• Wandering child.

    It was 8:30am on Monday morning. “Oh No! I’m going to be late for work” Christine groaned as she checked the time on her watch. She jumped out of bed, sidestepped all the clothes on the floor and went on a mad closet-dash. Then, once she was dressed, she hurriedly dashed to check her reflection in the mirror. Christine stood in front of the mirror fastening her long black hair into a tight ponytail, noticing that she had mascara goop in the corners of her hazel eyes. After she had cleared it out of her eyes, she turned her head to sniff herself; the pungent stench of stale cigarettes and body odour that was emanating from her body so disgusting that it made her gag and screw up her face, like a child trying a lemon for the first time. She quickly grabbed her body spray and sprayed it until she was choking on the fumes. She then looked back into the mirror and smoothed and straightened her new pinstripe skirt-suit. Then, remembering that she was late for work, she rushed out of the door.

    As she got into her dark blue fiat punto, not even bothering to buckle her seatbelt, her boss Mr. Bates’ voice was still echoing through her mind from the previous week when he yelled at her for being late-once again, “Christine Haymills! If you’re late for work one more time then don’t bother coming back!” She sped along the familiar roads that she had driven along since she first got her licence ten years ago. As she went through all the back roads and side streets, along past the school her eyes fell upon a mother and toddler walking hand in hand.

    Just then, her mobile phone started to ring, startling her slightly. She glanced down at it for a split-second. She looked back up and saw the toddler running towards the middle of the road. Her mother was screaming and running after her. The child was running straight into the path of her car. She slammed her foot hard on the brakes. The car swerved and skidded straight into a tree. The impact flung her from her seat, like a loaf of bread, and straight through the windscreen.


    2 months later….

    Christine opened her eyes groggily and wondered where she was and why the smell of disinfectant was so strong; then it hit her. The memories of the accident came flooding back to her, like a dream long forgotten. She turned her head slightly and saw a police officer walking out of her room. Panic hit her with the force of a massive monster-truck. The police are here to arrest me for dangerous driving or murder or both! She presumed fearfully in her mind. I can’t go to Prison! I’ll never survive in there! She thought in a woe-is-me voice, I’ve got to get out of here and fast! Christine thought spinelessly.

    Christine lifted her head slightly and noticed that everything looked a lot bigger than it did before the accident; she thought it was a bit odd but then again flying straight through a car windscreen might mess with the brain-to-eye coordination. I need some clothes she thought timidly as she looked down at the hospital gown she was wearing. She sat up and slid from the bed to the floor. Then she started rummaging though the hospital cabinets until she found a pair of pink jeans, a flowery pink and yellow blouse, a pair of trainers and a pink jacket; it’s not really my but it’s better than mooning everyone I suppose, she thought reservedly. She looked around the room for switches to turn off all the machines that she was connected to. Whilst she was turning off all the switches, she spotted a mobile phone and a purse left on the chair, I’ll take those with me to help me get home, she thought slyly.

    With all of the machines off, she was able to remove all the wires from all over her body without alerting the nursing staff or, more importantly, the police of her regained consciousness; thus allowing her to get dressed in peace. Once she was dressed, she poked her head around the door to check if the coast was clear; it was, so she hurried out of the room as fast as her feet could carry her, keeping her head down as low as she possibly could until she was out into the bright light of day.

    Christine decided that it was best if she ran a few miles just in case they finally noticed that she had woken and left the hospital. She knew it was a very strange thought and maybe she was a little brain damaged from the accident, but it seemed like everywhere she went she saw that same little girl - Just a glimpse out of the corner of the eye whilst walking past a shop window. It was as if an earthbound spirit was seeking revenge by stalking its killer. Christine wasn’t quite sure that the child was dead but it was the only strange - logic her mind could find in its confused state to explain why this little girl’s image kept on appearing and disappearing whenever she turned to greet her.

    About an hour later… Christine was extremely frightened and guilt-ridden. She decided that the only thing she could do was go home then call the police to arrest her; otherwise she would forever be haunted by the little ghost girl. She arrived on her path five minutes later. Then she walked over to the doorway and took the key from beneath the flowerpot. She started turning the key in the lock, which had stiffened since the last time she used it. Once she was inside she sat down on her couch and tried to think of a reasonable explanation as to why she ran away and why now after she had escaped she was handing herself in, without any mention of a ghost-child. She thought and thought but she couldn’t come up with anything so she decided to watch the news to see if there was a nationwide search for the runaway-child-killer (her). She pressed the on switch on then sat back down.

    A female news reporter was standing outside addenbrookes hospital: “Good evening to everybody watching channel made-up news tonight. I have just been talking to the staff of this hospital have informed us that Ms Christine Haymills, whose car smashed into a tree two months ago, has passed away at 8am this morning after suffering cardiac arrest. Ms Haymills, who would have turned thirty tomorrow, will be sadly missed by all those who knew her. On the day of the terrible accident, that put both Ms Haymills and toddler Rebecca Smith in comas, Ms hay mills had been making her way to work when little ‘Becky’ Smith had run out into the road causing Ms Haymills to swerve. unfortunately Ms Haymills still hit 3 year old ‘Becky’ despite her efforts not to, which has cost her her life.

    “I’M NOT DEAD! STOP SAYING I’M DEAD! I’M NOT DEAD! I’M ALIVE IN MY HOUSE!” Christine shouted, stunned at hearing the news of her death when she was clearly alive. Christine turned her attention back to the television.

    A male news reporter standing outside the home of Rebecca Smith was talking with the girls mother. “Hello Miss Smith have the police made any progress in finding young Rebecca?” Asked the news reporter.

