‘Shhhh, you need to be quiet Mummy. Otherwise you won’t hear the magic.’
Penny pressed her face into her daughter’s favourite bear, a tattered and much loved companion which still smelled of her. Tears streamed down her face, she wasn’t ready to let go.
‘Please stop crying Mummy. You’ll scare them away, you need to be quiet.’
“I’m trying sweetheart,” the whisper tore its way through her throat. Ever since that first diagnosis, she knew this night would come.
She was such a strong girl, bearing her way through a barrage of endless marrow transplants, lumbar punctures and chemotherapy treatments with humour and stoicism well beyond her young years. For all those months, it was really her who kept Penny going. It was her strength and willingness to fight that stopped Penny from falling apart.
But she couldn’t fight any more, her fragile young body couldn’t hold on any longer than she already had.
‘Can you hear it Mummy?’
Penny stopped for a moment, taking a deep breath and allowing the cool night air to fill her lungs. Nearby she could hear the gentle gurgle of the creek running through her Grandfather’s property; this small clearing was magic she said. Every school holiday she would beg to come down here, and visit the fairies, leaving them gifts of food and whatever other small tokens she produced from her seemingly endless pockets.
In those last hours, surrounded by sterile walls and cold machines, she had begged to return here once more.
‘Can you hear it Mummy?’
It was quiet at first, but the melody was definitely there—soft and mournful. Clouds broke overhead, allowing a shaft of moonlight to fill the clearing.
Penny took one last smell of her daughter’s stuffed bear, before leaving it as an offering in the same way her daughter always did.
“I can hear it sweetheart. I can hear the magic.”
About the author: TC Phillips lives in tropical Central Queensland where he lives with his loving wife, three children, two spoilt cats and an overactive imagination. After embarking on a Masters in Creative Writing and getting some of his own work published by various outlets, he founded Specul8: Central Queensland Journal of Speculative fiction in 2015 and eventually turned it into Specul8 Publishing in 2018. A true fan of all that is weird and wonderful, he enjoys introducing new writers to the world and occasionally putting his own twisted works together as well. His collection of shorter works Tattle Tale and Other Stories is also available from Specul8 publishing, but only because the editor owes him a reluctant favour.
TC Phillips also occasionally feeds his own ego on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTCPhillips
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