8th Grade, 1st Place
by Emily Viscarra,
Lake Oconee Academy (Greene County)
I don’t know why I was so drawn to this case. I worked as a detective in the cold case department and developed a fascination with the murder of a girl in our town. She was killed on Halloween in the 50s; the case remained unsolved. I found myself going through evidence, looking at everything left behind from the scene. Something caught my eye. A book. I decided to investigate. When I started to examine the worn-out pages, I realized it wasn’t a book. It was a diary. The diary of the girl who was killed. I couldn’t resist taking it home and reading more.
I opened the diary and decided to read one entry before I went to sleep, but it slowly turned into more. I was so invested in her life, I was reaching the end of it. I knew her death would be soon.
Maybe it’s just October. All of these creepy things keep happening to me. I can’t see my reflection in the mirror. I found a black cat hanging from a tree. Is this some prank? I don’t think I can take it!
This was never mentioned in the hundreds of pages in the file. Why wouldn’t they include these occurrences leading to her death? My excitement grew. I loved horror stories, and this one was true. Although I was eager to continue, I put it away.
After coming home from work, I wanted to read more. As I approached my lawn, I saw people circling the sycamore tree. When I came closer to investigate, I saw something dangling from a branch. A black cat. Dead. It was exactly what happened in the diary. I burst through my front door, and ran into my room. I threw my bag against the wall and approached the mirror. I stepped towards it, and I couldn’t see my reflection. I grabbed the diary, and started flipping through earlier entries. Everything that’s happened to this girl resembled my own life. Every event she wrote about, I’d experienced. It was like I knew her. It was like I was her.
I scattered newspapers all over the floor. I needed to know who this girl was. I searched until I found her name, Mary Callahan. Died October 31, 1956. My birthday. She was survived by her brother, Will Callahan. I knew him!
I was incredibly nervous approaching Will Callahan’s house. He was playing with a girl in the yard. I walked up to Will. His mouth dropped as tears formed in his eyes.
“It’s you isn’t it? I can sense it. My sister.” Will embraced me as his granddaughter approached. “T-t-this is my granddaughter, Mary. Named after you.” She smiled, but I just stared. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I’d been reading my diary from my past life. I was going to find who killed me. I had been born to solve my own murder.