    “No not yet, the police told me to wait here in case they find any information about her whereabouts. I’m appealing to the public for anyone who thinks they may have seen my little Becky or knows anything about where she is or anyone who you think knows anything about where she is or what’s happened to her to call the police hotline number which is 0800-360-5511. Please if you have any information that can h-h-help u-us….” the mother pleaded breaking down in tears.

    “That’s all from here over to you Mike”

    In the news studio the male reporter named Mike was talking to a female reporter beside him “It’s so tragic that little Rebecca has not been seen of heard from since earlier this afternoon when she was still comatose in her hospital bed. Her mother left the room briefly whilst the police informed her of Ms Haymills death, when Miss Smith returned Rebecca had vanished along with Miss Smith’s phone and purse…” *the female reporter cut in* “It is not known at this time whether Rebecca was kidnapped or if she woke and, in a state of fear and confusion, ran away. We hope that she is found soon as it’s not a safe world for a three year old to be out wandering alone at night, so anyone with any information on Rebecca the number to call is: 0800-360-5511. Thank you for listening; goodbye for now”

    Christine stood up gob-smacked “I took a phone and a purse….” she gasped. “It c-can’t be!” she stammered. She rushed over to the mirror and stood completely shocked at the sight she saw. Her hair was short and blond and her eyes were blue.

    “I’m not me anymore!” she wailed. She also noticed that her voice was high-pitched and childish. Christine took another look in the mirror just to make sure her eyes had not deceived her. “AARRRGGGHHH I’M STILL A CHILD!” Christine yelled and became extremely hysterical and irate. She then grabbed her lamp and threw it through the mirror. She felt somewhat soothed by the sound of the glass as it shattered into a thousand pieces and she didn’t mind that a few of the shards had cut her arm slightly. She decided that she liked to smash things and continued smashing all of her possessions until there was nothing left to smash.

    Christine sat crying on her broken chair. “I can’t live in this body it’s not mine! My soul should have died with my body, but instead my soul expelled the rightful owner of this body into my dying body! I can’t even give it back because that poor sweet little girl has either crossed over into the afterlife, or more likely - because of her traumatic death in my body - has become trapped in a hell on earth where nobody can see or hear her as she cries for her mommy! And it’s all my fault! If I hadn’t been speeding and if I hadn’t taken my damn eyes off the road, she would still be here alive in THIS BODY THAT I STOLE! I’ve stolen her live and her body! It should have been MY SOUL THAT DIED! MY SOUL IN MY BODY! Christine screamed.

    Christine left her house and started walking up to the top floor of the multi-story car park, not far from her house. Once she reached the top she sat on the wall, with her legs over the edge. She looked down to see the traffic whizzing by, she couldn’t believe how small the cars looked from where she sat. She put her hands into the plastic bag she carried with her and rummaged inside it looking for Rebecca’s mom’s phone, which she had stolen earlier; once she had found it, she scrolled through the phonebook until she saw the name ‘HOME’ then she pressed the green call button.

    “Hello Heather Smith speaking….” came the voice of the girl’s mother.

    “Hi this is Rebecca Smiths body speaking… I would like you to meet me at the top of ‘The Lions’ car park, alone as I need to discuss with you privately, the reason why I left the hospital this afternoon and the reason why it’s taken me so long to contact you.”

    “Becky… is that you?” the mother replied, her voice shocked and desperate.

    “Meet me I’m waiting.” Christine answered before hanging up and throwing the phone down into the traffic below.

    Half an hour later…

    Christine turned her head at the sound of the approaching vehicles, a green car and a news van were driving towards her. The car parked a few yards away from where she sat and the news van parked next to it. Rebecca’s mom jumped out of her car and walked at a fast pace over to where Christine/Rebecca was sitting. With her were a few camera men and the male reporter, who Christine remembered from the news earlier: he was the one standing outside of Heather Smith’s house.

    “Becky! Where have you been? Mommy was so worried about you… can you please come down off of that wall it’s very dangerous… come give mommy a hug” Rebecca’s mum said her voice filled with concern and love for her daughter.

    “I asked you to come alone”, Christine said with a little annoyance in her tone.

    “I know Becky, but they followed me” the mom replied.

    “I’m not Rebecca Smith, I am Christine Haymills. I somehow switched bodies with your daughter.” Christine said.

    “Ha-ha very funny, Becky the jokes over now so come down and give mommy a hug.” the mom said more firmly.

    “I am Christine Haymills I’ll prove it to you by giving some information about myself that your daughter couldn’t possibly know. I am 29 years old. My date of birth is the 23rd of march 1979. I was born in the frozen section of Sainsbury’s supermarket in Liverpool at 3:35pm and I was baptized at the ‘Hail Mary’ Roman Catholic Church at 4:30pm on the 15th of February 1980. Do you need anymore proof? Christine asked without waiting for a response she added “besides I’m sure your daughter couldn’t talk so grown up…”

    “W-what the h-hell have y-you done with m-my daughter!” the mom yelled shakily.

    “I don’t know how we switched bodies but I know there is no way we can switch back because my body died with your daughters soul trapped inside, I’m sorry I wish it was my soul that died along with my body, I will now tell you everything that has happened since the accident, well everything that I know about anyway. It all started…..

    When Christine had finished talking the mom was in floods of tears. I’m so s-sorry. I w-wish I could c-change what h-has happened b-but I c-can’t. I was g-going to k-kill myself but t-then I knew I o-owed you it t-to you to t-tell you the t-truth instead of y-you thinking t-that your daughter d-died scared and alone” Christine cried.

    “I c-can’t live in y-your daughter’s b-body. G-Goodbye.” shouted Christine as she jumped off the multi-story car park. The ground got closer and closer until SPPPLLAAATTT Christine hit the ground. She felt the life draining away from her and then she saw the most wonderfully brilliant bright light……..

    The end.