Girls Horse Club Blog

Mysteries of Shadow Lane

Published by • Oct 29th, 2010 • Category: Fiction, Loft Book Club Favorites

by Veronica, age 13


Jane watched as green hills rolled by the dirt road. Grazing cattle and sheep could be seen in the distance by the Nova Scotia shoreline. The ocean appeared just beyond the small barns and houses along the road and the sky was as blue as the ocean. Jane always had a soft spot for the country. Growing up in Toronto, there was just too much traffic and noise. The country was a place she could relax. Other then the country, Jane enjoyed horses and animals. Jane turned and smiled at her Grandma who sat behind the steering wheel. Jane couldn’t believe she’d be staying at her Grandparents ranch all summer, right by the Nova Scotian shoreline.

“Jane,” Grandma said. Jane looked at her grandma sincerely. She has always enjoyed her grandparents’ thick Italian accents.

“Yes?” Jane replied politely. She looked at the dirt road ahead and watched the dirt spray up as the truck passed.

“Jane dear, when we get to Summer Hills, I want you to unpack, then go see the horses,” Grandma said with a smile.

“Aww, c’mon, just a little peek?” Jane protested. Grandma shook her head.

“Nope, unpack first,” she said, then glanced at her granddaughter. Jane gave her the “puppy dog” face, but it never worked on her grandparents.

“Alright, alright,” Jane said, then saw her grandparents ranch, Summer Hills, roll into view.

“Oh my gosh, we’re here!” Jane exclaimed.


Jane burst from the car and looked at Summer Hills ranch. Grandma appeared at her side moments later with her bags. The salty smell of the ocean and the sweet smell of grass filled her nostrils.

“Make yourself at home dear,” Grandma said. Jane smiled at her grandma and took her bags. A whinny from the barn called to Jane, but she forced herself to keep walking, and not to run to the stables or the pasture.

Jane entered the ranch house and smiled at her grandpa. “Hey Grandpa!” she said, wrapping him in a hug. Her grandpa smiled and hugged her back, then released her.

“Go unpack your stuff, then we want to learn about what happened in that year we didn’t see you!” he said with a laugh.

Jane grabbed her bags and ran upstairs to the guest room. Quickly, she unpacked her stuff and raced back downstairs.

Before long, she was released from the house to see the horses. She had told her grandparents all about her going into grade seven, what happened last summer when she went camping, and everything else possible. Jane burst through the doors of the stables and looked at the horses.

“Hey, guys!” she exclaimed. The horses whinnied and tossed their heads back. There was no doubt they remembered her since the last time she was up.

“Which one of you guys wants to be ridden?” Jane asked with a smile. She eyed the bays, blacks and browns, then laid eyes on a grullo mare. The mare hadn’t been here last time she was up.

“Hello, hello, what’s your name sweety?” Jane asked as she approached the grullo. The mare backed up against her stall and rolled her eyes.

“Alright, I won’t ride you,” Jane mumbled.


Jane walked out of the barn toward the pasture. She sat by the fence rails and watched the horses graze, trying to decide who to

“Who are you?” a deep voice asked. Jane spun around to come face to face with a boy around her age.

“I- uh, I’m… who are you?” Jane asked angrily. The boy crossed his arms.

“A ranch hand, now who are you before I call the cops?” he asked. Jane narrowed her eyes. She wanted to slap the boy, but didn’t. She mirrored him by crossing her arms.

“Someone you don’t want to know,” she snapped, then flauntered away toward the house.

She walked through the front door and faced her grandma, who was cooking.

“Why didn’t you tell me you got a ranch hand?” Jane asked. Grandma looked up at her.

“Sorry dear, it must’ve slipped my mind. Did you meet him?” Grandma asked. Jane nodded, feeling slightly forgotten.

“But, who is he? Is he my replacement?” Jane asked, enraged. Grandma laughed.

“Jane! Ryan is no replacement!” she said. “No one can replace you!” Grandma laughed. “Do you remember Patricia?” she asked. Jane flashed back to the last time she was here. Patricia was one of Grandma’s friends.

