Once upon a time

 

I lived in a special world, a place full of fairies and dragons, Kings and Queens, a place of magic. And I was the brave knight who had saved the world countless times, with the help of my friends, Sophie, Daniela, Lucille and Skyla, while the Good Fairy watched out for us and made sure we were ok. We fought dragons on Mount Maniph, battled witches in the Black Bog and saved princes and princess from certain death. I couldn’t have wished for a better life. I never wanted to leave.

 

But then things started to change. I was charging out of the gates of the castle, going to fight an impossible war against an enemy known as The School, when suddenly I was stepping into a courtyard filled with children. My armour and sword were gone, as was my courage. I was scared and unsure. The good fairy knelt down in front of me and smiled.

“I’ll see you later.” Then she was gone and I was left alone. I saw Sophie up ahead and ran towards her. Around me, a throne room materialised and I was once again myself. A new king was being crowned, named King Ralino.

 

So my life continued almost as normal, but the slips kept happening. I tried to ignore it and get on with my life but that was impossible. There were small things that changed first. I would see a villager or Prince that I was sure I recognised, or there would be a quest that was no longer fun but simply boring but then things became stranger and worse. A new dragon appeared on Mount Maniph, called Anne, who was incredibly hard to beat, King Ralino would be in the other world, teaching lessons at school, or the worst thing of all, Daniela disappeared. She was no longer there. She was there in the other world but she was a different person. She didn’t laugh at jokes or silly things. She was only interested in boring things like makeup and clothes.

 

I hated the other world. I was no longer brave or cool, instead, I was a nerd and a loser.

“Hey, Fallon!” I groaned. It was Anne Brightly, the school bully. I hated her with a passion, ever since she tipped a whole drink bottle over my head and pushed me into a rubbish bin. If only I had had my sword, I could have sliced her into ribbons.

“What do you want?” I said turning to face her.

“I’m bored and I wanna see something funny,” she said, laughing as she and her friends cornered me. I searched the corridor for someone to help me, but it was empty. I was done for. Anne slapped me across the face. I stumbled back, shielding myself as she reared back for another hit, but it never came. Instead, a blast of fire sent me flying. I was back home! I ran towards the dragon that stood over me, dodging the jets of flame, clambering up the rocks of Mount Maniph, and jumped, my sword raised and Bam, my fist hit Anne’s jaw. She gave a cry of pain and she and her friends scampered. I took a deep breath and calmed my nerves. The dragon had been defeated.

 

As time went on, my team of knights dwindled down to one. Sophie was the last one left. Skyla had helped on our last quest, but she’d seemed bored by it all. The next time we were called, she was gone. It was heartbreaking. The world that I loved no longer seemed as fun and as magical as it had 11 years ago. I spent almost all of my time in the other world and it seemed more real than the one I was in. Everything here seemed to be blurred and fraying at the edges. Sophie reached out and put her hand on mine.

“Everyone has to leave eventually. I’ll see you on the other side.” And just like that, she was gone.

 

I was alone.

 

I spent another year trying to hold the world together, but it slowly broke apart, castles crumbling, forests burning and my tears falling. I didn’t want to let go. I refused to let go. I sat at the table where the knights had met, looking down at the fragments of my life. The good fairy, no, my mother, sat down in the chair opposite me and smiled.

“you have to let it go Fallon. I know it can be scary but everyone does it eventually. It’s time you grew up.” And so I did. I let it all go. I left my childhood behind and woke up to the real world.