House of Skeletons

Italo Calvino said: The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts.

Image credit: “love Don’t live here anymore…” – © 2009 Robb North – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

House of Skeletons by Linda Nelson – © June 12, 2013

Tara loved the house she grew up in, she hadn’t been back home in over twenty years. How time flies and things change.

She pulled up to the curb and put the car in park. Tara could see the property from her car. A rickety For-Sale sign hung on a wooden post. She wondered how long the property had been for sale. How could the home that she had loved so much fallen into such disrepair?

“There it is,” she said to her best friend Maddy. “That’s where I grew up.”

“That is the house you are going to buy?” Maddy asked. “Your kidding me. You can’t fix that unless you plan on bulldozing it down.”

Tara got out of the car and walked briskly toward the rundown home, Maddy followed close behind. “I’m not going to plow this house into the earth. I can fix it, I know I can.” She poked her head in the doorway where the door was off it’s hinges and leaning up against the wall. Dirt billowed in the front door, spilling across the floor.

Tara stepped over the threshold to look about the building. The Real Estate agent would be there any minute.

The back part of the house was missing where the kitchen and the dining room used to be. All that remained of it was the broken caved in bricks. She had helped her mom bake many a cake and cookie in that kitchen. Her mom passed away while she was in her second year of college.

She could still picture her dad sitting in his recliner in the living room. The chair was no longer there, but her memory was, there he sat watching many a ball game on Saturday afternoons. None of the furniture remained, just the memory of it in her mind. A single tear streaked down her cheek.

Tara’s dad passed away six months ago from a heart attack. Being an only child now meant being alone. But she had Maddy, her best friend and the closest she had to family. Maddy was like a sister to her.

“Hello,” A voice called from outside the house.

“The Agent is here Tara.”

“Okay, can you tell her I will be right out?”

Tara waited for Maddy to step outside the doorway before she crossed what was left of the living room and stooped before the dusty fireplace hearth. There she found the loose brick and underneath it the ring she had hid when she was five. How her mom had gotten into so much trouble for reporting her engagement ring missing. Her dad was rip shit. Tara never told anyone that she had taken the ring. Today she couldn’t remember why she had taken it and not given it back. It was just water under the dam, and all she had left of a memory from a time long ago.

She left the home and stepped outside to greet the Real Estate Agent whom Maddy was now questioning about the price of the property.

“I’m sorry to say. I can’t sell it to you. The property is taken. It was sold last night.”

“Can’t we counter the bid?” Asked Maddy. She looked toward Tara out of concern.

“I’m sorry to say, the owner has already accepted the sale. The property has been paid for in cash up front.”

Tara’s eyes welled with tears. She was too late. She clutched the ring in the palm of her hand that was thrust deep inside her pocket. At least she had that. “It’s all right Maddy.”

“Can I show you another property?” the agent asked.

“No never mind. I only wanted this one because it was where I had been born and raised,” answered Tara. “Thank you for coming out to meet us.”

“Are you sure, I have other properties like this one.”

“No this was the only one I wanted. But can you tell me who bought it?” Tara asked.

“Oh yes, a very nice elderly man. I think he said his name was Barry Cooper.”

Tara felt the blood leave her face. She had no idea her uncle Barry was alive. Her folks told her that he had died when she was five and was never allowed to ask about him ever again. That was until she had entered college and had done a little bit of investigating that turned up a hidden secret. Apparently her Uncle Barry was her real father. No one knew except her dead parents and her. So the skeleton was about to return home and look in the closets and Tara would pay him a visit when he did.

Advertisements

>Ruby Angel Makes a Friend

>The rain poured from the sky. Kitty Sampson forgot all about being Ruby Angel and sniffed the air under the porch. Shinning in the dark before her were these big yellow green eyes. The eyes blinked at her. Kitty crouched close to the ground and readied herself for attack.

“Who there,” she called out to the eyes.

The eyes backed away further under the porch. The rain splashed underneath the porch, creating small puddles. Kitty shook her front paws. She just hated it when she got her feet wet. The dirt would become mud and the mud would then stick to the bottom of her feet. And mud, well that was just nasty tasting stuff. She could not stand the grit getting stuck between her teeth.

Again she called out to the eyes. “Who are you?” Kitty crept closer to the darkness. “Why don’t you come closer so I can see who you are?”

