This is a story from the Duckbill Workshop in Delhi, where participants had to complete a story in a given genre. This is Anupam Arunachalam’s story. We thank Anupam for allowing us to use this.
Somnath presented his palms, one over the other, and Liam took the leg up.
“How does it look?” grunted Somnath, trying his best to keep steady.
“I can’t see it yet… wait! Yeah! There it is!”
Liam scrambled to the top, and lay lengthwise on the wall to pull his brother up. The mist was light, and they could see all the way down to the castle.
“Do you see it?” asked Liam, studying Somnath’s face for signs of recognition. “I missed it at first too, but – ”
“Baap re!” Som’s eyes lit up as he sighted it.
“Yeah!” said Liam. “It’s become a moon!”
The world beyond the wall already had many moons, but there was no mistaking it – their ball stood out among them, in bright red.
The boys surveyed the land. It was of their making. Over the years, they’d chucked a bajillion things over the wall, and each of them had been enlarged and made terrifically important in the new world beyond. Their cousin Trishna’s dollhouse had become the biggest castle there ever was, and their mother’s begonias had transformed into massive, million-mouthed, flesh-eating horrors. Monty’s pet chameleon, which they’d tossed over last summer, was now a mega-sega python that coiled under the earth, and on which all of creation rested.
“Well,” said Somnath. “That was the last ball.”
“Yep,” said Liam, taking in the ketchup bottle volcanos and the white expanse of the thermocol desert. “We’ve got to get it back.”
They leapt off the parapet, issuing terrible war cries as they fell. The earth trembled under their feet, and the seas receded, quivering. Innumerable creatures lost whole dimensions beneath their toes.
The gods plucked their leather moon clean out of the shimmering firmament, and the castle imploded in the sonic boom of their high-five.