"You're being selfish! I only need to borrow it for five minutes!"

"No, mum. You're being selfish! I told you I need to do my homework! I'm behind at school and I told you that I really needed to finish my work today – it's the deadline! Now I'm going to fail and I won't have a future or...or anything!"

She ran up the stairs to her room and slammed the door.

Throwing herself on her bed she covered her head with her pillow and cried hot, angry tears into the darkness.

Eventually she slept...

And she was never the same again.

Pulling the pillow off her head, she sat up. There was a chill in the air and a calm breeze blew strands of her hair. She scrubbed away the salty tracks left by her tears and looked up.

It was then that she realised she was no longer in her bedroom, no longer sat on her bed, no longer anywhere she recognised.

The sky was a pale lilac and there was a bright, glowing orb – like the moon, but bigger and there wasn't the same light coming from it. This moon had an ethereal glow as if it was there to soothe instead of illuminate.

She was sat on a large slab of some kind of rock, jutting up from the ground. It looked a lot like marble and was white with tiny veins of silver. Everything about this place exuded peace and calm.

The pillow had disappeared, in its place there was a small doe, curled up, resting. It looked at her with big, round eyes. She reached out and stroked the doe, it was so soft and gentle. As soon as she stopped, the doe slowly got up and nudged her with its head in a gesture of affection and friendship and then leapt away. It seemed to disappear as easily as it had replaced the pillow.

She began to survey her surroundings. Beside the rock, there was a tall weeping willow, leaning over a small circle of clear water. Around that, the ground was carpeted with soft, tall grass that was swaying gently. She seemed to be in a kind of bowl – all around she could see the outline of azure mountains, like guardians. The feeling of being encircled did not frighten her, she felt safe and protected.

Walking around the pool of water, she realised that she had no reflection. She reached out and touched the water, which rippled comfortingly. The willow branches were low-hanging and created a kind of curtain around her as she moved through them.

She began to move away, to explore other parts of the landscape she found herself in. When she looked back, she could always see the tree and the rock which reassured her. She realised, though, that the tree was not yet fully grown and it looked vulnerable and alone. She kept walking but continued to look back – ensuring she could always see the tree and the rock.

The more she explored, the more apparent it became that it was not a very large place. She reached the edges quickly and, when she did, there was a veil-like barrier that shimmered like the surface of a pearl. When she touched it, the hairs on the back of her neck stood up and it felt as though she was in the eye of a storm – surrounded by chaos. She could never reach the mountains and she had the feeling that they were shielding her from the worst of it. What they could not prevent, the seemingly flimsy barrier held off.

She decided she would return to the tree. Before she turned to journey back, she touched the barrier once more and whispered thank you. And then she spoke to the mountains. Thank you.

Then she looked towards the tree and began the slow walk back.