It was the 13 of August, my 30th birthday, but all I had was myself to celebrate with. So, I climbed up the tallest tree of Ebraxas to my favourite spot where I could view the breathtaking view of the sea at a glance. Near the beach was a girl, celebrating her turning 9 years old, just like me, except she was surrounded by her loved ones. I could have been her, only if that night I hadn’t lost my family and myself. 

In a beautiful house in Ebraxas, the little girl woke up after a good night’s sleep. She pushed apart the curtains and saw that the road was completely hidden by a quilt of snow. She cheered up at once, it was Christmas after all. She darted towards the x-mas tree to open her gifts. Not being able to control her excitement, she ripped apart all the wrapping papers and unearthed the contents, a pen stand, a makeup kit, and a new watch finally calmed the 15-year-old girl down. She went to have breakfast with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jones, and her elder sister, Julia where she was greeted by their lovely neighbour, Mr. Brown, “Well, ‘ello there Alyssa! Nice to see you, Merry Christmas!” She replied, “Merry Christmas Mr. Brown!” with a bright smile. After finishing up Mr. Brown said, “Well thank you so much for ‘aving me, ‘ope you all ‘ave a nice day!” And Mrs. Jones replied, “Oh! No need to thank Mr. Brown, it’s always a pleasure to have you!” And then he left with a smile on his face and a filled stomach. While Alyssa went upstairs to get dressed. After coming out of the shower, she saw a packet wrapped up in pretty paper placed neatly on her study desk addressed to her as Miss Alyssa Ruby Jones. She was perplexed as to what could be the contents and who could’ve been the Secret Santa. Barely wearing clothes properly, she couldn’t stand another second and viewed the contents. It was a purple-coloured spiral diary with only 4 thick pages, and a quote on the cover that said, “Put it to good use and you shall be rewarded, While evil intentions or shortcuts would do just the opposite.” She was as confused as me, what did it mean, and who had gifted her? While pondering upon the mystery she decided to keep it, after all, it was a gift and promised herself to put it to good use as was said in the quote. She started writing in it, describing her day so far, she wrote that she wished to have fun all day with her friends, play in the snow, get to spend time with me (her best friend) and have pizza for dinner with her family. And guess what, her day went exactly how she had written in that diary. We both were so happy at the end of the day. I really enjoy spending time with her, she’s such a sweet girl. At night before sleeping, she wrote how she wished she could have a unicorn for Christmas as it was her dream since she was 5! And went to a sound sleep. The next day she woke up to the sound of neighing of a horse, as soon as she opened her eyes, she saw a unicorn standing in the middle of her room. She was so shocked and happy while I smiled watching from afar. I came into her room and hugged her and asked how did she like my gift? She said, ‘Did you get me a unicorn?’ I said, ‘No. I got you the diary! And look it got you what you wanted.’ As smart as she was, she instantly figured out that the diary was magical and whatever was written in it would come true. She thanked me for the gift and hugged me once again. I was delighted to see her smile. She took the pony to her backyard and fed it food and water, then got dressed up for school. I offered to drop her to school. We started talking as usual while walking to school. When suddenly Mr. Brown came out of nowhere to have a chat with Alyssa. I had to rush off quickly so as not to be seen. I waited at the school gate for her and as expected she started asking the same questions again, ‘Why did you run off?’, ‘Why can’t you be seen in public?’ and as always I just smiled and said, “Have a nice day” and left immediately, knowing that she won’t let go of this topic this time. So, when she got home, I was there on her bed, sitting and waiting for her. She had a look of disappointment as well as hurt on her face which said ‘Why can’t you trust me enough to tell me the truth?’. After freshening up she sat down quietly with me, waiting for an explanation. After taking three deep breaths and gathering up the courage to face whatever may happen after telling the truth I started speaking. “Please don’t break our friendship after hearing what I have to say as you are my only friend in this world. So, I am a 9-year-old girl who lived with her parents in a beautiful house. We were a very happy family always taking care of each other and helping out everyone in need. When one night the unexplained happened. It’s all a big blur…I remember I was sleeping in my room when I heard two people shouting, one of them being my father and on hearing closely I knew that the other person was my uncle. Then my mom also joined in trying to stop them from fighting and as I got out of bed, I heard my parents scream. I ran out to see what had happened, I saw them lying in a pool of blood with my uncle standing over them with a knife in hand. I was shocked to my very core and started screaming at him for killing my parents when he started coming towards me. I ran to the attic to save myself but he broke down the door and then a streak of pain ran up my body and I blacked out. When I woke up, I saw myself in front of my house but nobody could see or hear me. When I saw a newspaper on the ground with the heading, “PSYCHO MURDERER KILLS BROTHER AND HIS FAMILY INCLUDING A DAUGHTER OF 9 FOR PROPERTY”, that’s when I realized that I had also been killed that night and now I am a spirit and hence, no one can see or hear me. I tried looking for my uncle so I could take my revenge and get my family justice but he was to be found nowhere, no records, no identity, no family, nothing. It was as if he had disappeared. Now, it’s been 20 years since that incident but it still haunts me to this day. I tried everything to find him but had no luck. While looking for him I came to this neighbourhood and, when you bumped into me on that day, I realized that you are the only one who can see me, hear me. I know that I must take revenge and get justice for my family, then only I will be able to cross to the other side and attain peace. So, that’s my story.” She sat there in shock, speechless. When finally, she came to her senses the first thing she said made me cry after ages. She said, “I’m so sorry you had to go through all that, but I promise I will help find your killer.” I couldn’t help but say, “I’m so thankful to have such a kind friend like you. But I think you must be knowing the killer that is why only you are able to see me and no one else can. I mean that makes sense, doesn’t