This is the third in ThrowWordsGetFiction format. I asked cousin to give me 5 words and I tried to spin a small story around it. To keep the readers curious, I ask you to identify the words 🙂

As usual comments are welcome and appreciated. Also, what name would you suggest to the story ?
The usual day of Borak was to lead sheep up the hill for grazing, or to the fields at its bottom, to sleep under the shades of a tree by keeping his pet sheep with him. Drink water at a near by pond, and if he packed and carried food for that day eat it. Most days, it is only water that quenched his hunger too. At dusk, his important task was to count the number of sheep. If they matched the morning count, he is quite relieved. Else, it is the search across the fields and the hill, the thought of the task itself was scarier.

His counting methods were simpler. He collects, in the morning, the number of stones as exactly as the number of sheep. So evening, he discards a stone for each sheep. These days, if only one stone is extra, he aborts the stone rather than reproving the search for the last sheep. The only problem, if it happens quite regularly, there is a chance his father might find out about it.

Some days would be different. Like the day when he met few children who were of his age, wearing all similar clothes, marched right across him and he stood amused. Where do all these people go together and why do they not have any herd behind them. From next day onwards he made a point to come to that spot right at that time, so that he could try to make sense out of it. Soon enough he learnt, they go to a place where they have lot of fun. But his father said that was untrue, and they were taken to be punished.

Some of those people were benevolent to him and gave their food to him. Those days he overslept. Often waking up from the nightmare of having lost more than one sheep. Those days he felt even more scared to return home than normal. His father was a drunkard who berated every action of Borak accusing him of making attempts to steal his clandestine belongings.

Stood besides the place where those children went to get punished was a rectory. Borak decided to follow the children that day and hid behind the rectory. He noticed later that there was nothing happening that remotely seemed like punishment except for an old man saying something loudly and other children repeating it. It didn’t seem like any fun.

He didn’t realize he had spent quite some time there, and along with it lost a few sheep too. More stones than the number of fingers were left extra. This horrified him. He searched for lost sheep till late, but found only one. He decided to part with his beloved sheep and made it a part of herd to be returned to father.
More agony was waiting at home. Not only his father beat him almost to death, accusing him of selling the extra sheep, the very act- selling the herd- which he was about to do.

On being woken up, Borak realized that his herd – along with his beloved sheep – and his father were missing. After crying half a day, Borak felt, his going to that place – where other kids assembled for punishment – was indeed a place of severe punishment. And his going there has definitely resulted in his punishment – what else could explain his current fate.
Words were Berate,Benevolent,Reprove,Clandestine,Rectory

6 thoughts on “Punishment

  1. I liked the counting method and the dilemma of the extra stone…The penultimate paragraph could have been more clearer…The fragments are not too clear at first reading…!

  2. I get what you say !! My cousin has subscribed to word-a-day stuff and so, picks some of them and sends me 🙂

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