“Ne… deep…please don’t… Ne…deep…eat me,” came the reply.

Kitty crept even closer, following the porch siding wall toward the deeper, dark depths of the underside porch. Her eyes were beginning to adjust to the low lighting. She could now make out a dark image sitting against the wall, deep in the shadows.

“Why would you think I would eat you?” Kitty asked the shadow. “I’m not even hungry.”

“Ne…deep…because…Ne…deep…you are bigger than me…Ne…deep…and…Ne…deep…I am just a frog.”

“Play maybe…I would play with you. But not, eat you. I am Ruby Angel, the super model heroine cat…I am the great protector of the poor-poor unfortunate ones.”

Kitty found a dry patch on the ground. She decided this was a good place to lounge while she waited for the rain storm to stop. Her people would be home soon. They would be looking for her and calling her to come eat her dinner. She licked her chops thinking about the dish of cat food they would present to her. Along with a small bowl of milk.

“Ne…deep…good to meet…Ne…deep…you.” The frog blinked. “Ne…deep…my name is…Ne…deep…Bernie…Ne…deep.”

“Nice to meet you Bernie.” Kitty giggled a small purr. “Are you a super hero too?”

“Super hero…Ne…deep…No…Ne…deep…What is a…Ne…deep…Super hero?”

Kitty licked her paws. “You don’t know what a super hero is? Well my boy told me; he is one of my people, he told me a super hero is someone who saves someone from something.”

“Ne…deep…you have a boy and you have people? Ne…deep…I have seen…Ne…deep…that boy before…Ne…deep…he tried to catch me…Ne…deep….but I jumped away from him…Ne…deep…as fast as I could….Ne…deep.”

“Oh he would not have hurt you. It is the girl you have to watch out for.” Kitty warned.

Just the other day Kitty watched the girl catch a grass hopper. She held it in her hands and shook them as hard as she could. Then she had spoken something to Kitty, something to do with check this out and then, the girl opened her hands right in front of Kitty’s face.

The poor grasshopper was so dizzy from the shaken, it did not know which direction it was going in and jumped out of the girls hands as soon as they were opened. Kitty immediately pounced on the poor thing and pretended to eat it. Meanwhile she hid the grasshopper underneath her body so the girl would not find it.

The trick seemed to work. Kitty’s apparent meal grossed the girl out, making her lose interest in torturing the bug. She ran into the house, yelling, “Mom, Kitty just ate a bug. A big bug. How gross.”

That was the day, Kitty Sampson decided to become Ruby Angel. She would set out to save the world from the girl. Then again, maybe she could save others too. There were other dangers besides the girl.


Kitty thought for a moment. “Bernie, would you like to be a super hero like me?” She flicked her tail to and fro. “It is a lot of fun.”

“Oh I don’t know,” said the frog. “How do I become a super hero?”

“Well, first you need a super hero name.” Kitty licked her paws. “Then you will need to decide what kind of super powers you have.”

Kitty and Bernie then began to talk about name. There was Bernie Hopper and Super Frog. At one point Kitty even suggested the name Fast Tongue Bernie, but he did not like any of them. She was about to give up when she thought of one last name. “How about Jade Brown.”

“Oh…I do like it. Jade Brown is a very catch name.” Bernie flicked out his tongue and snatched a lonely mosquito from the air in front of Kitty’s face. “And my super powers are that I can jump really high and I do have a lightning fast tongue.”

So, that is how Kitty Sampson and Bernie the Frog became friends. From that day on they became a super hero team, finding adventure all around them in the back yard. The underneath of the porch became their den or home base. A special secret hiding spot from the girl in the house.

  Copyright © February 2011

>Phone Collection

>

Lydia rustled through the paper work on her desk. She really hated doing the monthly bills, but they were piling up again. The last bill to pay was her phone bill. First she needed to check her balance to make sure she had enough money.

Her addition sucked. She shoved the papers out of her way in search of the calculator. It was hidden under the paid pile.

After punching in the numbers she determined a shortage in her account. The phone bill would have to wait another month. Hopefully they would not shut off her phone before she could come up with the money needed to pay the bill.

Lydia noticed the time. She had better hurry or she would be late for work. Another day another dollar she thought. Did that mean another dollar less or more, she wondered. Lately it seemed like a dollar less.

