Some family secrets are terrible when set loose, but mine was worse than anything I could have imagined.
One fine Sunday morning, I was talking with my friends about family secrets.
"What's your family secret, Anand?" my friend Anirudh asked. He was a tall and strong man with silky white hair. I began to run away from him as he started to chase me.
"I'm not going to say," I said, taunting him. I wanted to get away from him and hide somewhere.
"It would be a food recipe," Anirudh said, laughing.
"I'm not telling my family secret," I said and ran off at my best.
It all started when my friend Charlie started asking about everyone's family secrets. He was acting strange that day. But, with his huge frame and flabby body, catching me was impossible.
My father had said to me that my grandfather had a secret which was being passed by the surfacing generations.
"I have been told not to reveal our family secret to anyone," I said, trying to escape from him.
After I said that, I was hunted down by three of my friends.
But I was not ready to fall prey to anyone.
"You can't escape, Anand," my friend Tony said.
He was a bulky man with large muscle mass. His brilliant brown eyes shot at me. He became my friend when he saved me from seniors from my university.
"Tony, you will never get hold of me," I said.
I quickly ran into my house and locked myself inside my room.
I heard my friends murmuring for some time and didn't hear them again.
I thought that I was safe.
But, safety is never reliable. When I took a step outside my house, my friends caught hold of me.
"What's your family secret, Anand?" Charlie asked.
"Go and ask my grandfather. He is in my house," I sarcastically said.
They believed me and went into my house.
My grandfather was not even alive. My grandmother told me that my grandfather died because of a heart attack. My friends didn't know that. I couldn't control my laughter. He died before I was born and I have seen him only in the family photo. Since then, my grandmother has been alone.
I wiped my tears and used the moment as a chance to escape.
They came back in a rage. But I had already escaped from there. I approached Tony's house to stay hidden from them for some time.
His house was huge. The elegant walls were decorated with beautiful paintings. I saw a fancy scroll hanging from one of the paintings. I quickly looked on to it. Something was written in it that I couldn't understand.
I loved the adventures and scrolls took me into a dream world.
It would show a replay of the past.
The scroll world was beautiful. The trees were carved into the heads of Tony's family members, just like a family tree as the scroll was their family's possession.
I started walking into that tree, when I saw Tony's house. But it was a lot smaller.
I stepped inside his past house. (We will not be seen in the scroll world, because only our souls come inside this exciting world)
I saw a small girl playing with a ball. Then a young man called her.
"Bella, I have to say one important thing to you," the man said.
Bella was Tony's mother!
Then that young man would be Tony's grandfather.
"What is the matter?" Bella asked.
"We have a family secret. I want to reveal it to you or it would be too late," Tony's grandfather said in a low voice.
But I was standing near him, throwing my hands on his shoulder.
"Okay, daddy," said Bella. She was very cute with brown eyes and curly brown hair.
Then I heard someone shouting my name at a distance.
Oh no! My friends had entered into the same scroll!
I had to escape from there. I wanted to hear Tony's family secret, but in vain. I was also interested in knowing secrets.
I got out of the scroll world and started walking slowly. I had been very tired after being chased by my friends since morning.
"Hey, Anand. Wait," Tony shouted from a distance.
I found an old man approaching me. He looked very hungry with ragged clothes and free-flowing hair.
"May I help you, Sir?" I asked him.
"Yes. But I have already lost everything in life because of a woman who was fond of money," he stuttered. I gave him some money and waited for my friends to catch hold of me.
"I have talked to this man before," Charlie said, pointing at the old man. I listened closely.
"Where did you see him, Charlie?" Tony asked.
"Yes. I got it. This man told me to find out all our family secrets because one of us had a dark one." Charlie said.
"Then it must be Anand," Tony said.
Then, they ran towards me and said, "We want to know your family secret, Anand."
"But, I don't know my family secret," I said, scratching my head.
"What?" Charlie exclaimed, angrily.
"You made us run behind you, even without knowing your family secret," Tony shouted at me.
