A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #17852  by Jane Hadley
Location: Camp Wandsworth, Canada • Date: Summer 1977

Unlike the other children, she had not put on her sandals nor was she wearing a bathing suit. Water terrified her, it always had. While the other children loved the time they spent at the lake, Jane stayed on the beach refusing to even look at the water. She would have rather stayed in her cabin, but the counselors insisted that she needed to come with them.

Determined to keep the sand out of her shoes, Jane made sure to lift her feet as high as she could each time she took a step. She climbed on one of the bigger rocks and started taking the smaller rocks around it. Sitting on her rock, she started linning the smaller rocks, making sure they were aligned perfectly.
 #17860  by Isla Fields
Having opted out of the kayak activity due to not being able to swim and wanting a little peace and quiet before everyone was due back, Isla had packed a small bag with a towel, water bottle and her favorite book and then headed towards the lake. Stopping not even a meter away from the sand, Isla laid out her towel and sat down. She cracked open her book and immediately lost herself in the world of Shakespeare.

It was forty-five minutes later when she lifted her head out of the pages and spied a familiar looking blonde child perched on large rock. A group of children were swimming in the lake further away from them and Isla could spy two camp counselors watching over them. No one however seemed to be paying any attention to the youngest Hadley fiddling with a small pile of stones.

Packing up her belongings slowly, she shouldered her bag and quickly walked across the sand, the grain crunching horribly beneath her sneakers. Stopping a foot away, she peered at Jane, "Hello," She murmured quietly.
 #17900  by Jane Hadley
Jane didn't look up at Isla, she simply set her eyes on the young woman's shoes and knew to whom they belonged. The younger blonde had always been observant, not that it had taken her much time to notice that she and Isla had been the only two who had preferred to wear shoes when they were at the beach.

She had heard Isla addressing her and Jane knew her older sister Vera would expect her to respond to her friend. "Hi." She mimicked Isla's hushed tone thinking that was the proper way to respond. Her eyes were still on the pile of rocks in front of her. "Vera says you don't swim." Another thing they seemed to have in common. "Are you afraid?"
 #17936  by Isla Fields
"No, no I am not," Isla immediately answered the girl, before pointing to the spot next to her. "Do you mind?" Not waiting for a response, Isla took a grateful step onto the rock and then lowered herself a foot away from Jane.

Pulling out her water bottle, she took a sip, "I simply just don't know how to swim. Are you afraid?"
 #17939  by Jane Hadley
Jane did not mind Isla joining her, yet she did nothing to acknowledge Isla's request.

"I am." She couldn't even look at the water. She took one of the rocks and held it tightly in her palm concentrating on the pinching feeling rather than the invasive splashing sounds coming from the lake. Her other hand was on her ear, stroking her earlobe.
 #17956  by Isla Fields
Isla nodded but remained quiet for a long moment, watching as Jane squeezed her palm around what she assumed to be a pebble and the way she stroked her earlobe. It was almost uncanny how much this little girl reminded her of herself. Jane was her, but on a much more extreme level and the girl would need help navigating this world if she was to ever survive it. Isla had had no choice but to navigate it herself, and she would not let Jane go through the same thing.

"Well, that's alright." She sniffed, turning to look out over the lake where Jane's troop swam and played. "Everyone is afraid of something. Yours is swimming. Mine is losing control."
 #17959  by Jane Hadley
The 5-year-old did not completely understand Isla's confession, but she was astute enough to understand that Isla was sharing her own fear with her. Most people enjoyed pointing out how different they were from her, it was strange to hear someone claim differently.

She stopped stroking her ear and looked at the pebble in her hand. "I am not like the others."
 #17967  by Isla Fields
"I know," Neither am I, and Isla had come to term with that fact a very long time ago. The question was, when would Jane?

Picking up her own pebble, she began to smooth of thumb over the under side of it, "You're different. We both are, but sadly that doesn't mean we are a different species. We are still human. Still flawed, and just as vulnerable. If not more. You need to learn how to be better, how to protect yourself so no one can ever hurt you."

Isla threw her pebble up in the air and then caught it, "Do you understand, Jane?"
 #17971  by Jane Hadley
"Vera will protect me." The smaller blonde trusted her big sister more than anyone. She had never disappointed her and she trusted that she never would.

Feeling her companion's silence she finally looked at Isla. "Won't she?"
 #17975  by Isla Fields
Not one for lies, but also not one to upset to upset innocent five year olds, Isla nodded and turned the pebble over and over in her hand, "Yes. I'm sure she will. She's a good person." She had to be to put up with Isla Fields for so long.

"You're lucky to have her. She loves you a lot."
 #18150  by Isla Fields
Clutching her pebble in her hand, Isla thumped her chest gently, right over her heart, "By protecting this. If you keep this hidden from everyone, they won't be able to control you."

Isla slowly unfurled her hand and let the pebble drop from it, "Do you understand, Jane?"
 #18151  by Jane Hadley
The blue-eyed blonde squinted. "Hiding my chest." Jane had yet to understand the nuances of figurative language. She tugged at the grey shirt that covered her chest. "That's easy, I always wear a shirt."
 #18165  by Isla Fields
Isla shook her head, and pointed at her chest once more, only this time she used one finger instead of her first, "No Jane. I mean what's inside your chest. You heart. You heart is yours and you should never trust anyone else to care for it."
 #18345  by Jane Hadley
Jane knew exactly what Isla meant, her big sister also referred to her emotions and her feelings as her heart. "Vera says I should express my feelings." The blonde took another pebble in her hand looked at it resting in her palm. Jane had no idea how to do that, she could barely identify her feelings through the thunderous frustrations they caused. "I can't." She simply said, almost afraid she would disappoint her sister.