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The Decision 1000 years ago (3rd Prize Winner - Group I)

March, 2011
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I regretted the decision the moment I made it, the moment I saw the axe sink into the neck of the innocent man. I wanted to scream but I couldn’t, I tried running but my feet had stopped obeying me, all I could do was watch the blood drip onto the cold, stone floor. My heart pounded against my ribs so quickly I was sure it was going to explode as I realized what I had done. Why had I made such an awful decision?“Because everyone had thought that he was the murderer,” I told myself out loud. But wasn’t I doing the same thing he was being executed for? Murdering a real, living, breathing human being? I pondered on this thought until I was interrupted by my servant, “Your Royal Highness, the murderer has been killed. Shall we take away his body or shall we leave it to you?” “I’ll deal with him,” I told her. When she had retreated back into the castle I looked at the dead corpse lying on the ground, when I realized something wasn’t right. I looked closer and found that his body was slowly turning into mist. “I shall haunt you to your grave” came a raspy voice that sent a chill down my spine, and the mist faded away, leaving not even a drop of blood on the ground.

That was 7 years ago. I’ve been haunted ever since. Now I can’t go into the kitchen without a knife mysteriously floating and trying to kill me, or into a bathroom without the water turning into blood and my lipstick writing threatening messages on the wall, or into the hallway without pictures coming to life and staring at me. As a matter of fact, I can’t go anywhere without being hurt or scared out of my skin.

Tonight’s the night though. The night I’m going to slay the ghost that’s been haunting half of my life. I carefully put on a gown made from blue silk, with a V-neck, black lace all the way from my neck to my waist with a bow at the end. I put on my lucky ring crested with a flower and put my black mirror in my dress pocket-I don’t want my hair to be messy when I claim victory, so this mirror should come in handy in case I need to check my hair. I saw my reflection staring at me in the mirror. Pure white skin the colour of snow, golden hair ending in a satisfying curl, lips the colour of blood and eyes like clear blue skies. I guess that’s why my parents named my Sky.

I took a step outside the castle. If I’m going to do this thing I’m going to do it alone in the woods. The Woods of Horror, most people call them. Great. Just great. Just the name to make this thing less creepy. It was midnight now and the woods loomed ahead of me, when suddenly I tripped and fell face down in quicksand. This just keeps getting better and better.

“Someone help me! Hello? Anyone?” I cried. I tried to get out but all that did was make me sink faster. “Princess dying! Free diamond necklace to whoever gets here first!” I yelled once again. Now I’ve got quick sand in my hair and my mouth. Oh joy this was turning out wonderfully as planned. “I’ll help you…to die,” came the raspy voice that has haunted my dreams since I was 14. Gulp. I hope he means that in a good way. I turned around and there in front of me was the ghost.

I wanted to cry for help but all words deserted me as I looked into the glistening, blood-shot, red eyes of the ghost in front of me. “You-you c-can’t kill m-me, I’m a v-vampire!” I stammered. I know that sounds lame but let’s give it a shot, I mean, if ghosts can stand in front of you holding an axe then vampires can exist can’t they?

The ghost laughed. Apparently they can’t. “I’m really sorry that you were beheaded. But as a ghost you can live longer can’t you? You just have to be positive!” the ghost laughed again. Gosh, can’t he say something? He’s beginning to sound really dumb. Finally the ghost spoke, “I didn’t commit the murder! You knew it, I could tell. I thought that at last someone believed me. Yet you killed me. I’ll kill you, and I’ll do that with the exact same axe that was used to kill me! Also, as a punishment, in 1000 years your descendant shall be haunted as well. So good-bye, princess,” he sneered. I closed my eyes. I knew this was the end. I counted every last breath and heartbeat, and waited for the axe to come down upon my neck…

“SKYLYN! GET DOWN HERE!” I woke up panting, my pillow damp with sweat and tears. The nightmare had been so real, almost as if it really happened a long time ago… “COMING!” I yelled back to my mum. I put on a mini-skirt, black with a pink heart on the left and a skinny, striped, red top that shows one shoulder. I looked in the mirror and applied mascara to my already long eyelashes, eye-shadow to bring out my sky-blue eyes, lip-gloss, though my lips are already as a dazzling shade of red and I put on a cute butterfly clip in my silky gold hair that ended with a curl. I grabbed my backpack and hurried out of the house just in time to catch my bus.

“Princess coming through,” my friend joked as I entered the bus. She was right, I am the princess of my high school, the princess of popularity. The school voted and decided on me. Usually I’d laugh but I was still shaken up by the nightmare. It bothered me the whole day.

