Hi, my name is Penelope Harrison. I’m 12 years old and I live in Miami, Florida, but enough about me, because this story isn’t about me.
It’s about my grandmother’s childhood friend Norma Ann. It was the month of December, and my family and I were packing our bags for our trip to my grandmother’s house in Vermont. Since it doesn’t snow here in Florida we usually go to my grandmother for the holidays.
I was in the middle of packing when my parents came into my room to tell me that there was an unexpected change of plans and that my grandmother was coming here. I was a little disappointed but I was also very excited. My grandmother and I have a very close relationship, so I always want to impress her and make her happy. “Ok,” I say to my parents, and I start to unpack, thinking about my grandmother and all the fun she’ll bring to our snowless Christmas.
When my grandmother came the next morning I greeted her with a warm smile.
“Hello Grandmama,” I say
“Hello Penny,” she says to me “it’s so nice to see you”
I help her bring her bags to her room, then we go downstairs to help my mother prepare for that night’s feast. We chop peppers and onions, we dice ginger and fresh fruit, laughing and talking all the while. Then we all wash up and put on our holiday best. Then we gather around the fire to listen to this year’s tale. My family has this tradition where we sit around the fire while my grandmother tells a story, and every year she tells a different one. “Have I ever told you the story of my childhood friend Norma Ann?” asked my grandmother in a whisper.
We shake our heads.
“Ok then” she whispers “Norma and I met at a camp called Crimson, we were best friends from the start. Norma was a bookworm, she would spend all her time either in the bunkhouse or in the library reading. One day she ran out of books, and she was very grumpy. The other girls and I tried to get her to play with us but she coldly turned us down. Norma needed more books, so she devised a plan. She was going to sneak into the boys’ camp, Camp Vermillion Lake, and take some from their library. When Norma told me her plan I tried to stop her but she wasn’t giving in. I told her I would go with her, so that night we set off for the boys’ camp. When we found the library we carefully snuck inside. I’ve never seen Norma so happy in her entire life, she was practically jumping with joy. She started looking through the bookshelves. As she was surveying the numerous books on the shelf I saw an open book on the floor in front of her.
“Norma!” I cried “there’s something in front of you!” but it was too late, she tripped over the book and hit the bookshelf. It came toppling onto her a few seconds later. I ran back to my camp to tell my counselor, but they were so mad at me for leaving campus they didn’t even want to hear what I had to say. By the time they found Norma she had already passed. People say she has lived in the library at Camp Vermillion Lake to this day.” My grandmother stops talking and we all stare at her in wonderment. “Wow Grandmama!” I say “is that really true?”
“Yes, my dear Penny,” she says sadly “it is”.