A Broken Planchette

A Broken Planchette
A Broken Planchette

A Broken Planchette


Eric knew his father would be absorbed in Football and his mother would not arrive from work until later in the evening.  He moved a chair to his closet and pulled down a box from the top shelf hidden under folded bedding from a sheet fort he made the day before.

After the chair, returned to its proper place and a second glance ensured the bedroom door remained closed, he placed the box on his bed.  A flat board, like most board games, marked with the letters of the alphabet and numbers below the words ‘YES’ and ‘NO.’ Along with the board an object, Eric recently found the name planchette in the dictionary, fell gently.

Ouija entered Eric’s life shortly after he spent the summer weekends at Monastery in Reno where he attended Catholic Classes.  The classes were taught by Franciscan Monks who still wore heavy canvas robes with thick rope around their waist.  His favorite monk taught a course in exorcism, a topic that fascinated Eric.

Therefore Eric found himself fully engaged in the stories that the monk told of the possessed he exorcised when he lived in Rome.  The details in each story painted vivid pictures of evil reaching through human frailty and causing great harm.


Eric’s family just moved into a two-story home located ten miles onto desert lands of Nevada.  First he would spend hours hiking around sagebrush outside. Second, the cold Autumn days kept him in his room.

Therefore Eric started using his Ouija board, a Halloween gift he received at a party the year he attended Monastery.  His friends played Ouija that Halloween night.  They all placed their hands on the planchette, closed their eyes, and chanted a simple ‘hello.’  An initial shock, when the planchette moved for the first time, faded by the end of Halloween night and his friends, not convinced, left the Ouija board with Eric.

Tonight, another Halloween, his friends were miles away and no house’s nearby to Trick or Treat, Eric decided to play alone.  He found a comfortable place to sit on his bed and set the board, with planchette, directly in front of him.  After a few deep breaths he placed his hand on the planchette.

“Is there anybody there?”  He asked as he closed his eyes and concentrated on his breathing.  “Hello?”

Eric thought he felt the planchette move and convinced himself that nothing changed.  A shiver, as if a cold breeze, made hair on his arms stand up.  When the planchette moved quickly, with a scaping sound, he almost lost his finger placement.  His eyes shot open, and he immediately noticed it moved to ‘YES.’


“What is your name?”  Eric felt compelled to keep trying to communicate.  He closed his eyes again as the planchette moved slowly.  The sound the planchette made as it moved from letter to letter seemed unnaturally loud as Eric concentrated.  One after another, in a slow almost rhythmic scraping, the name S-A-M-U-E-L spelled out in front of him.

“Samuel.”  Eric whispered as his fingers were pulled to the ‘YES’ on the board.

“May I call you Sam?”  Eric asked, this time a little louder as his fingers stayed still on the ‘YES.’ “Where are you from?”

Time seemed to stop as Eric calmly watched his fingers move with the planchette slowly over the board.  He paid close attention to each letter.  Samuel, or whomever this entity,  spelled out V-I-R-G-I-N-I-A-C-I-T-Y.

“Virginia City?”  Eric repeated.


“Is that your home?”  Eric asked.

‘NO’ answered Samuel through the Ouija board.

“What is in Virginia City?”  Asked Eric.

“F-R-E-E-D-O-M” Samuel replied as the planchette began to repeat the spelling of F-R-E-E-D-O-M slowly at first but quicker as it repeated.  Eric, spooked by the sudden outburst, removed his fingers from the planchette.  Everything stopped and for a second time seemed to stand still.


He slowly placed his fingers where they belonged again.  With his eyes closed he focused on his breathing.  A vision of an old room with antique looking furniture filled his mind.  With a few more controlled breaths he could see the details of the brown bedding on a bed in the corner.

Near the bed a window seemed to filter in dusty rays of sunlight.  On top of a dresser, on the opposite side of the room, a mirror stood with a mixture of dated toiletries within crafted colored glass.  A hairbrush, encrusted with jewels, stood among the bric-a-brac.

The mirror seemed to tempt Eric as he tried to see if he could see a reflection.  Suddenly he stood directly in front of the mirror where he saw a reflection of a man.

The man wore a black, torn, dirty overcoat and a Cowboy hat whose brim shadowed his face.  At that moment Eric noticed that the floor, reflected in the mirror, fell, board by board, into a widening circle of darkness.


He opened his eyes.  The planchette, on the board, moved in circles.

“Are you there Samuel?’  Eric asked.

The planchette stopped on ‘YES.’

“What year is this?”  Eric stared as the planchette moved along the numbers on the board.  After a few moments Eric, able to follow the planchette, spelled out the year 1873.”

“1873?”  Eric’s fingers moved with the planchette to ‘YES.’

“Where in Virginia City are you?”

The planchette, once again, made an eerie scraping sound as it spelled out O-L-D-W-A-S-H-O-E-C-L-U-B.  Eric closed his eyes again as he thought he felt a cold touch on the back of his neck.


He shivered for a second when suddenly his body went rigid as he felt a cold hand grip his arm. The grip tightened and started to burn.  Sudden pain filled Eric as he tried to scream but nothing came out of his mouth but a stream of darkness.

Eric stood in front of the mirror in the room again.  A perfect circle of darkness devoured the middle of the room as he heard the man in the mirror, a low gravelly voice, begin an incantation of a foreign language.

Eric noticed a body on the bed in the mirror where only blankets were before.  He looked closer and noticed an extremely pale naked woman.  Something looked odd about the woman as he squinted to get a better look.

Panic began to take hold as he noticed that the skin on the woman’s chest and belly had been removed.  He could see her sternum and noticed that a fair portion of her intestines were located outside of her body.

Large amounts of her blood flowed off the bed and into the widening circle of darkness from the center of the room.


Right at that moment a door swung open and another man also in a Cowboy hat and an overcoat burst into the room.  He stood at the doorway and looked at Eric by the mirror.  This other man lifted his hand and seemed to show Eric three sticks of dynamite.  He lit the dynamite with a cigar he was smoking and threw it into the growing circle of darkness.

For a second the room filled with light and a deafening explosion.

The darkness devoured the explosion and began to consume the bed with the woman, the man at the door, and all the light from the window.

“Freedom.”  Eric heard a gravelly voice whisper in his ear before he fell into the darkness himself and found only silence.

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Jamie Lee Hamann
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Jamie Lee Hamann

My name is Jamie Lee Hamann and I have a passion for writing short fiction and poetry. I started writing for TCE around 2015 and since then I have finished seven collections of poetry and plans for more. I currently live in Lemmon Valley NV with my family. If you desire to find my other work on the internet feel free to stop by my website simplepoetics.weebly.com. The website offers articles on poetry, poems, and links to all my other writing.

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