In the beginning ...

Posted by Bethany Matthews on

Our story starts a long, long, time ago, in a country you’ve never heard of. Gnorman and his oldest and best friend Basil were sitting in two camp chairs that had definitely seen better days, staring out at the most beautiful lake you’ve ever seen.

It was picture perfect. The bluest water, almost crystal clear, surrounded by spectacular mountains with snow-capped summits, their reflections gleaming crisply in the water below. A deer drank a few feet away, oblivious to the two Gonks. All was silent except for the occasional chirp of birdsong.

Gnorman sighed. He’d spent more years than he’d cared to admit here, and no matter how beautiful the scenery he was bored. It was the perfect place, everything he could ever need was at his fingertips, but something was missing. He didn’t know what it was, but he knew he’d never feel complete until he found out.

Basil had been his friend since the first day of school and he was the only one Gnorman had ever confided about his yearning for more. He couldn’t tell anyone else. It wasn’t normal. Gonks stayed in their villages and were happy. Gonks didn’t explore. They didn’t even know there was anything else to explore. No Gonk has ever gone over the mountains in front of them, or managed to get to the other side of the woods behind them. Gonks stayed in the background, they were quiet and loyal, and did what they were told, just like their ancestors before them.

Gnorman wasn’t normal though. He didn’t want to be like his grandfather, the only thing people remembered about him was that once a village fair he’d put salt in the cakes instead of sugar. Decades later Gonks were still laughing as they retold the tale, remembering how they all ate them anyway just to be polite. Gnorman didn’t even have a story like that about him. He’d never done anything out of the ordinary; he wouldn’t be remembered at all. He sighed again.

Basil looked at him with a furrowed brow. Despite being the same age Gnorman had always been like a big brother to him. He looked up to him and hated to see him sad.

“Let’s go”. The words escaped Basil’s lips without him even realising. Gnorman looked at him as confused as he felt.

“Let’s go” Basil repeated more confidently this time. He’d never thought about leaving the village before but the more Gnorman talked about how he felt, the more Basil wondered what was on the other side of the mountains.

No one had been. People said it was just a sheer drop at the other side but he’d seen birds flying, emerging through the craggy rocks. If there was nothing on the other side, where did they come from? There had to be something there. The sun went down there too but it never came back up near the mountains. He’d never given it much thought before, after all, Gonks weren’t meant to ask questions but rather to just accept what happens, will happen. However, he couldn’t help it. Every night he watched the sun go down, hiding behind the mountains, not before it turned the water into the most amazing colours. It didn’t return for hours, what was it doing at the other side of the ridge. He had to know.

Basil looked at Gnorman. Wondering how his proclamation had been received.

Gnorman was on his feet. His stomach felt odd, not ill, just different. Was this excitement? Nervousness? He wasn’t sure, but he liked it.

“Now?” Gnorman asked. Uncertainty had creeped into Basils mind “No, we, errrm, we need to plan...and pack”

“Two days. We leave in two days” Gnorman stated boldly. Two days away was the 2nd of April. It was his birthday on the 3rd and he couldn’t face being another year older in this place. Basil nodded, every part of him doubted the decision but somewhere deep inside he knew it was the right thing to do.


They plotted and planned for the next 5 hours, they’d have probably stayed for longer, however, darkness had engulfed them and they couldn’t see each other, let alone the paper they were writing on.

Hurriedly they packed up their belongings and made their way home on a path they had taken thousands of times before, the darkness posing no problem as their feet hit a trail they knew so well.

Though they didn’t say it out loud they both wondered if this was the last time they’d take it

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