written by Maria Wojaczek. Maria (she/her) is a stage and screen writing student from Poland. She has always been an avid fantasy lover and her goal is to show, with her work, that this genre can also raise difficult topics and spark numerous discussions. In her free time from writing, she likes to discover new films and books and sometimes play the Sims for a little too long.
Jaśmina was born on a gloomy November evening, when her Best Friend was reading a book about princesses in her ugly yellow child’s room, dreaming about being one of them. That’s probably why Jaśmina was born as a princess with beautiful sapphire hair, silver eyes, and a pair of rainbow wings so fanciful that only a bored 6-year-old could have imagined them.
Each princess in that book had only one dress, always the same in every picture, but Jaśmina was better than them. Every day her Best Friend gave her a new outfit. Sometimes it was a golden ball gown and sometimes a simple blue dress similar to the one her Best Friend got from her grandmother. Unfortunately, there were also days when the girl struggled with creating a new dress for Jaśmina. On such days she wore shapeless mist that kept changing colour as her Best Friend tried to shape the fog into anything that would look good at least.
Some kids very quickly forget about beings like Jaśmina, but her Best Friend didn’t. After all, she was her Best Friend! Even though the days when they talked to each other every day, held tea parties, and took care of the invisible unicorns long passed, Jaśmina still stayed by her side.
She was there when her Best Friend fell in love for the very first time.
And then when she finished her school.
And when she got married.
And when she moved to a different country alongside her husband.
Jaśmina was there all this time, living comfortably deep in her Best Friend’s memory, a bit dusty, like an old doll, but never forgotten. She was okay with this fate. It could have been worse. Not many of her kind lived this long, and she knew it. What she didn’t know was what was coming next to her.
Jaśmina was given to her Best Friend’s daughter. She didn’t understand how this had happened. She just suddenly started living in someone else’s mind and because of that, she changed. Her Best Friend’s Daughter was a cheerful and lively girl, but she lacked her mother’s imagination.
First, she lost her name as apparently, Jaśmina was too weird and hard to pronounce for someone who didn’t speak their parents’ native tongue. Then, she was called Jas. Just Jas. Then her wings, her beautiful beautiful rainbow wings fell off and her hair turned brown. She didn’t look like a princess, but she wasn’t one anymore. And who was she? Someone very boring, who played even more boring games every day and cried for her old life every night. Sometimes, when she saw her Best Friend, she tried to call her, and come back to her, but it was too late. Now she belonged to someone else in a way one couldn’t even explain. But at least she was still there, right?
After some time Jas felt that she was tired. Every day she had to fight to keep her eyes open, knowing that her Best Friend’s Daughter would not help her with this. Did she even know Jas was still here? Did she even remember how she took everything from her? Her wings, her pretty dresses, her joy, and now what? Was she going to let her fall asleep? Just like that? Yes. Yes, she was. Jas closed her eyes, not knowing if she would ever open them again.
It was laughter that woke her up.
Suddenly, still a little weary, she was standing next to two people. Her Best Friend’s Daughter and a small girl who kept asking about…
The girl kept asking about her.
The girl kept asking about her!
One look into her eyes was enough for Jas to know she was hers now, so she smiled at her.
The girl didn’t deserve to be called just “the girl” or Her Best Friend’s granddaughter, so Jas chose to call her ‘Her Friend’ because she wasn’t as perfect as her Best Friend, but she was still someone special to Jas. Her Friend’s mind was like a beautiful but very chaotic place. She had so many ideas. Sometimes Jas was an astronaut in the morning, a fairy in the afternoon, and a singer in the evening. And her hair was beautiful again! This time she had long blue curls with golden highlights. She loved it!
There was also one surprise waiting for her. She wasn’t alone. Soon Jas discovered that she was surrounded by others of her kind, born from Her Friend’s ideas. Her brothers and sisters. Each of them was unique and interesting in their own way. It wasn’t a problem for her. Not at all. She was happy that she wasn’t the only one. Everything was fine again after so many terrible years.
Or was it?
Her Friend had many ideas. It was a good thing but as Jas discovered, it also had its downsides. By the time her Friend was fully grown up, her mind had already been quite crowded, and with each passing year, it was getting worse and worse. Jas slowly felt that this chaos was too much for her. She was running through labyrinths full of ideas that were sometimes even hard to describe. She tried not to drown in a sea made of her brothers and sisters she didn’t even recognize anymore. She was lost. The imagination of her friend, which once woke her from sleep, became her villain.
And then she was something else. Her Friend somehow pulled her out of the idea bin and gently moved her to the book she wrote. It was a book about a princess with a pair of rainbow wings and magic powers. By doing this, Her Friend kept her to herself, but at the same shared her with the whole world. She was now in the minds of so many people. They loved her. They hated her. But she had never been so alive before. A fictional character. That was who she was now.
Image by Ash Clancy