"Yes," I said, keeping my head down.
"Then, let's go and find out for ourselves, guys," Anirudh said.
For the first time, I had agreed with their decision.
We joined our hands together and shouted, "Let's find out Anand's family secret."
We were in for an adventure and an important mission.
We went inside my house and I found the scroll inside a rice bowl. I had seen my grandmother hide the scroll inside it.
We went inside the empty scroll. My family secret was not even written.
What a secret!
We went inside the scroll world and I saw my family tree there. We went past it.
But there was no building.
My house was not there! My friends stared at me.
Then a man with an architectural hat measured the empty land.
My house was going to be built only then!
Then a young man started talking to the architect.
"Architect, I have a plan for the building," he said.
"Go on, Mr. Ayush," the architect said. The young man was my grandfather. He was very handsome with silky black hair and a good physique. He spoke fluently.
We didn't understand the terms the duo were talking about. So, we waited till they finished their talk.
Then we started following my grandfather.
My grandfather slowly walked towards a pregnant woman and said," Our child has a house now, Ayesha."
Ayesha is my grandmother. She was pretty with curly black hair and blue eyes.
"Mind your job, man," she said, shoving him away.
My grandfather laughed and walked her into an old clay house with cobwebs everywhere.
My grandfather was very poor at that time.
But our family had improved from a bare subsistence level to a rich standard of living.
"Anand, where are you?" my mother called. We immediately came out of the scroll and my friends waved to me a goodbye.
"I am here, mom," I said. After supper, I wished to go to that scroll world again to find out what had happened.
After everyone had dozed off, I quietly went into the scroll. I called my friends too.
We went inside the same clay house and found my young grandparents sleeping.
"We can forward time in this world," Charlie suggested.
"You could have suggested it when they were talking about architecture," Tony shouted. He was very short tempered.
"I have a watch," I said and changed the time in my watch.
When I stopped changing the time, it was dark.
But, some people entered the small clay house. They wore black masks and had knives in their hands. Five of them had come.
In the scroll world, we can't change anything. We can only see what's going to happen.
"What are they doing in this old house covered with cobwebs?" Tony asked me.
"Let's wait and watch," Charlie said, watching intensely.
My family secret would come out now.
"Your grandfather is gonna have an intense fight now," Charlie said. I also thought the same.
One of the black masked guys made a utensil to fall down, which woke up my grandfather.
"Who are you guys? What do you want from me?" my grandfather asked, panicking.
"Give all your money and jewels to me," the masked guys called out their demand, while keeping the knife on my grandmother's throat.
My grandfather had no choice.
"Wait. I will give you whatever I have," my grandfather said and handed over all his money to the thieves.
But, the thieves stabbed him with a knife.
"Why did you do this?" my grandfather groaned in pain.
The thieves ran away with the cash and jewels.
My grandmother woke up to find my grandfather dying.
"I love you, Ayesha," he coughed and fell down dead.
My grandmother was heartbroken. I was shocked. My hands started to tremble as I stood still.
My grandfather had been killed!
My friends tried to console me as tears flowed down my cheeks.
I wanted to remand those rogues who murdered my grandfather and destroy their entire race.
Then what is the difference between me and them.
We went out of the scroll world and my friends waved me a goodbye.
Next morning, I found my grandmother knitting my mother's dress in her room.
I quickly embraced her and whispered," I know our family secret."
"What are you saying, my dear grandson?" she asked in a tender voice.
"My grandfather was killed by a bunch of thieves. You didn't reveal this even to my dad," I whispered.
"That's not true, Anand," my grandmother said, and started to cry.
"I have seen the past through the scroll and I am sure I will remand those rogues and throw them in prison," I said angrily.
"Okay, my child," she said, smiling weakly.
I would definitely remand them even if they are old grandfathers.
Then the same old man whom I had met a while before was waiting in front of my house.
I approach him to ask what he wanted.
"Is this your house, my dear child?" he stutters.
"Yes. Please come in," I say.
"No, this is a sinful house. I would never step my leg into this house," he says, impatiently, trying to run away from there.
