so many people over there looking at us. There were so many games, so we decided to divide the games according to the number of days we will be there. The whole class decided to go to the ‘haunted house’ together at 9:00 pm. We went to all the games for the day, had dinner together and assembled in front of the ‘haunted house’ at 9:00 pm. We did a headcount and counted to 31, the exact number of people in our class.
We entered, all together, with different types of expressions on our faces. I and my friends entered in the end. We thought that it was very silly. Mirra and I started pranking the people who acted as ghosts. Apparently, a ghost (a real one) had come in the way and I and Mirra had pranked it too. The ghost of the house was very furious with us and did not know who had done this. So it decided to punish us all. We started hearing a voice which seemed to say something in a different language. Suddenly, we heard high pitched laughter and the floor on which we were standing vanished. All of us started falling down, each of us hearing 30 different screams. The fall seemed endless and just then we landed, all together, with a huge thud, but without any impact. It took us a while to digest the shock of continuously falling down for almost a minute. Then we noticed our surroundings. It was the same. Though, the whole place was silent. Not even the creepy background music of the ‘haunted house’ was being played.
We were scared right now and we immediately went out of the haunted house. There was no one else over there. We searched everywhere and found no one, not even a receptionist or a security. It was obviously a scary situation. We tried to stay calm and cool and went back to our rooms. We decided to take rest and then try to understand and get out of this situation. We immediately fell asleep after this scary and tiring day.
At around twelve in the night, I and my friend woke up suddenly to the sound of a girl screaming. We did not understand anything. Only then did we realize that Aruna was not in the room. Suddenly, a girl, our classmate, opened the door and barged in. She sat onto Aruna’s bed and waited till she could breathe normally. We did not speak anything as we were shocked. Then she started telling her tale.
“All the students in the class decided to play ‘Hide and Seek’ in the haunted house. They did not want you guys to join in, so we went to the haunted house after we thought you guys were asleep. Just then, Aruna came out of the room and asked us where we were going and that she wanted to join us in whatever we were going to as she was not feeling sleepy. We had to take her to the game. We made her the den, thinking that she would get scared and leave the game. We were hiding for a lot of time. She did not come. So we went back to the place we left her and started searching for her. We heard her scream and we went in that direction. I went faster and I saw that she was being dragged into a room. I was terrified by the sight and I immediately ran away from there. Since your room was first and you had to know what had happened to her, I came here. And now that you guys know what has happened to her and my friends have come back,” she looked out and then said, “I’m leaving.” She said this and left immediately.
We could not believe a single word she had said. It took us a while to understand what has happened to Aruna. We decided to look for Aruna in the haunted house. Though, only I and Mirra were the ones who felt brave enough to leave the room after whatever that girl had said about what had happened to Aruna. We had to convince the other three to come, telling them that we will go together all the time. When they finally agreed to come, we left as soon as possible. Without thinking even once, we entered the haunted house. We searched the first floor and went to the second floor. Just when we set foot on the second floor, we heard a voice telling, “WE HAVE FINALLY FOUND YOU!” Me and Mirra understood what was happening. The ghosts of the house have pin-pointed our group as we had pranked the ghost. They found us out and they can do anything to us. Me and Mirra immediately ran back to the main door of the haunted house. It was locked. We were stuck in the ‘haunted house’!
We had no other choice. We had to try finding another exit or stay in the haunted house till our deaths. Then Samiksha reminded us, we still had to find Aruna! We tried to forget the fact that we were stuck and went on trying to find Aruna. Only when we were finding Aruna, we realized that the haunted house looked like castle and that it had 6 floors. We decided to search the haunted house in two groups: Me and Mirra in a group and Samiksha, Ahana and Akshaya in the other. We decided to do alternate floors and meet in the last floor. We parted and went in two different directions. Samiksha, Ahana and Akshaya took the even number floors while we took the odd numbers. They started from the ground floor, we started from the first.
While me and Mirra were searching the ground floor, we thought, if this was a castle, there would have obviously been some secret rooms or pathways. Aruna could be in one of them. We started scanning the ground and the walls, the portraits and paintings, the doors and windows. After we checked the ground floor thoroughly, we checked the time. It was about three in the morning. Then we remembered that we had told our friends that we would meet on the sixth floor. We ran upstairs till we saw that there were no more staircases left. The place looked different and our friends were not yet there. “Did you keep count of the floor we are in when we were coming up the stairs”, I asked. “I just ran up as fast as I could. I thought they will be waiting for us here but they are not.” Then we looked at the place. It was a library. There were so many books over there and they looked really old. We were so curious that we immediately took few books, sat there going through the titles and contents. All the titles of the books were new to us and the books seemed boring. Then suddenly, Mirra called out for me, “Hey, Ananya! These series of books seem interesting.”
Meanwhile the others, Samiksha, Ahana and Akshaya, searched for Aruna at a faster pace and found her in the fourth floor. She was sitting there all alone staring at a picture of a knight. She suddenly saw them and screamed. Then she realized that they were only her friends and stopped screaming. She started crying with relief. Our friends had to console her and then they asked her to tell what had really happened to her. She said the same thing as what the other girl had said and continued, “…..the ghost took me into a secret passage and kept me there for a while. There were many portraits over there. They were portraits of people who looked like kings, queens, princes, princesses and famous soldiers. Few of the portraits looked a bit familiar to me, but that doesn’t matter. I had put few clues in the room and on the way I was brought into the room. I had dropped the beads of my necklace on the way. I thought you guys could follow them to get to me but you did not need any of this. This haunted house would have been a castle long ago. I think there are many other passages and escape routes over here. Then the ghost came back and told me ‘that they have probably found ‘the ONE’’. I had no idea what it was talking about, but I think that the kings and queens of this place are haunting the haunted house right now as the ghost had mentioned ‘they’. I also do not know about ‘the ONE’ but it is either Mirra or Ananya. I think they had done something that has angered the ghosts. We need to get back to them right now and know what they had done.” “And now they are here”, said Ahana.
In the library, Mirra called me over to look at this particular series of books. When I looked at the title of the book itself, I found it interesting we went through the books and got to know a lot about the past, especially about the castle. There was also a series called ‘The castle: Prophecies and more’. The series was written in the 1500’s, but the series had titles with dates till the recent times, like the 1900’s. We went through them and saw mentions of the world wars. They had been predicted in the 1500’s itself. The books were so fascinating that we forgot what we were doing. Suddenly we heard a scream. It was Aruna’s! We immediately left all the books and went towards the direction in which we heard the scream. It seemed to come from about 2 or 3 floors below us. While we ran down, we promised each other that we would not tell anyone about the library. We ran down and started searching for her. On the fourth floor, we heard some whispers coming from a room. We took a portrait and a long piece of wood each, that was lying around to protect us and we broke into the room. It was a shocker to us to see Aruna and the others in there. “And now they are here”, said Ahana.
All of them looked angry and Ahana said, “What have you guys done?! It is all because of you guys!” We did not understand anything. They explained to us about whatever Aruna had said them and told us we were the cause of all this. I narrated to them the story of pranking the ghost and told them that we did not know any of this will happen. They could not stay angry at us for long. After all, all of us were stuck. We sat in the room for a while and not a word was spoken during that time. The silence in the room was broken by a voice that seemed to be coming from a speaker, “YOU ARE OUR ENEMIES! But at the same time, you are our guests. Your rooms have been arranged in the first floor and we welcome you to the GRAND FEAST we have prepared in the ground floor!”
All of us looked at our watches. It was already 7 in the morning. We were curious to know what the voice meant by all those sentences, so all of us went down to the first floor. Just as we entered the first floor, we were blinded by the different kind of lightings. This floor no more looked haunted. It looked like a palace. There were six rooms, one for each. The rooms had a beautiful bed, a huge washroom and a walk-in-wardrobe with many kinds of dresses. We went into the rooms and got ourselves ready. We went to the ground floor together. The scene changed again. It was the same haunted house, though the place was neater and there were ghost servants flying around, carrying plates and dishes (real plates and dishes). We followed the ghosts into a huge room. It was a dining hall! It was indeed a ‘grand feast’! So many varieties of food were kept on a neatly made table in the room, though gloomy. We were so hungry and tired without sleep, so we ate to our heart’s content. We went back to our rooms and immediately slept in our respective rooms.
We had a peaceful sleep. And this time we were woken up by an angry voice on the speaker, “ONE OF YOU GUESTS HAVE DISRESPECTED US BY STEALING FROM US!! YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS!” Everyone opened the door and came into my room, except Mirra. They asked, “What have you done now, after all this kindness they have shown to us?!” I didn’t have an answer to that. I did not do anything. Then I understood what must have happened. I ran to Mirra’s room and I saw her crying. My friends followed me into her room. “What did you do, Mirra?”I asked calmly. “The book,” she said, “there was a book in the prophecies series named CLASS 8. I wanted to know what will happen to us so I hid the book in the library. After breakfast, I went to the library and took the book.” Samiksha, Ahana, Aruna and Akshaya did not understand anything. I had to tell them about the library and the books we saw in there. We thought it was best to put the book back in the library and ask for forgiveness to the ghosts. Mirra did not want to go, so I decided to go with Akshaya.
We went to the library as soon as possible and placed the book exactly where Mirra had taken it from. I shouted, “I and Mirra are very sorry for pranking you and dishonoring by stealing a book from your royal library. Please forgive us and please let us go back and join our class.” No one answered for a while. I waited. Then a loud voice, that was loud enough for our friends in the first floor to hear, said, “I want an apology from the one who stole it.” Then a curtain from a window tore itself from its place and covered our faces. We tried to run from there and slipped and started falling down continuously, all over again. We finally landed on a bed (breaking it when we landed) and took the curtain of our face. We looked at the room and there were few beads, rubber bands and bits of paper with the letter ‘A’.
“Aruna must’ve been here!” said Akshaya. “How can you be so sure?” I asked. “When you and Mirra were in the library, Aruna was telling what had happened to her and she mentioned that she had left the beads of her necklace on the way,” she said. It was good news. We were not completely lost. We could follow the beads and reach the entrance of the haunted house! Akshaya said that Aruna found the portraits in here familiar. So we decided to take a look at the portraits and find some connections. They indeed looked familiar. I thought I had seen these pictures somewhere, probably a museum. But there was something more to it. I thought that I knew the connection. When I saw the final group picture of a family, I realized the connection. The same picture was at my house! I was wearing the same bracelet as the one that the little princess in the portrait had! I understood everything from the beginning!
We were brought to this house and locked up in here not because we had pranked the ghost but because they felt a royal presence in our group. They thought it was either me or Mirra when we went into the library. We were welcomed because they knew that I was in here. And now that only Akshaya is with me, they had confirmed that it was me. We followed the beads and went back to our friends as soon as possible. We told them our story and as soon as we did that all the ghosts entered the room. They looked very happy and they started singing happy songs. Just as all of this was over, all our dresses changed magically and the haunted house itself changed back into the beautiful castle it once was. It looked very good as a castle. All our classmates appeared at the dining hall and we had a grand lunch and we stayed here for the other six days instead of the congested and small rooms. We were given food and served by the ghost servants. The castle is now officially mine. It also belonged to my friends and classmates. This is now ‘the castle of class 8’!!