“Yes.” Jane said. She had liked hearing about Patricia’s World War II stories, and enjoyed learning that Patricia’s brothers had fought on Britain’s side and survived.

“Well, Ryan is Patricia’s grandson, and he’s living with her now, next door, so we decided to hire him for a little extra help,” Grandma explained. Jane nodded in understandment when Ryan burst through the door.


“Elenor-,” the boy named Ryan began, when he saw Jane standing there. He shut the door and looked at Jane’s grandma, then to Jane. “I’m guessing she’s no horse thief?” he asked. Grandma laughed and put her spoon down.

“No! Ryan, is she old enough to steal a horse?” Grandma said with a chuckle.

Ryan put his hand on the back of his neck. “Well, no, but you never know…” he said.

Grandma gave him a pity smile, then rested her hand on Jane’s shoulder. “This is my granddaughter, Jane. I believe you two didn’t have a proper introduction,” she said. Jane rolled her eyes, then looked at Ryan. He was average in height with brown hair and hazel eyes. He was covered in dirt and hay.

“I’m Jane Santello,” Jane said. Ryan smiled slightly.

“Ryan McCormick, nice to meet you,” he said, shaking her hand gently. His eyes wandered to Grandma. She gave him an approving nod and he burst form the door.

“Now, was that hard?” Grandma said with a laugh. Jane didn’t reply, instead she headed out the door toward the barn.

“I’m going for a ride!” she said over her shoulder to Grandma. Jane made her way to the barn, only glancing once at Ryan, who was training a small foal.

Jane decided to ride a black horse named Star. She had, obviously, a white star. Her mane and tail had white highlights, which was odd. Grandma and Grandpa often argued over whether she was a paint mix or it was just odd markings. Jane saddled the eleven-year-old mare with ease, then lead her out of Summer Hills Ranch, down the dirt road.


Jane and Star cantered down the rode in a fluid grace. The wind tossed her hair back and whipped Star’s mane. Jane knew exacly where she wanted to go — the Nova Scotian shoreline. It was a beautiful, un-owned property. The green grass stopped at a cliff standing over one hundred feet. Below the grassy cliff was the ocean and a beach. The beach was extremely difficult to get too. In order to get down there, you had to ride through and over sharp rocks, big holes, drop-off zones and other dangers. Although a high danger risk, it was truly Jane’s favourite place other then Summer Hills.

Jane haulted Star and walked to the edge of the cliff. Star lowered her maw to graze. The wind was extremely strong today, and the seagulls were plentiful. Below, the ocean sprayed up on the rocks and the beach was untouched. Jane remembered last time she was here. She had walked down the risky trail to the beach. She only got a quick glance around before Grandma called her back up.

“Girl, are you up for a walk? I know how sure-footed you are,” Jane said as she kicked Star to a walk down the hill. The trail was steep, but Star handled it like a pro. She moved down the hill, her right side facing downhill to even out the weight. She walked carefully, avoiding rocks and holes. There were a few slips and trips here and there, but before long they got down.

Jane finally got a good look at the beach. It had white sand and was surrounded by rocks. It was a small beach, perhaps only fifty feet in length, but then Jane noticed something. There was another trail, not leading up, but weaving through the rocks. Jane kicked Star towards the trail and they began walking along it. This trail was easier to walk on then the last one.


Jane looked around cautiously as she led Star through the trail. The rocks cleared and soon rolling hills could be seen. The wind and smell from the ocean surpassed, and in the distance a building could be seen.

“Giddy-up!” Jane commanded, sending Star into a gallop toward the barn. As they drew nearer, Jane noticed the building was in fact one of many on a small, rickety property. It looked as though the property hadn’t been touched in a while, and whoever had been here before left in a hurry. Jane reined in Star and took a look around. The fence that had, what Jane assumed, bordered the property, was fallen and broken into pieces. The ranch once had a sign hanging over the entrance, which now lay strewn on the ground.

“Shadow Lane,” Jane read. She squeezed Star into a trot onto the ranch property. This so called Shadow Lane needed major work, but once fixed up, it could be a beautiful place. Jane could only wonder why someone would abandon this ranch. She dismounted and looked around.

