Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Horrible Henry?

Gwenda was ready for school and climbed proudly on her new four geared bicycle. “Gwennie, why don’t you avoid that busy main road and go through Apple Garden Street. That is safer sweety. I will be relaxed if u opt that” said Linda.

“Mom, u know that Henry with long curly, sticky and greatly tangled hair lives there. The very sight of him terrifies me. Especially when he is out, with his hair loose, that would swing hazily around his broad shoulders making a weird sound. It is safer for me if I go by that busy road. Bye Mom. Love You.”

And yes, little Gwennie was brave girl. It was only when Henry was visible, she felt like a real coward. Humming a sweet song, Gwennie was pretty slow enjoying the fresh air with greeny aroma that hit her face. She smelled someone closer to her. “Hey Gwenda, I think even a snail can overtake u. Pretty cool right?”. It was Bob. She gave a cheerful smile and pedaled fast to keep pace with him.

“I came through Apple Garden Street.”, said Bob. Gwennie stumbled for a minute and looked at him for more details.

“And, I saw that Henry. Unusually, his wild hair carried a lighter shade, making me his looks more fearful. And he carried a huge leather bag. Tommy said that the bag contained all chocolates and candies, which he uses to attract children who reciprocate to his odd smile. Once u use anything out of his leather bag, u will obey him like his pet dog and for sure he will use u for his witchcraft. But I am not the kind who will fear him. One day when I get a chance, I will peep into his house and find out who he is”

Gwennie was now terrified. She wished Bob would close his mouth for God’s sake. She wanted to change the topic. Probably she would ask him some history questions which would make him to fumble. Otherwise too bossy and shrewd Bob always lost confidence when questioned in History. Gwennie was happy to see him fumbling. That tactics worked and Gwennie congratulated herself for that wise idea.


It was a tiresome day for little Gwennie. As usual, she had a fresh tale about that Henry. Linda was almost bored of such stories. She always refused to believe that Henry was well versed in witchcraft. She wished her daughter could be brave enough to ignore this. But not all parents shared the same thought with Linda. Tommy’s mother almost banned him to play in Apple Garden street. So funny, thought Linda.

But Nancy, her neighbour was almost sure that Henry was wicked. “He goes to Richard street daily and he meets few awkward looking men like him there. That place is so deserted and was used by outlaws to gamble and drink. No man with genuine intentions would choose that place to do whatever legally permitted work there. And u know, the restaurant owner who has his hotel in the same building where Henry meets his friends is absconding for the past one week. Henry is the prime suspect in Police’s list. He can be caught anytime,” said Nancy.

This piece of information gave Linda a little restlessness. ‘But Nancy’s words cannot be relied upon always. Still, it is better if Gwennie avoids him. Gwennie need not be taught to keep a safe distance from him. She already knew it’, thought Linda.

Now, Gwennie could hardly control her from telling that new story about Henry. “Mom, he changed his hair colour today. It was dyed black. Earlier, it was silvery white. I almost thought he would be 60, looking at his white hairs. Probably he wants none to guess his age. As he was walking past, a really old man, too skinny, and probably too hungry asked for water. Henry was carrying the water bottle. But he just ignored the old man heartlessly and headed towards his house. That is how sorcerers are. Heartless and cruel.”

Linda became thoughtful and wished Gwennie could do some other productive work. With her quota of sandwiches, Gwennie knew what she had to do next to please her mother. She went to her room upstairs, sitting before the computer to complete her homework.


That was Monday evening and Linda was worried, looking for Gwennie. Little Gwennie did come, but was looking miserable. Linda ran to her, and comforted.

‘Tell me my dear. What happened?’

‘He.. Hen..ry’, that is all she said and lied on the couch.

Now greatly terrified, Linda sat behind her.

‘I saw him in his compound, running behind someone, with .. blood drenched knife.’

“What!” exclaimed Linda.

As a matured mother, she contained her feelings. ‘Honey, do not imagine things. Nothing is as wild as u think. Just relax. Forget it for now. Have this hot porridge girl.’

Gwennie did feel better after taking that porridge. But started feeling feverish soon. Aprehensively, Linda rang to inform Walter, her husband.

Walter was in soon.

‘What is the problem? I see that Henry is harmless. We should educate Gwennie’ said Walter.

‘But Walter, I cannot blindly rely someone. Neighbours do not have good opinion about him for some odd reasons. And our little Gwennie has a solid reason this time. He ran with blood filled knife, behind someone. Is not that dangerous? Don’t u think we should do something to make this place safe for children? Ya, henry looks terribly awkward and carries sorcerers look with his tangled hair. I cannot tolerate to see Gwennie like this.’