She picked up her purse and keys along with a few paid bills and hurried out the door. Lucas was already waiting with the rest of the car pool.

Lydia waved her handful of envelopes at his window before taking a spot in the backseat. She felt crowded with three of them stuffed in the backseat. They were always fighting for a window. An hour ride to work every day, and sitting next to Allan was not her favorite thing to do. He was one of those people who had a problem with sweating and his deodorant did not always work.

This was one of those days. How wonderful, and it was her day to sit in the middle. “Hey Lucas, I hope you don’t mind…but could you stop at the nearest mailbox? Got some bills that need to go out.”

“Yeah…sure.”

“ Lydia…I got you a coffee this morning.” Carrie handed the hot drink cup to her.

“Thanks.” Lydia said. She exchanged the envelopes for the cup of coffee. The cup was still really hot. One road bump would be all it would take to toss that hot coffee on everybody in the back seat including herself. She would have to wait until they got to work before she dared take the lid off.

The office was not her favorite place to be. Not every one likes their job and Lydia was one of them. Ugh…she thought as she sat in her chair, stuffing her purse underneath her desk out-of-the-way

Lydia had a feeling that this would not be a good day. She took off the lid to her cup of coffee and almost dumped it all over her papers. That would have been a disaster in its self.

Patrick, her boss approached her desk and set a stack of files down for her to go through. “I need these people called immediately.”

“All right. I will get right on it.”

Lydia looked at the first file. It was for a woman in the state of Maine. The woman owed five hundred dollars to a credit company. This call went well with the woman agreeing to send in a substantial payment to cover the bill for one month.

The next file was for another woman living in Florida. She owed three hundred dollars for a doctor bill. This turned out to be another successful file taken care of.

The last file was the moment she had been bracing for. It was for a man who owed fifteen hundred dollars for some sporting equipment. She argued with him, for a good fifteen minutes, over the bill itself.

“You have the wrong number,” he kept stating. Finally he demanded to speak to her supervisor.

“Hold on one moment.”

Lydia found Patrick in his office and she explained the problem with the account. Patrick said he would handle it. She went back to her desk and forwarded the call to his office.

Five minutes later he stood in front of her desk. “ Problem with the account you just handled. It turns out to have been a wrong number listed in the file. If you had double checked the number before calling it you would have noticed the discrepancy in the number.”

Lydia pursed her lips together and made a silent Oh.

“ I have spoken to you about this for the last time. I have to let you go.” Ryan said sternly.

“But…but…” Lydia tried to plead.

“ You need to gather your things. You no longer work here.” Patrick moved the chair exposing her purse below the desk.

Lydia finally got the words out of her mouth. “ But I did not drive here today. I can’t leave until Lucas leaves.” She hoped if only she could get him to let her finish out the day. Maybe then he would change his mind.

“It does not matter.” He picked up the phone and punched in the numbers. “ Hi there…could you send a cab to 247 Office Park Drive. Great. Thank you.” Patrick hung up the phone. “They are sending you a cab. Get your stuff and let’s go.”

Lydia bit her trembling lip. She wondered why this could not have happened to Allan instead. Why did this have to happen to her.

She slipped the strap of her purse over her shoulder and followed Patrick out of the building.

The phone bill was going to have to wait. Maybe in a few months Allan would be calling her in an attempt to collect the payment from her. She never liked bill collectors anyways. This must have been why she never liked her job in the first place. She had become one of them in the end.

Copyright © December 2010

Bed Bug Ridden

Howard and Lorna just moved into their new home. They have come to learn they are not the only inhabitants of their new home.

“I never would have purchased this house if I’d known that…” Howard said to his wife.

“Known what?” she asked.

“About this house being infested.” He replied.

“Is that what you think the problem is?” Lorna held up her arm to examine the rash. Red marks covered her right arm and she had more of them on her right leg.

They just moved into the house on Friday. After spending the past three days in it, both of them were now covered with some sort of strange rash. The rash was itchy.

Howard ripped the sheets off the bed to expose the mattress underneath. It was clean. He then lifted the bottom of the mattress seperating it from the box spring. A couple of small bugs crawled closer to the center of the mattress.

“What are they?” Lorna tried to peer closer, helping him lift the mattress higher.

