Welcome to Part Two of Beware of the Ouija.
First of all, my apologies for the delay on the continuation of the story. I was working twelve-hour days at the local mill, and quickly found I had little time to write. The part-time work is over now, so I’m back on track. Let us begin…
Our fingers-tips keep light contact with the planchette. I glare at the pointer willing it to move, and I feel ridiculous. Nothing is happening. Across the table, Giselle’s face is that of a sleeping Buddha. The coyotes are howling in their eerie mourful tone, and I check the window expecting to see a pack of red glowing eyes staring back at me, but all I see is a disembodied reflection of the unsettled flame of the candle and our hands poised above the game board.
“Are there any spirits that would like to communicate with us?” asks Giselle in a timid voice. She concentrates even hard, she clamps her eyes tighter, and her brow furrows deeper as she waits for something to happen. In all truthfulness, she looks like a toddler attempting a bowel movement. Maybe I should tell her? It would lighten the mood.
I glance at my pop can and wonder if I can sneak a sip of Pepsi. All the chips I had devoured earlier has now created a monster of thirst in me. She probably wouldn’t notice if I took one hand off of the pointer to have a drink?
Giselle’s voice booms, “Are there any spirits here willing to talk to us?”
I jerk in my chair startled by the forcefulness of her tone. She’s really trying. Now I feel like a loser. Giselle’s all in, and I’m fiddling around, staring out the window, and thinking about Pepsi. I’m a loser with a capital L on my forehead. I decide to get in the game. This time I’m calling the dead— using my inside voice. I shut my eyes and focus. At first, there is nothing but the smooth plastic beneath my fingertips, and then it changes. There is a hint of vibration. It’s softer than the buzz of clippers tidying up a bridle path on a horse’s mane. In the next second the pointer creeps across the board. It progresses weakly at first and then strengthens. It sails to the word ‘Yes’and then stops dead.
My mouth dries like the bottom of a rain barrel in a drought. And then my momentary fear is replaced by doubt. My brow knits, and I stare across the oddly cavernous space into Giselle’s wide-eyed shock. “You pushed it— didn’t you?” I hiss. I had entirely forgotten that I was planning on allowing Giselle to have her fun directing the pointer around the board.
Her head wags defiantly. A few of her curls flip free.
The pointer begins moving again, it carries our hands around the board in a happy-go-lucky way.
“It’s not me,” Giselle snaps back. “You’re the one pushing it?”
I stare at her with cursory disbelief. “What? No! Get real! I’m not pushing it— or I wouldn’t be accusing you of pushing it.” I say in a harsh voice. My heart pumps buckets of blood through the juicy carotid arteries in my neck. “Now what?” I huff, still not knowing what to think. Did she control the pointer? Is she that good of an actress?
“I guess we ask more questions,” Giselle says in a faraway voice. Her concentration is on the object sweeping our hands around the board. Her eyes gleam. “I don’t know what the hell is going on. But this is the most wickedly cool thing I’ve ever done.”
An unbidden thought materializes in my mind. The suggestion pops out of my mouth before I can stop it, “Why don’t we ask if it’s friendly?” My heart skips a beat. Did I say that aloud? The planchette is swaying around and around on the board like a child skipping circles in a schoolyard.
“Are you a friendly spirit?” she asks leaning forward with anticipation.
The pointer makes three circles and lands at ‘Yes’. I’m watching Giselle’s limbs closely; it doesn’t seem like she is controlling the movement. The energy thrums through the plastic piece— flowing and buoyant
Giselle blurts out a command, “What is your name?”
The planchette glides over the alphabet to pick out letters. D-A-V.
The flame of the candle on the kitchen counter flickers wildly. It’s as though someone has walked swiftly into the room. But no one is here.
The hairs on my arms stand up. I attempt to swallow away my fright.