"Why, grandfather?" I ask him, holding his hands.
My grandmother walks down the steps to see what was happening.
"Why are you talking to this old man? Come in at once, Anand," she says, panicking.
"This woman, this woman," he says, scratching his head.
"What's the matter, grandfather? Have you seen my grandmother before?" I ask.
"She is the one who planned to kill your grandfather for his insurance and became a rich woman," he cries.
“He’s mad,” my grandmother says.
“I think so,” I say and go inside my house.
I sit on my sofa to take a look on social media on my phone.
I hear a loud sound from my grandmother’s room. As I peep in, a strong discussion happens between a man and my grandmother.
He has a scar on his hands. A red, bright scar!
“I have seen this scar,” I think.
I wait outside the room as the man comes out with money in his hands and pushes me aside.
"Killing a man for her has been very beneficial," he says.
I get it.
He was one of the thieves who had killed my grandfather!
But what is he doing in my house with my grandmother?
Now, I confirm. As I connect all the events that had happened before, it appeared as though my grandmother planned the murder of my grandfather for money.
I stand stupefied.
I should have never known this secret.
With tears flowing down my cheeks, I walk into my grandmother's room and shout, ”Why did you do it?”
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You're moving in the right direction! Playing around with fantasy elements, family tension, plot twists etc. Keep using that imagination! I have a few minor suggestions. Try to avoid bluntly telling the reader details about characters and the scene, such as "He was a faster sprinter than me." The reader stops there and asks, why do I need to know this? There are a couple of better ways, the simplest would be to wait to mention it until the chase i. e. "I started to run away from him, but he was a much faster sprinter than me." That way, ...
Thank you for taking your time in commenting. I have taken away that sentence from the story. If he was a faster sprinter the character would have been caught. Thank you for bringing it to my notice. Nice idea. I have changed it as you said. Thank you. You have helped me a lot. I have also added a sentence. He thinks that it is fun to know everyone’s family secrets. Is it ok? I have to ask myself constant questions. Thank you for giving me some brilliant tips. Thank you for reading and your well wishes.
Ah good point haha, you're right the character would have been caught if Anirudh was faster. That's a good catch, and definitely the kinds of things you should be thinking about! As for Charlie, I think that's a bit better, but my suggestion would be make his motivation related to the main conflict. Maybe somebody knows about the murder plot, but they don't want to put themselves out in the open, so they approached Charlie and said "one of your friends has a dark family secret, and you have to expose it" that's just one of endless possib...
Yes that increases the tension. I will definitely try to change it to better. Thank you for taking your time in giving suggestions and thank you for reading. Waiting for more of yours.... And I believe I will get your support in my future stories. Thank you, Ryan.
Don't overthink it tho! I don't think you need to worry about adding a whole bunch of stuff to this story, it's just something to keep in the back of your mind while putting together your next one :)
I have changed as you said Ryan. If you please, you may read that part again. Thank you. You have been the greatest help for me.
that's definitely better! Increasing the tension earlier on by introducing the grandfather's secret, keeps the reader on the hook better. good change!
Hello! I really liked your review of the story so if you can, please read my story as well and give me some constructive feedback. Thank you.
I have submitted my new story Pls read it.
Definitely I would love to.
Here as promised! This is a great story-- a twist between fantasy, dark secrets, and the importance of family and friends. I really enjoyed reading this. Can't wait to read more of your stories!
I am glad you enjoyed reading this story. Thank you for reading. (Would you mind liking my story?)
Of course! Oops, sorry! :)
Well- written. Very creative also. I see some grammatical and punctuation errors though. You could use a grammar editor to fix them.
Can you please reveal some of my mistakes to me? I had already proofread my story, but I didn’t find anything. Thank you for reading.
Check to make sure that all sentences start with ‘upper case’. Also the line’ he is a bulky man with’ should be ‘ he was’ because the rest of the story is in past tense. I see that you are still very young. Great creativity and great vocabulary for such a young age. Keep it up!
