I’ve spent some time these past few days in a cloud of poetry which I have thoroughly enjoyed learning the art of, however now it is time to experiment further with my storytelling. Below I’m sharing with you an extract from a short story I’m working on, and naturally, it is about the supernatural, specifically ghosts. The story itself is aimed predominantly at teen/YA but I do hope you can find some enjoyment out of the idea :).
THE GHOST OF GREEN ACRES – PART ONE
I woke, shivering in the dark of the night, a cold sensation spreading over my body as if something supernatural was making its presence known to me, in its own spine tingling way. My heart began to race as goosebumps jumped across my arms. I wasn’t alone, but my night time companion had not shown its face.
Emily remained asleep in the bed across the room, her breath exhaling cold fumes of mist, completely unaware of the dramatic change of atmosphere emanating around us. My brain desperately wanted to jump out of bed and run to the door to turn on the light. My body, paralysed from fear, refused to budge, remaining upright, my eyes wide open staring across to the other end of the moonlit room.
I desperately tried to shift the covers off but a stronger force was determined to keep me from leaving my bed.
Silence filled the air, but for Emily’s gentle breathing and my own heart beating. The coldness dissipated and my goosebumps retreated, but I still could not budge, only this time it was my own fear preventing me from leaping up and shaking Emily from her slumber. I lay back down with my head on the pillow, staring straight up at the ceiling before I drifted away into a sea of dreams.
I awoke in a daze, feeling more tired than before I went to bed.
“The weirdest thing happened last night.” I started to tell Emily. “Something was in the room with us, I couldn’t see it but I felt it. I tried to move from my bed but something was holding me down.”
For a moment Emily was silent but for a brief glimpse of horror on her face, quickly replaced with excitement. “You felt Mrs Jeffrey’s presence!”
Mrs Jeffrey, it turned out, was the previous owner of the school. It was rumoured she roamed the corridors at night, slipping into the bedrooms and making sure the girls were tucked up in their beds fast asleep. Only a small handful of students had witnessed such a phenomena.
“You have a ghost here! Have you ever seen her?” I asked Emily with curiosity.
“Not yet. I don’t think I ever will. My parents think the whole thing is nonsense. Come on you need to get ready, you can’t be late for breakfast on your first day here, even if it is a Sunday.”
I quickly showered and threw on my clothes, a pair of black jeans and a navy blue t-shirt, before tying my hair into a neat ponytail at the base of my neck. I slipped on a pair of trainers over my socks. We left the bedroom, but as we walked down the wooden floored corridor toward the dining hall, I couldn’t help but feel both scared and intrigued at my ghostly encounter. I’d never believed in ghosts before, so it was unusual to me to have such an experience on my first night at a new school.
We made it to the dining hall, which was mostly empty but for a few girls. Most students went home to visit family at the weekends. Emily and I took our seats at a large eight seater table.
Girls, this is Josy, my new roommate. Josy, this is Claudia, Rebecca, Olivia and Sophie.”
They greeted me with welcoming smiles and a round of handshakes. A feast of toast, cereal, fruit and juice lay in front of us, allowing me to momentarily shrug off my previous discomfort.
“You’ll never guess what, girls.” Emily started. “Josy met Mrs Jeffrey last night.”
The girls looked at me with intrigue on their faces. “You can see them?” Asked Claudia, as she shovelled a spoonful of cereal toward her mouth.
“No, I…I didn’t really.” I stuttered. “It’s just the room went cold and I felt something holding me down, that’s all. It was probably just a dream or my imagination running wild, what with me being in a new place.” I took a slice of toast from the plate in the middle of the table and poured myself a cup of orange juice.
“So you didn’t see her? You just felt her?” Claudia probed whilst the other girl’s sat silently, staring at me with interest.
“It was a dream, nothing happened, honestly.” They looked at me disbelievingly but I refused to say anymore on the subject.
“So what is there to do here at the weekends?” I asked, desperate to change the subject.
“Not a great deal. We’re only allowed to leave the school grounds with parental permission and supervision, either from one of the year eleven students or a teacher. Most of the time we go home, but when we’re here we either go for a swim in the pool, wander the grounds, read, that kind of stuff.” Olivia explained with an air of boredom in her voice.
We finished breakfast and went for a brisk walk in the grounds to walk off our food, before heading over to the pool for a refreshing swim. I managed twelve lengths in the 16 metre pool before I tired and got out to sit with Claudia who was at the side reading.
“You know, you can’t hide from it. Once you feel the presence of one, you’ll feel them everywhere.” Claudia sounded solemn.
“What do you mean?”
“Mrs Jeffrey. You can doubt it all you like, but she was in your room last night. That’s how it started, with me.”
“You’ve…you’ve seen her?”
“Yes. I’ve not told the others, they wouldn’t believe me even if I had. They may have sounded interested earlier, but they’re skeptics.”
“So am I. I’ve always been a skeptic, but last night…”
“Last night she came to you, whether you could see her or not. That wouldn’t have happened if you really were a skeptic.”
Our conversation ended abruptly as the other girls came to join us. Throughout the day Claudia’s words struck a chord with me. I’d never been a believer of ghosts, mostly because my parents weren’t, but something was different about this school and its building. I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I was being watched by some unseen entity as we went about our day, perhaps it really was the ghost of Mrs Jeffrey, but the thought of seeing her still put fear in my mind.
As night time arrived once again, my mind was a flutter of various thoughts preventing me from entering a deep slumber. I lay in bed wondering whether Mrs Jeffrey’s ghost would show her face to me this time, in the dim light protruding through the bedroom window. Emily was once again sound asleep across the room, breathing faintly. The wind outside rustled the leaves of the trees whilst the moon casted their shadows on the bedroom wall. I pulled the cover over my head as my heart started to beat faster and faster. I was scared, plain and simple. I tried counting sheep to help me drift off, but it was no use. My mind was running wild with thoughts. What if she came back? What if I saw her? What if she came up close to me? Can ghosts even touch people? What if…
I was interrupted by the sound of the door opening and my heart skipped a beat. I could hear footsteps tread lightly across the floor.
“Josy.” A voice said quietly.
I didn’t respond.
“Josy, it’s Claudia.”
I let out a sigh of relief and pulled the cover off my head.
“What are you doing in here? I whispered to her. “You scared me!” I would have shouted if it weren’t for Emily.
“Come with me, there’s something I need to show you.” Claudia whispered.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Just come, please? You have nothing to be afraid of. But you have to come quickly, there isn’t much time.” Claudia walked to the door without looking back and I followed obediently.
She led me through the corridor of our boarding rooms toward the staircase at the end, the place Mrs Londale the Headmistress had warned me was forbidden to the students.
“Claudia” I began to say. “We’re not supposed to go up here!”
“Shh, just come quickly. We’ll be back in our beds before you know it.”
We climbed the narrow staircase with nothing but the moon’s faint glimmer to guide us toward the top, before we became encased in darkness. I could hear Claudia feeling for what I could only assume was the lock to a door. I heard a key turn and a slight creak as the door shifted open slowly. Claudia moved forward but I didn’t dare shift from my spot.
“Come on.” She whispered. “You need to see this.”
Slowly, I put one foot in front of the other and followed her into the room. It took a while for my eyes to adjust to my surroundings, but once they had, I was overcome with shock at what lay before me.