Saturday, November 04, 2006

Face to Face with Death:Redux

My mom sent me another package with my primary school short-stories, sketchbooks filled with drawings, letters, and the calenders she kept for the first two years of my life. Included in the package is my first murder mystery story, Face to Face with Death (first referenced here.)

I neither read nor liked mysteries, and I did not watch horror movies. In sixth grade, I went to a birthday party sleepover where the rented movie was "Jaws II." I protested, and we ended up watching a television movie called Charles and Diana: A Royal Love Story. How, then, do I explain wanting to write stories that would make my parents and peers faint with shock and dismay?

[Insert "Mwa ha ha"s plus flashes of lighting and crashes of thunder here.]


By Alkelda the Gurlie, 10 years old Copyright 1982

The house didn’t look very scary. It was painted bright pink and the windows had colored glass. True, the paint was crumbly, and the windows weren’t dusted, and the steps had cobwebs and—well I could go on forever, but it didn’t seem true that the house was haunted. Let me tell you a story about that haunted house.

* * *

Mary Markman was walking past that haunted house (don’t ask me why) and all of a sudden she saw a shadow in the house, and being curious, Mary decided to check the house out.

Mary opened the door and found that it creaked. She left it open so she could identify it if she needed to go out quickly. Mary walked into a hall and found a corpse hanging by its neck. She ran for the door but with a creak, the door closed itself. Mary hurried to the door and tried to open it, but the door was stuck! She looked at the ceiling in anguish and drops of blood came dripping down.

All of a sudden a person jumped out with a wicked smile on its face. Mary gave a scream, and the person stabbed her with his knife. Then he cut off her head, and buckets of blood came pouring out! Mary was dead.

The next evening everyone was looking for her, and I mean everyone. Her lover Martin Gold was pearing [sic] into every nook and corner.

Martin was walking by The House when he gave a cry of surprise. There on the steps was Mary’s handkerchief!

Martin ran to tell everyone else, but they said, “Why don’t you search inside the house?”

“I will,” thought Martin. And so he did.

Martin threw open the door, and saw his lover dead with blood all over!

Martin was determined to find the murderer, so he ventured further. He saw the hanging corpse, but he did not cower.

Martin passed skeletons and bats, when he reached the end of the hallway. Suddenly a wall opened, and Martin was face to face with Mary’s murderer with a shining knife in his hands!

Martin whipped out his knife, and they had a battle, each thirsting for each other’s blood!

Suddenly the murderer threw his knife at Martin’s heart. Martin crumpled into a heap with blood and guts everywhere, for he was dead also!

The next day the missing lovers were in the paper, the police offering a reward to anyone finding them.

William Lovell was one of the people who read the paper. He too loved a girl who was Jane Telephone. Jane would have nothing to do with William unless William proved himself. So this was a good chance to prove himself to Jane.

William started to read the paper, and he found out that Martin Gold had gone into the old house. William decided to search in the house. Since he had been a Cub Scout when he was a boy, he took a knife, a flashlight, a camera and a poison dart gun. Then, he told a group of reporters to come to the house, and they agreed.

When they got to the house, William took a couple of reporters into the house. There they saw Mary and Martin dead. “Hmm,” William thought. “I’m going to have to make an investigation of this.”

“Really?” said a voice. William reached out for his flashlight, and turned it on so that it shone in the person’s face, and saw the murderer.

The murderer looked strange. It kind of shimmered like a ghost. It was a ghost! Then William thought, “I don’t know if I can drive away a ghost, but I’ll try.”

The ghost said, “I know what you’re thinking, coward.”

William said, “Coward yourself,” and with that he lunged for the ghost, but missed.

“Ha ha,” said the ghost. “There’s only one thing that can kill me! Ha ha!”

William thought desperately. Then he knew. His mother was very superstitious, and made William carry millet seeds “to drive away the ghost” she said. Fortunately, he still had them. [After reading the rough draft-- which coincidentally was also the final draft-- my father pointed out that you couldn’t kill something that was already dead. This revelation complicated the plot of my story, but I made the appropriate adjustments. After all, verisimilitude was important.]

“Really! I have a present for you,” and William threw the millet seeds on the ghost.

The ghost screamed and disappeared. “Thank goodness for that,” sighed William. “Now Jane will accept me.”

But he was wrong. Even though William was very brave, Jane said, “I’ll believe you if you make the lovers alive.”

“Good grief, Jane, why can’t you accept me as I am?”

“Do as I say, or I will never be yours.” And with that, Jane parted.

“What am I going to do?” thought William.

“I know,” said a strange voice, or was it strange?

“Who are you?” cried William.

“I am the ghost you fought and I have repented. I will go and return the lovers to life, and I will make everybody but you forget what happened.”

“Thanks,” said William, but the ghost was gone.

William was just going home, when he heard two voices arguing. They seemed to be arguing about relationships. William turned around to see—Martin and Mary! “But,” he thought, “the ghost must have gotten things mixed up.”

Suddenly, Mary came over to say to William, “I like you much better than that worm Martin.”

And William asked, “Really? I’m delighted!”

Suddenly, Jane came over and said to William, “I’ll never change my mind because Martin just asked me to marry him, so ha!” And she flounced away from him.

Surprisingly, William really liked Mary, and he really detested Jane.

“But,” thought William, “the ghost sure did change things, including me!”


About the Author
[These notes often appeared at the ends of my stories, along with book review blurbs.]

When Alkelda the Gurlie was 10, she wrote this book. She has written many books. One of her first books was called Elenor [sic]. She wrote that when she was 7.

Another book of hers was called Brown Berry, but nobody has read it yet. Still another from the pile was called Poems.

One day for Creative Writing, Mrs.T_____ (her 5th grade Reading/Language teacher) said that since it was near Halloween, that a group of people write a very, very, very scary story, and Alkelda, being a book and writer worm, wrote many pages [6 ½] to a book called Face to Face With Death. This is one of her best stories besides Invasion of the Chocolate Lovers, The Mystery of the Book Snatchers, and Invasion of the Queenflies. She is now working on a book with her [writing] partner, S______. If you have any questions, ask Alkelda the Gurlie, and she will be glad to answer them. Good reading!


Gabe said...

Poison dart guns for Cub Scouts (and I'm assuming something equal or better for Boy Scouts)? By the time I was a Boy Scout, all we got to carry were Swiss Army knives.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

You were a child prodigy - of that there is no doubt. Words can be like worms , eating away in the compost bin that is your body, your soul. And it can be like a drug habit, a disease - words and stories - not everybody has to suffer such an affliction. In some ways, I see myself in you.

Lone Star Ma said...

You were such a good writer-gurlie. Now you are such a good grown-up Story-Spinner.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Gabe: How many times were you lost in the woods, filled with rage and anxiety, just wishing you had a poison dart gun to fire at the sky?

YP: Yes. You nailed it. I wouldn't choose anything else (except maybe a similar affliction for the guitar).

LSM: Thanks! This blog has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. At the very least, it's relieved the publishing houses of NY one less ms in the slush pile.:)

limpy99 said...

I hope you got an "A" and that ungrateful wench Jane got scurvy.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Limpy99: Have you sensed that Jane is based on a real person? Interestingly enough, her name was also Jane. She was one of the nastier members of the popular-girls' clique (that seemed to include every girl but my writing partner and me). Scurvy would have been too good for her. Yar!

BlueMamma said...

what a terrific story! you wrote this when you were 10???

i hope you're taking advantage of nanowrimo.