“I don’t know, but look there is a mess of them there in the corner.” He pointed to the far corner which had slid off the box spring.

Small brown bugs which looked like small beetles clung to the corner of the mattress. Howard grabed a can of bug spray and squirted it on them. There was no sign of them being effected by the spray.

“How do we kill them?” Lorna grabbed a kleenex and wiped them off the corner. She missed a couple and they fell onto the floor beside the bed. They scurried away under the bed.

“I’m going to go call an exterminator and see what he says.”

Howard left the room. Lorna followed him into the den where he searched through the yellow pages, searching for local exterminators. He found a couple of them and called them.

He told the exterminators of their problem with the bugs and the rashes. He tried to describe the bugs as best as he could over the phone.

“Bed bugs!” he said to the exterminators. “You say I have bed bugs?” He listened again to the exterminator.

“But how can my mattress be infested like it is? We have only been living here for three days now.”

Lorna listened patiently to the one sided conversation. She began to wish they had never moved out of their home they had lived in for the past fourteen years. A bug problem, they never had a bug problem before.

“When can you come out and take care of this infestation?” Howard asked the exterminator. This was the third exterminator he called. So far they were all back logged with current clients with extermination issues.

“In two weeks? I will keep looking then. Thank you for your time.” He hung up the phone and called yet another exterminator.

This exterminator was also booked up for the next month.

“This is rediculous.” Howard sat down on the sofa in the living room. He had called about ten exterminators in the area and they were all backed up for the whole month. Apparently every one was having a problem with bed bugs.

“Oh my God!” Lorna said. She noticed a bug crawling on her leg while she sat back on the sofa with Howard. “They are every where!” She smacked the bug on her leg, squishing it dead.

She lifted the cushion to the sofa and there were several bugs underneath the cushion. Lorna looked around the room. There seemed to be no where they could sit in the living room with out risking being bitten by the bugs. They would not be able to sleep in their bed either.

“I can’t live like this,” she told her husband. He looked just as distraught as she felt.

“I know…” he replied, “I can’t either.”

“We should never have moved.” Lorna said angerly.

“Well we are not going to deal with this problem much longer. I will take advantage of the home owners insurance. They can pay to for the removal of the bugs from this home.”

“But the homeowners insurance does not cover for infestation.” Lorna stated.

“I know… That’s why tomorrow I’m setting it on fire.”

Copyright © July 31, 2010 by Linda Nelson

Related articles by Zemanta

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Board Game of Death The Rest of Chapter ~ 2