“Hello?” she called out. There was nothing but the howling wind in the distance. Then, Jane heard it — the low shuffling of something moving. She jumped back.

“H-hello?” she asked. No reply.

The shuffling ceased and Jane mounted again. As she trotted away, she could’ve sworn someone had said, “Come back and play.”


Jane led Star up the driveway and rode to the barn. She halted the mare, dismounted her and began grooming her all without a word. There had to have been logic behind the voice. Jane put Star’s tack away, but was still thinking up an excuse to herself.

Jane sighed as she placed the mare away. She gave the voice one last thought, then turned and walked out of the barn.

“Woah-” came that most irritating voice on the planet. Ryan appeared at Jane’s side. “You’re pale!” he announced. Jane rolled her eyes, refusing to look at him. “What happened?” he asked.

“Nothing…” she mumbled, crossing her arms. Ryan stood in her path, blocking her from going any further.

“Now listen, I don’t like you and you don’t like me, but your grandma, Elenor, wants us to be friends. So, just tell me what’s wrong,” he said.

“Grandma wants us to be friends?” she repeated, then shook her head. “Well… have you ever been down by the shoreline?” she asked. Ryan nodded his head. Jane continued, “There’s a trail that leads down, to the beach, and today I went down there. I finally got a good look around and saw another trail. I went on this trail, and there’s this ranch named-”

“Shadow Lane,” Ryan finished. Jane looked at him confused, then realized he was almost as pale as her.

“How’d you know?” Jane asked. Ryan looked at the ground, then back to her.

“I’ve been there, but it doesn’t matter. What happened when you were there?” he asked. Jane shook her head, going pale again.

“As I was leaving, it sounded like someone had said ‘come back and play.'” Jane looked at Ryan sincerely, only to realize he was staring at her like she was an idiot.

“See, I knew I shouldn’t have told you,” Jane said as she pushed by Ryan.

Ryan stared after her, then returned to his work. Jane ran into the house, just in time to see Grandma setting the table.


“Did you have fun on your ride, dear?” Grandma asked. Jane forced a smile and nodded.

“Mmmm… smells delicious, Gram,” Jane said as she sat herself down. Grandpa smiled and sat down as

“We made your favourite — steak, mashed potatoes and broccoli,” he said. Jane smiled. Everybody in Toronto had made a big kahootz when they got broccoli for lunch, but Jane would rather have broccoli than cake any day. She watched as Ryan slowly entered the kitchen.

“Ryan, dear, just in time for dinner. Sit, sit,” Grandma said. Jane narrowed her eyes at the boy. So now he was stealing her nickname! Jane crossed her arms and gave Ryan a glare that could kill. He looked around swiftly.

“Oh-, I couldn’t, I have to go home,” he said. Jane smiled and watched as he left. She finished up her supper quickly then headed off to bed.

As Jane tried to fall asleep, images of Shadow Lane popped into her head. She tried to force them away, but they only reappeared. “Come back and play,” said the voice again. Jane could hear it as though someone was whispering it in her ears.

“Come and play!” the thing said, now angry. Jane opened her eyes and could’ve sworn she saw something disappear out her open bedroom door. Jane only noticed she was sweating when drops rolled down her face. She laid back onto her pillow and faced the window, closing her eyes quickly. Whatever had whispered in her ear was still there. She could hear the low breathing of something under her bed. But maybe she was imagining things.


Jane tripped as she walked down the stairs, but managed to catch herself. She was tired and could not sleep a wink last night. Fear had kept her up through the morning hours. Only when the sun had risen did Jane finally rest herself. But that had been only a few hours ago, and she was still tired.

“G’mornin!” Grandma said as she watched Jane enter the kitchen. Jane mumbled a reply and sat at the kitchen table.

“My word, Jane, you look as though you didn’t get any sleep last night!” Grandma smiled and placed eggs and bacon on Jane’s plate. Grandpa folded his morning newspaper and eyed Jane before digging into breakfast.

