A Christmas Wish by Jasmine Luff, the under 16 runner-up
Jasmine is a student at Crookhorn Community College, and her tale brings us a young girl’s trip to her uncle’s magnificent country home. Jasmine, who is in Year 8, is from Waterlooville and says she enjoys making up stories and also reading, and is currently engrossed in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.It’s the first time Jasmine has entered a writing competition and she said: ‘I feel really happy and I know my mum will be proud when I tell her.’
The story is read by Simon Grant who plays Muddles in the Kings Theatre’s panto Snow White, which runs until Monday, January 1
The Christmas Ghost Story is sponsored by the Hayling Island Bookshop. The award-winning shop is one of the last remaining independent bookshops in the area and has a year-round programme of author events for children and adult audiences. The Bookshop runs Portsmouth BookFest each February with Portsmouth City Library Service and provides ‘pop up’ bookshops to schools throughout the region.
It was a cold winter morning in my townhouse in London the cold nipped at my face, it was finally, the week of Christmas.
A real evergreen tree was placed in the corner of my room decorated in white and gold ornaments with a beautiful china angel on the tippy-top of my tree gave me a lovely festive feel in myself.
My lovely mother brought me up a lovely English breakfast to have in bed with some organic orange juice and also a nice hot chocolate for afterwards to warm myself up.
I soon realised I needed to start packing what I needed to head to my uncle’s for the rest of the days leading up to Christmas Day.
I packed my toiletries because I didn’t want smelly breath and rotten teeth and I wanted to be as hygienic as possible for my family or any other visitors, I also packed some new neatly ironed clothes so I could be looking presentable to anyone I saw and I carried on packing for the next few hours until I had finished completely.
It took a long time to reach the mansion in our horse and carriage but it was worth it. On the way I encountered a beautiful view from the carriage window: forests which stretched for miles – you could wonder if you would find any pixies or fairy folk inside them – hills which looked as they could go on forever into the distance, flower fields which looked so beautiful they took your breath away and then over a long windy causeway to the mansion.
I had never met my uncle before and never seen his house but I hoped it would be a truly amazing experience.
Click clock click clock go the horse’s hooves on the cobblestone lane, click clock click clock they went.
This road seemed endless it carried on until we reached 20ft high midnight black gates. Tall and mysterious, very mysterious.
My eyes could just about pick up a rough view of the gigantic stately home. Looks like there would be thousands of windows and rooms in this place, thousands. We slowly got closer and closer until we reached the massive mahogany doors. I stood there bewildered by the crazy size of this place.
The doors opened by themselves creaking loudly as they did, and we were greeted by a pleasant man; he was tall, he had black hair and a moustache curled round into a spiral at the end.
Mysterious, very mysterious.
I was considering that in my spare time I could pretend to be a detective and look around for some clues but be polite and not go too far as I don’t want to go where it is out of bounds.
First, I went up to my large room to unpack. The room was very grand: high ceilings, intricate wall detailing, a chandelier, a beautiful white wooden wardrobe, a Christmas tree which was very beautiful and an amazingly comfy four poster bed where I knew I would get an amazingly great night’s sleep. Carefully I hung my clothes on the pink velvet hangers in the wardrobe and folded the rest neatly into piles then I also walked into the enormous en suite which was connected to my room to put my toiletries away.
Once I had finished getting myself all sorted I tip-toed in my red pumps down to the main entryway where a ginormous Christmas tree was before my eyes with the most stunning angel as a tree-topper.
My mother and father stood behind me perching their hands on my shoulders as we all gazed up at the Christmas tree admiring the true beauty of evergreen nature; it was truly a wonderful sight.
Uncle Robertson seemed like a nice gentleman, but he seemed to have an eerie presence to him.
I was the first one to notice that he was coming this way but as I looked round it seemed like he had glided like some paranormal ghost through the thick doors from his secret office, so secret that no-one in the house knew what lay inside.
I asked my mum and dad if they saw what had just seemed to have occurred, but they saw nothing and we all carried on a lengthy conversation.
We had just finished our delicious roast dinner – I was ravenous for food after such a long journey that I ate my meal as quick as a flash and it was all gone.
We stood in front of the Christmas tree one last time before heading up to go to sleep and Uncle Robertson said ‘make a wish there’s always a chance it could come true’, so I made a wish.
‘I wish I could be like that angel upon the tree, an amazing role model and perfect in every way like I hope Christmas can be...’
I heard a voice like my uncle’s behind me.
‘Your wish is my command.’
I headed up to my room to sleep. Clambering onto my bed I began to feel weary and drifted off into a deep sleep.
I saw my uncle in my dream and he said: ‘You should think carefully because your wish is my command which I shall perform.’
Everything went black.
This little girl never knew that this ghost was previously murdered and had never been found and was her actual uncle who died in a tragic accident – she didn’t know that he would make your wishes come true in a dark way.
That morning her parents went searching for Lily around the mansion and waited by the Christmas tree hoping for her to come back.
They looked up. There was no angel at all, just Lily dead hanging there as what she wished for with a spike through her stomach.
She was now what she wished for, the angel on the tree.