Entry 1

My name is Verawenda Erickson. My nickname Vree comes from my initials VRE. My name is a combination of Vera and Wenda. My mom named me after her paternal grandmother Vera Lybrook and Vera’s sister Wenda Walsh. My middle name Renee is my maternal grandmother’s middle name.

I lived with my mom, dad, sister and brother in Upper St. Clair PA until lightning struck my dad and me and burned down our home on June 19, my 13th birthday. The lightning killed my dad and put me in a coma for 10 days. After a 4-day recovery period in the hospital, I was discharged on July 3 and stayed with my family at Aunt Michelle’s house in Monroeville PA until July 5, whereupon Mom moved us to her estranged parents’ house 100 miles away on Myers Ridge in Ridgewood PA. During my coma, Mom reconciled with her parents and accepted a teaching job at Ridgewood High School.

Myers Ridge is mostly old farmland with a few farms in operation, though farming is almost a vanished way of life. Where there are no houses, barns and fields, second growth woods fill the landscape. This is rural country life where lawnmowers are big and loud, tractors plow fields and harvest crops, small flower and vegetable gardens grow in every yard. barbecues and lemonade are part of backyard activity, as well as swimming in aboveground pools. There’s also backyard camping, hiking in woods, and riding horses in summer. In winter, there’s deer hunting, plowing and shoveling snow, and sleds and snowmobiles to ride.

A Little More About Me

I have straight, shoulder length blonde hair that I usually part in the middle. Mom won’t let me get a pixie cut like hers, though I’d really like short hair so it’d be easier to dry when I’m in a hurry to be somewhere. Maybe some tease and curls added to the shortness … and dye it auburn like hers and my sister Sasa’s hair color. My eyes are listed on my birth announcement and student identification as green, but are really blue-green and gray with amber flecks in them. Some days they are bluer, some days greener—the blue stands out if I wear white clothing, and the green stands out if I wear dark clothing. I am 5’ 4” tall and weigh around 95-100 pounds.

I sometimes have difficulty remembering past events, which started after I awoke from the coma. When I’m tired or really stressed, it’s difficult for me to know if I’m remembering real events, dreams, or plots from TV shows, movies, or books.

Another thing that began after waking from the coma is my body emits white light when I’m anxious or excited.

On top of all that, 13 is an awkward age, especially when you feel like you’re responsible for your dad’s death and the loss of your home and most of your possessions. Then your mom moves you to her old childhood hometown and now you have to make new friends and go to a new school.

Why Ridgewood?

Were there other places we could have moved to and stayed in the Pittsburgh area? I think so. We were homeless, not poor.

But the ill will between Mom and her parents was miraculously reconciled. Whatever happened to cause the rift between them remains private from us kids. This curious mind wants to know why? What happened that kept them apart for so long?

Mom has never said much about her parents. We never visited them and they never visited us. They were strangers whose portrait sat on the fireplace mantle. They called on the phone at Christmas, but the calls were short and one-sided. They sent birthday and Christmas cards and gifts in the mail, but we never sent them anything. I accepted this behavior as normal because I was young and Mom and Dad seemed okay with it. But now, here we are in their home, hugging and talking and acting like we’ve always been close. It’s creepy and weird. And no one is questioning it but me!

Did I awaken from my coma in an alternate reality? If so, it could explain away all this craziness.

But the craziness is my reality, which is why I started writing this journal. I need to record everything that happens and try to make sense of it. What would you do if you found out you can see and hear and do paranormal things that most other people cannot? Being a teenage girl is hard enough while your body goes through physical changes that make you look less like a teenager and more like a woman. So you act as if nothing is wrong or different. But you secretly think about the past when you were innocent of the bad things in life, and you dream of a future where everything turns out right.

Journal Entry 2

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Published by

Steven Leo Campbell

I am an artist and indie-author. I draw and paint wildlife, draw cartoons, and write mostly paranormal fiction featuring Vree Erickson and a strange Pennsylvania town called Ridgewood.

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