“I couldn’t sleep…” Jane began. “Er- I have no idea why, though.” She smiled helplessly at Grandma and Grandpa, then turned to look out the window. She could see Ryan training the foals in the corral. Even though she hated him, she had to admit he was a good horse person. Jane turned back and began eating, looking around nervously.

As Jane finished up, she gave a stretch and smiled at Grandma.

“Well, I think I’m going to go riding…” Jane said, images of Shadow Lane popping into her head.

“Alright, we need to exercise the horses,” Grandma said. Jane began out the door when Grandma added to her sentence. “Take Ryan with you, I’m sure he deserves a break.”

Jane froze in her path.


“What?!” Jane asked as she spun on her heel. Grandma cleaned up the plates, put them in the sink and sat down before answering Jane.

“Darling, Ryan has worked so hard in the past weeks, he deserves a nice riding lesson. And it’ll be a bonding experience for you two. Just take him with you Jane.”

Jane sighed as she headed at the door. She began walking over to the corral. “Hey, Ryan!” she called. He turned, still gripping the lead rope that was leading a foal, and looked at Jane.

“Umm, hey,” he said, a little confused. He watched as Jane leaned on the fence before turning back to the foal. Jane noticed his pants were covered in dirt, and his hair was sweat-drenched from being in the sun.

“Ryan, Gram wants you to take a break from working with the foals and come riding with me.” She looked around with shifty eyes, before leaning in, “I want to go to Shadow Lane.”

“Why? What happened?” Ryan asked as he began putting the foal away. Jane followed him inside the barn.

“Last night…” her voice trailed off as she watched him. “Last night, something happened.” Her lip trembled as she continued on, “Someone, or something, was-” she couldn’t get the words out. She stared at Ryan, who only stared back at her. She let out a frustrated sigh, then shook her head.

“I’ll tell you when we go riding. Now, let’s saddle up,” Jane said as Ryan eyed her mysteriously. He mumbled something about women before he saddled up a chestnut stallion named Chester. Jane saddled up Storm again. As she mounted her horse, she looked to Ryan, then kicked her mare into a trot down the driveway.


Jane and Ryan began the descent down the steep ocean hillside. Storm gave a little hop as she neared the bottom, surprising Jane. Ryan snorted a laugh as he led Chester onto the beach, while Jane glared at him.

“Even in my time of need, you have to laugh at me,” Jane said as she began leading Star down the trail toward Shadow Lane.

“In your time of need?” Ryan asked. “How is this your time of need? You won’t even tell me what’s wrong! Or what happened last night!”

Jane sighed again. She halted Star, then turned to the boy, her brows narrowed. “I heard something whispering in my ear last night. And then, when I looked around, I thought I saw someone. When I tried to go to sleep… it sounded like…”

Ryan glared at her, his emotion cold and deadly.

“I heard someone.. breathing, under my bed. Ryan, I don’t know what to do. I’-m, I’m scared.” She opened her mouth when she realized how much support she was asking from Ryan. She glanced into his eyes, only to see he was giving her sympathy.

“It’s okay, you’ll get through it. We’ll get through it,” Ryan said as he patted her arm in a friendly manner.

She smiled, but her body shivered as she saw the abandoned ranch come into view. As if Storm could feel her rider’s uneasines, she began walking on a hammering trot.

“Last time you were here, did you go inside?” Ryan asked.


“Well, maybe we should,” he replied with a smirk.


Jane dismounted, her stomach churning. She had a horrible feeling about going inside, but as Ryan stood by her side, she felt a slight surge of confidence. He walked toward the house doorway and pushed open the rotting wood door. Dust lifted at the sudden movement of the house, and it gave a groan as it settled on its

“Jane, this house is really old, just be careful,” Ryan warned as they walked in together. Jane took a step into the house, her senses nerving her. As she stepped over the threshold, a piece of wood fell from the stairs, as if warning her not to be here. As her body completely passed the threshold, Storm and Chester’s scared whinnies rang to her ears. Ryan tapped Jane’s shoulder and she jumped before turning to him.

