Chapter One: Of Ash Trees and Angels

Before we start our story, you need realise that not everything you read here is real. Some things have happened. Some things have not. Some places are real. Some are not. The characters you are meeting are real, but they are only as real as you make them in your mind.

The important thing is that you believe.

And, this next bit is real.

Our story starts in a cemetery in Paris, where there lies a large stone statue of an angel. This is not an ordinary angel. First of all, it looks like it’s come out of Egypt and would look quite at home amongst the pyramids. Also, this big angel is covered in lipstick kisses. Around the angel, the cemetery’s more basic tombs stand silent, as if they are in awe of this magical creature.

Some say the angel shouldn’t be there. Others love its elegant form and the way it glistens in the Parisian sunshine, the flecks of quartz gathering and shattering the light.

There was no sun shining on the angel on this day and the sky was a definitive English grey, all school uniform shorts and lead pencils. The leaves had left the ash trees weeks ago, only one or two dared to cling to their thready branches. There was nothing heavenly about the day at all. Nothing at all that would appear to make it magical.

This was January in Paris. Cold, dark, miserable and uninviting, although still beautiful, the day was nothing out of the ordinary. Except for the presence of a young girl sitting on the park bench in front of the angel. A girl of about twelve, with long, dark, stringy hair and a slight gap between her two front teeth. She  was wearing a pair of jeans, an oversized coat and a pair of sneakers that had seen better days. On her wrist was a yellow plastic bracelet with the inscription “W.W.O.D?” scratched onto it in pen. She looked unhappy and confused.

“I’ve been wanting to meet you,” the girl said to the angel.

The angel remained silent.

“I’ve heard a lot about you – all good. I was told you could help me.”

Still the angel said nothing.

The girl stood up and walked over to the angel, staring at the thousands of lip prints in every conceivable colour. She stretched out a slender hand to touch one of the lipstick prints, but withdrew her hand quickly. “I don’t have my hand sanitiser. Mum would kill me.”

She stood back and thought some more.

“I have a better idea!” she told the angel as she started to scramble around in her pocket, from which she extracted a tube of pale lip gloss. She proceeded to paint her lips blush pink. “This will fix it!” she told the angel. Kissing you makes wishes come true. That’s what my Dad told me.”

I can see your stomach starting to turn. Who would want to kiss a lipstick covered stone angel? Eww.

The girl leaned forward, puckering her glossy lips when a cry came from down the tree-lined path.

“Miranda Tyree Jasmine Robertson!”

The girl cringed. She’d really done it now.

Running at her from a distance was a caped Medusa, all silver hair and flowing plastic cape. The girl felt a chill go through her. This frantic mythical being running towards her at great speed had just used her real name.

“Rainbow, what do you think you are doing!?”

Yes, our girl, standing here in the middle of a cemetery is named Rainbow. There is a story asto why, but we ill get to that later. For the moment, we have to concentrate  on the shrieking silver haired harpy running towards her at a pace.

Rainbow straightened and looked towards the screaming voice.

“Hi, Mum,” she said softly.

Obviously Rainbow’s escapade had caught her mother, otherwise known as the silver-haired harpy,  at the hairdresser, as she came running towards her, plastic cape flying, her hair wrapped in aluminum foil.

“Rainbow, this is the last straw. You can’t run away. Not at home, not in foreign cities. It’s not safe…”Jenni Robertson’s voice trailed off as she looked at her daughter, the lipstick that smeared her mouth and finally to the angel behind her.

“How did you find your way here?” she asked in a quiet voice.

“Internet. Google is great for directions.” said Rainbow sheepishly.

“Why here?” asked her softly, with a tear in her eye.

Rainbow looked to the ground. What was she going to say? She came here to the angel to ask that her wish be granted. She wanted to ask it if it would stop her parent’s fighting. They’d been on the road for eighteen months, traveling with her father’s band, the famous rock outfit, Medulla Oblongata. Her father, Robbie Robertson played guitar and sang in the band. Fifteen countries, eighty cities, three tutors and five nannies later, Rainbow just wanted to go home stay in one place and go to school like normal kids.

Jenni Robertson, Rainbow’s mother, was an accountant. She and her father had met at university.

Rainbow’s father had proposed to her mother at this very spot fifteen years ago. Her father had told her years ago that the angel that was covered in kisses could grant any wish.

“Why did you come here?” her mother asked her again. The rage had left her face. All that Rainbow could see in her mother’s face was sadness.

“I need a wish granted, Mum. I wish I could go home. I can’t take the road any more. I hate the tutors. I hate the nannies. I can’t take hotel food. I want to go home.” She couldn’t add out loud that she was tired of hearing her parents yelling at each other. That would hurt her mother too much.

Rainbow had started to run away a few weeks before. She’d become good at dodging the security guards and groupies that circled around the band. Today it was as easy as waiting until Thurston, her father’s butler and her part time bodyguard, had gone to the toilet. All she had to do was throw on a coat, go down to the lobby, walk into the street and take the number three  Paris Metro train to the inner suburbs of Paris. The internet gave her all the answers.

Her mother flicked her hairdresser’s cape over her shoulder and sat down on the bench where Rainbow had been sitting.

“Well, it appears you’re getting your wish. You’re going home.”

Rainbow could not believe her ears.

“Home? No more tutors or nannies. No more hotel food. No more planes and being up at all hours.” Rainbow had been very lonely these last few months. Although she was never the most popular girl in school, she had a group of tight knit friends. She missed her friends back in Melbourne.”

“Not quite, Rainbow.” her mother said quietly, avoid the gaze of the angel, instead staring at her feet.

“What do you mean, not quite.”

“We’re sending you back to live with your Grandmother.”


“Mum, Nana Robertson died two years ago.”

Jenni Robertson rose to her feet, with a look of bewilderment meeting her daughter’s. “No, Rainbow. You’re going back to live with my mother.”

“Your mother?! But you don’t even like your mother. You don’t talk to her.”

“It’s done, Rainbow. She offered to have you for the next six months.”

“But Mum,” whined Rainbow,”She lives in a place called Yourponga.”

“I know Rainbow, I grew up there.”

Rainbow kicked the ground. Six months in Yourponga. No. This would not do.

“Mum, you said your mother would be a bad influence. You said that when she gets stressed she makes jam.”

“Can’t be worse than that nanny of yours, Rosalita.”

Rainbow nodded. Rosalita had lasted two days with the Robertsons, frightened away by the fighting.

“But, Mum!”

“There’s no buts. We can’t have you running off and we can’t have you miserable. It’s for the best. The road is no place for a kid.”

“Mum, I’ve only met her twice. It will be worse than what’s going on here.”

“Nothing could be worse than this.” Jenni Robertson extended a hand out to her daughter, but she turned away towards the angel.

“What have you done?” She whispered to it.

“It’s going to be okay. It’s for the best. Thurston will take you back to Adelaide and on to your grandmother’s place tomorrow. It’s all sorted.”

Rainbow knew that tone of voice. It was settled.

“But Mum, your mother’s a hippy.”

“Rainbow,” Jenni Robertson looked her daughter straight in the eye. “That is the least of your worries. Come on, let’s go back to the hotel. We have to get your packed.”

There was to be no argument. Rainbow knew there was not getting around things this time. Despondent, she followed her mother down the path to the main gate.

If she had looked back, she would have witnessed one a small miracle. The kiss covered, sandstone angel was crying.




Go to Chapter Two: Little Town With Funny Name



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