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Short Stories

We have a wonderful number of talented authors reflecting their meaning of Belonging! To submit yours, please send it to support@hscbelonging.com

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Unlovable by Jeremy

My name, Raian, engraved by burnt marks above my left breast below my strange X) shape birthmark is the only evident that I once belonged. I speak English because I often hear travelers chatting the language on the surface of this mountain while I remain trapped underneath inside its cave. At night I dream of a language I don?t understand - untranslatable except for the sound "Raian" being heard again and again. Born with glowing pink hair and extremely white skin, slightly pointed nose and framed eyes is what I see in the water reflections. I live with my three guardians; they're like my parents, ironically younger than me, Goel, Ryku and Longus, all aged around seven. I work for them, preparing food each day, but there are many things I still don't know - where are they from? Are they my parents? Which nationality am I? These are questions I've never dared to ask.

"Rise and shine!" Ryku pulled back my long hair, as Longus jumped on my shoulder as I lay asleep. "It's your birthday today and we need your help to prepare a special meal! Goel is having a bad time trying to get all the ingredients," Ryku squawked, his voice like sharp melodic stones.

"Longus, my wings are hurting!" I groaned and sat up. The thing that haunts me most is that I have petite wings about the size of two hands, shaped like blue butterflies? at the back near my waist. It can be mistaken for a tattoo but it has life although I can't control its movement. None of my guardians has it and I ask myself what the purpose of them. Am I mutated or something?

Midday arrived even though the light in my world is always dark and cold. I was ordered to smile and celebrate - forcing my loneliness to fade. But it made it worst. That night when ordered to sleep there was an urge inside me telling me to rise up to find my secrets. The smell of something sugary and grassy lingered by my pebble bed and it told my heart to leave this area. "I must get out of here! I want to see the sun tonight! I want to leave this mountain!" I fumed. I reached the end of mountainous cave, crossed the bridge that smoke rises from and other tunnels that I have already mastered. "There must be an exit!" I shuddered in hope. "There must!" I kept feeling a notion telling me that this is not the place I belong though it's the only place I've been. I don't feel safe, warm, connected, accepted. I wanted to cry, to scream and feel the sanity of my own silence getting stronger until I started using my soft fingers to dig through the walls, in despair, but I was satisfied with a broken heart. Dust began to gust and my hand pulled out to let me sneeze.

It shocked me. My hand smelled - of sugar and grass - the aroma unique and strange, and completely foreign. The scent felt seductive, my desire to dig increased, the hole getting deeper. Deeper and deeper. And blood leaked out my nails.

"Each year on a starry new Lunar night, a rose sweeter by its name will be planted for my mother's sake," suddenly interrupted a voice; my heart almost jumped and I pushed myself back. The voice was low, deep, but it soothed my rapid heartbeat.

"The fragrance like Mother, the time is near, and I shall return, my larvae," the speech came again. I pulled my body into the wall of the cave as if I'm trying to be part of it. I rolled to the right to hear the voice clearer. There was something about it that's driving my thoughts crazy, I'm losing my control. I must hear the voice more clearer!

"Raian will still be-," my wings began to hurt, I collapsed to the ground, pain growing with my heartbeat and I felt my shoulders pulling me up. What is this? Someone save me! It was then I found something expanding and ascending - it was my wings gently flapping and the discomfort increasing as it travelled to my veins. My inner fire was about to explode. Sweat dropped, I screamed, the echoes flying back and forth but with no other ears to enter. Agony rushed through my blood stream, kicking the ground with my bare feet until I felt no longer feeling, but of pure pain.

Then it entered my soul. I don't want to be here! I want to be free! Let me understand my record! Give me someone to be with! Raian, break through my destiny! I don't want to be an outsider anymore!

I predicted the man voice to sing again, but it didn't. I was again, left stranded, alone, lost in thoughts, in tears wishing to only belong in a place where my heart truly smiles.