Amazing Kids! Magazine

Val’s Letter

By Uma Padmasola, age 12, India

 

It’s the first Sunday of October, and the breeze shows signs of getting stronger. My little sister sits by me on the front steps, and we watch the frenzy in which the trees dance, and the crisp packets and plastic bags on the road soar up above our heads and twirl pirouettes. My sister is five years old, and her name is Valerie, but Val sounds better, so that’s what I call her. I am ten years old and much saner.

We hear a low rumble of thunder, and Mum calls us in, as she foresees a storm. As I enter the safety of the house and close the door behind me, I catch a glimpse of lightning.

We bolt down our dinner quickly and then press our noses against the windowpanes, watching the rain.

“Why does rain fall slanting?” Val wants to know.

“Because of the wind,” I tell her, but my answer is drowned by a roll of thunder.

“Bedtime, girls!” Grandma calls from her place on the settee.

We drag ourselves upstairs and fall into bed, but we can’t sleep during storms, so we sit up, wincing at every roll of thunder, and listening to the pitter-patter of raindrops.

The storm takes a long time to subside. Once the night is tolerably quiet, I fall into a troubled sleep, and dream that Val and I are shrunken to mouse size and trapped in a crisp packet. We’re fine at first, eating the crumbs left in the corners, but suddenly a storm gathers and we’re being tossed about by the wind, getting dizzier and dizzier until-

“SISTY!” Val is screaming in my ear. “Sisty, wake up!”

That’s what she calls me- Sisty. I told her a billion times- why couldn’t she just call me Sis, that Sisty as a nickname for her sibling, her ELDER SISTER, wasn’t respectable, was un-cool and downright silly, and that why couldn’t she just tighten that screw in her head? But she’d never listen.

“Val, geroff me!” I croak. My eyelids are immobilized; they seem to be stuck shut with Superglue. Val is trying to pry them open with her fingers. I push her away and doze till midday. Mum and Grandma are not happy about that.

A dreary week passes by, filled with gloomy clouds and incessant rain. On Saturday, Val decides to write a letter to the sun, asking him to shine again. She brings out a yellow kite and a black marker pen, and sets to work writing her letter on it. Here’s what she’s written, with Mum’s help:

 

To the sun,
Up in the sky,
From Valerie,
Down on Earth.

 

Dear Sun,

Please tell the rain to go to Spain and please shine so that we become happy again.

With 100% love and lots of love,

Val

 

Sunday dawns, and I go with Val to help her fly her kite and, in the process, post her letter. I fly the kite high above the trees, and the black lettering is too small and far away to see. Val takes the spool from me and tries to fly her kite herself, but the wind tugs at the kite, trying to snatch it from her small hands. I try to help her steady the kite but she pushes me away, and finally lets go.

The kite whirls above our heads crazily, tossed about by the wind, and then is lost behind the gathering clouds. The grey clouds knit themselves together and a soft drizzle starts. Val runs ahead of me, singing:

 

Rain, rain, go away,

Come again another day,

Val and Sisty want to play,

Rain, rain, go to Spain,

Never show your face again.

 

We reach home to find steaming mugs of hot chocolate on the table.

At night, we sleep deeply, as we’re exhausted, and then wake up in the morning to the chirping of birds, and run out the house, chasing each other and laughing, because the sun is shining overhead.