Impulsively the pointer shoots to the word NO. The energy in the plastic piece shifts from a mild vibration to intense drumming. The planchette rips to the left and then swings around the board with a violent change. It runs the shape of a figure eight over and over again. The force controlling the board is unlike the energy we experienced at the start— the softness is gone replaced by aggression.
A cold sweat forms on my forehead. It’s a game. Why do I sense we are in danger? None of this is logical. Are we the clueless idiots in the horror movie? You know, the ones that hop and skip merrily into the house of horrors on a dare— and then they die? Is someone we can’t see screaming at us to stop?
Giselle’s entire face is blank. “What’s your name?” she asks in an inhuman voice.
I didn’t want to know. I want to put a stop to this terrifying game, but my fingertips are glued to the pointer. The temperature in the room falls. The light of the candle flutters, and then dims as though someone or something is attempting to gut it. With great effort, I wrench my hands from the planchette. My shoulders sag with relief as I watch Giselle’s eyes return to normal.
She lifts a hand to her temple and blinks. “Man, that was trippy.”
“Trippy?” I gasp. I leap for the light. I flick the switch, and the room is flooded with normality. My gaze drifts to the board as I recall the entities contact. “That was terrifying Giselle,” I rub my forehead trying to erase a sudden headache. “I— I didn’t think anything would happen, never mind this— I thought I would keep my mouth shut while you secretly moved the pointer all over the board getting all the answers you wanted—” My heart pounds with anxiety. “I didn’t think it would be real.” My hand remains firm on the light switch protecting the brightness in the room. I gesture to the table. “We were not prepared for that— Whatever that was.”
With her next breath, it became apparent she didn’t hear anything I said. “Do you want to do it again?”
I gape at her.
Her cheeks redden, and she drops her head to avoid my eyes.
I reflect on the strange force that gripped us at the end, and how it gathered power under our fingertips. It was a wild experience. I thought I never wanted to do it again, yet I totally understood Giselle’s desire to play again. I could physically feel an undeniable yearning rising up inside me that said, “Yes, let’s play again.” And with all honesty, I couldn’t tell if that inner desire was mine, or something elses.
Giselle hops to her feet and stretches her arms wide. She glimpses at the watch on her wrist, “That’s sick! Where did the time go?”
I swing my head to inspect at the clock on the stove. We’d been playing for two hours? How could that be? We didn’t even do anything.
Giselle steps up beside me and pats my arm, “Chill out Deb— Why are you uptight? You have to admit that was the bomb.” Her eyes shine like she just smoked a doobie. “It was like— like—the proof of an afterlife. “She pats my arm again. “If it freaked you out we can take precautions next time. We could put a copy of the Lord Prayer on the table beside a crucifix, and a bible. What do you think? That should chase away anything with negative vibes— Right?”
The fear in me shrieks “No. Don’t do it,” but the lure of gaining knowledge on the unknown was intense. “Maybe,” I say hesitantly. “I don’t know— Maybe?” I’m torn between the desire to know more and the fact I feel like a chicken with my head on the chopping block. I gently usher Giselle towards the doorway feeling eager to have her and her game out of my home. My heart clutches— the game. I turn my attention back to the Ouija board. It’s open on my table pulsating with an unseen alluring call. I swing my focus back to Giselle and grab her by the shoulder, “You need to take your game home.” I squeeze her shoulder with more force than I intend to.
Her face falls, and she steps away from me. “No way Man— I can’t. My mom would have a freak out if she knew I had a Ouija board in the house.”
My stomach is a crater of insects crawling over one another. I don’t want it in my home either, but I feel myself giving way— being helpful. I’m such a spineless dweeb. “Fine.” I say in a voice that sounds exactly like a wife speaking to a husband when things are far from fine.
“Does that mean we can play again?” She searches my face with a glowing expression of hope and presses her hands together in a prayer pose. “Please Deb, it’s a brand new game. I don’t know of anyone else that would be down to play this.”