“I’m going to go check on the horses, just calm them down. Okay?” he asked, but didn’t wait for a reply. He headed outside of the abandoned house, leaving Jane all alone. Jane shifted her weight nervously before taking several more steps into the house. She shivered. Why was it suddenly cold? She rubbed her hands together, when someone’s, or something’s, breath on her neck sent shivers down her spine.

“Ryan?” she asked. She slowly started to turn on her heel, only hoping that it was Ryan playing a prank on her. But nothing was there. Suddenly, she felt something whack her on the head and she was thrown onto her knees.


“Get out!” an angry voice boomed. As she froze in fear, something kicked her in the ribs, causing her to turn onto her back. She looked around, when she felt an unbearable force push her, throwing her against the wall. She finally let out a scream, when the entity slapped her across the mouth. She closed her eyes, suddenly feeling her energy being sucked out of her.

Then, she felt his hands grip her across the waist and pull her from the house. She looked into Ryan’s eyes and sighed as he lay her on the hot sand that had been warmed by the sun. His expression was pure horror as he sat on his knees by her side.

“A ghost!” Jane said as she sat up. Her body ached as she used the last of her energy to look at Ryan. “You believe me, right?” she asked. He nodded his head, his expression not changing though. Jane lay back down on her back and coughed.

“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” Ryan admitted as he smiled.

Jane nodded an agreement. She gripped his wrist, then looked at him sincerely. “Let’s go back,” she said, though it sounded more of a question. Ryan nodded and helped her off her feet. “Can I ride double with you?” Jane asked. “I don’t feel up to the task of steering Storm.” Jane looked at him with a guilty expression.

“Of course,” Ryan said, and helped her mount onto Chester. He tied Storm’s reins to Chester’s, then mounted onto the stallion. They began their way back to Summer Hills Ranch, trying to forget the horrors that just unfolded before them.


Jane rested her head on Ryan’s shoulder as he led the way down the road. She wanted to collapse, or to sleep, or both, but she had to pay attention or should would fall off Chester. She sighed as she tightened her grip around his waist. She closed her eyes and didn’t open them until Ryan shifted uneasily.

“Ok,” he began as he grasped her hands and removed them from around him. “We’re back at home. How’re you feeling?” He shifted in the saddle to look at her.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” she said, but a shiver crept up her spine. Ryan dismounted, then helped Jane down.

“I’ll put the horses away. Go upstairs and get yourself some rest.” Ryan snatched the reins, then looked at Jane.

She began to walk away, when she turned suddenly. “Thanks, Ryan, for everything.” She smiled, then ran into the house.

Somehow she got past Grandma and Grandpa without being noticed, then she ran up to the bathroom. She turned the water to warm, then grabbed a face cloth and began splashing water onto her face. She had to be dreaming, she had to! This couldn’t be possible! Nothing ever happens like this to people like her! It all happened in movies! She finished up and went into her bedroom, before going to bed quickly.


The next morning Jane woke up and slipped out of bed weakly. She walked into the bathroom and began cleaning herself up again, then she headed back to her bedroom and changed into riding jeans and a red tank. She brushed her coffee brown hair into a tight ponytail before going downstairs for breakfest. She finished that up as quickly as possible, then headed out of the house, toward the barn.

She wasn’t that surprised when she bumped into Ryan as she entered the barn.

“Hey!” He said with a smile. Jane smiled back politely and patted his shoulder.

“Hey, what’s up?” she asked as she walked past him. He shrugged his shoulders and turned around to watch her. “Wanna go riding again?” Jane asked.

“To Shadow Lane?” With his words, silence fell between them. Jane shifted uneasily as she grasped a saddle in her hand.

“I’m sorry, you’re still probably scared from yesturday…”

Jane snatched the saddle up, then looked at him. “No! No! Let’s go, I’m curious. Just, this time, don’t leave me!” she joked as she led Star out of her stall and to the hitching rail. Ryan grabbed Chester and his tack, then began saddling up with Jane.

“Are you sure?” he asked.

Jane raised her brows in surprise, then turned to him with a smirk. “I’m positive.”


