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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Four friends decide to get out a Ouija board at the end of a Birthday party; not the best idea in the world.



He'd had a week at work he wanted to forget but had not only a Friday night off but the weekend as the restaurant finally took on more staff. 
After a shower and a tidy up of his pencil beard, which he did every day, he was ready to party. 
"Wish him a Happy Birthday from me please Son. I'm going give it a miss as this head cold is winning," his dad said and sounded as bunged up as he looked. 
"I will do Dad, you just rest up. I don't know what time I'll be back, it won't be that late but you never know," Joe Williams replied with a cheeky grin. 
"You're a few years past eighteen now so as long as you don't make too much noise as I need my beauty sleep," Sean Williams said then made his way to the lounge and sat down in front of the television. 
"I won't Dad or at least try not to anyway. I can't believe Daniel is twenty five already,"
"Wait till you get to my age then Joe!"
"I'll have the fire brigade ready for when we light the candles," Joe replied cheekily then headed for the front door before shouting back, "Love you Pa,"
"Love you too Son,"
He zipped up his black leather jacket once he'd closed the front door behind him. It had been raining earlier and the damp was still in the air but the temperature had dropped to just above zero. 
He put his hands in his pockets and pulled out a black leather glove from each one and quickly put them on. 
He loved living in West London which had a very cosmopolitan mixture of people. He moved to Wood Lane with his father four years before, they lived in Acton before that. 
Immediately opposite the house was a huge shopping centre which he cut through to Shepherds Bush Underground station. 
He avoided buses like the plague, tubes were bad enough but buses were filled with shopping trolleys and rucksacks that seemed to have a life of their own. 
At Bond Street he changed direction onto the Jubilee line heading north towards Wembley. Two stops before the home of football he got off the tube and read the directions on the text which to his surprise he understood and didn't get lost. 
Willesden Working Men's Club looked Victorian from the outside and Joe saw a couple of people he knew standing outside smoking and they greeted him. 
He made his way to the bar as he acknowledged more people he knew. 
As he waited to be served he felt a hand on his left shoulder, "Glad you could make it Serena, now what can I get you?"" the man said with slightly glazed eyes that he tried to hide behind his thin black rimmed glasses. 
"Don't be silly Harry it's your Birthday so what do you want?" Joe asked one of his best friends. 
Joe's nickname came about due to his surname and his support for tennis player Serena Williams; Daniel was Harry after Harry Potter for whom he looked like a little and had the same forename as the actor. 
Joe paid for the first of a quite a few drinks that night which included shots amongst other things. 
When the bar closed, Daniel invited a few of his close friends back to his place where they could carry on partying; two mini cabs were ordered for the short trip to Kilburn.
Daniel sat down beside his girlfriend Marie and beside her sat her sister Jenny. 
Joe had only met Jenny once before and the alcohol gave him more confidence to chat to her which he did as he sat on the arm of the sofa. 
Daniel turned on his CD player and Marie said, "Not too loud Dan as it's already past one,"
"It's my Birthday so why not?" He replied with a drunken grin. 
"Because of two reasons which are; we don't want to annoy our neighbours and second technically your Birthday was over an hour ago," she replied with a cheeky grin of her own. 
An hour later and four of the party had gone home leaving six people left. 
"Let's play a game," Jenny suggested. 
"Aren't we a bit old to play games?" Daniel replied. 
"And not strip poker before you suggest it," Jenny said with a teasing smile. 
"You just went and read my mind!" Joe said jokingly. 
"So what game then and if you say leapfrog I'm out," Marie asked. 
"Not so much a game as a challenge really," Jenny replied with a mischievous look. 
"Truth or dare and I'm out," Joe said. 
"Same with spin the bottle," Marie added. 
"I know I'm only staying a few weeks but yesterday I was in Camden Market and a guy asked if I believed in the afterlife. I told him the truth, I'm open minded so he asked me to follow him and behind a stall, hidden from view this guy was selling Ouija boards and good quality as he kept telling me,"
"You didn't Jen?" Marie said. 
"Of course I did, I mean what's the harm in it?" Jenny replied but this time the cheeky smile didn't really work. 
"That's messing with stuff we really don't know about. You know what I mean it's like dangerous shit," Daniel said sounding a lot more sober than he felt. 
"You watch too much television Dan. It will be a laugh unless you lot are chicken?" Jenny replied.
"Dan is right though. We don't know what we are dealing with and it could be very dangerous," Joe added.
"But thinking about it Joe and I'm being one hundred percent serious, we might be able to talk to your mum," Marie said not really knowing the reaction she'd get. 
"Sweetheart I'm sure if Joe wants to do it ..."
"I've never thought about it before," Joe said interrupting Daniel. 
"What I'm saying is, don't just jump in with both feet. We really don't know what we're messing with here," Daniel said trying to look after his mate. 
