The short story “The Meaning of Clouds” by Natalie Cox opens with a six-year-old child named Bella asking her stepmother, Mags, about the meaning of clouds. Mags tries to explain, but does not really satisfy Bella’s curiosity. The two of them are relaxing on a blanket, exhausted for different reasons. Bella has been practicing football, while Mags was fired recently. 

Bella asks for ice cream and Mags takes her to the corner shop. While there, Bella corrects the seller’s assumption that she is Mags’s daughter, telling him that she is her stepdaughter and that Mags has no job anymore. Bella asks Mags if she is sad about losing her job but Mags does not know. 

Bella wants to make a kite, and they go to the craft shop. However, Mags suddenly loses sight of Bella. Mags is very worried. and runs around giving everyone Bella’s description, ...

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