Even on Halloween, people stay away. It's after eight and only a couple of kids have stopped by the house. Mom is out late at a costume party with all her coworkers from the bank, so I'm left doing candy duty. I sit in the recliner in the living room with a bowl of candy in my lap, fully dressed in my Dracula costume, popping Sweettart after Sweettart in my mouth while I watch The Exorcist on the TV. I already took my cape off an hour ago, leaving me in just my velvet pants and puffy white dress shirt. That little girl's face is so hideously mangled. Do people really look like that when they're possessed?
The doorbell rings, so I haul myself up out of the chair and walk over to the door, bowl in hand. I open it to see a Terminator standing on the Welcome mat, dressed in a black t-shirt and leather pants and boots with straps of hand grenades in a X over his chest and a plastic machine gun in his left hand and a brown paper shopping bag in the other.
"Trick or treat." he says in the worst Swarzenegger accent I ever heard.
"Nice costume Kevin." I chuckle, rolling my eyes sarcastically.
"Why thank you." he replies with a grin, pulling off his square sunglasses, blinking his eyelids over his contacts. He looks a lot less geeky with his glasses off. He probably could get a girl if he wore those glasses less often.
I step aside from the doorway. "Well come on in Arnie." I tell him, holding my arm up invitingly. As he moves past me, I hand him the bowl of candy. "Here, help yourself." I tell both retire to the living room, where I return to the recliner and Kevin plops down on the sofa in front of the TV. He puts his toy gun and grenade belts on the floor by his feet and fishes his boney fingers through the candy. He soon finds a Twizzler and takes a bite off the end. "So, not many little monsters tonight huh?" he asks, munching on his licorice.
"Nope," I answer, staring at the TV. Parents know better than to let their precious little ones anywhere near a house I am in. Even the adults in this town fear me.
"Hey, did you here about Bradley?" Kevin asks, leaning over, his voice perked up in an elated tone, "He got three broken ribs from that fall of his!"
"Really?" So that explains why he wasn't in class today.
"Yep," he titters, gnawing on his Twizzler, "he's gonna have to miss out on the next big game."
"Serves him right." I mumble, running my hand through my slicked-back hair.
I get up to go into the kitchen and get a can of Sprite out of the fridge. "Do you want one?" I call back out to Kevin, who's busy scarfing down taffies and watching the movie on TV.
"No, thank you," he answers between chews, "So, The Exorcist huh?"
"Yeah," I sigh, collapsing back into my original seat and sipping my soda, not caring if it messes up my white make-up, "It was the only thing good on."
"Well it's kind of convenient, 'cause that brings me to my next point." He then sets the bowl aside and reaches into his paper bag, bringing out a rectangular wooden board. He flips it over, revealing it to be...
"A ouija board?" I scoff, "You can't be serious."
"Oh come on Luke, it'll be fun!"
"You don't honestly believe it'll actually work, do you? Those things only work only work in the movies."
"Come on," he whines like an impotent child, "It's Halloween. It'll be a great way to celebrate. And how do we know if we don't try?"
"I don't know..."
I chew on my lip, considering Kevin's proposition to use the board. I can't help but think of the move, of what happened to that little girl after she played with a ouija board. But then again, that was only a movie. And I don't buy into that kind of stuff anyway. What the heck.
"Okay, fine."Kevin's face beams when I finally cave.~
In five minutes, we have the coffee table cleared off, putting the magazines and remotes underneath the table. The lights are all off, along with the television, the only light in the house coming from the two candles we have lit and set on opposite ends of the table. I thought they were cheesy, but Kevin thought they'd be good for ambience.
We both sit Indian-style on opposite sides of the table with our fingertips resting delicately on the edges of the pointer. The board itself is off-white colored with a full alphabet in black calligraphy and Yes, No, and Maybe across the top and the numbers 0 through 9 across the bottom. The pointer is a solid brown arrow, missing the round glass window all the modern ones have today.
"So what do we do now?" I huff.
"I don't know," Kevin shrugs, "Ask stuff?"
