“It's only a game.” Brian decided.
He positioned both hands over the planchette, and eased his fingers down to rest on top of it. Brian treated the planchette as if it were a block of C-4. He was scared to death of Ouija Boards, and was doing his best to keep his trembling hands at bay.
“Go ahead Brian, ask it something.” Ashley said, as she watched from outside the circle of players.
Ashley decided to sit this one out. When she played, she had a tendency to draw malevolent spirits to the game. Since it was Brian's first time playing, Ashley didn't want to freak him out too bad. She was hoping to contact Addison, the ghost of a little boy who died from Tuberculosis in 1889. Addison was harmless, and Ashley figured he would be perfect for Brian's first game.
“Uh, what's your name?” Brian asked, staring up at the ceiling.
Nothing happened. Tony and Jess quickly lost interest and started kissing, removing their hands from the planchette.
“Cut it out you guys.” Ashley said in a annoyed tone. “It's very important to keep physical contact with the board in order for them to communicate with us.” Ashley said seriously.
Tony gave Jess one last kiss before they both placed their hands back on the planchette.
“It takes a minute or two sometimes. Some spirits are kinda shy.” Ashley said.
Everyone sat there silently with their hands perfectly still, and waited for something to happen. After a minute the planchette began to slowly slide across the Ouija Board, and made its way over to the letter A. It rested there for a moment, and started moving to the D. The planchette picked up speed now as it moved off of the D, and then circled back around to it again. It spelled out the rest of the word, I – S – O – N.
“Hey Addy!” Jess said excitingly.
“Whoa. That's so cool.” Brian said, his hands no longer trembling.
The planchette was on the move again, picking up speed as it went.
“H.” The players whispered in unison, as the planchette came to a short rest on the letter H.
“I...Hi.” They all announced.
“Ask him another question.” Ashley told Brian.
“Um, how did you die Addison?” Brian asked.
The planchette spelled out, “T – A – B – R – C – L – O – S – S.”
“What?” Tony asked confounded.
“He means Tuberculosis. Ghosts are terrible spellers.” Ashley reassured him.
“This isn't so scary. I don't see what all the fuss is about.” Brian thought. “Addison seems like a nice young boy. Who would be scared of the ghost of a little boy?” Brian asked himself.
“That's so sad.” Jess said sympathetically. “How old were you when you died Addy?” She asked.
The planchette creeped to the number 9.
“Only nine years old.” Jess said as a tear streamed down her face.
Tony kissed her cheek where the tear had stopped.
“Jess, I think you may be empathic.” Ashley declared.
“What's that mean?” Jess asked.
“It means you are able to sense the mood of the spirit that you are communicating with. You feel what they're feeling.” Ashley explained. “It is a rare gift. You're lucky to have it.” She added.
“Do you have any gifts?” Brian asked Ashley.
“Well, kind of.” Ashley answered. “I am what is called a sensitive. I can sense when a ghost is around, but can't necessarily see them. I get all the physical signs when an entity is present; cold spots, hair standing up, anxiety if it's malicious, rapid heart rate, the feeling that someone's watching me. Spirits know this, so they are drawn to me.” Ashley explained.
“Why are they drawn to you? So what if you can sense them.” Tony asked.
“Ghosts are stuck between worlds. Their earthly vessel is dead, but their spirit lives on. They haven't made their way yet to Heaven or Hell, and are stuck in a sort of supernatural limbo. A lot of believers think that they had unfinished business when they died, and cannot cross over until that is settled. Other people say that when someone is murdered, or dies tragically or suddenly, they become a ghost. They do the same things in the afterlife just the same as they did when they were alive. They work or hang out around their house. Most of those cases don't even realize that they're dead.” Ashley went on to say.
“Some spirits are drawn to sensitives because they want us to help them settle their unfinished business. Others are attracted to me just for my company. They know that I can sense when they're around, so they hang around me. Yet others come around because they are jealous of me for still being alive. They will try to scare me, or harm me if they can.” Ashley said.
“You mean they have tried hurting you?” Brian asked sincerely.
“Once.” Ashley answered.
“It was when I first started channeling spirits three years ago. I was consulting with a psychic about a particular spirit that I felt was malevolent, and wanted to hurt me. The psychic came to my house and confirmed my suspicions. She told me that the spirit of a forty year old man was attracted to me. She said that I looked identical to this man's wife, and he wanted to kill me so we could be together in the afterlife.” Ashley said, as her eyes welled up.
“The psychic said the ghost's name was Curtis. She said that Curtis liked pushing me as I walked down the stairs, and tripping me as often as he could. He would change my mood, so that I was always either angry or depressed. She said that he thought if he kept it up long enough that I would kill myself.” Ashley explained.
“Oh my God. What did you do?” Jess asked.
“The psychic said some incantations and burned a stick of sage, an old Native American ritual that is said to calm spirits.” Ashley answered.
“Did it work?” Tony asked.
“Hardly.” Ashley said firmly. “Everything calmed down for a few days. The atmosphere felt lighter, but it didn't last long. Three days later things got...darker.” Ashley said as her eyes widened.
“I was laying in bed, and couldn't sleep. At 3am I stared getting horrible anxiety. It felt like a panic attack. Something drew my gaze to the middle of the room. All of my focus was diverted to a spot right in front of the big mirror on top of my dresser. There was something there, something evil. I couldn't see it, but damn it I knew something was there, something evil. Never in my life have I came across something that possessed such a malicious, malevolent energy. I took a deep breath and tried to scream, but nothing came out, not even a whimper. This powerful entity rendered me paralyzed. I couldn't move a muscle. My gaze was still fixed to that spot in front of the mirror. I panicked! I tried, and tried again screaming for help with no luck. I tried sitting up in bed because it felt like this thing was pushing down on my chest, and I was struggling to catch my breath. I was completely frozen, both physically and fearfully. I did the only thing I could think of, I cited the Lord's Prayer. I was obviously not a Christian, but knew the prayer. Whatever this thing was, it didn't have control over my thoughts, not yet at least. I just lay there reciting it over and over again in my head for fifteen minutes. I must have fallen asleep at that point, or passed out. I really don't remember. I woke up crying and feared for my life. It was by far the most terrifying event that has taken place in my life, and I will not soon forget it.”
Everyone sat there staring, jaws gaping and eyes wide open.
“It's only a game.” Brian thought.
“It's only a game.”
© Copyright 2016 Matthew Zabala. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Fantasy
Poem / Religion and Spirituality
Essay / Travel
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