I don’t remember much about the Between, but mum said I spent a lot of my childhood there. I was an only child and Mum was a single parent on the run from her abuse ex-husband, a father I never knew. We moved around so much, not having much contact with anyone. Years later, I asked her why that was, couldn’t she have gone to the police or someone for help? She said, things back then were just different. It was normal for a husband to hit is wife.
I didn’t go to school and was only let out sometimes, so the Between was my imaginary world. Mum said it started when we stayed in a semi-abandoned farmhouse when I was around six. She let me out to play in a wild meadow and I came back talking about fairies and unicorns.
From then, I would often talk aloud and play with the things from the Between. I drew pictures too, to show mum what the animals and people were like. She kept some of them that I had drawn in a small sketch book. There was a fairy princess and queen, a unicorn, strange dragonflies and butterflies, gremlins, goblins, imps, pixies and other fantasy creatures.
‘You must have told me about them and I just imagined it all!’ I laughed to my mum.
‘No. I never said anything about any make believe things,’ mum explained, ‘not even Father Christmas or God.’
‘Oh…Then I must have read about it somewhere,’ I wondered.
‘Perhaps. I don’t remember,’ she replied, ‘I was sad when you grew out of it though.’
I hummed as I thought back. It was hard to remember clearly, but I started high school in one of the towns we were hiding out in. Something about being forced to go…But it meant that town became our permanent home. I had something of a normal life then and the Between was lost to me.
‘I guess it was a childhood thing,’ I added with a shrug, ‘but why were you sad?’
‘Because it meant you were grown up.’
(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/02/15/thursday-photo-prompt-between-writephoto/ with thanks).