Written by Grace, Lennon, Annie and Helena
This story has been joint written by me and my friends, Annie, Helena and Lennon. Together we have all had plenty of arguments over what we should put on our collaborative docs, but we have eventually now finished this, and we're now currently writing the sequel. So, I present to you, Alone, together. All our pride and joy!
They were all alone. Alone in the forest with nothing to eat and they had no shelter; it was getting dark…
Day 1 24/10/2019
Where It All Began
“No! We need to get food first.” Argued Lennon and Annie.
“But if we build a shelter first we can find food tomorrow.” Helena reasoned.
“Can we please decide on something?” Grace said, almost screaming. She was quite annoyed and very tired.
“Ok, ok, ok. We should find something small and easy to get, and then we’ll sleep and find a better source of food tomorrow.” Who agrees?” Lennon said. They all agreed, so that is exactly what they did. They found some insects lurking in a tree trunk and built a fire by rubbing twigs together.
“Just rub them together!” Helena said irritably, as Annie failed to start a fire.
“It’s not as easy as it looks, ok?” Annie replied, losing her temper.
“It is easy!” Lennon screamed.
“Don’t be ridiculous! We need firewood! Not just any old twig!” Grace was shouting.
“Any twig can be firewood!” Helena added.
“Can’t.” Grace continued annoyingly.
She was beginning to irritate Lennon. She always irritated Lennon. Lennon always irritated her. Well, at least it seemed to be going that way.
“You’re getting on my nerves now!” He said. “We need some big thick sticks, and Annie leaves some space for the oxygen to get to the fire” He exclaimed.
“Feeling scientific are you, Lennon?” Annie muttered as the unimpressed Grace went off to look for more wood. She had had enough. They all had.
After at least four tries from each person, Annie managed to light the fire. It wasn’t very big, but at least they were warm. They all sat around it and put the insects that they had found on a leaf on top of the flames.
“I’m tired.” Said Grace, after the so-called ‘meal’.
“Same,” Helena said.
“Ok then, sleep beneath that tree, Lennon and I will keep watch,” said Annie.
“But there’s no bed!” Said Grace. She was puzzled.
“Do you seriously need that much luxuriousness? We aren’t in a five-star hotel! Sleep under some leaves, pea-brain!” Said Lennon, very tired and very angry.
“I was kind of expecting a three-star…” Grace joked.
And so they slept. . .
Lennon dreamt about the dangers of the forest. The wolves. The insects. Everything. But somehow he felt safer in the forest than he ever did anywhere else. Perhaps it was the fact that he was not alone made him feel stronger. He had his friends and that was the important thing.
Annie dreamt about how she got to live in the forest. She was confused. All Lennon said was that he was going to live in the forest, and that was that. They all followed. She didn’t know why. Neither did Helena, nor did Grace.
Helena dreamt that she was the prime minister. She was running around looking for all sorts of documents and suddenly collapsed. It was a rather odd dream, to be honest, but she never had dreams, so it probably wasn’t odd at all to think a dream was odd, even though the dream itself had an average rate of oddity.
Grace dreamt that she had a dog and she was taking it for a walk. Then, suddenly she was blown away by a huge gust of wind. The dog then turned into an ugly, warty toad and hopped away. Bye-bye dog/toad.
Day 2, 25/10/2019
“Grace?” Whispered Helena from under the damp leaves where they were sleeping.
“Should I go over to those bushes,” She gestured to a bush “or over there to do a poo?” She gestured to another clump of bushes.
“Eww!” Grace said.
“So? Which one?”
“Can’t you hold it?”
“Ugh. Fine. There.” Grace said, pointing to the furthest bush from them insight.
“Thanks!” Helena said, getting up and leaving Grace disgusted.
Meanwhile, Annie and Lennon were looking for a place to build shelter.
“What about a treehouse?” Said Lennon.
“Don’t be silly!” Exclaimed Annie.
“What’s silly about it?” Lennon argued.
“What tree would be safe and suitable for a house?” Questioned Annie.
“That one!” Said Lennon, pointing to a fairly stable looking oak tree. “That would be perfect.”
“I’m sure it will be.”
Helena awoke, confused until she remembered where she was: the woods. She looked around and took in what she saw:
The bush she had done a poo behind last night
Annie asleep by a tiny, half-lit fire
Lennon, perfectly awake
“What are you doing?” She asked.
“Good morning to you too! And to answer your question, I remembered that I had a Pen-Knife yesterday and-”
“You carry around a Pen-Knife? Right.” Helena said in the way she would when confused and taking it in slowly.
“Actually… I don’t. But I found a twig, got inspired and started making a spear.”
“A spear? How’s that going to-” Helena questioned.
“Helekins!” Annie shouted, waking up. She almost squeezed the guts out of Helena in a hug.
“Urk-are!” Helena replied weakly. She was used to Annie’s famous squeezy hugs.
“Why are you here? Where’s Poppy?” Annie asked, then remembered she and her friends were in the woods. Poppy was her dog. Was.
A few minutes later, Grace woke up and Lennon continued making spears for everyone. Annie was persuaded by Helena that a treehouse was a good idea and they figured out a way to climb one of the trees.
“And then put your hand on that one and try putting your foot on that branch to your left. No, my left, your right!” Helena corrected herself, trying to teach Annie how to climb a tree.
Too late! Annie had put her foot to her left and fallen. They were too high up for her just to get a graze or a bleeding cut. Her face screwed up in pain, Annie’s eyes filled with tears that came rushing straight out.
Lennon, on the other hand, was distracted. He was wide-mouthed and staring at a river he saw.
“Guys, look! A river! A river!”
“Not the best time, Lennon! Annie’s hurt, a lot.”
“Oh no!” Lennon came down the tree, not closing his jaw.
“Idiot,” Grace muttered.
“Annie! Are you ok?” Helena asked in panic.
“Of course she’s not, she’s just gone unconscious!” Grace replied worriedly.
“We need to lay her down. We can start building the house while she wakes up.” Lennon suggested.
“Yes, good idea, Lennon. Grace, can you stay with her please?” Helena said.
“Ok,” Grace replied, too worried about Annie to say any more.
“Come on, Lennon, let’s collect some sticks.” Helena continued, walking away slowly, not taking her eyes off Annie.
“Coming,” Lennon replied, even though he wasn’t. “Coming.”
While they were gone, Annie woke up, half confused and in a lot of pain. You could tell. She kept asking where she was and why she was on the floor.
Later, Lennon and Helena cautiously climbed the tree that Annie had fallen from. They had since then figured out that it was something much more serious than previously thought. She had broken her leg as she couldn’t walk on it. At all. Not even a step. But still, they had to make a safe place to live.
Grace created a splint while Helena and Lennon worked.
The sun was going down when Helena asked Lennon “How prepared are you?” when he pulled a couple of nails out of his pocket and handed one to her.
“Very.” He replied.
She bashed the nail into some wood with a smaller piece. After repeating this 17 times, they had a small floor and the sun had set completely. They returned to the forest floor to sleep the night. But that isn’t what anyone did. Grace stayed up tending to Annie, who was awake with pain. Lennon had gone to the river that he had seen, after arguing with Helena, saying that he wasn’t going to wait until morning. Helena was busy continuing work on the treehouse because she couldn’t sleep to the sound of Annie’s crying.
Day 3, 26/10/2019
Lennon had just remembered the small piece of flapjack he had put in his coat pocket a few weeks ago for a long mountain trek with his family. It was as good as new; still in a wrapper, and the only way to tell it was old was the chunk of one of the corners that had fallen from it. He was going to sneak it into his mouth when-
“Lennon!” Grace shouted.
“Yes?” He said guiltily.
“What’ve you got in your hand? Give it here! Flapjack?” Grace said. “FLAPJACK!” she then shouted, loud enough that you would be able to hear it anywhere in the forest.
“Lennon's got food!” Everyone else filled up with happiness whilst Lennon got very annoyed.
