Hello, I'm Phee.
I'm an aspiring writer who enjoys fiction and environmentalism so catch me in the Fiction and Earth communities!
Adam, Eve and The Golden Compass
When I think of my favourite fictional fantasy world, the only option that comes to mind is the world (or worlds) of Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Why? you might ask. What makes these books so successful that they have had both film and television adaptations and so popular that they have a dedicated army of fans around the world? There's plenty of fantastical imagery in this biblically-inspired series to attract fans of fantasy fiction like myself; angels made of gold dust, flying witches, and even armoured bears. Lush, indulgent descriptions of these creatures and the places they inhabit are bound to draw fans away from even the most celebrated imaginary worlds of modern fantasy fiction (Harry Potter's cloak be damned, Pullman's witches invented invisibility spells.) It is my opinion that the books' success is thanks to the simple idea, why have one fantasy world when you can have many?
The following day started very much the same, me and Kai woke early and returned to our spot under the treehouse so we could talk without waking the others. It was a tradition of ours, none of our other housemates got up until much later so we found ourselves drawn together by our merciless sleeping patterns. There's a pear tree in the centre of our accommodation compound and I went and picked us both a fruit for breakfast, as was traditional.
I walked, alone, down the near-empty streets, across the bridge, to the station, and onto the ghostly train. It was a night train so, having only two emergency lights itself, it relied on the lights of the station for illumination which on this platform were few and far between. All the colours were dissolved into the grey, like an oyster soup had been poured over everything.
Marisa stands. She stands in her strange pink blouse and uncomfortably pulled back hair. She stands frozen to the spot in this curious place with its ugly simplicity and scratchy carpet floor. This workplace, this private office of this woman, this female scholar. A scholar Marisa thinks is unworthy of the title if her office is anything to judge her by. This room looks more like it belongs to a botanist, or a collector of cardboard boxes and stupid frivolous trinkets. She is untidy. There's paper strewn over her desk, over almost every flat surface in the room. One pile of papers and books, messily stacked and obviously clumsily thumbed through too often, is so off-kilter it looks as though it may fall. Marisa hopes it will. She hopes it topples and knocks over that ugly miniature tree and smashes her machine to pieces. Her ugly, bulky strange machine. Her books are ugly too. They line one entire wall in poorly organised cubby holes and they're- they're shiny. Their spines are painted with gaudy colours and big crude titles. Some are upright, most are not. She could read the covers if they weren't obscured by the tacky white sheen of cheap material. The desk is shiny, the shelves that the shiny books sit upon are shiny, even her writing instruments are reflecting the light. Every single thing in this office is mocking her, showing off, reflecting the sun at her from all angles, begging for her attention. It's tasteless and it's over the top.
Where the end began
A few days earlier, Kai and I had spent the early hours of the morning lying on the grass under the tree house talking about the stars and whether fairies would like ginger biscuits.
We trudge up the hill through the hedgerow that's long overgrown with brambles. Hedgerow turns to undergrowth and then to forest. The lichen-covered deadwood is so tall at one point that we can barely see above us and I start to wonder if we've taken a wrong turn. Then all of a sudden we reach a clearing. I spot a girl perched on the edge of an abandoned barn in the middle of this gap in the vegetation. Her skin is the colour of cherry bark.
I know it's going to happen before it does. I brace myself for impact as the statue makes contact with my skull and then I'm out like a light. The cups of coffee I'd made for dad and I shattered beneath me are the only thing that breaks my fall.