Just before Christmas, Marian, a fifteen-year-old girl, walked into the student common room at her school and saw two of her classmates squatting around a strange- looking board. Jeroen, one of the two, invited her to join in.
‘What are you doing?’ Marian asked.
Numbers and letters were printed on the board, as well as the word YES in the upper left-hand corner, NO in the upper right corner, and GOODBYE at the bottom. A small glass was placed upside down on it.
‘This is Ouija,’ Jeroen said. ‘You put a finger on the glass and ask questions. The glass then should move by itself, answering your questions.’
Marian shook her head.
‘No thanks, I don’t know this … game, or whatever it is.’
Christel, next to Jeroen, turned to her. ‘You always nag that we don’t let you in on things. Now we are asking you and … I just don’t get you.’
Marian considered a moment longer, then sat down after all. She gave the board a closer look. The letters A to Z ran in two half-circles across the board, beneath them were the numbers 0 through 9.
‘Put your finger on the glass,’ Jeroen said.
‘Now ask a question.’
Marian thought for a moment.
‘Will we have snow this Christmas?’
Almost immediately, she felt a shaking of the glass. She did not do that herself.
Then the glass suddenly slid to YES.
Marian’s heart was beating in her throat.
‘You did that!’ Jeroen said angrily.
‘Did not!’ she denied. ‘I really didn’t!’
Jeroen’s face betrayed his doubt.
‘Ask something else.’
Marian hesitated, then said, ‘Will my uncle and aunt visit us at Christmas?’
The glass again moved by itself, and again slid to YES.
Jeroen wasn’t convinced.
‘Ask something you can’t possibly know.’
Marian gave it a moment’s thought.
‘How old is Jeroen’s father?’
The glass almost instantly slid to two numbers: 4 and 3.
Marian looked at Jeroen. He just nodded.
And, suddenly, he seemed afraid, as was Christel. Both knew the usually shy Marian wasn’t fooling them. Something else was going on, something unsettling. Marian knew it too, but she had one more question – the most important one, and she needed to ask it.
‘Who… who is speaking to us?’ she whispered at the board and the glass.
Once more she felt a shaking of the glass. Then it zigzagged beneath the tip of her finger to several letters, spelling a name: ROMULUS.
Christel jumped up. ‘This is scaring me,’ she said, with a quiver in her voice.
She turned and stamped out of the room, quickly followed by Jeroen, leaving Marian behind in a state of utter confusion.
That evening Marian was decorating the house for Christmas, together with her family. When she was in the kitchen, with her mother, she felt something cold prickle her back.
She wheeled around.
Nobody was there.
The next morning she woke up and opened the wardrobe, looking for something to wear that day. Jeans? A dress? Her gaze shifted to her warm coat, in the corner of the wardrobe.
There was a creature in the collar of the coat.
It wore a monk’s habit and its face was hidden beneath a black hood.
In a reflex Marian slammed the door of the wardrobe shut, stumbled a step backwards, shaking all over.
Had she seen that? It couldn’t be, it could not possibly be.
She gathered her courage, meaning to open the wardrobe again, to convince herself nothing was actually there. Before allowing any hesitation, she pulled open the door.
The creature was still there.
Marian stood frozen.
Somehow the creature slipped out of the coat and landed on the floor. It was something from the night, that should forever have stayed in the night. The being was covered entirely by the black habit and the hood – except for one skeletal hand that reached out for Marian.
This thing was cold and it was evil. Darkness fell over Marian – and her mind.
The next years were sheer hell for Marian. After seeing that first demon in her wardrobe, more came to haunt her. She was labelled schizophrenic by psychiatrists and lived in mental institutions for five years. Only then she met a psychic lady who really understood her problems.
According to her, Marian was not crazy, but possessed by demons. The psychic woman freed Marian of those entities.
This is a true story, but not one that will find much understanding within the regular psychiatric world. As I am not a psychic, I too find it difficult what to make of it.
However, I do know one thing: I know Marian personally and I can see with my own eyes that today she is living a normal life again. She was very unlucky that day when she joined in the Ouija game and apparently opened a gateway to Hell.
It may seem that Hell isn’t that far away, and this is very much the theme in my novel Zone.
Zone takes you to dark places and whatever is hiding in there …
More than what most of us are able to see or hear.
Perhaps much more …
For more information on Jack Lance visit his website.