Her fingers hovered over the keyboard long enough for her to glare at the screen. “Call me whatever you want” she typed, “but I swear to you, this isn’t a joke.”
Brianna sat back, watching the pencil scribble fervently away. She had to hand it to Skype, seeing it was oddly comforting. Gone were the days of uncertainty. To think people used to wonder if their message was seen and if the receiving end was typing. It was mind blowing. Now, you got to know it was received, viewed, and that the other person was replying.
“Lucky, lucky,” she mumbled.
She sighed. Let the pencil show off. It nor Geri were about to believe her. She knew what she saw. Nobody and nothing was going to disway her. The pointer had moved. This time it wasn’t her putting on a show. There wasn’t any need for it. She was the only one home.
Brianna did a quick glance over both shoulders. Thinking about the Ouija board gave her the creeps. An unsettling tingle rushed up her spine causing her to shudder involuntarily. The shudder turned into a startled jump when the chime went off, signaling the pencil had stopped and Geri had finally responded.
“I read in Dreams and Your Psychological Needs that often times your subconscious works to manifest obstacles, fears, and drives we’ve suppressed in other, more acceptable ways that won’t cause our conscious selves to crack and have a spidering affect thus causing us to have a mental breakdown.”
Not helpful, she wanted to type back, but what was the use? She was another one of those girls. So instead she sent, “but I wasn’t dreaming.”
“Could have daydreamed it.” That reply was instant. No scribbling pencil necessary.
“While playing a game? Do you know how weird that is?” She did. Who had random daydreams while playing a game. She hadn’t been bored especially not while playing with a Ouija board of all things.
Geri went quiet again. This time there was no she’s typing sign. Sighing, Brianna opened up her web browser. “I’ll just find believers. That’s what I’ll do.” It hadn’t registered she was talking to herself the whole time she conducted her internet search. The first thing she typed in was rigged ouija. What came up was no more comforting than the dead end hope. People could rig the boards with magnets – there was an ehow on it – but it required somebody around to do that. Still…
Brianna wandered over to the table where the board sat. On a deep breath she reached over to lift it up. “It’s just a game,” she murmured except she sounded far from convinced. There were no magnets or devices underneath. That ruled out the rigged theory.
Setting it down again, she froze. The pointer was moving again. The last time it did that it spelt out, He Knows Not out of thin air, she did ask if her ex was happy, but it wasn’t the right answer and when she tried to ask again, the pointer didn’t budge. It left her with the same heart dropping could be truth.
Now it was, No More Lies. Rushing over to the laptop, she refined her search to Ouija Board Messages. There were a number of sites that popped up. Tons of sound boards, ask websites, and forums. The one she picked was the very first one she saw. “Witchboard,” she nodded, “sounds about right.”
She heard the superstitions. Ouija Boards are bad, Ouija Boards are haunted, Ouija Boards are bad bad juju. Her great grandmother used to warn her against them. “Don’t trust spirits you can’t see,” she’d say. “those are always there to trick you. They want access to the world. Don’t let them get access.”
“Guess you were right, Gran Gran.” It was a hard fact to accept. Her great grandmother had lived in a psych ward for the ten years she knew her. Nobody ever told her why but as she got older she figured it out. Great grandmother believes in things society doesn’t. Simple. Yet, there she was trying to understand a Ouija Board. So far all she learned was the history, some other superstitions, Dos and Don’ts, and then there was something called the Ideomotor Response. It didn’t make her feel any better to think she was that unhinged that she moved the pointer on her own without once noticing.
“Agh!” She wiped her hands over her face. She had done one Don’t twice already; don’t leave the pointer on the board when not using it. Another was don’t play alone but that was too late to fix.
“Uhm, I have to go now.” It was an odd thing, talking to a board, but the site said proper closing was vital and after the scare, she was up to following all rules. “So, thank you, very much.” Even though you creeped me out. “Be on your way, blessed be, amen, and g-”
The pointer moved off the main letters to the GOOD BYE at the bottom of the board. “Thanks,” she murmured in relief. The closing was usually done by her friend who kindly left it behind with the advice to practice. As if that was suppose to mean anything.
Brianna had just finished putting it safely away when a loud banging echoed through the quiet, still tense filled air of the apartment.
“Anna! I know you’re in there!”
“Paul?” It was a shocking familiar sound. Such determination, anger, desperation. But why was he there? They broke up a little over two months ago.
“Anna!” His fist hung in midair. She had opened the door with a look of awe. “I know,” he breathed out, pointing at her mid section that was hidden behind a loose shirt. “I know and I’m here. We can do this.”
Brianna stood clenching the door with white knuckles. The board, it was right. “I-do-do you want to, uhm, how?” Why couldn’t the stupid spirit have told her he was coming instead of no more lies? Lying was out of the question after that one.
“You still need better friends,” he teased. He was controlled even under the circumstances where as she was trying not to bite her lip or shove him out the door. “I brought milkshakes.”
Her gaze dropped. Sure enough there they were on the floor. “I don’t want one.” She managed to say convincingly enough to get him to look confused.
“Thought you were obsessed with these things.” He moved around her despite her go away glare. “So about those baby names. I’m thinking Jake cause I always wanted to be a Jake or Riley cause that’s just a cool name.”
The night smoothed out. The Ouija Board was forgotten but the message remained with her even after she gave birth to a healthy baby boy. She warned him about superstitions and the grains of truth they all held. Not all things were meant to be ignored.
Prompt: Mashup. Write a story featuring a Ouija board, a self-help book, and a search engine.