The ride to Shadow Lane was less risky than the day before, and it took half the time. On the ride there, all Jane could think about was, “Why am I doing this?” Ryan kept glancing back at her, which didn’t help loosen the knot in her stomach. As she saw the old, rickety barn come toward her, some unsettling feeling burdened down upon her.

“You okay?” Ryan asked, watching as Jane’s face turned pale.

“Yeah, I’m just… well, like, what’s going on?” she inquired. Ryan looked at the reins for a moment, then reached into his saddlebag and pulled out a small book. He passed it to Jane, who grabbed it with slight hesitation. The cover of the small book read, “The paranormal,” which made Jane laugh.

“So you think there’s a ghost?” she asked with raised brows.

“Well, how else would you explain how you got those bruises on you?” he asked.

Jane sighed. “This, it’s so surreal. So, what does this book say? Hmm?” she asked.

Ryan’s lips twitched, then he turned to Jane. “It says there’s a poltergeist in there.”

Jane’s mouth formed into a small ‘o’ as she watched Ryan. “This is dumb. What’s a poltergeist?”

“A violent spirit,” Ryan spat back. He shook his head as he eyed the book in Jane’s hand.

“And how do we get rid of it?”

“In this case, we have to solve the mystery as to why it’s there, then maybe it’ll go away,”


“You’re crazy Ryan,” Jane said with a sigh as she dismounted. This can’t be real! And yet… something deep down in her told her it was, and that she wasn’t safe as long as she didn’t know the truth.

“Feisty, maybe, but not crazy,” Ryan joked as he slipped from the saddle. Jane sighed, watching the barn with distaste. It was hard to believe something paranormal was going on inside.

“Shall we explore?” Ryan asked. Jane waltzed into the house, careful to stay close to Ryan. She headed over to a dusty old table and ran her finger through the dust. She picked out an old photograph, and it showed a farmer smiling dully by a herd of cows. There were two horses in the distance, and he seemed to be looking off toward the shore. Toward the salty ocean. Jane held onto the photograph tightly, looking around for more. There was only unlegible papers and some old jewelry.

Jane headed off into a different room, then noticed a door in the floor. “Ryan, come here,” she commanded.

Ryan came to her side and knelt down. “A basement?” he asked.

Jane yanked the door open, and it revealed a dark pit with wooden stairs leading down. As Jane took a step down the stairs, Ryan grasped her arm. “Careful now, okay?” he whispered. Jane nodded, walking down the stairs, careful not to slip.


Jane plodded down into the darkness, feeling the wall for a light, but to no avail. Suddenly, something hard hit her head, and she groaned.

“What was that?” she demanded. She heard Ryan laughing behind her, so she spun around and shoved him.

“What was that for?” he asked. Jane narrowed her eyes, watching his silhouette shift behind her. The little light that shone from upstairs glinted off his hair, giving him an angel-like glow. She shook the thought from her head.

“What hit me?” Jane asked. Ryan bent down and waved a small pocket flashlight in front of her face. She snatched it up and clicked it on, shining it this way and that, looking for anything of importance.

Ryan passed her and walked towards a cabinet, opening it up and shifting through a stack of papers that survived time. “Check this out Jane,” he called.

Jane walked over and bent down beside him, reading over his shoulder.

“Mathew H. Barks found murdered in his basement, killed by his neice in late August of 1916. His house was sold by his neice, Emily, shortly after. She reported that ‘odd occurences’ took place in the house. The buyer of the house mysteriously disappeared, and no one since moved in,” Ryan read.

“So, ‘Mathew’ is haunting his barn?” Jane asked.

Ryan shrugged his shoulders, dropping the papers and pulling out the paranormal book. “I’m assuming he’s attached to this house, and in here it says the only way to get rid of the spirit is to burn his attachment.”

Jane’s eyes grew wide. “We have to burn down the house?” she asked.

Ryan was silent for a moment. “Yeah,” he whispered, then raised his hand in a hushed voice.


Jane mounted Star, turned her, and glanced over her shoulder once at Ryan. He leaned on Chester, watching her silently. “Ryan, can’t we go to jail for this?”

