Growing up was not easy for the young Luke Forkstein. Everyday he would return home with a scratch or a dent. He got picked on lot by the bigger forks because he did not look like the others. He had curvy tines and an awkward scoop. They had named him ‘poop-scoop’. They would tell him to go back where he came from, which really confused Luke, because he was from the same town! One day he asked his mother, “Mum, why don’t we look like the others?”
Philippa looked at her son. She had always dreaded this moment. “It’s because we are spoons,” she said, sitting down at the dining table. “Sit down son… I’ll tell you a story.” she said, passing him a bowl of noodles. “This was before the the great cutlery war began. I met your father in one of your grandfather’s parties. Your father was one of the finest in Forkland. We fell in love immediately. Your grandfather was furious when he found out that I wanted to marry a fork, but he came around when he saw how much we loved each other.
“Your father and I married in a beautiful chapel by the river; and then we had you. We were so happy. You were a blessing in our lives. I moved to Forkville with your father, and we bought this house together.
“All was going well, until the war broke out. There had been a coup against the government in Spoonistan. The extremists had taken over, and declared a war on Forkland. The forks and spoons were up in arms against each other. Your father had to leave us to defend his country.
“All spoons in Forkland were ordered to leave. But I couldn’t leave you, so I stayed back. Yourgrandfather had been a very notable spoon. He was regarded with respect even in Forkland. I pulled some strings and got a permission to stay back.
“Son, you are a spoon, but you are also a fork. You are as much a fork as any of the other kids. Your father died trying to defend this country. So be proud of who you are.”
That one thing she had said stuck in his head for ever. It did not matter what the other kids said anymore. Young Luke grew into a fine young spork. He had his father’s tines, but his mother’s scoop. He was proud of what he was, and what he stood for. Luke joined the army amidst protests from his mother. He wanted to keep the legacy of his father alive.
He got posted on the armistice line—smack in the middle of the two nations, covered by nature and soldiers on all sides—the place on earth that defined him perfectly. There, he became friends with the machine-gun operator, Randy Fargeeto, who spoke faster than his gun. Randy told him everything he wanted to know about the conflict.
The great cutlery war of 1920 began over the desecration of a spoon-shrine, reportedly done by some vandal forks. Forkland completely denied any hand of its citizens in the desecration, while the Spoonistan government insisted that there was proof of Forkland’s citizens’ involvement. Tension between the two countries reached all-time high since no country wanted to back down. Hardliners in Spoonistan, exasperated by the failure of diplomatic dialogue between the two countries, organised a coup with the help of the army. All dialogue broke between the two countries and an all-out war began. Knivan mobilised its forces to quell the war before it turned into another World War. Since then, the two countries have been in a state of constant war, separated by a few kilometers of demilitarized area.
Randy had a theory ‘It had always been the knives! Knivan made the spoons and forks fight amongst themselves to sell their weapons to both the armies!‘. But Luke did not trust Randy’s crazy theories. He also had a theory that there are multiple parallel universes, like theirs, but slightly different. That there might be a universe where monkeys could talk and think like cutlery!
One day while patrolling near the fence, Luke heard someone whistle. He looked towards the fence. A Spoonistan officer stood beyond the fence.
“Arent you standing on the wrong side of the fence, son?”, he asked.
Luke stared at the officer in disbelief. He was a fork! A proper fork with straight tines and sharp edges.
“So are you!”, Luke shouted in amazement.
The officer laughed. “I know!”, he shouted, “Ask your commanding officer to connect to the hotline. We need to correct this mistake.”
“Okay!”, Luke replied, and picked up his walky-talkie. He informed his commanding officer that the other side wanted to talk to him.
Talks between the officers on either side went on for hours, followed by talks between ministers, and then the presidents. Some new proofs had come to surface. Both the armies were asked to retreat from the border. The war was over. The proof against Knivan was conclusive. The whole war had been a conspiracy by the Knivan government to offset the growing influence of the two countries. It would take the countries many more years to reconcile all differences, but the confrontation was over.
Luke bid farewell to Randy, and returned back to Forkville to meet his mother. She informed him that his father was alive and on the next train home. His father had spent all these years trying to end the war.
The train arrived a day later. He saw a fork walk from afar, and he knew that it was him—the officer he had talked to at the fence.
Written by Pawan Hegde who loves tinkering with code. If you want to know more about him, maybe you should visit his website