The IndUS Network e-magazine

short story

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Phil trudged slowly in the crowded halls of his school looking for Mark. Phil is an average kid going to a middle school. He has a lot of friends but his best friend is a 12 year old named Mark. Mark was his neighbor and his dad owns a very famous company. Phil searched everywhere in the crowd, but couldn't find Mark. Phil thought Mark may be sick today and he will call him when he gets home

When the school day was over, Phil went home and called Mark. Mark's mom picked up the phone.

Phil said, “Hi Mrs.Jones, Is Mark at home? I was wondering if he can play with me today”.

Suddenly, Mark's mom started crying, and said,”Phil, Mark is missing.” Phil was shocked. How could Mark go missing?


All of a sudden he remembered something. .. It was 3 weeks before, one day Phil was playing with his friend Mark in the backyard. After one hour of intense basketball, Mark got tired. So Mark went inside the house to get some water. Phil was waiting outside for several minutes when he became tired of waiting. So he went inside the house to see what his friend was doing. To his surprise, Mark wasn't getting a drink of water, but he was on the Internet chatting with people whom he doesn't know. Phil became very concerned about his friend and told Mark's mom that Mark was chatting with strangers on the Internet. Mark's mom put an end to it right away but Mark became very upset with Phil. Later Phil had to leave home because it was getting late.

The next day after school, Phil had to go to the library to return some books. To his surprise, he found Mark again on the computers -chatting with strangers. Phil reminded Mark again, “I thought your mom told you to stop chatting on the Internet.” Mark became enraged and snapped,” It's none of your business! Don't be my friend if you're going to invade into my personal activities.”

Later in the day, when Phil went home, he decided to stop by Mrs. Adam’s house. Mrs. Adams, who lived next street was their baby sitter. She was a nice lady but very poor. Mrs. Adams greeted Phil with hugs and kisses. She even made a batch of cookies for him. Phil told her that he was having problems with his friend Mark.

She told him "Don't worry, Phil. Friends disagree sometime but always realize that a true friend never gets in their way unless they are going down. Mark will realize this soon and will get back to you soon. Just be patient!"

Phil walked home glumly. The next 2 weeks at school were the worst. Mark wouldn't talk to him and make fun of him in front of the whole school at lunch.

Last night, when Phil was lying on bed, he heard some noise outside Mark's front yard. When he jumped towards the window to see what was happening when he saw the car with a license plate 34TUA leave the front yard. The next, Phil knew was waking up to go to school.

Now, Phil was thinking long and hard, how could Mark be missing. Could this related to the car which left his front yard the night before? Could this be related to the chatting he does on the Internet?


"Phil, are you there?", Mrs.Jones voice interrupted his thoughts.

"Yes, Mrs.Jones", Phil said

"Do you know where Mark might have gone?", asked Mrs.Jones

Phil responded, "I am not sure but I did find a car leaving your front yard last night. I will come to your home with my parents in few minutes." and disconnected the phone.

After few minutes, Phil and his family were in Mark's living room trying to cheer up Mark's parents when the phone rang. Mark's mom rushed and picked up the phone.

A rough and raspy voice on the other side of the phone said,” We have your son as a hostage. We will return him unharmed if you pay us $1,000,000” and the phone went dead. Mark's mom stared in utter horror. The whole room was silent. Mark's dad did a little prayer and said, “May god be with us.”

[To be continued]

It took an hour?

For thirty years, John had arrived at work at 9A.M. on the dot. He had never missed a day and was never late.Consequently, when on one particular day 9 A.M. passed without John arrival, it caused a sensation. All work ceased, and the boss himself, looking at his watch and muttering, came out into the corridor.

Finally, precisely at ten, John showed up, clothes dusty and torn, his face scratched and bruised, his glasses bent. He limped painfully to the time clock, punched in, aware that all eyes were upon him,said,"I tripped and rolled down two flights of stairs in the subway. Nearly killed myself."

And the boss asked, "And to roll down two flights of stairs it took you a whole hour?"

* The characters, settings and happenings are fiction only.