The first rule of Write Club is that you can talk about Write Club.
The second is that you have to finish your part within 3 days or you lose your chance.
The third part is that you have to cc everyone else who has contributed to the write club story.
The fourth part is that only one person can add to write club at a time.
The fifth part is that you and only you get to pick the next person to write in write club.
In the first part Asad told us the story of a seven year old boy Ali. Ali is supposed to be watching his little sister, Negar but instead his curiosity takes him down some dark underground passages that in the old days were used for storing drinking water and had now been left unused for decades after the arrival of pipes.
Read the complete version here.
In the second and third parts of the story written by Negar and Linda, as Ali is distracted by a dazzling light at the end of one of the tunnels, we learn that this house was bought by Ali’s great-grandfather who had made his money by selling tobacco to the British. We are also told that these tunnels are in fact underground passages that used to connect the many mansions that stood on these grounds many years ago and were occupied by Qajar princes and princesses.
The dazzling light turns out to be the spirit of Ali’s long dead grandfather who is surprised to see a little boy in front of him since his son Jooya (also dead) had told him (up there) that he had two girls. This is when we realise that Ali is in fact Aila (and very much a girl) who says, ‘I am Ali for now, at least until things are safe around here once again.’
After this Aila makes a deal with granddad, she is allowed to ask him ten questions, in exchange for letting him go at 3 o’clock because he needs to be somewhere.
This is where it ends,
…I am your grandpa, you can count on me.
‘But my father said he never liked you.’
‘Is that your first question?’
And this is where I came in. And as usual got a bit carried away! Sorry I think I wrote a bit too much. Again. O well, never mind.
‘Technically’ replied Aila, ‘that was not a question. I was just saying he didn’t like you.'
‘Ahuh’ said granddad quite excitedly ‘but don’t you want to know why?’
She was pretty interested to know why this was, although not interested enough to want to waste one of her precious questions on it. But then she looked into that lovely wrinkled face with that large uneven-surfaced droopy nose which completely covered the top lip and some of the bottom lip even (on the rare occasions that the old man’s mouth was closed) and the lovely hair and beard resembling cotton candy (the white type of course and ‘not pink like grandma’s’ Aila thought, ‘that time she had decided to give herself a makeover with those dodgy hair dyes she had bought from Kolsoom khanoom with the gold tooth and the weird growth by the side of her nose.’) and those eyes (peering through badly-in-need-of-a-trim eyebrows) gone misty by…what was it? Love? Affection? Cataract? She didn’t know what it was. All she knew was that she would do anything to make this little old man happy and if it meant wasting one of her questions on him, so be it.
‘Yes Grandpa’ she said, as cutesy as she could (which meant really concentrating and working hard at it since she wasn’t really a very girly girl), ‘I think I would like to know why.’
Grandpa shook his head in an all-knowing manner and with his index finger he invited Aila to come closer. ‘You know what?’ He whispered, ‘I haven’t a Scooby.’
‘You know, Scooby doo = clue. It’s cockney rhyming slang. Get with the programme kid. Now I think you will find it’s one down, nine to go. Yeah baby.’ This was followed by a series of strange, football goal-scorer type celebrations with no end to them in sight. ‘He is quite agile for an old man of his age.’ Aila thought to herself. She also thought she was starting to understand why her father didn’t like him; this old man was extremely annoying. By this time granddad was doing what vaguely resembled the Maori’s Haka Taparahi dance, made even more special by a few ‘Saturday night fever’ type moves thrown in.
Aila applauded. ‘Bravo granddad’ She said sarcastically, ‘you managed to cheat me out of one of my questions.’ Granddad stopped his antics for a (very well deserved) breather. Aila continued, ‘But you know what? It doesn’t really matter because unknowingly you already answered one of my other questions so I haven’t really lost anything now.’
A bit out of breath, the old man asked, ‘What was that then?’
‘I was gonna ask you if you watch us from up there all the time, even when we’re in the bathroom and stuff.’
‘And?’ Granddad asked warily.
