Her eyes blinked twice as she felt the warm glare of the sun’s rays on her 12-year-old face. She reached out for her Teddy with her hand as her legs searched for her mattress. She could get hold of neither. As she curled up she could feel a cool moistness underneath her bare toes. A gush of wind blew across her face and she woke up. As she stretched herself and looked around, her mouth shut close from her yawn and her eyes widened.
Green, green everywhere. Till the end of the horizon, till where her eyes could see, there was grass, and trees, and land. Vast expanses of land covered by the softest grass ever.
‘Where am I?’ Hazel could not believe her eyes. She could remember hugging her Teddy and asking Santa to grant her, her only wish before falling asleep in her beautiful bedroom. And now she was here.
‘Oh I know’, suddenly her eyes had a glitter, ‘This is only a dream. A stupid dream of mine’, she laughed. ‘I should sleep again’. She shut her eyes tight and lay like that for 5 minutes and then sat up, startled.
‘No’, she screamed, ‘This ain’t a dream’. ‘But what am I to do here? ‘. As she slowly came to terms with what had transpired, she started to feel hungry. She could see fruits. Even as she ate them, she wondered at the place she had landed up, almost magically.
She stood there and stared down her nose. She began to run. As fast as she could. She stopped when she developed a cramp in her stomach. She sat down in a squat. Tears were streaming down her cheeks. She wanted to meet her mom.
She did not know how much time had passed and would run, then squat, then cry, then run again.
‘I wonder how many days it has been’ she contemplated, ‘but the sun never set’. ‘Maybe it never does in this part of the world ‘. This thought made her cry. It was now that she told herself,’ I don’t want to stay here. I want to go back. Or maybe I want to die. ‘
Next few hours, or days, or weeks, or whatever – it was a timeless world-she spent wondering how to die. But then there was no building to jump from, no rope to hang herself with and then there was enough food to last an eternity and you don’t expect a 12-year-old to be able to starve herself. So, of all people, hear was a 12-year-old who awaited death.
Then it happened. As she was on her running errand, she could picture a warrior in front of her and even as she was wondering if it was a mirage, the warrior’s gun roared. And it happened. A death so awaited.
As she opened her eyes, Santa said, ‘Child, you asked me last night to take you to the world of your video games. You see you lost on the last level. Death was never an option. One more step and you would have won’. Hazel could see her TV screen flashing ‘GAME OVER’.