The ideas of a girl who wished to disappear, and then did
There weren't many things that Opal was good at, but this was one of them. Wishing she'd disappear. Opal could wish she'd disappear better than anyone else in the world. In fact, if they handed awards out for this kind of thing, she might even win a golden globe.
"Thank you," she'd cry, clinging to the podium in a celebrity-studded event. "I couldn't have made myself disappear without you all!" She'd wear a beautiful dress enclosing her like an oyster, earrings suspended from her lobes like little rain drops. And even though she was too young to wear makeup, her eyes would be running with mascara, as she let loose a ream of paper tumbling down the red carpet. "All the people I want to thank—my teachers, for never supporting me, and my class, for ignoring me. Oh! And let's not forget my workaholic parents. Get up here Mum and Dad!"
There would be tears, and wet kisses, and maybe she'd even get a hug from her crush Johnny Depp. Had he really read her goodbye letter? She had penned this piece of poignant artistry under the spruce tree. It read;
Goodbye cruel world! I am going to disappear, and find a world of peace, love, and where all the buildings are made from chocolate and gum drops.
When she showed this to her parents, plugged into their phones, digital PA's and laptops, her cyborg father reached a cold hand out of the mass of wires and patted her on the head.
"Now now. What silly phases children go through!" he beeped.
"I remember when your brother went through his wishing he'd disappear phase," her mother tutted. "And now he's got that great job at the mortuary!"
Hah! Forget the mortuary. She would do better than that. She was going to win gold in the Olympics!
The cameras flashing, Opal would spread the waters aside like margarine, stepping from the pool. Her personal attendant would drape a towel around her shoulders. No! Perhaps it was a fur-hemmed coat, and she was a Queen.
"How does it feel to be the youngest athlete to disappear in England's sporting history?" the journalists would bellow, shoving microphones into her face, but she wouldn't be fazed. She'd smile her winning smile, and stamp her sceptre for attention. Clink! The sound of gold against ceramic tiles.
"All it takes," she'd say, lips curving to reveal two strings of oceanic pearls, "is time, perspiration, and Lucazade Sport."
If you watched four hours of television a day, Opal had worked out that you viewed approximately an hour of adverts. Apart from wishing she'd disappear, Opal didn't have a lot to do.
"And what's your secret to disappearing after a hard long day of wishing you'd disappear?" The chat show interviewer lifted the microphone up like a platter to Opal.
Holding up a crisp packet she'd pose theatrically above it. "Monster Munch!"
When Opal finally did disappear, her parents only found an empty husk left behind. Like a snake's skin which it wriggles from, slowly, painstakingly. Or perhaps it was a cocoon, which she'd burst from with rainbow wings. And by then she'd disappeared so successfully the whole year before, that her father said, "You know, I forgot we even had a daughter."