This has been a very long time coming, so lets get to it. A few months ago I had the amazing opportunity to visit Kellyville public school. As a room to read ambassador, and children’s book illustrator I’ve been fortunate to have been in the school circuit for a while and visited so many amazing kids but never have I been to a more welcoming school then Kellyville. Not only had they been preparing for my visit for a week, looking through my website and discussing my work but they had also prepared questions to ask me. It was so amazingly refreshing to be surrounded by passionate inquisitive kids that actually had a sense of what I’ve done. On top of that some of the kids had even gone as far as to write stories based on one of my illustrations which absolutely made my year - it was such a great feeling to see I had inspired kids to get creative! I’ve included some of the stories bellow by these incredibly gifted kids - Thank you again Kellyville - it was an absolute pleasure!
Message in a bottle
Today we visit the Sparkling Sands Beach to show our gratitude for our tragic loss. 1 year since the horrifying moment domestic violence really took a toll on our family, 1 year since the horrifying moment dad lured mum into the garage. 1 year since that horrifying moment Diego and I heard mother’s screams. 1 year since mum’s passing.
With a bouquet of roses in my left hand and a portrait of my mum in my right, I approach the shore where mum’s ashes were left. Diego is right beside me holding another bouquet of roses and a family portrait of mum, Diego and myself from when we only young. A small, clear dew falls from Diego’s eye, hug him amorously and we both throw our bouquets into the calm ocean. The tide sweeps the flowers away into the vast sunset.
As we say our final farewells, Diego walks towards the car. But I notice a bright, shining substance drifting to shore. A message in a bottle. Diego sprints to my side as I opened the bottle.
Tears flood our eyes as we read the word, I love you too
By Kelsey Jenkins
Message in a Bottle
“Please, don’t go now, you just got back!” “I apologise sweetie, I haven’t got a choice” father exclaimed whilst fumbling with his dry fingertips. The smell of sea salt and fish filled the living room in our crowded house, a week ago father arrived from his 1 month fishing trip. He was a deckhand aboard The Nightingale, a gigantic fishing boat that is in charge of getting the main supplies of fish, crab and other seafood for our islands markets. “Father it is not fair on you and us, your Captain told us you would be here for the next three months, and now, starting tomorrow, you will be at sea instead!” I replied angrily. “You talk about the scenario as if it is some sort of a Childs game but believe it or not this is how I get food on the table for you and your mother!” My eyes started to water and I tried to hold in the fact that I was miserable and just wanted him to stay. I slowly nodded as a sign of respect and looked him in the eyes to see if I could tell what he was thinking, but all I could see was his forgiveness and sympathy. I turned on my heels to the rickety old stairs behind me and walked carefully up to my room and tried as hard as I could to forget what I had just left behind… That night the house was silent, even a pin dropping would be heard, whilst my parents were asleep I sat by a dim candle and wrote a message for my father which I would give to him at the docks tomorrow when he took off for his departure. Knowing I would at least see him tomorrow helped me rest peacefully. The next morning I put on my best Sunday dress that I normally wore at church. It was bright yellow and tightened at the waist, I slipped my note into an empty glass bottle with a cork so father could keep it with him everywhere. I popped the bottle in my right palm and felt the smooth, cold glass press against my warm skin. I took one last look at the silky pages that were the colour of crisp white, and my tattooed words in a brilliant black ink imprinted on the pages. I shut my eyes and opened them once more realising I was ready to face today, ever so cautiously did I make my way downstairs and out the front door to the dock. Yet when I got there only mother was left, she stood there in her hunch like posture and sobbed quietly into a wet tissue that is when I saw it, my Fathers boat sailing away with my hope. I called to him to get his attention but he thought I was just waving so he waved back. I eventually lost him in the upcoming mist, my mother eventually left and I followed her up the stairs that lined the hills of the island and then simply rooted my feet on the ground as my mother walked away. I stood there until evening as the sun settled, that is when I felt the need to throw the bottle into the ocean in an act of strength, in an act of hope, an act of lost hope. I left and wondered if it would really ever get to father.
2 months later…
I don’t know why I come to the beach every morning and evening in hope to find a bottle sent back. I guess today it was worth it as I did a different walk on the beach to my usual one and found that a rusty bottle with a cork and letter inside washed up on the shore. In a desperate act of hope I threw myself to the rocky ground which left my knees bleeding and opened the bottle to find pages the colour of fine buttermilk, engraved with fine words addressed to me ending with
Love dad xoxo
P.S. thank you for the letter my darling!
A tear shed from my eye, telling me everything was going to be alright…
By Georgia Kremalas