The Earth's Five

With my regards to my fellow writers, I leave my inspiration by
The Ink Well Prompt # 20: Campamento de verano


The Earth's Five

Thomas doesn't want to go to summer camp. At the age of twelve, he feels that going to camp, getting wet in the water, climbing mountains, singing songs on hikes, collecting firewood for a campfire, is too childish and no longer of interest to him. He feels he is no longer a child, that he has the right to decide what to do with his free time. What he would like is to stay at home, leveling up in the new console games and playing online - with his online friends - in the role-playing games he is so passionate about.

The parents have booked the camp months in advance, and in response to Thomas's refusal they argue, without much success, that this may be the last camp of his childhood.

Without much enthusiasm, the boy climbs into the bus that picks him up, looks out of the window and responds to the parents' gestures of farewell, only to immediately dive into his mobile phone. He has already been warned that when he arrives at his destination he must leave it in the hands of the supervisors until the end of the camp.

Ten minutes later, a boy sits next to him, greeting him. Thomas looks up. He is surprised to find that this boy has a look that is very familiar to him. Perhaps it is his hair, a little long, though carefully combed, standing up and fixed, intensely black, shiny. The newcomer peers at him from behind the thick frame of his glasses.

"Which level are you going for?" He asks him.

"Twenty-seventh." Thomas answers automatically.

"Not bad!" Replies the newcomer, as he holds out his hand.

"I'm Dante."

"I'm Thomas."

On Dante's index finger gleams a large ring with a design of raised concentric circles that make it look like a seal. Sam catches Thomas's gaze.

"It's my shield" he tells him, and then without transition informs him that he has reached level 47 and can show him some shortcuts.

By now Thomas is more interested in the camp.
When the thirty pre-teens arrived at their destination, Thomas had talked at length with his new friend and the two had struck up a conversation with Azami and Ismat, their seat neighbours.

The organisers asked them to make six groups of five participants each. The new friends looked at each other and nodded... only one was missing. In a few minutes someone was isolated, it was a red-haired child with a short stature and a slim body, looking down at the floor. Thomas, Dante, Azami and Ismat walked towards him and surrounded him. Azami put her arms around his shoulders. They were now complete.

The organisers took a photograph of each group. It was the first time these friends had been photographed together.

Azami, in the foreground, was a girl with slanting eyes, pearly skin and a serene gaze, wearing a kind of hooded cloak, in the photo she appears at the moment when she covers her head with the hood.
At the other end was Dante, looking athletic, with a broad smile, a confident appearance, his jacket highlighted by the concentric circles of his shield.

Between the two was Erick the slim, red-haired child, frail looking, but with an agility and posture that resembled that of a leprechaun.

Behind, even in stature, even in build, both with their arms folded across their chests, were Ismat and Thomás. Ismat with his bronzed skin and tousled black hair, Thomas with his rosy skin and golden hair.

The six groups had a moment to come up with a name.

The new friends looked at each other, shook hands, made a circle and sat on the floor.

"We are the five of us." Dante took the lead.
"The five friends or the five strangers?" asked Erick, caustically.

"The five different ones?" Thomas replied questioningly, as he gestured about indicating their different sizes, their different hair colours and textures.

"All five continents?" said Itsmat, prompted by an epiphany.
"" The Earth's Five!" Azami zanelled, her voice sweet and serene.

At Azami's phrase, everyone smiled. They seemed to be discovering a world. In a group impulse they embraced each other, still sitting in the circle, experiencing their first sensation as members of a group. After a moment they straightened their backs.

"We will be like the circles of the Olympic emblem, all different and all together." Azami said again.

"Great" they all said in chorus.

Dante extended his hand to the centre of the circle, put his thumb together with his index finger and formed a circle.

"Great!" said the choir again.

They all understood instantly and one by one they were linked, like a link, each in their own time, to the initial circle.

They were a chain, they depended on each other. They were filled with a beautiful emotion, they smiled with their lips and their gazes.

Thomas' voice was heard in a whisper.

" The Earth's Five, " The Earth's Five, " The Earth's Five....

The others stared at him, Thomas' eyes closed. The other four imitated him:

" The Earth's Five, The Earth's Five!"

That was a very special summer camp. All the members of The Earth's Five had fantasies.

Thomas dreamt of being able to accumulate energy and move it around.
Itsmat dreamed of being able to breathe underwater.
Dante dreamed of going through portals and going to the bottom of the earth.
Erick fantasised about knowing the language of vegetables.
Azami was sure that if she studied chemistry she could become invisible.

When the camp was over, each group had a moment to say goodbye.

The Earth's Five promised to meet again. They vowed to work hard to be the best in the school. They would be scientists to achieve the powers needed to protect the earth.

They had a name, a symbol and a slogan: All different and all together.

Thank you very much for reading



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