Then one day, when the bear and the dancing meerkat were away, she was alone and she became afraid. A black cloud of fear as thick as soup appeared on her shoulder and she had a stabbing pain in her belly. In order to hold her belly, she let go of her invisible best friend’s hand.
She didn’t notice it as first but as she let go of his hand, the black cloud of fear as thick as soup, grew bigger on her shoulder, and the frequency of the stabbing pain increased. Wherever she went the black cloud followed her, down the street and even into bed.
She was told to her dismay that she must return to the grey city in order for the stabbing pain to go away. She told her friends she’d be back very soon and took her invisible friend’s hand to fly to the grey city, with a heavy heart and a stabbing pain in her belly.
She went to see an army in white coats in the grey city. They could magically see inside her belly and were shocked to find a huge horrid hungry slug which should not be there. They were very surprised and warned the girl that the slug could eat any baby that might grow there one day. The girl was very sad because she so dearly wanted to have babies of her own and didn’t want the slug to eat them. All this time, it seemed, the huge horrid hungry slug had been feeding off the dark cloud of fear as thick as soup and getting bigger and bigger each day.
Her invisible best friend (who was more real than she was) led her through the army in white coats to a very special senior general who knew exactly how to remove the slug. Only her best friend could have led her to the general because he knew everyone.
The general told her that she couldn’t return to paradise when she wanted to but would have to stay in the grey city for a very long time until they were sure the slug had gone. She cried. ‘You don’t understand. I can’t stay, I must go back!’ she said through the tears.
The girl was distraught and pleaded with her invisible best friend to fly with her back to paradise. But he just hugged her and held her tight. He laid her head on his knee and stroked her hair. He told her to be patient and they would fly back to paradise before long.
TO BE CONTINUED..> [the next one is the last installment!]
ALL IMAGES/ILLUSTRATIONS ARE COPYRIGHT HILARY MURDOCH 2012