The first week of my course ‘writing for children’ we had to write about a life event. That came pretty easily. This week’s assignment was to write something, mixing two genres. I couldn’t think of anything really. So, I made it a little bit easier on myself 🙂 . I asked Lisa what kind of story she would like me to write. That wasn’t too difficult for her. She wanted a story about a girl called Lizzy that got a box from her father and would meet fairies and other fantasy creatures. Great, that gave me two genres to work with, realistic and fantasy. I wrote it for children between 7 and 10 years old. If any of my Dutch friends thinks they know a child that may like the story, I’d love to translate it for them and hear their feedback.
The Fairy garden is a story, partly realistic, partly fantasy. The audience is children 7-10.
The Fairy Garden
Lizzy couldn’t sleep. She just heard something and was convinced there was someone. Or something. Like a dragon or a witch. She clamped her arms around her pillow. Her hand touched something. Suddenly she remembered the small wooden box her dad had once given her. He had told her it was a magical box and that she could use it whenever she needed a friend. All she had to do was open it and whisper: I’m Lizzy. She had put the box underneath her pillow and had forgotten about it until now. She grabbed the box. It fitted perfectly in the palm of her hand.
She opened it. Nothing happened. It was just an empty box and didn’t look like anything magical would happen, but she whispered “I’m Lizzy” anyway.
Within a blink of an eye she was no longer in her bed but in a big field surrounded by beautiful flowers that smelled wonderfully. Oh… and fairies! Lots of fairies! She pinched herself. Ouch, that hurt. She watched a fairy in pink as she danced through the air. So beautiful! But then… she gasped. A unicorn! Playing with the cutest little dragon ever!
“Do you like it here, Lizzy?”
Startled Lizzy looked to her side. There was the pink fairy she had seen earlier.
“Uh… yes,” she said timidly.
“My name is Rosa” said the fairy. “Let me show you around.”
“What is this place? Where am I?”
“This the Fairy Garden”.
“And how do you know my name?”
“How could we invite you if we didn’t know your name?”
“You invited me?”
“Yes, didn’t your dad give the box to you and tell you how to use it?”
Rosa didn’t let her finish. “We invite children that, for whatever reason, need us. Your father used to come here when he was young.”
Her father used to come here? Why?
As if Rosa had read her mind, she said: “your dad came here when he was your age. He was very shy and didn’t like it. Just like you. We helped him overcome that and now we will help you.”
Lizzy couldn’t believe it. Her dad!? Shy!? She smiled, that meant the fairies could help her too. This place made her happy and knowing the fairies would be there for her whenever she needed them made her feel at ease.
She yawned. All of the sudden she felt very tired. Rosa smiled: “I know it’s a lot to take in. Why don’t you go back home, get some sleep and come back later? You can come back anytime you want to.”
“So… how do I get back home?”
“See that little cottage over there?”
“Just go in there and you’ll go right back to where you came from.”
She gave Rosa a big hug and entered the cottage. As sudden as she had entered the Fairy Garden she was back in her bed. Knowing she could always return to her friends, she fell into a deep and happy sleep.