it?” She said, “Yeah it does, but I’m not so sure. Okay so before anything else can you give me the details of your uncle so I can look for him?” “It’s no use, all the older records are now useless as he has changed his identity. HE COULD BE ANYWHERE!” “Don’t be disappointed, we will find him…Maybe he is dead?” “No, there are no records of his death and if he had died then I wouldn’t have been here.” “Yeah right. If only we had even a small clue. Do you remember any physical trait or anything so we could identify him?” “Wait, wait, I think I remember something. He…he had a tattoo of a snake on his wrist and it was a special one as it had legs also and he bragged about it a lot as it was some special Korean Urban legend which very few people knew how to make. Other than this, I really don’t remember anything about him as I was really very young.” “Great! We have something to work on; you look for where in Ebraxas these types of tattoos are made, while I will search for more news about your story.” After about an hour or so of research, she found all the news articles related to her tragic story. The whole incident was in trial for many months but since the killer couldn’t be caught, it was set aside as a cold case. She also found the picture of her family, but no other clue as of much importance. On the other hand, I found a bunch of places where that type of tattoo was done, however, they were very far and it was almost impossible for us to visit them. We sat there disheartened at not having anything in hand to uncover the mystery when suddenly an idea struck Alyssa. As sharp as she is, she found the perfect way to use her diary. She instantly wrote, ‘I wish we could meet the person who does these types of tattoos.’ And then we just had to wait until the next day. I asked her, ‘We can simply ask the diary to find my uncle?’, but she said, ‘No. No shortcuts! Remember? We must find him on our own, the diary can only help us guide towards him.’ The next morning, she woke up even before the alarm rang. And after getting dressed, she proceeded to head downstairs to eat breakfast when she saw a young man sitting in the living room chatting with Julia. On seeing her, Julia introduced the man as Joshua who had now taken over his father’s 50-year-old business of tattoo-making and was handing out flyers to bring in more people. His hands were covered with beautiful designs of tattoos. She got so excited to meet him and promised to visit the salon in the evening. Then we headed downtown to the tattoo salon to gather more information about that design. There Alyssa met Joshua’s dad who was apparently now the in-charge of accounting after retiring from work. She took out the rough drawing of the tattoo as I had explained to her and boy, she was so good at drawing that it looked almost exactly the same. When she showed the picture to Joshua’s dad, hoping to get more information about it, his face turned ashen. After a few minutes, he calmed down enough to ask her from where she had got that picture, to which she replied with the cooked-up story, that her grandfather used to have a tattoo like those years back but now she couldn’t find him and all she has left of him is this. Then, the old man recollected his memories and told her that once a man came to him to get a tattoo of this 4-legged snake which is a symbol of death according to a famous Korean legend, and since he was partly Korean he knew about it very well. He further explained that the man was adamant about getting that tattoo and so the old man designed it for him. At which Alyssa asked, “Do you remember any special thing about him? Any trait or characteristic?”. To which he replied, “Well, as far as I remember, he had a very peculiar way of speaking. He never pronounced the letter ‘H’ when he spoke, I remember this as we talked about it a lot while he was getting his tattoo, but that’s all I remember if it helps.” Alyssa’s face had turned pale after hearing the words, however, she pulled herself together and thanked the old man for his help. When I heard this, I was sure who was my uncle and the exact location where he could be found. We both were in utter disbelief and shock upon hearing this information. Upon reaching home, she instantly wrote a note, stating that the killer who committed the crime of killing his brother with his family 20 years back was none other than Mr. Brown with a photo of the old newspaper with the complete story and his address also. Then she ran to the post box to get it delivered to the police station. She was back in a flash and took out her diary and wrote, “I wish that the police believe my anonymous note and check Mr. Brown’s fingerprints so as to prove him as the murderer.” It happened exactly like that and he was soon arrested for his crimes. When Alyssa went to see him in jail she said only one thing, “The court will be easy on you if they give you death as punishment. If it were in my hands, then you wouldn’t have got such an easy escape ‘cause you don’t deserve it you monster! Had you been patient enough and a little kind you could have lived happily with your brother and his family by sharing the properties. But as it goes, you reap what you sow.” Then she left. I appeared in front of Mr. Brown aka my uncle and I swear he was shocked to see me, he said, “J-J-Jennie, yo-you’re here? H-How?” “Surprise! Yes, I am here, because of you, I had my whole life ahead of me, I was so happy with my family and you had to ruin all that. Now rot here in prison your life and see how it feels like to be without any kin. Not even God can save you now for your actions, if only you had generosity and kindness in your heart, you could have lived a peaceful and content life. But you know, Greed makes a man blind and foolish, and makes him easy prey for death…” I also followed Alyssa after giving him a good piece of my mind. “Alyssa, can I ask you for one last favour?” “Sure! Go ahead.” “You have been so helpful to me till now, the last thing I want is for you to use that diary and give him his punishment using that.” “How can I- “ “Please, I insist!” “Okay if you say so.” After she finished writing, I said, “You needn’t tell me what you wrote, as I know already. Now I must leave as Justice has been served. Thank you really for everything!” She said, “I’ll miss you!” I didn’t have the heart to reply as I know I would start crying, so I just smiled and went above and beyond the clouds. 

The next day when she woke up, she saw many new diaries kept on the study table with different covers and designs but this time, all of them had many more pages and a quote on each one of them that said, “As promised, you have been rewarded, Whatever you write, shall come true, With peace in your mind, and purity in your heart, This power lies forever with you.”