Emilee Hockaday, Grade 12, The Glennie School
Excellence Award in the 'Spread The Word 2017' competition
Maybe she did not see. Perhaps she assumes it was her imagination and has dismissed the scene she glimpsed, walked away down the hallway. But no. I can hear her outside my closed bedroom door, the door behind which I caught her peeking only a second ago. She is breathing heavily. She saw. But I am not angry. I am not even frightened of what she will think, for I know her, and she knows I, better than anyone. No. I am excited to share my secret.
“Delia”, I call her name softly, coaxing her inside, however, she does not stir.
“Del, it’s okay. You can come in.”
I see the door handle slowly turn and the wide, chocolate brown eyes of my little sister appear around the corner. Her hair is still plaited into the two French braids I wove that afternoon. She wears her favourite yellow ‘Peter Rabbit’ nightie and an expression of tentativeness. I beckon her inwards with a reassuring smile and she tiptoes inside with bare feet, quietly closing the door behind her. I take her two tiny hands in my own and pull her towards the bed where she perches herself on the edge of the quilt. My touch relaxes her and she smiles.
“I’d like to show you something that I’ve never shown anyone else. Is that alright?”
She nods vigorously, all uncertainty replaced by the unquenchable curiosity of a nine-year-old.
“I will have to turn the lights off though. Will that scare you? I’ll still be here.”
She shakes her head, she will not be frightened, and I travel the two short steps to the light switch beside the door, covering us in a layer of darkness. Back on the bed I face Delia, who comes into clearer vision as my eyes adjust to the darkness.
Suddenly, my stomach flutters and a pang of nerves greets me. I have never shown anyone before. It has always just been me. But my worry dissipates almost immediately, leaving a trail of elation in its wake. I hold my right hand palm up in-between myself and Delia whom I focus on as she looks questioningly at my fingers. I feel myself smile….and a trail of ice blue haze begins to rise from my upheld hand, bringing light to the room. Delia gasps, and I giggle. She watches in wonder as the blue wisps float, entwining and disentangling themselves in a mesmerising fashion, before falling back to my hand like confetti, neither liquid nor solid nor gas, where they fade and are gone. Everything is still, dark and quiet, and the curious blue mist may never have existed. I look up at Delia and find she is staring intently at me. The little, freckled face is overtaken by her enormous eyes which continue to widen impossibly further in amazement, and display a childish sparkle which seems to light up the small space between us.
“Magic”, she whispers.
“Magic”, I reply.