'Elizabeth'

"Around the corner sits the old, worn down house. Its rusty, old gates lock it out from the world. But no one can forget the ear piercing screams that were heard deep in the night. The story of young Elizabeth Manning will be
told to many, but after time the tale will be forgotten until Elizabeth
will be reborn."

It all began in 1929. When Elizabeth's parents moved here to Sheldon for a new beginning. They were just married when they arrived and her mother was expecting a child. When it finally came the time for Elizabeth to be born, her parents had just finished building a large house for their family to enjoy many happy years in.
On the early morning of 1930, February 26th, Elizabeth Manning was born into the world. Her eyes were crystal blue and her face pale, creating her rosy cheeks to stand out.

Elizabeth's parents adored their little girl, and would give her anything she insisted on having. But her father was no longer a rich man, as he was fired from his job as journalist for the local newspaper. So her father could no longer afford giving his daughter absolutely everything. This caused young Elizabeth to be bad-tempered, which was not surprising for her age of six years.

Her father failed to find another job, so he decided to take a break and try again later. Elizabeth was disappointed in his decision, for she would no longer be given what she wanted. She was selfish and decided to ignore her mother's orders for her to do her chores. She had no friends, so she would just sit up in her large room, playing with her precious dolls and ignoring her mother and father.

On the day of Elizabeth's eleventh birthday, her mother gave birth to beautiful boy, naming him Samuel Manning, after his father. He did not have the alert, crystal blue eyes like his sisters, but warm brown, identical to his father's. He was a beautiful young boy, and created warmth to the family. Elizabeth loathed the attention Samuel was given.
Her father had been given a new job at the local cotton farm; So Elizabeth expected many gifts for her birthday, but was given only one small package, which was beautifully wrapped, with the love of her mother. As Elizabeth finished unwrapping the small package, she discovered a delicate Golden chain, with a gold heart attached to the chain. When the heart was opened, Elizabeth saw two miniature black and white portraits of her mother and father. Elizabeth forcefully threw her Golden chain across her room, where it fell into the crack in the stone floors. Elizabeth stormed out of the house without retrieving her chain. Her father attempted to stop her but failed; however, he knew she would return.

Elizabeth ran to the beautiful river, which runs around her neighbourhood She furiously stomped along the rivers edge, muttering under her breath. But young Elizabeth did not notice how slippery the bank was and slipped, falling into the rivers deep, cold, murky water. Elizabeth had not learnt to swim, so was left struggling to stay afloat. She screamed for help, but no one could hear her ear piercing screams. Elizabeth tried and tried to stay afloat but drew tired.

That day, February 24th, 1941, Elizabeth Manning drowned and was not discovered until later that night, when her father found her after hours of searching. Mr and Mrs Manning were heartbroken about the loss of their daughter. They moved away, not wanting to stay any longer in Sheldon. They sold the large house they had built and never returned to Sheldon.

But the new owners of the Manning House did not stay long in the little town of Sheldon. They left mysteriously in the middle of the night, not long after the Manning's had departed. The neighbours would hear ear- piercing screams coming from the old house late in the night and were puzzled, for the house was deserted. Rumours were the ghost of young Elizabeth Manning had returned..
~

February, 1982 "Clara, must you whine and groan so much?" My mother sighed as she drove passed the sign reading 'Welcome to Sheldon'. "You will love it here, sweetheart. You'll meet new friends." She assured me. "Mum, I'll hate it!" I moaned. You see the thing is I should not be here; I should be back in Cotonville with dad. But no, he and mum just had to get a divorce! So now I have to live in this old, dilapidated house that was built like forty years ago! ".the school sounds great honey, you'll find friends in no time." I heard mum telling me. "Oh here it is!" Mum yelped excitedly, her short brown hair bouncing as she enthusiastically jumped up and down in her seat. I looked up at the old house as mum drove into the driveway, stopping to a halt in front of the locked, steel gates. The gates stood high, revealing the ugly dark house standing behind them. A shiver went down my spine as I saw movement in one of the high windows. I looked at mum to see whether she had noticed, but she was just smiling enthusiastically. I looked back to the window but saw no sign of movement.

