Greenwood Cemetery
Celeste, Age 12, Zimbabwe
It all started at my grandparents' old mansion in New Orleans. There was a ghost. My grandfather didn’t know about it. I didn’t know about it. No one knew except my grandmother. She had encountered it in 1923 when she was a little girl, unaware that it was evil. She had told her mother about it, but her mother said it was taboo to talk about stuff like that, so she was caned and sent to live with her aunt for over a decade. It was December the 13th on a Friday and my grandmother and I went to buy a Christmas tree at the local Christmas supplies shop downtown. The shop used to be a Halloween shop for ghost believers.

I didn’t want to tell my grandmother, but I was extremely afraid of this shop. It wasn’t every day that I, Ally Bates, was scared of ghosts. I have jet-black hair and my eyes are like a jungle of vines intertwining. I have an interesting personality. Rather complex and unusual compared to other children my age. Whenever people talk to me, an unexpected look appears in their eyes, and I always know they are intrigued, almost hypnotized, by my piercing stare, and they hurriedly scurry away before I can even finish my sentence.

When I looked around the store, all my brain was registering was devilish ornaments that the previous owner hadn’t removed from the shop. I quickly moved to my grandmother. Just to be on the safe side. She was talking to a friend from the charity shop, and they looked like they were having an engaging conversation about a new stock of clothes and books coming in for Christmas. My head turned to one window and all you could see was thick blood trickling down onto the panes. My grandmother peered at it too, but she didn’t say a word. I looked at the other window and a misty message appeared with the words “Help me.” Soon after that a raspy voice grew loud.

“Help me” it said.

My grandmother and her friend moved out of the room. She knew that I would be the next one to encounter the ghost.

My legs started to wobble and cave in. I never thought my grandmother would leave me alone when there was a ghost haunting my family. I braced myself, waiting for another word.

“Help me. Please help.”

“What do you want?” I asked.

“Go to Greenwood.”

My grandmother nodded at me through the window, and it was then that I knew it was the ghost.

I ran out of the shop, and my grandmother quickly opened the car. She even barged in the tree, and then she started talking in a different language: “Num bring kai kai. Nim bring ki ki.”

It was quite a strange language, and she was repeating it continuously until we got home. She ran into the storage room that everyone except her was forbidden to go in, and my grandmother gave me a small bottle containing a silver liquid with a blue centre.

“Drink this,” she said with an assertive voice

“What is it?” I asked struggling to pull the cork

“It's bagdasyria and it will help you on your way to Greenwood.”

After that my grandmother told me to go to bed and only think good thoughts because if I thought bad thoughts the potion would not work.

The following day my grandmother gave me special bread to help me during my trip. She said that eating it would prevent me from getting hungry and tell the ghost that I mean no harm. I made my way out of the house and looked at the map my grandmother gave me. It had a pathway through the forest and into the bay of Greenwood. I kept a steady pace on my trip, and I made sure I was thinking good thoughts. After a while, I saw a rusty old brown sign that apparently used to be colourful that read “GREENWOOD CEMETERY.” I made my first step inside the cemetery, and in front of me, a ghost appeared. The ghost was beautiful. She had long hair and big blue eyes. She was wearing a dress with sequins and beads.

“Thank you for coming,” she said in a soft smooth voice.

“You are welcome. What am I hear for?” I asked

“Your confirmation, of course”

My legs were twitching.

“What is confirmation?” I inquired.

She began to walk down the hill of the cemetery, and she put a rose on one of the graves.

“This is your great grandfather, and he put a curse on the cemetery. Confirmation is when you try your best to delete the curse, so we won’t haunt your children.”

The woman looked at me hoping I would go on with the confirmation.

“There was a story about an evil ghost that haunted your family, but they were talking about me. They thought I was going to kill them because I threatened them when they didn’t agree with the confirmation.”

I now understood. I repeated the words that my grandmother was chanting in the car: “Num bring kai kai. Nim bring ki ki.”

The woman smiled and then she told me to step on the grave.

“That is all. You can go now. Thank you,” she said.

I paced backward and then made my way out of the cemetery.

My grandmother was waiting outside the cemetery with a huge smile on her face. I could see that she was proud of me. She and I got in the car and drove to my house in New York and met my mother. We had a special lunch to celebrate our family being safe at last.
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