"Seriously Jenny we don't know what we might find and I don't have a clue what to do if anything goes wrong,"
"You've watched far too many TV shows Marie. A bit of fun and I didn't know about Joe's mum but yes we can try and contact her and maybe Nanny Rose for us?" Jenny replied to her sister. 
"Let me get this right before we go any further, you've never done this before?" Joe asked looking directly at Jenny. 
Marie nodded her head. 
"That's one of the reasons I bought it. I've done it about five or six times now but it was never my board. If anything bad happened do you really think I'd want to do it again? It's a bit of fun for Christ sake! You guys need to learn to chill out," Jenny said then took a mouthful of her vodka and lemonade. 
"So what do we have to do?" Dan asked with a bit of a slur. 
"You want to do it Dan?" His girlfriend asked. 
"I didn't say that now did I? I asked what we have to do because anything too physical I can't do,"
"You can hardly pick up your drink let alone anything else," Marie said to a titter of laughter. 
"Let me go and get the board and I'll bring a glass," Jenny said and disappeared out of the room. 
"I'm really not that sure about this Dan,"
"You said you wanted your sister to feel welcome so that's what I'm doing. Sometimes I can't do right for doing wrong,"
"And I know the reason you're doing it Joe!"
"What?" He tried to look innocent but failed. 
"Just remember she's my sister is all I'm saying,"
"That's a warning Selena," Dan said with a giggle as Jenny returned with the board and glass. 
"So who’s in and who’s not?" Jenny asked with the Ouija board under her arm, "Can we lower the lights or turn some of them off at all?" 
"I can turn off the hall light and big light in here and put on the lamp if that helps?" Dan asked. 
"Sounds good, so are we all in?"
Three drunk but nervous heads nodded up and down slowly. 
"Can you do the light then Dan?" Jenny asked and moments later the lamp only gave out about a third of the light that had been on. 
Drunken eyes glazed at the orange board with the numbers and letters in jet black. 
"Dan can you bring that table round and we'll get a kind of square going," Jenny asked. 
"Give me a hand Joe and you can start by helping me up if you can," Dan said laughing. 
"Olivier fucking Reid will turn up now and ask for a drink!" Marie said and everyone laughed. 
As it died down the men set up the table and they all sat round it. 
"I'm going to say a few words then I'd like us all to put a finger on the glass in the middle of the board. Move with the glass but don't force it. Are we ready?"
"Let me take a quick drink first," Joe said. 
"Good idea," Dan agreed picking up his drink and trying to make sure he hit his mouth; his balance and direction were affected by the alcohol. 
"I call upon any spirits that are here amongst us to let themselves be known. Come and talk to us, we mean you no harm," Jenny said in a soft voice. 
"Don't be surprised if the vodka starts talking now," Dan said and Joe had to hold in his laughter. 
"If you're not going to take this seriously then we won't bother,"
"Sorry Jen I won't do it again," Dan replied but didn't look or sound very apologetic.
"Can we all just place one finger on the glass and I'll ask some questions and go from there," Jenny said and paused for a few seconds while four fingers touched the upside down glass, "are there any spirits amongst us?"
The glass moved easily across the board and stopped at the 'Yes'. 
"Ok who’s moving the glass guys?" Marie asked trying not to sound too concerned. 
Both men shook their heads and so did Jenny. 
"Are you male or female?" The glass again moved but this time to the letter F and a couple of seconds later it moved onto M. 
"Are we speaking to the man or woman?" Jenny asked trying not to sound intimidated. 
The glass moved slightly to the left before quickly moving to the right and back to the letter M. 
"Dan I think you can stop playing now don't you? You're scaring the girls,"
"It's not me Bruv I swear. I thought it was you," Dan replied. 
"What is your name please," Jenny asked. 
The glass moved over to the letter A and a moment later to B before returning to A. After a couple of seconds it moved to the letter D then up to number 2. 
"It knows the alphabet I mean wow," Dan said sounding unimpressed. 
"Shush!" Marie said. 
The glass moved over to the letter O then N where it stopped. 
"So what's his name?" Joe asked. 
"It spells out the name Abaddon from what I can make out,"
Dan burst into laughter and pulled his finger away from the glass and the others did the same. 
Even with his girlfriend giving him dagger looks he couldn't stop.
"It's not that funny really," Joe said. 
"Oh it is if you break it down. A bad don," he giggled again, "So he's a bad mafia Godfather! That really did make me laugh,"
"You're the only one laughing Daniel. We might as well stop if you're going to take the piss every time," Marie said to him firmly. 
"I'm not the one playing with the glass sweetheart,"
"Nobody is playing with the glass Dan, it's an Ouija board and that's how the spirits come through and talk to us," Jenny said then put her finger back on top of the upside down glass. 
