The Eternal Storm by Karishma Mistry
Winner, 15-and-under category
Karishma Mistry is in Year 7 at Crookhorn College and lives in Waterlooville. She says she really enjoys writing and writes short stories all the time, plus she enjoys reading fantasy and mystery books, including those by JK Rowling and Cassandra Clare. Karishma said: ‘It’s really exciting to know my story was so well-liked. I only entered it for fun and didn’t think I would actually win.’
The Christmas Ghost Story is sponsored by Hayling Island Bookshop - The Eternal Storm is read here by Jack Edwards, who is starring in the Kings Theatre panto Snow White as Sarah Spoilit - the panto runs until January 1.
The wind blew fiercely across the British Isles; all witnesses hoping for snow.
However, these dreams were only fulfilled in one place. A place full of unknown forces; A place where ghosts live. Christmas was here, but maybe not in the way we thought.
I awoke and felt a chill go down my back; I knew the bitter winter weather had finally got to me. Standing up, I spotted icicles hanging on the window frames: snow had fallen last night!
I glanced outside at the old Fall Manor set in the middle of the street. It had been abandoned for years now. Rumour has it they’re turning it into a bunch of flats. Better than a creepy old pile of junk.
A bunch of teenagers were trying to get in again. I would never even dare. Truth is, I have always feared that house, it gives me the shivers.
‘Katie, Katie – snow!’ My sister flung herself into my bed, a colossal smile spread across her face. I grabbed her by the waist and sat her on my shoulders,
‘Come on then, let’s go!’ I yelled. A sudden burst of adrenalin ran through my veins. We were off!
I clambered stiffly out of the door. The frigid air shocked me but my sister ran head-first, tumbling into the carpet of white.
My eyes glanced across the road where a boy was watching me. His almond hair was combed to the left and blue eyes glinting in the mist making him the total opposite to my blonde hair and brown eyes. Every time I glanced over he turned away as if I were Medusa: one look and BOOM you’re stone!
It was quite a few minutes before he came over, still unsure.
‘Hi, I’m Arthur,’ he muttered under his breath, keeping his head hidden.
‘Katie,’ I held out my hand and broadened my shoulders a little.
‘Horrible this weather, right,’ he lifted his head. I shrugged, breathing in. He just looked at me and narrowed his eyes.
‘Eternal…’ he muttered sinking his head lower as he talked. I stood looking at him; he had jumbled my mind like a tiny toddler messing up a 500-piece jigsaw. Swinging his foot and crushing the snow below it, he sensed my confusion and turning on that foot he left.
I still couldn’t stop thinking about him as the days went by. He was right, the storms were eternal… As Christmas drew closer it got harder to sleep.
The glacial cold bit at my skin, slowly gnawing it away; the phone line was cut. There was no contact with the world.
Then one night something happened. Tired, annoyed, petrified, I watched the storm roar and screech outside my window. Suddenly there was a tap, a human tap. Then from behind the window out popped the face of a boy.
Not just any boy, Arthur. I fumbled with the lock and thrust the window open sending a cold breeze into my room.
Arthur frantically threw himself through the opening as I slammed the window shut once again. Everything was quiet. Breaking the silence I yelled, ‘Arthur, what were you thinking?!’. He stood (still shaking from the cold) and started to speak.
‘I…I need your help.’
The silence lay like a waterproof cover over my bedroom.
‘Say it again,’ I said softly. ‘A ghost,’ he choked. ‘In Fall Manor, it’s setting this eternal storm upon us!’
‘How… how do you know – for sure?’ I gulped starting to believe this crazy story.
‘I hunt them… but this one is too strong, I need help. Tonight.’ This was insane – too insane.
‘Please,’ he begged, his eyes full of sorrow.
‘Fine I’ll go alone.’ He turned, anger was shone on to his face. He looked back…
‘Wait, I’m coming!’ I sighed – I couldn’t let him go alone.
‘This way,’ he pointed to a small hole by the door.
‘I bet we could fit through!’ I bit my lip: I hadn’t felt this scared since my first injection. Blood raced round my body urging me forwards. I knelt and (ducking my head) clambered on through. Arthur came through after; claiming not to be, he was a little scared himself. This comforted me: knowing I wasn’t the only one creeped out about this place.
The ancient walls were covered from head to toe in cobwebs; Mist stretched over the entwining corridors; a deathly silence took over and (breaking the silence) the floor creaked under Arthur’s wake. The flashlight illuminated the dark, light seeping into the shadows.
‘Come on,’ he urged, creeping into the living room. Help me, Help me a sound could be heard from upstairs. A shiver went down my spine. Arthur turned,
‘What did you hear?’ He asked innocently. Like every time when I meet him, questions flew through my mind, bouncing off the walls like I had had too much sugar. Before I could answer, a silver silhouette passed through the door.
Icy frost filled the room as the ghost turned to look at me. It slowly began to walk towards me; my breath paced, faster and faster. I reached for Arthur’s hand – he whispered to me: ‘Stay still.’
I clenched my knuckles and took one deep breath. Out of the mist, it flew towards me… and through me.
The cold shock felt like an icicle going through my stomach. All my strength was lost: I collapsed. The last thing I saw was Arthur, looking down at me, cradling my head.
I awoke in my bed the bitter feeling of the cold gone. I glanced outside the window once again: Sunlight!
Arthur was at the end of my bed. Smiling.
‘Awake then?’ he beamed.
‘Yeah, what happened?’ I said curiously.
‘It turned out all the ghost wanted was a connection to us, a relative or ancestor.’ He breathed.
‘Me,’ I guessed grinning. He didn’t need to answer me: I already knew. He lent down and hugged me (two people can grow very close when hunting for ghosts).