Missed the first part? Need a recap? It’s here.
One of the worse part about growing up is the need to take decision, real weird decision. Mayur didn’t have to worry about buying gifts when he was 5. It was all taken care for. He and Aayu grew up together. They were childhood friends, the kind you get to see on the movies. And thus, it made Mayur’s forgotten birthday crime even more severe.
‘It’s Aayu’s birthday next Wednesday,’ he would tell his mother in his 7 year old voice, almost cracking. And a teddy bear would be waiting, all gift wrapped in pink. It’s always interesting for kids to know what the other got for their birthdays. They are often too curious, and tear the wrappers themselves.
If you’re a boy of 7, you can’t be friends with a girl. She’s an alien. But Aayu was different. She belonged, right there inside his friends circle, even when he was 5.
Mayur would often giftwrap Aayu’s gift with 10 layers of newspaper. It made the gift look heavier and bogus. She was almost always mad at this prank of his. Mayur had to stop it when once Aayu did not open a toy she was gifted for over a year.
Here lay the toy, today, on the table, hearing conversations she would not have heard if Zafar did not have imprisoned her soul into the doll.
Suddenly the sound of an ambulance pierced the quiet morning. Somebody shouted from across the room. The sound continued, now followed by a heavy metal band’s thrashing vocals.
‘Turn off the alarm!’ screamed a girl.
Mayur snoozed it.
5 minutes later, the ambulance paid a visit again and the metal band too.
This time the girl had walked right into the room and screamed, ‘Why can’t you put up something else as your alarm tone?’
She was Mayur’s sister, Avni.
She opened the water bottle and poured half the bottle over his head.
‘Hyaaa!,’ screamed Mayur and woke up.
‘No wonder you forgot Aayu’s birthday,’ she said as she walked out of the room.
Mayur could not have heard her. While her soul was inside the doll, the doll did not have any expression on its own. Nobody could have seen her smiling, laughing or talking. Except for her eyes, if anyone bothered to notice.
She rolled her eyes. Mayur’s pajamas were damp with moisture. Water dripped out of his black hair, frizzy this time of the morning.
‘What’s with you Avni!’ he exclaimed.
The mattress had become damp. It was already late. He swiped his phone and logged into his facebook account. Mayur did have a pretty good looking facebook profile picture. Rumor had it that a couple of girls from his new college had already begun crushing on him. There were 5 notifications on the profile. He clicked it.
‘CLASS HAS BEEN SHIFTED TO 9.30’ it read.
Mayur swiftly looked at the top corner of his phone. He picked up a pair of trousers, a shirt and a jacket and raced into the bathroom. It was 8.37 right then.
Kaya could tell by his action that he was getting late. She had never been to a human house before. The bed, the clothes and the weird stuff pasted on the walls did not make sense to her. Wayne Rooney was smiling at her through the opposite wall. She smiled back, not knowing that it was just a poster. Manchester United it read.
‘How am I ever going to get out of here?’ she uttered to herself.
The clothes hanger, wardrobe, desk and bed were all symmetrically arranged in a pattern, like though Mayur (or someone at Mayur’s) was a fan of the Feng Shui. There was a picture at the corner over the side table. There were five kids in the photograph, with only one girl.
Kaya remembered Mayur saying that he was going to gift the doll to Aayu. The girl in the picture must be her, she thought.
Kaya looked at her red dress. It was meant for the ball, the ball thrown by Prince Eric. She was surrounded by a transparent plastic box and her plastic feet and hands were tied on the board that had a picture of a palace high up in the mountains. How she had dreamt of dancing with the Prince under the big chandelier at High Palace, surrounded with glass windows on all sides.
Over 48 hours had passed since Zafar put her under his spell. Middlelands, her hometown was in a state of chaos. Prince Eric was made captive by the evil magician. If the spell wasn’t broken within the next 48 hours, Kaya would forever be a doll, with a plastic heart.
Mayur zoomed out of the bathroom, picked up his bag, which may be had a book or two at most. He picked up his wallet, and a notebook from the table. He picked up the doll box and put it inside his bag.
Kaya suddenly remembered the last words of Master Wei before she woke up inside her plastic body.
‘BREAK THE SPELL!’
Image from miniinthebox.com