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
Chapter ~ 1
Alexus and Shawna pawed through the belongings on the table. Yard Sales were always good for finding unique things.
Alexus picked up an old coffee mug with the picture of a dog on it. She grinned and set it back on the table. Mean while, Shawna found some old costume jewelry. She held it up for Alexus to see. They grinned at each other. Shawna put it back on the table.
They moved to the next table. It was full of toys, stuffed animals and games. Board games to be exact. At first they seemed to be the ordinary board games that everyone has in their homes. But then there it was sitting on the bottom of the pile. It was almost hidden from sight.
Alexus pulled the game from the bottom of the pile. It was one she had never seen before. She held it up to show Shawna.
“What’s this?” Alexus asked the woman behind the table. “I’ve never seen this game before.”
“Oh that,” the woman responded, “that is, was, my son’s. You can have it for a buck.”
“What do Ya think?” Alexus asked Shawna. “It looks cool.” She traced the words on the box with her black fingernails. They read, “the game to play with the dead.”
“Oh Yeah,” Shawna agreed. “We can play it tonight. Turn it over. How many players do we need?”
“Oh you don’t need many players,” the woman reassured them. “And it is real easy to learn to play.”
“Okay. How do you play?” Alexus asked the woman.
“The instructions are in the box. I have never played it my self, but my son use to play it all the time. If he was here now, he could show you how. But I’m pretty sure it is real easy to learn. Just follow the instructions.”
“Alright, I think I will take it.” Alexus reached into her pocket and pulled out a dollar bill. It was rolled up in a ball. She straightened it out before handing it to the woman.
The woman accepted the bill. She held out a necklace with some sort of pendant on it. “You can have this too. Wear it when you play the game. It has great enhancements.”
“’Kay.” Shawna took the necklace from the woman. It was the same necklace she had been holding up a moment ago.
“You girls ready?” Alexus’s mom called to them. She was on her way to the car carrying several small items she had purchased.
Alexus answered, “Coming.”
They had been going from one yard sale to the next all morning. It was one of the things Alexus really enjoyed doing with her mom. They usually took her friend Shawna with them.
In fact, there was not much of anything Alexus did without Shawna. They had been the best of friends for many years.
“Mom?” Alexus slipped into the front passenger seat of the light blue sedan. “Can Jordan sleep over tonight too?”
“Well I suppose she can.” Her mom started the car and waited for Shawna to close the rear passenger door. She put on her seatbelt. “Buckle up girls.”
“Awesome!” Alexus replied while clicking her belt into the buckle.
Chapter ~ 2
Alexus lived just down the street from this yard sale, on Jumper Drive. It did not take long before they pulled into the long drive way leading up to the old four bedroom cape. It had a large screen porch on the front of the house.
A newly built garage joined the side of the house and out behind the house sat an old barn. The barn was not in the best of shape, but it still stood solid against the elements.
During the day Alexus and her friends liked being in the barn. It was a bit spooky, but they were okay with that. And at night they would sit on the porch swing and watch while bats flew back and forth in the yard chasing bugs.
Sometimes they would ponder if any of the bats would change into something they had seen in a movie they watched the night before. Horror movies were one of their favorites. Alexus had seen every vampire movie she could find. She was now trying to dress like one.
As soon as she turned fifteen she asked her mom if she could pick her own style of dress. Her mom did not see any harm in it at the time. So, Alexus began with the basics, like buying the black fingernail polish and then moved on slowly to the rest of the garb of the Goth.
Because she had changed her dress style in changes, her mom never really noticed how deep she was into the gothic trend. Alexus would go to the extremes of trying to stay out of sunlight as much as possible. This caused and unusual paleness to her complexion. Almost to the point, where she looked kind of ghostly at times.
Her friend Shawna had also begun to follow the gothic trend. But not quite to the same extent as Alexus. She still would go out into the sunlight, allowing herself to have a light tan.
She once told Alexus how she needed to be able to go out in the sunlight. She would not be able to garden. Who would grow the herbs they would need for the recipes they would cook up together.
Mrs. Bordaine parked the car in the garage.
“I have to go call Jordan and see if she can come over,” Alexus told Shawna. “You can take this out to the barn with you.”
She handed the board game to Shawna.
“’Kay. Is it okay if I get a drink?” Shawna asked, taking the box from Alexus.
“I’ll bring you one. What do you want…root beer…orange…or cola?” Alexus asked.
Her mom took her things into the house leaving the two girls to discuss their plans.
Shawna went off to get them set up in the barn, while Alexus made the call to Jordan.
The phone hung on the wall of the kitchen beside the small drop leaf table. The room was bright from the morning sunshine. Alexus tried to avoid standing in the sunlight as much as possible. She pulled the phone cord around the corner into the hallway after dialing Jordan’s number.
“Hi! This is Alexus. Is Jordan home?…Can I talk to her?” Alexus asked Jordan’s little brother.
She had to wait a few minutes while he yelled for his sister.
“Hey! What’s up?” Jordan asked. She sounded out of breath.
“Are you busy? Shawna and I were wondering if you wanted to come over.”
“Um…yeah…just give me a bit…I have to finish up mowing the lawn.”
“Why can’t your brother do that?”
“Cause it’s my turn…he made a big deal about it last night to my dad. So, now I have to take turns mowing the grass. But since he opened his big mouth, he has to take turns washing the dishes.” Jordan laughed.
“Alright…hurry…Shawna and I found this really neat game when we went to the yard sales today,” Alexus blurted excitedly. “Oh and ask if you can sleep over tonight.”
“’Kay…I will…see you in a bit.”
“’Kay…” Alexus said. She hung the phone up. Her mom walked past her into the kitchen.
“Mom…Shawna and I are going to be out in the barn, if you are looking for us.”
“Oh…here let me make you some lunch to take with you to go with your sodas”
She waited impatiently while her mom quickly made two chicken salad sandwiches for her to take.
“Can you carry all that?” Mrs. Bordaine asked. She held a big bag of chips for Alexus to grab with her free hand.
“Got it Mom. Thanks…”
Alexus took her pile of food and drink into the hallway where she had stood talking on the phone and followed it to the front door.
The front door had a wooden screen door on the house and the porch. They were easy to push open with a shoulder.
Copyright © 2010 by Linda Nelson