Friday Fiction: Lizzie and Adelaide

Just a little episode from Elizabeth’s childhood. No real plot. I’m just playing around, trying to figure her out.

“Why are you crying, Lizzie?”

I wiped my nose on my sleeve, streaking it with snot, and took a shaky breath. “Devon s-said you’re n-not real!”

Adelaide dropped down to sit cross-legged in the grass beside me. “Devon is a bully and a brat,” she said. “Don’t listen to him.”

“He said I didn’t have any friends. He said you didn’t count, because you’re not real.”

The young woman sighed. “You’re still having trouble at school.”

Adelaide seemed to shimmer, and I wiped at my eyes to clear my vision. “None of the other kids will talk to me. They say I’m weird.”

“Because you talk to people who aren’t there.”

“Katie said I’m too old to have imaginary friends. But you’re not imaginary.” I narrowed my eyes in suspicion. “Are you?”

“No, love.” Adelaide tucked a loose curl behind her ear. “But neither am I precisely…” She sighed again, sweet and sad. “I know it’s hard Lizzie. It was hard for Devon too.”

I gasped. “It was?”

“Yes. And it was hard for your cousins, and for your parents, and for your grandparents…and their grandparents’ grandparents, I’m sure. The hex-eyed have a window into another world, and to stand with one foot in each is never easy.”

I considered that. “But you’re real?”

“Yes, Lizzie.”

“And we can still be friends?”

She stroked my cheek with the back of her hand, and I shivered at her icy touch. “Always.”

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