Her Stories Writing Contest – Third Place Fiction Winner
Amaya Farrell: Since grade school, Amaya Farrell has thought of writing as a way to let go and have fun! She enjoys reading, as well, and absolutely loves getting lost in a story, getting attached to the characters, and being taken to another world.
by Amaya Farrell
Entry one: 6/25/21
I swear sometimes I see ghosts. I’ll close a cabinet one moment, and it’s open the next. I’ll put my headphones down on the couch, and then they’re on my bed! One time while I was home alone, I felt a hand on my shoulder. I had to call my mother and have her come home all the way from Manhattan, I was so freaked out. I feel that ghosts like me and that somewhere down the line I’ll see one and we can become best friends. But right now … I’m gonna need the ghosts to leave me alone. I’m writing this because yesterday I saw one. My mother says I’m crazy but I’m sure of it. It had long hair and looked feminine. It looked—she looked like she could be 17? I’m not good with age. But she was looking right at me. This happened while I was sitting on my bed reading and I got this strange tingly feeling all over my body. It felt like a presence. But a familiar presence. I’ve felt this before, just not this strong. I just knew somebody was looking at me, staring at me. And sure enough there she was. I’m gonna call her Maggie. She looks like a ‘Maggie’ I’m freaking out, my mother thinks I’m crazy and I probably am but she knows I have a history with ghosts. She assures me I probably just saw a neighbor or something but I know what I saw. I’ve seen cabinets open after I’ve closed them, headphones teleport, but never a full body. Is it because I just turned 15 and my abilities are getting stronger? Am I crazy and seeing things? Oh my god—do I have a disease??? People say writing in a journal is supposed to help relax you but I don’t think it is. I’m just getting even scareder. I’ll continue this later. Maybe.
Entry two: 6/27/21
This cannot be happening. It cannot be. It cannot be happening!! Maggie was back this morning. She was wearing a white dress and had black slick hair, pale skin, and I don’t know the color of her eyes. Yet. I’m sure she’ll be making another appearance. I kinda want to know more about her now. I was in my room again, and there she appeared. Out of nowhere. I thought maybe the first time I actually was crazy … but twice? In three days? Can’t be. Maybe Maggie wants to tell me something. I have to know more, right? I have to stay and listen instead of screaming like I usually do. And by usually I mean the last two times this has happened. I can’t believe I’m even writing this. Am I actually going to speak to a ghost? Willingly? How am I not more scared?? Wait, I am scared. I am really scared. But I know I’ll regret it if I dont stay and listen to Maggie. Ghosts don’t appear for no reason right?
Entry three: 6/28/21
Maggie’s eyes are green. She told me that she needs my help. She wants me to help her get rid of someone. She hasn’t told me who yet but she said she needs to know she can trust me. Of course I said she could trust me, who would say no to a ghost? Not me. That’s who. She said it’s very important that I ‘get rid’ of this thing, that I keep myself safe. I wanted to ask her who she was, where she came from, and why she chose me to help ‘get rid’ of whatever it was I needed to get rid of. She disappeared before I could. My mom was out during the time Maggie came around. Was this intentional somehow? Now that I look at Maggie, she kind of resembles my mom. The same green eyes with red specks in the middle. The same black slick hair. She kind of looks like … me. I guess this little meet of ours tonight was just her way of making sure she could trust me. She did leave me with two words, “Tomorrow. 7:00 pm”.
Entry four: 6/29/21
This thing is a chest in the wall. The thing I have to ‘get rid of.’ I’m scared out of my mind right now. I don’t even know how I’m functioning, moving, writing. A ghost is making arrangements with me and telling me I have to get rid of some chest! This is what Maggie told me tonight: “Your mother knows some dangerous people, Ella. People that could get you in trouble. But that could all go away if you get rid of the chest. While your mother does love you, she’s been trying to trap me and keep me away from you because it could hurt her business. Soon she’ll be able to do that, which is why you need to do this. She thinks she has everything under control but she does not. I’ve been trying to get in contact with you for a while now. Watching over you for a while, making my presence known.” She knows my name. She’s been opening the cabinets. She’s been misplacing my stuff all to have her presence known? Maggie … she seems so … familiar. Like I know her. Like I’ve known her. Something about her is entrancing. I’ve known her all my life.