The Board Game of Death
The Rest of Chapter ~ 2
“Who did you get this from anyways?” Jordan asked.
“Mrs. Krendall, she said it was her son’s. He must have moved or something. I haven’t seen him in a while. In fact he has not been around since Carley died.”
“Oh, Brian?” Jordan held the necklace closer to her face for further inspection. “Yeah…I haven’t seen him around either. Didn’t know he was into this sort of stuff.” She then set it down on the game board.
“Isn’t he one of Lucas’s friends?” Shawna asked.
“Yeah…I think he is.” Alexus shifted herself, crossing her legs in front of her, sitting Indian style.
“So you want to give this thing a try?” Shawna asked.
“Yeah…I do. Who wants to go first?” Alexus held out the necklace. “You have to wear this.”
Jordan chuckled, “I’ll go first…I’m not scared.” She took the necklace and placed it over her head.
The necklace was made up of small white stones with green stones in between them. A larger yellow stone marked the front of the necklace. The stones were strung on some type of thin cord.
“You know, that would look better on you if you were wearing your other top.” Shawna commented.
Jordan usually dressed in the same Gothic dress style as both Alexus and Shawna. But her parents were totally against the style. She would have to smuggle the clothes out of her house in her backpack. Which she had in her bag now.
“I guess you are right.” Jordan removed the necklace. “Hang on while I change.”
Jordan reached for her bag and pulled her change of clothes out of it. She took off her dark blue tee shirt and put on a black top with a spider web pictured on the front. Her jeans were next, these were replaced with black chino’s. The finishing touches were a pair of black boots and a black headband with a green bat depicted on it.
“There!” Jordan felt better. She shoved her discarded clothes into her bag and took the necklace form Shawna and put it back around her neck. “Look better? I’ll do the make up later.”
“Yeah…much better.” Alexus agreed. “Okay…how do we do this? Do we need to hold hands or something?”
Shawna moved over to make room for Alexus. “You need to sit over here while Jordan sits on that side. And then we hold hands while Jordan does what ever with the game piece.”
Alexus took her place beside Shawna and joined hands with her.
Jordan took her spot and placed her fingertips lightly on top of the game piece. She closed her eyes. She asked, “Carley, are you there?”
They waited a minute. The game piece did not move. Shawna let out a chuckle.
“Maybe she did not hear you,” Alexus said.
“Carley, where are you?” Jordan asked again.
Another minute went by, but there was still no movement from the game piece.
Shawna broke the silence. “Well at least you only paid a buck for this.”
The game piece moved slowly to the top of the board and over to the left corner to rest on the word Yes. Startled, Jordan removed her fingers from touching the game piece.
“I didn’t do that.” Jordan said with bewilderment. “It moved all on its own.”
“Yeah…right!” Shawna said with disbelief. She stood up. “Let me try.”
Jordan and Shawna exchanged places and they started again after Shawna put the necklace on. She waited until Jordan joined hands with Alexus.
“Carley, how did you die?” Shawna asked. She placed her fingertips on top of the game piece just like she saw Jordan do. She waited.
There was no response.
“Try again,” Alexus instructed. “Maybe you have to ask more than once.”
Shawna was about to take her fingertips from the piece when it began to move. It went to the letter B and stopped there.
“B?” Jordan asked puzzled.
Alexus giggled. “Maybe she can’t remember how to spell.”
The game piece started to move again. This time it moved to the W on the board.
“Okay…so maybe spirits can’t spell,” Shawna agreed. She took her fingers off the game piece.
Alexus remembered the book she found at the flea market last weekend. It was tattered but readable. It had a lot of info in it about occult stuff. She reached for the book, it was on a shelf above where they sat. Opening it up, she began to look for some information on Ouija Boards.
Alexus was puzzled. “Hey the page on Ouija Boards is missing from this book. Like someone tore it out.”
Shawna held her hand out to receive the book. “Let me see.”
She too opened the book to where the page was supposed to be. It was gone. “Well that’s weird. I thought all the pages were here.” She looked around on the floor below the shelf. “Maybe it fell out somewhere.”
They all got up and began to search for the missing page. They couldn’t find it anywhere. After giving up their search, they returned their attention back to the game board. The game piece was no longer on the W. It was now resting on the letter A.
“Jordan, did you bump the board?” Alexus asked.
Jordan looked down at the board. “I didn’t touch the board. Why?”
“Shawna you did not move the game piece…did you?” Alexus asked. She knelt beside the board studying it.
Shawna turned to look at the board. “I left it on the W…Why?”
Alexus pointed to the board. “Look where the piece is now!” She motioned for Shawna to come closer to the board.
The three of them studied the board.
“It’s on the letter A now.” Alexus pointed again to the board.
The game piece began to move on its own. Stopping next to the letter R.
Shawna moved away from the board. “Oh my God! Did you see that? It moved all on its own.” Her voice became a bit shaky.
Jordan reached down and lifted the game piece off the board for better inspection. A cricket ran off the board. Jordan laughed, “It’s nothing but a bug.”
Shawna laughed too nervously.
