Gem Mahadeo - Editor, 'Belonging' edition
Come on in!
We hope you enjoy the following stories about characters stuck in various times, places, and with unlikely allies that help them feel like they do belong somewhere.
Isn’t it interesting that when we think of the word ‘belonging’ by itself, but then write stories about it, we’re often drawn to characters who feel like they don’t belong?
There’s so many communities we do belong to: school, at home with family, friendship groups, at work, at places where you go to be a team and share common interests.
The stories in this month’s Story Explorers remind us that while not belonging can feel lonely, if you look hard enough, there’s always somewhere that will take you in and include you.
The Giant Wombat and The Once Lonely Girl
There once was a lonely, unwanted girl who lived in a large orphanage. She wanted to escape out of the orphanage, so when she saw a massive hole up on top of the white ceiling she had an idea. One day, she went up the hole which led her to the enchanted woods. The girl quickly sprinted to the end of the woods, which is where she saw a big, brown, fluffy wombat.
The wombat was sleeping and it smelled HORRIBLE, like mud. The girl was scared when she saw the smelly wombat, because she felt like if she quietly sneaked past, then it would attack her. The girl accidentally woke up the smelly and fluffy wombat, and she was scared that it would charge at her. Luckily, it didn’t charge at her and the wombat slowly walked up to her and followed her steps quietly. She didn’t notice until she looked back, it was very FRIENDLY!
The girl hopped onto the wombat’s furry back and the wombat ran as fast as he could to the top of the grassy, green hill. The ride felt bumpy, but it was a happy experience for the once lonely girl. At the top of the hill, the wombat and the girl looked out to the beautiful horizon to see the sunrise. It was almost daylight. The pair quickly rushed back to the dark forest and played amongst the tall, green trees.
The wombat and the girl felt happy because they both had a friend. The girl felt like going back to the orphanage, so that she didn’t leave any other orphans behind. The wombat crawled back to their burrow and slept quietly.
The girl didn’t feel sad when she left the forest, she didn’t feel lonely anymore. She had a new friend in the forest, in a dark, smelly burrow.
Q & A with Angus!
A Link of Emotion
As the sun sets on the glowing, golden sand, an elephant herd bustles around at the outskirts of the forest, looking out to the smooth waves of the desert. Waiting.
Alone with its big feet on the soft grains of the scorching gold, a baby elephant is hoping to return to its herd.
Rise of day, the dunes hum in the heat. The baby stands up from its slumber to conquer the day. Heatwaves blur the sand and sky and the elephant together. It stumbles around and finally thunders into the horizon where pale yellow and clear blue meet. Surprisingly, there’s much to see which sends a ripple of sadness into its heart. The elephant couldn’t show it, it remains inside where the gentle giant longs for its herd.
Midday sweeps in and the elephant gulps down the crystal clear water under the shade of a tree. Grateful and content, it sucks in the liquid and sprays it on its back. Without wasting a second, the grey giant leaves the waterhole in its wake. The elephant sees the edge, where amber yellow sands meets emerald green grass. The forest, the baby remembers.
“I will find it. My herd, my family… my belonging.”
A gust of wind ripples the sand.
Stuck in the Past or Belong to the Past
Top Secret Rebel Army Corps Files
Secret Level: AAA
Access Granted: XI
General’s Log: General Savage
Note: General Savage and Commander Achoo are artificial code names, due to Rebel Army Cops Case File Rule #2.
This is General Savage of the Rebel Army Corps.
Yesterday, my fleet was surrounded and greatly outnumbered. To escape, we jumped into a wormhole and now my fleet is stuck in the year 1746, within America. Now we must face bigger problems.
My rebel fleet don’t belong in the 18th century; we have future technology and there’s still thousands of years before people know how to create wormholes. Our portal generators were broken by the energy of the wormhole. I feel my fleet is in great peril.
Down in the Earth’s atmosphere, things are not good either. Thousands of kilometres below our mothership (the location from where I’m giving orders), Commander Achoo was reporting back the ground fleet’s problems.
“Commander Achoo to Savage. We’ve tried to land our first wave of fighters, but the British Army is shooting at us.”
I returned commands; “Achoo, we –”
“Bless you!” I was interrupted by some operators.
“– we have to try to let the army know that we are not aliens invading Earth. Use bigger fighters with shield generators. Once we make it through their ancient bullets we can show ourselves. Achoo? Achoo! ACHOO, do you read me?”
“Bless you!” My commands were interrupted again.
Why does Commander Achoo need such an annoying code name?
I realise that I’ve lost contact with Achoo. We try again several times, complete with further interruptions from operators blessing me. After half an hour, I still haven’t heard from Achoo.
Actually, thinking about it, maybe the 18th century isn’t so bad after all. Sometimes, if technology is too advanced, we have less humanity within us. I now feel like I belong to where we are, both in place and time.
I knew my fleet would feel that way too, somehow…
“Achoo? Achoo! Achoo!?”
You are five peas in a pod. Write about the things you all talk about as you grow within the pod, and what things you notice as you get older together.
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