Marie did the same and the men followed. 
"Is your name Abaddon?" Jenny asked and the glass slowly returned to the 'Yes'. 
Marie nodded at her sister, "What is the female called?"
The glass didn't move and the four of them looked at each other not sure what to do. 
"Abaddon are you alone?" Jenny asked. 
The glass moved over to the 'No' and stopped. 
"So what is the name of the female?" Daniel asked. 
The glass didn't move.
"How many spirits are here with us?" Jenny asked. 
The glass didn't move. 
"Are you a lone spirit here?" Marie asked. 
The glass started to move and stopped at the letter L before moving onto the letter E. 
The sisters looked at each other not sure what to think.
The next letter was A followed by V, it stopped at E. 
"Maybe we should just stop this game. I don't think anyone's enjoying it that much," Joe said. 
"You're bottling it Serena! Have another drink and let's see what happens. Or are you a bit too chicken?" Dan replied. 
"We're not kids anymore Harry and I think we're messing with stuff we don't know an awful lot about. I'll carry on if you and the girls want to," he knew Dan was trying to wind him up and didn't want to give him ammunition. 
"That's the spirit Serena now let's have another drink and carry on," Daniel said but as he got up the glass on the Ouija board flew towards him and as he ducked it missed him by millimetres as it smashed into a thousand pieces after hitting the wall. 
"That's the end of that game then and whoever done that trick it was impressive but the glass was crystal and expensive," Daniel said and seemed to be the only one unaffected by the broken glass. 
"That wasn't a trick I assure you! Fold up the board Jenny, the game is over and I mean now!" Marie said sounding both scared and annoyed. 
"But we can't just ..."
"If you don't then I will it's as simple as that," Marie said not willing to listen to any excuses. 
"I'm just saying we can't leave it mid game or ..."
Marie folded the Ouija board up and sat on it, "One more drink and we'll call it a night but first let's get this mess cleared up,"
"The boss has spoken," Daniel said and downed his drink in one. 
"We have to say good bye," Jenny insisted. 
"I think you'll find when a bad don threw the glass that might have been the end of the conversation. Now one for the road," Daniel said slurring slightly. 
"The board is shut and it's staying shut. Forget the drink I'm off to bed. I'm sure you can let yourself out Joe," Marie said. 

"Me and Joe are going to have one more drink aren't we Serena?" Dan's slurring was getting worse.  "We need to finish the game!" Jenny said.  "Harry it's late so I'm going to grab my coat and catch a taxi," Joe replied as he felt Marie's eyes glaring at him.  "Selena you're such a lightweight man! How many times am I going to be twenty five I mean really? Come on sit down with me," Dan said and was starting to lose the battle to keep his eyes open.  "I think you'll find you're twenty five all year Harry and you're also pissed and I'm not far behind you so I'm going to go," "We need to finish off the game we really do! We can't just leave it," Jenny said.  "It's the same with the bottle, that needs to be finished too!" Dan said falling back in his chair.  Joe leaned over and kissed Marie on the right cheek then grabbed hold of Dan's right hand and pulled it towards him then he kissed him on both cheeks.  "Love you Selenas, call you tomorrow," Dan said.  "Hope to see you soon," Joe said then turned to Jenny, "I have to say it's been eventful to say the least," then tried to kiss her on the cheek but she moved and his lips met hers.  "See you soon but we need to finish this game," Jenny said once they'd pulled back from each other.  "Yes, yes we will," Joe said still a little stunned by the kiss.  The temperature had dropped to well below zero but the alcohol kept Joe warm.  He looked at his watch and it was just after two and the streets were empty so he decided to walk for a bit and if a taxi came along he'd hail it down.  He'd been walking for about ten minutes when it started to rain and they felt like shards of ice and he had to take cover in a bus shelter.  He looked back at the traffic lights he'd crossed just a few moments earlier and saw a yellow 'for hire' sign on a black taxi.  Just as he saw the lights change he heard and felt his phone ring. He took it out of his pocket and saw it was 'Harry' ringing.  "You need to go to bed and leave the drink alone," he joked as he saw the taxi drive past him.  "I ... need, I need ... shit I need," Dan said just above a whisper and sounding breathless.  Joe wasn't sure if he was winding him up or not as he did it regularly.  "What do you need Harry?" There was silence for a few seconds until he finally heard, "Something bad has ... Something bad I need you," then a bit of shouting. "Dan? Dan talk to me! Dan for fucks sake answer me!" Joe shouted at the phone and two seconds later started running.  After a few seconds he looked round and didn't have a clue where he was going and it did nothing for his state of panic.  'Calm down Joe now think which way you came?' He asked himself as his eyes darted around then saw a shop he recognised.  