“Hey, does anyone know what time it is?” Alexus asked. “It must be getting close to supper time. We should go check in with my mom. We can leave this here for now…put it away later.”
“Sound good to me,” Shawna agreed eagerly.
“Alright…” Jordan brushed off her pants and followed them down the ladder and out of the barn.
The sun was not so high in the sky now. Alexus believe it had to be close to 4 o’clock. She found her mom in the kitchen preparing supper.
Alexus stood and while Jordan and Shawna took a seat at the small table in the kitchen.
“Wha cha making, Mom?”
“Oh, we’re having chicken pot pies tonight.”
“Do you need any help?”
“Naw…I’m all set,” her Mom replied. “Dinner will be ready in about an hour…’Kay?”
“Alright…” Alexus moved toward the hallway, “we are gonna be up in my room then.”
“’Kay…”
The three girls went to Alexus’s room. It was up at the top of the stairs off to the left of the hallway. There was a guest room up here along with her parents bed room, a bathroom, and a room that was being used for storage.
Alexus’s brother was off to college, so her parents made his room into a guest room for now.
“What do you want to do for an hour?” Alexus asked as she took a seat on her bedroom floor.
Jordan took a seat in the tiger striped bean bag chair, while Shawna took a spot on the floor near Alexus.
The walls of her room were scattered with posters. The one above her bed was that of a pentagram while the others were of dark angels, gargoyles, and some sort of tree of life. A few posters of grunge bands were amongst the mix.
Her bedroom window gave a perfect view of the barn in the back yard. Small glass red bead curtains covered her window. They filtered the sunlight coming in the window, changing the hue of the light to an odd reddish color.
“Wanna try using that board again?” Shawna asked.
“I think we should go get it.” Jordan agreed.
“Let’s do that after supper. We need to find out how to use the thing.” Alexus replied.
She got up and went over to her book shelf and let her black fingertips drag along the spines of the books on the shelf until they came to rest on a certain book. A book by Margaist himself. She hoped he could shine some light on the subject.
She opened the book to the table of contents and found a section on the board. The first passage she found she read out loud. “It says here…what not to do…hmm…I wonder what he means when he says to make sure you close the board when you are done with your session….Also says…the board is not to be used as a toy, but a tool.”
She sat back down on the floor with the book still open in her hands.
Alexus said bewildered,“says…this thing is supposed to work…no matter who made it…Wow!”
“You mean…that thing really lets you talk to the dead?” Shawna asked.
“Yeah…says it works better if we use candles and incense to set the mood,” Alexus explained. “It’s got a whole chapter on dangers…we can read that later…after we try it again…I wanna see if we can talk to Carley…it can’t be that dangerous to talk to a dead kid.” Alexus handed the book to Jordan, she had her hand out to receive it.
Shawna peeked over Jordan’s shoulder so she could see the pages of the book too. “I don’t know…there seems to be an awfully lot of stuff written about the board being dangerous.” Shawna replied nervously.
Jordan looked over the pages of the chapter a bit more before saying, “says most of the dangerous stuff comes with extended use. We haven’t used it long enough to worry about getting into trouble with it. I don’t see any harm in contacting Carley. She was our friend anyways, she wouldn’t hurt us.” Jordan closed the book and handed it back to Alexus to put away.
“After supper I will see if I can find some candles. I think I know where mom keeps them.”
All the while time had passed while they sat looking for answers in the book about how to use the board. Alexus’s mom called them to dinner. They decided to tell Alexus mom nothing about the strange feature of the board, if she asked about it.
The pot pies were good. But Alexus’s mom always made great chicken pot pies. They were small homemade ones. Her mom would buy the little pie plates and make her own. She said she liked her own crust better than the store bought crust.
During dinner, Alexus’s mom asked Shawna and Jordan about their families. She asked how they were and if any special events were coming up, like weddings or family additions. But, neither girl had anything spectacular to report.
The town of Ashland is a small town. Small enough for all of its residents to know each other. It was common for most of the residents to show up for each others weddings or christenings.
After dinner, the girls excused themselves from the table. Mrs. Bordaine allowed Alexus to take the night off from doing the dishes.
Shawna and Jordan ran off to the barn to collect the game. They packed it up to bring it to Alexus’s room.
Mean while Alexus went in search of candles and some sort of incense. She planned on asking her mom tomorrow, if she would take them to the New Age Store in Mirtle Bay tomorrow. She could buy some incense there along with some real candles.
She looked under the bathroom sink. She remembered seeing some sort of candle being stored there. The were kept for when the power went out.
There they were in the back, large candles in jars. One smelled like pine cones and the other smelled like lavender.
She took them to her room and set them up on her desk. She placed her fake skull head in between the two candles.
In the hall closet she found a jar of potpourri and the little pot to put it in. It used a small tea light candle under the little pot. She took a couple extra tea lights to use for more candle light.