Walter was quite. ‘Linda, u r not right. Still, I do not find a point to blame Henry. Better do not jump into conclusions. Sure, we have to do something about it. Till we know the facts, it is good not to blame a possible innocent.’

Linda acknowledged. For Walter would not stop with his words. She relaxed, relying his husband.

That did put an end to discussion about Henry. But not to Gwennie’s ill health. She missed her classes for two days and was feeling extremely feverish.

At last, she recovered, much to the relief of Linda. She scared to hear the word Henry even, making Linda to realize that something has to be done immediately.


Gwennie was playing with her little brother Tom, as he was fondly called. They were in the lawn. Linda was in the front door, watching their little kids play.

Just then, Henry entered the house, with his terrible looking hair.

Gwennie receded, wanting to escape and equally, wanting to safeguard her little brother. She looked at Linda for support. Linda did not react in negative.

But Tommy viewed Henry funnily. He advanced near him, trying to jump and catch his hair. Henry, kneeled down, as if to help little Tom to accomplish his wish.

‘Hey, boy, u like my hair, just have it.’ He removed the wig, exposing his bald head.

Tom was more than a happy boy now. He was happy to have that funny wig. And was happy to glance through the bald head. The first bald head he had ever seen in his two years of life.

Gwennie, though relaxed to see Henry that way, was still shivering.

‘Gwennie, he was just chasing his pet dog, as he grabbed his fresh bread pocket. And the knife had no blood, but only jam. It was ur imagination Gwennie’, it was Walter.

Now Gwennie had a mild smile on her face.

She went near Henry. Shook his hand and said, ‘U look wonderful this way.’

Henry thought, ‘My dear little girl, that wig was uglier way to hide my complex. Not meant to hurt u kids’. As a happy, man, Henry walked bald, leaving his wig as a present for little Tom to play.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cute story. The message is well conveyed in the story. Its good to see you writing something light to heart. I mean to say not a serious topic but an essential one. Keep it up! and get going!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 8:19:00 PM  
Blogger fieryblaster said...

thanks for dropping in. :)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 11:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fieryblaster, How many people have you met with the name Gwenda, Walter and Tom? A good story must convey experiential honesty. Anything else is a travesty on good fiction. Or did you intend to write science fiction? Or did you so much want to sound like the English books you read and ended up aping the borrowed names? Btw, I liked your Guarded Pride much better.

Friday, September 16, 2005 6:23:00 AM  
Blogger fieryblaster said...

see, this space is a training ground for me to write whatever new area i want to set my foot in. my first attempt, for that matter every attempt of mine may not be the best. ya they are borrowed names. i find nothing wrong in them. i don't believe that story should convey experiential honesty. a true fiction has greater amount of imagination than experience. if u find fault with my poor imagination, i have to accept it. thanks for dropping in.

Friday, September 16, 2005 7:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frankly I don't find any fault with your imagination. Imagination is pretty important and you have a lot of that. What I sensed in your using borrowed names is a false sense of identification with English books of western origin. Ofcourse I am not saying borrowed names are bad altogether. When you want to convey a sense of surrealism or if you are writing futuristic fiction (or if your story is set in a different place or time), then it is fine to use borrowed names. When borrowed names are used in an alien story setting, you are truthful neither to imagination nor to the story setting- not good for an aspiring writer. This is akin to Bharathi Raja showing an uncouth Tamil village boy wearing a Nike shoe ("Taj Mahal")- remember the same Bharathi Raja made Kamal wear Kovanam in 16 vayadhinilae- reason why 16 vayadhinilae succeeded while Taj Mahal bombed in the box office. Imagination is one thing- Intellectual dishonesty is another.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger fieryblaster said...

I take it as a view point which never striked me till now. thanks.
i intented to write a story for submitting to a US based website. the output was not worth it. hence i published it here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 7:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005 10:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to prolong this but why do you think any US based publication will be more interested if you use the borrowed names- one would think that they would be more interested in knowing what unique thing that you have to offer with your unique background and unique experiences than to hear about just another (phony?) story with names like Gwenda? For instance, what do you think is better- real diamond or one of those look alikes, real jasmine flower or one of those plastic jasmine flowers that try to look like the real ones? You have something that no one else has- your uniqueness with your unique take on your unique surroundings- when you value that high other will also.

Note 1: This is not getting better, is it?

Note 2: What is vfs, anonymous?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 2:34:00 PM  
Blogger fieryblaster said...

i do not feel like answering ur questions. it is becoming too much.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 5:55:00 PM  
Blogger fieryblaster said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 6:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sunday, September 25, 2005 9:31:00 AM  

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