‘Well now I know that you don’t because you knew I was girl only because my dad had told you. Had you always watched me, even when I was in the bathroom, you would know for a fact that I was a girl…’
‘Who do you think I am kid?’ grandpa said angrily, ‘Some kind of crazy pervert who gets his kicks from watching little boys…or girls… Allh-o Akbar’ (He looked absolutely furious) ‘How dare you say things like that to me? How very dare you?’ At this point he realised that he was perhaps getting a bit overexcited and tried to calm himself down by taking a few very deep breaths.
‘I’m sorry.’ Aila said sheepishly a few moments later, ‘I really didn’t mean to upset you.’
‘It’s ok’ Said granddad (who had calmed down a bit by then). ‘Just promise me from now on before asking a stupid question like that, you will think about it a little first. I mean a bit of logic never killed anyone, did it? just think about it, why on earth would I want to watch you in the shower when I can watch Pamela Anderson bouncing up and down on a trampoline or Catherine Zeta Jones taking a bath or a drunk Angelina Jolie skinny-dipping in her swimming pool, huh? You think I’m crazy? Is that what you think?’
‘No sir.’ Aila whispered, looking down at her feet. She didn’t have the faintest idea what granddad was on about.
‘Don’t worry about it.’ said granddad absentmindedly as he concentrated on his finger having a good rummage around his ear hole. When he seemed to have found what he was after, he smiled, squinted to have a good look at it and then flicked it away, turning round to Aila. ‘Well kid, it was nice meeting you. Have a great life and I’ll see you again when you’re dead. Ok? Cheerio… O yeah and be good to your Mum and Grandma and blah blah… O yeah and brush your teeth every night…and day maybe…O and please remember to tell your grandmother to stop using those cheapo hair dyes she buys from that dodgy Kolsoom khanoom with the gold tooth. Doesn’t she know what she is doing to my reputation up there? I’m the laughingstock of all the spirit world.’ Having gotten a bit agitated about this last bit, he seemed to have forgotten what he was going to say next but after thinking for a few minutes he decided that it could not have been very important anyway and so he just said, ‘See you then kid.’ And started to walk towards one of the dark tunnels.
‘Wait’ Aila shouted, ‘Aren’t you forgetting something?’
‘Oh yeah’ said granddad quickly turning back and picking up a bag from the floor. ‘My lunch’ he said enthusiastically, ‘Thanks for reminding me. I would have had to go hungry all day if I’d forgotten this.’ Then with a newfound spring in his step he walked off, humming some sort of tune that Aila identified as Madonna’s ‘Like a virgin’.
‘Wait’ she shouted again, ‘What about our deal?’
‘Deal, Shmeal.’ Said granddad, ‘Look kid, I don’t have time for all these childish games and Twenty one questions and all that. I’ve got stuff to do. Ok? Now run along and go do some kiddy stuff, whatever they are.’
‘But I was the one who brought you back.’
‘And I thank you for that. And what’s more I feel indebted to you for the rest of my life. But guess what; I’m dead which means no life, which equals no sense of gratefulness.’
Aila was so angry she wanted to reach up and pull on the old man’s nose until it drooped down to his feet and tripped him over every time he went to take a step. This old man was mean and to top it off he was dead and so didn’t respond to any sort of threat. But then suddenly she remembered something that brought a very big smile to her face.
She ran towards the old man who was disappearing down the end of the tunnel. ‘What are you doing?’ He said irritably when she had caught up with him, ‘Just go back home kid. Can’t you take a hint?’
‘I’m going with you.’ Said Aila very confidently, ‘I’m going with you and there’s nothing you can do about it.’
‘Excuse me?’ Said a surprised granddad who had now stopped to take a good look at this pesky kid.
‘Let’s just say that if you don’t let me come, from now on, like clock work, every three weeks, there is going to be a knock at grandma’s door and she will be presented with a lovely parcel that contains only the mothers of all the dodgy hair dyes of the world, mixed together especially by the beautiful Kolsoom khanoom.’
Amanda has the next part.