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Wish by Lea Fletcher

This story is to remember Helen Watts, who planted her tree on 17 March 1911

"Mum, my wish for you... A wish I could do..."

The beautiful wish floated lightly in the air, like fairy thistledown. As it looked around, for a suitable secret place to land. A newborn baby girl hours old.. Opened dark blue eyes and snuffled fluffily, looking at the gorgeous wish. It hovered gently over the mewling infant, rising and falling on the sugar sweet, early spring breeze, drawn in from the opened window. Then, suspended, as if frozen in time for one minute and the next, jerked in the glorious green air like a rainbow-coloured bubble, dancing clumsily to a mysterious heavenly tune played by angels, that only babies can hear...

A teenage tousled rebellious girl saw the wish next, as she sat suspended on her swing, legs dangling. In the distance, the derelict windmill cast a sombre cut to the grey townscape horizon. The wish floated prettily by as if to taunt her.. She reached out and tried to imprison the luminous shape, but failed, dismissing the hovering wish in her carefree petulant manner.

A sudden swift gust made the wish fly high.. Like an escaped red kite seeking a quest for eternal freedom. The wish then dropped like a heavy lava stone from a blue moon.. Only to rise again higher, and higher still, like it had stardust burst rockets to propel it up to the Gods and heaven above. A soft-eyed woman gently rounded by childbirth, clutched her latest delivery from the white stork to her chest, listening to the steady rhythmic breathing of her baby and young offspring laid around her. She spied the wish sneakily observing the sleeping scene and smiled back dreamily.

The glowing sunlight caught the orb of the wish and reflected back memories and distant past, happy times of life, when all was golden. The wish suddenly shot up, as if in joy from meeting with the wisps of clouds that touched and stroked the perpetually blue sky. A middle-aged bohemian woman moved jauntily along to her own internal song.. She smiled at anyone who cared to look and said hello to passers-by.. She continued her journey down the long high street, stopping to look in the charity shop windows. Waiting to see if anything would jump up, shouting "buy me"! She always managed to find the treasures among the rubbish and would take her prize home, to add to her extensive eclectic collection. She spotted the wish in the window’s reflection as it bobbed about as jauntily as her.. A broad grin and laugh escaped her mouth as the wish flew out of sight.

The fabulous wish continued its journey, floating haphazardly, across a brilliantly filled landscape, coloured with noise, light, movement and life. Over twinkling feverish cities and dormouse sleepy villages, valley wide motorways and hidden gem country lanes.. Onward it flew, moving to its own strange perpetual dance at the mercy of the soulful wind. An old white-haired woman lay in her bed and looked out her window, at the patchwork blue and white sky and red sun-baked brickwork of the buildings beyond. She saw the glowing shape of the wish as it floated nearby.. She reached up a thin-fingered hand to catch the shining orb.. She opened her palm and it landed gently there.. Then dissipated into a hundred million flashes of colour that sparked in her eyes. The woman sighed, smiled and closed her eyes. The wish had found its home.

Lea Fletcher attended a Suffragettes Stories event, where she found the history of the Movement inspiring. Lea thinks we are all Suffragettes in our own way and that should be celebrated. Lea's story Wish follows the life cycle of any female. This also connects her to the life cycle of the trees in Annie's Arboretum. Indicating that like trees, females lives get cut down too. We all have a shelf life but what's important is the message continues to get passed on through stories like this. Wish is also dedicated to Lea's mum who in her own way was a great Suffragette too.

Lea is an artist, writer, hard worker, friend, mother and grandmother who hails from Nottingham.