No Such Thing as Ghosts (Saturday Writing Essential)

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on September 7, 2012 0 Comments

Challenge: Using prose or poetry, write a ghost story. It can be fiction, nonfiction, or a personal essay regarding ghosts. It can be about something that you’ve actually encountered, a combination of something that happened to you and you’re just adding something to it for fun, or it can be just a ghostly story that has no basis in reality.

* * *

“Stop it,” Sue said.

Sam looked up at her and said, “Stop what?”

“You know what. You’re moving the planchette.”

Sam looked around at the others and said, “The what?”

“The planchette, dummy.”

“What’s that?”

Donna piped up with, “That’s the wooden thing you’re using to move around the Ouija board.”

Sam shook his head, pretty sure that everyone else in the room was crazy, and said, “I didn’t move anything.”

“Then why was the planchette moving toward ‘Yes’?”

Feeling he was on pretty safe ground for the first time of the evening, Sam said, “Because you asked if there was a ghost in the room.”

* * *

Donna took the lead, but didn’t really participate. “Here, sit across from each other. That’s it. Now, the Ouija board goes on your knees and you put your fingers like this.” Donna placed both Sam’s and Sue’s hands in place and then said, “Now, close your eyes, don’t press too hard, and let things happen.”

Sam looked up at her and said, “Let what happen?”

“Shh, you have to be quiet, close your eyes, and just see what happens.”

Sam sat there a moment until Donna reached out, put her hand on his head, turned it toward the Ouija board, and pushed it down somewhat. “Don’t talk, don’t make noise, keep your eyes closed, and let the board talk to you.”

Sam’s sense of humor kicked in and he said, “But I don’t talk board.”

Donna’s sense of humor did not kick in as she smacked Sam on the back of the head and said, “Shut up and do what you’re told.”

Properly cowed, Sam closed his eyes, hunched down over the board, and let things happen. That’s when Sue accused him of moving the planchette.

“I wasn’t trying to move it to ‘Yes’ because I have no reason to believe there’s a ghost in the room,” Sam finally said.

“You must have been. I was pushing it toward ‘No’ and I couldn’t get it to go there.”

Don piped up with, “Wait, you were trying to guide it? That’s not fair. You’re not supposed to do that.”

Donna stared at all of them for a few seconds and then said, “Sue was trying to guide it to ‘No’ and Sam was trying to guide it…”

“I wasn’t guiding anything,” Sam said. “I had my eyes closed. I don’t where ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ is on that stupid board. I couldn’t guide it.”

He stood up in disgust, catching the board before it hit the floor, and tossed it onto the coffee table. Donna leaned down, picked up the planchette that had fallen to the floor, and yelped. “Ow! It’s hot!” and she dropped it, letting it land on the board.

They all stared as the planchette, with no help, moved around the board for a few seconds and then centered itself over the “Yes” on the board.

Sam stood there a second and then said, “Yeah, well, uh, I have to get going. I have homework to do.” He walked around behind the couch and they all watched as the planchette turned so that the pointed end was always pointed at Sam.

He walked toward the door and said, “Yeah, and my dogs, yeah, they’re alone. I have to take care of the dogs.” The planchette actually moved off the Ouija board, dropped to the floor, and followed him across the living room.

Sam was almost running as he pulled open the front door, said, “See ya,” and slammed the door shut just in time to have the planchette bury its nose in the wood of the door.

Don stood there just a second before chuckling and saying, “I think the ghost has left the room.”


SatWE Logo  (If you want to use it) courtesy of  our friend Ruthi.

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