Never Summon The Dead...
My grandmother drummed that into me from no age. It was the golden rule in our household. You never summoned the dead, especially not when the veil was thin. She had good reason to warn us, as witches we have power over the world around us, but more than that, we have another reason to be cautious. My great, great, great grandfather was one of the most powerful necromancers in the world. While his gift hasn't appeared in our bloodline since, Grandma was always worried that something bad would happen if we messed with the dead. Apparently he started a little zombie uprising. Which wiped out his entire village. So yeah, we didn't mess with the dead.
As a child, I had no interest in doing anything like that, but as a teenager...well, I rebelled. What can I say? I was hot headed, hormonal and I got it into my head that it would be a fun thing to do for a Halloween party with my friends. I could imagine the look on their faces when a spirit actually appeared. I never got to see that look, because Gran burst into the room and dragged me home by the ear. I still don't know how she found out. That woman had an uncanny way of knowing I was up to something, before I was up to it.
After the two hour lecture, and the month long grounding, I decided never to try that again. And I haven't. Until now.
I didn't want to. I knew better. But when Gran died last week, she left me her house, an attic full of dark magic artefacts and no idea what to do with them. I didn't know she was into this kind of thing. We always practised white magic, but the stuff up here? I shivered as I looked around the room. She hid this from the whole family, then left me to clean up her mess.
Why me? I have better things to do on a Saturday.
But no, I was here, trying to figure out a mystery I wanted nothing to do with. I had gone over every possibility in mind. I had searched the house for a letter or a message of some kind, but I couldn't find anything. I even called the family lawyer to see if she had left anything for me. She didn't even have a proper will in place. It was last updated fifteen years ago, leaving me the house.
The only way I could think to speak to her, to find out what was going on, was to summon her. She'd kill me if I even suggested it, but right now I didn't see any other option.
Picking up the ouija board from the shelf, I laid it out on a makeshift table - really an overturned crate with a sheet draped over it.
I can't believe I am doing this.
With a shaking hand, I placed the planchette on the board. Taking a deep breath, I said, "I summon the spirit of Rose Whitehead. Are you there, Gran?"
Nothing happened. Of course not. All this time Gran had been overreacting. I can't believe I bought into her crap.
"Damn it. Now what am I going to do? I mean really, what did I do to deserve this?"
The planchette suddenly jerked across the board. I yanked my hands away, my heart hammering in my chest. It moved to the letter M.
Is it Gran?
The planchette moved again, this time to the letter U. Grabbing my phone, I typed the letters down as it spelled them out. My blood ran cold when I saw the final result - MURDERER.
Who was murdered? Gran?
That was impossible. She collapsed at a bridge game, from a heart attack.
"Who is this?" I asked.
The planchette began to move again. This time it spelled out MALCOLM.
Who the hell was Malcolm? I didn't know anyone with that name. Had I accidentally summoned the wrong ghost?
"Uh, who are you? How do you know me?"
This time the planchette spelled out something I was not expecting - YOU KILLED ME.
"I've never killed anyone. This is obviously a mistake, so I ask that you depart spirit."
I had no idea if that was the correct thing to say, it wasn't like I had a lot of experience.
A wind picked up in the room and a horrible wailing came from the board. Clapping my hands over my ears, I backed up against the wall. What had I done?
I watched in horror as a hand emerged from the board. Or rather the shape of a hand, covered in the black paint of the board. I could even see the letters etched into it. Another hand appeared and something began to rise up our of the board.
With a scream I got to my feet and ran for the door. Grabbing the doorknob, I yanked on it, but it wouldn't open.
"Help me!" I screamed, banging on the wood. There was no one else in the house, but someone had to hear me. I didn't want to die up here.
The figure of a man was now climbing out of the board. I watched in horror as the black paint seemed to flow off the figure, leaving an actual person behind. The man stared at me with dark eyes, his mouth set in a scowl. "Murderer."
My brain couldn't take all of this in. I kept yanking on the door and miraculously it opened. Throwing myself through it, I slammed the door shut behind me and spelled it shut.
A moment later, the man threw himself into it, screaming curses at me.
"I'll get you, Elizabeth. You can't escape me. I'm going to make you pay."
Who the hell was Elizabeth?
Sinking onto the steps, I tried to calm down. Whoever this guy was, he had clearly mistaken me for someone else. Someone who murdered him. And now he wanted revenge.
I guess this is why you don't mess with the dead.
The story will be continued soon....
S. K. Gregory lives in Northern Ireland, where she writes full time. Keep up to date with all of S. K. Gregory's book releases via her website.
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”