This is clearly the work of a ghost, or as least a sneaky kid with pretty tidy printing. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

This is clearly the work of a ghost, or as least a sneaky kid with pretty tidy printing. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Sarah Simpson Column: A mysterious note sends the children racing to school

A ghost story

It’s Friday the 13th while I’m writing this so here’s a story befitting the day, even though when you read this it’ll be long over.

It was a tough morning getting my children to school the other day. Neither kid wanted to go and they sure as heck weren’t staying home with me. I had to go to work. It was rainy and miserable outside and I suppose that filtered its way into the moods of the people inside my house. All of us I mean, not just the kids.

We were running late and I was getting to my wit’s end so I decided I was going to grab the coats and backpacks and march them to school myself. If my kids weren’t going to be there on time, their stuff sure would be.

Ever since the mask mandate has been lifted at schools here in B.C., I’ve given my children the choice to wear a mask in class or not, or even to put it on sometimes if they feel like they want to. For my anxious kid, it’s likely a good excuse to hide away sometimes, but whatever they opt for, I’ve left it up to them to do what they’re most comfortable with.

I tell you this to explain why I was stuffing a mask into each of the pockets of my daughter’s rain coat on that miserable day last week.

“Here’s a purple one for this pocket,” I snarled, shoving a mask into the pocket of the too-big, but super cute, pink hand-me-down rain coat.

“Here’s a rainbow striped one for this…. hey wait, what’s that?”

Instead of the typical rock “collection” she usually has in her coat pockets, there was a well folded piece of paper that clearly had spent quite some time in there.

“Let me see,” said my daughter. “I don’t remember that.”

Carefully she unfolded the paper, which featured a purple crayon colouring job on one part of the fold, and flattened it out to reveal a heart shaped cut-out. On the top left side of the heart, which upon closer inspection was carefully outlined in green pencil crayon, was a pair of lips.

In the middle, there is what looks to be a jack-o-lantern, with one set of relatively normal-looking eyes and four mouths.

When a little girl has a paper heart in her pocket you’d think she perhaps has a secret admirer or something.

No the case here.

The message on the heart was: “I’m honting you?”

I’m not sure if the author knows the difference between a question mark and an exclamation mark — they’re likely somewhere between Kindergarten and Grade 2. That aside, it’s clear the message meant to say “I’m haunting you!”

Lord above I’ve never been so thankful that my child was being haunted.

The message, pulled from my cranky child’s pocket at just the right time, turned everyone’s mood around instantly.

The questions began, as the kids yanked on their shoes, all of a sudden in a rush to get to school.

“How’d it get in my pocket?”

“Who put it there?”

“Do you recognize that writing? It’s too good for Kindergarten.”

My daughter’s big brother is in second grade and together they’ve theorized that his classmate, the sister of a boy in my daughter’s Kindergarten class, may have written it and her little brother could have put it in her pocket in their class’s coat room.

Quite the elaborate plan if you ask me. There of course is no proof of this.

It could also just be a ghost. (Also, no proof.)

Whatever it was, the children went from refusing to go to school, to running there so they could solve the mystery.

Believe it or not, this isn’t the first haunting we’ve had in our family. Back in January of 2013, my then fiancé found a peculiar note on his car one morning.

“Hello my name is Cindy. I used to live in this house, I was murdered in 1573…”

It went on to be quite graphic but warned that “NO ONE in that house deserves to live…”

Don’t fret. Three years has long passed and we’re still OK. Plus, we moved. I assume Cindy stayed with the old house.

Anyway, despite showing their teachers and some of their friends the note, the identity of the Pocket Heart Haunter still remains a mystery.

But ghost friend, if you’re out there, please keep the notes coming. At least until the end of the school year.

ColumnistComedy and Humour