Anna Tibbits of Morgan won an essay contest put on by the Morgan County Library. Librarian Valarie Hancok gives the award to Anna that a recent council meeting. Looking on is County Attorney Jann Farris. The Morgan County News is proud to bring it to our readers ...
By Anna Tibbits
The mystery of a drowned girl is leaking out at our Lady of Sorrows Catholic All-Girls School. The drowned victim was a freshman girl, and it had been 4 years since her death when Gilda Joyce comes on an academic scholarship to Our Lady Catholic School.
The secrets of this school are hard for Gilda to miss. The seniors and headmistress are cutting conversations short after Gilda asks a subtle question about Dolores: the mysteriously killed freshman. A fellow freshman tells her a bone-chilling story how she has become haunted.
A drowned mystery; a student chased by Dolores' spirit; and a principal that dismisses any-talk of a haunting; perfect scenario for Gilda Joyce, psychic investigator. An education takes a back seat as she goes undercover to solve this disturbing mystery.
So just who is Gilda Joyce? Gilda is a spunky freshman girl, living with her widowed mother and lazy brother. She is a ghost hunting, spirit watching, psychic investigator.
While others may quiver in fear of the paranormal, Guilda basks in the opportunity of exploring the situation.
Gilda wastes no time digging up the information on the first day at school. She takes her chances and crosses over a bridge to the mystic ruins. Inside she finds a mysterious meeting room for a club called The Ladies of the Lake. From behind a curtain on the window, she hears their dark whispers, only to discover Dolores's death was no accident! She was tricked into being killed!
Gilda is amazed! She isn't too surprised though. She knew someone was responsible for her death, but the fact that the 3 most responsible and well-known seniors were the culprits, makes it all the more interesting.
Gilda stares with scorn and shame at the seniors' khaki's and Starbucks coffees. Danielle is filled with guilt, so much that she actually calls Guilda, gives her the notes take just before Dolores's death. It describes every cruel trick they played on her. Gilda holds her evidence in her hand, ready to be used at her will and pleasure.
After a week of being bribed to not tell on them, Gilda goes to the headmistress, Mrs. McCracken. Mrs. McCracken doesn't want to believe Gilda. (Who would? The 3 most popular, helpful seniors caused the death of a young girl? Please, give me a break!) When Gilda shows her the notes, Mrs. McCracken surrenders. She has no choice, the evidence is right there. Mrs. McCracken dismisses Gilda, and calls the 3 girls to her office, one by one.
Danielle confessed right away. The guilt had been eating at her conscience mercilessly. She had burst into tears, apologized, and asked Mrs. McCracken not to go to the police. Mrs. McCracken told her she didn't know if she needed to, because this counted as a serious offense of hazing, but not a technical crime.
Nikki only confessed when she heard Danielle had caved. It was the same scenario as it was with Danielle. An apology, a burst of tears, and a plead.
Priscilla was a very different story. She told Mrs. McCracken she had never seen the notes, or heard that story ever before in her life. Then she hitch-hiked to Ohio... where she was caught by the police.
Gilda beamed with pride after her chilling discovery, yet to find Ms. McCracken was after her. When Gilda is called at home to have a meeting with Gilda and her mom, Gilda notices something new about herself: she was scared. Guilda panicked. How could she win a battle with the headmistress at the finest school in their region? She couldn't; she went to the police.
Down at the police station, the officer listened carefully to Gilda's mysterious case. It seems to make sense, but he can't get over the fact that Danielle, Nikki, and Priscilla were actually the ones at fault. he told Gilda he would investigate right away.
At Our Lady of Sorrows, the officer interviews the suspects and Mrs. McCracken. He asks them multiple questions. They are found to be guilty.
Mrs. McCracken tells the officer she will handle the punishment, unless further was needed by law. She suspends Danielle and Nikki, but she expels Priscilla for lying to her face about the whole thing. Guilda's hard work paid off, at least for her psychic needs, but after all that, Mrs. McCracken still calls her and her mom for a meeting. While Gilda is expecting a warm thank you at the least, McCracken instead reads off a list of com plaits from her teachers. Gilda's blood turned to molten lava. How could she? Gilda had been working on one of the biggest mysteries ever known in her town, and the first thing to come out of Mrs. McCracken's mouth are complaints?! She tells McCracken she had been "working her tail off solving this case, so no wonder I didn't have time for my school work!" Mrs. McCracken apologizes, rather insincerely, and tells Gilda she is no longer eligible for her scholarship. It is taken away.
Gilda goes home, back to her house, her normal life with Stephen on one hand, and her mom on the other, Gilda is juggling chaos on the edge of turmoil.
Gilda waits around for a mystery, when her friend, Wendy Choy, is entered in an international pianist competition in Oxford, England. Gilda finds a way to go with Wendy by being her official page-turner.
Wendy is in England to play piano, but Gilda came to investigate paranorma. England is covered with ghosts! Gilda comes in contact with paranorma right off the bat! While riding the plan to Oxford, Gilda reads Wendy's future using tarot cards (fortune telling cards with usually disturbing images) Wendy picks the Nine of Sword. A single word is printed at the top: DEATH.
Wendy is scared for her life. Not only did she get a nine of swords for her fortune, but she also drew number nine for her order in the performance. She is also assigned the room number nine at the hotel. Spooky coincidence? Gilda doesn't think so.
After hearing eerie music in the middle of the night, Wendy breaks down. She tells Gilda she's felt as though someone has been watching her for quite some time. She also tells Gilda that while practicing in one of the piano rooms, she felt a hand on her neck, when no one was there.
Gilda hs never felt so scared before. A deceased teenage ghost is after her best friend. The ghost may use Wendy as a substitute; meaning he will make Wendy die the same way he did: a car wreck.
Nervous and worried, Gilda walks to the graveyard to inspect Charles Drummond's grave. The dead teenage boy. As she stands up, she sees a treacle well. Gilda walks towards it, feeling that familiar psychic tingling in her left ear.
An eerie feeling tempts Gilda to reach inside. She pulls out a music sheet. The same music that is haunting Wendy every night. Sonata in A Minor.
When Gilda shows Wendy the music, Wendy is prompted to play in the final round of the competition, instead of her Mozart piece.
Although Wendy is disqualified for playing the wrong piece, Charles is satisfied, his song was heard.
Who knows? Maybe Gilda will have a ghost chasing her next time? But no matter what, Gilda has the courage and wit to get through it.
"Nothing had prepared me to watch the most reliable person I know become the victim of the most unusual haunting I had yet encountered in my career as Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator... (but) solving mysteries is what (I) do."