My Own Personal Ghost

Zeke and Jacob

This picture was a big inspiration for my children’s novel: ‘My Own Personal Ghost’. It’s about Ezekiel (third from the left) who died whilst committing a robbery.

One hundred years later, his ghost possesses a modern-day teenager (Ben) and the two battle it out for supremacy.

Ezekiel is hard-working, life-loving, family-minded and God-fearing.

He sees Ben as dull, unappreciative and rude. Ben is also an agnostic which Ezekiel thinks is ridiculous.

Ezekiel believes it is his right to take over Ben’s body and so uses every trick he can to achieve domination.

Ben is forced to question what it means to be alive and begins to understand the potential he has to be generous, popular, happy and successful. With every ounce of strength he fights back. But will it be too little, too late?

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I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved with this story so if you happen to be a publisher or literary agent – and I know that hundreds of you cruise this site on a daily basis – please get in touch.

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Chapter 1

It all started one evening last March with me and Rick sitting in the graveyard at the back of his house. I was trying to ignore the cold, creeping damp of the stone coffin we were sitting on when suddenly Rick snapped his fingers in front of my face. ‘You listening or what?’

‘Yeah,’ I said, even though I wasn’t. ‘You were talking about your birthday present – the drum kit.’

It was a guess but a good one. He’d spent most of the week moaning about how his birthday present had been rubbish, even though it had cost his dad nearly £600.

‘All I wanted was a proper acoustic drum kit,’ Rick grumbled for the billionth time.

So as he carried blathering on about ‘ tom-tom bounce’ and the ‘zingyness’ of cymbals, I stared at the small marble gravestone just in front of us. It’s much smaller than all the others and, where the rest are a dirty grey colour, this one is pure white. Carved into the top is an angel with two wings feathering out from either side. Their tips stick slightly above the rest of the stone.

Even though there was almost no sun left, the gold lettering gleamed bright: ‘Ezekiel Parthingate 1870 – 1884.’

Rick stopped talking, gave a small grunt and shifted his weight. After a few seconds he said, ‘What sort of name is Ezekiel anyway?’

‘It’s probably from the— ’

‘What?’

I stared straight ahead.

‘Where’s it from?’

He wasn’t going to let it drop. I had to finish. ‘The Bible,’ I said in a small voice.

‘Oh, it’s from the Bible. Aren’t you clever! My Daddy would be so impressed!’ he said clapping his palms together. Then he let his hands drop to his lap.

‘Ezekiel,’ he muttered, drew his knee back and kicked the top part, where the angel was. Then he did it again, this time aiming for a wing.

‘You want to go back inside?’ I said.

He kicked once more and then jumped down to take a look.

‘I think there’s a crack. Go on. Your turn.’

‘Nah,’ I said casually. ‘You’re all right.’

‘What’s the matter? What you scared of?’

I knew he’d keep on at me and I was bored and freezing and wanted to go inside so I did what he told me. I tapped my trainer against the angel’s wing.

‘That’s rubbish. Do it properly.’

A cold wind blew across the back of my neck and I looked longingly towards the lights of Rick’s house. Then I drew my foot back and tapped the stone again, a little harder this time. There was a loud snap and a piece broke off, jolting me forward.

‘Cool!’ He jumped down and crouched in the long grass. When he stood up he was holding a triangle of white stone. The carved feathers were just visible. Pushing his hair away from his face, he gave a wide grin. ‘I’m telling Dad.’

‘What?’

He put on a high-pitched, innocent-sounding voice. ‘Well, you did break it.’

I swore under my breath, not expecting him to hear. But he did. He put the piece of stone in his pocket and moved closer.

‘What did you say?’

Rick swears all the time but for some reason he hates it when people do it back to him.

‘Well?’

The church clock started to chime as I glared at him, wishing he wasn’t my friend, wishing he wasn’t such an idiot, wishing I wasn’t such a wimp.

‘Nothing,’ I said.

‘Yes, you did.’ He smiled and for a moment I thought he was just going to laugh it off, maybe it’s all going to be OK, I thought, but then he closed a hand round each of my ankles and pulled them towards him.

I kicked out but he held so tight I could only twitch against his grip. I couldn’t reach forward, he was too quick. All I could do was dig my nails into the mossy surface of the stone and try to hold on but just as the clock sounded its last chime, my skull hit granite.

 

 

 

 

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