The Castle in the House: Begin again

Illustration: Sonal Goyal  

The story so far: Deprived of his phone, Samit agrees to help Shalu build the castle. But what will happen once he has his phone again?

In the morning, there was no time to look at the castle but the memory of it kept Shalu smiling through the day. She ran home to find Samit unlocking the door.

“Hurry!” she urged. “We have to work on the castle!”

Samit sighed but said nothing about his phone. Shalu stood by her brother as he ate, bouncing impatiently, saying, “Come on, come on!”

When Samit stood up, Shalu dragged him away. Samit was laughing and saying, “Shalu, you silly...” but his words stopped abruptly when they entered the room. They stared at the castle, which lay in a shambles — the walls broken, the blocks scattered around the room.

“The window!” Samit said urgently. “It’s open!”

“Was it the wind?” Shalu asked.

“No,” Samit was certain. “Those blocks fit well, and the walls were strong. Someone must have jumped on them.”

“The cat!” Samit said suddenly. “The one in the garden next door; it must have got in!”

Why would a cat destroy their castle? Shalu wondered but said nothing, because Samit was already squatting on the floor, putting the castle back together, humming happily.

Back to the beginning

They worked fast and, by the time their parents were home, the walls were soaring again.

“Samit,” Amma said, “here’s your phone.”

“Leave it there, Amma,” Samit said, bent over the castle. “This is a tricky bit…Shalu, come help!” When they stopped for the day, they had four walls with several narrow windows in them.

“It’s going to be amazing!” Shalu said happily.

“Yes,” Samit smiled. “Let’s shut the window tightly today.”

It was only later that Shalu remembered something. “We have that speech tomorrow!” she said, rushing into Samit’s room. “We’ll be back late, so the castle...”

Samit understood. “We’ll put in extra work on Saturday!” Shalu had no time to check on the castle before she left for school the next day. In the evening, they came home late. There was barely time to eat dinner before they fell asleep.

So, it was on Saturday morning that Shalu and Samit walked to the playroom. Samit was telling her about the game he had been playing on his phone when they pushed the door open. They stopped on the threshold, shocked.

To be continued...

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 5:24:22 AM |

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