The Strange City

BY KAMRAN MURTAZA

Once upon a time, there was a city. The beauty of that city was that no one lived there. But there were a lot of pretty houses, branded cars, and had every modern facility. But the bad thing about the city was that no one who went there ever returned back.

Once a boy whose age was around 22 came to visit that city with one of his good friends. They entered into the city. There was only one way to enter into the city; through a big door. Once you entered there was no way back. If you wanted to come back, then you had to find the key which was kept at some secret place.

When the boys entered the city, a strange sound was heard, “Welcome to the Strange City” and after that they did not hear that sound again. They did not know what to do so they started walking and saw the beauty of the city.

They did not know there was no way back. There were lots of houses in a row. The houses were looking very beautiful. The trees gave a nice look to the houses. They went on forward, suddenly they saw a garden and went into it. They could not believe their eyes; the flowers were talking to one another, the trees were vacillating and the water was changing its colour like Chameleon. They were shocked for a while.

A rabbit came towards them. It was beautiful and its color was as red as rose. One of the friends caught it. The rabbit spoke, “Leave me alone.” He dropped the rabbit. The rabbit asked them, “Who you are?” and “What are you doing here?” Did not you see the board outside the gate? They replied, “Which board?” The rabbit told them the whole story about the city. After listening the whole story, they started crying due of fear.

The rabbit said to them, “Will you please keep quiet? I know the way to go back to your world from here. Please clean your tears.” The rabbit further said, “I have an idea but it is very difficult to execute. If you do that then you can easily go back to your world.” The boys said, “Just tell us, we will do everything.” The rabbit told them, “You have to go to the mountain.

There is a cave and there you will find that key. It is kept in a box but there is a magic gate. It will ask you some questions. If you clear the exam, he will give you that key otherwise the gate will never open again for you. So, be careful and beware of the jungle. This is a magic pen it will help you on your way to that mountain”.

They took a deep breath and started their journey, in a fear. They didn’t know what would be next. They were totally unaware what would happen to them. Suddenly a crocodile came in their way. He asked them to help him. They replied, “How can we help you? You are a crocodile and you will hurt us.” The crocodile said, “I will not hurt you, please help me find my children”. They agreed and later found his children. The crocodile was very happy. He asked them, “Where are you going”. They told him their story. The Crocodile gave them a stick and said, “It will help you on your way”. They took it and started their journey.

After very late in the night, they reached the mountain. They saw a cave and decided to go inside. When they entered the cave, suddenly the cave closed and lots of light filled the cave. A strange voice came. “Who are you and what do you want?” They said, “We are friends and we are here for the key”. The voice replied, “You have to give the answer of 3 simple questions. If you answer the questions, I will give you the key and if you don’t you will be thrown into the Dungeon along with all the people came here for the keys”.

The voice asked question 1. “What is the name of this city?” They were shocked to hear the question, and wondered how they could know the answer to this question. After some time they remembered the rabbit’s words, “You are in a strange city”. They both replied “Strange City”. The voiced replied “correct”.  2nd question followed. “What have you seen until now?” They replied cars, trees, flowers, rabbit, crocodile, houses, shops. “Correct,” said the voice. The 3rd and final question was “How am I looking?” They were again shocked at the question. “We have only heard your voice, how can we know by just hearing your voice? This is cheating,” they replied.

The Voice said, “No. You have to answer otherwise you will be punished.” Suddenly, they saw the magic pen and the stick which was given to them by the rabbit and the crocodile. They asked the magic pen to help them. Magic pen drew the picture of that voice, but no face or image appeared. They told the voice “You are a voice; you do not have any face”. “Correct, now take your keys from the box.” The box was locked.

They said, “Where are the keys to the box? It’s locked. You cheated us.” They remembered that they had one stick. When they inserted that stick into the lock it became the key and the box opened. They got the keys and the voice got muted. The cave automatically opened and they came out of the strange city. On their way to back they thanked the rabbit and crocodile and came back to their world.

(Kamran Murtaza is doing masters in Mass Communication. He can be reached at kamranmurtaza1989@gmail.com )

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