Thriller Short Story – THE OUIJA BOARD
“ Leave me alone … Leave me alone. Please help ….”
Mona looked around the room half asleep to realize that she had seen a nightmare. She glanced at the cuckoo clock on the bedroom wall which showed half past 2 am. She looked all over herself and sighed a relief. For the past few years the nightmare seemed to recur in a different manner each night, either a murder or a suicide or an accident but the theme seemed unchanged ‘Her death’.
10 years back
Mona, her little brother Dany along with her parents had shifted to a new rented house. The store located in the upstairs of the house was packed with lots of stuff that the previous tenants had left back. The whole place was dusty and cluttered. Among the clutters were bicycles, books, dolls and other children’s material. Dany picked something that looked like a play board. The symbols and graphics on the board incorporated English alphabets A-Z, numerals 0-9 , words ‘YES/NO’ and ‘GOODBYE’ all of which were seen on a spirit board. There was a small heart shaped wooden pointer along with it that resembled a ‘planchette’ used to spell out messages on a spirit board. This was the first time Mona had come across a ‘Ouija Board’ as the spirit board was commonly known as. The spirit board was a popular toy among the kids in her school and this was something that Mona had long wished for.
The children decided not to disclose about the Ouija Board to their parents. They were for sure that their parents would forbid them from playing with it bearing in mind the negative effects these boards can lead to.
Once or twice the children had secretly crept into the store during the peak hours of the night. But all their attempts of séance were in vain as the spirits failed to respond.
One midnight when the family had gone to sleep the children crept to the store. They silently opened the store and picked the Ouija board from the corner. They walked to the locked bedroom adjacent the store. Once inside Dany closed all the doors and windows of the room shut so that nothing could meddle with the séance.
Mona wiped the Ouija Board clean and placed it on her lap.
“Good Spirit Come…. Good Spirit Come..”The kids chanted in a chorus as they placed their hands lightly on the planchette on the board .For long nothing seemed to move.
Mona had almost closed the board disappointed when suddenly in the candle light she saw the ‘planchette’ move. The pointing device seemed to respond the presence of a spirit.
“Is there a spirit with us?”Mona asked in disbelief. The children looked around the room. The air movements had gained an extra energy that signed a paranormal presence.
The planchette on the board moved along the alphabets on the board to reply ”Y E S”.
Mona smiled at Dany who looked overexcited at their first triumph on the spirit board. He smiled in delight as if they had reached the stars.
“How many of them present?” Mona waited eagerly for the spirit to respond again.
The little plank moved to read a “1” that indicated a single spirit present.
“ May I know who is with us?” Mona felt thrilled with each response from the spirit.
But this time the planchette moved very quickly through the alphabets on the talking board.
“What ?” Mona looked at Dany.
Dany looked at the paper bit he had scribbled in the letters quickly.
“M E T I L D A” He replied back.
“How old are you? How did you die?” Mona looked curiously at the board as it remained silent for some time.
Mona repeated “How old are you? How did you die?”
The pointer moved to show “ 2 0 ” in reply to age and “F I R E”in response to death mode.
“When shall we buy a new car?”
”Where is our lost dog?”
“Will daddy permit to the summer camp?”
The questionnaire seemed endless as the kids became more excited with their progress on the board. They put a volley of questions before the spirit on all they had wanted to know about and what they already knew about. They asked about their school, their friends, their parents, their wishes and each time the spirit reciprocated the children sat wonder-struck as to the magic of the spirit board.
“ Can I know when I will die?” Mona asked unexpectedly. Dany looked at her tensed.
The pointer moved through the numerals ‘2’ and ‘3’ on the board to indicate 23 years.
“What about my death?” Dany looked impatient.
The plank moved to read an ’8’ that indicated 8 years of age.
“That means I will be dead by my next birthday.” Dany was in tears.
“We are stopping this game Dany.” Mona comforted him. More of such answers from the spirit couldn’t be in taken by the little ones.
They bid ‘GOODBYE’ to the spirit and closed the board. They tucked the spirit board in the corner of the store.
The descent along the flight of stairs seemed a bit more haunting than the ascent. Mona and Dany held their hands as they walked along the stairs.
Loud sounds of doors and windows slamming shut disturbed the silence of the midnight. But the thunder and lightening along with the night rains made them unheard to the rest of the sleeping family.
Suddenly the lights in the corridor seemed to turn on and off. The kids moved closer and tightened their hands as they walked along the corridor to their bedrooms.
“Sister look at that…” Dany pointed at a shadow moving past them on the corridor wall. It looked like someone was walking with them.
Back in her bedroom as Mona laid on her bed eyes wide open, she thought of all that had happened some time back. A loud ‘thud’ from the study table disturbed her thoughts. A pile of books that sat on the table had fallen down. In the dark through the open curtains she saw a ‘misty white figure’ walk along the window sill . Terrified Mona quickly pulled the blanket over her head. She could still hear the weird sounds. Sometimes it sounded like open running water taps and other times like slamming doors and still otherwise like objects falling from heights. Every signal seemed to warn her that the spirit had not left the house.
Days that came after was filled with fear. The kids never dared to enter the store again nor did they ever talk about the spirit board. But they always experienced the symptoms that could be coined with a “ghost fever” whenever the parents were not near. Dany was more than seriously affected. He sat unspoken most of the time as if waiting for his ‘death hour’.
True or false as to what the spirit had informed, Dany died in a car accident at the age of eight that left Mona more than shocked. Even after the family had moved from the house, her nights were crammed with nightmares of countdowns to her death…..
Mona’s thoughts were disturbed by the cuckoo on the clock calling out 3 am. Ten years into this trauma and today was her 24th birthday. She had lived the past year expecting to see the ‘coffin day’.
Mona closed her eyes with a smile .The serenity on her face was a reception to the forthcoming nights of ‘sweet dreams’.