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There was a face at the window.
'Miss ..' I put up my hand and the face disappeared.
‘What is it, Jaz?’
‘Nothing, Miss.’ But there was. Had been. A face that I recognised but couldn’t name.
Rain was streaming down the glass now, dissolving the trees in the playground. The science block opposite seemed to float like battleship on a stormy grey sea. I tried to remember where I had seen that face before. In my mind’s eye I saw its open mouth open in a desperate cry. But now the wind was howling, rattling the window frames and lashing the rain against the glass.
Everyone was looking that way now.
‘Listen to me! Look this way, everyone!’
But no one took any notice of the teacher.
Had the others seen it too?
I got to my feet. ‘I’m going outside.’
But as I spoke the door opened and I remembered where I had seen that face before.
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All of a sudden, flashbacks of sunnier days ran through Jaz’s head, as her mind took her out of the damp school hallways, into the sofa of her family’s flat’s living room, with the Canadian summer she so longingly missed shining through the window. Currently showing on the TV screen was a newscast that the family was intently watching.
“This just in!” a stressed looking reporter exclaimed. “Girl survives kidnapping! 13-year-old Catherine Holden has lived to tell the horrifying tale of being kidnapped on her way to school. The girl had been missing for 4 years when she was spotted slowly making her way to the local police station. Stay tuned for more info on this story, thanks for watching Toronto Live News.”
Jaz’s family shared a collective sigh of relief. The family had been following the story of this girl for some time, and it was a relief that she had been found. As the family chatted about the revelation, the flashback slowly faded away, taking Jaz back into the reality of the dreary school ground she was standing in.
As she put names to faces, Jaz’s running speed only sped up as she chased after the face peering through the window not too long ago.
Running through the Canadian winter was no easy task, especially as Jaz hadn’t put her coat on before bolting out of class. As she fumbled the coat in her hands, Jaz called out through the thick snow. “Hey!” she desperately called out. “Don’t be afraid! I just want to talk to you!” Jaz’s family had been following the story of the kidnap victim, and Jaz desperately wanted to know the tales that Catherine had to tell. However the snow was only getting worse, and Jaz still had not caught sight of the girl. Just as she was about to give up, Jaz’s foot caught on something in the snow.
Great, she thought to herself. Now I’m going to get in trouble for skipping class, and I’m going to get injured. However the impact of hitting the ground that she had anticipated never came. She realized she had come to a stop, supported by a frail looking girl’s arms. As she looked into the girl’s face. She realized the situation she was in.
“Hello,” the girl said to Jaz. “My name’s Catherine. What’s yours?”
Written by: Ashton Choy, Eijjaz Zainuddin
Garden International School, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Jaz stared at the girl in astonishment - she was only wearing a thin summer dress yet she wasn’t shivering and showed no signs of being cold. She stood quite still watching Jaz with a gentle smile on her face.
“I know who you are bbbbut why are you here?” stammered Jaz, confused and a little wary.
“I was sent to find you Jaz.....just you and no one else. You must know why surely? You must have realised you are a little......different to your friends?”
The whole situation felt very surreal to Jaz - standing in thick snow, the only sound her own breathing and faint shouts from the playground where break had started. She stared at the girl, confused by her words - she wasn’t different.....was she?
Bev Humphrey, Write Path Founder
Jaz sat in the snow wondering how she was different until one of the teachers grabbed her out.
The teacher pulled her placed her in the class, the teacher was confused and furious at the wonders of Jaz. Jaz couldn't wait to get home, finally it was the end of the day and Jaz slowly made her way home.
She told her mum everything. until Jaz was interrupted by her mum, she said 'Catherine was Murdered in the early hours of the morning...'
by LKate, Morven, Mathilde, Megan and Abby Wick High School
Jaz answered, “But I saw her at school this afternoon so she can’t be dead!” “Jaz, just go to bed you’ll feel better in the morning”, replied Jaz’s mum so Jaz went to bed but she couldn’t get to sleep. She tried and tried to sleep but she couldn’t. So she quietly got dressed and tip-toed out of her room. Noticing that her mum was watching TV downstairs she decided to climb out of her bedroom window. She hastily sprinted to her school to find Catherine. As soon as she got to her school she saw a dark, shadowy figure in the playground...
By Poppy Teasdale and Callum Parker Ripley St.Thomas Academy
"Why can't I see you but everyone else can?" Joe asked. "You could see me because you are special," said Catherine. "I am a ghost and you have the ability to see us." Jaz said, "Why did you only want to see me?" "Because my robber wants to steal you and the reason is we both can see ghosts." Jaz asked, "How do I stop him?" Catherine answered, "I already did! But soon, I will disappear because I used up all of my energy." Both girls said goodbye. "You'll still see ghosts, Jaz, just not me. Good bye." "Thank you for everything, Catherine. Good bye!"
Cristian and Johan
New York City, New York