Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Erin Roof is eleven years old and in the sixth grade.  Erin likes reading, every type of animal, playing the flute, and soccer.  This summer she built her own boat and got her Captain's license.  She has a great giggle.

                                                RISEN FROM THE GRAVE
                                              by Erin Roof

It was a dark and stormy night.  (I know, how original, right?)
     I'm Rosie.  I'm 11 years old.  Last Halloween, I was going trick-or-treating with my dad and little brother.  That was the night my life turned upside-down.

                                                Duh duh duuuuuuhhhhh...

     "Come on, Dad, come on, let's go!" I said impatiently.  I was pacing in front of the door.  "Are you ready yet?"
     "Calm down," my dad said. He told me that a lot.  He was very serious, with short brown hair and green eyes.  He was dressed as Superman for Halloween this year.  He has this theme where he's a new superhero every year.  Last year, he was Batman.  The year before that, he was the Incredible Hulk.  You get the idea.
     Anyway, Dad was helping my little brother, George, get into his dinosaur costume.  George loves dinos, so it's no surprise when he shouts, "I want to be a dinosaur!  Roar!" every single year.  He's been a dinosaur for all 6 years of his life. We just paint the costume different colors.  This year it was red.  George was trying not to let his bangs stick out of his dino hat, but he was having no luck.
     I was a tree this year.  I love nature, so every year I'm something from the great outdoors.  Last year, I was a rock.  I like this costume better.
     Finally, FINALLY, dad finished George's costume.  "Ok, ok, come on," he said.  "Are you sure you still want to go out?  It's raining pretty hard."
     'yes, Dad, we have  to, it's Halloween, COME ON!" I exclaimed.  I pushed him out the door and took George's hand.  The we walked into the night.

A lot of houses didn't have lights on.  I didn't care.  I just went farther than usual to get candy.  We didn't see any other trick-or-treaters, which was understandable, since it was storming badly.
     "Rosie, are we done yet?  George is getting tired," Dad said.  He was carrying George now, and they were both panting heavily.
     "Just one more street, Dad.  Please?"  I asked.  "Then we'll go right back."
     "Do you even know where we are?" Dad asked.
     "Of course," I replied.
     We turned up the next street.  There was only one light on, at the very end of the road.  We hurried to the house.
     It was a huge, old, Victorian-style house.  It was ancient too, with peeling paint and shattered windows.  But the light was on.  I knocked on the door.
     We heard footsteps coming towards the door.  I held my breath, wondering about the people who lived here.  Were they as ancient as the house?
     The door opened, and an old woman emerged.  She had knotted gray hair, as if it hadn't been brushed in a year.  her hands were wrinkled, her fingers long and thin.  When she opened her mouth, there were exactly two moldy yellow teeth.
     "Why, hello there!" the woman said.  "How nice to see you!  You're the first trick-or-treaters all night!  Why don't you come in for a while?"
     I didn't have the courage to say yes.  Or no.  Instead, I screamed and ran, my dad and brother fleeing after me.

We stopped running when we were hopelessly lost.
     "Dad, who was that?  Do you know her?" I questioned.
     "No idea...don't have...a clue," my dad panted.
     "Do you know how to get home?"
     " idea."
     Our candy was getting soaked, so George and I left it on the side of the road.  It was really storming now, with thunder and lightning.  I knew we had to get home fast.
     But then, something caught my eye.
     "Dad, look, the graveyard!  Remember, where Grandpa Bartholomew was buried?  Don't they always have people guarding it?  They can help us get home!"
     "Are you sure?" Dad asked.  He was breathing normally now.
     "Yes, come on!  We have to get home!" I exclaimed.  I dragged my family into yet another bad plan.

The cemetery was just a normal graveyard, with the occasional tree or bush, and lots of graves.  Grandpa Bartholomew's grave was a big stone that said, "Bartholomew Smith, June 1908-June 2009."  He lived exactly 101 years, which I thought was impressive.
     "Here we are!" I said.  "Now where are the guards?"
     "Maybe it's too wet," George said.  Helpful, right?
     Suddenly a big clap of thunder shook the ground.  Lightning shot out of the sky and struck Grandpa's grave.  The stone began to tremble, harder and harder, until something stepped out of the grave.
     The figure was see-through, pale, and the air around it was freezing cold.  When it turned around, I gasped in shock.  I knew that face.  It was...
     "Grandpa Bartholomew?!?!" I exclaimed.  I was scared out of my mind.  But I was frozen in shock.
     "Hello, Rosie.  You've grown," my grandpa said.  His voice was like nails on a chalkboard.  "And George.  How cute."
     "Umm..." I was trying to get my thoughts straight.  "Aren't you like, dead or something?"
     'Yes.  Thank you for noticing.  But since lightning struck my grave, I was awakened.  Now I am a ghost.  And I will be, until someone figures out how to put me back!  Mwaa-ha-ha-ha-ha!"
     That laugh got me.  I unfroze myself and screamed, "Run!"
     But poor George wasn't fast enough.  When his little legs started working, Grandpa lunged forward and caught my brother by the leg.  As soon as Grandpa's ghostly fingers touched him, George disappeared!
     "Grandpa!  What did you do?  Where did he go?" I shrieked.
     "Little Dino man is a ghost now!  He knows how it feels!"
     I heard George scream.  Then I heard his footsteps running away in fright.
     "Rosie.  Run. NOW," my dad commanded.  We both sprinted down the street, following my invisible brother.