As soon as I got home, I hurried upstairs. “Mum, can I ask you something?” I said to my mum as soon as I saw her. “Mhmm,” she said, not looking up. “I had this nightmare, and in it this ghost said that I’d be cursed because of some decision I had made,” I was shivering just thinking about it. “It was so real…Mum?” My mum had turned pale and her hands were trembling, and suddenly I knew. “Oh my gosh it’s real! It wasn’t a dream-it was a flashback, a flashback to my ancestor’s past!” “Well I always thought it was just a myth but…” Her eyes clouded as if though she was thinking really hard. “Listen Sky, I never really believed this would happen but my mum told me that the day you find out will be the day the ghost starts haunting you. It is believed that that there is a weapon against this ghost though-wait here,” and with that my mum took off to the attic, mumbling under her breath, leaving me standing here realizing that it was possible that I was going to be haunted for the rest of my life.

“Here it is, the ring. My grandma told me that your ancestor-mine too of course- wore this ring to her last battle with the ghost the day she died. It’s probably her only ring too, I heard that her parents wouldn’t allow her to buy any accessories-must’ve been awful for her.” Yeah my mum gets easily distracted when it comes to accessories so I guess I take after her. “Mum!” I snapped, bringing her back to the real world. “Sorry honey. Anyway, if you wear this ring you’ll have extraordinary power. Also, if you open take it off and face the ghost, it should suck the ghost back to the underworld.” While she talked, I took the ring from her and twisted it around to reveal a delicate pink flower with a silver centre. Slowly, I put the ring on. “Well? What do you say?” My mum had stopped talking. “I’m going to get rid of this ghost tonight!” I said quietly.

And that’s how I ended up kneeling next to my ancestor’s grave bracing myself for the ghost. While I waited I twisted the ring around my finger, I was seriously starting to think that this whole thing was crazy. I mean, if that princess couldn’t kill the ghost then how on earth can I? I was just about to leave and forget the whole thing when I suddenly heard a voice say, “So the girl comes,” I turned around and managed to keep on breathing for there, standing in front of me was the ghost.

The first thing I wanted to do was kill the person that said ghosts looked like transparent floating white blankets because that was what I was expecting, not the monster that stood in front of me.

The ghost looked pretty much the same as any human, except something evil seemed to radiate out of him. He had lost one eye, though the other seemed to have been pierced in the middle. One hand had almost been cut off and was now dangling on a piece of skin. I’d go on but I don’t want to give you nightmares.

Suddenly, chains came shooting out of the ground and wrapped them around me and I uttered a scream. When I looked down, I realized that on the inside of the chains were razor sharp spikes, and they were cutting into my flesh. Tears came streaming out of my eyes as I felt the unbearable pain shoot through my arm.

“Let’s make this a bit more entertaining,” and the ghost then did some sort of dance that seemed to be a spell. Out of the earth came a figure that, I soon realized, was another ghost. Only this ghost was a girl of around 18, and she had this sad type of beauty that made her seem kind of familiar…

‘You’re the princess!” I suddenly realized. The princess nodded. “Now that we’ve had our little reunion let’s see how the princess feels about watching you being tortured,” the ghost said unpleasantly. I looked at the princess who seemed to be trying to tell me something. I looked more closely and realized that she was pointing to her finger and mouthing the word “ring”. I knew what to do.

I turned around to see if the ghost had noticed but he was too busy sharpening his bloody axe. Quickly, I took the ring off my finger before the ghost noticed. Now what had my mum said? That the ring will give me power. “Can you turn into a sword? Because I’m sure that’s the only way you can help,” I muttered to the ring, thinking it was hopeless but to my great surprise a gleaming sword suddenly lay in my hand.

Now I’ve never used a sword before, so it took a while to get used to the weight. The ghost, suddenly realizing that I was armed, made a sword appear out of thin air and he released the chains that were now so deep they were rubbing against my bones. He’s challenging me I realized. I jumped up and charged, brandishing my sword.

I can’t tell you what happened, everything happened in a blur, all I could remember was that in the end I won. “How could you?!” the ghost gasped. “Because I’m related to a princess,” I said with a smile, and with that I took off my ring and sucked the ghost back into the underworld. I turned to the princess who was smiling at me. “Thank you,” she said, and sunk back into her grave. And all of this happened because of one decision.

 

By Ann Liang,

Yew Chung International School of Beijing

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  1. March 30th, 2011 at 18:07 | #1

    Dear Ann,
    Me and my family read it, it was so good! I wish I could write like that! It’s you talent! keep improving.

  2. Thesecretfinder@gmail.com
    June 27th, 2011 at 15:16 | #2

    Dear Ann Liang,
    Please email to me. Email: thesecretfinder@gmail.com

  3. Wisegirl
    March 3rd, 2012 at 11:57 | #3

    Wow. Freaky.

    –H.Girl Percy Jackson series fan

  4. Person B
    December 10th, 2012 at 16:35 | #4

    That is freaky-good. You should have gotten like, at LEAST second place. I would have given you first, though.

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