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Aitor Debbarma

Children Stories Comedy Fantasy


4  

Aitor Debbarma

Children Stories Comedy Fantasy


Tales of Amulia: Dominoes

Tales of Amulia: Dominoes

11 mins 39 11 mins 39


AMULIA, a peaceful mountainous grassland of a country, it had always been far away from any form of conflict in its entire history. It’s not that the world around it was peaceful; rather it’s just that none of powerful nations had any sort of interest in it.


 “A nation of farmers and milkmaids” is what the others call this modest nation, and yet the Amulians don’t mind, they are well protected by their friendly powerful neighbors, who do well with a good business partnership, with a nation’s worth of supply of food and dairy.


But this form of existence had given birth to a very naive form of life in Amulia. The residents practice a simple lifestyle of work, harvests, festivals and repetition. They knew not of the latest robotic advancements or high crime rates or new wars being raged. Their national motto is “A Smile A Day, Goes A Long Way.” And that is how they live. And with minimum contact with the outside world, none of it matters anyway. The little contact the people of Amulia have with the outside world would be when they deliver ordered goods to their neighbouring nations, only near the border though. Even the neighbouring nations took care as to not harm their naive neighbour’s lives with “exposure”.


The story today is going to be about one such delivery girl, Mila. And her friend, Ana... so... that actually makes two delivery girls... but the HEROINE is going to be, Mila, for most parts.


Mila and Ana both have jobs fitting the description of the aforementioned “milkmaids”. Basically they go to places to deliver goods made in their village (mostly milk). 


One particular order had come from a nearby nation called, INDO. So, they both had set out with baskets in their hands through the green landscape.   


“It’s a beautiful day isn’t it?” 

“Yes, I hope it shines like this throughout the day. I have a feeling today’s delivery will be very pleasant.”


“But! Mila dear, will you be okay, INDO is a long walk away... your hand...”

“Ah... It’s fine, Ana.”


Well, long story short. Mila is a kind, sweet and hardworking girl. A perfect epitome of her motherland’s ideals and way of life, with just one problem. She has a robotic arm. 


You see, when she was a child, she lost her right arm in an incident, the details of which she’s never revealed out of shame. Fortunately, the world's robotics had advanced enough that even in such a rustic environment that she was born in, she was given a replacement robotic arm, which works via neuron signals from the brain. But still, for Mila, who is fully aware of her “perfect Amulian girl” image, the metallic arm is a symbol of shame, one she’s willing to hide at all costs, which in her case is wearing full sleeves and gloves, even in the summer. Ana, being a childhood friend is among the handful who knew about it and perhaps understood it, somewhat.


After a three kilometre walk and two hitchhikes later, they had arrived in the INDO nation. A nation considered among the top powers of the world, with powerful military might. Which in turn also makes it a target of much cruel intentions from around the world, and which in turn also makes this nation extremely vigilant at its borders. Nevertheless, the vigilance of this powerful nation is one of the reasons why Amulia enjoys its peace. 


The first thing Mila and Ana encountered, as they entered this country, was the border check post. It wasn’t a first time for them, while their nation has almost no military to speak of, they had encountered men in uniform in their many deliveries. Although the level of strictness and thoroughness here, was a different level then they had ever seen. Even a naive girl like Mila could feel that something was bothering the men.


No matter how many times they had been through such experiences, things like border inspections and being asked questions by men with guns, Mila and Ana would always find these things extremely nerve wrecking. They prepared their deliveries for inspection and were about to be checked themselves when, Mila’s right arm began to vibrate. It wasn’t anything unusual for someone having a robotic arm, it happened rarely but surely. Although Mila, being Mila, in her great shame, tried to hide it as much as possible, grabbing her right arm with her left, trying to contain it. Ana noticing her friend tried to hide the situation by placing herself in between the line of sight of the border-men and Mila. The girls succeeded for about a minute or two, but then a soldier noticed the situation. From that point onwards, it all went downhill. 


Before anyone could understand what had happened, the border-men had surrounded Mila, with their guns pointed at her, loaded and ready, all the while shouting threateningly, “DON’T MOVE”, almost tearing their throats at the process. Ana, moving her head around like an owl, was trying to make sense of the situation, keeping her hands outstretched as if to mention “STOP” with her body language. Mila, like a deer in the headlights, was motionless.    

   

I feel like this situation needs a little explanation. You see, as aforementioned, in stark contrast to Amulia, Indo is a frequent target of violent outfits, one of which, thought it was a great idea to rig a delivery robot (Yes, a delivery robot, Indo is much more advanced) and send it to this very same border check post, which the girls were in, in that very moment. A delivery robot is harmless by itself, but rigged with explosives it became deadly, and also it vibrated a lot before it exploded. And domino, domino, all that had happened just a day before Mila and Ana had arrived.


So, back to the action; everything was happening too fast for the girls. Ana was jumping sideways with her hands outstretched; a sort of her own counter to the border men shouting “GET DOWN” or “DON’T MOVE”. But in all this Mila’s mind was still wrapped up in the fact that she has to protect her “secret”.


“I won’t show my hand”, “I won’t show my hand”, “I won’t show my hand” was the thought running in her mind repeatedly. So much so, that it even started to drown out all the shouting around her. In other words, she was still the deer in the headlights. 


But none of that mattered; the situation was reaching its crescendo. Among all that shouting, a young soldier among the border men was holding a gun aiming at Mila’s unmoving head. This young soldier had been newly posted in this location on that very day, and had been showered by horrific tales of incidents that can happen in the border while in his transport all the way from his base to his post. And, to top it all, he found about “the robot incident” after he reached his post. So, in other words, he was scared shitless. 


