Beauty In The Night . . .

1972

It was late Friday evening. I’d just walked in the door after a hard afternoon shift at Hoover’s. My thoughts were only on the pizza I was carrying, a couple cold beers, and the warm bed I would soon be sharing with Patti, my wife.

I don’t remember exactly how or where she got the idea, but as soon as I sat down on the couch my wife came out of the kitchen carrying a shopping bag. She sat down beside me, kissed me on the cheek, and pulled a game board out of the bag. “Want to have some fun?” she teased.

” What’s that?”

” A Ouija board.”

“Ouija board?”

“Yes, you sit across from each other and ask it questions. You hold one side of this thing, (she held a small rectangular pointer with three legs in her hand) and I hold the other,” she explained. “Then you ask it a question and it will move around the board spelling out an answer from the spirit world.”

“Ok, let’s eat first, I’m starved. Then we can play a game if you want, OK?”

“Sure, go get the beer.” I got up and headed for the fridge with visions of ‘lost pleasure because of playing a silly game’ dancing in my head. . . . ‘Oh well, maybe later,’ I thought. I returned with a couple beers and handed Patti one.

We gabbed a bit and finished off a few more beers before she cleaned up while I went to the kitchen and returned with one table chair in each hand. She positioned them in the center of the room so they’d be facing one another. Motioning for me to sit in one, she sat down across from me, opened the Ouija board across our laps, and placed her fingertips lightly on the sliding device instructing me to do the same.

“Ready?

“Sure.”

Patti went first. “How old am I?” she asked. Slowly the pointer moved to 2 then to 1. “That’s right! See, I told you this thing works.” she said excitedly. “Your turn, ask it a question.”

”O.K. Mister Ouija, how old am I?” Sliding…. Adding…24.”That’s right!” I exclaimed.

Patti looked at me and let out a ghostly, “Ooooooohhh.”

She took her turn.

My turn. “Mr. Ouija, What’s my mom’s name?” I asked. Slowly, as if having a mind of its own the pointer moved from letter to letter spelling out – L.I.L.L.I.A.N.

“Are you making it do that?” 

“No, swear to God, I just had my fingers on the thing like you’re supposed to, I never moved it, I was thinking you were.”

Patti took her turn.

My turn. “Mr. Ouija, Where’s my dad?” (Who had died a year earlier) H.E.R.E.

“Ohhh shit. You think we ought to be fooling with this thing?” 

Giving me her best ‘you’re a chicken shit’ look she said, “Sure, see if you can talk to your father.”

She skipped her turn.

We began talking solely to my father. We asked him many specific questions. We received many specific answers . . . and the night rolled on.

At first, we were communicating with just him, but soon strangers would butt into the conversation. It was as if there was a line of spirits on the other side waiting to talk to us.

Once Coleen arrived though, that was it. No other names would show up, even my dad disappeared. Every answer was coming from Colleen. She had taken control of the board.

The fun was by now over for Patti. She was getting scared and wanted to quit.

“Let me ask one more question then we’ll quit, OK?”

“OK,” she answered reluctantly.

“Colleen, can you come to me in a dream?”

Y. E. S.

“Will you come and talk to me tonight?”

Y.E.S.

“Alright, I’m finished,” I said looking up from the board. “I’m going to talk to Colleen in a dream. Come on let’s go to bed.”

Patti looked deeply into my eyes.

“What’s the matter? You jealous?” I asked her.

”No, I’m afraid,” she said quite seriously. “How do you know who you’re really talking to?”

”Aww shit, Pat, this is going to be a really cool trip, besides do you think anything will actually happen?” I said smiling. “Come on, let’s go to bed.”

                                                  * * * *

Patti’s deep breathing signaled she had finally fallen asleep.

I was lying there staring at the ceiling thinking maybe I goofed up cause I could have gotten laid instead when a quick, cool breeze blew through the window behind our bed causing the thin curtain to blow straight out and start waving in the dark room. It stopped as suddenly as it had started. Outside the window, the night was calm and still.

Then I saw a light flashing in the half-bath across the room. It looked like it does when a car’s headlights scan across your window. The only problem was we were on a dead-end street in the country. There were no cars around.

I must have then fallen asleep because the next thing I remember was standing in a large Grecian courtyard surrounding a beautiful white marble temple supported by large ivory columns. There were six columns spaced every ten yards or so aligned in a row, between the temple and me.

At the temple’s entrance stood a woman dressed in a flowing white gown that rippled in the cool breeze blowing off what I knew to be the Mediterranean Sea. As she stepped out of the shadows the sunlight reflecting off her long, blond hair created a halo effect about her head. Her radiant, expressionless face bore the exquisite beauty of a goddess. Even from that distance, I could clearly see her sensual, gray eyes staring directly at me.

Slowly she began walking towards me from behind the columns. Her image appeared, then disappeared, only to reappear again one column closer until there were no columns left.

She was now directly in front of me, smiling and seductive, coming closer still. Her eyes shone with the sexual intensity that comes upon a woman only in her most intimate moment. Her arms opened to embrace me.

I opened my arms to her in anticipation, but she was not stopping. She kept coming, as if her goal was to walk into me, to become a part of me. Just one more step. I was filled with excitement . . . awaiting this new experience.

Suddenly I was awakened by my frantic wife.

“Patti, what the hell are you doing?” I asked. “I was right in the middle of a fantastic dream, and you woke me up. Dammit, Pat!”

She gave me a confused look. “Are you out of your fucking mind!” You were kicking and thrashing around and yelling, NO! NO! NO! . . . so much you woke me up!”

I sank quietly backward into my pillow and tried to fathom what had just taken place. Lying there I began to realize that something very strange had just happened. Something cold and sinister had come within a breath of capturing my soul.

I was afraid.

The following Sunday found me for the first time in my adult life walking down a church aisle towards the alter. I had never been big on religion, but logic told me that if darkness was real perhaps the Light was also. I needed to find out.

                                                            * * *

And the devil came not with a fork & tail, ugly and fire bright,

But as light and love, he appeared to me, in the guise of beauty in the night.

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