Issue 5 August 2013
I could see right through my sister. Nobody else could see her at all. She sat on top of my toy box and bossed me about.
‘Are you a ghost?’ I said, the first time I saw her.
‘Don’t be stupid, Lexi,’ she said. ‘I’m your sister. At least I will be, if I ever get born.’
‘What’s stopping you?’
‘I need a mum and dad,’ she said. ‘We’ve got Mum but where’s Dad?’
‘He doesn’t live here anymore. He and Mum got divorced ages ago.’
‘Well, tell him to come back.’
‘I can’t. He lives with Suzanne, now, and my half-brother, Lucas. They wouldn’t like it if he came back here, and I don’t think Mum would like it much, either.’
‘Okay,’ she said. ‘Tell her to find a boyfriend. He can be your step-dad. I can get born and he’ll be my dad.’
‘Anything else?’ I said.
‘Yes. I need a name: something flowery.’
‘Poppy, Violet or Rose?’ I said.
‘Rose. I like that.’
As soon as the lights went out, the whispering started. It was the whispering of a hundred fairies scattered throughout my room. Earlier that evening, twenty-five of them had flocked around my lamp as I sat doing my homework. There were at least thirty under my bed, sitting with their legs crossed, filing their nails with tiny nail files. The rest of them fluttered around the room as if they had just consumed a large latte.
Have you ever heard a hundred fairies whisper? It starts as a slow buzzing between a few and eventually works its way up to a loud chattering as they all flitter around the room.
I covered my ears with the pillow and tried to ignore them, but they only got louder and louder.
“I can’t take it anymore!” I screamed into the darkness. The whispering stopped right away. “What do you want?”
The lamp snapped on. One of the fairies sat on its base and smiled. I was surprised that she had figured out how to press the button.
“You’ve forgotten us,” she said in a voice so soft I had to lean over to hear her. “You used to see us all the time, but you’ve forgotten about us now.”
I groaned and rubbed my eyes, hoping to wake up from some sort of weird dream. “Listen,” I said. “I got busy, okay? Being a teenager does that to you.”
The fairies all crossed their arms and pouted at once. I closed my eyes in a desperate attempt to make them go away.
Somehow, I managed to fall asleep that night, even with the fairies whispering about me. When I woke up the next morning, they were still there, dancing on my desk to the buzz of my alarm clock.