A news website produced by students of A.P. Giannini Middle School
By Aerin Song & Viana Xie
It was a sunny afternoon when James ran home. As James ran, about 50 feet away, he saw a white van in front of his house. When he got home, he heard a man break open his front door. The man had a gun and a knife. James quickly whipped out his phone and dialled 911.
“911, how may I help you?” The scratchy voice at the end of the phone quietly asked.
“An armed man is breaking into my house!” James cried loudly, and quickly.
This alerted the man in the house, as James heard clanging and fast footsteps, as if the robber was hurrying. Then, the man took a long metal rod and quickly bangged the rod on James head. James fell and fainted, as the phone dropped to a thump.
“ARE YOU OKAY?!” the voice through the phone yelled.
The man carried James outside and threw him into the white van. The man got in the van and drove quickly down the street.
James awoke in a dark room, tied to a chair, the chair was tied to the wall. James blinked hard, hoping this was all a dream.
James pinched himself, and immediately knew it wasn’t a dream. He strained to see the rest of the room, but it was too dark. All he could see was a knife next to his foot. Was that left purposely for me? James questioned himself, but knew he had to get out. Don’t dilly dally! He told himself.
He wiggled himself and reached down, trying to get a hold of the knife. He couldn’t reach it. Damn! Then he realized he could just move the knife with his foot. He skimmed his foot across the floor, maneuvering his feet so the tip of his foot was right at the handle of the knife. He dragged his foot back to him, and the knife dragged with his foot.
Once the knife was close to his foot, he reached down as far as he could. He could feel his body stretching. It hurt, but he kept reaching down. Finally, he felt the blade touch his finger. He spread his fingers wide and grabbed the back of the blade.
The blade flung around and cut his thighs. It wouldn’t hurt as long as I get out, he thought to himself quietly. He tried cutting the rope, but when started cutting, it would make a “Erk Erk” noise. He wouldn’t hear it, right? He continued to cut the rope. But once he finished cutting, a man walked in.
“Stand back! I have a weapon!” James screeched. Then man, unaffected by his words, pulled out a pistol.
“Make one move, and I will pull the trigger.” the deep voice rumbled.
James was frightened. His heart was pounding loudly. What should I do?! James asked himself. His heart pounding quickly, he threw the knife at the man. BOOM! The man pulled the trigger. James was shot, blood pouring all over him.
Without a blink, the dangerous man put on gloves. He picked up James and dumped him into a big body bag. Ugh. So many bodies. Probably like 3 bodies now. What should I do with them? The mindless man thought. He picked the body bag up and put it in a big dark room.
Where am I? James awoke on some clouds of white. Am I in Heaven?! Did I die?! He stood up and put his hands on his face. He looked down, and saw the blood was gone. He then saw a puddle in the cloud. James trotted over to the puddle and looked down. What he saw put him in awe. He saw a man watching TV. It looked like the man who shot him. When he touched the puddle, the image zoomed out, and he was now looking at a dark, ruined house in the middle of the woods. He looked up and walked over to a lady wearing a plain white dress with golden wings. “Welcome to Heaven!” the lady yelled happily. James looked back at the puddle. “I need to go back. I need to go back!” James started running towards the pond. “My family needs me! My mom! My dad!” James cried as he looked into the pond. Without thinking, he jumped into the pond. “COME BACK!” screeched the angel. But James didn’t care. He swam deeper into the pool, and the world seemed to get closer to him. “MOM, DAD! I’M COMING!” he tried to say, but all that came out was bubbles. Gradually, energy drained from him like a sponge was sucking all the life out of him. But he was already dead. Could he die again? He looked at the face of his mom and dad. I can’t give up. They need me. He swam deeper and deeper into the pool. His lungs screamed for air. His chest was tight. It felt as if he was going to throw up. But he hadn’t eaten anything since. I threw up gallons of water.
Suddenly, the tightness in his chest disappeared. He felt the ground beneath his feet. He looked around. He was in his house! He saw his mom and dad. He rushed to meet them and hug them, but instead, he ran right through them. He was frightened. His parents hadn’t noticed them. Was he a ghost now? He tried picking up a piece of paper that was on the ground, but instead, his hand went through the ground. Tears rolled down his cheek.
It was the day when the robber killed James. The robber’s nephew was at his home.
