Saturday, 31 October 2015

THE GIRL ON THE CLIFF...

A ghostly short story written specially for Halloween by CC reader Tilly…


There is only so much you can take… only so much coldness, so much cruelty, so much bullying. Jane was at the end of her tether. Sara and the girls at school were making her life a misery - freezing her out, spreading vicious rumours,  whispering when she came into the classroom. They weren't to know how raw Jane was feeling inside. Her mum and dad had just split up, and Jane and her mum had moved to the coast for a fresh start. Jane cried herself to sleep every night, but silently, so as not to alarm her mum. How could she ask for help when her mum was having such a rough time already?

Hallowe'en was the last straw. Jane had been shopping with her mum when she saw Sara and the others browsing the Hallowe'en accessories at the local supermarket. She put her head down and tried to walk past, but Sara saw her. 'Ooh, is Jane looking for a Hallowe'en mask?' she asked, loudly. 'Oh no… silly me. She doesn't need one. She's ugly enough already.' The girls fell about laughing, and tears pricked Jane's eyes. Why did they hate her so much?

Later, walking their dog Jack, Jane found herself walking along the cliff path and looking out to sea. It would be so much simpler if she could just vanish into the grey-blue ocean, step off the cliff and leave her worries behind. It was a fleeting thought, but Jane's heart thumped as she glimpsed a figure ahead, a girl on the cliff edge in old fashioned clothing, her shawl flying out in the wind. Perhaps she was dressed for Hallowe'en, but the girl was dangerously close to the edge, and as Jane watched she faltered and fell. Jane broke into a run, Jack at her heels, and when she reached the point where she had seen the girl, her heart skipped a beat. The girl was huddled on an outcrop of stone just below the cliff path, hanging on for dear life.

Without thinking, Jane held out her hands and gripped the girl's wrists. She was ice-cold and very thin, her face pale and her eyes were shadowed. Her lips seemed to form the words 'Help me…'

'What happened?' she asked. 'Did you slip?'

Jane whirled round to see Anna, a girl from school, standing behind her on the path. 'What? Me?' Jane said. 'No, I'm fine, I was just trying to help…'

In that instant, Jane's heart turned over. Her hands were gripping nothing but the rough cliffside grass. Where the girl had been there was nothing but a gust of ice cold air. 'I thought… I don't know,' Jane said, confused. 'Maybe… maybe I just stumbled?'

Anna helped her up, helped to brush the mud from Jane's jeans, fussed Jack. The girls began to walk back towards the town. 'I've been wanting to talk to you,' Anna said. 'I know Sara and her lot are giving you a hard time. Take no notice - they're spiteful losers. Nobody listens to them. Why don't you sit with me and my friends at lunch and break? They'd leave you alone then. And we're OK… you might even like us! I'm meeting them at the cafe in half an hour… d'you want to come? Go on!'

Jane laughed, knowing already that she liked Anna's friendly, open manner. But what about the other girl, the girl in the shawl? How could she just vanish?

'Be careful on the cliffs, though, seriously,' Anna was saying. 'They're dangerous. People do fall. There's even supposed to be a cliffside ghost… a girl our age who jumped to her death a hundred years ago. I've never seen her, though. And if you can't see a ghost on Hallowe'en, when can you?'

'I don't know,' Jane said. She looked back over her shoulder, shivering slightly, then linked arms with Anna and walked on towards the town.


Picture modelled by reader Eden and photographed by Mary Carey… thank you  both!

Cathy says:
Oooh… shivers indeed! Do YOU believe in ghosts? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

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