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The Watch | Kratika Pancholy

When she opened her eyes she saw white clouds swimming in the bright blue sky. As the wind blew softly, she heard the rustling leaves. It was autumn, and the trees had a hue of orange, red, and yellow.

It was really quiet and peaceful as she lay there with half-open eyes.

However, after a moment, she suddenly sat up straight. Then she felt her clothes and took out a pocket watch. The time was 4’o clock. Then she looked around and saw that she was in a forest, which she realized with horror. For, the last her memory told her was that she was in the bakery making cookies with her father.

She thought it might be a dream. But it was not, as she could see the time (It’s said that one cannot see time in a dream).

Suddenly there was a rustling sound that came from a nearby bush. She turned around to see, and in the blink of an eye, there came a man whose face was covered with a red cloth. He jumped over her head and landed on the other side in front of her. He was wearing clothes that one can describe are from that of a novel or a fictional story. He had a tall stature and one could tell he was handsome even from that half-covered face.

She suddenly came to her senses and stepped back. The man asked her who she was and what was she doing there, whilst taking out a sword and pointing it at her. She thought that maybe her coming at this place might be related to him. So she asked, “My name is Ava. And what am I doing here, I would like to ask you. Who are you and were you the one who brought me here?”

After all, Ava was a brave girl and she had been taught martial arts by her father. The man was taken aback as he had never seen a woman so upfront and speak like that. She was bold.

He had a laugh and half-jokingly told her, “People call me Kai. As for you, I just saw you. But, by the looks of it, you seem to be a secret messenger.” As he finished his sentence, there was a sudden whoosh of air in front of Ava’s face and she saw a glistening silver light pass in front of her eyes. As she managed to get back on her feet, she realized that the man had swung his sword towards her. However, she was able to dodge it thanks to the height difference between them.

Ava realized that she needs to get out of here first. The man attacked her again, and as she dodged, she started running in the forest, lunging at branches of trees, as she once did gymnastics and also grew up playing in the forest near her village.

She jumped over stones, ran among the branches of trees, and slid in small places, all while trying to dodge that man’s skillful attacks. Then she saw a river, and across it, was an open field with tall grass. She lunged at a branch nearest the river and tried to use it to cross over river by jumping across it.

However, as she went for a long jump, her leg was caught by a root that was hanging from a banyan tree. And it pulled her back and she fell to the ground. Kai came and stood in front of her at some distance and then lifted his left hand up in the air and then pointed it at her. In a moment, the green leaves from the trees gathered around him and then attacked her. They were sharp and she got cuts. After that kai lifted his hand again and pointed it at her, this time, she found herself tightly wrapped by the roots of the banyan tree.

All of this, was really confusing to her. What is happening? She thought. But at last, she came to the conclusion that indeed what is happening in front of her is something she had been denying for a while now, but it was true. It was MAGIC. Though it sounded ridiculous, but there was no other explanation. This man was controlling the trees around him. A nature magic user. She had read something like this in a novel.

Moreover, it was strange how she was able to run so fast and with such reflexes. Then, Kai asked her if she had any last words to say.

Ava couldn’t believe her eyes, because all that she remembered was baking cookies, and here she is, being asked the last words before her life is ended. However, dying isn’t an option. She has to go back to her old father, to support him. After her mother passed away, he had been so lonely. Who will take care of him if I’m gone? She thought.

She was snapped out of her thoughts by Kai, who asked her again, what were her last words. She then suddenly felt a surge of power within herself and there was a blue shimmery smoke coming out of her body. Ava, then thought, Do I have Magic too? Since I’m in a magical place. Although the thought was wild, it was worth giving it a try.

She then tried to break through the binds of the root of the banyan tree and holla! It broke. She was free. Looking at this, Kai was taken aback. A woman with such strength! He was even more on guard now.

Kai lifted his hands to attack her once again. This time the fallen logs of trees and branches, the stones, everything started flying and aimed at her. Ava closed her eyes, and thought everything was over, however, she felt nothing. As she opened her eyes, she realized that water was surrounding her. The water came from the river and it formed a shield that was protecting her against Kai’s attacks.

Kai was even more surprised. Seeing such a powerful Water Mage wasn’t common outside of the Royal Palace. Especially, from a commoner woman.

But, as soon as he stopped, the water shield attacked him and he was submerged in water, unable to breathe. Ava took this chance to run away from that place. She lunged at a branch and flew over the river towards the open fields on the other side. As she flew, she saw towards her back, that the water had left Kai and retreated to the river.

After this, Ava ended up walking for 3 hours straight, until she finally came to the cliff and saw a city down there. But it wasn’t the city she was used to seeing as she grew up. The buildings, the clothes of people…all of them were traditional! As if she was in some fantasy novel!

There were people flying on swords, on brooms. Some were even flying without any help. There were carriages instead of cars. And the more she looked, the more bewildered she felt. However, she had to go there, if she wanted to return to her home.

She took out her pocket watch as she walked down the mountain towards the ancient city. The time was still 4’o clock. Looks like the watch got damaged from the attacks earlier. I need to get it fixed. She thought. After all, this was the last thing Ava’s mother left for her.

Then. Ava went to the first clock repair shop she saw. Although it was old-fashioned looking, one could tell, it was still a piece of art, the architecture, the designs, both the outer looks and the interior of the shop. There were so many unique clocks everywhere.

She showed her pocket watch to the shop owner and asked him to repair it. After looking through it for a while, he said that the clock was just fine and there were no damages. As for why it wasn’t working, he had no idea.

Ava then left the shop reluctantly. As she was walking by, she heard a woman call her over. The woman said, she looked troubled and if she needs any help. The woman looked kind, so Ava thought of asking for help. She told her problem. The woman then led Ava inside her shop and into an inner room. Where, Ava saw a beautiful woman (in her 40s approx.), sitting in front of a table on the ground, with a ball of glass in front of her.

Ava, then thought, Is she trying to imitate a witch? Hehe. But then she realized with horror that she was in a magical place and that, this person might, be really a witch. She thought of escaping, but the other woman stopped her and made her sit in front of the witch.

The witch had a pretty and soothing voice as she spoke, “You seem to be troubled, young lady. Don’t be afraid, I’m here to help you. After all, we’re friends of a long time.”

Ava didn’t understand what the witch meant by ‘friends’.

The witch continued,” You are not from this world. Am I right?”

Ava was shocked.

Then the witch said,” It’s alright, I won’t tell anyone. In fact, I will help you go back to your time and place.”

Ava then frowned a little and asked her,” And? What will you take in return? For nobody does anything for free.”

The witch smiled, and said, “It’s alright, I just need a little thing and nothing more in exchange.”

Ava asked what is it that she wants.

The witch said, “I want The Watch. The watch that you have on you.”

Ava refused as it was a memory of her mother. But the witch was persistent.

She said to Ava, “That watch, is not a normal watch and is of no use to a commoner like you. But for someone with high-level magic like me, it’s way more worth than anything. You can just buy another one.”

She ran out of that shop in the blink of an eye and disappeared in the bustling crowd of the busy city, looking for a solution to her problems.

Ava still didn’t know the worth of the Watch she had with her, and what she could do with it in this world.

Kratika Pancholy

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May 13, 2023
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Penpen The Penguin
Penpen The Penguin
May 11, 2023

Nice one....😀



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