The Ringing Girl – A Halloween Story
The tents were finally up and the fire was lit.
Josh’s tent looked a bit lopsided, but he was very proud of himself for putting it up at all.
The boys had all started to settle themselves in for the night.
“I love the woods!” said William. He was the leader of the group – and nobody minded ‘cos he always had great ideas.
Mike, Josh, Adrian and William were on a camping weekend in Wayland Woods. They had chosen a clearing deep in the ancient Norfolk woodland, surrounded by tall trees. They had tents, sleeping bags and sausages to cook on the fire. Josh was looking forward to the hot chocolate with roasted marshmallows!
But, undoubtedly, the very best thing about this camping trip was that there were NO PARENTS!
The boys were having a great time! The sausages were delicious! Adrian dropped his one into the fire and when he poked it out, it was all covered in ash – but he still ate it!
“I’m hungry!” he whined.
Out came the marshmallows, and the boys all stared into the dancing flames of the roaring fire.
William was poking his cooking stick aimlessly into the ground gradually hollowing out a small hole. Suddenly, his stick slipped and banged against something that made a “ting!”
“Ting?” he said.
All the boys looked over and they started digging with all their sticks. Josh reached into the hole and pulled out a….
“It s a…”
“What is it?” said Mike.
“It’s a bell”, said William, his face serious and sombre.
“A bell? What would a bell be doing this far out in the woods?” mocked Josh.
“Haven’t you heard of the Ringing Girl of Wayland Woods?” said William his eyes small and his voice hushed.
“The Ringing Girl?”
“of Wayland Woods – these woods.”
“What happened William?” said Mike, not very sure himself that he really wanted to know.
“Hundreds of years ago lived a boy called Jasper. He was about our age and lived with his family in a small house on the edge of town. They were very poor and, even though Jasper wanted nothing more than to go to school and make some friends, he had to get a job at the local bakers. Now, the baker was in Griston and it was a long walk that took him right through the middle of Wayland Woods. These woods!
“On his first day, his mother walked him the whole way there. But it was up to Jasper to find his way home. At the end of the day, Jasper wrapped his scarf around his neck and headed off through the woods. But after a short, while he realised he had no idea where he was. He stopped in a clearing and looked around him. Trees. Everywhere. Just trees. It was getting dark and the wind was picking up. He pulled his scarf tighter around his neck. He was getting cold. And worried. He didn’t want spend the night alone in the woods! Then, above the rustling of leaves, he thought he heard something.”
A crack snapped the boys out of the story. They all looked around them, but the light was fading fast and all they could see were shadows. Josh took a deep breath; dark wasn’t his favourite thing in the world.
Then came a sound that made the whole crowd jumped right off their bottoms.
“Hahaha” Mike made an almighty noise as he hid his nervousness under his obnoxious laugh.
“Shut up Mike!” hissed Josh, his words disappearing into the whispering sounds of the leaves blowing in the trees.
“Sorry, William, carry on” said Mike.
“The noise was coming closer. It sounded… like bells. Jasper was glued to the spot, paralysed with fear… And then, out of the shadows it came.
The owl was almost directly above them.
“Where did that come from?” said Josh, gradually slowing the beating of his heart.
William went on.
“It was a young girl wearing a dirty white dress with bells on the bottom. ‘Who are you?’ he called. She just giggled and starting dancing in circles around him, kicking up dried leaves and twigs. ‘What do you want?’ he called over the wind, which was now starting to whoosh and howl. Suddenly, she rushed over to him, grabbed his hand tight, and ran through the trees pulling Jasper behind her! She was so strong! And, before he knew it, he was out of the woods. It wasn’t nearly so dark out there. He took a deep breath, looked at his little rescuer, and thanked her. The girl said nothing. She just smiled and danced back off into the forest, her bells jingling as she went.”
A rustle in the undergrowth made William stop his storytelling and stare off in to the darkness. All eyes followed and could see nothing …or maybe…No, no. It was nothing.
This is not the end of the story! As it’s an original, I’m just protecting my copyright 🙂 If you’d like more information, then please get in touch with me!