“Argh.” He said sadly. They then forced Lennon to walk to the river, have his Pen-Knife washed and walk back, as punishment for hiding it from them. Eventually, when the precious piece of food was split into quarters, Lennon had another one of those moments. He wanted to ask Grace, “How much luxuriousness do you want?” but he couldn’t.
Day 4, 27/10/19
This time, Lennon wasn’t the first to wake up, but he was woken by Helena, persuading him to go to the river to get some fish for them. He wondered why she was asking him after she didn’t want him to last night, but he agreed and set off at once. He was then surprised by the fact that Helena stopped him instantly.
“What? You just told me to go!” He said.
“You didn’t give me time to get ready!” Said Helena
“You’re coming too?”
“Of course I am!” She replied simply.
“Can I come?” Annie asked weakly.
“Of course not. You’ve broken your leg.” Helena replied so loudly that Grace woke with a start.
“Oh yeah!” Surprisingly, Annie laughed. It was good to hear her laugh.
“Grace has made a splint now! And it would be good to have a little walk around.” Annie said.
“I agree, and I want to say yes but I can’t. This isn’t a little walk around. It’s almost a trek. You have to stay here with Grace.” Helena said.
“Keeping healthy is good for you, though.” Teased Annie
“Please, can I come?” She moaned.
“You really can’t, but we’ll be back soon, I promise,” Helena said.
They set off towards the river. Lennon had finished everyone’s spears (including Annie’s, even though she wouldn’t be able to use it for a while to her leg).
“I was thinking about making an axe. It would be easier and faster to build our treehouse when we don’t have to go looking for twigs.” Lennon suggested.
“Yeah, ok. But that would take, like, a whole day or something.” Helena reminded him. They were on their way to the river and debating what to do and what would make things easier for survival. “I guess that is a good idea though. Yeah. You do that while I make a bit more of the treehouse.”
They finally got to the river and threw their spears half into the water, following Lennon’s idea.
“No. we need bait,” Helena said when nothing came out of the water on her spear like she had been expecting would happen.
“Oh yeah. Because my ideas never work, do they?” Lennon yelled and went off in a strop.
“No! That’s not what I meant!” Helena called after him, but he either couldn’t hear her or wouldn’t listen.
“I’ll do it myself then,” Helena said to herself.
“No, you won’t!” A voice called back. It was Annie.
“Annie! What did I tell you about not coming?” Helena fussed.
“Well, Lennon left you and you need a fishing buddy, so I’m here. What did you say about needing bait?” Annie continued, holding up a piece of bacon.
“What? Where… did you get that?” Helena asked curiously.
“Yes. I was a vegetarian. This was Grace’s. Also, I’ve decided to give that up. If we’re gonna survive in the woods then the only food we are going to get is fish and leaves. Fish will give the main protein so that’s the best I can do.” Annie explained.
“Ok. Oh and while we’re here, almost forgot, we need to collect some water. This water will be much cleaner and a much more trustworthy supply than puddles.” Helena said.
“How are we going to collect water? We don’t have buckets, do we?” Annie asked and wondered.
“Well, I was thinking we could dig a tunnel, but not underground, to transport the water. Like a ditch… kind of.” Helena explained. And so they started digging.
It took a while and the journey there and back was long. They were flat out by the time they got back but had a lovely meal of fresh fish that night. But they were all so tired, and disgraceful. Lennon had ripped clothes and had mud all over him; Annie’s hair had gone frizzy and her trousers had turned into shorts; Helena was wearing a t-shirt that had a huge rip along the side and her face looked as though it had been put in a fire. Grace, however, had mysteriously kept quite clean. Her trousers were unharmed and her bright yellow t-shirt was only mildly dusty.
“Grace, how are you so clean?” Annie asked Grace, looking down at herself and then at Grace’s pretty much clear complexion.
“She’s afraid of mud, remember!” Helena said, grinning.
“Oi” Grace replied. “Rude!”
