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The Greedy Ghost

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I’m was sitting in my room, bored, hugging my porcelain doll, waiting for the Halloween of the century to come. 1879 would be an even greater year than it had turned out to be. It was my favorite holiday of the year. I could show off my super expensive costumes to those…ugh…peasants! We would never mix, peasants and rich important somebodies don’t belong together. Peasants have such little manners, so rude. Someone must stop it by showing off what proper and civilized looks like.  

“Susan Marie Ainsley! Tis’ time for dinner darling!” said Ms. Ann, one of the many house maids who roamed around the mansion. They were like piranhas I read about in my books, the fish who swim around in the rivers of Brazil eating anything that moves, except they weren’t eating, they were cleaning or cooking. Always, anyway, by now it was time for dinner, so I put my beautiful doll to the side and rolled toward the end of the bed, it was too long to crawl. I headed toward my huge door made of heavy oak, so I called my servant to open it for me. Then I started my way down the long exhausting hallway’s Axminster weaved carpet. This time I didn’t call on my servants to carry me because I really did enjoy stopping and looking at all the paintings of my long-gone relatives. One of the paintings was of my great-great-grandfather. He was the founder of  what used to be the beautiful town of Esmerald, which is why I, Susan, got to live in that luxurious mansion, and not anyone else! No peasant!  

“Susan! Have you gone deaf? Time for dinner!” said Ms. Ann again. How annoying. But, alas, I came to the dining hall, with a dinner of turkey, peas, carrots, and potatoes. Then for dessert we had vanilla pudding kissed with a top of whipped cream and shavings of hazelnut.  

“How was your day Susie?” asked Papa. 

“It was rather boring, Papa. I am just too excited over Halloween!” I said. 

“Well Susie I’m afraid I have bad news for you,” said Mama. 

“Should I be the one to tell her, Elizabeth?” said Papa. 

“I don’t want to be the villian,” said Mama. 

“Why must I be the antagonist here?” countered Papa. 

“What’s bad news! Just tell me already!” I said. 

“Very well then,” said Papa as he shot a glare at Mama, “it seems that in the nearby town of Croak Creek, an insane man has escaped an asylum. In other words, this means no Halloween. It is far too dangerous to go trick-or-treating. So, you won’t be going this year. I’m sorry Susie. It’s for the best.” 

“Papa, no! It’s so unfair! I’d rather wear rags for a whole day and be seen in public than not go trick-or-treating!” I said furiously. 

“That’s enough! What I said is final! You are excused from the table,” said Papa. So, I got up from the table. I hadn’t even finished my pudding, and ran to my room. I was so upset I didn’t even tell one of my servants to open my door for me. Once I had got inside my room, I jumped on to my bed. My door was still slightly opened… ugh… I was far too upset to close it. But as I stared over at the door, I saw a woman with a long white dress and long black hair. She looked like one of the paintings in the hallway, in fact exactly like the painting of my grandmother who died here twenty years ago. My eyes followed along her glowing white dress, no feet… eh… that meant it was a ghost. I wasn’t scared, seeing a ghost here was like seeing a pigeon in the town square, what did I have to fear? I didn’t need hide if I was not scared… Wait! I thought to myself, if I don’t need to hide if I’m not frightened, why must I hide from this strange man who escaped the asylum?  

Halloween finally came and Papa ordered my maids to guard the door to make sure I didn’t sneak out, but I had different plans than just going through the door… I was going through the widow! How clever I thought I was. I tied my stockings together to create a rope which I tied onto to the edge of the bed. My plan was in full swing! I put my costume on; I had dressed up as a beautiful fairy. My wings shone under the full moon, as did the glittery silk from my long, flowy, pink dress.  

As I got down, I was deciding which house to go to first. That one! I knocked the door, and they gave me a caramel apple. Just as I left, I heard rustling from a nearby bush. It was just the wind, of course, how silly of me! 

As I went on from house to house, I realized that each house had given me lots of treats, more than I would get at one house, normally, each year. Then I realized why: there were no other children here. Ha! All the treats were mine! So, I carried on from house to house. 

It was just me out there, under no light except for that of the moon and small jack o’ lanterns placed outside. On several occasions I thought I heard footsteps. It was probably just echo or my imagination. But no! They became more frequent and louder! Step-step-step-step! At that moment I realized I must get home. Now! I started to run. Step-step-step-step-stomp-stomp-stomp-run-run-run! I was back at the same wall under the window from which I escaped from lies. All these treats weighed me down as I tried to climb but I couldn’t let all this effort go to waste, so I continued to climb with them. Until smack! It was pitch black.

When I awoke, I was in a box, so I crawled out of it. I looked inside of it… ah! There was a poor girl who looked like she had been beaten and bruised. For once I felt sympathy for a peasant. This poor, poor peasant was in pink rags, similar to the pink of my dress I was wearing. This baffled me. My eyes wandered around the box and found the name Susan Marie Ainsley written towards top of the sliding lid. I stopped dead in my tracks. That’s my name! I couldn’t be dead, I was right there! 

I ran to Mama and Papa’s chamber they sat towards the end of the bed kneeling. Papa screamed, “Why!” Then Mama burst into tears.  

I shouted, “Mama don’t cry! Papa I’m right here!” No response, not even a glance. How could this have happened? I’m dead! No! I felt the room’s aura and temperature grow cold, colder than any blizzard of any winter ever. I fell to my knees, and I bawled my eyes ’til no tears could come out. It was more than I could bear! All over my greed for trick-or-treating, I sure got the trick!

I have wandered about these halls like the mournful ghost of my grandmother, except my dress was pink. I grew more mournful when Mama and Papa moved out because as I had tried to walk out the door with them, I was pushed back. I tried again and again desperately, but I couldn’t. I was stuck in the mansion, forever and ever.

 

 

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The Greedy Ghost