Imagination to Reality

Ashleigh has always had a wild imagination. She doesn't have many friends at school, nor does she get to spend a lot of time with her parents. She surrounds herself with her own world, but when the world she thought was hers turns out to be a separate reality, and they need her help.

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1. Kailash

The bell sounded in her ears. Her head jerked up to the ceiling, her eyes spotting a speaker as flat as the ceiling tiles with a bunch of dark, small, mysterious holes in it. Screams of excited children and teachers trying to get out their last words followed after as they raced outside to play. Recess, the best time of the day. A smile folded on her lips as she rose from her desk, reaching out and placing her palms on the cool silver metal door handle, and made her way outside. Glancing up she blocked the brilliant sun from stinging her eyes as she gazed upon the cloudless blue sky. A warm breeze passed her by, blowing her blonde curly hair over her shoulder. She took in a deep breath of the crisp spring air as she looked around at her classmates. She felt a tug on her arm.
"Come on Ashleigh, lets go play!" A small girl giggled as she raced on ahead. Ashleigh was quick to pursue her. There was one thing about the other girl though; she had the wings of an insect. They resembled a butterfly.
Ashleigh took a place on the swing, her friend doing the same. The girl raised her hands into the air.
"It's such a beautiful day! Oh I love the springtime, isn't it just pretty? All the flowers in bloom and trees waking up from such a nice winter nap!" She giggled again.
"I do like the Spring, it's like everything is reborn. It's like a big wave of life washes over the Earth and wipes away the cold, mysterious and haunting winter, it brings the color back." Ashleigh spoke out thoughtfully. She smiled at her.
"Whoa that's an awesome way to put it, Ashleigh. Yet.. Come here, I wanna show you something." The girl jumped off her swing, and waited for Ashleigh to slow hers to a stop. Getting on her feet, Ashleigh followed the winged girl. She showed her to a dead Oak tree.
"Why here, Kailash? What's to see? It's a dead tree." Ashleigh pointed out. Kailash, the small girl, turned to her and smiled.
"You're right, Ashleigh! This tree is dead." Turning back around to the tree, her hair swerving in a wave of auburn, she placed her hand on it. "You say the Spring is like a wave of life that washes over the Earth, banishes the bland winter and brings color back. That's true, but Spring can't bring everything back to life, Ashleigh." Kailash peered at her over her shoulder.
"Yeah I know that."
"Everything is a cycle... Spring represents birth. Summer represents growth. Autumn represents age. Winter, represents death. We can't have a spring without a winter, we can't have color without black and white. We can't have birth without death."
"What's your point here, Kailash?" Ashleigh said a little impatiently.
"Oh! Right, my point.. What was it, what was it... Oh!" Suddenly her face grew grim, and her topaz eyes seemed to zone out, as if they were staring right through Ashleigh. "The Spring can't wipe away everything. Though there is color, there's always a dark crevice where something lurks in waiting."
"Ashleigh?" A sneering voice called. Jumping, she swiveled around. Linette, joined by some of her other friends. Well this was great. Why did it have to be her? She knew Linette before they were in school, and she had always been mean to her. She influenced others to be the same, though she could never think of why she was so hateful. Okay well one time she stole a cookie from her and splashed bubbles in her eyes, but it couldn't be just because of that, could it? That was forever ago!
"What, what is it?" Ashleigh murmured out.
"Uh, who are you talking to?"
"Kailash, my friend." Linette looked at her other friends oddly, and then they all burst into laughter.
"Oh, right. One of your, 'friends'." Linette laughed and wrapped her arms around her stomach as if it caused her pain.
"She is my friend, and don't say it as if she isn't real!" Linette, unfortunately, knew of Ashleigh's history with imaginary friends, because she heard it from her mom, who got it from Ashleigh's mom because their moms are best friends.
"Right, well I doubt this Kai-whatever- her-name-is would be healthy in the head if she was your friend. I mean who wants to hang out with you? Which is example A of why she probably doesn't exist. Example B is because I think she'd rather hang out with us, than the likes of you. You should really stop kidding yourself, it just makes you look pathetic." Linette then turned her back and walked away with a sassy swish of her hips, the others following her. Ashleigh felt a lump in her throat grow. Then she heard a hiss of wings behind her. She looked back at Kailash, whose wings were flapping around hard and made her float angrily in the air.she heard her growl.
"Ooo, if I could I would so give her the one-two! I would teach her a lesson that's for sure!" Her friend spat out in anger. Ashleigh said nothing, instead she sat down on a curved, upright root that belonged to the dead Oak and placed her face in her hands. Water seeped through the cracks in her fingers. Nothing came from Ashleigh. Kailash slowly calmed down, her feet landing back on the ground, her white dress caressing her bare ankles again as she wandered over to her. She placed a hand on her shoulder. "Ashleigh...? Don't pay attention to them, they're nothing but snobs." Ashleigh sniffed, rubbing her hands on her face and placing them on her knees.
"I know, but she isn't the only one.. I noticed others can't see you either... Why am I the only one, Kailash? I know you're not imaginary, but how can I convince others if they can't see you either?"
"Seeing doesn't always have to be believing, Ashleigh. Ever since you were small you've always wanted to be with us, you trusted in us, something you never saw before, but you wanted it. So you got it. Now, you can see us. Have been able to for a few years now. Don't worry though Ashleigh. As long as you can see us, that's all that matters, right? We will be friends forever, with or without others, won't we?" Her voice grew more lonesome as she trailed to the end. Ashleigh smiled.
"You're right Kailash." Ashleigh stood up. Kailash balanced herself on the branch she sat on.
"Besides they'll believe soon enough, I mean they don't honestly think humans are the cause for every creation in this world, do they? If you ask me they are the cause for its downfall and ill health."
"Er, Kailash.." Ashleigh looked to the side and rubbed her arm. She gasped a bit, nearly toppling over onto the ground but stayed standing with a flap of her wings.
"W-well not all humans!! I mean they are good humans like you too, Ashleigh! I'm just, hum, talking about the, not.. So, good ones?" She laughed sheepishly. Ashleigh smiled. She couldn't be mad at her friend, she meant well and understood where she came from. Kailash was a nature faerie, after all. The Earth's pain was her pain. "Uh-oh.." Kailash mumbled.
"What, what is it?" Ashleigh asked, glancing around her to see if there were other people coming, people she didn't want to see.
"Not much, mama is just calling me back." She hopped of the root. "Sorry Ashleigh I need to get going."
"Well that's okay, I need to be getting back to class anyway." Ashleigh smiled at her and Kailash returned it. With a swift hug, she floated into the air.
"I'll see you later!" She waved, and with that she was gone. Ashleigh waved back a bit and sighed after she was no longer in her sight. Turning around, she headed back for class as the returning bell rang.
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