The girl was angry and frustrated while she was in the grey city. She tried to keep off the conveyer belt but kept falling back onto it.
Finally, after many months, the white coated general looked inside her belly and found that the huge horrid hungry slug had totally gone. Even he was surprised by this. He didn’t know that secretly the girl’s invisible best friend had been reaching inside her belly every night to gradually kill the huge horrid hungry slug.
So the girl flew back to paradise, with her hand holding tightly to the hand of her invisible best friend: over the grey buildings, over the green hills and out to sea – over the splashing waves and the bubbling foam, over the seas; over the many seas, until she could see God’s banqueting table with the sun rising over it, dressed with a clean white table cloth.
Her heart leapt when her feet touched the ground and she was enthusiastically welcomed by the bear and the dancing meerkat, and by all her friends in paradise. She felt at home. She felt known, loved and safe.
She was excited to find that there was no black cloud of fear on her shoulder and no stabbing pain in her belly. She couldn’t wait for all the adventures she knew would be ahead, walking with her invisible best friend in paradise.
She turned to her invisible best friend and decided never to let go of his hand again.
As the grandmother’s story came to an end, the two granddaughters smiled sleepily. They loved that story so much, even though they had heard it so many times before. She kissed them each gently on the forehead as they snuggled down under their blankets.
As she stood by the door to the room, she smiled at her invisible best friend. He smiled back, knowing that she was thanking him for helping to kill the huge horrid hungry slug, because if he hadn’t these beautiful granddaughters would not be here.
She invited her invisible best friend (who was still more real than she was) into the room to gently stroke the girls’ hair and quietly sing to them as they slept.
–— All original writing and illustrations are Copyright © Hilary Murdoch 2012