They said that I should write every day. That it's the only way I'll improve, even though I'm already as good as, if not better than them. Of course, they don't say that last bit. But I can see what they mean; words are my specialty, and I can see what they're meant to say. They say I can bring an imaginary scene to life, complete with texture, a kaleidoscope of colour and feelings and impressions that overwhelm the mind and senses, bringing confusion as to the boundaries between reality and fiction. That's what I'm told anyway, but to me the words don't mean anything more than what they mean to say, lying there, stained into the paper.

I can bring characters to life by simply running my pen across the page, or so I've been told. They claim that these apparitions of the mind and written word are more real than us, living, loving, feeling, dying with a vibrancy that defies the confines of our dull minds, twisting and dancing in the half-light beyond consciousness.

It's been said that I make magic real; that I'm a magician composed from writhing words waiting to burst forth and free the minds of mere human beings. Apparently I'm something else, but how could I be nothing but words? That would be preposterous. Although, it's a tad more believable than their theory that I'm a magician who takes people to other worlds, weaving layered spells around them without ever requiring wand, poultice or cauldron.

They claim that I am clever, and that my mind contains hidden fantasies that embolden the heart and enlighten the soul. All that I can find is dust piling up in the corners of the mirror maze of memory and thought. I've been told that I have a gift for this. Whatever this is.

My friends can sing and dance. I can't do that; I'm about as elegant as a one-legged troll. They play beauty into the air with their musical talents, and their radiant faces light up any room they care to grace. I wish I were beautiful like that. But I'm just an awkward teenage girl with plenty of zits, frizzy untameable brown hair, the ever-present glasses, fat thighs and a big butt (Well at least I don't have braces). My friends are sporty, sexy and sophisticated, while I just amble along, a notebook and pencilcase forever tucked under my arm. They crack jokes which are extremely funny, but for some reason nobody outside our circle of friendship is even remotely amused. They toss back their silky straight hair and manage to actually look remotely flattering wearing our baggy, itchy, ugly school dress. I definitely can't do that.

But I'm not jealous. Really, I'm not.

Hunching over the 7mm lined paper, I conjure an image and let the words flow, writing daily like my teachers told me to. Who needs the harshness of reality when they can bring fantasy to life at a moment's notice?

My friends just smile, shaking their heads, and steal the coverless falling-apart graffitied notebook from my arms when the bell rings. Minutes later they're back, demanding to know the fates of my characters, pleading with me to tell them how I write so well. I just smile and shrug, mumbling something about it not being that good, and that it's still a long way from publication, whilst shoving this scrumpled piece of paper deeper into my pocket.

Man, if my friends ever got their hands on this, I'd be stuffed head-first into the nearest blender and they'd turn the dial to PULP.