19 February 2015
Congratulations to Phoebe Turley, Year 9! Her creative writing submission wowed the English Department and she was awarded First Place. Her submission can be read
Further congratulations to Lucas Kilgallon and Kate Warburton for being Highly Commended in the competition.
Ghost Girl- Submitted by Phoebe Turley
The rain hammered on the window as if it was begging to be let in to the small room. 92 year old George lay in the standard sized hospital bed, an IV line hooked up to his arm. He knew he was dying and he couldn’t stop it. He couldn’t even get out of the bed to open the window and stop the sound of the beating rain. It reminded him of the day he met a ghost. The ghost girl who changed his life.
It was the end of winter in the year 2000 – February to be exact. As usual, the weather was wetter than wet, but it was England! No one liked wet weather and you could tell by the streets of Central London, which were even busier as people bustled around under umbrellas and raincoats, trying to stay dry (unsuccessfully). Of course, if no one liked the rain, why should an 8 year old boy ne any different? He HATED it as much as the next person; he wouldn’t even jump in the puddles for a laugh! He wouldn’t have to anymore anyway – he was leaving London for America the next day, but his parents wanted one last look at Scotland. George had heard the story a million times: his parents met in Scotland whilst on study leave, went back every year to see each other, had their honeymoon there and holidayed at least once a year. They were taking the train which was fortunate because George loved trains, ever since Thomas the Tank Engine. He saw an old-fashioned building up ahead: the train station. His sister took his hand and led him towards it.
Once inside the station, George’s parents told him he could explore, seeing he was very sensible. They told him to be back at five-to-nine (an hour away) or they would send his sister, Louise, after him. George did love her, but if she had to come find him, she would get all bossy and act like their mother. He went to explore; talking to all the conductors, looking at the trains, running up and down the platforms – he was free…until he found himself lost. He didn’t even know where he was anymore. He looked at the clock; he had twenty minutes to find his family, and he would find them all by himself.
He started by checking the ground floor – his family wasn’t there. He checked the next floor – they weren’t there either. He checked the top floor – still no one. He checked the train to Scotland’s platform – nothing. If they weren’t on the platform, where else could they be? George, now panicking slightly, left the platform and turned a corner…into a small area of wall with an even smaller gap in between. He slipped between the walls and gave up, just watching busy people run to catch their train’s home. He felt the walls closing in, and it didn’t help the fact that he was claustrophobic. Being perceptive, he saw one woman walk past the closing gap and he wanted to ask for help to get out, he really did but he couldn’t; instead, he outstretched his arm, but she didn’t see it – no one did. Surely by now, twenty minutes had past so his family must have been looking for him?
Suddenly, someone darted in between the gap. He felt hands pulling at him, out of the gap: the woman must’ve seen his arm and come back. George could see her more clearly now, and she looked like an angel crossed with the devil. Her hair, which extended all the way down her back, reminded George of a bright, burning fire. She dressed like a boy but she reminded him of someone. Someone he used to know, even if he’d never seen her before…
She took his hand – 8 year olds could be tricky – and led him to the main part of the station.
“Hello, George.” she said whilst walking, a hint of a Russian accent seeping into her voice.
“How do you…” he began.
“Know your name?” she finished. “I know lots of things about you, like: you’re eight years old, you love your family, you’re claustrophobic, you have a fear of failure, you’re lost but you’re on platform 9, right?” George nodded in surprise. She started leading him away from his platform but he only noticed when he was standing in the rain. He opened his mouth to scream, when he realised that the girl was gone and he was getting soaked. He ran back into the station and saw his mother.
Standing there, looking right at him. Waiting for him.
He ran towards her and hugged her as best as he could because he didn’t want her to get wet.
“Hey! What’s gotten into you? The train doesn’t leave for another twenty minutes!”
Twenty minutes. That couldn’t be right – he’d been searching for her for that long. Like time had stopped when I got lost, he thought. Must be a coincidence. He was about to tell his mother about the…girl? All of a sudden, he couldn’t remember what he was about to say, or what had happened since he went off on his own. It probably didn’t matter anyway.
Twenty minutes later, after battling the rain and cold, George and his family were finally on the train, heading for Scotland. As the train pulled out of the station, something dawned on him; he was going to miss his home…a lot. He ignored his teen sister and mother bickering, and fell asleep, watching the ever-shrinking city of London being engulfed in the black of the night.
Coming back to reality, George did remember that he went back to London for work, some odd forty years later. He went back to the old train station (which had since been remodelled), and managed to get lost again (but on purpose this time) but the girl didn’t reappear. When someone eventually found him, he explained about the ghost girl and what he was hoping to achieve by getting lost, and that’s when he found out the horrifying truth.
The ghost girl from his youth was someone he’d met precisely eight years later. Someone who had changed his life and turned it backwards. Someone who destroyed him when he got too close, and who he missed so much, even now in his hospital state. George felt his eyelids heavily closed and open and the heart monitor beeped a little quicker.
This time she was definitely an angel, as George knew she died 83 years ago. She outstretched her arm toward him, inviting him to his long-awaited death. He took a breath, only to hear the EKG flatline on the heart monitor.
Death, but it wasn’t as he expected…
Category: English Department Blog