Roxy lay in bed, pretending to sleep. She'd had a rough day; her mother was even worse than usual. When she wasn't sleeping off the drink, she was yelling at Roxy for being a 'selfish, lazy bastard'. Roxy knew she probably didn't mean it; it was just the whisky talking. Even so, it still hurt. This was why she'd learned to look after herself and did whatever she could to help. This didn't leave a lot of time for schoolwork (and honestly, who needs to what river is longest or when the Vikings invaded the British Isles?) or, in fact, friends (not that anyone wanted to friends with weirdo Roxy anyway). But Roxy didn't need any normal friends. She had the Lady in the Moon.
The Lady in the Moon was much better than any of the girls at school. She always appeared at midnight, even when the actual moon was obscured by clouds. Roxy only called her that because she shone bright and silver like a full moon in a winter sky, and looked just as pretty. The Lady in the Moon always listened to what Roxy had to say, and took her seriously, not like anyone else. She rarely spoke, but it was still nice to have someone to share all her feelings with. Sometimes she would dance with Roxy to cheer her up, or put her to sleep with some ageless, long-forgotten lullaby. Roxy liked to think that this was what it would be like if she had an older sister.
Roxy was quite sure that this was just her imagination. She might be a bit of a dreamer, but she wasn't stupid. No one else had ever seen the Lady in the Moon, not even the Marcus next door, and he often smiled at Roxy through the window. She'd often wondered if she was going mad. 'Well, if this is what madness feels like,' thought Roxy, 'it's not that bad.'
As the church bell struck midnight, Roxy's room filled with a resplendent, pearly glow. Roxy sat up in her bed, grinning ear to ear. Everything would be alright now. The Lady in the Moon was here.
The Lady in the Moon smiled gently at Roxy. She reached her pale hand out towards the troubled child. "Come with me," she said in a voice as soft and sweet as acacia honey. Roxy took the Lady's hand, eyes shining. Not once did she look back as the Lady in the Moon led her away from her life. If she had, she might have seen that her body had been left behind. She might also have seen the nasty gash on her temple her mother had inflicted by throwing an empty bottle at her head.
But between you and me, I think she knew that her friend - imaginary or not - was taking her away for good.