I wrote no more stories about Ridgewood during my tenth grade school year and merely jotted some plot ideas on paper while I pondered Ridgewood’s changes.
I discovered a new interest in writing sci-fi space stories, so I stayed away from Ridgewood and wrote about a boy named Nevets who lived on a planet called Diatrium. The science and technology were wrong and the stories seemed like plagiarized scripts from the TV show Lost in Space, but they were fun to write.
One rainy summer day and a baseball injury to my drawing hand when I was 16 put me in front of my typewriter with a Diatrium story going nowhere. I pulled the story and began a new sheet of paper with the words STARTING OVER at the top of the page.
Ridgewood changed, I wrote. Vree Erickson is back in her house on Myers Ridge, but she lives there with her triplet brother and sister, Dave and Amy, and her parents Charles and Karrie. Karrie’s name used to be Deborah and she was a nurse.
“She’s a schoolteacher,” Vree said. “She teaches ninth grade science. Her favorite subject is geology and she likes to explore caves.”
Charles was a dentist.
“He was a lawyer until lightning killed him at our old home in New Cambridge.”
You weren’t born in Ridgewood and lived on Myers Ridge.
“I was born in New Cambridge on April 30th, the last child my mother gave birth to. April 30th is a special day for magic, just as October 31st is a special day for the dead. As the third child born on that special day, I was blessed with magic.”
What kind of magic?
“White magic. It was enhanced when lightning struck me.”
Lightning struck you and your dad.
“Yes. The same lightning. It killed him and made me how I am today.”
Which is what?
“I can see my dad’s spirit and talk to him. And I can see a person’s history when I touch them.”
Is Vree still a nickname from your initials VRE?
Do you know Lenny Stevens?
“He’s my neighbor. His dad is my art teacher at school. His mom died before I moved to Myers Ridge. He told me a witch killed her.”
There’s a witch in Ridgewood.
“According to Lenny, yes. Her name is Marisa. I have never met her. I think she might be dead.”
Have you seen other supernatural creatures?
No other ghosts or spirits?
Do you know a Sarah Geddes?
“No. Who is she?”
I’m not sure. But listen and I will tell you.