At quitting time, Kim gathered up her things and wished her friends luck. Both she and Angela had made their feelings known. There was nothing more they could offer on the subject. No one doubted her sincerity or concern.
“Please, be careful. Okay?” Kim’s voice was heavy with emotion.
“Don’t worry,” Marie replied. “Besides, we might not be able to make contact and you’ll have gotten yourself all worked up over nothing.”
“I hope you’re right, Marie. I hope you’re right.”
Gillian walked her friend out to her car, reiterating there was no need to worry. The feeling of dread in Kim’s stomach said otherwise.
When Gillian returned, Marie and Kenj had set up small table surrounded by three chairs, in the center of the room. The board was in the center with the planchette resting on the table next to it. Candles flickered on nearby surfaces, making Gillian wonder what OSHA would think of such a fire hazard.
“I was starting to wonder if Kim and Angela talked you out of it,” Marie teased, throwing Gillian a wink. “Looks like we’re all set up … I think it would be best if you ask the questions since you knew Seth and we didn’t. He’s more likely to respond to your energy than mine.”
“I read that someone ought to write everything down. Technically, they don’t actually take part but when that pointer really gets going it helps to have someone jotting every letter and number down.” Kenj added. “Do you want me to do that, Detective or would you rather?”
“You can do it, if you don’t mind taking the back seat on the action,” said Marie. “I’d like to be involved and I can’t help wondering if Kim and Angela might have made you a little nervous. It’s best to approach a situation like this without uneasiness or negativity. Positive energy is our best shot at making a connection and we desperately need some answers.”
While Kenj settled in with a pad and a pen, Marie turned off the overhead lights so that only the dancing flames atop each candle provided light. The three ladies took a deep, cleansing breath, exhaled, and then nodded to signify they were ready. At the same time, Gillian and Marie placed their fingertips on the planchette.
“We’re trying to reach my dear friend, Seth Lee. Seth, if you are here, please speak to us. We need your help.” Gillian’s voice was clear and calm even though excited little butterflies danced in her stomach. “Seth, are you here with us tonight?”
The planchette did not move. Marie looked deep into Gillian’s eyes and gave her a nod of encouragement.
“Don’t give up,” Kenj whispered. “Sometimes it takes a few minutes. Try again.”
Gillian called out again to her departed friend on the other side. Beneath her fingertips, the piece of plastic trembled then slid a couple of millimeters.
“Seth, is that you? Are you here with us?” This time the planchette moved back and forth across the board. “Marie, are you moving it?” she demanded.
Not wanting to interrupt whatever connection they’d established, Marie shook her head no. The detective’s wide eyes reflected sincerity and honesty.
“We are looking to make a connection with Seth Lee. Seth, are you there?”
The pointed end moved rapidly to the corner marked ‘YES’.
“Seth? Is it really you?” Gillian’s eyes clouded and her chin quivered when the plastic under her hand slid away from YES circled the board once and then returned. “We want to find whoever hurt you and stop them from harming others. Do you know who attacked you?”
Faster now, the planchette jerked away from the ‘YES’ mark and made sloppy ovals before returning to the same affirmative marker.
“Good! We need you to give us a name.”
Erratic, rapid, circular motions gave way to loops like an infinity symbol or a figure eight before landing on ‘NO’. Marie had to bite her tongue to keep from saying anything aloud but her inner voice muttered a few choice profanities.
“Seth, we want to stop them from hurting others. You don’t want anyone else to be killed, do you?”
The pointer circled back to ‘NO’ which gave Gillian hope. She knew Seth was always reasonable; it just took time to get him to come around sometimes.
“Good, we don’t want anyone else to get hurt either. Together, we can stop them! Now, please, tell us who did it.”
Their hands swirled across the board and Marie drew in a sharp breath when they moved too close to NO but they did not return to it. Instead, the clear circle encompassed the letter C. Kenj scribbled it onto her pad, followed by A then N. Frantic circles whipped across the board until it settled on the letter T. After several seconds, there was no movement.
“C’mon, Seth. Don’t tell me you can’t!” Gillian groaned. “Yes you can. Give me the name.”
Before her sentence finished the planchette was moving again in rapid swirls. Marie made a mental note to look up the meaning of an infinity sign on the Ouija Board later. The letters came in rapid succession: SCARRED.
“Yeah, Kim told me about the scar. It looks like someone branded you, she said but it was an open wound when she first saw you.”
The pointer went back to ‘NO’ making Jillian sigh in frustration. Kenj held up her pad. It had one word: scared, followed by a question mark.
“Was it scared? Is that what you were saying?”
‘Yes’ was the reply which quickened the breathing of all three girls.
“You don’t have to be scared, Seth. Not anymore … we’re going to catch whoever is responsible. And when we do, Marie is going to arrest them. Did I tell you she’s a detective?”
“Sorry, I should have introduced you. She wants to help but she needs a name, Seth. Please?”
Faster than ever, their hands circled the board. Gillian wondered if she’d pushed too hard. Seth’s agitation showed in the rapid, jerking, movements but she said nothing. The first letter, D, appeared for just moment before the spinning recommenced. The rest followed in quick succession, almost too fast for Kenj to see: E-V-I-L. Startled, Gillian lifted her hands for just a second and planchette flew across the board and struck Marie just below her collar bone on the left side. Before any of the ladies could react, the candles flickered for a second, as if a breeze blew through the room, and then the overhead fire sprinklers doused the entire room in icy water.“
"Damn it!” Kenj shouted. “Where’s the turn off valve?”
**Please return next Tuesday for another installment of Specter of Death**