Day 5 28/10/19
Annie decided the next day that Lennon would catch fish, Helena would build shelters and she would try and make a ladder for the treehouse. She explained her plan to the others and they all agreed. And so Grace would collect firewood, Lennon would go fishing, Helena would build the treehouse (and the toilet) and Annie, because of her injury would light the fire. Everything was decided.
It was dark. It was cold. Grace was breathing in the raw, icy air when she heard something: A wolf howling. Shuddering, she stepped back in fear. She couldn’t take it anymore. She had heard so many noises on her missions. She ran as fast as her blistered feet could take her, she was running, running for her life. Until she finally came to a sudden halt. Where were Annie, Helena, and Lennon? What if she wouldn’t find them again? But she shoved those thoughts to the back of her mind. She would not let herself think about things like that. Survival was the ultimate goal. The thing that would let her live when she was quite literally on the edge of death.
“We need to find her” exclaimed Annie
“She’s gone. Nowhere!” Helena said worriedly.
“She was just collecting sticks! She can’t have gone that far!” Lennon protested.
“She’s been missing all day! We all got back hours ago!” Helena screamed.
“She must have been collecting loads!” Lennon said simply, yet angrily.
But Grace was gone. She hadn’t come back from collecting sticks for the fire. Lennon had said “she will come, give her time” over a million times. Helena had said that they didn’t have time, which was true, but Lennon wouldn’t admit it.
Day 6 29/10/2019
Parrots and Carrots
Meanwhile, Grace was collecting firewood. She had noticed that a pigeon had been staring at her for quite a while now. Since it was her only company, she started talking to it.
The pigeon raised its head. Grace seemed to take this as a greeting.
“How do you survive here?” Questioned Grace.
The pigeon did not answer. Grace was genuinely surprised it couldn’t talk. Or maybe she was just going mad.
Grace smiled. “I am going to have to leave here now. It’s been nice meeting you, though.” But Pigeon wouldn’t leave. He flew onto Grace’s shoulder. “You a parrot, are you? Are you a carrot?” She laughed. At least she had her Carrot as company.
She walked towards a fallen tree and climbed over it. Grace liked to create obstacles for herself.
While Grace was smiling over Carrot, Annie, Lennon, and Helena were trying to get on with their ‘usual’ jobs (you wouldn't necessarily call them usual, because they would never usually do jobs like these). But they just couldn’t stop worrying about Grace. She was their friend. Still, Helena continued making the treehouse with Lennon occasionally coming to help, sometimes to help and sometimes to either comfort her or need comforting. She was fine with this; except sometimes, when she was just about feeling better, she would hear Annie and Lennon arguing Grace, and then Lennon would come up and cry to her. She needed the building work as a distraction from all of it, but sometimes it just made things worse.
She heard them arguing, again.
This time, she didn’t KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON like she normally would, but she climbed cautiously down the tree and went to settle the argument. She was sick of it.
“Guys! SHUT UP! Do you know how frustrating you’re being, huh? Do you? Well really, I’m surprised Grace hasn’t come back here with her ears BLEEDING from all the noise you two are making! It’s ridiculous! Do you hear me? RIDICULOUS!” Helena had had enough. She had finally snapped. Did they know how much they had been doing this? She climbed back up the tree angrily with another argument dawning about whose fault it was that Helena had gone off screaming.
“You’re the one who started it!”
“No. You said that we needed to-”
“SHUT. UP.” Helena screamed. She then stomped the rest of the way up the tree to the now nearly finished treehouse. It had been two days of hard work to get it this close to being finished. She had had enough of everything. Building, arguing, even Grace was beginning to get on her nerves. The fact that she wasn’t there to say ‘Shut up’ anymore, or complain about mud and flies, or continuously ask if anyone has spare clothes that she could borrow; it was all sad to Helena. She had promised that Grace would decorate the treehouse, but now, she wasn’t there to do it. She had promised to make the ‘toilet’ (hole) far away from the treehouse-tree. But now it didn’t matter where it went, because neither Annie nor Lennon cared.
