The ornate script on the board twisted in the candlelight, making the letters and numbers dance in my head. They were jumbled and indistinct, like alphabet soup. When Etienne tightened his grip on my hand, I startled. I wasn’t normally so twitchy, and hoped Rachel wouldn’t notice. The Ouija board was her favorite present that night, Claire gave it to her. I got her a bracelet. She wasn’t wearing it. She decided to play the board but I am hesitant to join.
“It’s just a game, Mara.” Rachel smiled, her teeth looking even whiter in the dim. We had been best friends since preschool.
“I don’t have anything to ask dead people.” I said to her.
“Then let’s just ask how I am going to die.” Rachel said.
I stiffen. I shot a dark look at her as if I’m going to bite her from saying stuffs like that. I held Etienne close to me. I am afraid. Yes, I am.
“Remember not to push.” Claire ordered me.
“How am I going to die?” Rachel asked. Smiling.
The four of us watched the board. My calves prickled from kneeling on Rachel’s carpet for so long, and the back of my knees felt clammy. Nothing happened.
Then something did. We looked at each other as the piece moved under our hands.
It settled on M.
“Murder?” Claire’s voice soaked with excitement. The piece glided and landed on A. Rachel looked confused.
“Matches?” I asked.
The piece zigzagged across the board. R.
We are silent. Our eyes didn’t leave the board as the piece jerked back to the beginning.
MARA. That’s me. What does that mean? Is it possible for me to be the reason behind Rachel’s death? No way. I think I’m going to pass out. I need someone to hold me. Thank God, Etienne’s here. Rivulets of perspiration molded in my forehead. Anger spiked up on me.
I stood up. “You push it, didn’t you!?” I shouted at Claire.
“No! I didn’t!” she exclaimed. “Pinky swear!”
Rachel grabbed my hand and pulled herself up off the floor. She looked straight at Claire. “I believe you,” she said, “but let’s do something else?”
“Like what?” Claire’s voice was flat, and I stared right back at her, unflinching. Here we go.
“We can watch a movie!” Etienne said. I tore my eyes away from Claire’s and nodded, managing a smile. Claire did the same. Rachel and Etienne relaxed, but I didn’t.
I tried to swallow my anger and unease as we settled in to watch the movie. Rachel popped in a DVD and blew out the candles.
My mind flickered back to what happened earlier. If anything happens to Rachel, I’ll blame myself. As the movie play, my eyes became blurry and everything turned black.
An hour later, I woke up. I checked my wrist watch. It’s 2:48am. I looked to my left and noticed that Etienne is asleep. I am thirsty and I needed someone to accompany me in the dark because I am afraid to stand and get a drink. But the thirst is real and I can’t resist it.
I stood up and noticed that the girls are gone. I scan the room once.. Twice.. None. They’re nowhere to be found. Where are they?
I wander outside the room and pushed myself to go downstairs. I heard whispers. Unclear whispers. But once I reached the kitchen, it became vivid.
“You saw the look on Mara’s face awhile ago? God! I thought she’s going to piss herself.” A girl said. I lean closer to look who’s talking. I saw Claire. Wait, not just her but also my best friend.
“You move the piece!?” Rachel exclaimed “Silly you!”
“Ha-ha! Do you really believe in ghosts? We’re just humans. Once we’re dead, we’re dead. Nothing more, nothing less. There’s no such thing as spirits! You’re making me laugh.”
“Whatever. Just tell me whatever your plan is next time.” Rachel gave her a flirty smile. Claire nodded. And they kissed. I gag. I think I’m going to be sick. Anger runs through my veins and I nearly collapse by the sight that my naked eyes just saw. My heart is pumping too loud that I’m afraid they might hear it and noticed that I’m eavesdropping.
I snap back to reality once they started to walk. I need to escape. I don’t want them to see me.
My mind’s screaming to slap their face and punch every little bit of them. I never thought that my friends could do that to me. They’re right, there’s no such thing as ghosts. I am so stupid.
I ran as far as I can. I heard them scream my name, but that didn’t stop me from moving.
I ran until I become excruciatingly numb by the coldness that the winter wind brings.