SHIP OF THESEUS' EXCERPT: Poltergeist Problems

I awoke in the wee hours of the morning. My head hurt. There was confusion. I was not alone. A voice said, "Dude, wake up," and I realized Terry was in the living room with me.


"What... what's going on?" I asked.


"This place is fucked up, man! It's fucking haunted. There's someone in Dorothy's room." 


"Did you see her?" I asked, sitting up.


"No, man, but the paintings are moved around, and I could hear it, it fucking woke me up." I turned the lights on. In place of the four foot by four foot self portrait over the couch, there was the watercolor of the zombies from the guest room. One of the abstracts from the hall replaced the hippie that was on the wall to the left of the TV. Terry said, “I ain't going back in that room."


I got up to look around. Every painting in the apartment had been moved to another room and replaced. In Dorothy's room were her portraits, the one's from the bathroom, the ink drawing of her and Bruce eating together. Bruce's masterpiece hung over the bed. I said, "Let's get the Ouija Board."

Terry was not into that idea. He sat in the easy chair, clutching the Bible, praying, eyes closed, pleading, "Lord, please protect us from the evil spirits in this house. Help them to find peace so that we can... we can..."


"Sleep," I finished for him. "Amen. Let's get the Ouija Board. We'll ask if we're in any danger. Here, wait." From the kitchen, I grabbed Terry's half empty bottle of bourbon. I poured two shots and brought them back into the living room. I said, "Courage," and we drank together. I poured again and assured him, "Dorothy has lived here for a while, man. She doesn't seem scared at all."


Terry relented, and we sat with the Ouija Board on the guest room floor. On the walls, in place of the animals were landscapes and flowers. Terry's right hand quivered on the cursor, his left a death grip on salvation. My palms were moist. I asked the air, "Sally?"


The Ouija Board said, "Yes."


Terry said, "No fucking way."


I asked, "Why did you move the paintings?"


The cursor slowly glided from letter to letter, spelling "Terry."


"What about me?" The whiskey was working.


The cursor spelled, "Get out..."


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