A Wild Journey
Harry wakes up on a train but has no idea how he got there. He does, however, see a window with the pretty city lights in the distance. Harry figures the train isn’t going to stop any time soon, so he tries to find out what’s going on.
He searches everywhere for somebody who’ll tell him what’s happening, and eventually finds an old man who is sleeping at a table near one of the cars. Harry leans in and waits for the old man to wake up, but before he does, Harry notices that the man is dead.
Harry jumps up in surprise and quickly backs away from the body. He looks around for help, but nobody seems to be paying him any attention. The train continues to speed along, and Harry starts to feel more and more uneasy.
Finally, he makes up his mind and approaches the old man again. This time, he checks for a pulse, but there’s nothing. Harry starts to panic and wonders what he should do.
The train suddenly lurches and Harry falls to the ground. When he looks up, the old man is gone. Harry gets up, dazed from the fall, and tries to figure out what’s going on. Suddenly, the door to the car opens and two men step in. They see Harry on the ground and start to approach him.
Harry is confused and doesn’t know what to do. He backs away from the men as they get closer, but then he trips and falls. The men take advantage of Harry’s vulnerability and start to beat him. Harry fights back as best he can, but he’s outnumbered and outmatched. The men beat him until he’s unconscious.
When Harry wakes up, he’s lying on the ground in a public park. He has no idea how he got there, and he’s in a lot of pain. He tries to get up, but he can’t. He sees a group of people walking by, and he tries to call out for help, but his voice is too weak. He lays there, in pain and humiliation, helpless to do anything but watch as the people walk by without noticing him. Eventually, a group of people stop and help him up. He is relieved and grateful, but he is also embarrassed that he was not able to get up on his own. Harry was taken to the hospital and was discharged the very next day.
The other day he wanted to go out for laundry. As he was about to put his jeans in the washing machine, he felt something in the pocket. He reached in and pulled out a key. It was old and rusty, but it was definitely a key. He didn’t know where it came from or what it was for, but he decided to keep it.
Every day, Harry would take the key out and look at it. He wondered what it could open. He tried to find out where the key went, but he couldn’t find anything. Finally, he decided to take it to a locksmith to see if he could figure out what it was for.
The locksmith told Harry that the key was for a door that had been long forgotten. He said that it probably hadn’t been opened in years. Harry was excited to find out what was behind the door.
He went to the door and tried to unlock it, but the key wouldn’t work. He tried over and over, but it wouldn’t open. He was starting to get discouraged when he had an idea. He went to a nearby hardware store and bought a new lock for the door.
When he got back to the door, he tried the key again and it worked! He opened the door and found a secret room. Inside were all sorts of treasures: gold, jewels, and even ancient scrolls.
Harry was thrilled to find this hidden room and was excited to explore every inch of it. He started with the gold and jewels. He filled his pockets with as much treasure as he could carry and then headed to the scrolls. He unrolled one of them and began to read. It was in a language that he didn’t understand, but he could tell it was old. He replaced the scroll and searched for another one. He found one that was in English and began to read. The scroll read:
“In the year of our Lord 1692, an outbreak of a deadly disease began to ravage the small town of Salem. The townspeople did not know what to do, as all their doctors were powerless against the disease. Then, a group of women who claimed to be able to heal people through witchcraft came to the town. The townspeople were skeptical at first, but the women were able to heal some people who were suffering from the disease. The townspeople then began to believe in the power of witchcraft and started to accuse people of being witches. The townspeople then started to execute the accused witches. The disease continued to spread and eventually killed most of the townspeople. May God have mercy on their souls.”
Harry looked up from the scroll in shock. He had never heard of this outbreak before. He was about to put the scroll back when he heard a noise coming from outside. He quickly put the scroll. He carefully made his way to the door and peered out to see an old man hobbling along, leaning on a cane.
He stepped out and greeted the old man, who looked startled.
Harry asked him if he was lost, and the old man said that he was looking for a friend. Harry offered to help him find his friend, and the old man said that he would be grateful.
