Unnatural Scares

January 11, 2009
By Katie LeClair, Topsfield, MA

We were all mostly laughing along and talking to each other. I say mostly because no one heard me speak. No one heard me tie with noni in the game we were playing previously. I wasn’t speaking quietly, quite loud in fact, it’s just that they weren’t listening to me, only to each other. I wasn’t part of the each other.
When we went upstairs to her room, I planned on curling up in the circlular chair I was going to sleep in and listen to my ipod and read. Well, until they decided to play a certain “game”.
“Sweet!” Christie yelled, excitement in her eyes. “My mom packed my Ouija board! Do you guys want to play?” Everyone looked excitedly at each other, all saying yes. Well, all except me.
“No!” I yelled. “We can’t! It’s not a game! It’s not some toy!” I know Christie heard me because she looked right at me. Well, apparently I was finally being too loud to be ignored. She just looked at me like I was being a baby as she walked over to the moonlit square on the floor from the skylight.
I remembered my mother’s words about Ouija boards. If your friends do decide to play with a Ouija board, just picture a bubble, or an egg around you. It really does work, no matter how ridiculous it sounds.
I knew I should have just droned it out with music, or pretended they weren’t doing anything, but how could I? Those words were haunting my memory, and there was no way that I’d be able to play.
I could feel myself hyperventilating, thinking that maybe the egg thing wouldn’t work, that maybe a ghost would follow me home. I did the only thing I could. I got up and ran.
No one noticed me. No one looked up when the seat creaked as I got up.
I ran downstairs to the first floor and just huddled on the stairs, cell phone and book in hand. I felt like it wasn’t enough, like so long as I knew they were playing that “game” that I would forever be linked to it.
Staying huddled on the carpeted stairs, I tried to breath evenly, to take deep breaths, only it wasn’t working. Instead I was just getting light headed.
I quickly saw two bright flashes of white light. I could feel my breaths getting shallower and shallower, my grip on my book getting tighter and tighter.
I could hear slightly laughter coming from above me. What could be so funny about something so scary? I thought to myself.
I was suddenly hearing beeps coming from everywhere, everywhere and nowhere. I started rocking back and forth, and attempted to control my breathing. But it was hopeless. My breaths were often and shallow, and soon my hands were getting a tingly sensation and I was seeing spots in my vision.
Trying to keep my mind off of everything, I decided to try focusing on the egg around me and only around me.
Picture an egg. Picture an egg. Picture an egg, I kept saying and thinking over and over, imagining an egg or a bubble around me. At some point I tried to get it around me friends, but I knew that was helpless. I couldn’t properly protect myself, there was no way I’d be able to also protect my friends.
It suddenly all stopped, including my friends laughter. Rocking back and forth, I tried once again to calm myself, to not worry so much over a silly game.
You aren’t even playing, I don’t know why you think a ghost is going to follow you from down here, I thought to myself. And the answer was…I don’t know. I didn’t know why I was so freaked out. I was fine seeing scary movies, reading books that are far more scary than any ghost could be, and yet a simple game that no one took seriously, or even understood, terrified me beyond belief. It wasn’t natural. It wasn’t normal. No one else was freaking out like I was, was worried that they’d bring a ghost home with them. No one. They were with each other. But I wasn’t a part of that each other. I wasn’t part of them. I was alone; alone in a dark hallway and it terrified me.
I suddenly heard footsteps above me. I started breathing even faster, terrified of what was going to happen, what was going to happen to me. I looked up, shaking beyond belief. I suddenly saw the curtain move and I lost it
I threw my book in the air, shaking uncontrollably and screamed. With terrified eyes, I saw it was only Paige. Terrified, I collapsed on the ground, hands still tingling from breathing so heavily, shaking uncontrollably, and sobbing.
Did they see how scared I was? Did they see how much this hurt me, how much I couldn’t handle it? No. “Jeez Katie! You scared us!” That was it. It was all about them, standing there and laughing about it. They were obviously not scared nearly as bad as I was. Were they curled in a ball on the floor? Were they shaking or sobbing? No, they were laughing about it all. They didn’t know what scared was.
It was Steph who finally caught on, who figured out that I wasn’t laughing along with them, smiling hugely.
“Hey, Katie, are you okay?” She said softly. No one else heard her but me. Because I was listening. I was listening to everything despite what just happened. Slowly, carefully, she stepped down the stairs and began rubbing my back. When everyone noticed I still wasn’t okay, they finally caught on too and came down to try and comfort me.
They were all asking me questions, like whether I was okay, or what happened, and pointless questions like that. I tried to answer them, but I couldn’t. My mouth wouldn’t form the words over my tearless sobs. So I just sat there, crumpled in a ball, leaning into Stephanie, the only one who was truly looking and seeing.
I eventually was able to let two words leave my lips. “Th-th-the…Ouija…” I said between sobs. I sat up and leaned on Stephy’s leg, grateful for her comfort. Christie looked guilty, like it was all her fault.
Well it was... a tiny part of me said. I shoved it away, not wanted to deal with it.
After countless minutes just staying in Stephanie’s arms, trying to stop my leg from shaking, she finally said something to lift the mood.
“Stop crying!” She said in a mix between tears and laughter. “You’re making me cry! I’m serious! When people cry, I cry too! So stop crying!”
I laughed with her, still trying to stop my tears, and stop both of my legs from shaking. IT wasn’t easy though. When I stopped one leg from shaking, the other would start. When I stopped that one from shaking, the first leg would start shaking again and so the process went on. But talking did help.
When Steph and I were laughing, Noni decided that it would be a smart idea to start talking about what went on while they played Ouija. They seriously knew nothing about that “game”.
Shakely, we all eventually got up and went to sit in the living room, just talking. Of course, the topic drifted to the Ouija board, and of course, that’s when I remained silent, not wanted to recall anything that happened.
By the time we went upstairs, I felt happy again, like I had felt before Beth had left to go home. I felt included again. I was once again a part of the each other. But when we did start to traverse the stairs to go to bed, I was terrified. Was the board still out? Were they planning on stupidly continuing the game? Had Christie finally realized that bringing the Ouija board was the biggest mistake she could have made? All the questions swirled around my head as I silently followed the girls up to the third floor. To my relief, someone had managed to put the same away. I couldn’t see the bog, and that’s how I wanted it to be.
Thankfully, instead of going back to that same topic, we talked about anything but. And I was once again part of the each other.
For the rest of the night, my unnatural fear was gone.

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