Day 14 of 16 – Writer’s Digest Writer’s Prompt Bootcamp
Write a story featuring a ouija board, a search engine, and a self-help book.
I received the strangest gift for my 21st birthday — a Ouija board. Now I don’t claim to know much about the Ouija board but I will say that I saw “The Exorcist.” I know that if that little girl Regan didn’t mess around with that “game” in her basement, those weird, terrifying things never would have happened to her. But that was just a movie.
I also did play with it once. I remember when I was 10 and a bunch of my friends and I were totally into seances and levitation. We were obsessed to the point where we would plan a sleepover every weekend so we could get our crazy on.
Once one of these friends brought a Ouija board. We were all intrigued. We sat in a circle with our fingers lightly pressed against the planchette. We would ask it silly questions like “does Billy love Angela?” It would start to move and we would all peek to see who was making it point to “YES.” It was fun, and I didn’t feel frightened in any way.
Anyway, the girl who owned the Ouija board had a story about it. She said that there is no way of getting rid of it once you own one. She claims she was scared of it and before she and her family moved from their old house, she left it behind in the closet for the new homeowners. You know, kind of like a housewarming gift. The funny thing is, when my friend settled into their new home and she was hanging her clothes in her closet, the Ouija board was sitting there on the shelf. In other words, it followed her. It was a creepy story, but I’m not really sure I believed her.
So, I didn’t know what to say to this friend of mine. I thanked her, of course. But it wasn’t exactly the most welcome gift I’ve ever received. Here I am with this game that I don’t want and I don’t know what to do with. I mean, I guess I could have fun with it. Call some friends over and recreate the old times. Have a levitation and a seance or two. But that seemed strange.
When I got home that day, I Googled “Ouija Board.” The first few hits were basically just definitions. Then there were some Youtube videos of kids and people playing with The Ouija. And some “true” stories of things that happened to people when they played with it. One of the things they always said was to not verbally allow a spirit into the room and to always say “goodbye” before putting it away. Like my 10 year old self, I started to become intrigued. I didn’t really believe that you could communicate with the spirits on the other side with a cardboard game, but my curiosity was piqued.
I pulled out the game, dimmed the lights and put my fingers on the planchette. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I asked it if anyone was there. Nothing happened, so I kept repeating my question. After about 15 minutes, the planchette moved to “YES.” I pulled my hands away from it in shock. Then put them back and asked what his name was. After a few moments, the game piece spelled out “L-U-C” and then stopped. I asked if it was a boy or girl. It went to the “G.” Hmm, maybe it is a Lucy. “Are you Lucy?” I asked it. “No.” I asked what she was doing here. “K-I-L-L.” Totally and completely freaked to my core, I said goodbye and put the game away, deep into the dark recesses of the garage.
I have a bit of a problem. I’ve had it since I was a kid. It used to drive my mother absolutely bonkers. I’m very impressionable. In other words, if someone complains of a headache, I will immediately get one. If someone at school has a cold, I will wake up the following day with a sore throat. In high school, there was this girl who turned up pregnant. I swear within a month, I started experiencing pregnancy symptoms and I never even had sex!
So, here I am, sitting on my bed in my room. It dawns on me that I could have been speaking to the devil. And I suddenly remember learning or reading somewhere that the devil is actually a girl. I start to freak out and think that the devil is possessing me. I start to think about Regan and how her bed shook and her room got cold. I was absolutely paralyzed with fear. Yes, I realize I am a 21year old woman and I should know better, but honestly, I did feel cold and shaky.
This is when I remembered my book. My mom bought me a self-help book a few years ago about mind control. I try to tell myself that it’s all in my head. After reading my favorite chapter, I felt calm again and realized I was being completely irrational.
Now about that Ouija board…it turns out you can dispose of it. I got my dad’s shovel and the game, walked back into the woods and buried that sucker at least a foot under dirt and rock. But I guarantee you, If it shows up on my closet shelf, I will probably die of a heart attack. No, really. I guarantee it.