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Hermione Barnes-Clay: “Fifty-eight”

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To vote for Hermione’s story, head to her Facebook post and ‘like’ it.


Isabel placed her winter coat and hat in her mini suitcase, her head filled with what the weekend would bring. She thought of skating across the lake, playing in the fresh snow and eating some of her uncle’s pumpkin pie.

She ran over to her bed to get her story books for the journey and decided to open her window to let some cold air in.

She hadn’t opened her window since the summer and it was old and heavy. She unlocked it and tried to push it up but she struggled to free the window. After a second try, it jolted up with a squeak. She held on to the window sill as she stuck her head out to look over the side of the slope and down at the train station. It was deserted as she gazed across the misty landscape.

Her breath clouded out of her mouth. A light layer of snow lay on the trees and she leaned on the sill lost in her thoughts, but she was interrupted by a voice calling out. It was a girl’s voice and Isabel looked about but couldn’t see anyone. The winter’s fog lay over the train tracks and there didn’t seem to be anyone there.

Her eyes darted across the station below and she wondered where the voice was coming from. She couldn’t quite make out what the girl was saying but then the voice rang out clearer this time, echoing in her ears and as she looked down again, a girl appeared. She was skipping and counting, “Fifty-seven, fifty-seven, fifty-seven.” She was on the train tracks.

Isabel panicked as she looked down at the girl. She had to do something.

“Hey! Over here!” Isabel shouted down to the girl, but she didn’t look up.

“Hey! Get off the tracks!” Isabel shouted again.

The girls head snapped up and she looked at Isabel with wide eyes and whispered, “Join me.”

Isabel told her parents that she was going to get the tickets for them from the train station which wasn’t a lie but it wasn’t the whole truth.

As she stepped onto the platform a gush of wind blew past and Isabel was pushed to the side. She began to search around the tracks but the girl was nowhere to be seen.

The train station was empty so she decided to call out for the girl but she started to think she had imagined it all.

“Isabel, join me.” Isabel turned around to see the girl behind her. She was pale and her hair was white, she seemed lifeless. Isabel stood back in fright, speechless.

“Isabel, join me.” The girl said again louder, as she walked over to the train tracks and lowered herself down. She started to skip again counting, “Fifty-seven, fifty-seven, fifty-seven.”

The girl had her head down as she skipped on the spot. She skipped and skipped and skipped.

Isabel shuffled onto the train tracks as she stood behind the girl. She had finally decided to join her. Confused but curious she just copied what the girl was doing.

So they both skipped while they counted, “Fifty-seven, fifty-seven, fifty-seven…”

Isabel was lost in thought, oblivious to the sound of the train in the distance.

She was enjoying skipping with the girl so much she was unaware of the train getting closer and closer. She shook her head as if she was trying to awake from a trance and turned around but it was too late.

“Fifty-eight, fifty-eight, fifty-eight,” the girl said as she skipped happily. Isabel’s blood spread across the tracks.


To vote for Hermione’s story, head to her Facebook post and ‘like’ it.

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