What he hadn't seen was the patrol car that saw him running at quite a speed. They pulled over just behind him and watched his next move.  Joe had managed to slow his heart rate down and felt so much more sober. As he walked at a fairly brisk pace pointing and saying the shop names out loud and either saying 'yes' or 'no'.  The patrol car parked up at the corner Joe was walking towards and he saw it with about four shops away.  His heartbeat started beating so hard at first he thought he'd pass out. "Good evening sir, can I ask you where you are going at this time of the night?" The Police officer that had a striking resemblance to interior designer Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen asked.  'I'd love to chat but my mate is in trouble,' he first thought about replying, "Evening officer I've left my keys at my friend’s house and he phoned me as he found them. Thankfully I was just a few minutes away so I'm just going back to collect them," he sounded nervous and looked it.  "And where does he live this friend of yours?" The Police officer asked as his colleague walked round to join him.  "You know what I don't know the name of it but it's down here," he pointed to where he was talking about, "And you take a right at the end and he lives opposite, number twenty four,"  "Would you have any I.D on you sir?" The female officer asked.  Six long minutes later and after he signed a form they let him go.  As soon as the Police were out of sight he took his phone out and rang Dan as he walked to the house.  He cancelled the second call as he got to the house he was at less than half an hour before.  The black door was a jar but not by much but Joe rang the bell all the same.  He pushed the door and called out, "Daniel! Marie! Jenny! Where are you? Answer me please!"  Trepidation started to get the better of him when he heard something but wasn't sure what.  "Daniel is that ..." Three knocks came from upstairs of the two bedroom house.  He took two steps forward and turned to look up the stairs to find it in darkness. He found the double light switch and the first floor was lit.  When he stepped on the third step up he heard two more knocks but it sounded as if it came from the kitchen which was on the ground floor.  "Where are you Harry? This really isn't very funny," he took four more steps and clearly heard a slapping of the floor coming from Daniel and Marie's bedroom.  "Talk to me for fucks sake man!" "Joe I ... Joe," Joe knew it was Daniel and despite his fear he marched into the bedroom and was greeted with a sight he wasn't ready for.  "Find ... the girls," Dan said finding it hard to breath.  "I'm calling you an ambulance," Joe said looking at one of his best friends whose shirt was covered in blood.  His milky complexion made him almost ghost like. "I, I have ... Knife in you know my side," his voice was getting weaker.  "I'm calling for help," Joe said after taking his phone out and calling nine nine nine.  The call couldn't be made as the phone turned itself off.  "Where's your phone Dan? I need to use your phone," but Dan didn't answer.  As soon as he switched on the main light he wished he hadn't. Blood seemed to be all over the room along with a couple of broken bedside lamps. A wardrobe door was hanging off one of its hinges but for how long was anyone's guess.  "Find the ... You have to find, the girls," Dan said with his breathing getting very shallow.  Joe looked at him and saw his phone above his shoulder and grabbed it feeling the glue like liquid at the back of it; Daniels blood.  He pressed the three digits and when he got through he asked for an ambulance.  "To what address please?" The man on the other end of the line sounded way too calm for Joe's liking.  "It's here in Kilburn but I don't know the name of the street but It’s number twenty four. Hurry because Dan has been seriously hurt," "I need a street name please or I won't know where to send the ambulance. Can you see any letters or a street sign outside?" Dan started coughing then gagging which made Joe put the phone down and see to him, "What should I do?" "Don't come off the line sir," the emergency operator said as he typed in more information.  "C...C...Cold. V...V...Very cold," Joe looked in the wardrobe with its door hanging off and grabbed two long coats and carefully put them over Dan before picking the phone up again.  "I had to cover him up. Have you sent help? I can't find anything with his address on it and don't want to leave him," panic started taking over again.  "Sir are you in Esmond road at number twenty four?" The operator asked and again it bugged Joe just how cool and collected he was.  "Yes that's it I think but hurry as he’s losing a lot of blood," a wave of relief washed over him once he knew help was on the way.  "Can you tell me what's happened tonight then?" "Talk in a minute as he needs me," Joe replied and left the phone on the side.  "Help is on the way Harry and will be here very soon," Joe said as he leaned in to his friend he'd known since Primary school.  "You need to," Dan moved his head slightly to the left and groaned, "The girls, you need to find, shit this is, take the blade out Selena. Find the girls, you need to get out of here," Joe could hear just how much of an effort it was for him to talk.  "I can't just leave you mate and I know you wouldn't do the same too..." Daniel grabbed hold of Joe's shirt collar as best he could with his right hand and pulled him towards him so he was just inches away from his mouth, "You have to go and find the girls," he paused then spat out a mixture of saliva and blood and Joe felt some land on his clothes, "You've, you've rang, rang for help now get, get the fuck out of here. Serena find, find, the girls," and with that his eyes closed.  "Oh no you don't Harry! Don't you dare die on me you hear me!" The siren in the distance made him think of what Dan had just said. He squeezed the hand of the man who was celebrating his Birthday party just hours before. He made his way out of the bedroom and headed downstairs where he grabbed a black woolly hat before going out the front door.  He wasn't sure how far away the sirens were but walked the other way from it with his eyes darting everywhere.  As he got to the end of the road he saw the ambulance pull up to the house with its blue lights flooding the street either side.  Coming down Hazelmere Road were more blue flashing lights and Joe used a car for cover and as soon as it passed he made good his escape cutting through roads till he got to Kilburn High Road.  The first vehicle to drive towards him was a taxi for hire and he hailed it down.  "Where to fella?" "Wood Lane," "Jump in," The warmth of the inside of the taxi was more than welcome but he didn't want to undo his jacket as underneath his shirt was splattered in Dan's blood. Joe pulled his phone out and prayed he had Marie's number.  He fumbled about as he tried to think of what to say when she answered.  His face lit up as he found her number.  It rang eight times before the voice mail message came on, "I can't find my phone or I'm busy so please leave a message. Thanks," "Yes Marie can you ring me as soon as you get this. It's urgent please,"  Joe looked out of the window wishing he'd gone home instead of carrying on to Dan's place.  He watched as a rain drop slowly made its way down the window.  "You had a good night then?" The taxi driver asked.  "Where are we now?" Joe asked and seemed to ignore the driver’s question.  "About to go down Ladbroke Grove in another left turn,"  "Thanks and a night that you could say was different," The driver could tell by his tone he wasn't really a talker so waited for him to speak again.  Joe recognised the Victorian housing after seeing the fire station.  'I really should ring Harry. Yes ring him! No don't! What if the Police answer, and then what are you going to say? I won't tell them my name that way they can't ...' He was interrupted by his phone ringing with 'Harry' flashing.  "How you doing Dan?" Joe asked sounding a lot more cheerful than he felt.  "Mr Williams I'm PC Doyle who stopped you earlier," Joe pressed the red button on his phone and the call was over but didn't want to alert the driver, "Good to hear well I'm in a taxi home. Thanks it was great," he paused for a few seconds, "Yes and you. Later," He turned his phone off so the Police couldn't call him back.  'Why didn't you ask how Harry was you dick?!' 'Don't turn the phone back on! How else am I supposed to find out?' "What end of Wood Lane squire?" The taxi driver asked as they got towards the bottom of Holland Park Avenue.  The question threw Joe for a moment as it finally got into his head amongst all the other questions he was asking himself.  "The Bush way please mate, I'm not too far up," he all of a sudden felt better as he knew he'd be home very soon.  "Don't think I could handle," he paused as two patrol cars and a Police van rushed past them with all the lights blaring, "Blimey they mean business!" Joe's stomach flipped and his heart felt as if it was going at a million miles an hour as yet more Police swarmed around the entrance of Wood Lane.  "Looks like they've closed the Lane; I'll drop you anywhere near it or I could try the other end if you like? You're the boss," the driver said without looking at Joe who'd suddenly started to leak with sweat.  "Go the other way!" He said louder than he intended to.  "Keep your shirt on!" "Sorry that wasn't called for it's just I bet it's that shopping centre again," Joe lied but it didn't bother him as they drove round Shepherds Bush Green and back to the roundabout they'd just come from. He didn't once look over at any of the Police in case they were looking for him.  'Shit! Shit! Shit! That means Harry is dead! They think I murdered him! Turn your phone on and ..." "I don't get it myself to be honest. What's the point in blowing a shopping centre up? I mean if that's what it is," "It's not the first time it's happened but we'll soon find out," Joe replied as they headed down the dual carriageway. He looked across to see if he could see what was going on but all he could see were bright lights of the shops and advertisements. As they indicated left another Police car with sirens on full blast went past them followed by a fire engine.  "I'm going to take a guess and say we won't get very far but let's see," "A fire engine!" Joe suddenly felt a lot better.  "It's only a precaution or at least I hope so," the driver replied. 