That night, I lay down on my bed in defeat.
     We'd searched for George for hours.  But no luck.  He was invisible.  Finding him would be nearly impossible.
     I never thought I'd get to sleep.  But I closed my eyes and drifted off.

The next thing I knew, I was being shaken awake by Dad.  "Come on.  Got to go to school."
     I was immediately awake.  "Umm... in case you haven't noticed, George is now an invisible ghost, and is currently running around town, screaming his head off.  And you want me to go to school?"
     Dad nodded cheerfully.  "Yup.  Pretty much."  I realized he was trying to stay positive.
     "Fine," I grumbled.  I dragged myself out of bed.
     I got ready for school.  I walked to my bus stop.  My friends came too, but I ignored them.  I was looking for my brother.
     The bus came, I got on, we went to school, yadda yadda yadda.  It all came in a blur.  But when I was in math, staring blankly at my test, I heard a whisper.  "Rosie!"
     I looked around.  Who was whispering my name? "Rosie!"
     Suddenly I recognized the voice.  George!
     "Um, Mr. Eraser?"  I'm not kidding, that was his name.  "I have to puke, so..."
     "Go, go!" Mr. Eraser commanded.
     I got up and ran out of the room.  I hear footsteps behind me.  "George!  Where have you been?"
     "Well, I found my way to the school and slept over here.  The cafeteria has really good food."
     "George!" I scolded.  "Wait, where are you?"
     "Who cares where I am?" George cried.  "Am I ever going to be normal again?  I'm still in my dinosaur costume because I can't get it off!"
     "Come here," I said, and felt around until I located him.  I started taking off his costume.  I told him about how long we had searched for him the night before.
     "You really did that for me?" he sniffled.
     "Yup.  Come on, let's go home."

I played with Invisible George for the rest of the day.  We played board games, card games, word games, everything.
     When Dad got home, I told him about what happened today.  He didn't seem mad that I had skipped school.  He just cared about George.
     Suddenly, there was a flash of blinding light. When it dimmed, I could see something...someone standing there.  It was Grandpa Bartholomew.
     "Here I am again!" he cackled.  "Are you ready to become a ghost like Georgie?"
     He lunged for me.  Before I could cry out, my brother leaped in front of me.  Grandpa grabbed George again, and George was visible, back to normal.  I could see him!
     George ran.  I fled after him.  I heard Dad coming too.  We ran out the door and into the yard.  We looked for Grandpa, but couldn't find him.
     "We need a plan," I gasped, out of breath.
     "We can't live like this," Dad agreed.  "But George, you're back!"
     We all hugged George in a giant group hug.
     "Wait!  I have an idea!" I exclaimed.  "Grandpa's grave was struck by lightning and he came back as a ghost.  So... if he gets struck again, he might go away!"
     "Please, anything," Dad said.  "He's been haunting me all day."
     "All we need are thunderstorms," I said.  We looked up in the sky.  Dark gray clouds were rolling in.
     "Tonight.  At the graveyard.  He'll be there.  I know it."

Waiting was torture.  A minute felt like an hour.  An hour felt like a day.  When it was time to go, it seemed like a year.
     We ran to the grave around 6:00 pm.  It was AGES before there was another flash of lightning.  Grandpa Bartholomew appeared in front of us.
     "Ha ha!" he laughed.  "Here I am again!  You're so stupid, coming outside in a thunderstorm."
     Thunder crackled.  Lightning flashed and shot out of the sky onto Grandpa.  His mouth opened in confusion.  Then he dissolved into sparks.
     I let out my breath.  I didn't even realize I'd been holding it.
     "Rosie," Dad said, "you saved us!  His ghost will never bother us again!"
     Just as he was saying that, lightning struck the grave, and it started trembling, harder and harder.
                                       Duh duh duuuuuuhhh...                                 

1 comment: