A Strange day in July
(AUTHOR'S NOTE: This title was from the book ” The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. Also the line ” He threw with all his might, but the third stone came skipping back“)
“Whoa!” exclaimed Edith.
“Yeah! This is really cool!” replied Ernest. The twins were excited to move to Alabama. Little did they know that they were in for a treat.
“We have our own pond in our backyard!” exclaimed Ernest.
“That could be a perfect place for my little Tanith, my turtle! "screamed Ernest really loudly.
“Well...this is the first time that we get to have separate rooms! We both have our own personal space for each other," squealed Edith with joy.
The year was 1990 and currently it was blazing hot in Alabama. It was summer break there, so they had a few months to relax and check out the neighborhood.
They decided to unpack all their boxes and set up their new rooms. They were loving everything so far, but after a few days, things were going directly downhill. Their faces weren’t going to have a smile. Instead, they would have terror and fear in every direction they turn. For their house was a unique, and a special one.
Edith and Ernest were totally different from each other but looked alike. Edith was more of a painter and had an artistic creativity. Whereas Ernest was into sports. But one thing that they had in common was reading mystery stories and watching horror movies. They loved scary things.
On a sunny day the two children decided to explore their new neighborhood. The weather was pleasent.
When Edith exclaimed, “Hey! I have an idea. How about we look around our neighborhood! You know make some new friends at the park or something!”
“Umm... do we have to? I mean we can just take a quick walk and then come back home safe and sound! Plus, we don’t know this place yet and who knows, we could be lost!” answered Ernest with a shaky voice.
“Ok then, sounds like someone is very scared!” laughs Edith
“Hey! Not cool move,” grunts Ernest.
As they were walking, they saw a huge lake, with shimmering water. The lake was as clear as a mirror. It was shiny like a diamond, glistening in the sun. The lake looked so pleasant, and calm.
“Ernest are you seeing what I’m seeing?” asked Edith.
“Yup... I am!” replied Ernest.
Like that, the two of them walked down the hill area and decided to sit next to the lake, enjoying the warm day. After a long time, they made up a game, or at least they thought they did.
“Hey Edith...I’m so bored. How about we play a game! So, one person asks questions about the other one and see if they are lying or telling the truth. If I notice or think that you’re lying, then I throw a stone in the water. But if I think that you are telling the truth, then I won’t throw a stone in the water. But you must tell me if I was correct or not. Ok?” spoke Ernest in a quiet yet in a slow pace.
“Sure, that sounds like a fun game to me!” replied Edith.
“Let’s start, shall we? Oh...and by the way, the person who answered correctly the most wins! May the best person win. But can I ask questions to you?” asked Ernest
“Sure...good game brother.” answered Edith.
“So, the first question is do you like puppies, or bunnies?” asked Ernest.
“Hmm...I like puppies.” said Edith.
“I think that you’re lying.” he replies and throws a stone in the water.
“Too bad Ernest, I was telling the truth! Ha..ha!” mocked Edith with a singsong voice of hers.
“Ughh. Fine," Ernest groaned, "I think I’m going to get this one. Ok, what is your favorite color?” questioned Ernest.
“My favorite color is..." Edith hesitated, thinking if she should tell the truth or not, "is blue.” she answered quietly.
“You are telling the truth!” roared Ernest.
“Ok...fine yes I was.” Ernest cleared his throat and continued, “Ok, are you ticklish?” asked Ernest.
“No... I’m not ticklish.” replied Edith with a confident tone.
“That is a total lie Edith! You’re ticklish. I’m going to throw the stone.” and so he did throw the stone.
“Wow. I was telling the truth Ernest. I am not ticklish.” snickered Edith.
“Fine, but this is the last question from me.” said Ernest.
“What is your favorite dessert? "asked Ernest.
The suspense was really building up this time. She was taking more time to answer. “Come on! I haven’t got all day long!” hollered Ernest.
“My favorite dessert is...ice-cream!” told Edith.
“Umm...I think it is a lie because you like mama’s apple pie more than ice-cream. So, I’m going to throw the stone.”
