~ THE WORLD IS FULL OF MAGIC THINGS, PATIENTLY WAITING FOR YOUR SENSES TO GROW SHARPER. ~
- W.B. Yeats
"Pay attention, you silly girl," yelled Mrs Martin, rapping her cane on the desk.
Startled, Rachel jumped right up from her chair. Once more, she had lost herself, in a world only she could see.
"Sorry Mrs Martin," she mumbled in embarrassment, while her classmates giggled at her. From the corner of her eye, she could see the class bully, Stacy, mouthing the word 'loser' at her.
It didn't matter how hard she tried to concentrate. Rachel was quickly drawn away by the wonders of the world around her. In everyday objects and creatures, she found hidden delights, pearls of wisdom no school could teach.
Like any good explorer, she documented her insightful adventures in her journal. Trapped among kids and adults who didn't understand or appreciate the depths of the world she had discovered; this was the only way to record her story.
That day after lunch, Mrs Martin called on each student to share their creative compositions. When it was Stacy's turn, the girl gleefully walked past Rachel's desk with a smirk on her face.
"A key to the secret world," read Stacy. Rachel perked up from her usual daze.
"I feel like the answer is in front of me. The mystery is unfolding, and soon there will be a new dawn into which I can escape. Mama Frog has assured me."
No, it couldn't be. These were Rachel's private words being read out to the whole class. Stacy had somehow stolen her journal.
"This afternoon, a boulder atop Kaima Hill will be struck by a lightning bolt, breaking it in two and opening a doorway. Magical creatures will emerge, and the winds of change will blow beauty into this parched land..."
"Give me back my journal," screamed Rachel, tackling Stacy to the ground. A scuffle broke out, as the two girls both fought for the book.
"Stop it," commanded Mrs Martin loudly, "Stop this at once."
Rachel stood up victoriously, her precious journal rescued from Stacy's clutches. Mrs Martin, however, was not amused.
"How dare you behave like this!" she scolded, "This is not ladylike behaviour, and you deserve to be punished. Hold out your hands."
Knowing there was no point in arguing, Rachel wedged her journal under her arm and presented her palms to the teacher.
Mrs Martin raised her cane, but just as she was about to strike, there was a flash of blinding light, and a clap of thunder deafened the masses. Frightened screams immediately filled the air, as everyone dove under their desks, expecting the worst.
Everyone but Rachel. She alone stood tall, unafraid, with a soft smile on her face.
And nearby, atop Kaima Hill lay a boulder, broken in two.