Young Readers League 2017 Writing Contest

3rd place

Category 2 (ages 12-14)

The Selfie

by Penelope Burian
Age 13 (Grade 7)
Blair Middle School


‘‘It was a dark and stormy night, just like how most ghost stories start,” Kate began. “We’re seriously doing this? Ghost stories are super childish!” Poppy exclaimed. Kate and Abby laughed. “You’re just scared, Poppy!” Abby added jokingly. The three of them had been best friends since third grade, when Abby lost her tooth in Kate’s apple. Poppy sat watching and became jealous that she hadn’t lost any molars yet and got Kate to pull it out with a string. Now, they were in eighth grade, and still as close as sardines, or whatever people say.

“Anyways, there were three girls at a sleepover. One of them was too scared to do anything fun, so they had the worst time ever,” Kate said, elbowing Poppy. She was not impressed. “Ghost stories just aren‘t scary!” Abby looked around awkwardly as the two glared at each other. “Selfie time!” she yelled out of the blue. She pulled out her phone and took a picture of the three. The picture was cute. Nothing out of the ordinary, except something that Poppy caught in the corner. A person. A little girl with blond pigtails, and a blank facial expression. It gave Poppy chills. “Guys, look in the corner.”  Kate gasped.

“There’s someone there,” said Abby. “No duh, “Kate replied. Poppy turned around. No one was there. A cold mist filled the air, where the girls were sitting. Eventually, they all fell asleep. The next morning, Abby checked her phone, like she did every morning. There was a picture of all three girls sleeping. There was another video of the girl they saw earlier, saying, “Catch me if you can!” Abby dropped her phone and screamed. She ran out of the room. Kate and Poppy swore they heard laughing. Abby never had a sleepover again.

Contest info: In 300 words or less, tell a ghost story.

Special thanks to our judges:  Allison Hill (Vromans); Shauna Redmond, Jean Penn, Leela Perea, Robin Reidy and Rosa Cesaretti (Pasadena Public Library).

Copyedited by Faith Malicdem, Teen Blog Assistant

To view more stories from the contest, view the list: