Once her guests have settled, Nancy begins.
“First things first, I would like to thank you all for coming to my party! Next, before we get started with this, I would like to allocate some special roles.”
She puts a nervous-looking Sophie out of her misery first. “Sophie – you, Declan and James are all the energisers.”
It doesn’t seem to reassure Sophie, so Nancy goes on, “Don’t worry, all you have to do is sit here and let the rest of us look like fools.” Nancy smiles in her direction to reassure her, prompting a tiny smile back.
Reassured, she continues, “Okay, Eve, you are interpreter. Hence the pen and paper. Your job is to write down any answers, numbers or letters we get from the board.”
Eve grins. “Gotcha.”
Then, staring her straight in the eye, Nancy declares Lucy the designated ‘screamer’.
“What the hell’s a screamer, Nance?”
She chuckles. “Basically, a screamer is the person who you think will wet themselves before anyone else and run home crying.”
Lucy gives her a knowing look, “Well I think that title should belong to you, Nance. Don’t you?”
“Maybe, but I am the leader since it’s my party and my Ouija.”
Lucy looks away and takes a sip of her drink. No-one else seems to have a problem with their position, so leader Nancy decides that it’s time to play. She turns the music down to a whisper.
Pressing her fingers down on both bottom corners of the board, she drags it along the table towards her. “Now. To start we all must concentrate and have no negative thoughts, or this won’t work. Alright?”
Everybody nods, and Nancy places one finger from each hand on the planchette. Trying not to giggle, she asks the first question of the night.
“Is anyone there?”
The room is deadly silent; only the drone of the bass-driven music can be heard. She tries to make eye contact with her guests, but they’re all staring down at the board, waiting for her fingers to move. Jeez, they really are taking this seriously.
Nothing happens, so she asks again.
“Is there anyone there who wishes to make contact with us?”
They all stare; mesmerized by the piece of wood and the hope that something might just happen. The kitchen door creaks and then pushes open. Lucy screams. Everybody, including the men, jump up off their chairs and head sharpish for the other end of the room.
With every hair on her body stood to panicked attention, Nancy tries to open the lounge door with her trembling hands... until she realises what’s happened when she notices her cat strolling in like he owns the place.
It prompts the gang to burst out into laughter, breaking the onset of tension. Eventually, they manage to compose themselves, all admitting out loud that this Ouija lark is actually quite fun and, hey, they should try to really contact someone. This time with the doors closed, so no cats can further impede.
Making their way back to the table, Nancy scoops up Salem. Bending over and shooing her little friend off out the door, Nancy feels inappropriate eyes burning holes through her dress.
Twisting her head to see who is looking, she’s surprised that not a single one of them is peeking her way. And yet... the feeling of being watched still lingers. Straightening her chair back up from the panic before, she notices that the scent of the air has changed; it smells unfamiliar, musky, and manly. The flames of the candles are flickering more aggressively, as if there were a window open. Putting it down to James’s aftershave and the fact that they all just ran across the room, she takes her seat back at the head of the table and they start again.
“Is there anyone there?” Nancy asks, her fingers back on the wooden heart. They’re left hanging again, so she dashes to the kitchen to get the instruction booklet. Opening the cutlery drawer, that being watched feeling appears again and a cold breeze strokes the back of her bare neck. It sends shivers through her entire body. Snatching up the booklet, she darts back to the safety of her friends.
With the right passage at the ready and a number of sentences to choose from, she returns her fingers to the planchette and says, “Spirit, please come forward and give us guidance.”
Still, nothing. Not so much as a blown-out flame. She chooses another calling. “Spirit, do you have a message for one of us?”
Again they’re left hanging. So Nancy decides to make up her own chant, if only to get a reaction out of her friends. “Spirit, are there any hot, tall, dark, handsome men out there who are good in bed?”
Everyone giggles. In the midst of the laughter, Nancy’s ear suddenly turns icy. And then she hears a whisper.
Her body freezes in fear.