Stars in the night sky

The boy looked up at the sky, and the stars spread all over. Memories flooded back of days when he would spend hours with his mother on the terrace as she told him all about the tiny bright dots in the night sky.
“That is the great bear.” his mother said, tracing a jagged line in the sky.
“That does not look like a bear,” he protested.
His mother laughed. “I knew you would say that,” she said, “that is why I came prepared.”
She opened her office bag and pulled out a plastic sheet with ‘Big Bear’ written on it. I had the image of a bear, and she held the sheet against the night sky. The stars aligned neatly against the points on the sheet.
“It looks like a curved dagger to me,” the boy said, hoping to put up a fight. His mother had laughed, and he laughed with her.
The sound of her laughter was all he had in his memory. He looked at the crumpled newspaper in his hand. The headlines in bold letters declared, ‘Brilliant astronomer dies in a tragic accident.’ The boy kicked the newspaper away, tears rolling down his cheeks.
He looked up and saw all the stars his mother had shown him. He saw the belt of Orion, Taurus, Gemini. They were all there in the same spot, all looking at him.
The boy stared for a long time and then wiped his tears.
“I will become an astronomer like mother,” he said and began connecting the dots in the sky.

One day at school

I looked at the first row. Most of the numbers were zeros. I glanced below. The numbers there were all above five. The idea was to subtract the lower row from the one on top. At this point, let me clarify that this was not my idea of how to spend time on a bright sunny morning. I am a simple, fun-loving person. This convoluted mode of brain torture was my teacher’s idea of fun. I could see him dozing off in his chair while we clueless students struggled to find answers to his problems.
Zero minus six, or was it six minus zero? How do I remove something from nothing? I was sure that whosoever invented mathematics was born old and boring. My thoughts wandered back to the problem at hand.
‘Could the answer here be 4 ?’ I thought.
‘Maybe 5,’ my equally confused consciousness replied.
I wrote six there because I trusted no one. I moved on to the next column.

The haunting melody

The music kept getting louder by the minute. I tried blocking it by shutting my ears, but it did not help. The tune sounded familiar. I tried to locate the source, but it was dark. I searched for my mobile phone. It had a torch that could help me. The next thing I remember was a sharp pain all over my body. That is when I opened my eyes and found myself on the ground. The tune was still playing in the background.
It took me a few seconds to realize that it was the alarm clock signalling and that it was time to wake up.
I shut the alarm off, climbed back up and promptly went back to sleep. The day can wait.