I was born in the beautiful Austrian mountains, shortly before the 80s came to a close. For the most part I had quite a normal childhood. When exactly it happened I can’t remember, it was one of those warm and sunny childhood days in which every colour seemed to be perfectly in place and the world looked like a picture book that I found Fleck.

He became my best friend and showed me the world from a different angle. Together we would play and explore and tell each other stories and we were happy. Then things changed. It happened in a very sneaky way. Suddenly my toys were leaving me, going to younger cousins. My teddy bear, once a giant and the biggest of all the inhabitants of my bedroom, seemed to have shrunk and I became the new giant. Going to bed became boring because I didn’t need to burry my head under the pillow any longer, given that the monsters seemed less scary. Then came the day when I was meant to be big enough to make decisions. It wasn’t that I just had to decide over the next school to go to, that would have been easy. But they told me it means deciding what I want to be as an adult. Well yeah - that was suddenly way more scary than all the monsters in the whole world!

I didn’t want to decide so I tricked Fleck into making the decision for me. I knew if he decided wrong, at least I could make him give me candy for everyday of my failed adulthood. So, he dragged me into a school for media design and we were quite happy there. Although our relationship became somewhat difficult then. I sometimes forgot our worlds and stories and games, and became more interested in other people than Fleck. Only when I was sad I came crawling back to him and jumping back into the fantastic lands of our childhood. Just to comfort me a little while before I thought I had to get back, trying to be an adult and being serious.

When it was time to got to college I had already forgotten him. I started studying Multimedia Art and was convinced that I am going to be a seriously great designer. In the usual snobby art school attitude I thought I had to be super fancy and saw myself as great even though what I made wasn’t so great after all. I just felt somewhat wrong and started to notice that I am not really being who I actually am. I knew there was something in me that had known all along where I wanted to go and what to do, but I had completely forgotten it. I graduated and was left confused. So what now? I asked myself.

I wanted to go back into the world of monsters and fun and trying to be an adult seemed suddenly wrong, because I felt like I matured enough to go back being a child now. And then something pulled on my sleeve. I was confused and didn’t see at first what it was, but it kept pulling and pulling. And then suddenly I remembered: Fleck! My good old friend! He turned to me and said:”Girl, you had completely forgotten who you are, didn’t you? Pha, tried to be serious and all big when you are actually one of us. One of us small folk who tells the stories and draws the pictures! You ain’t going to be happy like that! Come back into our world and go play!”

I looked at Fleck and smiled, happy to see him. He was right, even though I still couldn’t remember fully yet who I am, but I knew if I keep going with Fleck I would eventually find out. So we started drawing pictures again and telling stories. And that’s what we do until now. We love to explore all the worlds and lands and find the monsters and fairies in other cultures. That’s why we lived in different places and keep looking for new experiences. Fleck and I, we learn so much in those other worlds and we want to see more places and learn to speak with all the creatures living there - except one. We don’t want to go back into adult world. We don’t like their language nor their morals and it seems like they don’t even like themselves. Even the scariest monsters under our bed is nicer than those adults. But enough now, I shall go on with my story.

One day recently I was trying to find that one sentence to describe me. I thought I should finally know who I am, but I still couldn’t really make it out, so I asked Fleck: “Hey Fleck, you said I had forgotten who I am, but you never said anything more. Now tell me please: Who am I?”

He just looked at me and smiled again, asking me why I would find it so hard finding out who people are. Puzzled I asked:”What do you mean with who people are? I know who people are, I know who you are Fleck, but i don’t know how to say who I am!” “Well then say who I am and you will find out. We are a gang, you and I and it doesn’t really matter who you are and who I am as long as we stick together. When I said you had forgotten who you are, I meant, you had forgotten about me.”

I still don’t really understand what he meant, but he likes to make me think and find out on my own. He likes to tell stories, as you can see. He loves listening to the sea and to the sound of foreign languages, they are kind of the same thing anyway. When he is telling me his crazy ideas I always get really excited and we continue discussing them. Our favourite place to sit and think is on a windowsill, or somewhere high up where we can see the whole world and spy on the monsters in the valley. We don’t like things that find themselves unable to answer the simple question “why” because they try to hide that they don’t make sense and especially when they pretend to know better than we but say “no” when we ask them “did you try it?”.

And I just can’t keep calm enough when I am erasing some lines with a rubber eraser, that’s why I always get folds into the paper. I don’t like the sound of screeching drawers because it makes me imagine a Gnome getting squashed. Sometimes I would like to save the world of the adults, but Fleck keeps telling me that no one can do that but them, and what I find good for me is not necessarily good for others. That is why I just like to tell them about Fleck, because maybe they will listen to their own Fleck then and can save themselves - but don’t tell Fleck about it, he would just tell me to let it be and care about my own world.

Well, I try not to forget about Fleck anymore because I am him and he is me and all that is who I am. Now. Maybe I learn differently tomorrow...