Be careful what you wish for

Poppy hates her life. Her parents always argue, she has no friends and terrible grades. But then one night, Poppy gets the chance to make a wish- a wish to change her life. But is this wish what she really wants?

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2. The Fair

I skip down the stairs, two at a time, also brushing my teeth. See, who says I can't multitask! I walk into the kitchen and grab a bowl, the foamy toothpaste spilling over the edge of my lips. I shove some cereal and milk into the bowl before the froth starts to drip down my top. I quickly run into the bathroom and ditch my toothbrush. When I get back to the kitchen I start to eat my cereal. Ugh, rice crispies might go 'snap, crackle and pop' but they certainly don't stay crunchy very long in milk. I discard the soggy lumps of cereal down the sink and grab my bag.

"Mum, Dad, I'm going out." I yell up the stairs, not caring if they hear me or not. Surprisingly, I hear a thud and see mums feet clambering down the stairs.

"Oh, wait honey! There's a fair on tonight and I'm working at a stall so I want you home by three, so we can go together." She smiles.

"Yeah, ok mum. I'll be back. Bye." I call as I walk out the door.

She doesn't remember, I think, I never thought she would. I walk across the road and in through the rusted park gate. I keep going until I reach the other side of the park. Digging my knees into the wet grass, I bend down and grab some bright yellow daffodils. I bundle the flowers as neatly as I can into my hand, then pull the midnight blue ribbon from my hair and wrap it around the flower stems. There, nice and pretty! Carefully, I place the flowers into my bag, making sure they're not crushed. I stand up and catch a glance of my knees; they are coated in a thin layer of wet mud and bits of grass. Well, I may not be nice and pretty looking, but never mind. I try to scrape some of the mud of with a crisp, green leaf but I soon give up.

I stroll out of the park and cross the road, to the old church. I follow the twisting gravel path through the grass, in and out of all the flowers and graves until I reach it. The headstone is old and faded. I read the black lettering, again, as I sit on the ground.

Lily Gardins

Beloved daughter and sister.

14th April 2004-30th September 2009

I place my hand on the stone and suppress a shiver. The marble like rock is freezing cold. It's still shiny and bronze coloured, but it is dull-looking as if all the life has been taken out of it. I take the edge of my sleeve and start rubbing the front of the stone. I continue scrubbing until I see it begin to shine, then reach for my bag. I pull out the flowers and lay them on the grass. Tears begin to crawl down my face as I look at the stone again, memories flashing before my eyes.

"Happy birthday, Lily. My beautiful baby sister." I whisper, as I lay my head down on the damp grass and feel the salty tears continue to roll down my face.

***

I wake up with my face stiff and my eyes puffy. I start to shiver as I lift my head of the ground. The sky's still bright but it’s quiet. The sounds of children laughing in the park are gone. There are still birds quietly tweeting as I slowly stand and grab my phone. I flip open the screen and jump as it suddenly starts to buzz. 9 new messages. I go to my texts and skim through the senders. 7 texts from mum and 2 from Luke. I open mum's first message and skim it quickly. 

Sender: Mum

Poppy, going to the fair in 30 mins. You better come home soon.

Mum xxx

Oh God, I mumble, the fair! I open another message.

Sender:Mum

Where are you!!!???

Mum xx

I look at the little clock in the corner of the screen. 15.36. I panic and begin to run, leaping over twigs and stones. I don't stop until I reach my house. I try the door handle but it’s locked. I begin to hammer on the front door. Eventually dad comes to the door and tells me mum left ages ago. 

"Hey, didn't you go with her?" He asks, looking puzzled. His eyes gazing at me blearily.

I just roll my eyes and begin to run again. This time I head towards Lightning Park, where the fair is being held. By the time I reach the park, I'm panting so hard I think my lungs are going to burst. I follow the crowds towards the gate and end up in front of a woman in a neon yellow jacket.

"Ticket please." She says, watching me pant. Her eyes looking reproachfully at my muddy clothing.

"I...I don't have a ti...ticket." I finally manage after a few deep breaths.

"Well, that'll be three pounds then, please."

Three pounds! I don't have three pounds. Doesn't she realise I just ran here to find mum? Oh well, she probably doesn't, actually. 

"I don't have three pounds." I tell her as the line grows bigger behind me.

"Step aside then." She calls as she waves to the next person to come forward. I stand still, determined to get into the fair. "Miss? Please move."

"But I need in to see my mum! I promised her I'd be here and I was late so I couldn't meet her to go in with her." I plead.

"That's a very moving story," The woman says sarcastically "but no money or ticket, no entry."

"Please! I need-"

"Oh for goodness sake! I'll pay for you to get in if it'll get this line moving." A man behind me calls.

"Oh, thanks." I say stunned, he walks towards the front of the queue. I don't want to use his money, but I can't see any other way in. As the man pays, the guard grudgingly lets me into the fair. I run in and look around, trying to find mums stall. Everything's so bright and colourful, its hard to make out what each stall is. I don't even know what mums selling. Oh, wait, I think as I remember finding her up late at night a few days ago. She was up all night making cakes or something, I think... .I walk around looking for a cake stall and suddenly notice a row of food stalls, most of them selling cakes. I groan as I start to wander towards the rows of food stalls. At least if I don't find mum I might be able to get a sweet, I think hopefully, as I notice a silver coin lying in the grass.

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