THE OLIVE BRANCH AND THE BANYAN TREE

A short story I wrote for an anthology contest…

Write Right

Zoya was always the daydreamer. I don’t mean to say she had no grip on reality because no, of course, she did. Her grades were as good as mine, that is to say, just shy of being ‘good enough.’ But she never succumbed to the guilt that was my constant companion. The shrill scoffs of family and community alike were mere pebbles she swiftly kicked into puddles. Whereas for me, the taunts were like mosquitos. Buzzing, biting, itching bumps all over my person.

I never had her fortitude, you see. Nor did I have a mind rampant with make belief.

Even back then, when we were kids running through the groaning branches of the forest at the back of our house, she insisted the ancient banyan tree was a residential tower for magical beings. I’d sit against the trunk, listening with half an ear. She’d lay on her back beneath…

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