They walked together for a while, and the old man told Harry about his friend. He said that his friend was a witch, and that she was very powerful. The old man was worried because his friend had been in trouble lately, and he didn’t know what to do. Harry was curious if the old man knew anything about the secret room and about the scroll that he just read about the disease and if his witch friend knew something about it.
Harry hesitantly asked, “Do you happen to know something about this old disease in 1692 and how the witches tried to offer their help but were executed for their powers?”
“I don’t know much about that,” the old man said, shaking his head. “But I do know a thing or two about the plague.”
Harry leaned in, eager to hear what the old man had to say. “What can you tell me about it?”
“Well, it was a terrible time. So many people died. And it was a very frightening disease.”
Harry, who had been listening quietly, spoke up. “Do you know if it was contagious?”
The old man thought for a moment. “I believe it was. But I’m not sure. I’m not a doctor, you know.”
Harry nodded. “Thank you for telling me”, He said. Harry was still curious about the fact that he had a key to such a room that is filled with treasures. Who put that key in his pocket? Was this the doing of those two men? He was going to have to be careful, though. He didn’t want the old man to think he was being nosy.
The old man, when was surrounding by a familiar place, thanked Harry for helping him throughout the way. They both said their goodbyes to each other and went their ways.
Harry was just about to enter his home when his phone rang. He answered it to hear a gruff voice on the other end say, “You have something that’s mine. Meet me at the old warehouse on the edge of town and give it to me.” Harry was confused, but he knew he couldn’t pass up this opportunity. He was eager to know more about this entire situation.
He went to the old building and met a man in the suit, who demanded the key. Harry had a thousand questions running through his mind. Was this the same man from that day on the train. How did he know that I had the key? How did he know where I lived or how to contact me? His mind in this very moment was filled with tangled wires of questions. The man in the suit continued to speak. “I know you have many questions, and I will answer them all, but first I need you to do something for me.” He paused and looked at the man intently. “I need you to come with me.” Confused, Harry asked, “Where are you taking me?”
The man didn’t answer. He simply continued to stare at Harry until, reluctantly, he got up and followed him out of the room.
They walked in silence through the building until they reached an elevator. The man hit the button for the basement and the doors closed. Harry’s anxiety was mounting with each passing second. What was happening? Why was this man taking him somewhere?
The elevator stopped and the doors opened. The man gestured for Harry to go ahead of him, and he complied. They walked down a long, dark hallway until they reached a door. The man took the key out of his pocket and gave it to another man sitting on a chair with guards all around him. Harry was sure that he was the leader of whatever this organization was. He was the boss.
“Aah! You have made me proud Max. This key was too important for me to lose.”
Harry was feeling very confused. He had a lot of questions that he needed answered, and he didn’t know who to turn towards. He didn’t know where to start.
Harry walked in front of the boss and said, “I need to ask you some questions, sir.”
The boss nodded. “I suspected as much. What would you like to know?”
Harry took a deep breath. “I want to know what’s going on, and I want to know why I had the key to a secret room filled with all this treasure.
The boss leaned back and steepled his fingers. “Let’s start with what’s going on. As you may or may not know, this company has been around for a very long time. We’ve been in the business of acquiring and storing treasure for centuries. The room you found is just a small fraction of what we have.
“As for why you have the key, that’s a little more complicated. We’ve been looking for a new leader for quite some time now, someone who can take the company into the next century. Someone with the drive and ambition to make sure our legacy continues. We finally found that person in you, Harry.
“When we first approached you, we knew it would be a difficult sell. You’re young and don’t have a lot of experience. But we saw something in you, something special. We knew you could be the one to take us into the future. And so, we decided to give you the key.”
Harry was taken aback. He had no idea what the boss was talking about. “What key?”, he asked.
“The key to the future,” replied the boss. “The key to our success.”
Harry was still confused. “But what am I supposed to do with it?”, he asked.
“That’s up to you, Harry,” replied the boss. “You’re the one who has to make it work. You are in charge now”.
By Mashal Haroon