by DELORES ONEALE
(JOHANESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA)
Jessica sat near the window and watched the rain. She sighed, hoping for a glimpse of sunshine. It had been raining for three days and she began to feel bored. She walked over to the dressing table stared at herself in the mirror and brushed her long golden blonde hair. She walked over to her bed, laid down and stared at the ceiling, wondering what she could do for the rest of the day.
A small timed sound was heard and Jessica sat upright, trying to listen to the sound again. Was it a cat she thought? She climbed off the bed and looked under the covers. It was too dark to see anything and she hurried over to her cupboard and fetched a torch. On her knees she shone the torch light under her bed and looked. She saw a fluffy blue ball and stretched her hand out to grab it and as she did that the ball moved. She ran to the other side and again tried to grab this moving ball, but it moved away again.
Jessica stood up and thought about the ball, how to capture it and find out what it was. She moved her books over to the one side of the bed to make sure the ball would not move away, and bent down again to try and catch the blue ball. Quietly and without shining the light she peeked under the bed and saw the ball near the edge, slowly she grabbed it and stood up.
She sat on the bed and started inspecting the strange blue ball cupped in both her hands. There were two eyes, a small nose and a cute little mouth. She moved the fur and felt a small ear.
"Please don't be afraid, I am Jessica and would love to be your friend," she said while stroking its head.
"Hi, my name is Petal and I am not afraid, I know you are a kind person," the little blue ball said in a soft baby voice.
"Petal, such a lovely name, please tell me where you are from and how you came into my room?" She said still holding on to her.
"I am from Klensula Island; I came over to your village with my family and lost my way. I followed you home from school last week and have stayed in your room since then."
"Oh I am so sorry, perhaps I can help you find your family but we will have to wait until the sun shines again. In the meantime I will look after you."
"That is so kind, we can play games and tell each other stories and do lots of things together" Petal said excitedly.
Jessica put little Petal down on the bed and the two sat there for almost two hours, while Petal told her about her home and her family. Jessica lying on the bed with her arms holding her head listened to Petal's story.
Petal told her she was a monster from Klensula island, she had three brothers and no sisters, but plenty of cousins. When Petal mentioned that she was a monster, Jessica sat upright and looking afraid, moved back. Petal assured her she was not an ugly monster; her family were the good ones who did their best to stop all the ugliness in the world. Feeling relieved she apologised and held Petal once more. Petal told her she was happy to have found her and knew they could be good friends.
Jessica told her she only had a small brother and spent most of the time on her own.
After awhile Jessica was feeling hungry, she told Petal she would fetch some food and be back later. Off she went and ran down the stairs and into the kitchen. Her mother was sitting at the table drinking tea.
Jessica asked her mother for a sandwich and she got up and went to the fridge. While preparing her sandwich, she asked Jessica what she was doing. Jessica told her mother she was playing with her dolls. Jessica took the sandwich and went back to her room.
Petal was still on the bed and waiting for Jessica to sit asked her for some bread too. Jessica broke off a small piece of her bread and gave it to Petal. They sat eating the sandwich and after it was finished, Petal rubbed her tummy and said she was tired. She moved over to the top of the bed and lay down. Jessica watched as she fell asleep. She stretched out next to her and fell asleep as well.
Petal woke up and saw Jessica still sleeping, she moved closer to her face and rubbed her furry body over her face, soon Jessica was awake and looking at Petal laughed.
She got up and took Petal over to the window to watch the rain.
"Petal it would be so nice to play outside but with the rain we will have to stay here."
"It is fine, we can play here, I know a game we can play, it's called hide and seek."
"Oh Petal you are so small, If you hide I won't be able to find you and you would find me because I am so much bigger than you."
"OK let's play cards."
"No I don't feel like that, I know, let us play magic tricks."
"Magic tricks that is my favourite," yelled Petal.
They went back to the bed and Jessica walked over to her cupboard and fetched a box. Back at the bed she sat down and opened the box. She took out a small hat, a wand and some cards.
Petal watched as Jessica, made the cards disappear and the scarves curl up in different patterns.
She called to Jessica and told her to watch her magic tricks. Jessica put down her wand and watched as Petal rubbed her tiny hands together and called out some strange words and disappeared. Jessica got a fright and started calling for her.
"Petal, Petal where are you?"
She heard the small voice and looked up at the ceiling and saw petal hanging onto the light.
Jessica told her to get back onto the bed and without any warning Petal jumped down on to the bed. Jessica stood with her arms folded looked at Petal.
"That was not funny, I was afraid you had left for good" she said.
"No don't be afraid, I won't leave but let me show you anther magic trick.
Jessica sat down folded her legs and watched as Petal rubbed her hands together and saying some strange words, and then a chocolate fell on to bed and Petal laughed. Jessica asked her how she did that and Petal told her that Klensula Island was a magical island, they all learned magic as children. She told Jessica it was good magic and only used to make children happy. Jessica picked her up and they ate the chocolate.
Happy to be together, she asked Petal to show her some more magic. Petal asked her what her favourite toy was and Jessica told her it was a small fluffy dog named Jewel, she got up and went to her toy box and came back holding her little fluffy toy dog. Petal moved closer to her and started rubbing the dog, muttering her strange sounds and then Jessica got such a fright; she jumped up and could not believe what was happening.
Not one, not two but over ten little fluffy dogs sat next to her pet Jewel, Jessica watched as Petal laughed, walked over and stroked all the fluffy toys.
"Petal, I don't know how you did that, but what am I going to do with so many dogs."
"Well now you have plenty of Jewels and if any get lost, you won't be sad because you will always have a Jewel."
"Yes, I see your point, but where will I keep them all."
"In your toy box until you want to play with them again."
Jessica took a few of the fluffy toys and went to put them away in the toy box; she came back and took the rest. After they were packed away, she picked up Petal and again walked over to the window. She looked out and watched as the rain continued to fall.
"I wish it would stop raining," Jessica said.
"Close your eyes Jessica," said Petal.
Jessica closed her eyes and waited.
"Jessica, open your eyes," Petal told her.
Jessica opened her eyes and looked outside, the rain had stopped.
"Petal, how did you do that?"
"I gave you your wish."
"It is wonderful, look the sun is shining; soon we can go outside and play"
"Yes Jessica, we can."