Entry five: 6/30/21
“People that could get you in trouble”. Those words…what do they mean? I wish I knew. But then again, I kind of don’t. I’m still trying to figure out why I feel like I should even be listening to Maggie. She’s a ghost for goodness sakes! A ghost whose presence I’ve felt all my life. Who is she? And why do I feel connected to her?? Why do I feel like I should trust her?
The meeting: 7:00 7/1/21
Ella sits on her bed patiently at 6:58, expecting her ghostly friend to make an appearance at the same time she has for the past two nights. Ella: You’re back Maggie: I am. I need a favor from you—one that will be beneficial to us both. Ella: Who are you? Maggie: Your mother has been working with some … very bad people for a long time, Ella. I need you to listen very carefully. Are you listening? Ella: Yes. Maggie: In the wall next to your bed is a chest. Your mother put it there. You need to take the chest, and destroy it somehow. Not put it in the trash, throw it in a lake—destroy it. Burn it. Take an ax and rip it to shreds. It needs to be destroyed. You understand? Ella: But why? Why does this need to happen? What will happen if I don’t? And why is it in my wall? Maggie: Ou— She takes a breath. She can’t tell her who she is just yet. Your mother put it there because she thought it was the last place anyone who’s searching for it would look—her daughter’s bedroom walls. Clever. I guess. Ella: How am I even seeing you? Who’s looking for it?? Maggie: I’ll reveal everything, Ella. I’ll tell you everything. When it’s time. But you need to do this first. To ensure your own safety. Ella: Who are you? Maggie: I am you. Don’t forget what I told you to do. And just like that- ‘Maggie’ was gone.
Entry six: 7/1/21
I don’t understand. I don’t understand anything. Maggie is me? What does she mean? There’s no time for questions—she wants me to do this. And for some reason I trust her. But what does she mean don’t forget? How could I forget anything she just told me. Her directions were pretty clear. Retrieve a mysterious chest from my WALL. A wall for goodness sakes! How am I supposed to do that? It got in there. So it has to be able to get out. “Don’t forget.” Why would I forget?
7/2/21 7:53pm ‘Maggie’: As I’m watching Ella, preparing for my next visit, I see mom walk in the room as Ella takes out her leather notebook to write another entry. Mom asks, “What’s that?” Frightened, Ella tries to put the notebook back in the opening of her desk. So Ella was listening when I warned her about Mom. She does trust me. But it’s too late. Mom reaches for the book and flips the pages, discovering everything Ella’s witnessed these past few days. Indiscernible facial expressions flicker across her face as she reads. And Ella, poor Ella, just watches, unexpectant of what comes next. Mom sets down the notebook and apologizes before she jabs Ella in the side with a tool that’s been used on me before. I gasp, although I had a feeling my plan to save us wouldn’t work out. Everything fades to black for Ella. And a few seconds after, Mom looks at me—a ghost—directly in the eyes, and everything goes black for me as well.
Entry one: 7/3/21
This morning I woke up to a screeching in my walls. It was a terrible cry, one that made me want to do so myself. It sounded sad, hopeless, and tired. It sounded familiar. And it was coming from my walls—that’s so strange. My mother had to call animal control. I hope they didn’t hurt the poor thing. It turns out it was just a bird. I saw it being carried out in a cage from my walls where I was watching in the hall. The bird had slick black feathers, green eyes with red specks. This bird—it looked familiar. I asked the man from animal control how it could have possibly gotten into my walls. He said he had no idea! My mother agrees it’s quite wild. The bird kind of looks like her, I’ve never seen a bird with green eyes before. Nor one that resembles my mother so much. The bird continued to stare at me as it was being carried out in the cage. Like its eyes wanted to send me a message. Okay this might sound weird but, what if that bird is a ghost? I swear sometimes I see ghosts. I actually have quite a strong connection with ghosts I think. I see cupboards that have opened when I closed them, headphones have teleported and such, weird weird weird things. I can’t stop thinking about the bird. Was it trying to tell me something? If it was I’ll never know. I think I’ll call that bird … Maggie! I don’t know what it is, it just kind of looks like a ‘Maggie’. I’ve decided to start a journal. This will be my first entry. Some pages were torn out of this book, my mother gave it to me. She said she found it like that in the house and that she’ll get me a new one soon. I think I’ll keep writing as a hobby! Okay, talk soon. — Ella