Eventually, Annie came up the tree, very slowly, because of her leg.
“I’m sorry.” Both Helena and Annie said it in the same tone at the same time. And giggled.
“I thought we could go looking for her tomorrow,” Annie said.
“Yeah, ok. As long as you two don’t go arguing again!” Helena replied.
Day 7 30/10/2019
After a lot of persuading, Lennon was on a long walk with Annie and Helena. He had been saying that Grace just needed time. Helena was saying that they didn’t have time. Annie had been saying that Grace would get dehydrated if we wait any longer. Two of these statements are facts.
They headed in only one direction so that they could find their way back easily. This was Annie’s idea, so of course, Lennon had a problem with it. He had a problem with absolutely everything that Annie did and quite near everything that Helena did.
“She needs time to find us!” Lennon yelled for the thousandth time (give or take). He and Annie were in yet another argument.
“She doesn’t have time! She with die of thirst!” Annie shouted back, also for the thousandth time (also give or take).
“No, she won’t because she’ll find us! Why are we even on this walk? She will come! Just forget about her for a day or two!”
“I don’t want to be forgotten, thank you very much.” A quiet and tired-sounding voice said. Before any of them could say the word ‘Grace’, she had fainted.
“See? I told you!” Lennon said triumphantly.
“No. She wouldn’t have found us if we hadn’t gone on a walk! Ha!” Annie said back.
“GUYS! Still?! I thought that because Grace has fainted with tiredness and dehydration-”
“I told you!” Annie interrupted.
“No you didn’t-” Lennon tried to answer back.
“Seriously? Your friend has FAINTED! And you two are still arguing about who was right!” Helena shrieked. “Grace has fainted and we need to get her back to the treehouse. Lennon, you carry her from under her arms, Annie, because of your leg, you can carry her middle area, and I’ll carry her feet and legs. On the count of three. Ok? One, two, three.” Helena ordered. They all did as they were told, but Annie was still sticking her tongue out at Lennon as they walked. Helena wasn’t bothered by this. At least it wasn’t shouting.
Day 8 31/10/2019
Trouble at the Treehouse
When they finally got back to the treehouse, Grace was murmuring unintelligible things constantly. Lennon took her top half carefully and very cautiously climbed the tree, with Helena holding Grace’s feet with one hand: the other one she needed to climb with.
“Lennon! Careful!” Helena said, seeing the branch he was about to bump his head-on.
“Aah! Thanks !” Lennon said back.
“Ok, we're nearly there! Should I lift the branch?” Annie was in front. She was to remove any branches that would get in the way of the climb. When they got to the treehouse, she had to lift the branch from the ‘doorway’. The leafy branch was what they used for a door. While building, Helena had left a hole in one of the sides so that they could have a door, but of course, they would never get a door, so instead, they put a leaved-twig over the hole. Squirrels couldn’t get in and humans could. Of course, when Annie lifted the branch, a squirrel and a pigeon flew in.
“Shoo! Out!” Helena said, waving her hands for them to leave. The squirrel did but the pigeon didn’t.
“L-l-leave it.” Grace murmured. “Carrot.”
“Carrot?” Lennon questioned.
“C-C-arrot. My pigeo-n.”
“Fine. Come on. Let’s get her in!” Helena instructed. They managed to get her through the heavy branch and carefully onto the floor.
“Lennon, watch Grace. When she wakes up, tend to her. Also, please could you finish the roof? The logs are in the corner and, oh, here are the nails.” She smiled at him and handed him the metal nails. Then she and Annie climbed back down the tree to keep watch.
“I hope she wakes up,” Annie said worriedly.
“She will. I think. I hope.” Helena said back. It was cold. Annie was shivering. Helena was shivering. Wolves were howling.
The wolves got ever closer.
“Q-quick. Th-those b-b-bushes.” Said Helena, pointing to a clump of bushes, shivering with a mixture of cold and fear. They ran as quietly as possible when walking along crunchy leaves, to the bushes, where they tried to think of a plan.
