Thursday, October 8, 2009

Story a Day #6

Alright Justin, here's your Ouija story. Hope it doesn't suck too badly...

"Goddamn it Ethel, I'm tired!"
Ethel looked up from her tarot cards but didn't say anything. She gathered up the cards she had on the table and reshuffled them, this time laying them in a diamond pattern. She mumbled to herself as she flipped cards over and set other cards on top from the deck in her hand. Fred shook his head and got up and went to the kitchen to get a beer. He was about to go back into the dining room but decided against it and shuffled to the living room to watch Wheel of Fortune. He gulped his beer, scratched his gut, farted, and settled in like on a usual weekday night, but he couldn't concentrate. Not even the usually arousing sight of Vanna in a dress could take his mind off his wife, sitting alone in the kitchen with her weird cards and magic medallions. Ever since she had bought that crap off the Home Shopping Channel, it was all she did. Her friends were into it too. The old bags came over on Friday night and instead of canasta or bridge, they traded prophecies and messed around with that damn board. What was it called again? Fred could never quite remember. Veegee? What ever it was, it sounded foreign, which made him like it even less, if that were possible. He was damn tired of it. One of these days, he thought, one of these days I'll just throw that stuff in the old oil drum out back and watch it burn. Pat Sajak smiled as if in agreement and urged an Air Force Sargent to spin the wheel. Fred chugged the rest of his beer and drifted off to sleep.

He woke from a horrible dream in which his head was in a vice and someone was trying to handsaw it off and got up and walked over to the clock on top of the TV. 9:00 AM, it informed him. Shit, he thought, good thing I don't have a job to get to anymore. His stomach rumbled.
"ETHEL!" He yelled. "ETHEL! Where's my damn breakfast!"
No one answered. Fred shuffled into the kitchen and steadied himself by holding onto the fridge. Just walking around the house was getting to be a chore. He looked down at the gut hanging out of the bottom of his stained wife-beater. Time to stop eating at Charlie's, he thought and pushed it out of his mind. Where the Hell is my damn wife? He thought.
"ETHEL, GET YOUR ASS DOWN HERE NOW I NEED..." That was when he noticed the note on the kitchen counter, a yellow triangle situated on top of an empty plate. He shuffled over to it, grabbed it with a meaty paw and read:
"Gone to book club meeting and shopping with the girls. Be gone most of the day. Hotdogs are in the fridge, you should know how to cook those. If not there's cereal and milk in the fridge to hold you over till I get back.

PS. I took the car. Sorry, Linda's was broken down again."
Fred stared down at the not in disbelief. Gone all day? Took the car? Hot dogs? COLD CEREAL? His mind whirled. Ethel had never done anything like this before. It wasn't how a wife as supposed to act. He crumpled the note in his hand and dropped it on the floor. He grimaced and wrung his hand together. When she gets back, he thought, when she gets back she's going to get it, oh is she ever going to get it.
He had only ever hit her twice back when they were just married and she tried to smoke in his car. He hated cigarettes and he told her right out that he wasn't going to live in house full of smoke. A few days later he had caught her smoking outside and knocked her to the ground. She had cried and but otherwise kept quiet and in a few minuets she was fine. She certainly hadn't ever smoked again, at least not that he knew of. She was a good wife, a bit daft in the head, but subservient just like she was supposed to be. Well at least till she had ordered those damn cards off the TV...
Fred smiled. She was going to be gone the entire day eh? That was perfect. It was all the time he needed to find where she hide her freaky fortune-telling garbage and get rid of it. With fire. Fred liked fire. He liked burning things, but never got a chance to do much of it, especially not latley. He rummaged a kitchen mess drawer till he found an ancient looking book of matches and stuffed them in his sweat-pants pocket. Now where could those cards be?
The first place he looked was the kitchen, not only because it was where he was currently located, but it was also the last place she'd think he'd look. As he knelt down and rummaged underneath the sink, ignoring the pain in his back, the thought came to him that maybe she could have taken them with her. He stood up too fast and almost fainted from lightheadedness. Maybe, but it still could be worth it to look. He shuffled off to the living room...
Not under the couch or loveseat or any of the chairs. Not underneath the TV stand. He even tested a few bricks in the fireplace to see if they'd move, even though he knew it was a stupid thing to do. When he was sure they weren't in the living room he trekked up-stairs...
She could have hid them in Don's old room but he was pretty sure she wouldn't. Neither of them had been in there since the letter had come in the mail from the Government about Don being a hero and bravely serving his country. Nah, going in there would ruin her. The guest bedroom maybe? He'd save that for last. Lightly leaning his weight on the wall he shuffled to their bedroom at the end of the hall...

