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#lastteaser guys before release day 8.18.14
Itwas a week after Krysta had given me the OUIJA board and I had forgotten allabout it. Emmy, Angie, and I were outside on my lawn, within eye sight of mymother, playing Scrabble. I hated Scrabble. Our daily play dates were becomingso dull and we grasped on to whatever we could to keep our friendship alive. Wecouldn’t go biking. We couldn’t play in our fort in the forest behind Emmy’shouse. We couldn’t do anything fun.
Angieplaced the tiles down to make the word Donkey on the board after Emmy playedthe word Rocket. I threw my pieces up in the air and growled out infrustration. Stupid Scrabble. At theleast, I could have been winning but no. I was so done with being a boredtwelve year old. Mom looked up from the newspaper ten feet from us and gave mea disapproving look. It was actually the look she saved for when I was being atotal brat. I was getting that look a lot lately.
“JulesDelaney! Why are you acting like you are two years old?” Mom snapped at me. Thetwo other girls looked wide eyed as their eyes jumped from me to my mother andback. I started to cry and ran into the house, yelling that I hated my life.This was the worst summer ever. Not even the glorious time I had had at campcould make this summer a memorable one. I felt like a hostage. No, I was a hostage.
Ithrew my head into my pillow on my waterbed and sobbed. Minutes later, Emmy andAngie were standing against my bedroom wall, waiting for me to stop my cryingfit. I was embarrassed that I had ruined our game.
“I’msorry that I ruined the game,” I whispered, as I hiccupped in my post cryingfit. My friends were prisoners, too, but I seemed to be the only one taking itso hard.
Bothgirls climbed on top of me and we all hugged. I heard them muttering that theyhated this summer and they just wish that we could go play on our own for justone day. I nodded, as I sniffled, and tried to muster up a smile for them.
Theycould barely smile back and we all knew why. This was the worst summer in thehistory of all summers. Emmy got up and started eyeing everything in my roomwith fascination. I did have a cool room. I watched her go through my CDs andbooks. When she saw the OUIJA Board, she picked it up. As she turned the boxover and over again, she smiled broadly.
“Iplayed this once with my cousin in her back yard! It was so much fun! I beggedmy parents for one but Mom and Dad said it wasn’t a nice board game for thehouse,” she said. She was clearly excited. She could have the stupid thing ifshe really wanted it.
“Ohyeah? Krysta gave it to me. We played it about a week ago and it didn’t doanything,” I replied, noticing Angie peering over at the box with interest.
“Let’splay it now,” Emmy clapped her hands with glee. She giggled to herself as shestarted to open the box. I inwardly sighed. I didn’t want to play another boardgame. I officially despised them all. They were mind-numbing. Nevertheless,Emmy hardly came up with ideas when we played anything so Angie and I got onthe floor and waited for Emmy to set it up. When all of our hands were inplace, we peered at one another expectantly.
“Whatdo we do?” Angie inquired.
“Wesay hello and ask them who they are,” Emmy announced, nodding in determinationdown to the board. “So I will ask. Hello. This is Jules, Emmy, and Angie. Wewant to talk to you. Are you here?”
Emmyasked as she looked at the board with rapt attention.
Isighed and just watched Emmy and Angie. I loved my friends and I didn’t knowwhat I would do without them. They were keeping me together this summer. I hadnot even noticed that the pointer was moving. Emmy smiled and Angie lookedconfused. I looked down to see that the pointer was right over “Yes”.
“Hey!Did you guys move your fingers?” I chided, startling them both. The boardhadn’t moved a lick when Krysta and I had done it. Nothing. Now it was clearly on the word “Yes” and I yelped, alittle freaked out. I started to pull my fingers back.
“No,don’t,” Emmy admonished loudly. “Leave them on or they will leave.” Who wouldleave? What the hell was going on? My upper body started to shake which made myfingers a little shaky, too. I took a few calming breaths to make them stopmoving.
Ifirmly laid my four fingers back on the pointer, never losing the connection.Thank God I didn’t break the connection or whoever would have left. Wait, did Ibelieve this? I looked around to see if the other girls were as quizzical as Iwas. Was this thing actually real? Emmy looked amused and Angie was intrigued.I was scared and hoped I wouldn’t pee my pants.
“Who…are… you?” Angie asked very slowly, but her voice shook noticeably. A hugebubble of unease rose in my chest and I swallowed really hard. I watched ourfingers–looking to see if any of them were moving, even if unintentionally. Butwe were all still. We were hardly touching the plastic triangle as it flewacross the board with disjointed speed. G–R–A–C–E
Weall gasped. Angie’s eyes got so wide, she looked like a bug. A beetle. Emmydidn’t look so amused anymore.
“Youare Grace? You were just murdered!” I screamed at the board like it was goingto yell back at me. I started to sweat and I watched the two other girls’mouths drop open. Either they couldn’t believe that we were supposedly talkingto Grace or that I had screamed murder at the board. Either way, no one wassaying anything as we waited for a response. The pointer moved to “Yes”, movedaway, and went back to “Yes”. Yes, it was Gracie. Yes, she was murdered.
Emmycleared her throat and it looked like she couldn’t get her mouth to work. “Who…who killed you?” Emmy asked. We all watched the board with rapture. The pointerdidn’t move. Several seconds went by. Just as I was going to ask again, thepointer slowly moved. We watched it as it slowly went through the three letterword. It was going so slow, we were all holding our breaths for it to stop onone letter. When it did, we looked up to each other with horrified expressions.
Thepointer quickly zipped out of our hands and landed on “GOOD BYE”. I couldn’tbreathe. Tears were in Emmy’s eyes and Angie was shaking her head in disbelief.
