‘What?’ I yelped in disbelief. ‘Could you please repeat that?’

The cop sighed, and then continued. ‘Sure… Your parents have been killed in a fire that also engulfed your house.


‘Greta! We’re getting late!’ My best chum, Sasha, screeched, knocking my bedroom door with a pen. ‘Coming,’ I countered. Stuffing random nick-knacks into my rucksack, I hauled it onto my back and unbolted the door.

I scuttled out of my room and began furiously apologizing to Sasha. ‘I need a proper explanation this time, Greta! It’s the fifth time this month that you have made us late for school!’ She squawked as soon as I exited my chamber.

‘I am completely aware of that, and I offer my most sincere apologies,’ I replied.

Sprinting to the kitchenette, I grabbed a grated cheese sandwich, pecked my mom on both cheeks and raced out of the front door.  ‘Greta! Wait up, mate!’ Sasha panted.


I crammed a couple of text books into my locker and raced to class. Sasha and I were late by ten minutes already! (What’s new?)

Barging in, I was interjected by Miss Belle. ‘Greta Judeworth! This is the second time you’re late this week, and it’s Tuesday! If you are delayed tomorrow, I will have no choice but to put you in detention. Is that clear?’ ‘Yes ma’am,’ I meekly responded. ‘Good. Then coming back to the point, I will be conducting a Chemistry pop quiz any time this following…’


Thank God for recess! And why do teachers have to keep jabbering on the same subject over and over again anyway?? It is so unfair!

Anyway, I grabbed a lunch tray, piled it with a carton of pink milk, a tetra pack of flavoured yogurt, a club sandwich and a garden salad and headed off to where Sasha was sitting, among my other close buddies. ‘Hey guys!’ I greeted, and then plonked down on the bench. ‘I am positively starving.’ I announced, and began undoing the aluminum foil enveloping my sandwich.

‘Greta, do you know about the new girl who has joined this semester?’ Viola asked. ‘Nope,’ I replied, not in the least interested. ‘Her name is Lotta Ray, and she claims to be psychic,’ Viola continued.

‘Mmmm hmmmm,’ I mumbled, gnawing at the BLT. ‘Greta! You are not even paying attention to us!’ Sasha exclaimed. ‘Fine, what is it that you want to tell me about the new, supposedly supernatural student?’ I asked, putting down my food. ‘Well, she’ll give you you’re fortune for five bucks,’ Hannah hinted.

‘No way… There is no way that I am going to ask a fellow student, or anyone, for that matter, about my future. Not a chance,’ I stubbornly stated. ‘We’ll see,’ Hannah mumbled.


There I was, seated right next to Lotta Ray, my paranormal classmate. Hannah, Sasha and Viola had somehow persuaded me to visit her.

‘Show me your palms,’ Lotta instructed. I obediently laid them on the table. Viola, Hannah and Sasha were peeping from a table opposite us.

Meanwhile, Lotta stared at my palms for approximately one minute, without blinking. And then she pronounced the worst fate I could imagine. I glared at her. ‘When is this going to happen?’ I demanded after she had completed her prediction.

‘Your house is going to burst into flames. Your parent’s will exist no more. Precisely eight hours after the unfortunate event, it will happen.’ She replied.

I felt a fire burning in my stomach. ‘No!’ I yelled, enraged. She flashed me a knowing smile. I towed my bag pack and stalked out of the cafeteria and onto the main road just outside the school premises. I didn’t care if school was not yet over. I just wanted to go home, where I feel safe.

I felt a hot tear trickle down my cheek. What if Lotta’s forecast was accurate? What if the destiny she voiced (that would soon be mine) was ACTUALLY GOING TO HAPPEN?

I shooed away the unpleasant thoughts from my head and focused on getting home. Just then, I heard a police van’s siren going on and off.

What if…


Somehow I was there, in the police station. It seems some emergency regarding my family had come up. I was ushered in a dim room by a cop who disappeared after telling me that he would be back.

And then a Russian policeman told me something… Something I would never forget.

‘What?’ I inquired. ‘Could you please repeat that?’

The cop sighed, and then continued. ‘Sure… Your parents have been killed in a fire that also engulfed your house.


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