The Board

It was a dark and stormy night. Actually, it really wasn’t. It was mid-day and the weather was quite nice. Aren’t all scary stories supposed to start out foreboding? I was sitting in my best friend Stephanie’s bedroom. Cross legged on the floor waiting for her to come back with our afternoon entertainment. I had always wanted to use an Ouija board. My grandmother absolutely forbid them in the house. I can recall as clear as yesterday the first time I asked for one.

We were walking through a Toys R Us and I was looking for a new board game to play over the weekend, I must have been about 10 at the time.
“Grandma, can we get this”, I asked holding up the Ouija board?
“Why not?”
“You won’t bring that thing in my house. It’ll let the devil in.”
“It’s just a game.”
“It’s not just a game.”
“Then why would they sell it in a toy store if it wasn’t a game?”
Finally exasperated, my grandmother stopped walking, leaned over to my eye level and whispered, “For some people it’s just a game but other people are special. Special people invite the devil in. The women in our family are special so we don’t go near no Ouija boards”.
I had no idea at the time what “special” meant. I wouldn’t know that fully until I was older. When I was a kid, I always knew things were going to happen before they did. I knew who was on the phone before I answered it. If you were going to die, well, a little birdy always told me before it happened. In my friend’s bedroom, my grandmother’s warning was just her usual superstitious paranoia and wasn’t going to be heeded.
Stephanie skipped into the room with the box, laid it on the floor and closed the door behind her. I opened the box slowly, taking out the board and placing the Planchette on top. We sat there, facing each other on either side of the board, almost apprehensive to touch it.
“Oh, this is silly,” Stephanie said breaking the silence, “Just touch it, it’s not going to kill you.”
I reached out my fingers and touched the Planchette, Stephanie followed suit. We sat, we waited. Nothing happened.
“So much for your grandmother’s dire warning,” Stephanie declared. “Maybe you need to concentrate on something. Concentrate on talking to someone who is dead.”
Fingers still on the Plancette, I closed my eyes. I relaxed and slowed my breathing. There was an energy, a warmth that I felt flow through my arms and down to my fingers. When that warmth connected with the Plancette, it jerked forward.
Stephanie shrieked, “You did that!”
“I swear to God, I didn’t move it. My fingers got all warm and then it moved.”
“My fingers didn’t get warm, I just felt it move.”
“I don’t know what happened. All I know is, I didn’t move it.”
My fingertips felt like they were on fire and more than anything, I had the sneaking suspicion the only way to put out the fire would be to touch the board. I reached out my fingers again, it felt like a 1000 volts zapped me and I went rigid. The only part of me that moved were my hands which moved to spell out, I AM HERE.
Stephanie was white as a ghost when I could finally see her again. Everything in the room had gone black and I couldn’t see her or the board.
“Did you see that!”
“No, I didn’t. I couldn’t see anything at all.”
“You spelled out, I. Am. Here. I wasn’t even touching it”.
“Who is here,” I asked out loud? I wasn’t expecting an answer but it came from the board.
The Planchette moved with no fingers touching it. It spelled out, I AM WATCHING YOU. We looked around the room but it was empty. My heart was racing a mile a minute as I strained to see any indication in the room that we were not alone. That’s when we saw him. Outside Stephanie’s second floor bedroom window. A man dressed in a war uniform. He was only visible from the waist up. His face was dirty with what looked like dried blood mixed with dirt. His uniform was filled with holes and torn. Then we both noticed that his head was tilted to the side at an odd angle because his neck had a chunk missing. We slowly backed away from the window as he reached his hand out toward us. The hand was dirty, bloody and misshapen. It started to move again on the board when we heard Stephanie’s bedroom door start to open behind us. We turned and screamed but it was just Stephanie’s mother.
Stephanie’s mom said, “You girls really need to knock it off with the drumming.”
In unison we said, “We’re not drumming.”
“I heard the banging from downstairs. It sounded like you two were getting ready to go to battle up here.”
“There’s a man outside our window”, Stephanie said so scared she  sounded out of breath.
Stephanie’s mom went over to the window and looked around, opened it and peered out.
“There’s no one there. You room is on the second floor, without a ladder he would have to be able to levitate to get up here.”
“We both saw it, we were playing with the Ouija board and he just appeared”, I said backing up Stephanie’s story.
“What Ouija Board,” Stephanie’s mom asked?
“The one over there,” Stephanie said pointing to the spot where the Ouija board used to be. “It was laying right there.”
“I don’t see any Ouija board. You girls come on downstairs now for dinner, nothing is outside.”
When Stephanie’s mom left we raced to the window but she was right, there was no one there. The man in the window had left taking the Ouija Board with him.
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