“Herdad killed her?” Emmy asked softly.
Icouldn’t believe it. It was a dumb game and one of my friends had just punked me.Someone punked me and that pissed me off and made me feel a bit of relief. Ithrew my head back against the wall and exhaled in relief. I would make themplay again. I will watch them very carefully.
“It’snot real,” I stated firmly. I picked the board and the pointer up and threwthem in the box. I stuck it in my closet on the highest shelf. I turned aroundto see both girls looking at me like I should know what to do next.
“Shouldn’twe tell someone?” Angie asked. Moments passed in silence.
That’swhen I knew. If Angie moved the pointer, she wouldn’t be asking me this. If itwas Emmy who moved it, she would be objecting to telling anyone. She was toonice to lie.
“Tellthem what? We played the OUIJA board and it said that Gracie’s dad killed her?”I asked incredulously.
Theyboth shrugged. I shook my head at them. Sometimes, my friends were clueless.
“Tellyou what,” I started. “Tomorrow, I will bring it to Angie’s house. We can do itagain. We can ask her if there is proof.” I said, as I started flipping througha Seventeen magazine. Pretending that I wasn’t scared was hard, but both girlslooked convinced as they made their way out of my room to meet their parentsoutside.
Minuteslater, Mom and I waved to the cars. I apologized for my outburst as she put herarm around my shoulder.
“Mom,does anyone think that Grace’s father is the one who killed her?” I tried toact cool about it but she eyed me with little bit of suspicion.
“Idon’t think so,” she said slowly and wearily.
Inodded my head and went back to my bedroom. I didn’t sleep at all that night. Iknew who had murdered Grace and there was nothing I could do about it.
Thenext day, I fumbled with the OUIJA board box before I gave up, by stuffing justthe board and the pointer into my backpack. Mom had called for me to go for thethird time and I rolled my eyes at her impatience. She didn’t know thatimportant things were being prepared and I, too, couldn’t wait to get with myfriends and try to talk to Grace again.
Thethree of us begged our parents off and headed into Angie’s room. The Offspringand Goo Goo Doll posters adorned her walls. Angie was also an amazing artistand had several of her canvases leaning up on every wall, with open and driedup oil tubes littering her floor. The smell of her room sometimes made Emmysick but for me, it was relaxing to be among creativity. I hadn’t found my realhobby yet. I liked to sing along with male lead bands because my voice was lowenough. That, however, was the extent of my musical talent.
Itook the board and pointer out of the backpack and tossed it on the bed.
“Weare not doing that where I sleep at night,” Angie scolded me. I nodded inunderstanding while Emmy gracefully took the board and with great care, as ifshe was going to break it, placed it on the floor like she had done theprevious day.
Wequickly sat down, placed our fingers at the same spots, and look at each other.Without asking a word, the pointer moved to yes, move away and then went backto yes.
“Sheis here,” Angie whispered. “What do we ask?”
Thepointer moved and we watched as it moved from D to A to D. It did this twicebefore I realized that she would probably leave again.
“Whatam I going to be when I get older?” I asked in a hurry. “Oh, this is Jules.”
Thepointer didn’t move for a while as I thought about an early death. Would I getolder? Was it like Krysta? Because last I had heard, Kent was fighting with herover the phone. A lifetime they would not last. Finally it moved. Slowly itmoved to S. It sat there for several seconds. What was I going to be when Igrew up? A singer? A songwriter? A salesman? A sales clerk? Oh god, I was goingto be pathetic.
Thepointer moved quickly to L. I couldn’t come up with anything before it moved toU. Then rapidly, it shot over to T. The pointer gained momentum and repeatedthe word. S–L–U–T. S–L–U–T. I looked at my friends in confusion.
“What’sa slut?” Emmy whispered. We both shrugged our shoulders and then Emmy asked thesame question. I didn’t see what the pointer answered but she looked just asdumbfounded as I did. I blanked out, trying to figure out what a slut was. WhenAngie asked, I was about to jump up and run to a dictionary but I couldn’t letgo before we were done. Emmy and I both stared off at something in the room asAngie got her answer. I looked down to see the last two letters were Z-Y. Angiegasped and withdrew her hands from the pointer. Without her fingers, however,the pointer made its way to GOOD BYE.
Weall started talking at once about how the board was a fake and one of us wasmoving it. When I asked them why it moved on its own without our hands theprevious morning, I was met with silence.
Angiegot up and with shaking hands, put the board and the pointer back into thebackpack. Emmy cleared her throat.
“Let’sgo play hopscotch,” she said numbly. We all nodded. As we made it out of thehouse, Angie’s mom came up and clearly she had been crying. She hugged Angie sohard and then continued to hug both Emmy and I, as well.
“Mom,what is it? Why are you crying?” Angie asked.
“Oh honey. They got him. Grace’s killer. They found evidence and he was arrestedthis morning. You are all safe now. It is so sad for her family but such arelief to us parents,” she said grimly. Her head fell back as she wiped themascara from under her eyes.
“Who?Who killed her?” Emmy shakily asked.
“Itwas her father, dear. He is a very, very sick man. But that isn’t your problemso you don’t need to worry about it one bit. Here, let me get you some candymoney and you can walk down to the corner store,” she said as she scurried outof the room and gave us each a five dollar bill. We all looked at it perplexed.
“Isit too little? I can get more,” she said, sounding panicked. “You girls havebeen holed up for three weeks now. Maybe I should get more.”
“No.”We all said it in unison and Angie’s mom nodded slowly. We filed out the frontdoor and started walking on the sidewalk in a line. We didn’t say anything allthe way to the store. We all knew who had killed Grace. But the shock that theboard was right was what made us realize that we probably couldn’t escape whowe would be as we grew up.