N I N E T E E N

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"I'm sorry, I can't believe I'm even telling you all this. I mean, we don't even know each other, really."

Audrey stood there on the roof next to Mr. Goode, a glass bottle in each of their hands; they went out after the rain let up, and the setting sun bled through the gray. Her eyes were still puffy.

She talked mostly. He drank; he listened.

"Just don't think this changes anything between us."

"No doubt. We're still total strangers. Even now." He tipped his beer bottle toward her. "Cheers to strangers."

"Cheers." She smiled.

❆❆❆

"What are you doing?"

"I don't really know," Tyler replied, holding his hardcover bible in both hands as he paced around the room fanning it at the empty air. "It's gotta be better than nothing, though."

"What if I fart doh?" said Jayden.

"How do we even do this?" William asked Kendra, as she lit her fifth candle.

"We all have to be touching the cursor for this work. Other than that, we just let the spirits talk to us."

"How do we know none of us is gonna move it?"

"I think we'll be able to feel it if somebody tries."

"What about Destiny? What if she gets scared?"

"I'm not gonna get scared!"

"She says you're chickenshit, Tyler."

"Ladies, can we get started, please?" Kendra commanded. "C'mon, all hands on the board." The five of them put their fingers on the magnifying lens, as Kendra looked to the ceiling.

"Is anyone there? Can you hear me? If there are any spirits in this house, please use this board as your way to communicate with us."

"This is so fuckin' dumb."

"Shh! Are there any spirits in this house? If you're here, please reach out to us. Let us know you're here!"

"Did you feel that! I felt a breeze!"

"I farted."

"Spirits! Is there anyone here? If you're here, please move the cursor to 'yes.'"

"What the fuck."

The cursor slowly began to move and all the kids gasped.

"Jayden, I know that's you!" William exclaimed.

"I swear ta god it's not me."

"Take your hand off, let's see if it still moves."

"No, he can't take his hand off or it won't work!"

"Says who?"

"Says the Ouija rules!"

"What a scam!"

"C'mon on somebody ask it some questions."

"What types of questions do you ask a ghost?"

"Oh, I got one. O wise spirit, does Tyler's dad take it up the bootyhole?"

"I got one. O wise spirit, does Jayden have a crush on Kendra?"

"Oooo!" Destiny squealed, pushing her lips together to make little childish kissy noises. "Mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah."

"Guys! You're asking stupid questions!" exclaimed Kendra, hoping the redness in her cheeks would go away soon. "Like, don't you wanna know who the spirit is? See what they know about the afterlife? Can they tell us how they died?"

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