Rainy, dark clouds formed the sky with a deep haze. I was sitting at the second-highest branch of the tree I used to climb since I was small. My sword hanged in my case, loftily. I breathed through the fresh air and the feeling of a huge thunderstorm caught my senses.

“Chrissy!” I heard my name calling. That was definitely Sister Mary. She hates it when I run out after errands. Sure, I may be a wild kid but I’m not completely irresponsible. I stood up on my favorite branch and slipped down the hollow tree trunk. My boots landed with a huge thud.

I straightened my baggy trousers and looked up at the sky. Today was a festival day. Many witches and warlocks stayed up to celebrate the witching hour of the main moon. The dark clouds of the evening though said otherwise.

I decided to march on to Sister Mary’s Café and see why she had had decided to ruin my beauty sleep. No offense though, I love her but sometimes she could be too much of a ‘mom’.

“I’m here!” I yelled after barging through the back door only allowed to the employees, in essence, humble me, Chef Xenon and Sister Mary. Chef Xenon looked at me while kneading a dough and smirked. ‘Argh! Another errand!’

“Chrissy, you need to deliver these muffins to Mrs. Grumpy—I m-mean Mrs. Willows. Come back soon. The Knight patrols will start soon.” Sister Mary ordered.

I breathed in a sigh and grabbed the package. I headed straight to the door and banged it close.

“That was not intentional!” I yelled back.

Twenty two minutes and forty seven seconds after politely arguing with Mrs. Grumpy—yes I call her that—she begrudgingly took the package and handed me a few gold coins. I swished them to my pocket and turned back. Suddenly, the skies gave a mighty roar and the downpour started with a strong force. My feet started its job and ran for a roof.

Somehow along the way, as abnormally as it sounds, I got lost. Now I was at the entrance to some century-old-cemetery with smoky figures. The eerie atmosphere edged at my previously high confidence. ‘Maybe, I shouldn’t have bragged too much about being a good deliverer.’

A lightning bolt struck three inches next to me and my cloak instantly caught fire. I hurried to remove it but a moan stopped me.

‘Oh no! No way! I knew ghosts were real but I never wanted to meet one. Oh my broom, I’m so gonna die here.’

The smoke started to become more opaque and I could clearly see eyes, noses and even fingers then. My legs promptly started shivering and made me step back cautiously. I huddled so that I could protect myself.

Stories of Red riding hood and Goldilocks ran through my mind screaming me to run for my life but my stubborn body was too scared to even move, let alone run. I felt myself slowly hyperventilating. The howls of the ghosts seem to gather around me and swirled like a tornado. ‘Am I going to be a sacrifice for some ghost ritual?’

‘O’ great ancestral witches of the East, West, North and South, I promise and swear that I will never act like a brat again. Oh please, please, don’t kill me!!!’ I screamed from my mind.

“Ahhhhhh! Get away from me!” I finally shouted and sat on the ground clearly chilled to my bone marrow with petrifying fears.

All of a sudden all the sounds stopped. I peeped through my eye and saw the old cemetery with its unhinged crests of ‘RIP’s without smoke. The rain died down. Following the silence for the next ten seconds, a huge party cannon exploded and chants of “Happy Birthday Chrissy!” erupted.

‘Oh no! Did I just get pranked for my own birthday?! What an embarrassment!’

I un-curled myself and looked up. All of the villagers along with Sister Mary and Chef Xenon with a double-decked cake awaited me. I let out a breath of relief and smiled while yelling at the top of my lungs,

By Pahanmee Algama