Ryan smiled, opening his mouth and laughing. “Not if we say it was an accident,” he replied quickly.

Jane ran a hand through her hair. She sighed, looking Ryan strait in the eye. “How? How are we going to do that?” she asked.

Ryan grinned widely, walking up to Jane with his arms crossed. “A dry storm is coming up. Do you know what that is? It’s when there’s thunder and lightening, but no rain. Are you getting where I’m going?” he asked. Jane shook her head. “We light the house on fire when it storms. Yah?” he asked.

Jane frowned. “Ryan, I’ve only got a week left here. I don’t want to go to jail, but I’ll do it if you’re sure we must.”

Ryan grinned, hopping onto Chester’s back. “Of course!” he smiled. “I’ll research it even more to be sure, alright?” he asked.

Jane nodded with a small smile.


The night of the storm, Jane slowly climbed out her window, dropped down on the ground, then ran to the stables to grab Star and Chester. After retrieving them, she looked up at the sky when it boomed suddenly and lightening lit the sky. Dry storms were dangerous, but after research Ryan found out it was the only way it could happen. They had to put a stop to the ghost, even though Jane still doubted it.

She ran across the street to Ryan’s ranch, where he was waiting by the gate. He hopped onto Chester’s back and they set off toward Shadow Lane.

Jane took a good look at the old barn before drowning it in fire starter. Thunder boomed overhead, and lightening cracked the sky. Ryan lit a match and threw it, watching with interest as the flames swallowed the haunted barn.

Jane and Ryan headed back to their own ranch and thought this was the end. Throughout the night they barely spoke two words to each other, but they gave each other silent hints they were going to miss each other when Jane’s time was up.

Jane threw her suitcase into the car and hugged her grandma tightly.

“I’ll miss you Gram,” she said with a smile. Her grandpa circled his arms around her and squeezed, then released her. Jane looked around for Ryan, but he didn’t show up. Jane grew angry at him. After all we’ve been through and he doesn’t show up to say goodbye! she thought angrily, throwing herself into the taxi and telling him to drive off.

As they drove by the ocean, the cab slowed and pulled over. Jane was a little curious.

“What’re you doing?” she asked. He turned and smiled.

“I was tipped off this morning to stop here before heading off to the airport.” Jane slowly got out of the car and looked around.


She walked to the edge of the cliff, watching the waves crash against the shore below. Suddenly, someone’s running footsteps reached her ears and she saw Ryan coming toward her. Jane smiled, tears pricking at her eyes. He stopped short of five feet from her and looked at his toes.

“Bye Jane,” he choked out. Tears spilled down Jane’s cheeks as she threw her arms around Ryan, tackling him to the ground.

“I’m going to miss you,” she said, but her voice was muffled by Ryan’s chest. Ryan held onto her.

“Me too. Now, I’ve got a present for you,” Jane sat up and stared at Ryan. He opened his palm up, revealing a piece of wood with an engraving on it — S.L. Jane gripped the piece of wood and held it tightly.

“It’s the only surviving piece of wood from last night,” Ryan said. Jane smiled, more tears spilling from her eyes. She hugged Ryan tightly again, then stood up. Jane hugged him one last time.

“Bye Ryan. I’ll come and visit next summer,” she promised with tears in her eyes. Ryan nodded and watched as she ran off to the taxi.


Mysteries of Shadow Lane by Veronica was first published at Ghouls Horse Club in October 2007 in the former Loft Book Club.

5 Nickers »

  1. totaly awesome. i love how they had to burn down the barn!

  2. This was an interesting tale for the season! I loved the plot!

  3. Cool Story!!!

  4. woah!
    I was reading like id never stop! That was fab and really well written
    will you write a sort of sequel? cos tht would be cool, but if you dont want to and want to leave it as it is thats cool
    anyway gotta go, my mums been calling for what seems like the past hour ever since ive been reading your story
    bye and congrats on a real masterpiece =D

  5. this is long but is a radical story made by a radical girl!this was marvelous!