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Fiction Teens & Young Adult

All people started as monkeys during the beginning of evolution. Then they branched off, and monkeys became their own species. Chimpanzees and Gorillas were once the same creatures, but about six million years ago, separated with chimps stayed 99% genetically similar to humans, and gorillas became 98% genetically identical. Unlike gorillas, humans have “fur” that covers our bodies but not to the extent that gorillas do. Gorillas have been proven to show the intelligence of understanding humans through sign language in the past, so what makes them so different from us? One day many scientists were trying to teach gorillas to communicate with us humans. As the gorillas evolved, it left them to begin the similarities between them and us. As time passed, scientists found two gorillas with the highest recorded level of intelligence that there has been. 

Chewy and Cookie were two soulmate gorillas that fell in love with each other and had a baby girl. This little girl was named Winter Aculeatus. Winter was different. Although she looked like a gorilla for most of her features, her face resembled that of a human, but with fur. She also grew as slow as a human but with an immense curiosity. Scientists decided to study her, and just like a human baby, she started talking, rolling over, and walking. This was when scientists learned she was the first human gorilla. She could understand things that only people have been able to understand. She was taken into custody by the government to study her. Unfortunately for the poor child, she was locked in a room. This room had a one-way glass mirror and was filled with many plants that mimicked the surroundings of a forest. Winter learned not only how to speak gorilla but also English. While locked in this room, she had a scientist, which she viewed as her father. She never met her biological parents, and he raised the little girl in this room. 

As she got older and older, she became very curious. Although she couldn’t officially prove that something was different about her surroundings, she had an instinctual feeling. Every day on the opposite side of the glass, scientists and tourists came to view her and see what she was like. She was a very famous little monkey due to genetic differences, but she never discovered this. One day she asked her father, “Why do I look different than you, Daddy?” Her father went silent, as he never thought she would get to this stage, but hesitantly responded, “Well, little Winter, sometimes there are genetic errors in people. This was an example, and although you are covered in fur, I still love you more than anything.” 

Winter took this in, reassuring her only for a short time. As the weeks passed, she started to sit in front of the one-way glass. She would stare out it but couldn’t hear or see anything but herself. Finally, one night as her father was tucking her into her leaf bed, Winter asked, “Father, why are there always people watching me through the wall over there? I don’t understand. Even though I can’t see them, I know they are there. I can feel it.” Her father was astonished; he didn’t know what to reply other than, “There is nobody there. It is probably just in your imagination.” Then he tucked her in, read to her as he did every night, and left. 

Winter lay up that night wondering if she had lost her mind, but she knew she didn’t. She knew that somebody was there and she wasn’t making it up. She knew that she had to do something about it. As the weeks passed, Winter decided that she would try to escape. She knew that she had to do something to change her life. So one night, she found a tiny vent opening tucked under the leaves and rubble at the bottom of the room. Luckily for her, she was small enough to fit through. She walked around the giant maze known as the hallways when she did. She had never seen anything like this and was quite scared, but she decided she needed to keep going. Then her father saw her. He picked her up and took her back to her room. She wanted to yell and scream, but he covered her mouth. 

When they arrived back at her room, she cried. “Why would you take me back here? I told you someone was watching me, and it was you! You lied this entire time. How could you?” Her father hushed her and replied in the gorilla language, “Shhh. Winter, I didn’t lie. I’m sorry, but you can’t leave this room, do you understand? It would be best to stay here, or they will kill you. Do you understand?” Winter had tears in her eyes and was terrified. That night the father went home and thought for a long while. He knew that what the government was doing was wrong. He was only hired because he knew the language of the gorilla, as he had studied them for many years. He was also a friend of Chewy and Cookie and promised he would keep Winter safe. 

The following morning the father came into her room and tried to talk to her. Winter had her arms crossed, and her back was facing her father. “Winter, please listen. I want to tell you everything. I know it might be hard for you to trust me, but you must. I am the only one here who cares what happens to you, and I want to tell you where you came from. So please listen, little girl.” Winter slowly turned around and replied, “Fine, please continue.” 

“Winter, when you were a baby, the government found out about you through my research. Your biological parents were amazing gorillas, but they weren’t like you. They had barriers that you don’t. When the government discovered that you had all the features of a gorilla but could understand humans and grow like humans, they became terrified. They were scared that when you grew older, they could overpower humans and lead monkeys such as yourself to take over the world, which is ridiculous. Winter, they wanted to murder you, but I made a deal with them and your biological parents. I told them that if the government takes you in and not only studies you but makes money off of you by showing you to the public, as long as I’m there to watch over you, then they won’t harm you. I didn’t have a choice Winter, and I am so sorry this has to be your life, but I will try everything I can to help you escape this mess and be reunited with your parents. How does that sound?”

Winter smiled. The following night after everybody left, the father came to tranquilize Winter and told them that she had died earlier that day after she tried to escape and got electrocuted from touching a loose wire. The government was so angry because if Winter were dead, they would lose all their money and research because she was one of a kind, but the father didn’t care. 

A few hours later, Winter woke up and was on a plane. She flew for three hours to equatorial Africa and then drove for five more until she reached the “gorilla kingdom.” When Winter first exited the vehicle, she was nervous but had to meet her family. Cookie and Chewy came over to her slowly, and Winter was scared because she had never seen what a real Gorilla looked like because she had differences. Cookie walked over to her and picked her up in her arms, and Chewy followed. Winter knew gorilla and was so excited to be with them. Winter’s father approached her and said, “Winter, this is your new home. This is also my home and where I have researched for about ten years. I know you aren’t used to being a typical gorilla, so you may stay with me during the night or whenever you would like. I know this is very different than your previous home, but it’s the thought that counts. I can entertain and teach you many things, but you can also stay with your family. It is your choice. Winter had never been more ecstatic about anything before. Winter did both and learned about the natural world while having her gorilla friends. Winter had finally found her place of peace.

April 11, 2023 21:11

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1 comment

KT George
22:07 Apr 19, 2023

Yay to the researcher for coming to his senses and helping Winter escape. I dislike zoos for this reason (people watching them while they pretend to live a life in the wild.) However, it's the only way to preserve many species' existence. A necessary evil?

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