Authors: M. T. Boulton
Published by New Generation Publishing in 2012
Copyright © M.T. Boulton 2012
The author asserts the moral right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
All Rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior consent of the
author, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
To my Mum. Thank you for such unwavering love, belief, support and understanding, and endless patience. As with all areas of child-rearing, thank you for also for being
inclusive rather than exclusive where the arts are concerned; whether that be storytelling / literature, panel paintings, ballet, opera, theatre and any performing art medium. If you like a
particular something, then you simply like it.
in memoriam, my Dad
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited -
a maxim principle truth, Albert Einstein
Megan Button patted an unruly ringlet, munched some more of the chocolate muffin then started to stroll around her school fete.
The mugginess of early summer had surpassed itself as it shined down on her mum and dad, who were rooted on the slope near the cake stall, fixedly watching her sister and her gaggle of friends
all hopping like hares over the funny-shaped bouncy castle; there was terrific bouts of boisterous laughter as they were trying to bounce over the clowns bowler hat!
A chuffing train, less than a mile away, just clapped out a belch of steam, which was curdling in the sky like a flock of crows. The whistling
chugged on to its next station
stop, and yawning back the mid-morning with a drawn stretch, Megan meandered into puddles of strobed lights spilling from the noisy carousel, then passing a wooden helter-skelter, she found herself
face-to-face with a fluting banner.
In her jeans, she had the last dregs of her pocket money and checking the coast was clear, sidled alongside the toy stall, where she spotted something peeping from under a raggedly battered
teddy bear. It was a figure of a Fairy, perched on a branch, wearing a lemon-yellow dress, which flowed down to its ankles.
It looked pleasantly lovely!
Megan couldn’t peel her eyes off the figurine: she had a vast collection of Fairies and yet, in her estimation, none looked as real as this one, and her grandmother, knowing how much she
highly prized these, would give her one on every birthday and Christmas.
Her new teacher came over and saw her holding the model. ‘Hello, Megan, isn’t she beautiful?’ she remarked pleasingly, both admiring the light reflecting through the
Fairy’s pale purple wings.
‘Yes, she is. How much is she, Mrs. Penny?’
‘She’s supposed to be two pounds.’
She bit her lip, and fidgeted with the tog on her long-sleeved sequined cardigan.
‘Good gracious, girl, you oughtn’t look so ghastly,’ Mrs. Penny said somewhat concernedly.
Megan smiled thinly.
Mrs. Penny, seeing her disappointment, tapped a finger on the mottled cover of the leather-bound book she was cradling in the crook of her arm, and enquired. ‘How much do you have to
‘Erm, only one pound,’ she told her weakly.
‘Then that’s how much you can buy her for,’ Mrs. Penny winked with a knowing smile.
This was certainly more than Megan had bargained for.
She perked up, and with a beaming grin, that displayed the cute-as-pie dimples in her cheeks, she cried in delight, ‘Thank you, Mrs. Penny!’
Excitedly, she sprinted and showed her parents, but had too wait to see her sister, because apparently she was having her face plastered in paint, in orange, black-and-white stripes.
She eventually decided to grace them with her presence, and came skipping over to Megan. ‘Grrrr. Raaaa’ she growled. ‘Ooh, that’s a nice Fairy.’
‘I-I know,’ replied Megan hesitantly, now fully fearing what might come next.
And sure enough, she stropped in a rather dramatic huff, ‘Have
got one?’ then promptly flicked a poor ladybird off her thumb.
With a sinking heart because she knew she’d be cross, Megan muttered wearily, ‘No, sorry. I only saw this one.’
Spitefully, she started to poke and prod at Megan. ‘That’s not fair. I
one,’ she bleated shrilly, ‘why should
have it? Just because you’re a
year older than
After bickering for a few minutes their Mum, who was beginning to look terribly harassed, picked at an imaginary thread on her pashmina, and turning to the whirlwind of commotion, warningly,
scolded quietly. ‘Lucy Dinah Button, you’re eight-years-old for goodness sake, and if you do not stop creating such a fuss, you will go straight home to bed and
go to ballet practice,
get that new dress you want.’
As the Button’s regimentally roamed round the parallel stalls laden with flagged bunting, (buying a fine tapestry Egyptian mat bundled by string, and a stained glass lampshade in
decorative patterned peacocks as they did so) Lucy sulkily scuffed her new trainers over the sunlit lawns, and would only cheer up after shoveling a strawberry ice-cream cone into her mouth.
