Authors: Belinda Frisch
Tags: #Fiction, #Horror
“Yet here you are doing both. I’m proud of you.”
“I’m not kidding, Harmony. I need you to swear you’ll only call my cell from now on. I know how you like to egg her on.”
“You have my word.”
Something fell over as Adam took a sharp corner and Brea saw Harmony’s bag, the one with the Ouija board in it, toppled over behind the seat.
Adam turned on the road to Oakwood Cemetery and, at that point, she didn’t have to ask where they were going.
“Nothing like returning to the scene of the crime.”
The thinning trees swayed in the forceful breeze and the leaves rustled in waves. Adam parked under the same lighting-struck oak as Harmony had the night before and turned off the truck.
“End of the line.” He pointed down the narrow path between the headstones. “Truck’s too big to squeeze through.”
Brea reluctantly opened her door. “Are you sure we should be here?”
Harmony jumped down from the driver’s side and reached across for the bag with the Ouija board. “The cops aren’t coming back, Brea. Relax.”
Brea’s foot tangled in the seat belt and she fell out the passenger’s door with a thud. “Stupid thing.” She looked at Adam. “Why can’t you have a normal truck like everyone else? Jacked up piece of junk.” She patted the dust from the butt of her jean capris.
Adam laughed and climbed back in. “You done?”
Harmony hooked her arm around Brea’s shoulder. “Yeah, she’s done. Come on.”
“He’s not staying?”
“I told him to go.” Harmony blew Adam a kiss. “See you in a couple hours.”
“Call me if you want me to come back sooner.”
The truck revved, fogging the air with a cloud of dark gray exhaust.
Brea waited until he was out of sight to confront Harmony. “You plan on trying to talk to Tom, don’t you? You planned on it last night, too. God, I’m so stupid.”
“Brea, I need this.”
“Need what? Talking to Tom is only going to make things worse.”
“I need more information. If I don’t know who is after me, I can’t figure out why. The name Tom isn’t enough to go on. Believe me, I’ve tried.”
“You honestly think he’ll tell you anything else?”
“If he doesn’t, at least I tried.”
Brea followed Harmony past the newer headstones into what they called the “Lost Souls Department”—the oldest burial plots hidden behind a row of full pines and her favorite place to get rubbings.
Harmony pushed through the sappy, pinecone-filled branches and pulled a pack of Newports from her pocket. “I think we stay out of the mainstream this time.” She shook a joint out of the cigarette pack and sat on the cracked granite step of the Smith mausoleum.
what they found in your locker?”
Harmony bit off the excess of rolling paper and spat it on the ground. “They didn’t find shit. The dog might have smelled it, but there wasn’t anything they could use against me. Just a coat with a couple of seeds in the pocket.” She lit the end, blew out the burst of flame, and took a drag. “Here, this will help you relax.” She held it out to Brea.
“You know I don’t do that.” She pushed Harmony’s hand away. “Is that another gift from Lance? Like the car?”
“See, now that’s not fair. He lent it to me.”
Brea gave her a look of disbelief. “You should have told me. You know, my father called and I think after this whole car theft thing, my mother’s going to ship me off to him for the summer.”
Harmony took another long hit and talked while holding it in, making her voice sound awkwardly stilted. “At least you have a father. I don’t even know who mine is.”
“So, what, that makes it okay to do what you want? To steal cars? To screw random guys?”
“You want to know what happened with Lance? Honestly, I didn’t think he’d wake up. I put a couple sleeping pills in his drink and I thought I was in the clear. I also didn’t think he’d be stupid enough to go to the cops after having sex with a minor. I was going to bring it back.”
“And what did you tell Adam? I mean, he posted bail. You obviously had to tell him
“I told him what he wanted to hear. That’s the great thing about being damaged goods, Brea, you can get away with just about anything. Besides, he knows the situation. I’m staying with him because it beats the alternative. There’s hot water in the shower, food in the fridge, and a fuck in the bed. He gives me what I need without making me feel like a freak.”
