Snow Day! So, this is a story for my Creative Writing class, and it was due today. So I decided I'd post it to get some feedback before I turn it in on monday. Let me know what you think!
A young girl of about ten was laughing and chasing her dog around the snow-covered park, hidden in the recesses of a small English town. She picked up a stick, ignoring the thin coat of ice, and threw it past the pooch. The small, black dog yapped its excitement, then turned and chased the icy branch. The small girl laughed. But when her laughter died down, it echoed around the trees and benches. No one else was in the park.
There were tall, unruly bushes that blocked most of the wooded area from her view. The trees were bare this time of year, as per usual, and there was a large crater where a lake used to be, they said. It had dried up a long time ago, and people stopped coming. Jessie came running around the corner of a bush, and placed the stick obediently at the girl's feet. She picked it up, and threw it again. This time, however, it flew over the hedges and right into the woods. Jessie chased after the branch again, barking wildly.
She smiled widely. And did a little dance where she stood, twirling her little shirt as she did so. She jumped up to try and see over the tops of the bushes.
"Jessie," she called out, "where are you?" The dog's high-pitched barks had ceased. Worried, the little girl scrambled in the direction of the stick. A few feet behind a tree, right next to an ice-covered stick, Jessie stood, his tail straight in the air and eyes trained on the air in front of him.
The tree was a skeletal frame against the dying light of the sky. Its limbs were strong and sturdy, and there was a bench directly underneath one of the thickest branches. This tree made her small dog look puny, even with his hackles raised. There was nothing, except empty air where he was staring, yet when she called out to him, he didn't reply.
"What are you staring at, Jessie?" She asked, and squinted at the space. The air could almost be described as shimmery. "What is that?"
"I'm not an it."
"Who said that?" The small girl asked, spinning in a full circle on her heels.
"Me, of course." The air that was shimmering before seemed to thicken and take shape. Before long, there was a teenage girl standing before them. "I've been calling out for years, but no one has ever heard me." She smiled down at the younger girl, "Will you listen to my story, so that I may finally rest?" Her translucent eyes, despite being ghostly and slightly creepy, were kind, and honest. They glowed with hope.
"Okay," She whispered, still doubtful, but a trusting little girl nonetheless, "My name is Lucy. What's yours?"
The older girl smiled at Lucy, and her smile had a slight edge to it that Lucy did not notice. She began to speak, her voice taking a tone that sounded as if it contained ages in its depths.
"This is the place where I died. My name is Rebecca and I lived in the 1840s. I was born, actually, in 1842, and I was killed in 1859," she paused, "My father was a shopkeeper; we were middle class. I was a seventeen year old girl, very immature, and I fancied myself in love. A really foolish mistake, as it were. However, he was a twenty-year old man, and he was upper class." Seeing the look of complete confusion on Lucy's face, she elaborated, "Back in my day, there was much more class separation than there is now. That's the way it should be." Rebecca the ghost-girl sneered. Her expression changed abruptly, and she smiled.
"One day I was helping out in the shop, and he walked in, all shiny dark hair and blue eyes. He looked so out of place in a women's dress shop, but that pesky little part of me that was enamored didn't really care about that. I didn't question his motives, not once.
"And that," She whispered, "was the cause of my death." Lucy widened her small eyes and nodded for her to go on. Jessie barked, strangely still. Both had eyes trained on the ghost, although the dog seemed warier than the little girl.
"So, of course, I didn't question it when he took my hand,grinning widely, and led me right out of that dreadful shop. We were supposed to have chaperones in those days, so going off alone to that lake was a very bad idea.
"What occurred on that shore would have ruined me, if anyone found out. And they would have," There were spectral tears slipping down her cheeks, dripping from her chin to vanish in mid-air, "He was just so charming!" She exploded. "I didn't know what he really wanted.
"I was bent on revenge," She continued through sniffles, with a shaky voice, "when I found out that I was pregnant. I didn't care that it would Destroy me and my family. I tracked him down, and I informed him that I would tell everyone if he didn't marry me; he agreed.
"He took me back to the lake, and he put on all the charm that he had. He smiled and kissed me and said that everything would be alright. I believed him, and that was a mistake. He was, and always will be, even dead, a liar. He disappeared into the woods surrounding the lake for a few minutes. I stayed like he told me to.
"While he was gone, I watched the waves topple over each other in the lake. The wind blew my hair into a huge mess, and I didn't hear him coming over the howl in my ears. He grabbed me by the neck, and dragged me to this tree, somewhere on the outer perimeter of the forest. And he tied the noose around my neck, and he hung me from that tree." With an angry look upon her face, Rebecca pointed dramatically toward the thick tree. Her hand was shaking violently. "He killed me!" She screamed, right up in Lucy's face, her foul, death tinted breath washing over her face, "He murdered me! I've been dead for so long, and finally, someone is here to listen to my story..." She smiled, and it didn't seem to affect her eyes.
Lucy, wide-eyed, and unable to cope with the new information that she was just told, just nodded, her mouth glued shut. Jessie barked at Rebecca, and she curled her upper lip at the small creature. Her teeth were a strange size in her mouth, like they were too small for her lips.
"Rebecca, didn't your parents teach you not to lie?"
This voice was new, and if it weren't for the wisp that being a ghost gave it, it would have been a very sturdy, masculine voice.
"Luke!" She growled, whipping around (as well as a ghost could, anyway). A strange sound came out of her mouth then. It wasn't human, but not quite animal. It sounded kind of like a growl.
"Spreading lies about me?" He asked. He turned to Lucy, "She seduced me. Then told everyone that unless I married her, she'd tell people that she was pregnant with my child.
"I refused. What did I care if she ruined herself? And she killed me. Here," he pointed up at a specific branch. "was where she hung that rope. This is where she killed me. And then she killed herself." He smiled a sad smile. And then Rebecca lunged at hi. The two spirits were at war with each other for a few brief seconds, and then they seemed to flicker out of existence.
"Thank you," Luke called.
When they were completely gone, the air still feeling oddly thick, and a little too silent, sweet, tiny Lucy turned to Jessie and said just one thing.
"I think she wanted a friend."