A Halloween story

[ Excerpted from Spooky Texas retold by S.E. Schlosser]

Oh, you hear the stories about how dangerous Ouija boards are, but hey—it’s just a game. Mary waited until midnight to begin our little game, and the four of us—Sarah, Jessie, me, and, Mary, started by asking all kinds of silly questions.

It was a strange-looking board, covered with letters and symbols. There was a plastic pointer that was supposed to move across the board at the behest of the spirits. The instructions called it a planchette.

Around one thirty in the morning, the planchette suddenly froze in Mary’s hand. It wouldn’t move, no matter how much we pushed and pulled.

Mary turned her frightened blue eyes toward me. “I’m not doing it,” she said, lifting her hands. I grabbed the planchette myself and tried to push it around, but it was fixed to the board.

Suddenly, a kind of electric shock buzzed through my fingers. I gasped and tried to pull my fingers from the planchette, but they were stuck. Mary and Jessie both tried to pull my fingers away, nothing helped. The other girls stared with wide, round eyes, as the planchette came alive under my fingers—which were still fixed to its surface—and began to move.

“Help.” The words spelled out under my hand. “Help me. Help me.”

The planchette kept moving back and forth between the h – e – l – p continuously, until Sarah cried out: “Who are you?”

“Amber.” The board spelled. “My name is Amber. I am eight years old.”

“What’s wrong?” Mary asked. Her face was so white all the freckles stood out like darkened age spots.

“Water. Danger. Help. Scared.” The words spelled out as fast as my hand could move.

“Call 9-1-1,” Mary cried suddenly. “Quick. Amber is in danger.”

By this time, Sarah was gasping into the phone. Then she hung up the phone. “They wouldn’t listen to me,” she told us, almost in tears.

At that instant, my hand was suddenly free from the planchette.

“She’s gone,” I gasped,

“See if you can contact her again,” Mary said urgently. “We need to know if she’s okay!”

I picked up the plastic planchette again. “Amber, are you there?” I asked softly, afraid of what might happen.

After a long pause, it moved slowly across the board and spelled out the words: “Too late.” And after another long pause. “Water. Flood. Drowned. Mobile. Alabama.” The planchette stopped.
I knew that Amber was gone.

None of us got much sleep that night. In the morning, we rushed through breakfast and then looked up the Alabama news on the Internet. None of us were surprised to read that there had been flash floods the night before. I read the names of those who had died in the flood. One of the victims was an eight-year-old girl named Amber.