The Lady in the Tree.

Ava stood in the park, staring at the tree.
“What are you doing?” her mum asked as she pulled the plates out of the picnic set.
“Looking at the lady,” Ava told her.
Her mum turned her head and then looked back at Ava. “What lady?”
“The lady in the tree,” Ava explained.
Her mum sighed. “Come and eat, Ava.”
The lady moved back and zipped upwards, disappearing from sight. Ava’s shoulders sunk forward, and with heavy feet she dragged herself over to the picnic rug.
“You scared her,” Ava mumbled, plopping down.
Her mum handed her a plate. “Don’t be ridiculous, Ava, how would a lady get inside a tree?”
Her brother pelted a rock at her, hitting her on the shoulder. “Yeah, Ava, don’t be ridiculous!”
“Mum!” Ava cried, rubbing her shoulder.
“Don’t throw rocks at you sister!” her mum barked.
He poked his tongue out at her and she screwed her nose up at him.
“This wasn’t like a lady lady, like you. She was green and kind of watery, and see-through, like a ghost,” Ava said, turning back to her mum.
Her mum shook her head, not looking at her as she pulled out the bread rolls. “You read too many books, Ava.”
“Books are for losers,” her brother put in.
Ava scrunched up her fists, her face turning red. She wanted to scream and stomp, and cry and punch. She didn’t understand how they didn’t understand books. All the magic in their world lived in books. If she didn’t have books she’d go insane.
After her mum handed her a roll, she scrambled around so she was facing away from her family and toward the tree. She wished it was a portal to another world. A world where all your clothes weren’t hand me downs, where annoying older brothers didn’t exist, and your dad wasn’t dead.
Ava roughly pushed the tears from her eyes. She would find a portal one of these days, a wardrobe or a flying chair that would take her to a better world, and when she did, she’d never come back!

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