“Well, if you’re so honest and he’s so understanding, why did you ask him to leave just now?”
Harmony took the board out of her bag and set it on the level patch of ground between her and Brea. “Because he doesn’t need to know everything.”
“Because you haven’t told him about Tom.”
“You’re right. I haven’t. What am I supposed to say? That I think a ghost is trying to kill me? That he makes me cut? That I see things that aren’t there? Adam accepts that I’m crazy, Brea, but that’s asking too much—even from him.”
Harmony set down the planchette. In the daylight, the board looked harmless. It was just a lettered piece of wood and a spade-shaped indicator. A game, Brea told herself, steeling her nerves to use it. She placed her hands on the planchette.
“Let’s just get this over.”
Harmony snuffed the joint out in the grass and pocketed the roach. “About time.” She scratched a spot on her head where the shortest of the cut was starting to grow in. “God, this itches. Is there anyone here that wants to speak with us?” The cemetery was quiet except for the sound of crisp leaves and the occasional whirring of tires out on the highway. “Hello? Does anyone want to talk to us?”
Brea looked up at Harmony. “That was fast.”
“Who is here? What is your name?”
“G? that’s new.”
“Does your last name start with ‘G’?”
“Will you tell me your last name?”
“Ok, I get it. Tom, is this you?”
The planchette moved to “yes”.
“If it’s really you, what year did you die?”
“That was easy. What month did you die?”
The planchette slid to the end of the number line and started counting down backwards. Nine, eight—slow at first—seven, six, five—faster.
“Brea, pick up your hands.” Harmony held hers up.
Brea followed. “Why, what’s wrong?”
“Goddamned Tom. He’s always pulling this shit. Letting him go through the letters or numbers backwards
release his spirit.”
Brea backed away. “Release it to where?”
“Theoretically, release it to possess someone…but I don’t believe that can actually happen.”
“See, this is exactly the kind of crap I was talking about. This is why I don’t want to mess with this thing.”
Harmony lit a bundle of dried sage and wafted the smoke around them. “It’ll be fine now. Just put your hands back. He’s finally talking. I can’t stop yet.”
“Well I can.” Brea stood, backed up, and tapped her foot on a flat marker buried mostly in the ground.
“Brea, it’s fine. I swear.”
“I said ‘no’.”
Harmony reached up, grabbed Brea’s arms, and pulled her hard to her knees. “How about, it’s not a choice, then? We do this or he wins. He won’t talk to me alone anymore. I tried.”
Brea slapped her away. “See, this, right here, this is my too far.” She stood again, limping from the pain in her right knee where it hit a half-buried grave marker.
“It’s all about you, isn’t it? Little miss perfect. If you don’t help me, how are you going to get home? Tom knows about you. He’s watching you, too, and it’s only a matter of time. He’ll get what he wants from both of us.”
Brea opened her phone and started to dial Jaxon.
“Who are you calling? Abercrombie? You think he wants to help you?” Harmony scoffed. “You know what I know about him? He’s only with you to keep you away from me.”
“What are you talking about? Harmony, now you’re sounding paranoid.”
“It’s not paranoia. I heard him say it to that jock, retard buddy of his that day they crashed my locker. You asked me where I was, remember?”
The call went to voice mail and Brea dialed again. “Yeah, I remember.”
“I was in the janitor’s supply closet down the hall from our lockers. I saw you on the phone and I saw Jaxon, and Rachael, and what’s-his-name. He said his father needs some zoning thing approved by your mother. It’s a hoax, Brea. You’re the butt of his fucking joke.”
“You’re crazy. You just can’t stand the idea that I could have someone, too.”
“Think about it. You or that slut Rachael? If you were Jaxon, who would you pick?”
“You believe that? After everything we’ve been through? All the times I helped you out? You think I’d lie about something like this?”
Finally, Jaxon answered the phone.