The house smelt of chicken curry. Grandpa Bhim was sipping his morning tea and
reading the papers. He would start on breakfast soon and Lakshana hoped to be
home just in time to tuck into some yummy Indian pancakes. Laranya was already
outside and waved frantically for Lakshana to hurry. She pointed towards the
stable and mouthed something Lakshana could not quite comprehend.
it?" asked Lakshana stepping out into the front porch.
"The boys should be already in there," announced Laranya climbing up the
steps. She took a while to catch her breath. "Maybe we should bring eggs.
Tomatoes can't be enough," she suggested.
Laranya looked flushed. Although tall for her age, she was also big-boned.
Her latest addiction to Uncle Jerry's mud pies in town had not helped her
physique very much. "I'd like a cup of hot cocoa," she said, interrupting
Lakshana offered her water bottle which she sipped on reluctantly. They then
opened their backpacks to confirm they were well-equipped -- rope, torches, a
container of homemade smelly jelly and tomatoes. Laranya spotted something else
under a small pack of flour. "Scissors? Lak, we agreed not to bring weapons!"
"You think they're going to stick to their promise? How naive of you, Laranya!"
replied Lakshana and zipped up her bag before Laranya could say another word.
Laranya decided to let the matter rest. The girls linked their arms and ran
towards the stable panting and giggling. They stopped behind Father's pick-up
truck and watched for signs of the enemies.
The stable seemed empty from the outside. Except for the occasional neighing
of the horses, they could not hear anything else. Lakshana peeped from behind
the truck to check for footprints but the area, except for bicycle-tyre marks,
remained clear. "How do you know they've arrived?" whispered Lakshana.
"I thought I saw Deepak ride in. Maybe it wasn't him," replied Laranya.
Lakshana crawled towards the entrance, carefully hiding behind the many logs
stacked by the side. She stopped midway when suddenly, it dawned upon her. "Did
you say 'ride in'?" she asked.
Phlap! Ram missed her head and the slimy egg splattered against the side of a
log. Just like that, the fight had begun.