“I don’t like it,” Goku said with a strong undercurrent of suspicion and tension in her voice.
“Come on Goku, don’t be a spoilsport. It’s a simple Ouija board. We’ll call a small spirit or something, ask a few questions, that’s all. Strictly fun. When it’s all over we’ll ask it to go away,” Nive pleaded.
“I agree with Goku. We may be getting into something about which we know next to nothing,” Ariana said, which brought a nervous smile on Goku’s face.
“What’s wrong with you guys? A week ago we agreed to do this, didn’t we? Why the cold feet now, Goku and Ari?” Val asked visibly annoyed.
“Yes, but…,” Ariana mumbled.
“No ifs and buts Ari. Are you with me and Nive or not?” Val asked sternly.
After a moment’s pause,
“I’m in, guys,” said Ariana looking guiltily at Goku.
“No, Ari. I feel this is wrong,” Goku said nervously.
“Look Goku, you were all enthusiastic last week for doing the Ouija board. My parents are away for the weekend and will return tomorrow morning. So, we have the whole house for ourselves. I’ve ordered pizzas, burgers, Cokes, Pepsis. The whole thing works. Don’t spoil the night for all of us, please,” Val insisted.
Goku was doubtful. “What if something goes wrong?” she asked.
“What can go wrong? It’s a simple Ouija board. Strictly fun. When it’s all over we’ll ask it to go away,” Nive repeated.
Goku was lost in thought.
“Come on, Goku please…,” the three friends cajoled her.
Finally, Goku conceded and reluctantly said ‘yes’, peer-pressure having gotten the better of her judgement.
The four close friends settled with their Cokes and Pepsis on the study table of Val after finishing the pizzas and burgers. The illumination was low, all the windows were shut and drapes drawn. They were seated on the carpet in the centre of the room with a makeshift Ouija board prepared by Val on paper. It had the alphabets A-Z in upper case in two rows along the lower edge and the digits 0-9 along the upper edge. In between were drawn three large circles. The central one contained an “X”, the one on the left had the word “YES” written inside and the one on the right had “NO” written in it. Val placed a smooth, circular and ivory-coloured carrom striker on the “X” and turned towards his friends.
“OK guys, it is past eight o’clock. So shall we start?” Val asked his friends.
All of them nodded their heads, Nive and Ari enthusiastically while Goku glanced nervously.
“OK. Whom shall we invoke or call?”
They discussed about several dead people for a few minutes, including an old lady who used to live in the house at the end of the street.
“Hmmm…No guys. They are no good. We need something good, I mean, strong.”
Goku was really worried. “Val, I am afraid. This isn’t a good idea. Let’s drop it and go back home.”
“Oh, shut up! you chicken. Don’t spoil the fun. Guys, Any suggestions?”
“OK, then leave it to me.” He thought for a minute.
“I’ve decided. We’ll call Spector”
“Who’s Spector?” They asked in unison.
He looked at them scornfully.
“You don’t know who’s Spector? It’s a visible, incorporeal spirit. “
Again, they shook their heads.
“It is a ghost, a devil, especially one of a terrifying nature.”
“OK, guys, let’s start. Do as I explained, OK?”
They sat around the Ouija board and placed their right-hand index fingers on the carom striker.
“Let’s close our eyes and concentrate on calling Spector. Let’s chant the name until it descends into the striker and answer our questions. OK?” They all nodded in agreement.
They followed Val’s instructions and closed their eyes, concentrated and chanted the name slowly and again and again. Nothing happened for some time. While the other three were restless and disappointed, Val persisted.
Half an hour elapsed.
…The windows opened with a bang and the drapes fluttered violently. A strong wind that rose from nowhere swooshed into the room and threw papers and small articles helter-skelter. The hot summer air inside the room became so chilly that their exhaled breath froze instantly. They shivered in the chill, but Val urged them to continue.
“Are you here?” Val asked.
Their eyes were glued to the striker. Nothing happened for a few minutes, while Val repeated the question. Slowly, the striker came alive and started sliding on the smooth white sheet of paper.
It came to a halt on the circle that said “Yes”.
A chill ran down the spines of the teenagers as they stared at each other.
Goku the sceptic asked, “How do we know that you are actually here? How am I supposed to know that one of the others is not moving the striker?”
What happened next erased all doubts from their minds. The striker flew off the paper surface at a tremendous speed and hit a window pane, shattering it into a million silvers.
The friends were aghast, not knowing what to say or how to react. At last, realization dawned upon them that they had meddled with something, which none of them even began to understand.
Goku screamed in agony, “Ask it to go away.”
All of them concurred.
“Go away, Go away…,” they chanted in unison.
But it was too late…
There was raw energy that engulfed the room.
“Go away, Go away…,” they continued to chant in unison but to no avail.
Finally, Val screamed, “Let’s run from here, come on…” They got up and started running towards the door.
The door, which was open till then, shut itself violently with a bang, splintering the wood. The four of them were thrown to the floor by an unseen evil force. They heard a blood-curdling, hysterical and maniacal laughter.
And then they saw it, a smoky and ghost-like form with a man’s body, the right hand pointing upwards and the left hand pointing down.
While the four friends cowered into a corner, screaming for their lives, the spirit moved towards them menacingly.
They screamed …
A year later…
“Here are the keys to the bungalow, Mr. Vishnu. Good luck.”
“Come on guys, let’s get into our house, new home…beautiful, isn’t it?” Vishnu asked.
“Yes dad,” screamed the children joyously while Ritaja nodded and rested her head on Vishnu’s shoulder as they walked into the bungalow.
And in a dark corner of the basement, Spector chuckled.
Vivek Raj Rout