That year’s Halloween party was a tremendous success — drinks flowed and the mix tapes pounded our favorite tracks by the giants of eighties rock and the more obscure artists our group of twenty-somethings had discovered.
The police had been by once, asking us to quiet down and please remove the fake body hanging in the tree in the front yard, but the body in the bathtub remained a success throughout the night. It fooled many of the partiers more than once.
Then, someone had the bright idea to get out a damn Ouija board.
I’m sure some of you are cracking a smile already, thinking the Ouija is just some hyped up toy from Parker Brothers. Well, that’s fine. I have found most people either believe it’s bunk or that there is something supernatural about it, with very few in the grey areas on this issue. Hear me out and see what you think.
I had been a fan of horror my whole life, from the most subtle suspense tale, all the way to the most extreme forms of horror. I also enjoyed reading claims of true hauntings and monster sightings. I was no wimp when it came to be being scared, disturbed, grossed out — you name it.
Yet I had met my match with “the board” as it was called by my previous group of friends who tried it out. We got addicted to using it for a while until the last time I said “no more.”
So, do I tell this new group of friends about the last time I “Ouija-ed” or keep silent and see if things would be different this time? While the others giggled and said “why not, it’s Halloween?” (apparently none of them were taking this seriously) I held my tongue and joined the circle and placed my hand once more on the planchette.
At first, since most of us were well lit at this point, the usual stupid questions were asked. I was relieved. Perhaps this meant nobody was taking this seriously and I had nothing to worry about. My past with the Ouija would only surface if certain questions were asked.
Inevitably, we began to ask more specifically if any spirits were present and one in particular did seem to begin guiding the conversation.
My heart raced. Crap, here we go.
The spirit sucked us in until we asked the one freaking question I feared most: “Can you speak through one of us?”
I have always been a fan of supernatural fiction and film, and one must have some suspension of disbelief, of course, to be affected by such works. But to actually believe in spirits is another thing entirely. The door that opens or closes without logical reason, the voice you swear you here, and then nobody is there — these things can be explained away.
But this was the second time this happened to me. Both times I had been involved with the Ouija, this question had been asked, and each time the spirit answered emphatically –it wanted me to be its medium.
And both times this happened on Halloween.
Even though this spirit used a different name, I was convinced that the same presence form the first go-around was back to get me to agree to some form of possession.
So the party ended with an unpleasant bought of my friends begging me to go on and me wimping out. Only a couple of those present ever knew the whole story.
I have never touched “the board” again.
GEORGE WILHITE has been an aficionado of the horror genre since his youth, discovering Poe and Lovecraft at an early age while also spending many summer nights at drive-in theaters watching the contemporary scene unfold. He made his self-publishing debut with the collection On the Verge of Madness and his stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and online. His follow-up collection, Silhouette of Darkness was released in September 2012 by Musa Publishing. His blog is http://georgewilhite.blogspot.com/ and his website is http://www.authorsden.com/visit/author.asp?id=99382.
Read an excerpt from Silhouette of Darkness
A Horror Collection by George Wilhite
Released 9/28/2012 by Musa Publishing
Fear dons many masks in these dark tales of brushes with the uncanny.
In “Fatal Insomnia” and other stories in Silhouette of Darkness, author George Wilhite explores the horror in unusual places. Enter this dark realm and experience first-hand “a writer that makes a much-needed contribution to this genre, giving us weird fiction/neo-pulp fiction fans something to sink our teeth into that brings to mind that lost age of fiction.” (Bitten by Books)
Silhouette of Darkness is can be ordered here: http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11&products_id=397
Excerpt from “Rare”
Jenna sunk her fork into the barely cooked steak. She cut off a huge slab, devouring it as though she hadn’t eaten in days. The bloody juice trickled out of the corners of her mouth and she sucked it back inside.
Watching his wife this way left Gary disgusted yet speechless. He didn’t want to start another fight.
In the past, food seemed a non-issue for Jenna. She was never overweight or too thin. She just ate when she was hungry and always the right amount.
Now, this obsession with food.
But not just any food.
Meat. And the rarer the better.
They were both vegetarians until Jenna began this new phase a few weeks ago. No meat in the house for seven years of marriage, but now this.
“What?” His wife glared at him.
“Nothing. I didn’t say anything.”
“No, you didn’t say anything. You just look like you want to barf.”
“I’m fine. Just not hungry.”
She grunted, returned to her meal.
The first suggestion Gary had made was that she might be pregnant. That wasn’t likely, since they always used birth control, but it provided an innocuous way of bringing up the subject of her new habit. She humored him and took the test. Negative. One theory down.
Gary was getting worried and didn’t understand why she took this so lightly.
He wondered if she contracted some kind of bizarre virus on her backpacking trip to the Sierras. Her meat-eating started soon after that vacation. The trip was cut short by all that violence and she had never been the same.
Gary was snapped out of his introspection by Jenna’s continued slurping and chomping.
“I’ll be back.” He left the table and went into the bathroom. Any excuse to get away from the sight of her.
He turned on the water, splashed some on his face. Jesus, this can’t go on. If he believed this was a simple change in diet, he would learn to live with it. But the way she wolfed down these bloody cuts of meat! Like some kind of animal.