Thank you. I can still edit my story and you have done a great help. Thank you for reading.
You are welcome Keerthan! Glad to be of help :)
You are very kind, Roshna.
Great story! I really enjoyed the twist at the end of the grandmother being involved! I didn’t see that coming! You have a lot of talent already. For my suggestion, see if you like playing with foreshadowing in your next story. Leave little clues for the reader to pick up that may not even stand out until a second or third reading!
I am glad you enjoyed the twist at the end. Okay, I will try foreshadowing. Thank you for your valuable advice. Thank you for reading, Hannah. (would you mind liking my story?)
Good story. I was on the edge of my seat. Interesting ploy, using the ability to morph into an inanimate object and see the past as it happened. Keep at it.
Thank you for reading, Lonnie.
Your story is really cool! It's interesting and I wanted to keep reading to see what happened. I have one bit of advice. Your dialogue is a little stiff. I like how people meander when they talk but the wording feels a little forced.
I am glad that you found my story interesting. I will try to improve my dialogues. Thank you for reading and your valuable advice.
Very interesting story! Great job and keep up the good work. I was very invested in the whole thing.
Thank you for reading, Natalie.
That's a deep story. Interesting.
Thank you for reading, Madisson.
Lovely story, just one thing. Try using indirect text, make obvious sentences a little subtle. Also, paragraph a little more, you story seems to have one or two lines. Other than that, a lovely thread and an interesting plot.
I will try to use indirect text. I am trying to improve myself and everyone here helps me a lot. Thank you for reading, Niveeidha.
Yes, that's the main reason why I came here on Reedsy and made an account for myself. No problem at all, :) all writers have room for improvement, including me. If you want me to read any of your other stories, do let me know, I'll glad to read them. :)
Yes, all writers have room for improvement. Thank you. I will let you know if I put on a new story.
Hey! Loved this story! Great job with the detail! Also I have a new story out! I would love your feedback!
I am glad you loved this story. Going there. I would love to give feedback.
A brilliant story. Liked it a lot
I am glad you liked my story. Thank you for reading.(would you mind liking my story?)
This was a really good story! And very creative. This was a great read, Keerththan :)
Thank you for reading, Joy😁😁😁
Nice story! I really think that the plot is very nicely written. The only thing I would say is try to use more sensory detail and to show, not tell. Other than that this is an amazing story, especially for your age.
I will use more sensory detail. Thank you for reading. (but how did you find my age?)
I read the bio, I don't know your exact age but you said you're very young. Could you please check out my stories? https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/whirlwind-2-0/
You asked me to read your story so here I am. I liked that you added fantasy elements to it, that was very unique and I never would have thought of that. You are so creative for a young age, I was not this kind of writer. Keep working hard to strengthen your writing skills.
Thank you for coming to read my story. I am glad you liked the fantasy elements. I will keep working hard. Thank you for reading.
Very good story, great dialogue and with an interesting take on the prompt. Great job!
Thank you for reading, Waverly.
I really liked your writing style, it was very blunt and drew quick emotions. The descriptive words you used were very interesting, like 'stupefied'.
I am glad you liked my writing style. Thank you for reading, Kathryn
You have a great imagination and your descriptions are really good. Well done!
Thank you for reading, Jesper.
Vivid characters and an engaging, quick-moving plot! I also like your blend of fantasy and reality, it makes for interesting reading. For some constructive critique, I think you could make your plot transitions clearer - especially when you introduce the fantasy world, and with some of the discoveries like the narrator's initial discovery of the scroll. You could integrate these into the narrative by giving them some more background or context. Very readable though, nice job
I am glad you liked my blend of fantasy and reality. I will make my plots clear. I forgot to give the introduction to scrolls. Thank you for reading.(would you mind liking my story?)
Great story, Keerththan! Your writing style definitely shows a lot of promise. You hook the reader's attention pretty well, and you don't linger too long on over-flowery prose, which is good. Looking forward to more! Arthur
Thank you for reading, Arthur. Keerththan