I have a parking fairy. I’m fourteen years old. I can’t drive. I don’t like cars and I have a parking fairy.

Rochelle gets a clothes-shopping fairy and is always well-attired; I get a parking fairy and always smell faintly of petrol. How fair is that? I love clothes and shopping too. Yes, I have a fine family (except for my sister, ace photographer Nettles, and even she’s tolerable sometimes) and yes, Rochelle’s family is malodorous. She does deserve some kind of compensation. But why couldn’t I have, I don’t know, a good-hair fairy? Or, not even that doos, a loose-change-finding fairy. Lots of people have that fairy. Rochelle’s dad, Sandra’s cousin, Mum’s best friend’s sister. I’d wholly settle for a loose-change fairy.

It can be arduous hanging out with Rochelle. She always looks doos in her perfect clothes. And sometimes I get bored going shopping with her all the time, even when her fairy is working for me. Sometimes I look forward to rainy days even though it means we have to play tennis indoors. Her fairy doesn’t work on rainy days.

My fairy has no objection to rain. She just doesn’t do anything useful except make sure that whatever car I’m in finds the perfect parking spot. That’s why I’m walking home and not getting a lift from Rochelle’s dad: it’s all part of my campaign to get rid of my fairy. I’m starving her of opportunities to do her thing so she’ll want to go and be someone else’s fairy. Our Zora-Anne says this is the best method for getting rid of a fairy you don’t want. It’s how she got a charisma fairy after having been born with a never-getting-lost fairy. Our Z-A never went anywhere for five years so she couldn’t get lost and then one morning she woke up with a brand new fairy and before she knew it she was a star.

It could happen to me, too.

So I walk. I could take the bus or the ferry or the light rail cause it’s not like they need to park, but somehow walking seems much more wearisome for a parking fairy. For two months now I have walked everywhere. I haven’t even ridden my bike or board. For all I know my fairy may be gone already. But I can’t be sure and there’ve been no signs of a new one.

I’ve read everything in the library about fairies, especially anything that touches on the question of how to get rid of one, which hardly any of them do! Talking to Stupid-Pants Fiorenze’s parents was tempting. But all they’d have would be theories. That’s all anyone’s got—even the Fairy Studies experts—but there aren’t any that fit all the facts, and make sense, and can be proved.

No-one has ever seen a fairy. There are lots of fake photo sites, but, well, they’re clearly fake. Or they’re so indistinct and smudgy it could be anything. Like Steffi said, some people don’t think it’s a fairy that makes sure that every car I’m in gets a parking spot. Some say they’re ghosts or some kind of spirit, and some people, like my dad and Steffi, don’t believe it’s anything but luck.

My mum has many theories. She’s the one who figured out what my fairy was. I was still a baby. She’d had to go into town every day for a week because she was giving evidence in a court case (she’s a microbiologist) and Brianna who used to look after me back then was sick so Mum had to bring me in and hand me to the lawyer’s associate to mind while she was on the stand. Anyway, every single day I was with her she got a parking spot in front of the court in the only spot without a parking metre. It didn’t matter how late she was running or whether it was raining or anything. The only time it didn’t work was when Dad took a day off work to mind me. Mum ended up having to park practically where we lived and catch a bus in.

Bingo! she thought, my daughter has a parking fairy. After that she put it to the test and found parking spots outside the Opera House, in the ranges, and right near the NACG on the first day of the Millennium Test. Incontrovertible proof that her first child had a parking fairy.

And the beginning of my life in cars. I’m always being borrowed by Mum, or one of her sisters, or her best friend Jan, or Nana and Papa, or just about everyone in our neighbourhood, whenever they’re going to the doctor’s, or grocery shopping, or anywhere that parking might be a problem. Every single day of my life someone asks me to get in their doxhead car.

I hate cars. I hate drivers. I hate their little squeals of joy when they find a parking spot.

But mostly I hate my benighted parking fairy.