Words: Veronika Gikas (she/her)
Artwork: Joanna Stawincka (she/her)
This article features in our third print issue of the year, Ashes to Ashes.
All I could think about was my mother. I know she can see me reaching beyond the grave, and running my hands over the indented wood, reminiscent of the haunted floors of my childhood home. She doesn’t understand why I won’t listen to her anymore, but I’m telling her that the same thing that happened to her won’t happen to me. People will still see me.
I know where to begin, but I am finding courage in the confines of my flat on the scratchy carpet of my room. I suppose that’s the nature of this isn’t it.
It’s dark and every 99 cent candle I own is lit and casting shadows on my peeling walls. There’s a tap dripping in my kitchen but I’m too lazy to go fix it right now.
I place my fingers on the gentle heart of the pointer, and I cannot tell if I am meant to be doing this alone. If a ghost comes to possess me it can only help my life, I think. Do you think people who have a lot going for them are touching ouija boards alone?
I suppose it can only make me funnier. If I tell someone your mother sucks cocks in Hell! people might receive it as a bit.
Ha ha funny, she’s doing the possession scene from THE EXORCIST, right?
I am beginning to feel like I am not alone anymore. Which would be quite a beautiful sentiment if this was under typical circumstances.
I call out:
‘Is there anyone in this room with me that would like to communicate?’
‘Is there someone here with me now? If you are, can you drag the pointer to YES?’
My fingers are slowly pulled to the edge of the board, and it’s become so cold that it feels like I’ve been pushed against a cement floor in the dead of winter.
……….Y E S
My brain is thumbing through every decision and I can’t make out how fast my heart is beating. I am starting to second guess the whole possession bit.
I wait a few beats until I can muster something again:
‘Can I ask you something?’
……The message is delayed by a few seconds suspended in Hell, and my fingers are gently guided again:
I S T H A T N O T T H E P O I N T
S O R R Y…
P R O C E E D
I scramble for a question and the only thing that shoots to my mind is this:
‘……Can you see me when I….tou–’ I stop my whisper after my hand races to find the two very powerful letters of:
‘Oh… wow. Do you watch….’
G O O D B Y E
‘Wait! Wait! I’m sorry I didn’t mean to make things weird. I’d like to ask you one more question, and that’s it, I’ll leave you alone.’
No damage is irreparable.
‘Do you know when I’ll die?’
There’s no response but my ears begin to ring.
My candles are going out one by one, and they’re getting closer to me.
I realize the tap has stopped dripping and my focus is pulled to something centimeters away from my right ear.