The bedroom looked like a storm had hit it. Fred had taken everything out of the closet and thrown it onto the floor. The contents of both of their dressers were scattered everywhere. Then he had ripped the bed apart and looked for a slit in the mattress where she could have been putting them. Nothing. Nothing in the whole damn room. He sighed and sat down on the floor. At least cleaning up the mess would keep her occupied and would let her know that he meant business. His eye fell on something sticking out from under the bed. He leaned over and pulled out a wooden back-scratcher. His eyes lit up. Of course! How could he be so stupid? The most obvious place to hide something! He got down on his stomach and look into the darkness...

The only other thing besides dust bunnies and an old pair of Fred's underwear residing in the dusty confines was an oblong box. He pulled it out, and sat up with the box in his lap. The cover wasn't dusty at all. He tried to read the name out loud. "O-ujeejah." "Oujee-a fuck this shit." The sound of his voice in the empty house startled him for reasons he couldn't comprehend. It was just suddenly too quite, he could even hear the grandfather clock ticking in the downstairs living room. He took the top off the box and pulled out the board. Just a bunch of numbers and letters on it. How the fuck were you supposed to play a board game with no squares on it? He looked in the box for some dice and pulled out an oddly shaped piece of plastic that had three legs and a hole in the top. He frowned. "This shit that Ethel's into is weirder than I thought." He said out loud again, more unnerved by the silence than ever. Oh well, the board would burn very nicely, yes indeed. He threw the board off his lap and tried to stand up, using the bed for support he managed to get almost fully upright before a twinge up pain ran up spine and radiated all through his body. It was the worst pain he had ever felt in his life, worse than when he had been in that bar fight when he was 20 and had gotten hit on the head with a whiskey bottle that refused to break. This was a crippling pain, one that announced itself whenever he tried to move. Fred slumped to the floor in agony...

To Fred it seemed like he had lain on the floor for an eternity waiting for Ethel to come home. He watched a beam of sunlight from the window as it moved across the ceiling. It took him back to when he was a kid and he used to just lie on the floor when no one was home and watch the day go by. It was a peaceful comforting memory and he slipped into it like it was a warm bath. He was almost asleep when a noise woke him and he sat up too quickly and his back screamed in pain. When he was sure he wasn't going to pass out, he opened his eyes and saw that the weird plastic thing had moved. It was on the left side of the board, now it was on top of it. Very carefully he moved his body around so he was lying on his stomach, facing the board. He propped himself up on one elbow and stared at the pale yellow board.
The plastic thing was resting on the middle of the board between the letters and numbers. Slowly, testing to see how his back would re-act, he got into a sitting position so he could see the thing better. "What the Hell," He thought and reached out to grab the plastic thing. As his fingers brushed it, it did a half spin and ended up pointing towards the number six. Fred laughed despite the pain. Damn crazy thing, he thought, must be magnets in it or something. Before it could move again he grabbed the plastic piece and held it with both hands like he had seen his wife do the few times he had crashed her " crazy old biddies" party to get to the kitchen for more beer. He remembered her asking it questions...
"What is my wife doing right now?" He asked out loud.
The piece started to move while Fred stared wide-eyed.
C-A-R-D-S. It spelled out.
"Well I'll be goddamned." He said softly and laughed.
"Are you alive?"
The piece moved first from "yes" and then to "no" before stopping.
"What the hell's that supposed to mean?"
D-E-A-D. The board replied.
Fred took his hands off the piece and stared at the board, suddenly shaken. This wasn't right, what kind of board game did...then he mentally slapped himself. It's a stupid board game, he thought and picked up the box. It's made by Parker Brother's for Christs sake. He threw the box into the far corner and put his hands back on the piece.
"When is Ethel coming back?" He asked.
N-E-V-E-R. The board spelled out.
Fred took his hands off the board but steeled himself again and grabbed the piece with his fingers.
"Why?" He asked angrily.
C-A-R C-R-A-S-H.
Fred's mind reeled. What the fuck was going on? How was this possible?
"How do you know this?" He asked.
The piece didn't move.
"How goddammit? ANSWER ME!" His hands were shaking as the piece moved under his fingers.
H-E-R-E W-I-T-H M-E.
"Who are you?" He whispered, his voice suddenly chocked off.
The board didn't reply and Fred was too shaken to ask it again. The piece moved on it's own without being asked and pointed towards a large "goodbye" in the center of the board.
"No." Fred whispered. "NO, come back! I need to know..." The piece flew out from under his fingers and stopped on "Yes" at the top of the board.
"Are you still here?" The piece spun around again and pointed towards no. Then it spelled out, without Fred touching it:
N-E-W S-P-I-R-I-T.
H-E-L-P Y-O-U O-U-T.
Fred laughed a nervous laugh. "Yes, yes...I...I want to know how to get my wife back. can I bring..." The piece moved again.
3-R-D S-T-A-I-R O-P-E-N.
"What...what does that mean?"
The board didn't answer.
"Goddammit! What the fuck does that mean?"
Angrily he threw the board across the room where it landed by it's box.
"Stupid old man," He cursed himself. "You're losing your fucking mind, that's what's happening."
He was tired of the bedroom, it was a summer afternoon and it was getting too hot. He decided to crawl downstairs and try and get to a phone. Or at least a beer. On his hands and knees he slowly made his way out the door and down the hallway...
It wasn't until his face was right on it did he understand what the board had meant. When he tried to pull on the third stair for leverage in his face first crawl down the stairs it gave gave a bit under his hand and something popped in his head. Ignoring the incredible pain in his back he used the stair-rail to pull himself up and propped himself on his knees. The stair pulled up easily and just like he thought there would be, there was a space underneath. With trembling hands he pulled the box out of its dusty confines and shuffled down the stairs clutching it in his hands...

