By Danielle Clark
What the note says causes my heart to drop into my stomach and my eyes to bug out. I’m not sure if someone is pranking me or if I’m being haunted. After all of this craziness, I’m leaning toward me being haunted than pranked. This is too elaborate to be a prank. And I’m not crazy. I’m not! I watch the ink on the note disappear, and then the paper disintegrates between my fingers. I try to remember the words that were on the note. If I don’t figure out how to help this ghost into the afterlife, then I’ll be caught in limbo, too, when I die. I imagine that would be horrifying, watching all my loved ones die and pass on to the afterlife without me. Just being stuck, haunting others, cursing those who don’t help—it sounds like a miserable existence.
The note said that the ghost was waiting by a stone under a tree. Stone under a tree…it’s the cemetery, I think to myself. I walk over to the cemetery and search around the headstones until I come to one that is vandalized and kicked over. Looks like some partying kids sprayed it with graffiti, hit it with hammers, threw eggs at it, and kicked it over. Trash lay all over the ground. Why would someone do such rude, disrespectful things to someone’s tombstone? I wiped some of the junk off and read the inscription: Here Lies Ellinore Karls. Died at age 18 in The Bridgewater State Normal School in 1890.
My name is Ellinore Karls. Immediately, I pull out my phone and Google search Ellinore Karls’s death in Bridgewater. All the information I found about her indicates that her death was accidental. She fell down the stairs of the old Tillinghast building and injured her spine and neck, causing death. I wonder what caused her to fall. Was it really an accident or was it something more sinister?
A cool breeze sweeps up out of nowhere, along with another note. It reads: I was pushed.
“My gosh,” I uttered. “Someone hated her enough to kill her.”
Now that I know what happened to this Ellinore ghost, I have to figure out what I need to do in order to help her reach the afterlife. How the hell am I supposed to know how to guide a soul into the afterlife? Ellinore picked the wrong person to help her. She should’ve picked a medium or some type of theologian—someone, anyone but me! Then I realize, there had to be a reason the ghost chose me, right? I mean—there has to be a connection between her and I besides our names being the same. It’s time to investigate.
I scout the school library, the town library, the Internet for answers. I get the phone number of a medium and contact her, scheduling a meeting with her as soon as possible. In the meantime, I look up more about Ellinore and find out a shocking detail. She is a distant relative of mine. She’s probably even my namesake.