Q. Write a story, true or imaginary, based on the lines, ‘This friendship proved to be an important one’. By Huda Fatima

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Like all great blockbuster films and novels, it started with a heist. 

Seven years ago, Luc Kraig, a convict and a mafia don, Bella Hofstader, a spy known as the Wraith, and Franz Flahey, a sharpshooter with a bit of an addiction, came together to break into the parliament to retrieve a man of great importance, a man who could change it all. 

“For those who are just joining us, a man named Shu Ketter Hofstader is in the hands of the Maycomb parliament. A man of great accomplishments, Mr.Ketter is the founder and owner of the world renowned Shu Laboratories in several states of Maycomb…” The reporters voiced subdued as Luc turned the television off with a tumultuous sigh. 

“I know you’re here Wraith” said Luc tentatively. 

“Of course I am, where else would I be during a time of such great complexity?” replied Bella in a whisper, choking back tears with great difficulty. A big, fat dewdrop rolled down her lean, structured face. 

Luc felt a pang in his heart, but since he had to maintain his bad-boy reputation, he cleared his throat and said with great solemnity, “I really don’t know why you’re here, Hofstader. Your dad, a dangerous criminal, is in Maycomb prison, it must be hard for you, but there’s nothing I can or want to do for you. Good day.” He took his leave, or at least tried to, because Bella’s small hands which rested gently on his shoulders, stopped him in his tracks.

“Please” she said softly, tears glistening in her brown eyes, which looked like a deep pool of melted dark chocolate in the warm summer sunlight, which seeped shyly through the apartment window. She continued hurriedly, “You know what’ll happen to us, all of us will be erased from the world – you, Franz. None of us are strong enough to sustain the power of Pharis Clam-” 

“Gather all the information you can.” interrupted Luc, his voice thick with doubt. “Send Franz to me. We have absolutely no time to waste, it’s a man we have to kidnap after all.” With that he took his leave, without giving Bella the chance to show her gratitude. 

Bella smiled from ear to ear. “Thank you.” she said contentedly to the empty space where Luc had been mere seconds ago. A faint light of hope started to flicker in her heart. With steps as light as the feathers, she took her exeunt. 

Here’s everything you need to know of the heist crew: Luc was a criminal. A seventeen year old, downtown Maycomb mafia don – who couldn’t vote, for he was still a minor, but could easily break into the parliament house, and unleash hell upon those in power. Ironic, right? 

Bella was called the Wraith. Abandoned by her parents as a child, she found her way to downtown Maycomb, and took refuge under the wing of Luc. For him she gathered all kinds of information he needed. She was a phantom. An extraordinary spy with the gift of climbing on rooftops and never getting caught, hence she earned the name of Wraith.

Franz Flahey was playing cards – as always – at the Brick’n’Brick Club, a safe haven for all those whose sole purpose in life is to gamble their way into extraordinary riches of the world. His revolvers hung loosely on his overalls. He lived for two things: gambling and shooting. His revolvers, bought with gambled money, meant more to him than anything in the world. 

 Bella, creeped up silently beside Franz. “Flahey.” She whispered in his ear. 

Franz, without a hint of surprise, asked, “what?” without removing his eyes from the cards. 

“Luc has a job for you.” Franz’s eyes glimmered and a faint smile showed on his lips. He still didn’t look up. “We are breaking into the Parliament House.” This apparently was news worthy of his attention, for his face snapped towards her direction. 

“We are?” he grinned like a cheshire cat. 

 The annual WinterWonder Week ball was taking place at the parliament house. Bella dressed up in the most extravagant flowy gown she could steal, Luc looked handsome in a crispy white shirt, paired with a black coat and black pants, Franz looked decent, for he finally showered after seven days. 

They entered the Parliament House, people were standing in groups left and right, with tall glasses of wine in their hands. The trio sneaked into the Prison sector of the Parliament House. After scouring through the cells, they finally found Shu Ketter Hofstader. 

“Father.” whispered Bella, tears rolling down her cheeks. 

The man whom Bella called father was Dr. Shu Ketter Hofstader. He was the owner of Shu laboratories, the biggest research labs of Maycomb. Mr. Ketter was a big believer of getting rid of waste. He came up with the idea of getting the earth cleansed of all those organisms who weren’t helpful or useful. He abandoned his six year old daughter for she showed no extraordinary skills in any branch of life. He then started his work to make his abstract beliefs concrete. Thus, Pharis Clam Powderay was brought to existence. It was the child of Dr. Shu’s hard work. It cost him many days and nights. 

If any human inhales, ingests, or comes in physical contact with Pharis Clam Powderay, he will perish right that instance. His body will disintegrate into little particles of dust. The particles of dust will be highly efficient, for they’ll be used as fertilizers for agriculture. So, at least after death that person will be useful. 

Shu opened his eyes. “Bella” he chuckled. “You willingly walked towards your own death.” 

Before Bella had time to decipher what her father meant, she entered a state of darkness. Her pulse stopped. Bella Hofstader was dead. 

As Bella’s slim body disintegrated into thin particles of dust, Luc walked in, wearing a hazmat suit, holding Pharis Clam Powederay.  

“When should I expect my money?” asked Luc with lack of enthusiasm. 

Shu took out a thick envelope from his breast pocket. “Here’s the full amount, give the other boy his share. I always knew Bella would be a threat to my dreams. Should’ve killed her when she was in her equally useless mother’s womb.” 

Luc was not interested in anything Shu had to say anymore, for he had gotten his money, and Luc loved nothing more than money. He had made this deal with the governors of the Parliament House and Shu Ketter, for four million euros. Every government official was aware of the threat Bella imposed to the Pharis Mission, so getting rid of her was vital. The whole kidnapping of Shu was set up, in an attempt to lure Bella into saving her father, and eventually walking into a trap which resulted in her death. The plan was executed to perfection. Bella was dead. Pharis Clam Powederay was the future. Luc and Franz were no longer useless, so they’d be saved from the fate of Bella.

Luc exited the cell. He handed Franz his share of money. 

“Well, friendship with Bella proved to be an important one.” said Franz, without any hint of remorse, as he breathed in the scent of new, crisp banknotes. 

About froebelianwriters

I am an English Language teacher teaching O'Levels Edexcel and CIE A Levels at Froebel's International School, Islamabad. I am also working as a Subject Specialist Literacy consultant for the same school. Writing and reading has always been a passion and I try my utmost to instill these habits and hobbies in my students as well. I can be reached/contacted at fabbas227@hotmail.com or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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