Our palace started off as a room.

I remember a game my little sister and I created. It was born underneath her Winnie the Pooh duvet with us curled up together, in between bedtime stories and hushed drowsy conversations.

We were 11 years apart, which meant I felt as though I was raising her while she taught me how to be an older sister, and so much more.

One night, perhaps after all my suggestions for a bedtime story had been turned down, I instructed Emma to close her eyes. I held her hand and asked her to imagine the most fun place she could think of, to tell me about it. I suggested additions to it, such as a chocolate river or perhaps a choir of pink baby elephants.

It was silly. But I’d always loved the unapologetic silliness and boundless imagination of children. As a teenager, I was still clinging to mine, since growing up seemed synonymous with seeing fewer colors in life. Or at least implied that they would be significantly muted down between all the grey responsibilities and mundanities.

In creating worlds in our combined imagination, somehow, we gradually build up a palace. Our special place.

The palace grew and changed. On days when our parents held shouting matches down the hall or Emma had been anxious at school, we would find the palace’s walls cracking. Fantastical creatures normally roaming the premises would seem sluggishly saddened, ever-present music having become an echo of melancholy.

We took out time, letting the feelings of the palace wash over us. But each time we proceeded to patch it up together, knowing the joy and vibrancy would return to those imaginary yet very real walls.

To this day, I hold that place dear.

Yesterday, I learned my sister’s book on building a safe haven within yourself and finding joys in life through it would be published.

I was overjoyed!

I’d love to know, dear reader, what does your palace look like?

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Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
5 months ago

Kim welcome indeed to Voice.Club. I love the whole concept of building a magical place within ourselves. Some of your phrases are really beautiful. As adults, as you wisely said we should not lose our sense of colour.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
5 months ago

Welcome, Kim! I think I was around 8 years old when a boy stopped me in the street and asked me if I always talked to myself! I never realised I was doing it! I think I must have been disappearing into another world, somewhere more excitable perhaps, rather like my own palace. As a writer, isn’t that what we all do? I really enjoyed your story and look forward to reading more from you.

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
5 months ago

This is a delightful story, Kim. All of us writers can surely relate to our own special place. All my life, I’ve put myself to sleep with my own internal “bedtime stories”, of people, places and events in my ideal world. Welcome to Voice club – you’re going to love it here!

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
5 months ago

What a wonderful story of how siblings can be a support and inspiration to each other, Kim. I love your description of how the sisters’ relationship was deepened and strengthened by building an inner fantasy palace. A well known Buddha quote comes to mind, “Make an island of yourself, make yourself your refuge.” The sisters apparently succeeded in keeping their connection to the holy place inside alive, in spite of “shouting matches” and “grey responsibilities” around them.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
5 months ago

Welcome to Voice.club, Kim. This is an excellent first story, very descriptive. I love the relationship between the sisters and the safe world they build between them. I think that is a method (probably not the right word, but my brain can’t find the right one!) employed by clinical psychologists to help people find a safe place within themselves. And, as Linda mentioned, it’s something that we, as writers, do too. Well done.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
5 months ago

Welcome to Voice club, Kim. It is a wonderful first story. I love the two sisters bonding together and building a peaceful place and palace. Nice read. Keep on writing.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Kim Tennison
5 months ago

You are welcome. I do enjoy it so much.

Arianna Randall
Arianna Randall(@arianna-randall)
5 months ago

Wow….this story hit me hard. I’m in high school, ten (almost eleven!) years apart from my youngest sister. We are very close, and I have personally experienced the power of story through children. We are both dragon fan-girls, and I’m reading the Narnia series aloud to her. She’s hooked 🙂 thank you for reminding me how much the little moments matter!!

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