The Snowman Mystery by Megan Bourne

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Once again we’ve been inundated with entries for our Christmas ghost story competition.

Between now and Christmas Eve, we’ll be publishing the winners and runners-up in the 15-and-under and 16-and-over categories. Today we feature the 15-and-under runner-up Megan Bourne.

The Mystery Snowman

The Mystery Snowman

The Snowman Mystery

It was one week until Christmas and my brother Tim and I went round to our grandparents’ house.

After dinner, grandad added a log to the fire and as the flames started to dance he asked us to gather around so he could tell us a story.

He said ‘This story has been passed down through generations of this family. Are you comfortable?’

Megan Bourne

Megan Bourne

We nodded.

‘Okay, so I’ll begin. It was one week before Christmas in 1894. Your great-great-great-uncle Albert was playing outside in the snow with his friends.

‘They ran down the narrow, cobbled street screaming with joy and excitement.

‘Albert turned his head round to speak to his brother George (your great-great-great-grandad) when he collided with something and fell on to the cold ground.

‘Albert slowly glanced up and saw a snowman with huge, glaring button eyes, a long, pointy carrot nose and a devilish smile towering over him.

‘A shiver ran down his spine. ‘‘Where did that snowman come from?’’ wondered Albert.

‘‘It wasn’t here before.’’ ‘George called to him to see if he was okay.

‘‘Yes,’’ Albert replied before getting up and running away.’

‘The next day Albert ventured out with his mother, your great-great-great-grandmother to buy a goose from the butchers for Christmas dinner.

‘On the way they passed a small toy shop.

‘Albert stopped, staring in amazement at all the wonderful toys he could see. Suddenly a shape flickered in the shop window.

‘Eventually it became clearer. In the window he saw a snowman with huge, glaring button eyes, a long, pointy carrot nose and a devilish smile.

‘Albert jumped and let out a small, high-pitched yelp. He slowly turned around to find nothing there. The snowman had disappeared.

‘His mother walked over to him and asked whether he was all right. He replied ‘‘I’m fine’’ and walked on, occasionally peering over his shoulder wearily.

‘‘Is the snowman following me?’’ he wondered, gulping at the thought.

‘A few days passed and Albert didn’t see the snowman again.

‘He began thinking that he had imagined it all.

‘On Christmas Eve Albert, George, their mother and father went to the frozen lake to ice skate. They skated up and down the lake having a fun time until Albert slipped, landing heavily on the ice.

‘He looked around the lake searching for his parents when he saw a snowman skate by.

‘He shook his head disbelievingly thinking he had just hit it too hard when he fell.

‘The snowman, however, skated past again staring at him with huge, glaring eyes. Albert looked at the snowman carefully and saw its distinguished long, pointy carrot nose and devilish smile.

‘Eventually Albert’s father came along worried. He helped Albert up.

‘‘Are you feeling okay?’’ he asked, ‘‘You look shaken up.’’

‘Albert answered: ‘‘The scary snowman just skated past. He’s following me!’’

‘‘Calm down,’’ Albert’s father said, ‘you’re working yourself up. Snowmen can’t skate. You must have hit your head hard when you fell.’’

Grandad stopped and began to slowly unravel a chocolate from the tin.

The fire crackled loudly before Tim asked: ‘Grandad, is that it?’

‘Of course not,’ replied grandad, ‘but you have to go soon.’

‘Please grandad!’ I begged, ‘please finish the story.’

‘I suppose,’’ he said and continued.

‘The next morning it was Christmas Day. Albert excitedly ran to his parents’ room to open his stocking. Inside was a satsuma, a packet of raisins and a small wooden train.

‘All morning Albert played with his small wooden train until Christmas dinner was served.

‘After Christmas dinner, Albert, George, their mother and father went out for a walk to their grandparents’ house.

‘Albert ran off, turning a corner to get to the house first.

‘George ran after him and turned the corner but Albert wasn’t in sight.

‘George ran screaming Albert’s name, trying to find him. He suddenly stopped and discovered footprints in the snow. The footprints suddenly stopped, no more could be seen.

‘A shadow then appeared, towering over him.

‘He glanced up nervously and saw a snowman with huge, glaring button eyes, a long, pointy carrot nose and a devilish grin. George screamed.

‘His parents ran to see what all the commotion was.

‘When they got there they saw the snowman too.

‘They looked at the snowman with confusion. Was this the snowman Albert thought he saw?

‘The snowman stood there grinning devilishly. All of a sudden Albert’s father caught sight of what was in the snowman’s hand... a small wooden train, the one from Albert’s stocking.

‘“What have you done to my son?” he yelled.

‘The snowman stood there motionless, its eyes laughing at their misfortune. Albert’s father soon became angry and punched the snowman.

‘For a moment the snowman stood there grinning at what he had done, then melted into nothing leaving the small wooden train on the ground.

‘George and his parents never saw Albert again.

‘To this day no-one knows what happened to him. It was like he had just disappeared into thin air.’

We stared at him in disbelief.

‘Grandad, did that really happen?’ asked Tim.

‘I don’t know Tim; it’s only a story that’s been passed down the family.’

Tim and I had to leave so we said our goodbyes. As we were leaving, we passed a window.

I stopped to look out, realising it had begun snowing. Suddenly a shape flickered outside.

I gasped, startled by what I saw. Outside the window stood a figure with huge, glaring button eyes, a long, pointy carrot nose and a devilish smile.

On its hand lay a small wooden train. I screamed. Outside the window stood the snowman from grandad’s story.

The snowman was real!

MEGAN ENJOYS STORIES WITH A BIT OF ACTION

Megan Bourne’s ambition is to become either a teacher or a journalist - both professions which require good writing skills.

The 15-year-old from Gosport has already proved she has those after her story was picked as the runner-up in the 15-and-under category of our Christmas ghost story competition.

Her prize is a £75 gift card to spend at Waterstones.

The Year 10 pupil at Brune Park Community School in Gosport said: ‘I saw the competition in the paper and I started playing around with a few ideas.

‘I thought that something with a snowman could make quite a scary story.’

Megan said she loved to read and particularly enjoyed novels with a lot of action.

‘I like action stories. I think they’re engaging and they’re good to read.

‘I really like the Hunger Games series and the Percy Jackson books.

‘They are about a boy who’s half-god and he has adventures with his friends.’

Megan’s mum, Melanie, said she really enjoyed the sense of suspense in Megan’s story.

‘I was certainly wondering what was going on all the way through to the end and I really liked the way she was describing the snowman.’