Settled in his favorite armchair he opened the box and pulled out the thick book inside. There was nothing on the faded red front cover and no title on the first page. He took his reading glasses from the lamp table and read what was on the first page...
When he had gotten all the way through the book it was almost dark outside. Fred felt happy. In fact he felt happier than he ever had in his entire life. The pain in his back was almost gone and he felt at least fifteen years younger. He jumped out of the chair and ran to the kitchen.
Opening the knife drawer, he puzzled over it's contents. Which one would work best?, he thought. After careful consideration he took out a medium size Ginsu knife that Ethel had bought off the nice smiling man on the TV. If it was good enough to cut chunks of marble, it would certainly serve his current purposes. Fred laughed and shambled down the hallway and out the door....

When Fred got back home, it was well after dark. His wife beater was soaked through with blood which also covered a good part of the rest of his body. He wore a large grin that seemed to take up the whole of his face. In his left hand was a bucket that had he had previously used to collect trimmings when he had mowed the lawn. Breathing heavily he shuffled into the living room and set the bucket down in the center. Steeling himself he smashed the glass coffee-table top with his bare fist and took a chunk of it in his hand. Never losing his mad-man's grin he slammed the glass into the palm of his hand, grunting as he cut through skin and tendons. Then he held his hand over the bucket and watched the blood drip into it.
After he felt enough of himself had been shed, like the book had said, he dipped his hand into the bucked and brought it out covered in blood and gore.
Following the books instructions he made a circle in blood on the carpet and drew a pentagram in the middle of it. Then he stepped out of the circle and dumped the bucket on his head, laughing as he drenched himself. Crawling back into the circle, he slumped into a praying position, his eyes closed in reverence. When he felt the spirits of the old ones filling his body he opened his eyes and put his hands up in the air.
"Oh old ones, great and powerful beings from beyond the stars. I beseech you this night. Come to my aid. I am a loyal follower and have done your duty well. I ask but one thing in return. I am truly not worthy and it is your right as divine creatures of darkness to deny it to me, but I ask you humbly to bring my Earth wife Ethel back to me. My soul will be yours forever if you do this one thing for me. I beseech you come on to me. COME ON TO ME NOW!"
The noise that accompanied his plea wasn't what he had expected. The book had said that the skies would open up and poor rain and thunder down upon the world. It had said that a portal to the underworld would open and Ethel would come back as if nothing had ever happened. Instead there was a slight scratching noise like a key fiddling in the door lock and a slight crack of pressure as the door opened. In stepped his wife with several bags from the local mall in her hands.
"Fred? Fred honey I'm home! I brought Charley's! Your favorite sandwich even! I..."
That was when she saw him: sitting in the middle of the living room floor drenched in blood. Then he stood up and ran towards her, arms outstretched.
"Darling!" He said and reached to embrace her...


Anonymous said...

OK, not bad. But u don't say anything about how he came back all bloody? From what! or r u just supposed to assume something...

Kurdt said...

I wanted to leave it up to the reader. I thought it'd be creepier that way. Thanks for reading!