"Okay," I smirk. "Is there anyone who wishes to make contact?" I ask in a spooky, overly dramatic voice, pushing the pointer over the board in circles, "Are you male or female? Where were you born? What color panties are you wearing?"
"Luke!" Kevin protests, offended by my lack of seriousness but laughing despite himself, "Come on, be serious."
"Fine." I roll my eyes and straighten my back, "I'm totally serious."
"Now relax," Kevin instructs, "And keep yourself open."
Kevin sighs out through his nose and his shoulders drop as he relaxes them. I follow suit. My foot taps somewhat impatiently against my knee under the table as I wait for something to happen. After a couple way too long minutes, Kevin finally speaks aloud, "Are there any spirits here who wish to make contact with us?"
No answer. After a couple more minutes of waiting for some kind of reply from the other world, Kevin repeats his question, but still nothing. When he asks a third time, my patience then begins to wear begins, "Are there any-?" But I cut him off by almost shouting, "Is there any-fucking-body there? Anyone at all! Ring-ring, hellooo? Somebody answer!"
An upset look comes across Kevin's face when I interrupt him, but that look disappears when the pointer begins to move.
"Luke, quit it," he huffs, "I know you don't want to do this, but you don't have to patronize me."Excuse Me? "Um, I'm not pushing it," I tell him, "Honest." My right hand goes up in an "honest-to-God" sign, leaving only my two fingers on my left hand resting lazily on the edge of the pointer, but it still continues to glide across the board, inching closer and closer to the top edge of the board, then stops. Kevin and I both look at each other before looking down at the board. The tip of the pointer is just under the word Yes.
"Well uh, heh, I guess you got your answer." I chuckle humorlessly.
Kevin looks at the pointer with his eyes so wide I'm sure they're going to pop right out of his skulls and loudly gulps. "What is your name?" I ask the visiting spirit, placing the fingers of my right hand on the pointer's edge, "Who are you?"
The pointer begins to move again. It glides over the alphabet, resting on one letter at a time. "F," Kevin dictates aloud as the pointer spells out its answer, "R, I, E, N, D. Friend?"
We both look at each other in confusion, both our eyebrows furrowed. "Who's friend?" I ask, voicing the question I'm sure we were both thinking.
The pointer moves to spell out a new answer: L, U, K, A, S. Kevin's breath catches and his face goes white. It says it's my friend?
"Kevin, you little creep," I cackle, removing my hands to cross my arms, "You're pushing it aren't you?"
"I-I'm not," he stutters, "I swear."
"I know you wanted to do this, but, seriously," I roll my eyes, "Is this really necessary?"
His hands lift off of the pointer. "I'm not doing it! I'm telling you the truth!"
Of course, I'm naturally skeptical. If he isn't moving it, then who is? Ghosts? Not likely. I myself am rather atheistic and very skeptical about "supernatural" things.
Suddenly, the pointer moves swiftly across the board, on its own. Kevin jumps back away from the table, bumping his back against the couch. When the pointer, all on its own, flies off the board and whacks into the far wall, we both leap up to our feet. Kevin looks like he's just about to crap his pants. I know just how he feels.
"I got to go." he practically spits out, his voice sounding panicked. He scoops up his costume props in a hurry. "I-I'll see you at school tomorrow."
"Okay," I say, too stunned myself to say anything.
Kevin rushes towards the door, not bothering to grab the ouija board he had brought with him.
"Hey, what about this voodoo board of yours?" I call after him as he makes it to the front door.
"Ouija board smart-mouth," he calls back after me, "And, uh, y-you can just hold on to it for me, can't you?" Before I can even answer, he hollers, "Thanks, you're the best. Good night!" and he slams the door shut behind him.
"Yeah, good night to you too." I mutter into the air.
I turn the lights in the living room back on, blowing out the candles and setting the board on the floor so I can work on returning everything to its proper place.
My eyes move over to the wooden pointer laying on the floor. I pick it up, as well as the board, and carry them both into my room to toss them into the top shelf in my closet.
I can't help but think that Kevin overreacted just a tad over it. I mean, sure that was a little... bizarre, but he really didn't need to take off like that. That boy looked like he'd seen a ghost.