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Thursday 21 December 2017

Holiday at Shiny Valley - Chapter 3

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Chapter 3: Things get exciting

The four decided to keep up the sinister appointment, wondering wildly who they would be meeting. They rushed through lunch, whispering all the while. Grandma thought it was curious that none of them asked for second helpings of anything. The children could hardly wait to go out!

At 3.30 they went to Grandpa to ask him for permission to go on a hike. Grandpa was half asleep and waved them away. They went to Grandma next and she was relieved that they would be out of the house. She packed them a little basket with sandwiches and cold lemonade, idly musing, ‘I wonder what they are plotting? Ahh, kids!’ “Don’t be too late children and be careful, will you? It looks like it might rain. Neel you are the eldest, so take care of everyone, alright?” 
Grandma wasn’t too worried; they lived in such a quiet and peaceful place. Shiny Valley had no scope for adventure or any kind of danger.

Soon the children were off on their mysterious rendezvous. They excitedly discussed all possible theories on who could have written the postcard. Hiking up the hillock, they reached their destination. It looked a bit different from the picture, but the girls insisted that this was the place. 
They waited with bathed breath a little way from the cave entrance peering through the tangled thorn bushes. They could see through the dark tunnel-like cave, the semi-circular archway of light at the other end. It was 4.10 and they were getting restless. Suddenly they saw a hazy figure at the arch; the figure waved. It felt weird but they waved back too. Goosebumps all over, they crept out and stood erect, waiting cautiously for the stranger to appear fully in front of them. 

The stranger disappeared into the dark cave and eventually reappeared with a wide smile and surprise on his face. 

It was Uncle Ray! He was puzzled to see the children here, and suddenly Mili and Reya burst out laughing! They were doubled up and clutching their tummies! Their father and the boys thought they had gone crazy. Finally Mili managed to control her laughter and explained that they had successfully pulled a prank on the uppity boys!

They had found the blank postcard on their last visit to the grandparents. The image had been painted by Grandma long ago and reminded them of this place where their father, botanist Dr Ray, came every day just about this time to collect samples of rare plants at the other end of the cave. They had successfully forged the shaky old handwriting on the card and placed it in between the comics, where the boys were bound to find it! Served the boys right for acting so snobbish with them all the time!

The boys were still rather stunned! But they soon came around, sheepishly apologizing to the girls for their behaviour. Everyone had a good laugh, the girls especially, and they all turned to go back to go home. 

Suddenly someone called out, "I am here." 
The boys turned to see who was calling. There was someone at the end of the cave waving to them.
"Girls! Who is it now?" Neel and Varun chorused. The girls and their father who were walking ahead looked puzzled, they hadn't heard anything, nor could they see anything when the boys pointed frantically to the cave!

“Come on boys, stop fooling around. It has started to drizzle and we’ll be drenched if we don’t hurry,” called out Uncle Ray.
The drizzle was becoming stronger, blurring their view and the sudden chill in the air, made the boys shiver. Frozen in horror, they watched as the figure continued to come nearer, waving all the while. Neel and Varun couldn’t believe that no one else could see it!

It was exactly 4.30 p.m.!!


Chapter 1: Cozy Nest >> Chapter 2: The Den >> Chapter 3: Things get exciting

Read other stories from Nina's World: Click on tag/label #NinasWorld 

Disclaimer: All the characters in the Nina's World series are fictional, any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional.

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