CHAPTER 1 – The Carnival
It was a nice sunny morning. Tom, the eldest of his siblings, sat in a corner and read a book as usual. Scooty was watching a show on television, completely engrossed. Isha was in front of the mirror, grooming herself.
The sunlight came in, subdued, through the window. Suddenly, mom called them from the kitchen, “Tom, Scooty, Isha! Come down. Breakfast is ready.”
The children raced down the stairs and sat at the table. Scooty saw the food and exclaimed, “Wow! There’s so much porridge, soup, spring water, plum pie, and more. Oh man, my mouth is already watering!”
Isha sulked and said, “Mom, what’s the hurry now? I haven’t finished grooming yet!”
“Well, I have an idea! Why don’t we go to the bay and do some swimming?” Tom suggested.
The children agreed, gulped their food, and packed their swimming suits. They went to the bay and started swimming. After they finished swimming, they got dressed and all sat in the warm sand.
“What a nice aroma the sea has! Oh man, I love Dornopet,” said Scooty.
The children lived in the beautiful hills of Dornopet. It was thinly populated and full of greenery. Suddenly, Tom saw someone running towards them.
“Look,” Scooty pointed, “Someone is rushing towards us!” exclaimed Scooty.
“Who must that be?” asked Tom.
“It’s Dad! It’s Dad!” shouted Isha.
“Why are you here, Dad?” Tom asked their father.
Their dad replied, “I have some exciting news for you. The carnival is happening tomorrow!”
The carnival was the only thing that connected them to city life. It happened every six months and they waited eagerly for it. The children were excited. They went capering on the road, on the way home. They ate their dinner happily and had a good night’s sleep. The next day, they woke up early to get dressed.
“I am so exhilarated about the carnival!” Isha said, excitedly. The others were no less excited.
They dressed up and rushed to the carnival. They went on a roller coaster ride, played some games and ate lots of ice-cream. At last, they went to a bookstall. Tom bought a mystery book and Isha selected a book about nail polishing, of course.
After dinner that day, they began playing cards. Suddenly, they heard a sudden creak-like sound. The children turned back and looked for the source.
“What’s that noise?” asked Tom.
The noise came from the shopping bag. They opened it and saw three books!
“Hey see there is a third book which we did not buy!” said Scooty. “Who put the book there?”
They took the book and read the title:
WARNING-DO NOT OPEN THIS BOOK
Everyone were surprised. Tom said, “Hey, let me open this book! I am not scared of these things.” And to his word he opened the book and it started flying round and round the house!
Everyone stared at it in surprise. As it came closer, it started sucking them inside!
Tom shrieked, “Oh no, we are going inside the book!”
After sometime, the book had taken everyone inside!
CHAPTER-2 –In the Fantasy Land
They were all inside the book and in front of a king! They were confused. The king began to speak to them.
“My name is King Longbeard. You are in Fantasy Land, also known as Tommy Land,” the king said to them.
“But why are we here?” Scooty asked, confused.
The king replied, “You guys are here to help me solve my problem. If you do not do what I say, you will not get out of the book.” The children were taken aback. However, they had no choice but to listen to the king.
The king continued, “My daughter is lost. I would like you to find her.”
The king ushered them to the Sea of Storms. While going there, the children talked among themselves.
“We are going to solve a real-life mystery. Hoo-hoo! I am electrified,” said Tom.
“Yes, I am also excited, but worried that Mom and Dad might be looking for us!” Isha said, worried.
Scooty also chimed in and said, “It will be fine, but wait! Why did the king bring us to this Sea of Storms?” They decided to ask the king, and when they did, pat came the reply.
“Here is a ship that does not need a sailor. Take this and find my child,” he instructed them.
The children were taken aback once again, but had no choice but to obey the king. The children got onto the ship. The king mentioned a magic spell and the ship started to move by itself! Isha gasped.
“Look at the steering wheel! It’s moving by itself,” she said. Everyone saw the steering wheel move on its own. It was a miracle. Scooty was stunned.
“What a beautiful….” he began to say, but before he could finish his sentence, they heard a rumbling. A very bad storm started just as they began their journey.
CHAPTER 3 – A Narrow Escape
They were in the middle of the sea when they spotted a huge rock.
“Look! There is a huge rock over there. It looks as if the ship will hit the rock! Quick, we have to do something!” Scooty yelled as the ship approached the rock.
“Wait. I have an idea! This ship is a big one; it certainly must have a safety raft. We could get that raft and row the rest of the way!” said Tom.
And indeed, they found a raft, and pushed the raft onto the water. They all jumped on it and started rowing it when they heard a crashing sound.
Isha turned and said, “The ship crashed into pieces. Phew! What a narrow escape!”
They all rowed the rest of the way. After they reached the other side of the shore, they were tired and wanted to take some rest. Suddenly, Isha spotted a bottle.
“Look! It’s a transparent bottle,” Isha said. Tom picked it up.