He threw the stone with all his might, but the third stone came skipping back.
“Ernest! Didn’t you throw the stone! "squealed Edith.
“Um...yes! I did.” snapped Ernest.
“Then why did it come back to you!? It’s supposed to sink in the water. Not fly back to you!” shrieked Edith.
There was a neighborhood library right in front of them, so they ran as fast as they could and picked out some books which explained the lake and the history of their neighborhood. They needed to find an explanation since they couldn’t believe what they had seen, but unfortunately knew was not dreaming.
“ You..y..you don’t think that this lake is haunted...right?” stammered Ernest.
“Of..of..course not! At least I hope not. Remember, don’t tell anyone about this. Not even mama or papa. Ok? At least not until we figure out what is going on.” beckoned Edith.
“Ok...yes. I promise," Ernest explained. Then, they both ran home.
On a fine Saturday morning, Edith and Ernest decided to go to the lake and try throwing the stones again. This time, Edith held her breath really tight and threw the third stone in the water. Her feet were trembling, and her hands were sweaty and shaky as she threw the stone. But this time, she saw a reflection in the water. Oddly, it wasn't hers.
“E..Ernest!! Who is she? What creature is that? Please tell me!” screamed Edith.
“I don't know!! What do you think I am? A person who knows it all! No! ” stormed Ernest.
Both children knew one cannot fight with fire with fire. So, they decided to talk to the reflection, or the ghost.
“Umm...hello! I’m Edith, and this is my brother Ernest. I don’t know if you can hear me or see me but what is your name?” asked Edith, calmly.
“We promise we are not here to harm you or to startle you.” told Ernest.
They wait for a few minutes but doesn’t hear the ghosts reply. But to their shock, it suddenly became cold dry.
“I’ve read about these quick and sudden weather changes occurring before. In one of my horror story collection, it said that a ghost's spirit was rising. Maybe the ghost we just talked to is rising right now!” informed Ernest.
“Come on Ernest! You know better than that! Quit trying to act all...” Edith got interrupted by something not welcoming.
“Hello, my name is Celeste Rose.” she replied with her calm and gentle voice.
The two carefully examined the odd reflection. They stared at it for as long as they could figure out the figure of a young girl. They saw ragged clothes that she wore, and her frizzy brown hair. Her long-sleeved dress came down to her floating feet. It was white, with splotches of dirt and mud. They also had holes in them, some large, and some tiny. They also noticed a gold necklace, with exquisite patterns on them.
“Aaah! exclaimed both and they crashed their legs really hard to the dirt and rocks. Fortunately, they didn’t get hurt.
Then, in a blink of a second, she left. Like that she disappeared. She was very swift. Probably like most ghosts. But somehow then twins just couldn’t believe it. They couldn’t imagine what they had seen. It was like if it was a dream. But they knew it wasn’t a dream. It was all reality.
“C’mon Edith, let's just go home. Let’s go tell mama and papa what we have been hiding from them. Please. I can’t stand here anymore. I don’t know what’s happening. I am very confused. We could get hurt.” whispered Ernest.
“But...wait. We’re not going anywhere until we figure this mystery out! Please Ernest. Maybe if we finish this faster, we could get a better sleep. Please.” requested Edith.
“Hmmm...fine. What are you waiting for, let’s get started!” responded Ernest.
“Ok, great! Where would we possibly find more details about this... Celeste Rose?” asked Edith.
“I have a crazy plan. But I think it's going to give us a little bit more idea of who she is. So, are you thinking what I’m thinking? "questioned Ernest to Edith.
“Yup! Let’s go brother. It is near by, just a 5-minute walk, and the community owns it so we could go check it out any time.”
As those two entered, it was very gloomy. The RIP gravestones with bouquets next to all of them. It was like they could hear people tearing up and crying for a second. They could hear echoes and whispers. They searched and searched but couldn’t find Celeste Rose in the name of any graveyard at all. It was like she wasn’t important, and like she was forgotten. Suddenly, they were fully covered with mist. They couldn’t see where they were going. They couldn’t see each other. For they were lost.
