When You Name a Skunk

Dominican College, Fortwilliam, Y8 & Y9
6th December 2023

Illustration: Emma Tomlinson

“I’ve repeatedly been told that I need to work on the farm, but I’ve always been interested in getting an education,” wrote Theo in his journal in bed one night. This is what his mother had wanted. She had disappeared less than a year ago, and everyone proclaimed her dead. 

Theo had woken up from a recurring nightmare. Every time this happened, he wrote in his journal. 

His mother had unexpectedly disappeared the previous year, on Tuesday, 7th of December 1923. 

After he had finished writing in his journal, Theo went back to sleep. 

He woke up the next day with his dad shouting, “Theo, come help me in the stables.” 

Illustration: Amber Monahan​​​​​

He pulled on yesterday’s trousers and shirt, and he reluctantly trudged down to the stables. Theo heard his dad yelling, “Come quick, come quick! A skunk has destroyed the stables!”

Under the wreck of the stables, Theo found an old box. Inside the box there was an even smaller box, with a locket inside.

He opened the locket and saw a picture of his mother in it. He pulled the locket in close. He had been so startled by the wreck of the stables that he had forgotten his mother for a moment. 

His dad came up behind him and looked at the locket. He silently snatched it, with tears in his eyes. 

The locket began glowing and his dad dropped it. Theo caught it and was suddenly gone. In that moment, a skunk ran underneath him, and disappeared too…