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  • Writer's pictureMughda Mohanty

MUM



I yawned yet once again, looking out of the window in front of me. The day seemed so pleasant and here I was stuck, doing my holiday homework for Physics. My mum was downstairs preparing an early dinner for both of us, while Father was on a trip overseas for work and would not be back for yet another week.

She knew how exhausted and bored I was, so to lighten up my day she was preparing red spaghetti. She absolutely despised eating spaghetti and swore to never eat it again because it had resulted in an upset stomach when she ate it in college once. So she was also preparing some warm cabbage soup for herself. I was so uninterested in my homework that I was observing the tree in front of me as the sun began to set. I looked into my book once again only to realise that I couldn’t recollect a single of Newton’s three laws of motion.


Annoyed at my incompetence, I closed my book and lay on my bed grabbing my phone along with me. I scrolled through it just to see all my friends having such eventful vacations while I stayed at home, daydreaming with the excuse of studying.

“Come down darling!” I heard mum say in her usual sing-songy manner which she used when she was feeling quite pleased with her work.


As I stepped out of my room, just about to go downstairs, a hand grabbed my ankle. I let out a loud gasp as I saw a human hand reaching out and grabbing my ankle appearing through a crack in the floorboard. “Don’t go downstairs darling, I heard that too” it croaked and what was the most baffling to me was that the voice exactly resembled mum’s voice….. “Are you coming down?” questioned my ‘mum’ from the kitchen and the hand from the floorboard wagged its finger at me croaking out, “She is not your mum, I am. That shape-shifting creature already got me and is about to get you and I cannot let that happen. Run up to the attic with the excuse that you forgot to get something and I will meet you there, then we can try to kill this creature before it can shapeshift into anyone else. Darling, you must believe me alright? I cannot see my only child get attacked while I sit back and do nothing.” I nodded and seeing the hand creep back down into the crack in the floorboard, I said to the voice in the kitchen, “Give me a few minutes mum, I forgot something important. I will be there in a minute.”


Hearing ‘mum’ from the kitchen let out a hum in agreement I rushed into my room to take a few deep breaths. “What should I do?” I asked myself and while I was thinking I could hear footsteps coming out of the kitchen and in the spur of a moment I rushed to the attic, frightened to hear the ‘mum’ walking out of the kitchen to get me.


In the attic, I saw mum in a battered condition with multiple bruises up her arms and her hair shabbily caging her face instead of her usual perfect bun. I ran up to her and hugged her, both of us sobbing a little. I was so tired, scared and unsure of what was going on. “Mum, are you okay? They have hurt you so badly” I blubbered, my gaze scanning her injured arms; “Oh my child, don’t worry about me! I am alright but you are still in danger and we must do something about that,” she said in the sweet tone she used when she wanted to comfort me. Both of us tried finding something in the attic which we could use to injure the creature fatally and I remembered that father used to keep his toolbox up in the attic. As soon as I found the toolbox, I lifted the hammer and showed mum the object I had discovered and she let out a squeal of joy, praising me for my quick thinking.


The plan which both of us devised was that I would call out for ‘mum’ to come up to my room from the corridor and in my room would be my real mum who would strike her with the hammer and so that’s what I did. “Mum, please come here for a bit!” I yelled, my hands were still shaking and I hid in the corridor where ‘mum’ would be unable to find me. I closed my eyes not being able to open it and when I heard my room’s door slam shut I rushed downstairs into the kitchen and heard the huge “THUMP!” and I knew at that moment that mum had succeeded.


Looking around the kitchen trying to calm my heart which was beating like mad, I saw that the cabbage soup had not yet been poured into the bowls but the serving plate of spaghetti was set on the table. I saw mum come downstairs with a satisfied smile on her face and she gathered me into a huge bear hug and said, “Before we do or think of anything else, let us fill our stomachs cause gosh I am starving!” I agreed, just so glad and relieved that this nightmare had come to its end. Mum had already taken a seat at the table but my heart was thumping against my chest madly. After taking a few deep breaths I turned around and yet again, my face turned pale because there was mum feasting on red spaghetti, something she swore never to do.



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