We snuck out! Straight out of the window. I’ve never done that before. Imagine the trouble we’d get in if Mum found out! God she would have been so worried. Who knew a spirit of calming would be such a bad influence.
I half-jogged to keep up with you. Whispered ahead for you to slow down, my palms starting to stick. Walking alone at night is sketchy, everything is silent and unfamiliar. But you surged forward, bouncing from one side of an aircurrent to another. Leading. Excited.
Hand on chest, I pulled slow breaths.
Just off the banks of the lake — a little after the Bluebird Cafe — was a tree. A huge, dried, gangly thing. The tree was rooted deep under water and mud, clinging onto the veins of magic that ran beneath.
Just come back, stay close. Please
You streamed straight over tall, dried grass — directly to a pink bud, hidden behind the tree’s root.
I don’t want to be here.
You circled around the flower, tail swishing.
Glittering dewdrops hang heavy, ready to melt from the wilting petals — glowing. Spots in the grass around us began to glow too. Wispy light rose, swirling into creatures that look a lot like you. That same transparent blue. Ones that have tails like those possums we feed on the Renmark riverfront, ones with faces like sugar gliders and webbed feet of a platypus.
My chest slowly unwound.
Shadows disappeared as the spirits brightened and recognition slowly found me. Muggy, morning air curled around me. Breath deepening, reaching my belly.
I’m okay now. I’ll be okay.