A little girl who believes in magic.
‘There’s a ship in the sky!’ yelled a little boy, his eyes as wide as saucers as he pointed up into the velvet black canvas that was the sky.
‘And there are diamonds on board!’ called a small girl, her mouth agape, as she ran to the window beside her brother and pressed her little nose against it.
‘They’re capturing the stars.’ The boy said loudly, knowingly, to his little sister. ‘They’re more valuable than diamonds, you know!’
The girl gasped in amazement and delight. ‘Do you think they can see us?’
‘Even if they could,’ her brother sighed, ‘They would not stop for us.’
‘Why not?’ the girl asked, her smile falling into a frown.
‘Because they have the Queen on board, most probably.’ the boy explained eloquently, he sighed again. The girl thought her brother sounded very wise.
‘Which Queen?’ she asked, her frown fading and a look of curiosity replacing her expression. ‘The one from Becking-ham Palace?’
‘Buckingham palace, Emily. No, not that Queen. The one up there,’ he said, pointing up at the tiny flashing lights in the distance, up in the sky. ‘the one on the ship, she is called Queen Agatha.’
‘How do you know her name, Luke? I have never heard of her.’ Emily, clearly impressed by his knowledge, asked him. Though, she was certainly already convinced.
‘Everybody knows about Queen Agatha!’ he said, as though it were obvious, but then sighed. ‘But grown-ups try to tell us she doesn’t exist.’
‘Because they think that if we knew, we would want to join them, up there, to work for the Queen.’ Luke explained.
‘And why can’t we?’
‘Because it is dangerous Emily,’ Luke said, turning away from the night sky to look down at his sister, lights of excitement and mischief dancing in his eyes. ‘There is magic up there.’
‘What kind of magic?’ Emily’s mouth was agape once more, but now she looked a little fearful. ‘I don’t like magic.’
‘It’s not scary magic!’ he said quickly. ‘It’s brilliant magic! They can change the color of the sky with just a glance of their eyes! They can swim in air as though it be water. They can dance on water as though it be earth. Up there, in the sky, they have oceans filled with birds with crystals for eyes, and in the skies around them fly fish with real golden fins!’
Emily was entranced in amazement once again, but they were suddenly interrupted by the presence of a grown-up.
‘Come on, kids, off to bed. It’s nearly ten o’clock! What have you been doing so late?’ asked their father as he strode into the room, crossing his arms and looking threatening. ‘You know the rules!’
‘Daddy, we’re sorry, but there was a ship -’ Emily cut off at the look her brother was giving her. His eyes wide in silent warning, shaking his head slightly from side to side.
‘What was that, Emily?’ their Father asked, raising his eyebrows.
‘She was pointing at that plane in the sky, saying its a ship collecting stars.’ Luke thought quickly, knowing the trouble he would get in for winding his sister up again. Emily looked hurt, her big blue eyes wide. Luke felt a little guilty - but after considering the prospect of bathing the dog again, he decided it was for the best.
Their Father let out a low chuckle. ‘A ship in the sky?’ he asked. ‘Have you been watching Peter Pan, Emily?’
Emily looked from her father to her brother and back. ‘I’ve never watched Peter Pan, Daddy.’
‘You always had a very active imagination, Emily.’ he chuckled, seemingly forgetting about their rule-breaking. ‘Now get to bed, both of you.’
‘Goodnight, Luke!’ Emily called after her brother as he walked across the room towards the door. His room was next door.
As usual, he didn’t say ‘Goodnight’ back. Emily thought that it must have been a brother-thing. Maybe he was too grown-up to say goodnight. Emily wished that she could be as grown-up as Luke. He knew so many things.
She jumped into bed and her father pulled the duvet around her and kissed her on her head.
‘Why don’t you want us knowing about magic, Daddy?’ Emily asked, gazing up at her father.
‘Magic doesn’t exist, Princess.’ Daddy smiled.
‘But Luke said -’ Emily cut off again, but too late. She knew that she had just gotten Luke in trouble for telling her the truth about magic and Queen Agatha.
‘Luke is winding you up again.’ Daddy sighed. That was always his excuse. ‘I’ll have to have a word with him.’
He kissed Emily’s forehead one more time before saying softly, ‘Sweet dreams,’ from the doorway and turning out the light, leaving Emily in the darkness, contemplating her new-found knowledge.
She gazed out of the window, but couldn’t find the ship anymore. There were many stars twinkling like diamonds in the sky, but none of them were flashing. She knew that magic did exist, and more than anything, she wanted to find it.