Grandma's Lively Spirit
Sitting cross-legged on the floor, in a large walk-in closet, Chris and I were facing each other with the Ouija board between us. A flashlight illuminated the space spookily. Casting odd shadows as we fidgeted during the game. We were alone in the house, which was great fun for two ten year old girls with expectations of contacting the spirit world. Using just the lightest fingertip touches, as the rules command, the planchette seemed to move on it's own and yet I constantly accused the player opposite me of cheating. She did likewise. "You're moving it! Stop pushing! Light as a feather, it says!" ,and "Did not!",or "Did so!!" was whispered harshly back and forth for several minutes. Our questions to the oracle seemed uninspired to me. To liven things up, I locked the closet door and turned the flashlight to the wall to make the boxes, old clothes and assorted junk less distracting. This had no effect on the pungent mothball odor, but it did start our hearts beating faster. Plainly, we were beginning to feel frightened and I, personally, had goose bumps on my entire body. It was time to get serious and ask for a sign!
Chris's eyes glowed like newly-opened golf balls on her small face with otherwise dainty features. A real curse for a tomboy to look so feminine, but I had my own soft spot too. My Grandmother. I was named for her, but she died a slow, agonizing death having several strokes in a year's time. The one that finally sent her to the great beyond happened when I was a girl of five. Thus, she was a legend more than a real memory in my mind. Grandma never wavered in her religious beliefs, so I always felt if anyone went to paradise after death, she did. A good chance to connect with her now, I thought bravely. More bravely than I felt at this moment, surely, but young people are often foolish or daredevils. "Ask now, go ahead!", Chris said in a hoarse, quiet voice. I complied."Oh, Grandmother... If you can hear me..." I intoned with my spookiest, gyspy-fortune teller's phrasing, "It is I, your Granddaughter...give me a sign that you are with me now!!" AEEEEIII-AHHH! Chris and I both screamed with fright!! We were on our feet in seconds, spilling the game board helter-skelter at our feet. The planchette had zoomed away from our hands. Zipping back and forth wildly, shocking us both. "Did you see that?!" I asked, terrified. Chris said, "I'm scared!" just as the doorknob beside us (the locked one) began twisting violently. It was exactly the same as a person would do if they were locked in a room and wanted to GET OUT! Which we wanted to badly at that moment, as you can imagine. "I'm getting out of here!!", I yelled, yanking on the knob with both hands using all my might. It kept twisting and I couldn't get a good grip on the darn thing. "AHHHH!!!!", Chris called out as she pointed towards the darkest recesses of the long closet. "AAAAHHHHH!!!", I answered back when I pivoted to see for myself. The darkness had been invaded now. Many swirling lights in rainbow colors had joined us. And, we were trapped inside a seemingly small space with them. The swirling mass took on a firework's show appearance and in just seconds, our screams resumed in unison. I was trying to breath, between outbursts, and panting now like a mad dog."WAIT!", I cried above Chris's screeches. This silenced her and I managed to get my wits back. I had a plan. "Oh Grandmother...If you can hear me...", I pleaded in the direction of the spectacular lights in the high corner above us,"Thank you for the sign. I love you and miss you , but it's time you returned. Please leave us NOW!", I blurted, with more calmness than I had. Suddenly, it was quiet. The door knob stood still. As abruptly as they had appeared, the rainbow of swirling lights dimmed until they were truly gone. No time to waste!!! "I'm outta here!!" Chris said , forcefully ripping the door wide open. I followed right behind her out into the late afternoon sunlight. It was filing her bedroom on this gorgeous Summer evening. We ran through the house screaming, but not a soul was there. We had been alone...or had we?
Two ten year old girls slept little that night, although we did curl up on the sofa in the den with the TV for company. Never before had we been so glad to see parents return from a dinner party.
We swore never to tell a soul, and I have kept that promise until today. My dearest childhood friend is with Grandma now. A victim of the drug experimenting stages of 70's and 80's. I didn't attend the funeral, since we parted as friends many years ago. Looking for a peaceful life , I moved to the country across the Plains with my family. Her passing affects me just the same though. I will always miss her and remember the secrets we shared.
The temptation to contact Chris, wherever she may be, has certainly plagued me. It would be really something to know our childhood bond could not be broken. But, alas, the morning after our slumber party the Ouija board and all it's mysterious powers were buried. In the woods beyond the fence line of her family's property , I know just exactly where the hole was dug. A patch of wild gooseberry bushes have long since covered any outward signs of burial. Even so, I could find it. My shovel is beckoning me to search for the truth in the great mysteries of this world and the next. New batteries in my flashlight will help me in my quest for what I know now I must do.
Goodnight, dear readers. I have a job to do and a little game to play.