That night, when mum and I had finally settled in, I lay in my bed, surrounded by unpacked boxes. This house was giving me the creeps and although I have never been scared of the dark, I kept my bedroom door open, letting the light from the passage come through. Mum's room was next to mine, but it felt like she was a hundred miles away. My room is large, with stone floors that looked like they have never been replaced. There were cracks in the stone and they were freezing cold to stand on. The whole house was like it too, which was why mum laid mats down in every room that she could, but not mine. The bathroom does not really need one, so why did she not put one in mine? Did she want me to freeze to death? I pulled my bedding tightly around me, snuggling into my thin pillow. I lay quite peacefully, slowly drifting asleep. I was suddenly awoken by a piercing scream. I jolted up in bed, throwing my doona off me, and running to my mother's room. She had also woken and raced towards me as I approached her. "Where's it coming from?" I screamed, holding her tightly. "I don't know." She informed me.
We ran outside, looking for the source of the screaming, but discovered that the ear piercing screams were not just close.but were coming from our own house. I stared in horror as I saw movement through my bedroom window. My mother ran inside to call the police, as I stood frozen to the ground, staring in horror. A distinct figure stood looking out my bedroom window. Its face was pale and unlike anything I had ever seen. The figure was of a young girl, maybe a few years younger than me, and there was something familiar about her. She looked angry, furious for some reason. Her screams did not stop as her stare rooted me to the ground. I heard sirens in the distance, but all I could think about was the anger in this girls face. What had I done? And where did she come from? "Clara, what's the matter?" my mother woke me from my thoughts. I rose my hand and pointed at my window, where the girl stood, screaming. My mother looked up to where I was pointing. But I knew by the look on her face that she could not see the girl.

The next day I went to school, feeling nervous. Sheldon High for Young Girls was a large grey building. We were forced to wear revolting uniforms; grey skirts, a white shirt and a black jumper. We were told to wear our hair tied back and to wear no jewellery. It was a change for me, as Cotonville was not as strict. The girls were very posh, and not at all polite. I sat by myself at lunchtime, thinking about the young, mysterious girl who had just turned up in my room when a pretty girl walked up to me. "You're the girl that lives in the old Manning house aren't you?" She questioned, her long black ponytail blowing in the furious wind. "Um.I am yes." I answered. "Have you heard the story of Elizabeth?" she asked, sitting down on the bench next to me. "Well, no I haven't." I answered, sounding confused. The girl smiled politely. "Would you like to hear it?" she asked. "I guess." I replied, taking a bite of my apple, the juice burning my dry throat. That's when the girl began. She told me the story of a girl called Elizabeth Manning; her parents had moved here to Sheldon and built the old house I was now living in. Elizabeth was a selfish young girl and always expected gifts. And one day, on her eleventh birthday, she drowned in the local river. ".And it is now said that she haunts the old Manning house." The girl finished. I looked at her in horror. Was the girl in the window young Elizabeth Manning? "Are you ok?" She asked. "Of course." I nodded, frowning. "Well, I'm Sarah, Sarah Knight." The girl informed me. "And you are?" "Um.Clara Smith." I answered, still deep in thought. How come I am the only one who can see her though? "You know you look a lot like her." Sarah told me, staring at me intently. "Like who?" I asked carefully, terrified of what the answer was. "Like Elizabeth, Elizabeth Manning."

