Children

Brick by brick: Strange happenings

The story so far: Mohit and Neel worked hard to stack the bricks in the fireplace. Who removed them?

Susan glared at Neel and Mohit, as they stood in front of the empty fireplace. “Are you crazy? Why would I take out all the bricks?”

“Because you want to make it appear like only you’re working and we aren’t,” said Mohit.

“This isn’t a competition,” snapped Susan.

Mohit knelt down and started filling the fireplace again and Neel began to help him. “Why can’t they just wall it up without filling it in with bricks?” muttered Mohit.

“That would be so much nicer,” said Neel. “And imagine if we hid something inside and someone found it years later…”

Mystery deepens

“No, let’s not try and be over-smart. If Dad finds out, he’ll pull the whole thing down and make us do it over again,” said Mohit. When the job was done, he ran off in search of his father and dragged him back to see the filled in fireplace. “See, this is how it was last evening. Now you are the witness…Give me your mobile, I’ll take a photograph of it as proof.”

JJ ignored that but said, “Okay, tomorrow I’ll find something else for you to do.”

The next day, the boys ran in search of JJ. “Maybe we can get our task for the day completed quickly and go down to the river to watch the boats and paddle,” said Mohit.

Neel looked into the big house, as he passed and stopped dead. The fireplace was empty once again, and the bricks were strewn all around.

“Who’s doing this to us?” he cried.

Grumbling, and convinced that Susan was up to some mischief, they set to work again, and filled the fireplace in record time.

“Tell you what,” said Mohit. “Let’s camp here tonight, and we’ll catch Susan red-handed.”

Neel nodded. “Great idea.”

That night, the two of them crept away and met at the big house. There was plenty of light from the moon and they spread their sleeping bags right in front of the fireplace. Mohit said, “Should we take turns to keep watch?”

“Okay, I’ll go first,” said Neel. “I’ll wake you up in three hours.”

Mohit was soon fast asleep while Neel kept watch beside the fireplace. Within minutes, however, he had to keep shaking himself to stay awake. After a while, he stood up and walked up and down quietly so that anyone who came to pull out the bricks wouldn’t see him. But, soon, he sat down again and pulled his sleeping bag around him. He could not stop himself from nodding off.

A few hours later, a thud woke both boys. They sat up, looked at each other, and then at the fireplace. Both of them screamed.

(To be continued)

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 3:57:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/brick-by-brick-strange-happenings/article34235217.ece

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