The ouija board had been on the shelf in the hall closet for as long as anyone could remember, above the vacuum cleaner and the winter coats, next to the old party hats and the phone books no one had used in years.
It sat, box unopened in a generation, waiting.
The oldest of the sisters had reached for it once, curious, but had pulled her hand away quickly when she felt a sudden cold. She never told anyone.
But it called to her. She couldn’t make out the words, but she knew what it wanted.
She read about ouija boards online in her school’s library, nervously looking over her shoulder as though she might be in trouble for reading something taboo. She read about openings into other dimensions, about the veil between worlds. She read about people using the ouija board solely for entertainment, to play pranks on their friends. She read about people who did not find entertainment, but something infinitely darker.
And she decided she wanted to try it.
Her parents were out for the evening, leaving the three girls at home with delivery pizza and Netflix. The car was barely out of the driveway before the oldest sister took th ebox from the shelf in the hallway.
The two younger girls, the twins, were giddy. They hadn’t done the reading and research their older sister had, but they understood the basic premise. “We will speak with a ghost,” one whispered as they gathered around the table in the darkened dining room.
“We will call forth a spirit,” said the other in her best spooky voice, lighting tealights at the corners of the table.
“What will we ask it?”
“We’ll ask it the same things we ask the Magic 8-Ball. We can see if the answers match.”
The older sister sighed. “It might not even work.”
But again, she felt suddenly cold. She took the board form its box, and placed the planchette on top of it in the center of the table.
“Do you feel that?” one of the twins asked.
“I need a sweater,” said the other.
The three stood silently as the planchette began to move.