A year ago, I dreamt this with great clarity. When I woke, I wrote it down.
Julie is nine. She’s English. She has long, straight hair which swings long past her shoulders and is cut with a fringe touching her eyebrows. Under the fringe her large, dark round eyes stand out. Her hair is such a dark brown it’s almost black. Her skin is pale, even paler against the darkness of her hair. Julie has an older sister called Laura. She’s still at school, too. Julie and Laura’s parents are middle-aged now, and still together. They are comfortably married and not about to change that. They all live at number 10. It’s a white house just in the countryside, on the edge of conurbation. There is, however, a busy trunk road between number 10 and another (now deserted) house opposite where a female partridge takes up residence in the yard at night. There’s also a child-minder living and working nearby, a young, dark woman with a very calm demeanor.
Julie is there, but not there. She knows it, her family knows it. But they know it differently – she can see them, but they can’t see her. They can feel her. She wants to get back to them very much and is trying very hard, but can’t. She simply can’t. Her parents lie awake in bed at night and talk about her. She hears them. She watches them. Her sister draws pictures for Julie and puts them up in the stairwell of the family home. Simple drawings, using colored pencils, Julie sees them and draws more on them. She wants her sister to know. She’s trying very hard.
This all begins one evening; Julie hears something while she’s holding a potted flowering plant (she likes pink ‘weathered’ anemones). She’s going to give the plant as a gift. There’s a man, he threatens her. He’s in his late thirties, possibly older, with short black hair and black-framed glasses. He’s very angry. That’s when Julie starts being there, but not there.