The Board Game of Death Chapter ~ 2 ~ continued

Alexus had to walk around the garage to get to the barn. Tall grass grew in the field behind the house. Cows had not grazed here in years. Her grandparents were the last ones to keep cows. The barn was now only used for storage.
Inside the barn, Shawna had set them up in the upper loft. The barn had three stories. The ground level held an antique car, a mustang to be exact and an old tractor. The second level was where things were kept that would not fit in their attic.
There was a set of stairs leading up to the second level. After that there was nothing but an old rickety ladder. Two of the rungs had been replaced about a year ago by her dad.
It was kind of dark in the barn. Some sunlight seeped through the old barn wall boards. Alexus knew her way up to the top loft. She could even make the trip in the dark.
She climbed over the top of the ladder. Shawna was against the far wall. An old blanket was spread on the floor for them to sit on. She had the box open and the board was sitting in front of her.
“Did you figure it out yet?” Alexus asked. “Does it seem hard to play?”
“Um…It’s weird.” Shawna replied. “There’s no dice or anything. Just this weird shaped board piece.”
“Let me see…” Alexus took the box from Shawna. The instructions were written on the inside of the box. “Talk to the dead?” She read out loud. “Yeah…right!” she said in disbelief.
She sat down on the floor across from Shawna and the game board, setting the box top beside her. She picked up the game piece to examine it.
It was made of some sort of wood that was funny shaped. But game pieces tend to be funny shaped. This one was pointy at the top and round at the bottom.
“It says you set that on the game board and hold your hands like and inch above it,” Shawna instructed.
“Then what?” Alexus asked. She picked up the box again.
“Let me see.” Shawna took the box from her.
“Says…with out touching the game piece…ask a question and concentrate on the game piece. It is suppose to move around the board. What? It spells out words? I don’t know….I doubt it works.” Shawna handed back the box.
“Maybe we should wait for Jordan to get here. I called her…she said she would be over in a bit…she was mowing the lawn.” Alexus set the box back down on the floor beside her and began to study the board.
It was covered with the letters of the alphabet and three words were at the bottom. They were yes, no, and maybe.
“Maybe this game is like the eight ball.” Alexus pushed the game piece around on the board. It slid around pretty easily.
Shawna picked up the box again. “It says you use it to hold seances. Cool. Do you think it could really work?”
“No way…really? Let me see…” Alexus looked at the box again. “It says we can talk to dead relatives and friends.”
“Who would we contact first?”
“I don’t know…how ’bout Carley? She hasn’t been dead that long. In fact I miss her.”
Shawna turned her attention to her sandwich and soda. Alexus set the box top back down beside her and decided to eat her lunch too while they waited for Jordan to show up.
After eating in silence for a few minutes, Shawna spoke up. “You know, her brother won’t even talk to me or any one since the accident.”
“I know. I saw him the other day, and when I said hi…he just looked at me and walked away. It’s not like anyone blames him for the accident. An accident is an accident. He did not mean to drive the car into that tree.”
“I heard he swerved to miss some cat.” Shawna ate the last piece of her sandwich.
“Yeah…now mom makes me wear my seat belt even when we are just going two houses down to Mrs. Hamworth’s house.” Alexus complained.
Footsteps sounded, someone was climbing the ladder. It was Jordan. “Hey!” she said as she poked her head above the floor. She pulled herself up the rest of the way and stepped onto the floor.
“Hey Jordan!” Shawna and Alexus chorused.
“What are you guys doing?” Jordan pulled her backpack off her shoulder and set it down off to the side of the room out of the way. “Mom said I can sleep over.” she said with a smile.
“Awesome!” Alexus scooted over making room for Jordan to sit with them.
“What’s that? You guys got a Oujia Board?” Jordan picked up the box top to check out the outside of the box. “Hmm…it’s not made by Milton Bradley? Where did you guys get this? I thought this game was only made by Milton Bradley.”
“Oh we were at a yard sale this morning. That’s where we got it.” Shawna put her hand on the necklace she remembered in her pocket. “It came with this too.” She pulled the necklace out of her pocket and held it up for Jordan to see.
“You have seen these before?” Alexus asked Jordan.
“Yeah…I’ve seen them in the store…but mom would not let me get one. She wouldn’t say why,” Jordan answered. She flipped the box over to read the instructions. “Oh cool, we can contact the dead!”
“Yeah…we were thinking of contacting Carley.” Alexus handed Jordan the extra can of soda she had brought with her.
“It doesn’t say anything about wearing a necklace.” Jordan handed the box to Shawna to reread.
Alexus held out her hand. “Let me see the necklace.” After inspecting it she handed it to Jordan so she could check it out.

Copyright © 2010 by Linda Nelson