All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Kelsey didn’t believe in ghost stories. They were false and full of nonsense—at least, this is what Kelsey’s father told her, and she believed him. After all, Kelsey’s father was a very important person, and he knew quite a lot. He was a professor.
When Kelsey was told at a very young age by Professor Frozz that fairy tales, as well as ghost stories and fables, were illogical and thoughtless. Fiction is no better either, unless it had truths in it, and no magical nonsense. Nonfiction is much better, he told her, because it was all true. Fiction would not help you in life.
Needless to say, Kelsey was not interested in being a writer. She wanted to be a biologist—or perhaps a professor, like her father. At only fourteen years of age, the future was still foggy to her.
Our story begins on a dreary Saturday morning. Kelsey was perched on her wooden chair (cushioned chairs were illogical, her father said) and reading Benjamin Franklin: A Biography by Harold T. Banks for the nth time. If she closed her eyes, she could probably see the pages. But that was illogical, too, she decided, and turned the page with such ferocity that a bird outside the window fluttered its wings unhappily.
“Kelsey,” Professor Frozz said from the doorway. He always spoke in a very quiet voice, because speaking louder would be a waste of his precious voice. Kelsey wished—not for the first time—that he would have some sort of nickname for her, some kind of way to show affection, but as soon as she mentioned this to him, he told her that nicknames were irrational and, in fact, she were to call him Professor Frozz. Dad is not a name, he said, and it is informal, so do not call me that. “Kelsey,” he said again, and she glanced at him.
“Hello, Professor Frozz,” she answered quietly, setting a bookmark into the crease of the pages and closing the book. “Is there something you need?”
Professor Frozz contemplated her with a pleased look. “I have raised you well, Kelsey. I am happy that you have listened to what I say to you without giving me illogical arguments, like other children might.” Kelsey sighed inwardly. “Illogical” was, in no doubt, Professor Frozz’s favorite word. Why, in his eyes, the universe was logical, but that was an exaggeration, which was not permitted in the household.
“I thank you for the compliment, Professor,” she said, because coming from Professor Frozz, it was a compliment, “But is there something you require? I am not busy, and I would be pleased to do what you need me to do.”
“I need you to go to the post office to pick up a book. It is called, The Balance of Life, by Lisa Brown. It should be waiting at the desk. Do you understand what I request of you?”
“You may go now.”
Kelsey left, feeling uneasy. He had said, ‘need.’ Why did he say that? Did he need the book? She shook her head, clearing it. No matter. The question should be answered in time. Perhaps it was for a project, of a sort. It was not important.
She pushed open the door of the post office and ventured to the desk.
“Hello, little one,” said the feeble woman on the other side. “Is there something you want to deliver?”
“I came here to pick up a book,” she answered primly, “The Balance of Life, by Lisa Brown—it’s for Alaster Frozz.”
“You must be Kelsey.” The old woman reached under the counter and produced a tattered old book. “What a pleasure. You look just like your daddy, Kelsey.”
“He’s not my daddy. He’s Professor Frozz.” Kelsey stared at the little book with distaste. “That can’t be it. The professor wouldn’t want something like that in his house.”
“Nobody would,” the woman said seriously. “Do not forget, dear—only the professor can open this book, oh, yes. Keep it firmly shut. The opener is the controller, remember.”
“You’ve lost your mind, miss,” Kelsey said by way of response, but the truth of it was, she burned with curiosity. What could the professor want with such an ugly book?
She took the book and exited the post office, the tattered leather cover clutched between white fingers. As soon as she was out of sight of the building, she opened it.
Kelsey braced herself, expecting something horrible to happen, but nothing did, and she felt stupid. What was the point of that? What would the professor do about that?
She flipped through the book. It looked like an easy read—well, easy enough for her. Most of it was about biology, which was Kelsey’s favorite subject.
Eventually she got to a blank page, between 186 and 188. There wasn’t anything on it but a little black dot. A misprint, Kelsey thought at first, and squinted at the dot. She was certain it was going larger. How could this be? It grew and grew and took shape of...a little girl? A girl in a bonnet. Kelsey smiled at the little girl, who was bent down to pick up the flowers that were at her feet.
“What a sweet little drawing,” she said to herself, and then, the picture moved. The little girl straightened to drop the flowers into her wicker basket. Startled, Kelsey let the book tumble to the floor.
“Be careful of the book,” a girl’s voice said into her ear, “Don’t ruin the book.”
Kelsey looked around wildly. “It’s all under your control,” the girl hissed, “All the time, Kelsey. You can do whatever you want. The world is yours, Kelsey.”
Kelsey, still looking for the girl, shouted, “Go away! Leave me alone!”
The book, lying open on the dirty concrete, flapped its pages at her. A dark red liquid spilled out, painting the ground, and a shadow grew up from that picture of the little girl. Kelsey screamed, although the form of the shadow was taking was not frightening at all—at least, not at first.
It took the form of the little girl in the bonnet, with the poofy blue dress, white petticoats, and lace-up brown boots. Kelsey, straining to see, could not glimpse her face. It would be a sweet face, she guessed, but there was no way to tell.
The little girl spoke again. “Just think about it, Kelsey. You can get revenge.” Her voice was soft, reassuring, and friendly. Yet still her voice set chills up Kelsey’s back.
“Revenge?” Kelsey heard herself say.
“Yes,” whispered the little girl, but the voice rang in Kelsey’s ears; “Revenge. Blood. Spill. Your father kept you caged. Unimaginative. Destroy him. Be free. Kill. Blood. Revenge.”
Kelsey found herself crying—not because she was afraid, but because she knew what the little girl in the bonnet said was true. “But—m-y f-f-father,” she sobbed, “H-he’s m-my f-f-father!”
“No, he isn’t,” the girl soothed, “He never was. Professor Frozz, right? Not dad.” Then, in an eerie imitation of Professor Frozz, she said, “I forbid you to call me dad. It is a horrid slang, that is all it is.” She took a step closer, and changed back to her normal voice. “Now, stop crying, Kelsey. Clean yourself up. You have the world, Kels—WE have the world.”
Kelsey’s cries ceased and she wiped her eyes, nodding. “B-but what would the p-professor do with you? If he g-got you first?”
“Boring things,” the girl said, “Boring, scientific things. You know.” She held out a gloved hand, but before Kelsey took it, she looked under the hood.
The little girl’s face was grotesque; it was charred, a maze of cracked, black flesh, and it was eyeless, with just empty black holes. Her nose, which would have been petite and pretty without the chunk taken out of it, was also badly burnt. The girl’s teeth were pearly white, but sharp and long, like a felines’.
The girl smiled. “Take my hand, Kelsey. You can have revenge. We’ll rule the world.”
Kelsey reached up. Kelsey took it. And together, they walked towards Kelsey’s house. The house that would soon echo with Mister Alastar Frozz’s screams of horror as his daughter slaughtered him. The house that would soon burn down to the ground, with a fourteen year old girl sitting primly by her father’s mangled body still inside. The house where a quiet little boy, a boy who despised his family for taunting him, would discover an old leather book in the ashes. The house where the little boy would open that book, and out would come his new friend; a little girl in a bonnet and blue dress.