I ran from Sarah when she told me I looked like the Manning girl. This has to be a nightmare, I told myself. I will just wake up and find myself back in Cotonville and my parents will be together and this would never have happened. But even though I told myself this, I knew it was not a nightmare. This was reality, and I had to face my fears and talk to Elizabeth. I waited in my bed, waiting for the ear piercing screams to begin once more. But I drew tired and slowly drifted off to sleep. I woke once more to hear the scream echoing through the house. I jolted out of bed, glancing around my room for any sign of the girl. I saw no sign of her so yelled her name, calling for her to come to me. "Elizabeth, please be quiet, we are not going to hurt you, just come to me and I'll talk to you, I will give you what you want, whatever it is." I yelled and once I finished, the screams stopped and I realised how cold my room had become. As I breathed, I could see my breath in the air. "You called." A voice said. I spun around and found the girl staring at me from the window ledge. My heart skipped a beat as I noticed her face was very similar to my own. The only difference was her pale complexion and crystal blue eyes. "Well?" she queried. "Um, um.are, are, you.are you Elizabeth Manning?" I stammered. "Yes, who else would I be?" She laughed, sending shivers down my spine. "So you.you are dead.you're a ghost?" I asked, placing my hand on my chest, feeling my heart beating rapidly beneath my palm. "Why yes I am.scared?" She smirked, rising up from the window ledge in one swift movement. "N.no." I stammered, walking backwards, not wanting her to come near me. "You said you were going to give me what I wanted." Elizabeth reminded me. "Yes.what do you want?" I asked her, my palm still on my beating chest. "I want you to leave. Leave me alone." She told me more forcefully than I had expected. "But why?" I questioned. "You have no right to be here. I live here, it's mine!" She shrieked, disappearing.

I told my mother everything, expecting her to say pack up, we are leaving. But she just told me it's nonsense and that I should not make things up to get what I wanted. So to punish me, she told me to wash the stone floor in my room.
My hands were frozen and numb, however I continued washing the floors, but as I came to a crack in one of the stones I discovered a golden chain. I pulled the chain out and saw that a beautiful golden heart was hanging from the chain. It was one of those ones that opened so that you could put a photo in it. In this particular one, there were two black and white portraits of a man and a beautiful woman. Suddenly my heart began to beat rapidly. This is the golden chain that was given to Elizabeth on her eleventh birthday. Those portraits are of her parents. "Clara, what is that?" My mother asked, standing in the doorway. She startled me, causing me to drop the golden chain. I swiftly picked it up and ran over to my mother, showing her the photos. "Now do you believe me?" I questioned. Her face went pale and her eyes stared in horror. "Well?" I asked, shaking the chain in her face. "We will be leaving in the morning, pack your things." She ordered. I stood there in shock, just staring dumbstruck at my mother. "You heard me." She ordered, leaving the room.

I collapsed in bed, the hard day catching up with me. It took me a long time to pack everything, but I had not really unpacked everything, so I was not too bad. I couldn't wait to get out of this place. Ok, yes, mum said we weren't leaving Sheldon altogether but at least we were leaving this house.

"Thank you for listening." A voice said. I jolted up and found Elizabeth standing at the window, looking out at the dark night. "You listened to me, I thank you." She continued, now looking directly to me. "Not a problem." I answered, sounding calmer than I felt. "You deserve an explanation." She told me, looking out the window once more. "Why?" I asked; sounding confused. "I didn't mean to be so selfish, I just didn't know any other way to act." She was telling me. "Your father didn't deserve the way I treated him." "My father?" I asked, frowning. She looked at me with a kind smile on her pale face. "Samuel Manning, my little brother, is your father. My parents changed his name to Samuel Smith, I don't exactly know why, but I think I had something to do with it." She confessed, sounding upset. She came and sat down beside me as I stared at her intently. "W.what? But.that makes me.your niece." I stammered. "Yes, you are. You look a lot like me, though you have Samuel's eyes." She smiled, looking at the stone floor. I stared at her in wonder. It was hard to believe her.but for a strange reason I did. "May I have a look at my necklace?" She startled me. "Y.yes, of course." I stammered, running to my chest of draws and grabbing the golden chain. I handed it to Elizabeth reluctantly, not wanting to gibe up such a lovely object. She opened the heart and looked at her parent's portraits. My grandparents, I thought. "Will you have this for me?" She asked, holding up the chain. "Yes, I'd love to!" I answered enthusiastically. "It was nice meeting you Clara." She told me just as she disappeared, leaving the chain on the bed.

Mother and I left the following day. We bought a gorgeous little cottage around the corner from the old Manning house and we lived there for many years.
Elizabeth moved on, her spirit leaving the town of Sheldon. And as for my father, well he and my mother remarried and we all lived happily ever after.