"Of course what was I thinking?" Joe said and even let a smile break out.  They got to the next lights and took a left into Wood Lane.  "Where abouts should I stop squire?" "Over in South Africa Road will do, cheers," his heartbeat was finally back to normal as the taxi pulled into the left.  "That's twelve pound eighty please," the driver said turning on the lights in the back of the vehicle. Joe felt for his wallet and pulled it out and his phone came out at the same time, "Take fifteen mate," he said handing him a twenty pound note.  "Thank you that's ..." The driver was interrupted by Joe's phone ringing.  Joe nearly dropped it as he wasn't expecting it to go off; it wasn't turned on! "A fiver," the driver finished saying then unlocked the doors.  Joe got out and started to walk away.  The driver got out and walked after him, "Your change," he said and Joe turned and took the five pound note, "You are having a strange night, bye," the driver said then walked back to his taxi.  Only when he was gone did Joe look at his phone. A missed call from Marie.  He was about to ring her back when he saw a Policeman walking towards his direction so he turned and started walking away from Wood Lane.  His phone rang and it saw it was Marie, "Where are you?" She asked as soon as he answered.  "What the hell happened to Daniel?" He even surprised himself on how much he kept control of his temper.  "Where are you?" Marie asked ignoring his question. "I'm close to home so what happened to Daniel?"  "We need to meet right now so where are you exactly?" Her voice took on a more urgent tone.  "Look can you just ..." "Jenny's in trouble Joe and I mean deep shit. I followed her after she went for Daniel. It's that damn ouija board! Joe something’s taken over her body and I think she's coming for you! I'm in Uxbridge Road near Shepherds Bush Market," "Meet me at the Springbok I'll be there in less than five minutes," he said then stopped and looked round and not even the Policeman could be seen.  "I'll try and be less than ten minutes but Joe please be careful till I get to you," she cut the call which didn't exactly help his nerves.  He heard a car from behind and kept walking as he saw the pub in the distance.  The car slowed down as it got closer to the man whose mind was in meltdown.  'Don't look for Christ sake!'  The car had slowed down for a speed bump but that thought never entered Joe's head. It took off again only to do the same thing further down the road. The pub was quiet with its shutters down, he wasn't used to seeing it in complete darkness.  'Don't stand right outside or you'll attract attention,' he walked around the side of the pub that had a road which lead to a small green and the back of the pub and a small estate.  He looked around before taking a right walking beside the beer garden, a brick wall separating them.  He heard something similar to a yell but he couldn't tell where it came from. His eyes darted round trying to see anything out of place.  The chip shop still gave off the battered fish aroma and it made Joe feel hungry but food really was the last thing on his mind.  The row of shops looked lifeless and he noticed a van or lorry coming from the other side of the road, it was hard to tell as all he could see were two bright lights beaming as it was getting closer.  As it passed he read the company name, 'Harry's' and irony wasn't wasted on him and he thought of Daniel, was he dead or alive?  It was at the forefront of his mind as he walked back to the front of the pub and straight into a Policeman. "Good morning sir," the officer said firmly.  "Hello," Joe replied trying to sound as normal as he could but he was nervous.  "Can I ask as to what you're doing here please sir?" The Policeman asked and this time Joe heard his Welsh accent.  'Think man think!' Not for the first time Joe's brain went into meltdown. Scrambled messages raced around his head not making any sense at all.  "Well you see, well it's a funny story," he was playing for time and it worked or at least he hoped he had, "I arranged to meet my girlfriend here you see. We're going away but she was out with friends. She got the wrong pub to meet me but it's all right because she'll be here any minute," "Anywhere nice?" "Yes," "Where?" "Where?" "Yes, where are you going away?" The Policeman didn't like Joe's evasiveness. "Oh right yes of course we're going to South Africa," it was all he could think of.  "Nice place I hear," "Never been but looking forward to it," Joe replied a bit more confidently.  "And your luggage sir" "What about it?" He genuinely didn't understand the question.  "Where is it?" The copper was getting increasingly worried about the man he stopped.  Joe managed to form an idea that might just work, "That's the funny thing you see. My girlfriend was supposed to meet at my place but we can't get in to my house. I live opposite Westfield and can't get indoors and that's why I'm meeting her here. What's going on there because I've been told nothing and my dad is at home and I'm worried to be honest," "I'm sorry but I've not been told what the situation is," "Can't you get on radio and find out?" It was Joe's turn to go on the offensive.  "We'll be told when necessary sir," "I think it's necessary right now officer. First I'd like to know if my dad is safe," Joe wasn't satisfied with the answer he was given, far from it.  An elderly gentleman, who looked as if he was in his eighties, suddenly appeared from the small estate wearing a very old grey suit. "Is everything all right Joe?" He asked in a husky voice as a couple of strands of his grey silky hair danced in the wind.  'Who in the hell are you?' "I'm fine thanks," Joe replied trying to remember the old man’s face but it registered nothing in any of his memory banks at all. "What seems to be the problem Officer? I've known Joe and his family for years and what a nice family," the old man said then got a black cloth hat out of his pocket that looked older than him and put it on his head, "Not long till it snows," he finished saying then coughed and the sound of his phlegm coming from the back of his throat made Joe feel sick as he couldn't stand the sound of it.  He felt better instantly as he saw Marie come round the corner but she didn't look that pleased to see him.  "This is my girlfriend Officer now if you'll excuse us I'm going to find out about my dad and try and collect our luggage," Joe said and took Marie's hand and was about to walk away. "Wood Lane is still closed off sir," the Policeman said as he was joined by a colleague who'd been sitting in a patrol car parked on a road parallel to the one they were standing on.  "When can I see my dad or has everyone been evacuated?" Joe asked as Marie looked on without a clue of what was going on.  "Yes everyone’s been evacuated as far as we know but it's hard to wake some people up in the early hours of the morning," the second officer explained.  "Now we're getting somewhere at last so why is it closed off? And evacuated to where?" Joe asked with more concern than before.  "It would appear a world war two bomb has been found on the BBC site," "In the early hours of the morning?" Joe asked.  "It was found yesterday evening sir but it wasn't confirmed for a couple of hours as the bomb disposal were out on another job which can't be helped. If you are going to ask how long then I'm sorry, I haven't got a clue," the second officer explained.  Marie squeezed Joe's hand as the old man coughed again but this time he covered his mouth.  He looked at her and her eyes moved to the right. He looked but couldn't see anything.  "We'll have to just wait at my place then," Marie said and tugged at his arm.  "I'm free to go right?" Joe asked just to make sure.  "Yes of course sir I was just checking to see everything was all right. You'll need your luggage so I hope it won't take too long. Are you looking forward to your holiday?" The first Policeman asked looking at the young lady whose face he found hard to read.  "Yes of course," she answered uncomfortably.  Joe started to walk down by the side road of the pub, he'd had enough of the Police for one night. "Say hello to your father from me," the old man said and Joe nodded, who the hell was he?! Instead of following the road round to the right he headed for the small wall and threw his right leg over it followed by his left, his right foot landing in a puddle he couldn't have seen in the darkness.  "I take it you have a plan?" Marie asked.  "Great a fucking ice cold puddle and I know this as my sock is soaking! The plan is to see my dad first then find Jenny. What the hell happened when I left?" Joe said then felt his little toe freeze.  "Jenny went nuts and I mean nuts. Dan thought she was joking at first and when she left the room we both thought she'd gone to bed. Dan wanted another drink, you know what he's like. He went to get some ice and that's when I heard the shouting," by the look on her face he could tell she was reliving the event.  "Take your time Maz as I need to ring this bloody sock out," Joe said lifting his foot to untie his shoe.  "I don't feel safe here Joe I really don't," and he could hear her fear.  "That's White City for you! Sorry look I'll only be a minute as I'm going to take my sock off," "Please just hurry up," "Go on, what happened next?" Joe asked while taking off the thick black cotton sock and try to find if any of it was dry.  Marie looked round before answering the question, it was a bit too quiet for her liking despite the Police operation not far away, "Dan came running in to the front room and I have to say I couldn't make out what he was saying then he showed me he was bleeding and I thought it came from the glass earlier when you were with us. That's when Jenny appeared and had a knife in her hand and I'll be honest I didn't have a clue what to do," she was close to tears and he really didn't want to push her too far.  "Look Marie just in case the old Bill ask again you're my girlfriend all right?" He said as he tied up his shoe after drying his foot the best he could. It made no difference as his shoe was drenched and his foot was soon wet and frozen again.  "You did fucking what?" She really was furious.  "I was put on the spot by that copper I was speaking to. It was only a little white lie," it was his only defence. "Daniel could be dead and you tell a fucking copper I'm your girlfriend! Fuck me can it get any worse?" He'd never seen her so angry and for a moment thought she was going to hit him but it was just verbal.  He thought before answering as her stress level was at boiling point.  "Look I didn't mean any harm by it and I don't think that copper will broadcast it. We need to find my dad and Jenny," he said as they climbed over the second small wall.  "I suppose so I just shouldn't have left him laying there but Jenny was out of control. That fucking stupid game!" She burst into tears and all he could do was console her with a hug.  The clouds opened yet again and a couple of icy rain drops got into Joe's neck and slid down his spine as he pulled back from Marie.  "That's all I need! Come on let's go down Loftus Road because if it's the building site that's the BBC then they might have moved the roadblock up a little," Joe said and walked at a brisk pace in the centre of the road.  "Sorry but what about Jenny?" Marie asked just about keeping up with him.  "Where do you suggest we look then?" He asked as he heard the sound of a motorbike start up.  "I don't know but it's not her! Joe you didn't see her I mean her eyes didn't move. Sorry I'm not making sense am I?" "It's not exactly a normal situation now is it?" Joe replied as they came to the crossroads.  Marie noticed the motorbike just a second before Joe.  It didn't have its front light on, it was the noise of the engine that made them look; the motorbike headed straight at Joe! Marie could clearly see it was Jenny on the machine before she jumped clear pushing Joe onto a car.  Jenny kept going before losing control further along Ellerslie Road crashing into some garage doors.  "Are you ok?" Marie asked Joe before turning round to see the motorbike embedded in the garage door. She couldn't see Jenny and started to walk towards the bike.  "Stick together!" Joe shouted louder than he intended.  He was only a couple of steps behind Marie but noticed lights getting turned on at various houses. She waited then they both walked gingerly around a parked car and saw Jenny laying on the floor motionless.  "Oh my God Jenny!" Her sister cried out and ran to her.  "Be careful," Joe said.  "She could be seriously hurt," Marie replied as she knelt down looking at Jenny's face. Her eyes were closed as if she were sleeping; not a single mark on her body or face. "Is she breathing?" It was a question he really didn't want to ask but felt he had to.  "Yes she is I'll try and see if I can get a pulse," Marie replied grabbing Jenny's right wrist which was a lot thinner than her own. 

