(or at least the beginning of an ongoing tale...)
Pictured here are works of one of my all-time favorite writers, the poignant Jessica Warman, alongside the haunting White Oleander by Janet Fitch, some classics by Delinksky and Sparks... and a pair of tap shoes, child size 11.
The story begins when I'm seven years old, living in a haunted house. I don't sleep. I'm afraid, and I'm seven. Would YOU risk falling asleep amidst the spirits of the night? One thing I know I shouldn't do is wake Mom. The woman is exhausted all the time. Besides, if I tell her of the hauntings--the whispering, the pulling on my hair, the tickling of my toes--she won't believe me. "Chalk it up to her wild imagination," she'll mumble to my father, who is somewhat of an apparition himself.
My brother, who is about four, walks the hallways at night in a daze, sleepwalking. Sometimes, if I drift off, I wake up to find him staring down at me. It's another reason I don't sleep. He's cute, but creepy. I wonder if the entities in this house influence him to rise out of bed every night.
My sister sprawls on the twin bed on the other side of the room. The spirits don't bother her. I wish they would, and not just because she's somewhat of a nine-year-old tyrant, but because if she experiences it, she'll believe me. She's a good person to have on your side, if you know what I mean.
Tonight, I've already walked my brother back to his room, and I'm trembling beneath the covers when I hear it: "Psst! Sasha! Go into the closet!" They're snickering at me, yanking at my toes. It's nearly 3 a.m. I'm tired, and I want it to stop. I have much to do in second grade tomorrow. So I do the unthinkable. Walk into the closet. Sit on the floor. Wait for something to happen. NOTHING happens. But they're silent at last. When I look up, I see a notebook and a pencil waiting for me on a shelf. I take it down and start to write. I haven't stopped since...