Now, the pieces were in place, a horrible domino effect was about to take place, the shouting and confusion, the silent Mila, the jumpy Ana, the threatening Border Men, the shaky soldier and his shaking finger, just a hair-strand away from the trigger, THE CRSCENDO, AND . . .


“W  A  I  T”


A deafening shout by Ana stunned everyone. In that instant moment, she jumped to Mila, took her harm and . . . tore the sleeve off of Mila’s blouse revealing her mechanical arm and very human shoulder. Then she jumped back and threw her arms to the air as if to say, “TA DA”.


Things cooled down from there . . . for a few seconds. While everything was safe now, with Mila having been proven misunderstood, there was a lot that could have been avoided with the simple utterance of words, which Mila never did. It wasn’t something that the military-minded border men would simply let be. 


The girls were kept or held, in the waiting room of the post. The men were bittersweet, giving blankets to the visibly shaken girls to comfort their shock and at the same time scolding them with their loudest tones to explain how dangerous all that was, and how badly it could have gone.


The girls didn’t say a word, or more like they couldn’t. Both had never experienced this much anxiety and tension in their entire innocent lives. They were shocked, almost shell-shocked. They didn’t cry though, to the surprise of both, and some of the men. Some of the men thought it was probably because of their inability to comprehend the kind of danger they were in.

They didn’t say anything, but Mila and Ana, were thinking a lot, things like: 

When could they make their delivery? When will the men let them go?

 And why did they have blankets on them? 


They thought all that while sipping the warm coffee given by the men.


After a few moments, a man came inside the room. He was not in a military uniform, instead he wore a black coat and a bowler hat. His pants were black with mud on the edges, his shoes were dusty with dry mud on the underside, his shirt was slightly visible under the coat, specially his cuffs that seemed to have red spots splattered on them (almost looked like blood) and his face was bony with crooked teeth that were all too visible when he smiled his bendy slanted smile. 


He had somewhat of an ominous air about him. As he entered the room and smiled at the girls, there was a feeling, that the girls didn’t quite understand, if they could have expressed it, they would have expressed it as feeling uneasy. 


“So, you’ve a deliv-er-ie on the farm?”


 He said with a grin.

The girls nodded in unison, unconsciously keeping their eyes on him. A border man came from outside and said, “Both of you, go with him.”

Both Mila’s and Ana’s eyes widened to the point of that of an owl. They looked over to the man in the coat, and they saw . . . he was still grinning. 


 As soon as they left the check post, the sunny weather that had given good vibes to the girls, turned to grey, dark clouds in the sky gave the atmosphere a sombre ominous feel that felt a perfect theme to the black coated man walking in front of them. They soon went off the main road and started walking a more deserted path, with fewer and fewer people in sight the more they walked. The girls held hands as they gave each other scared looks and gazes. The border men had told them to go with him, and after the fiasco they pulled, they did not want to disobey. 


After crossing a hilly slope, they could see a farm in the horizon. It was not a welcome sight; a windmill about to fall off, the fence broken in places, a tree and some climbers that are almost about to take the farm back to nature, and not a soul on sight. It almost seemed like the place was abandoned for some unknown reason. Out of absolute terror of everything that was going on in their heads, the girls at this point had started praying... desperately... in their minds... in unison.


The man in black told them to sit, pointing at the benches in the lawn, so they sat down... rigidly, with a forced, fake calm. They were very careful as to not make any sudden movements. Then he grabbed each of their baskets with little resistance, he looked and confirmed what’s inside them, nodded his head sharply at them and went inside the farm taking the baskets along with him. 


“Is he the man we are supposed to deliver to?” asked Ana.


“Well... the place described is similar...” hesitantly saying that Mila looked at Ana and the two girls contemplated their life decisions up to that point and both reached at the same conclusion, and at the same time. 

And with a simultaneous nod of heads, they got up off their seats, and then they started to speed walk back, back where they came from. Not caring for the delivery or the payment. Their backs were straight, as straight as to make their mothers proud, and their legs were strong. And they were making a run for it... in a walking pace.


“W A I T”


A shout came from behind them, “statue-ing” both the girls. They looked back to see the man in black waving at them, standing with a tray of two glasses of milk and a double barrel gun, gesturing them to come back.


They could seriously make a run for it, but they decided that bullets are faster than feet. So, the girls sat on the table, no questions asked. Heads straight backs straight, enough to make their mothers proud, hands graciously folded on the laps, with eyes on the horizon. And most importantly, NO SUDDEN MOVEMENTS, just like how their fathers told them. “If there is a bear near you, you make no sudden movements.”  


He offered them the milk with the widest grin he had made so far. At this point the girls thought it was either ‘the frying pan or the fire’. They both looked at each other, and with their eye contact they shared eachother's decisiveness, then they both took a glass and gulped every last drop without stopping for so much as a gasp. After the glasses were empty, the two girls slammed their glasses on the table, they both looked at each other and they both thought and uttered ... in unison. 


“The milk ... was delicious.”


After jinxing each other they both now looked at the man in black and were horrified. His continuous grin had turned into a hideous wide smile as the back of the head’s hair of the girls stood up like that of a scared cat’s. The girls found each other’s hands under the table and held each other tightly thinking that ‘this is it, this is the end’, as the man leaned towards them from across the table with THAT SMILE, and with a “hee hee hee” he said,


“AMUL MILK- THE TASTE - OF IND-IA”  


Turns out, he was just a gentle farmer with a speaking problem... a lisp. And the gun was just a farmer’s hunting gun. And he only wanted to praise Amulia milk and how it tastes better than that of Indo. 


Well anyways, anything he said in the story does not have any form of marketing purpose whatsoever.


 Oh...and Mila and Ana reached home safely, and with a ridiculous story to tell their neighbors.


THE END.

  

         


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