The Believing and I

When I was growing up, our family and another did everything together. They had three children the same ages as we three. That made six children that experienced everything about the same time as in a small herd of barefoot animation. We went everywhere together and eventually even explored the other side--yup, someone got a Ouija board for Christmas, me. We spent hours in contact with the great beyond--for about three weeks.
Then we found out the great beyond lies. Yes, friends and neighbors, the beyond, speaking to us through the Ouija board, lied. At first we couldn't believe it. Something must be wrong. But, after repeated trials and new tests, there was no longer any doubt, the Ouija control is at the mercy of many forces, but they aren't supernatural. Gravity, slickness of the board, and the underlying subconscious drives of the user/users. Playing wasn't fun anymore, so the spirit board went the way of all presents for children that no longer amuse--it was lost into history.
Fast forward to me as a jaded adult who has taken a look into the occult, seances, witchdoctors, and such. I have developed a theory. Everyone ought to get the chance to play with Ouija boards and such things long enough to find there is not a jot of anything in them. And what did I run across? A local group in a small cafe. I'm a regular customer and one day stopped in and discovered the young ones waiting tables were, in their spare time, using an Ouija board to amuse themselves. As teenagers, I'd have thought they'd have blown through that pretty quickly. However on one of my weekly town days, I noticed they'd merely morphed their interest into contacting perfect strangers on the other side. They were keeping copious notes on name, age, how they died, and did they want to send any special messages to anyone. If those teenagers had spent half of the time they spent contacting the spirit world via the Ouija board studying, they'd have been at the top of their classes.
Weeks passed. A few older, young adults started hanging about. Still the Ouija board spewed info to be written faithfully down. I believe the cafe owner encouraged it, but then maybe she was waiting to hear from a loved one herself.
Not wanting to rain on any parades, I kept my disparaging remarks to myself, however, I had repeatedly refused a turn at the board. Then the final pressure came. Why wouldn't I try? Instead of answering the question, I offered to give it a go. The Ouija board never moved. Then we were both on it. It didn't move. I told the co-operator that it seemed the beyond didn't want to talk to me. The co-operator, one of the most intense operators, immediately asked the Ouija board why it didn't talk to me. With wondrous ability to delve into self delusion, the young woman told me the answer she received. The Ouija board told her I had too strong of a soul. I didn't roll my eyes, but it took a lot of self restraint.
Sheesh. Was there no end in sight? An idea popped into my head. Not the most noble, but it would be interesting for a group of people absolutely determined to experience a connection to the other side. And for me, the devil in me just knew it would be awfully amusing.
I succumbed to temptation.
Drinking my coffee, I drawled out that if a person really wanted to talk to the dead then a seance was better. My, oh, my. They were all over that like ants at a picnic. I told them how to do it:
First: get a table
Second: get a table cloth. Lace would be nice, but if you don't have one, any will do
Third: have something personal from the person whose spirit you wish to talk to
Fourth: get a candle.
Fifth: sit around the table. If you can, hold hands.
Sixth: just as the sun sets, attempt to contact spirit/ask a question of the spirits
The last instruction was to remember that spirits do not have vocal cords. If they answer it could be by any way they can. Be prepared for a 'sign'.
Off home I went, smiling the whole while. I figured there was at least six people about to scare themselves silly. They were ripe for it. That seance was going to be a success! When I reached home, my beloved husband was there and asked about the smile. I told him that if all went well at about fifteen minutes after sundown, I expected a call.
Almost to the minute, a call came in. Yes, it was an excited seancer. The young lady reported that she'd just had the time of her life!! Yes, it was true, the spirit had used a truck horn to communicate. Did I mention the cafe was on the highway?
In the end, it wasn't finding out that the spirits don't really speak that put a stop to the Ouija board, it was parents. It seemed the parents thought that Ouija boards contained demons and devils and banned the use. Well, what can you say to that?

I have always wished that the Ouija board participants could have discovered quietly on their own that there is nothing in a Ouija board that isn't in themselves, a final closure if you will, for flinging open the door to the other side only to find a blank wall. But then, who am I to determine where the spirits live?


Reese Mobley said...

You are too funny. You started something with those kids that they'll be telling their grandkids years from now. I think people will believe what they want to believe.

Pat Davids said...

Ah, Nina, you do have a bit of the devil in you. Love the story.

Joan Vincent said...

Nina, love it. As Reese said, people believe what they want to believe. Those who pushes/begs/pressures anyone to do what only they (the pushers) are passionate about deserve what they get.

Penny Rader said...

I've never had the nerve to play with the O board. I think Sister Mary Carmelita would hunt me down. She scared me enough when she was still alive.