“There is a piece of paper inside the bottle! It’s a clue left by the princess,” Tom said, reading the paper. Scooty read it too. ‘Take A Right From Here‘ it said.
“Isn’t it queer?” asked Isha.
“Well, it might be! Looks like she is trapped nearby,” said Tom.
Scooty yawned and sheepishly suggested, “Can we sleep in that cave today and continue tomorrow?” Everyone agreed. They slept there that night.
CHAPTER 4 – CAUGHT!
Soon, it was morning. Tom got up first and woke the others. They had a light breakfast and started on their journey once again.
“So, according to the message, we have to take a right from here,” Isha said. “See, that’s the nearest right! And it has a signboard!” They read the signboard.
YOU ARE ENTERING THE LAND OF WITCHES (only for witches)
Then, they proceeded; everyone was terrified. As they stood there, Scooty felt a hand on his shoulder.
In a quivering voice, he said, “Or-rr-r I feel a hand on my shoulder. Is it you Tom?”
Tom replied, “No, but I feel the same!”
Isha felt the same as well. They looked back. It was the witches! They had caught on to them.
“You little guys messing in our land? It is no good,” said the three witches, in sinister voices.
They dragged the children to their house and tied them up. They zoomed out.
“How horrid! We are stuck up here forever. We cannot escape,” said Isha.
“Wait, I have a plan,” Scooty replied. “Look at the cat over there. Isha, you know cat language, don’t you? Can you ask the cat to bring that knife to us? That can help free us from this situation!”
Isha agreed and communicated with the cat. The cat nodded, as if it understood what she said, and held the knife in its mouth, handing it over to Isha.
They cut their ropes and hurried towards the escape when Tom spotted the same bottle which they had found in the sea! He took the paper which was inside the bottle and started reading it, when he heard the footsteps of the witches.
When they started hurrying outside, they spotted a thick bush. They hid behind the bush for a while and opened the paper to read it.
“This is gibberish. I can’t understand a thing!” Isha exclaimed. Tom took a closer look.
“Well, it looks like a map. I can see a castle with a symbol of a well at one corner,” Tom said.
“I can see something written here. It says Teeter Batter Castle,” Scooty read, ”but what does that symbol stand for?”
“It should be a tunnel!” Isha said.
CHAPTER 5 – A Surprise
They followed the map and reached the castle. Once they reached, they began looking for the tunnel. It took hours before they could get to it. Suddenly, they heard footsteps.
“Quick! Come here; there is a hole, we can hide here,” said Tom.
It was a wizard with a tag called Biscuit Basket on the head. After he crossed the room, Scooty called out to them.
“Guys, watch out! We have reached the tunnel,” Scooty said. They started walking inside the tunnel and continued until they reached the end.
“Oh Gosh! We are already at the end of the tunnel, but we haven’t spotted the princess yet!” said Tom.
“Wait!” mumbled Isha. She touched the shining part of the wall and it slid sideward.
“Guys, this is a false back!” she said.
They pushed the false back and jumped inside. They looked inside the room for a while and again spotted the same bottle which they had spotted in the sea and the witches’ land in one corner! It read ‘You Found Me- I am the Wizard with the tag ‘Biscuit Basket’. I am the princess‘. Everyone was shocked!
The children immediately rushed back to the palace and narrated the whole story to the king. He sent his soldiers to rescue his daughter and bring her back. The soldiers successfully fought the witches and brought the princess back to the kingdom.
When the king enquired about why had she dressed up as a wizard, she explained how she lost her way to the witches’ land while wandering around with her friend. She dressed up as a wizard, leaving clues everywhere so she could be found.
Everyone was very happy at the princess’ safe return. The king turned back to the children and said, “You are the bravest and the smartest kids I have ever known. As promised, I will send you back home.”
He pronounced a magical word and the children disappeared. In a few seconds, they were in their own bedrooms. in front of the book. It was just 8 a.m. They rushed to their mother and father and told them the whole story. Their parents asked them to show the book. They opened the bag and boo! No book!
Tom said, “Mom, dad, we saw it just here and and now it is not there.”
Their parents said, “Hey, I hope you guys are not trying to fool us,” and went downstairs. And then, the children heard a sound from the bag – tick, tick, tick. When they opened it, they found a bottle with a piece of paper that said-
SEE YOU SOON
(TO BE CONTINUED)………………………………………………
Vinay is an 11-year-old boy who lives in Chennai, the cultural capital of India. He studies in D.A.V Boys Senior Secondary School. His passion for storytelling started at a very early age when he showed interest in listening to stories narrated by his grandmother. He has also won awards for storytelling in school and inter-school competitions.
His constant companions are storybooks that have lots of adventure, fantasy and mystery. It is interesting to note that he pens down his own story after finishing a book. His hobbies include drawing picturesque landscapes and playing the violin. He also loves to travel to the forest, where he enjoys spotting wild-life. His favourite person in the family is his smart and naughty little brother who constantly keeps him on his toes!