“Uncle, can we go to the mall?” The nephew asked.
“ I have some business to do to day”
In the robber’s head he thought, Time to go rob. The robber locked his nephew in a room and told him not to get out until he told him it was okay to come out. But the nephew had found keys to open the door. Since he wanted to obey his uncle, he decided not to unlock it.
An hour later, his uncle came back, but it sounded as if he was dragging another person. He wanted to see what was happening. The nephew unlocked the door and left a little crease so that he can see what his uncle was doing. Oh my lord! Is that my friend? What is he doing with him? His nephew’s name was William. William peered through the keyhole to get a better view. William started to panic. He didn’t know what to do. So he blasted open the door.
“Uncle Peter! Put that man down right now!” William commanded.
“William!” His uncle jumped in surprise. “What are you doing!” His uncle’s face all of a sudden turned stern and angry. “I told you to stay in your room! Your grounded!”
“You can’t ground me!” William shot back in defiance. “I’m calling the police, YOU PUT JAMES DOWN RIGHT NOW!” William screamed.
“YOU DON’T TALK BACK TO ME YOUNG YOUNG MAN! You respect me!” William quickly darted towards the kitchen. “DON’T YOU DARE!” William heard his uncle’s footsteps pounding toward him. William grabbed the biggest knife he could find, then ran back to his room. He snatched his phone and called the police. “911, what’s your emergency?”
“MY UNCLE IS A BIG FAT LIAR WHO MURDERS PEOPLE!” he screeched.
“HE KIDNAPPED MY FRIEND NAMES JAMES FORD! HE IS UNCONSCIOUS! I THINK HE WAS HIT IN THE HEAD!”
“Where is your house?”
“3245 on 4th Street crossed with Market Street and Fracton Street!”
“On our way! We are sending a police car and an ambulance. Alright, you hang in there.” When William peeked through the hole, James body was gone. Then he heard a crack in the air.
William sat in his room for what felt like half an hour before the police arrived. He heard wood splinter as the police knocked down the door. He flung himself out of his room and grabbed the policeman's arm.
“Help,” William whispered. “Where is your uncle?”
“I don’t know, but James’s body was right here.” William pointed at the spot he had last seen James. “Then I looked, and he was gone. A few minutes later, I heard a crack in the air,” William explained to the police.
“Search the house,” the chief policeman ordered. The other police men and women spread out around the house. After a few minutes, there was all of a sudden a clang and a bang. One of the officers came back with Peter, two other officers flanking him. The officers had their tasers out. The lead officer commanded him arrested after another police women came in with a bag and dead bodies. One was James Ford. William gasped. He stood there frozen until something started to trickle through his body. It was like all the warmth fading from him. He saw something that he thought could never exist. He rubbed his eyes, but when he opened them, he indeed was seeing none other than James Ford, floating and transparent.
“J-James?” William stuttered.
“Yes, me.” Said James in a mysterious voice. “WHY DIDN’T YOU SAVE ME!” James suddenly snapped. William jumped at his tone. “I-I-I couldn’t!”
“You weren’t fast enough,” James cried.
“I couldn’t! My uncle would have killed me too!”
James sighed. He drifted into the kitchen and slumped.
“I’m stuck here. I can’t go back to Heaven now, the angel won’t let me.” James said gloomily.
“ What do you mean?” asked William starting to tear up.
“I can’t get out of this house. This is the place I was murdered. And I already ran away from Heaven.” cried James.
“ Then what are you to do?”
“Stay here. Live here forever until I fade. Fade into nothing”
“My uncle is arrested and my parents died when I was born. Where am I going to live?”
“Here. You can stay with me!” James said excitedly.
“ But I have to eat and you don’t. How are we going to get money for food?”
“The food bank can do that. And for money, WAIT! My parents can adopt you!” Squealed James.
“Oh my gosh! I can’t wait to see my parents!”
William took this into consideration. He finally saw the benefits. He would have parents, and the Ford family would have a son again.
“I’ll do it.”
James haunted the house until he was forgotten, and faded away in peace. William was successfully adopted by the Ford family and felt like he belonged somewhere.
The Giannini Beacon Gazette is a news site created by the Journalism Club students of A.P. Giannini Middle School and sponsored by Sunset Neighborhood Beacon Center (SNBC).