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Students Receive Awards for Mystery Writing

April 08, 2019

Three Middle School students received awards from the 26th Annual Betty Field Memorial Youth Writing Contest this past weekend for their mystery stories. Leksi E. ‘23 won the First Place Story in the 8th Grade Category. Sixth graders Bryant W. ‘25 and Neve P. ‘25 received judges awards for their stories. Congratulations, Kodiaks!

Leksi’s story, “In Loving Memory of Emily Farlow,” was published in a booklet that was distributed during the Awards and Recognition Program on Saturday, April 6. Her story is below. We look forward to reading Bryant’s and Neve’s work in the future!

26th Annual Betty Field Memorial Youth Writing Contest

In Loving Memory of Emily Farlow”

By Leksi E. ‘23

Emily has always been a regular person. She had a regular husband and a regular job. She had run-of-the-mill dreams and lived a boring, routine life, and that was the way she liked it. Every morning, she woke up, read the newspaper, ate breakfast, and went to work. Who would think it would matter if she read the paper every morning? In this case, however, it absolutely did.

Emily sat down at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and a short stack of pancakes. She picked at her food and took leisurely sips of her warm drink as she skimmed the newspaper, but her eyes locked onto one unique detail: In Loving Memory of Emily Farlow. She dropped her coffee cup on the floor and it shattered into a thousand pieces. She read and re-read the title hundreds of times. It wasn’t true. It couldn’t be true. Emily was only 35, there was no way she died so soon. Okay, she thought. Breathe. Emily walked toward the stairs and slowly made her way up to her bedroom. She promptly changed out of her nightgown and into a white button up blouse with a pink cardigan and a pencil skirt. She put on her glasses and quickly tied back her hair.

Emily got into her car and lightly pressed her foot down on the gas. It took only a few minutes to drive to the library where she worked, so she decided to make her way there. She didn’t feel different… everything seemed so normal. Perhaps she would find something out when she got there. Wait, no. Everything was not normal. People on the sidewalks stopped to stare at her car. Everyone marveled at the sight of what she can only assume was a car with no driver. Finally she reached the library and escaped the many pairs of eyes boring a hole into the back of her skull.

As she entered the building, a man Emily had never met before was leaving it. As they collided Emily’s world turned cold and she passed right through him. She screamed in agony as she collapsed to the ground. Emily desperately reached for the warmth she had felt moments before, but all she could feel was ice. Finally, the man left the doorway with nothing more than a slight shiver. She was a ghost. Emily always thought spirits were merely superstition, but now she was sure they were real. Emily looked down at where her hands had been clutching her chest and she noticed a pool of sticky red blood soaking through her blouse. This was the moment she knew she had not died normally. Emily was murdered, and every inch of her down to her bones knew it the moment she began bleeding. She started to panic, and her world spun. Emily crouched there on the ground for a few moments until finally she stood up. She knew what she had to do.

Emily Farlow was always fascinated by mysteries. She loved the enigmatic suspense of a mysterious plot, but she never thought that she would ever be the subject of one, not to mention that she was now dead and still aware of her surroundings, also something she had never imagined before. She came to think that the agony she experienced earlier happened whenever she touched someone, so she avoided people as much as possible. Everywhere she went, she heard her name.

“Did you know Emily Farlow?” one asked.

“No, but I’ve seen her before. I always thought she was a bit cantankerous and eccentric but now I feel awful for it,” another replied.

“Tragic,” one said.

“Unjust,” murmured another.

Emily couldn’t stand it. She was standing right there and couldn’t say or do anything. Emily was determined to solve the mystery of her own death, and, of course, why she was still there afterward. It consumed her, and she thought of nothing else. Of course, her reluctance to touch a human was never far from her thoughts either. It was so strange, living in the same melancholy world with such a different point of view. She was an outsider now.

Emily rushed back to her house. She swiped up the journal she diligently wrote in at least once daily, hoping it would give her some clues. She read the entry from the day of her murder.

Today I plan to work in the library for most of the day before going to dinner with some friends. I usually don’t spend time with people, but I think this will be a nice change. I’m sure it will be wonderful.

Emily scoffed. That would never be useful, but she was determined to find something out anyway. Emily searched for evidence for days. For countless hours she reached for the smallest piece of information and hoped it would lead somewhere, but it took her nowhere. Emily was no further along in solving her own murder than she was when she started. In the end, she found nothing. Emily was walking down a heavily crowded street when she realized there was nothing else to find. It was a dead end. She dropped her head and stared at the ground dejectedly. Too late, she remembered she couldn’t touch people, and she looked up in time to see someone just about to walk through her.

She braced herself for the same pain she had felt before, but it never came. Emily opened her eyes and stared. She reached out and let her hand pass through someone else walking past her, then another, and another. She came to an eye-opening realization, and her memories came flooding back. She remembered walking home from dinner, only to be grabbed by the man she had seen at the library. He had tried to grab her purse, but she refused to let go. Finally, she remembered when he pulled out a switchblade, and…

Emily was horrified at the memory, but at the same time she couldn’t feel happier. Something nagged at the back of her mind, though. She thought she had remembered another person there, complicit in the act. She shrugged, thinking she would remember their face if someone else had been there. Emily went back home, finally triumphant. Moments after she sat down, her husband came through the front door. She had forgotten about his recent trip in all the chaos of the last week. He walked into the kitchen and Emily so desperately wanted to be close to him that she let him walk through her. She was hit with a sudden pang of cold, so much worse than the first time she almost didn’t get up again. She once again felt the blood, warm and sticky against her chest and hands, stain her clothes. Emily was petrified. She grabbed hold of the table and pulled herself up, staring at her husband. She was betrayed. Finally, she sank to the ground as tears streamed down her face and never stood back up again.

26th Annual Betty Field Memorial Youth Writing Contest