Sometime later, a squirrel, its bushy tail gluped with pipped pulp, skittered into an empty woodpecker hole. Such tree with dangling green fruity blotches, and now harbouring a
squirrel family, was in the back garden of a smart-looking townhouse, where inside, lots of clatter and whooped shouts whirled from the kitchen: it seemed Megan and Lucy’s dad was baking a
recipe from his latest cookbook, and their mum, who had somehow found time to pot pansies and daffodils, arrange a proud display of fragrant flowers in a vase, and now had a basketful of ironing
balancing on her hip, told them they could go to their bedrooms for a bit before supper was to be dished out.
And so with a snow blushed rose nuzzled in the rumples of hair behind her ear, Megan scampered to hers, where, on top of the bookcase that was opposite the bed, she clumsily plonked the figure
in between her assortment of dolls and alphabetized books, so it would be the first thing she saw when she awoke. Over the bookcase was a shelf stacked higgledy-piggledy with figures of dolphins
and Fairies in different colours; whilst drifting off to sleep she would stare at these models, and because she had no actual confidants of her own, she would pretend these were her bosom friends
and have adventures with them.
She always sat alone at school, with her nose stuck in whatever book she was reading that particular week, preferring to be whisked away into far-away lands, and the children in her class, who
all thought her positively peculiar, took to nicknaming her with barbed cruelty, “Boring, Bookworm Button.” If Megan were brutally honest with herself, she would admit that this more
than upset her, but usually she found ignoring them worked best, and so with a show of acting, would quite happily carry on with her wistful daydreaming.
This calm before the squall had, up until very recently, been proving well, and she’d taken to hiding, at break and lunch times, in the toilets. However, not one week past, the two
ringleaders who tormented her, namely Millicent Mountbatten and Maximilian Ludsworth, had covertly followed her into a cubicle, barking that horrid nickname as they tore her favourite book from her
pinned pleading hands, then stamped a couple of feet for good measure on her cheese and pickle sandwich and curtailed out, and in their hateful wake, left a teary-eyed Megan looking at
bobbing in the lavatory.
The next day, thinking things had been brought to a head, she had ventured outside in afternoon break, only to be slapped on the back by Millicent. But what Megan did not know was that
she’d Sellotaped a poster to her pinafore, scrawled with a slogan blaring the highly imaginative accusation:
Megan shook her head, simply not wanting to remember the sniggers, and moseyed over to the heaps of paper teetering precariously atop the hulking-looking desk, then after ferreting through
over-stuffed draws, and levering open ring-binder folders, she fetched out her drawing pad. Like her exercise books it was jam-packed with wonderful pictures of rainbows and miraculous creatures,
and whiling away half an hour, she started to colour - being mindful of the lines - a big picture of a Dragon that she had sketched three days ago: these were her favourite things, but she also
doodled whimsical castles in the sky when in lessons, rather than attending to the avalanche of viciously problematic schoolwork.
Suddenly struck by inspiration, Megan put her pad to one side and pulled at the wrought-iron ring.
Her hand swam inside the dark recess of the compartment draw of the desk (which had a pink helium balloon tied to it), and gingerly brushing past frilly pleats, worn by a Pierrot doll in a
glazed porcelain finish, her fingers whacked against a tub of pastel-coloured biscuit macaroons, then Megan found what she was looking for: she extracted her best artist utensils; a tin of
Sitting back, Megan put a black pencil in between her teeth, propped open the pad against her knees, and raked a hand through her mane of loose curls. Hearing tinkerling birdsong, and not
mistaking it for a hopeful magpie out on the windowsill waiting for bread crusts, Megan glanced at the cuckoo clock, above her vanity dressing table (that served as a dumping ground and boasted an
array of well-thumbed
Pony & Me
comics parceled with elastic bands, a clogged comb, a broken umbrella, gobstopper wrappers, a jewelry box chock-f of coloured pencils, a pink woolen
scarf, an empty carton of birdseed, heavily-creased jackets, wads of tissues used to mop up the excess water from paintbrushes, a half-f tumbler of pink lemonade, an unopened cellophane packet
containing six chunks of coconut-flavoured fudge, and all topped off by the slightly rotten remains of a banana skin languishing on a bashed-looking, dog-eared Dictionary), which had just chirped
into the next sluggish hour, and the late afternoon clanked droningly on, then after a generous helping of mashed potato, sausages and baked beans, followed later by a scrumptious mound of apple
crumble with lashings of custard, marbled bathing twilight fell, and nine o’clock, bedtime, came far to quickly for Megan’s liking.