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The Fusion

Faiz Aftab

I am sure you will be very happy in your cheerful cities. But in the miserable town of ‘Franklin’ you can never be happy. It is a cursed old place full of deadly competitions. Your parents shall force you to participate for personal income. They want power for the sake of power. One such tournament is the ‘Fire Battle’. There are violent guns matched with violent bullets. You have to fire. The judging score is secret but you have to get as many people as you can. The guns are unlike the firearms used by soldiers but much more barbarous than toy ones. It happens every four years and the maximum age limit is nine. I experienced the first war when I was three. The second one when I was seven. For the next one, I won't only experience it but also be forced by my parents and others to participate in it. They reckon I’ll win just because my great-grandfather was very good at it. Soon I realised that the tournament was only three months away. Time is faster than clocks. A week passed and I knew I could not give up. I had to chase glory to the end of the earth, out of the Milkyway. Out of the galaxies to even heaven or hell. But continue to try and catch it.

One day I wandered around the flat fields in which the firing was to take place. I had thought of a plan in the last two months. The competition was only a month away. I was going to dig up some mud and use the hole as a hideout. I stabbed the land with a sharp pickaxe and began lifting up the soil until there was a hole deep enough. However, when I went to inhabit this gigantic pit I felt something as hard as stone. When I got out of the pit and peeked into the great hole, I saw the strangest sight. There were neat columns of brick, large mounds of granite, hard pieces of stone and shiny bars of metal. All of this was kept secure under the mud for what seemed like years. I saw a tiny piece of paper. Scrawled on it were these words written in an old fashioned handwriting: ‘Joe Roy’s Key to Glory’. I froze. Joe Roy was my great-grandfather. The expert at fire battles. He undoubtedly made forts from these fabulous materials. As I stared avidly at those materials, some soil collapsed in a heap. Under the mud were several corked bottles of sticky gum. This was the greatest inventory that could be used to build the strongest fort. I got pulleys ready and carried the materials to my yard and hid it in a sneaky and dark hideout. When I entered the house my parents’ first reaction was to admonish me for my filthy appearance. Once I had all the soil scrubbed off, I went to bed and dreamed golden dreams in my sleepy slumber.

When I woke up in the morning my first reaction was to hop off the bed rather than ponder the night’s queer dreams. I quickly gulped down my milk, gobbled my toast and devoured a few pieces of fruit. I went to the yard and retrieved the materials and prepared to build a powerful fort. Setting off to the edge of a dangerous forest, I built the fort in such a way that it had direct aim at the flat fields.

The fort was a magnificent sight. The shiny metal sparkled like gold. The cold stone seemed like a shield. The granite was cut into pointy blades to slice off any bullet that hit. The bricks were arranged in such a manner that it seemed to have been created by magic. I now carved on the bark of the nearest tree ‘THE FUSION’. Later that day, my mother informed me that the competition was to happen the next day due to the prediction of heavy rains on the scheduled date. When I woke up in the morning, I pulled off my blanket and marched towards the dining room to have a hearty breakfast. I readied my guns and crouched sneakily towards my fort. Once I was secure inside, I fired a bullet down at a boy who was concealed within the grass. He spun around at my fort but I was quick to put him down with a second bullet. I now targeted a scrawny fellow. One bullet was enough to finish him off. However, the participants were alerted that a cruel and ruthless man was firing down the others with utmost ease. They began shooting in my direction. The range of fire was terrible and noisy but my granite blades were ruthlessly slicing off the bullets. If they missed the pointy objects, they would be repelled by the metal, brick or stone. A few minutes later, the concentration on me faded away and the battle was amongst everyone. After a long fight, the battle ended. I thought I had fought courageously. The results were about to be revealed. In third place was a certain Thomas Jones. In second place was a boy called Harry Hood.

The winner was about to be announced. The suspense! It was me! I went rigid with shock. My eyes widened and I held my prize close to my chest.



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