Chapter 8

Written by: Bruce Howat

Rose and I set off at a brisk pace – within each of us is an overwhelming urgency.  My feelings mixed with excitement at the thought of unravelling a mystery, but trepidation at prying into the spirit world.  My insides are queasy, swirling with fear of the unknown.

I start to slow my pace  and Rose looks at me questioningly.

“Getting cold feet?”

“No, nausea, fear of what we are dabbling with.”

Rose stopped and gazed into my deep brown eyes, her green eyes have a unique ability to see into my soul.

“You really are nervous.  What have you dabbled in before to cause this level of fear?”

I hesitated.  My secret was my spiritual explorations in my early twenties, before I knew Rose.  How do you tell someone about the things that went on during that time?

 The silence between us stretched; the danger of our once strong relationship crumbling 


“The spirits have their own way of dealing with you; do not interfere in things you do not understand,” I semi whispered.  My voice quavering, shaking with instability.

Rose just kept looking at me.  I knew she wanted more.  I beckoned her over to a stile at the fence, gesturing her to sit.  To tell the story I needed to pace.


I walked up and down a few times before beginning to describe the youthful experimentally curious delving into the Ouija board.  It was fun and none of our small group took it seriously.  At the time, I was living with friends in a lovely two-storey villa.  I came home one afternoon and Louise was crying her eyes out.  I comforted her, puzzled with what had happened.  She went to get the vacuum cleaner and when she quickly opened the old oak carved cupboard door, the lengthy hose attacked her; no one else was present.  Louise sensed my skepticism and pulled up her moth eaten woolly jumper.  Her back covered in welt marks in the shape of  the hose with early stages of bruising. 

Two nights later, my bedroom at the top of the ornate staircase lost the silence to an eerily bizarre noise.  I lay in bed, listening and too petrified to move. It got the better of me and cautiously I crept onto the landing.  Floating above the ground floor was the baby grand piano. It drifted searching for a landing place on my floor. It was coming up towards me and then down again.  No one was touching or holding it.  The piano clunked out a wretched tune. My knees were banging out the percussion role.  I turned around and Louise and Albert were standing in their respective pink/blue candy striped nightdress and shirt. 


Peeking at Rose; her skin pale, trembling. 

“Where was the house?” her voice now nervously queries. 

“Not far from the wood.”

The silence, powerful, meaningful and appropriately prolonged merged our minds into the eddy of the spirit world.