The World

Julie stared out of the window at The World. The insects' jungle stretched out below her, the stripy green illuminated by the lemon circle in the blue sheet with patterns of cotton wool dotted across it above. Invisible fairies flew behind each fluffy and smoke-like White and blew them across the wide waveless sea while others sat upon them and used their magic to create ambiguous forms which occasionally reminded Julie of pets and dragons and horses galloping along like she'd seen on TV...

A laugh interrupted her silent contemplations. Beyond the spiky, ouchy fence that imprisoned her Garden, she saw a woman holding Daddy's hand and pulling him towards the Shadowlands atop that hill which rose like a giant moon, to the place where her brother Jamie told her evil monsters lurked.

The sun shone brightly and exploded off the woman's clothes, causing Julie's eyes to hurt. The woman's long wavy hair fell down her back like a yellow waterfall.

Julie didn't like waterfalls. She always got scared that the silver ribbons would pierce her skin like pitiless knives and she would be pulled under the shimmering blanket by the trolls who lived under bridges and wanted to eat goats.

The woman's dress was short so Julie could view much of her stick-like legs. The woman's dress was like a White, which is never good in such a big amount - Julie shivered as she remembered the nightmare she'd once had about getting lost in the Fog and never seeing Mummy again. She began to despair: what was Daddy doing?!

Daddy's hair was a colour like warmth and almost as soft as chocolate. Mummy liked to put her fingers through it - Julie saw when she was meant to sleep, through the slim, rectangular window between their door and the frame. Daddy was wearing a suit - it matched his hair so that it almost looked like he'd had a Brown shower. A suit meant Importance and Pride and Goodness. Julie had never seen these things but she knew that Daddy owned them, just like the woman didn't.

Julie couldn't see their faces - which was a very bad sign because when Julie was naughty, her mother Ignored her and hid her face by turning her head away. And their faces shouldn't be turned to the dark of the Shadowlands, to the frightening night which haunted Julie in her spare moments, which loomed over her future, obscuring from view everything she didn't Know.

But onwards they went and Julie was too scared of the woman to open the window and shout at Daddy to "Come back!"

She turned away from The World and buried her face in her hands, beginning to cry.

No one heard - except the birds, and they had never liked Julie, flying away when she called them pretty. Jenny felt like a coconut on a palm tree on an island in the middle of the ocean, about to fall and break at any moment.

She couldn't believe Daddy had let himself be taken away from the sunlight.


The next evening there was a thunderstorm in the kitchen. Julie and Jamie were in the sofa room, Julie looking at the lovely ladies in her picture book and Jamie sitting in front of the weird talking box that Julie had never understood. Sometimes she thought it was called ‘So-nick' and others ‘Ma-ree-oh', but it was so confusing that she didn't bother to name it at all.

"Mum and Dad are going to break up," Jamie said, looking up from the box.

"What?!" Julie asked in alarm.

"Can't you hear them arguing?"

Julie wished she couldn't. Thunder and lightning never fought outside. But Mummy sounded in pain and her voice flickered like flashes, and Daddy sounded wrong as his words blurred like rain and his laughs sounded like awful rumblings.

"What happened?" Julie asked, trying to block out the noise.

Jamie looked sad. His voice was quiet as he said "Dad did something - something bad - with Serenity Mayle."

Julie felt like she was about to throw up. Tears welled up in her eyes and the coconut she had thought she was seemed to be about to fall on her head and bring the night falling down upon her.

The woman!

She had known she wasn't a good person.

Julie started to sob as the front door was unfairly punished for her crime and she vowed never to look out of the window at The World again.

The End

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