The rain had been harsh that morning. As Xam slowly pushed open the great brass doors of the old mansion, the rotten wooden frames broke off and fell on his toe. He cried out in pain but soon sobered himself. He set about exploring the house. Cobwebs hung from every corner possible, and almost everything in sight was either rotten or broken down. A ticking watch lay on the ground and appeared like a bomb. The most suspicious place in the rampaged house was the kitchen. The larder was stocked with unearthly foods, which emitted a divine smell, their shape perfect to the nearest millimeter. Xam even thought he heard the sporadic, clanking sound of machinery at times. A little later, he discovered a wooden cabin which was not as damaged as the rest of the house. He wondered if inside it lay the answers to all the questions that tormented him. But then
he retreated. Something told him, “This far and no farther”.

Akhilesh Balaji, 5B



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