Her heart rate was a little slow but Marie was just relived.  "What the fuck happened man?" A man that looked like an old Lenny Henry asked after walking up behind Joe.  "Some kids tried to run us over," it was the first thing he could think of and as far as he was concerned he told so many lies in the last few hours what difference would one more make.  "Dat's kids today," the man with tainted grey dreadlocks replied after kissing his teeth.  "I need to use something as a pillow," Marie said.  "Use that bag and I don't mean your handbag," Joe replied.  Marie was carrying a black cotton bag that she'd had over her right shoulder since she'd met up with Joe. She had to think fast.  "You live close right?" She said to the man who had just arrived. She gave him a smile that she hoped would work.  "Yeah man, just over there," he pointed to a house with a blue door with the window to the right of it slightly ajar.  "Could you get my sister a pillow and blanket please and maybe a glass of water?" "Me never one to let down a beautiful lady," the man smiled showing he had three gold teeth before going to his house.  As soon as he was out of ear shot she said, "I have the Ouija board in the bag. I grabbed it before I left. I was thinking about what Jenny said about finishing the game and that's what we have to do," "How do we do that?" "By closing the game. Saying good bye to the spirits," Marie replied keeping an eye on the man’s house.  "You have a plan?" "Kind of it's just," "Here we go no man can't get not'ing too big or me wake up the whole house," the man said carrying a glass of water in one hand and a blanket that had seen better days in the other.  He handed over the brown blanket which Marie covered her sister with then took the glass of water off him.  "I'm really sorry to be a pain but would you have a cushion or pillow? Sorry," she gave him the best smile she could muster.  "Yeah man you did ask," and he trotted off back to his house. As soon as his back was turned she emptied the water and took the Ouija board, "Quickly Joe," she whispered loud enough for him to hear.  He got down beside her as she placed Jenny's hand on the glass on top of the Ouija board.  She grabbed his hand and placed it on top of her sister’s then put her own on top of his.  "I call upon the spirits from this board to return to where they came from. This is over," she sounded very nervous but clear.  The glass moved over to 'Good bye' on the Ouija board.  "Please tell me you didn't move the glass?" Marie asked.  "I didn't do a thing," Joe said looking at the board that had caused so much trouble.  "Me got a cushion t'ing I hope it help the girlie," the dread locked man said as he handed Marie a bright orange pillow that she was sure could be seen from space.  She carefully lifted up Jenny's head and as she did so her sister slowly opened her eyes then closed them again.  Blue lights could be seen reflecting off the houses and the resident that helped them waved the ambulance over to them.  "What happened? Where am I?" Jenny asked as she opened her eyes the second time.  "Me lady call for some help while I got the blanket," "You've been most kind, thank you ever so much," Marie replied.  "Where am I?" Jenny demanded to know.  A well built paramedic walked up to them and started chatting to them.  Seven minutes later the ambulance was on it's way to hospital with the two sisters on board.  Joe was left to explain what happened and the Police found it hard to believe but couldn't prove it wasn't true.  Half an hour later he was walking up Uxbridge Road when he felt his phone ring before he heard it.  "Hello Son, you're not going to believe what sort of night I've had while you were out enjoying yourself," "I'm all ears Dad," he replied as relief washed over him in a wave of joy.  Before he went back to work on Monday he visited Daniel at home. Marie answered the door, "It's all right Dan it's just my boyfriend," she joked before giving him a kiss on the cheek which he wasn't expecting then followed her into the house.  Daniel was sitting on the sofa and smiled as his friend walked in.  They shook hands as a hug would be painful.  "So they fell for the epilepsy story? Good thinking," Joe said.  "Yeah but I've got shit loads of tablets now," Daniel replied.  "I better not make you laugh as you're already in stitches," Jenny walked in and sat beside Marie.  "How are you feeling Jenny?" Joe asked.  She didn't answer so Marie nudged her, "Joe is talking to you," "He asked how Jenny was and my name is Wendy Williams," she replied.  The blood in all three of them turned to ice; it was Joe's mum's name. 



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Submitted: August 13, 2015

© Copyright 2022 Paul Moore. All rights reserved.

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