A silent cry for help: It was a new neighborhood, this was the second time in three years that I had to change my school again because of my dad’s transfer. The best part about shifting was that I had traveled a lot and come into the acquaintance of many new people. There was a park outside my house on the right side of the road. I was the only fourteen-year-old boy there. All the younger children played in the mud and on the swings while I idly shifted through my jumbo slam card collection all alone.
One evening, I met another boy with the same set of slam cards that I had. I asked him to come and play together, he agreed. The new kid was rather unusual, he did not have any facial expressions. He never laughed or talked much but I didn’t mind as long as I got a friend to play cards with. Whenever we played together, we exchanged our cards with each other. However, he never stayed for more than four matches, each time after exchanging four cards he left. He had an annoying habit of whistling while playing cards and it was the same monotonous tune of whistle every day.
A silent cry for help
The day I met him, I started hearing tapping noises at night from the neighborhood. The sound was very clear late at night when everything else was silent, it was of somebody tapping on a wooden table with a spoon. Every night the wooden table echoed in my ears for fifteen to thirty minutes in the same monotonous tone as the whistle.
In six months, my dad got transferred again and I moved to a new neighborhood. My stay at this place was very limited all that was left in my memory were that boy’s slam cards. One night, in my new house my aunt visited us with her five-year-old daughter. She was making card houses with my slam cards. They were all arranged in a jumbled fashion on the floor. But somehow, she had placed the cards that Varun exchanged with me in such a way that the letter printed at the backside of each card displayed the word, “HELP” when put together. It struck my nerve for a while, but I dismissed the thought as we were called downstairs for dinner.
The other day, my little sister was watching a cartoon movie on our family television. I was having breakfast in the dining room and I heard a piece of very familiar music from the hall. It caught my attention, it was the same tune of whistle that my friend used to hum. I sat beside her and began watching the movie with her which ended after that music which was the cartoons’ call for help.