Trapped In The Outback - a short story

Trapped In The Outback

a short story written by Miriam Wilker (class 9 b)

It was the first weekend of summer and the Christmas holidays, and we were excited. Four good friends on their first road trip into the outback! No parents for a week! It was just my best friend Donovan (the star rugby player), Dani (his nice but princess-like girlfriend), Ruby (my girlfriend and the school’s cleverest girl) and me, Angelo. I’ve always been quite the worry wart, and wasn’t sure this road trip was a good idea. Two guys and two girls – was this going to work in the outback? But it was summer, school was over, so I didn’t care. I should have. Four friends left together on that Sunday, and four friends returned to Sydney a week later. But not the same four people…

In the early morning we put our full bags into the car and our road trip could begin. I was very tired and yawned a lot but when we were sitting in the car the others began to sing and laugh and because of this they made me happy. I smiled and enjoyed the pleasant air stream on my skin. I couldn’t even have guessed what happened next...

I was so happy. A road trip with my cute boyfriend Angelo and some others of my best friends. I couldn’t believe it! It was so wonderful! The mood was perfect. Everyone was as happy as ever. We had been driving for one hour, when we finally arrived in the desert, which was stretching out right in front of us. We only saw the endlessness of the sand and nothing else, which was so breathtaking for us. And suddenly, from one moment to the other, a huge group of kangaroos jumped less than 200 metres past us. We forgot everything around us and were staring at that wonderful spectacle because we had never seen anything like this before.

Normally, nothing can unrest me and I always have everything under control because I am the star rugby player … but this was something different! Right in front of us, there was a group of kangaroos! I looked to the right where they were jumping along the car. My mouth stood open and I couldn’t say a word. There was absolute silence in the car. We only perceived the quiet noise of the air conditioning, which ensured that it wouldn’t get too hot inside the car. Suddenly the car began to jerk and then there was a loud “bang”. Jerkily, the car came to a stop… and we were shocked! No more fresh air came out of the air conditioning! In the faces of my friends I saw that they were very terrified because of this situation and I was terrified, too! But I was the star rugby player. I couldn’t let that happen! I played the cool man, said that everything would be ok soon!

How could this happen? What will happen next? There’s my boyfriend Donovan, who supports me in every situation, but now we are trapped in the outback without any civilisation and nobody can help us. These terrible thoughts haunted me inside my head. I was helpless and felt so bad because the sun burned down on our heads and from minute to minute it got hotter and hotter and the destroyed cabriolet wasn’t any protection to us at all.

I knew it from the beginning. It was a big mistake to go on this road trip into the Australian outback. We were stuck here in the heat, in the endlessness of the sand, with a broken car which couldn’t be repaired in the desert. We didn’t see a way out.  We were sitting around for hours and nobody said a word. I looked into the painful faces of the others and nobody did anything. The evening and then the night came and there was silence. We tried to sleep but nobody was able to do so, I think. We looked up into the starry sky and tried to forget all the horrible events of the day. Every single minute was like an hour for me. My only thought was: When will the nightmare be over?

Finally I must have fallen asleep because as I opened my eyes I had to blink because the sun was shining down on us so brightly. I had to think about what had happened but when I looked around all the terrible events came to my mind again. I looked to my friends, who were sitting in the shadow of the car, and decided to go over to them. Our spirits were low and when someone tried to cheer us up we were bugged and made him shut up. So we waited for a wonder and didn’t expect anything to happen...

I felt so bad. My boyfriend, the star rugby player, was no help at all. He only talked big and did nothing else. It is true that he’s the perfect boy. He is strong, very self-confident and popular at school. All the qualities which I love most … but now I need someone who is the exact opposite of him. I only wanted to lie in my comfortable bed and to have all the luxury of my home. I knew that I was very demanding and spoilt and above all in this situation it was a very big problem. I was so hypersensitive and irritable but because of this incident and all the heat I wasn’t myself.

Did I only make this up or was there really someone? Do I have hallucinations because of the climate and the dryness? But it was real, I was sure. I was frightened. Might it be a danger to us? The worry wart in me came out. I started to tremble. Extreme fear caught me. I hated my sensitivity but I couldn’t fight against this silly characteristic. I had to inform the others. I stuttered something and then my helpful girlfriend Ruby took over control of the situation.

No one reacted so I did and screamed for help. I was surprised how loud I could scream but this was an emergency. Nothing else could help us. I was scared the creature wouldn’t recognize us, but when the person came nearer, I was relieved. The person might be dangerous but it couldn’t be worse than right now. I tried to be relaxed and explained what happened to the boy, who was an Aboriginal. In silence I inspected the boy because I had never seen such a boy before. It was so fascinating. I had already seen so much in my life because I’m very inquisitive and interested in everything but this was new for me. The Aboriginal had a weapon in his hand but he acted in a very harmless way. When I heard his voice I was even more self-confident than before. His voice was gentle and calm and so we all were relaxed. A feeling of joy came over me and my friends were happy, too. We had found help! It was the best thing that had happened recently. And this feeling of joy wouldn’t end so fast.

We followed the bush boy through the desert. We all felt so tired and strained. It seemed as if the way would never end but suddenly after we had walked for half an hour, we saw little thatched houses between some trees. I had the impression that our steps got faster and faster. We were eager to arrive in the shadows which the trees threw on the ground. We had never felt so happy about trees! And then we were there. We made it! We were safe!

After the bush boy had shown us where to sleep, we slipped into the beds made of leafs and other natural materials. I was surprised how the Aboriginals lived out there: without any electricity and all the other things of civilisation. I asked myself how the Aboriginals could live like that; a life without rugby and all the luxury. Inconceivable for me! But not for long! These little houses were so strange and the beds so uncomfortable but I was so tired that I couldn’t think anymore because I fell asleep very fast.

The next morning we couldn’t relax for very long because we had to work. The next days the nice bush boy, who had saved us, showed us how to prepare food in nature, what we could eat and how to survive in the desert. Every day we learned more and more and the days passed very quickly. At first, we were annoyed about the situation to live out there and to work so hard but as we experienced the every-day-life it wasn’t bad anymore. We learned to live with less and without all the luxury and popularity. It was a great feeling. But one morning we asked ourselves how we could get home because we knew we couldn’t live in the desert forever. What would our parents think? But this problem should be solved quickly because some days later the leader of the Aboriginals came to us and told us we couldn’t stay there anymore because we didn’t belong to them. This was clear to us. After they had explained how to get back to civilisation, we said thanks and goodbye and made our way home. In the time we were out there with the Aboriginals we had learned to survive in the desert and how to find back home. So nothing could stop us. We had a long way to walk but after half a day we arrived at the outskirts of the next big city. So finding our way home wasn’t a real problem anymore.  

Back home we couldn’t really decide if the trip was a great or a terrible experience but one thing was clear: we wouldn’t need as much luxury as before. Since that experience we weren’t princess-like girls, worry warts or arrogant persons anymore but very helpful, independent and strong. We weren’t the same, but happier than before! 



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