TORMENTED… A Vignette by Ula Grace

I remember that night, that night of sorrow.
I am responsible for what happened to them. I hear her voice in my thoughts, during my nights.
I hear all of their voices. They torment me. Their words accusing, all except hers.
They blame me for it all. I have no escape. Everyone is gone, those who survived left after that night. I’m alone, wandering this darkened, silent house in search of some escape from this torment.
I see her walking in the halls, our grandmother’s nightgown draped over her thin shoulders, the back trailing on the floor like the train on a wedding dress. My little sister, only six years old when her life was ended. I see her open her mouth, and read my name on her lips… Caleb. It seems to take a lifetime for the sound to reach my ears, and when it does, its distant, a shadow of her voice. She’s searching for me. I try to tell her that it’s all right, that I’m here. But all I hear is silence, where my voice should fill the emptiness with comforting words. I reach out to stroke her hair and pull her into my embrace. But then she’s gone, as if she never existed, ever walked this Earth. Leaving a trail of tiny footprints behind her as she walks.


Guest Author Ula Grace

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Ula Grace is a frequent contributor to TedBook.


Photo of the little girl is on the cover of Ransom Riggs’ novel Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children   

Of course I bought the book… after I read it, I’ll give it to UlaG.



38 responses

  1. So sad. I think I would like to read another story about Ethel and Cheryl to lift my spirits!

    1. I haven’t seen them lately. I’m sure they will be coming around soon.

    1. Hey, don’t blame me… Ula wrote it. The start to a story, maybe.

  2. Sad. Ready for chapter 2.

    1. Me too! Thanks, Julia, I’ll make sure she gets your message.

  3. Gosh, this sent a shiver down my spine! It reads like a classic Victorian ghost story and you make excellent headway in so few words. Enjoyed reading it 🙂

    1. I had the same reaction. I love your comment.

  4. I loved this story. It had me at the first sentence.

    1. Me too… on both accounts.

  5. Ted, I like your inspiration for the short story. Miss Perigrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a very good read. The themes and some of the character’s names speak to the horrors of the Nazis against the Jewish people during WWII, but they are cleverly hidden in this wonderfully mysterious book. It is also interesting that the author based his story on photos he found; one of which you have used here. In a way, you have Ula following in his footsteps and I like her take on the photo.

    Ula wrote a great short story/chapter to accompany the photo, from “that night of sorrow” to the tiny footprints.

    1. Thanks, Robin. Actually, Ula (who is 13) wrote the story and I found a photo of an etherial (her new favorite word) ghostly nature to go with it. She thinks it might be the first chapter of a story. I have no idea what prompted her to write this. I have heard of that book and when I went to find where the photo came from, to give proper credit, I could only find the book. I remembered I had seen the photo before, and it came up when I googled ‘ghost children’. She is looking forward to reading the book, as am I.

      1. Ills is a very talented young writer. The story behind how the book came to be written is interesting. I hope both of you enjoy it as much as I did.

  6. Natalie DeYoung | Reply

    Oh, how haunting this is.

    1. I think so too! Thanks for hosting the Still, Natalie.

  7. What a chilling vignette! And the photo you chose goes with Ula’s words so perfectly.

    1. Thanks, C.C. She wasn’t sure she wanted a photo, but did like this one. She wanted me to find one of a girl in a nightgown, but like you said I thought it was perfect . I could picture that exact little girl from her words.

      1. Just read your comment over at Yeah Write and realized that this is the post you were referring to when you said your 13 year-old granddaughter wrote it. Wow. That is some serious talent. So glad to see that you are nurturing it by having her as a guest blogger here. Happy Father’s Day to a stellar grandpa 🙂

      2. Thanks so much, CC. I think it’s important to give someone a chance to see their work in print, and see reader’s reactions.

  8. Very touching…
    That’s the way things are. People come into our lives & then go away as though they never existed. But, how can we forget their memories?

    1. That’s an interesting way to put it. Thanks, Anita.

  9. A powerful opening scene, very well written. This draws the reader in with its mystery, its macabre atmosphere and its vivid imagery.
    This would be impressive from any writer, but from one of Ula’s age… exceptional! You have a great talent Ula!

    1. Thanks, RG. I value your opinion.

  10. Creepy and tragic. Well done, Ula! I particularly love the sentence about her voice taking a lifetime to reach his ears. 🙂

    1. I knew you would like it, Suzanne. Thanks for giving us the grammar lesson about ‘hers’.

  11. Ula writes from deep in her pure soul! I look forward to reading her first book! She is gifted on so many levels!

    1. I agree completely with Angela!

  12. What a unsettling little story.. a very talented writer… but I’m not sure what really happened… it could go many ways.

  13. I can’t wait to read her 1st book. one thing I’m certain of is there will be a first book.
    What a girl. Keep it up Ula. Loive you. Mel Ted keep on publishing your writings.

  14. Ula, fabulous story, I want more, much more.
    You have such a talent. I am so happy to be able to enjoy,
    You young lady will go far.
    now on to the next chapter…………………………..
    M M

  15. There’s some talent in your family, Ted! Tell Ula she has a fan base now!

  16. Hey everyone, thank you for all of your supportive comments to my story!! I’m Glad you all liked it.

  17. I came over from Susie’s party for a dance and found a scary waltz instead. Ula is one talented young writer!

  18. Comparing me to Katrina??? Hahaha! I would have needed another week!
    WOW!!!! She’s thirteen years old???? Double Wow! This is extraordinary writing. She has me intrigued in so many ways. I want to know the protagonist and what he did to kill his sister. I want to know what his world is like now. What happens next?? She needs to write a book!
    Thanks for bringing this to the party Ted! Love it! It’s great to “see” you too!

  19. Ula writes well. I want to read more. wow. It was like poetry. Moving.

    P.S. Susie sent me…

  20. That’s a very evocative story and I hope she’s writing more. Very talented young lady!

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