I purse my lips together considering her question and then reply, “I’m not sure Giselle— I need to think about it for a sec.” I shiver and wrap my arms around myself, “Man, it’s mega cold in here. I’m gonna grab a sweater from the bedroom. I’ll be back in a jiffy.”
I meander down the dimly lit hallway towards my bedroom contemplating the situation. What I need is an ally with a calmer mind. Giselle would jump right in and follow the Devil all the way to hell with a smile on her face. I need someone else on the Ouija board besides me that didn’t want to go. I walk into my room and slide the closet door open. I pick a hoodie off a hanger and then pause. I almost change my mind about wearing it because it’s toasty warm back here. It’s strange— this is usually the cold room in my home. My insides twist with unease. I head back to the kitchen pondering the idea of an ally, within seconds my thoughts land on Robbi. I was certain she’d play the game. She had a considerable curiosity about the supernatural as well. Now I have both, my ally and my answer for my young friend. I feel my stress slip away. My face relaxes, and my lips curve into an easy smile. I enter the kitchen refusing to look at the calling board to the dead. Instead, I zone in on Giselle standing by the doorway, her expression emanates one of hope.
“You win,” I say in an upbeat voice. “I’ll play again.” I watch her face bloom with joy. “But— I want my friend Robbi to join us.”
Her expression falls.
“It’ll be cool,” I say trying to reassure her. “Robbi’s the best. You’ll see. She has strong instincts about these things— You know? The supernatural.”
Giselle shrugs. “Sure, whatever you think— I gotta motor, “ she mumbles as she quickly ducks into the porch.
I follow her into the small space and lean on the doorway.
She’s bent over holding the edges of her boots. She wiggles a foot inside one roper with an exasperated sigh and then puts her other boot on.
“Can you come back on Thursday evening?” I ask. “We could play then? Robbi, and I usually get together that night—“
“Any night is fine,” interrupts Giselle as she ties her laces on her boots. “I’m free to come and go as long as I’m home by 10:30.” She throws me a glance. “Are you sure your friend will want to play?”
I laugh. “Are you freakin kidding? After I tell her about tonight’s outrageous shit— she’ll be game on to experience the Ouija.”
Giselle stands and stomps her feet twice checking the tightness of her footwear. She gives me with a grin realizing she got her way, “Awesome. I’ll see you Thursday. “
“Yeah, it’s gonna be deadly,” I say trying to match her enthusiasm and swiftly reconsider my choice of words. “I mean radical. It’s going to be radical.”
The curly haired girl heads out the door, and turns back momentarily, “Thanks man, you‘re one hip chick,” she shouts seconds before the door slams.
Don’t believe her. I wasn’t one hip chick. I stood in my doorway afraid to turn around forever. The chill in the kitchen persists. What if the hostile entity that took control of the board never left? In the dark reaches of my mind I can nearly hear its presence taunting me, “Come and play,” it chuckles deeply, “I have so much more to share with you,’And what’s worse, is that I want to play. I want to feel the thrum of the energy transfer into me through my fingertips. I want to feel the sway of the pointer beneath my fingers again. A shiver traces down my spine. I inhale sharply, and a squeak of fear escapes with my exhalation. I bow my head and clench my fists. I will not be undone by a game. I rein in my runaway courage and turn around to face the invisible forces. I stalk to the table and shove the game back in the box. After I finish packing it up, I stamp to the front door and yank it open. The crisp night air is a welcome touch of reality. I set the box down on the top step. Once I’m back inside I lock the door, and silently pray someone steals the game.
When I finally get into bed for the night, I pull the covers up over my head, and I bury myself in the blankets until my nose nearly touches my toes. I feel fear tuck itself under my arm like a well-worn teddy.
Looking back on it now, and knowing what happened in the coming days I had good reason to be afraid. I didn’t understand what we had done. And you are probably asking— What did you do?
In our ignorance, we unlocked a door we couldn’t see— And we left it wide open.
To be continued— The last days with the Ouija.