Before I had my first book published I did a writing course. I used to write, but would never let people read anything. I also rarely finished a story; the course was great for my confidence. One of the activities that I really loved was to write the same story from two different voices. Or heads and tails, so to speak. This was a really difficult activity. These two pieces have never been edited and only my tutor has ever read them, but I thought I’d include them for fun:

The Ghost Train

Thunder rumbled, lightning cracked and the cold rain just kept pouring down. What a time to go on the gloomy ghost train ride. I stood in line, my teeth chattering with fear and from the freezing weather. I turned to look at Amy and realised that she wasn’t feeling the same unease as me. She hopped from one foot to the other, straining to see the front of the line. She couldn’t wait, but I felt strangely worried about this ride. Suddenly I was grabbed from in front, pushed from behind and thrown into the creaky, old car. Amy landed next to me with a thud, still laughing like a jackal. My stomach dropped into the very souls of my feet as the car started its dark, bumpy ride into fear. There was an eerie silence, only interrupted by Amy’s giggles of joy. It was pitch black when suddenly it jumped down from the roof and landed in my lap. Screaming and fighting I grabbed at the thing, only to touch slimy, bone and sticky cobwebs. With a mighty squeal I threw the skeleton off of me and turn to look at Amy once more. She was laughing, enjoying the ride, as if nothing had happened. Then I heard a cackle and a howl. Without any further warning there were witches, ghosts, bats, goblins and ghouls everywhere. Each creature straining at their chains, reaching out to grab me. They were calling my name and scratching my skin as we slowly went past. There was nowhere to turn, nowhere to run. I was trapped. My heart was racing, cold sweat was dripping off my head and my hands were shaking. All the time Amy was laughing, reaching out to touch things, not seeming to be aware that they were alive and trying to get me. I shut my eyes, bent down as low as I could in my seat, hoping the car would leave this room before they broke free of their chains. We passed through a slimy tunnel, into a different room and screeched to a blood curling stop, frozen in a dark cave. I could hear the creatures from the previous room still straining to get free. Even Amy stopped laughing as we sat there, helpless and frightened. Suddenly Amy screamed a horrible blood retching, piercing scream. Something had finally grabbed her arm. Gathering all of my courage I turned and slowly opened my eyes. There was Amy, white, ghostly and petrified and there behind her was the most pathetic ghost mask I had ever seen. It was Casper the friendly ride attendant, who had accidentally grabbed Amy while trying to get the car moving. Eventually he found the right button and off we went, Amy whimpering, with her head jammed between her legs. As we moved I turned around and saw Casper in deep conversation with another ride attendant, a fake looking skeleton. Behind them there were other ride attendants in equally pathetic costumes, resuming their places along the wall of the cave. How could I have been so foolish? Laughing away all of my nervous energy I reached down and shook Amy into action. The car came to a gentle stop and together we shakily stepped off the ride and ran through the crowd. Never once looking behind, we pushed our way towards the exit gate and home to safety.


Here is the second version of my piece:

The Ghost Train

The thunder rumbled in the distance, lightning cracked and the rain just kept on thumping down. We were drenched from head to toe, but after an incredibly long wait we were actually getting closer to the front of the line. The ghost train, the final ride for the night at long last. Amy and I jumped up and down to see how many people were still ahead of us, it wouldn’t be long now. I could sense the infectious excitement of my friend. We shivered as the cold air touched our bones, we didn’t care. All of a sudden it was our turn. We bounced into the car and gripped the rails with nervous energy. The car groaned into life and we entered a dark cave. We were surrounded by nothing, but the pitch black inner wall. Any second now something scary would happen, this had better be worth the wait. Amy tightened her grip, her knuckles shinning bright white in the darkness. I let go and reached up in anticipation. Just at that moment a skeleton dropped down into my hands, cackling and laughing. I screamed in absolute delight. The car skidded around the corner and there were fantastically scary things everywhere. Ghosts, bats, witches and goblins danced as though part of a horrible nightmare. It was brilliant. Together we laughed and shrieked, enjoying every moment. We reached out towards the villains of our dreams, hoping for a slimy touch. Each ghoul came alive, moving away, just as we got close. Then all of a sudden everything froze. There was no movement, there was no sound. A cool, musty breeze flew down the track, wisping our hair and tickling our spines. We looked at each other, the eagerness slowly fading into dread and fear. Our hands returned to grip the rail. Just as Amy’s hands touched mine she lurched forward in a terrifying panic. Jolting to look behind her all I saw was a great big arm. A green, warty, scaly, scary arm reaching out towards me. Without thinking I grabbed it and pulled it further into the car. There behind Amy was a very frightened looking ride attendant in a lame green costume. In a panic I threw the shaking arm back out of the car, accidentally bumping a small almost invisible lever. This magically re started the car and the ride began once again. I reached out and shook Amy. She turned and grinned at me, our hearts both pounding so loudly you could hear them above the squeals of the ride. The ride came to an abrupt end and together we charged out of the car and bolted off into the safety of the show ground. Once far enough away I turned to see the green ride attendant being consoled by another equally badly dressed monster. How cool was that, we spooked the spookiest ride at the show.