‘STOP IT, STOP IT ,STOP IT.’ Rosie screeched in the direction of her older sister, with her hands held firmly over her ears.
Summer was not going to stop. ‘THEY ARE NOT REAL!’ she shouted spitefully back at Rosie.
Their Mum arrived and tried to calm both the girls down. Rosie sobbed in her mother’s arms, and whilst she tried to comfort her, she wailed that Summer had ‘said it again.’
‘Come on now Summer, you know how much it upsets your little sister when you say that, just because YOU don’t believe, it doesn’t mean your sister doesn’t.’
Summer ran upstairs and slammed her bedroom door. She didn’t care what any one said, she did NOT believe in Fairies any more. She had been teased horribly at school a few weeks before when she’d told one of her friends that the tooth fairy had been the night before, and since that day she was never going to admit to believing in them ever again. What was the big deal any way, none of her friends believed in them, some even said that Father Christmas was not real and not one of them believed in the Easter Bunny, so why did it matter?
Summer was the middle child, her older brother Jonathan was 13 and his main passion in life seemed to be annoying her. His other passion in life was cricket, if he wasn’t playing it or talking about it, he was watching it on TV. Summer thought it was the most boring sport ever invented. Her younger sister Rosie was 7 and was the typical younger sister, she seemed to want to do everything Summer did and followed her around all day copying her. Summer tried her very best to be nice to her but sometimes she got on her nerves, today being one of those days.
That night in bed she started feeling slightly bad for being spiteful with her sister, she was just feeling very confused. Her mum always said that she ‘believed’ and Summer knew adults weren’t supposed to lie so they must be real, right? And she’d seen them, hadn’t she? Dancing around the old oak tree in the garden, late one night when she should have been sleeping or had she imagined it?
The old oak tree sat on top of a large mound in the centre of the garden of their Victorian house. Right in the very centre of the tree, there was a huge hole; it was completely black inside and looked almost as if there’d been a fire in there at some point. Their Dad had told them more than once that they were not to go near the inside of the tree as it was not safe, he would tell them stories about how the tree was ‘special’ and ‘protected.’ Two years before when Summer was 8 and Rosie was 5, they’d made up a song about Fairies and would spend hours dancing around the tree, they were convinced that they lived in the centre of the tree and even left little gifts inside for them, although they made sure their father wasn’t watching. The gifts had disappeared but Summer wasn’t entirely convinced that they’d not been taken by the family of squirrels that lived in the garden. Jonathan had made fun of both the girls constantly that summer and taken great joy in teasing them that Fairies didn’t really exist.
‘I’m sorry,’ Summer whispered to Rosie as they were getting ready for school the next morning, ‘it’s just that as you get older you eventually stop believing.’
‘It’s ok,’ said Rosie sadly, ‘does that mean you don’t want to dance around the tree singing our song again?’ asked Rosie with tears in her eyes.
Summer sighed, ‘Of course I will.’ She said as she hugged her sister and they finished getting ready for school.
That night around the table Summer decided to ask questions about the tree.
‘Why do you say the tree is magical?’ she asked her mum.
Jonathan sniggered loudly and was shot a warning glance from their father.
Her mum smiled with her eyes laughing.
‘Because it is.’ she answered, still smiling.
‘But why?’ Summer pressed.
Her mum went onto explain about a newspaper article that had been written years before, and the article said that the Old Oak Tree was dead. She explained that when they’d first moved into the house just before Jonathan was born, it was winter and they had even considered cutting the old tree down, but to their surprise the tree came alive the following summer.
‘It flowered for the first time in fifty years.’ her mother said smiling.
Her mum then trailed off about how she loved that they lived in a historical house, and imagine all the other children and families that had lived in this house before them. Summer lost interest in the conversation after that, she was only interested in why her mother thought the house was actually ‘magical.’ She couldn’t very well just ask if her mother thought Fairies were real, she always said yes.
‘Do you really not believe?’ whispered Rosie sadly that night when they were in bed.
‘I used to believe, and when you get older you will understand, things just aren’t as magical.’ explained Summer sadly.
‘Mum believes though and she’s much older than you.’ Rosie said defiantly.
‘Mum believes in Santa, and only kids are supposed to believe in Santa.’ she said quietly giggling. They had to be quiet as their mum would be straight back up the stairs if she heard talking.
‘Well, I will never stop believing.’ Rosie said with confidence as she drifted off to sleep.
Summer awoke with a start in the middle of the night. She’d heard a sudden loud bang; she didn’t know what the noise was so sat up quickly to investigate. The house was deadly silent; she guessed her parents were in bed asleep by now. She soon realised that the book she’d snuck into bed had fallen on to the wooden flooring in her room. She lay back down and tried to get back to sleep. She tossed and turned for a while, adjusted the blankets but could not sleep, she was wide awake. The moon was super bright tonight and she decided to have a look and see if it was a full moon. She sat up for a while gazing at the moon, even though it was very bright it was only a half moon, but the night sky was clear and she could see all the stars twinkling in the sky. Her eyes started to feel heavy and she realised she felt tired again, but suddenly something caught her eye. It was down by the tree, it looked like a small flash of light. What was it she wondered? There it was again, and again. She rubbed her eyes and pinched herself just to make sure she was actually awake. ‘Ow.’ she muttered quietly, she was definitely awake, it hurt!
Quietly she got out of bed and moved to the window on the other side of the room to see if she could get a better look. She slowly pulled the heavy curtains away from the window, making sure she didn’t wake her little sister, and pressed her nose against the glass. There, she saw it again. She knew she wasn’t imagining it. It was little groups of tiny flashes, little shimmers of light, dancing around in the moon light. Some were moving quickly and others moving slowly.
Summer crept down the wide old stair case, making sure to avoid all the steps she knew that creaked, and made her way in to the music room. The music room was the closest room in the house to the tree so she knew she would get the best view from here. Slowly and quietly she slid herself down in between the piano and the arm of the sofa so she could see out of the window that was directly in front of the tree. It was difficult due to the lack of space between the piano and the arm chair, but she eventually managed to position herself so she could get a clear view. Yes. They were definitely there. Small shimmers of light, reflecting from the moon, dancing around the base of the tree. She couldn’t believe her eyes. Were those Fairies? She was almost sure she could make out the outline of their wings shining in the moonlight.
Excitedly she decided she had to get an even closer look and her plan was to sneak out of the front door, but as she jumped from behind the piano she accidentally hit her hand on the piano keys and made an almighty racquet. As she did she glanced out of the window and watched in dismay as all the lights suddenly disappeared into the centre of the tree.
The noise of the piano disturbed their dog Otis and he was now barking as loud as he could. Otis was their big grey dog; he was friendly enough but barked at any little sound. He slept in the kitchen and Summer knew her mother would be awake and down the stairs in moments to investigate, so she quickly and quietly headed back up the stairs to bed. She met her mother on the landing and explained she’d been to get a drink and she was sorry if she’d disturbed Otis, he’d settled down by now and so she headed back to bed, relieved that her mother had bought her story.
Back in bed Summers head was spinning. She was convinced that the small glistening lights dancing around the tree were exactly the same as she’d seen two years before, and two years before she’d sworn they were Fairies. Summer eventually drifted off to sleep.