Ella Toll, Grade 7
“I was once a little kid, but now I’m not. I don’t believe in fairies anymore,” I scream at Pop.
Pop looks at me with tears in his eyes. I weaken a little. I feel a hand on my shoulder. I turn around. It’s mum. She pulls me into the next room, sits me down and says “Pop is getting old. Go with him to the fairy tree.” These words were said quickly, but to me they mean everything. The words ‘Pop’s getting old’ almost make me cry. I stand up and go to Pop.
“Let’s go, Pop,” I say cheerfully.
Pop looks up at me, his tears fading away and a smile creeping up on his face. It’s a long walk to the fairy tree but I don’t mind. Pop and I talk about how he was a little boy and how his pop showed him the fairy tree. I see it. It towers over all of the rest of the trees surrounding it. I run to it. Pop catches up eventually.
“It’s beautiful,” I say staring at it.
The bottom of the tree is so fat, around one and a half metres by guessing. The roots look like they go under the ground then back up again to make little holes. It really does look like fairies could live here.
Pop and I sit down at the bottom of it. Pop puts his arm around me to keep me warm. We close our eyes and go to sleep.
I wake up. I look around and I’m at home. In my room. In my bed. Pop must have carried me home, I think to myself.
Mum comes in and she is crying. I stare at her, puzzled. She walks over to me. I move over. She hops into bed with me.
“What’s wrong?” I ask.
She takes a deep breath.
“Pop never woke up last night,” she cries.
A pain like a bullet hitting me comes over me. I burst out in tears. Mum grasps me tightly. I scream, push her hands away, run out of the room, out the front door and keep running. I know exactly where I’m going. The fairy tree. I bolt. I’m puffing hard but I don’t stop.
I see it. It hasn’t changed. It still towers over the rest of the trees. I reach the tree. I fall to my knees. I’m tired from the run. I pick myself up. I kick the tree as hard as I can but it only gives me a sore foot. Then I fall to the ground. And as I lie in the dirt beside the tree I imagine Pop is lying next to me. I imagine his old crinkly arms wrapped around me. His warmth, his love , it fills me with joy. This moment I know he is here with me. I can feel his presence. Now I know fairies are real, but not the ones from fairy tales. They are not girls the size of your finger that prance around in leotards. They are souls that have come to say goodbye.
“Goodbye Granpa,” I whisper.