“We could sneak back up the tree, warn the others and stay hidden until the wolves move along?” Annie whispered.
“We could- wait! Our spears! We could kill them for extra food!” Helena reasoned. Of course, Annie would never agree to this, but it was worth a try. But before either of them could complain, Annie had seen a wolf. Right next to her. A wolf cub. Her eyes lit up.
“Shh. We are hiding from a pack of wolves. It is super adorable but we need to stay quiet-” Before Helena could finish her sentence, three more wolf cubs jumped onto her. She took in a breath to use some random onomatopoeia for how cute the wolf cubs were when there was a loud bark from beyond the bush. The rest of the pack retreated into the trees.
“What do we do with them now?” Helena asked, previously hoping that they would go back to the pack before the pack left.
“Umm, isn’t it obvious? Keep them!” Annie exclaimed.
“Oh, all right. As long as this one’s mine!” Helena said, picking up the platinum white one that had grey features.
“You can have that one. I want this one anyway.” She held up an off-white cub with a pastel pink left ear.
“That one is adorable,” Helena said as they walked towards the tree. “Who’s going to have this one?” She added, gesturing to the wolf cub snuggled in her arm.
“Maybe Lennon. I think Grace would like this one.” Annie said, cradling yet another cute cub.
“I agree.” Helena agreed, making her way up the tree.
Day 9 1/11/2019
Getting Used to Things
“It. Is. So. Cute.” Lennon said.
“Aham. HE is so cute, not IT.” Annie corrected.
“Grace,” Helena began. “That pigeon-”
“Ok, Carrot. How did you- how did he- did- what?” Helena spluttered.
“Carrot. I started talking to loads of pigeons and this guy followed me. He flew onto my shoulder and I just started using rhyming words; called him Parrot then I called him Carrot.” Grace explained as though it made sense.
“Great. Anyway. Back to the cubs. Who’s going to have which?” Lennon said, holding up the white one with brown and black bits covering it that he so obviously wanted.
“You have that one. I’d like this one anyway.” Grace said, cradling a white wolf cub with 8 black splotches and one pink dot.
“That one suits you, Grace,” Annie said, smiling at Grace and her new wolf.
“Guys, you do realise, we are going to have to feed them as well as us, right?” Helena reminded them.
“Oh yeah. I think we should keep them anyway.” Lennon said, smiling.
“Oh well, of course, but just keep that in mind. Grace, are you feeling better? You can have the rest of my fish if you like?” Helena said.
“Oh, no it’s fine,” Grace replied.
“No, I was talking to the dog. I think I’ll call mine… Ghost. It suits her.
“Mine is called Amika, which is ‘friend’ in Latin,” Grace said confidently.
“Weirdo” Replied Lennon. He was happy that everything had worked out.
Just as Lennon uttered the word ‘weirdo’ Carrot, who was on Grace’s shoulder, glided gracefully towards a nearby branch, pecking Lennon on the nose. Smirking, Grace knew that Carrot would never be disloyal to her. They had the same opinion on Lennon.
“Annie? What are you gonna call yours?” Helena asked Annie.
“I’m thinking Petal,” Annie said happily.
“And what about you, Lennon?” Grace asked.
“Well, first of all, I hate Carrot, he hurts, a lot. And I think I’m going to call mine Apollo.” Lennon declared.
“He only hurts because he hates you and he is a sidekick of mine.” Replied Grace simply.
“And it’s unfair that you have two pets.”
“Sidekicks are sidekicks”
“Are you saying you hate me?”
“Nope. You're not that bad” Grinned Grace. It was true, though. She liked to have a go at people, and Lennon was perfect for being nagged at 99.9% of the time she was fine with him being on the same planet as her.
“Good” replied Lennon.
“Guys?” Helena asked. “Can we live here? I know we’ll never find our way back home and there will be arguments but, believe it or not, I quite like the forest; and the treehouse; and Ghost; and Carrot, especially when he pecks Lennon.”
“I think it would be cool to live in the forest.”
And with that, they all lived happily.
But still together.