“Ernest! I can’t see you! Where are you? Please come back and follow my voice!” shrieked Edith.
“Edith! I told you not to follow whatever that was. I told you not to check out the neighborhood! Where we could have sat home peacefully you always dragged me into these messes! Every time I said no, you always kept on begging me to accept whatever you said. But have you ever listened to what I say?” hollered Ernest.
“Wow...I, I don’t know what to say. I... you’re right. I haven’t. I’ve been so selfish, that I didn’t think about how you felt. But this is a time where we must stick together, and to compromise with each other. I’m sorry, but now we must stay together and get out of this mess.” replied Edith.
Her eyes were filled with tears. She had never seen Ernest blow up like this on her. But she knew that Ernest was right all along. Guilt built up on her, and no matter how much she tried to ignore it, that feeling kept kicking back at her again.
“Ernest, I think the fog is clearing out a little bit, so follow my voice. We can get out of here as fast as possible.” told Edith.
“Ok...I will do that.” replied Ernest.
Then both children worked together to find their way out of that fog maze. They were flabbergasted by their victory. They had a big smile on their faces.
“I’m sorry about that. But I think we should look for that ghost.” said Ernest.
“Now that’s what I’m talking about! We could forget about this later and resume to our normal lives!” exclaimed Edith.
As the two children walked, they were getting tired and restless. They had asked all their neighbors if they knew a person named Celeste Rose. All the neighbors slammed their doors in front of them. They looked at the library and even asked the librarian if they knew a person named Celeste Rose. The librarian also shook his head and signaled no. Just as they were out of hope, they saw a crooked house.
They realized that this “house” had the same symbol as Celeste Rose’s necklace she had worn when they had talked to her. Their instincts were telling them to go there. The old house was all the way in the edge of the forest. Both children held their hands and knocked what was left of the door. There were ashes, and bones left all on the corridor. Their “backyard” was full of bird excretion and more bones and ashes.
“Hey Edith, I just noticed something awfully strange. Doesn’t those pictures and that gold pendulum chained symbol look awful lot like Celeste Rose and the necklace we saw earlier?” asked Ernest.
“Actually...you might be on to something. So, you’re saying that... that old house might be where Celeste Rose lived? questioned Edith.
“Yes! That’s it!” exclaimed Ernest.
The two children went inside the house, staying together. They started investigating all her stuff. But then Edith found something huge.
“Hey Ernest. Come here, I know its rude to investigate another’s diary. But I found something huge about the day she got killed, but of course her mother wrote it since it doesn’t match the handwriting I saw earlier. She got killed because of the angry protesters of her race. People didn’t like that she got the most attention in school because of her color and ethnicity.” told Edith.
“Wow...that’s just wrong. I found more about her family life in her calendar, and in her notebooks. Her mother’s name was Bethany Rose and her father died few months before she was born. It also mentions that she was the youngest child out of the 3 children. But I can’t find their names or any of that. But in her calendar, it said that it was her birthday on August 4th, 1980.”
“Wow...she was around our age. Wait a second, August 4th, 1980. Isn’t that the day today?” screamed Edith.
“Yes, it is! Maybe her spirit was woken today! Now it clicks. All this information is like building blocks. Once we put them all together maybe we will find our answer!” said Ernest.
“Maybe we are the ones who should spread the word about her! Probably... she was forgotten, that’s why nobody knows her! If we tell everyone about the things that she has done, then, I’m sure her spirit will rest, and she might have her own graveyard!” realized Edith.
“That’s all good. But how can we do that? We can’t really put everyone in one place altogether and talk about her, can we?” says Ernest in a sarcastic voice. (He was giving gestures to make Edith think that they can do it)
“Ooh. I like the way you think brother!” replies Edith.
So both of the children, told all this information to their parents and then they decided to call all their neighbors for their housewarming party, and also to squeeze in the time for talking about Celeste Rose, and all the events that occurred to her.
After 1 week, they decided to throw the stones in the water again, so they threw 3 stones. But when they threw all of them, the 3rd sank.