Amazing Kids! Magazine

I Am Unusual

By Eve Caron, age 11


I opened the book, and out slipped a photograph. Just a normal Polaroid picture. It all seemed so normal. But little did I know that picture would change my life forever.

“Does anyone know how to multiply mixed numbers?” our boring teacher, Mrs. Roberts, asked the class. As usual, she was wearing a yellow floral skirt that reached her ankles and a green blouse. Only a few kids raised their hands, for more than half were daydreaming or doodling in notebooks. I was a daydreamer. My name is Angelica Belle, but you may call me Angie. Today there was going to be a test, so I probably should have been studying, but I never studied. I just always got As. It’s genetic. My father is a genius scientist, and my mother is a doctor. You would think that I’m pretty spoiled, but just look at my clothes. I wore paint-stained jeans and a green shirt that says, “Save the Trees.” My sneakers were muddy and uncomfortable.

“Angelica?” Mrs. Roberts’s voice snapped me out of my daydream. She looked at me expectantly.

“I’m sorry, can you repeat the question?” I requested.

“I don’t know, can I?” the teacher asked. I sighed; she was going to make this difficult, wasn’t she? Since the school had a low budget, each class only had one teacher, so she was my grammar teacher as well. She didn’t have much time for each subject, so she squeezed in learning time whenever possible.

“Will you repeat the question?” I asked, growing impatient. Mrs. Roberts exhaled sharply. I can tell she didn’t like my attitude.

“Okay, Angelica,” she quizzed me, “what is 4 1/2 x 1 3/8?”

“6 3/16,” I answered after a brief pause. She raised her eyebrow but then turned around and continued lecturing the class on how you absolutely have to convert the mixed numbers to improper fractions. And as Mrs. Roberts began another math lecture, I was swept away into the daydream world once again.

The weekend was definitely my favorite part of the week, when I had plenty of time to play board games that challenge the mind with my large family.

However, everything goes downhill on Sunday, when I have to complete homework and do chores. I have four other sisters: Margo, Penny, Jackie, and Renee. We split the chores evenly among us, but it still isn’t fair. One time, I got stuck with toilet duty and litter box duty. We only had one cat named Pickles, but he poops for four!

This week I was planning to clean out the attic. We only did this once a month, so of course I got stuck with it. Nobody cleans it thoroughly, though, because we’re all so lazy. It’s spooky and smelly up there. I remember I faked being sick once, so Margo had to clean it out. She’s the oldest.

I stood in the doorway, looking up the stairs into the darkness above. I could hear the rain coming down slowly but surely. I had heard on the news a storm was brewing. Margo walked behind me with a basket of laundry. “If you start now, we’ll have time to play Mind Boggler before dinner,” she reminded me as she turned into the laundry room and disappeared from sight. Mind Boggler was my favorite board game.

With newfound determination, I marched up the stairs, which made a creak with every step. I heard a howling sound in the distance and told myself it was just the wind. Thunder rumbled, and the rain started to come down in buckets. I was instructed by my mother to look through the many boxes and see if I could find any books by the author Julia Frank. She was my mother’s favorite author, but all her books had been lost in the move. I walked up to one of the dusty boxes and tried to work out what the smudged writing said. It definitely started with a K and ended with an S, so I opened it, hoping it said KELLIE’S BOOKS. Kellie was my mom’s name. There were a few books in it but only kid books.

After I had searched half of the attic, I only had three Julia Frank books. My mom had informed me there were at least six of them. That meant there were only three left to find! I quickly skipped over to the other side and opened the first box, which was quite small. Inside was a single book. I blew the dust off the front cover and sneezed. It appeared to have no title. I opened the book, and out slipped a photograph. The photo was of a girl with long, black hair wearing a white summer dress. The girl’s hands were at her hips, and her eyes were shining with joy and something I couldn’t quite name.

I pondered the possibility of whom it might be as lightning crackled. In the split second that the light of lightning shone through the window, the picture looked different. The girl seemed to have lost her joyful gaze, and it was replaced with a zombie-like, expressionless stare; and her hands were draped at her sides. A heartbeat later, she was back to her happy posture.

After I had recovered from the shock of the photograph changing, I directed my attention to the book. Curiosity filled my veins as I picked it up and flipped it open. All of the pages were empty except for the very last one. It read, “Think what you will, but whoever comes across me will be cursed to live the life of the girl in the photo.”

As I walked through the halls of my dull school, I couldn’t stop thinking about the girl in the photograph and the meaning of the book. While I was lost in thought, I accidentally bumped into someone’s back, dropping all my textbooks and papers.

“So sorry!” I said as I bent down to pick up my books and binders, then stood back up. I almost dropped them again at the sight of whom I had run into. The girl! She was standing right in front of me, with the same clothes, same hairstyle.

My eyes widened as I stood speechless, like an idiot, in the middle of the crowded hallway.

Gathering my courage, I spoke bravely, “Wh-What? You-You’re…?” I blinked once, and she was gone. My head whipped around as I felt a tap on my shoulder.

“Whoa, jumpy much?” my friend Cecelia asked me.

“Cece! I think I’m being haunted by a ghost photograph!” I exclaimed. She looked at me as if I were speaking another language. Saying it out loud, I realize how stupid it sounded.

“Okay, then, and I’m being stalked by a monster paperclip,” she said, thinking it was a joke. When I didn’t reply, she shrugged and turned around to head to her class. Unfortunately, we had different teachers, so we only had a couple minutes each day to see each other, which was in the mornings or bumping into each other in the hallway.

I marched back to my locker and put my backpack away. For some reason, I had felt it was necessary to bring in the photo, so I had it in my locker. I looked at it, studying it. I shook my head. Nothing was going to happen; I’m being irrational.

Closing my locker, I made my way through the groups of students to my classroom. I focused in class, trying to keep my mind off it, telling myself it was just a coincidence the girl in the hallway had the same haircut. Perhaps I didn’t look at her closely enough, and it was actually my friend Tina. Yeah, that’s it. I got through the day okay, raising my hand as much as possible, causing Mrs. Roberts to be suspicious.

I practically ran home from school at the end of the day. Without even saying hello to my family, I hurried up the stairs to the attic and searched for the little box that held the photograph. Nobody saw me come in. That was my biggest mistake. I opened it quickly and stuffed the picture into it, making dust go everywhere. I sneezed, and something caught my eye.

Underneath the book was a smaller note written in all capitals in messy, black ink. I slowly reached into the box and picked it up. I had to squint to read it. “WHAT WAS SEEN IS NOW UNSEEN; WHAT WAS SENSED BECOMES SENSELESS,” I read aloud. The words echoed in my ears. I suddenly felt nauseous, so I closed my eyes. When I opened them again, I felt lighter than air. I saw my attic but from a different point of view, almost as if I were in the photo.

Remembering the first note, I suddenly froze in fear. I was in the picture, and now I will forever live the life of the girl in the photo.

Many Years Later:

Life was swell for the Belle family now, and the disappearance of Angelica Belle had long been forgotten. After the girl, who once was a ray of sunlight, was found missing, the police began a search. After many weeks without any luck, they gave up on the investigation, but the family kept searching for their lost little girl.

As the years went on, though, one by one, they gave up hope. Everyone went on with life, but she was never forgotten. Now, nobody speaks of the girl. Nobody knows where she could be. Nobody knows to look in the attic.