The room was dark.
In fact, it was sheltered and shadowed from any remaining daylight by the rough thick beige curtains that were tightly drawn across the small, and only window in the ground-floor backroom.
There was the gritty smell of incense in the air that would have knocked great thought out of any skilled mathematician. The incense reached into the back of Phillip’s throat, plucking irritatingly at his vocal cords and making him cough. Butler Richards blew out the final match he was holding carefully and another thin trail of smoke snaked around the room.
The objects of the little room, a small mirror, a bed and an armoire, were all ghostly grey in the lack of colour and light in the room. But Phillip’s focus was on the space in the centre of the room, now occupied by his brother, and the butler.
The incense bit at his eyes; Phillip had never been able to cope very well with strong, heady fragrances, which was why Aidelle’s light scent appealed to his senses. He closed his stinging eyes, almost praying, and sat down in the space between Peter (who was sitting) and Richards, who was kneeling.
“Sir?” Richards’ low voice persuaded Phillip to finally open his eyes again, and to look at the board that was between the triangle of bodies. A piece of white paper was pinned to the cardboard, and written on it were several faded words: ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’, and a faded alphabet stretching across the horizontally-orientated page. In the central bottom of the page was a small cone-shaped disk of plastic, rather like an oversized guitar plectrum.
Phillip stared as he took it all in, aware that this contraption was something that he had been warned against when he was younger. Yet, Phillip had not been warned against some of the supernatural encounters that he had gone through recently. And those were, he told himself, his own fault.
“A ouiji board…” He breathed, “Is this really necessary?”
“As necessary as asking for a servant’s help,” Peter responded.
“Well…I don’t like this. I’m not sure if…”
“It may be the only way for you to see Miss Aidelle again…sir,” Richards muttered curtly.
Glancing around nervously, Phillip nodded.
“Alright. Aside from the stinking incense, what else do we need to proceed?”
“If I have your consent, then we are ready to begin.”
Richards placed out his hands, palms up, and told the brothers to hold hands as they touched his. Then Richards himself broke the triangle, and closed his eyes as he, incoherently called out.
Phillip trembled as he felt that the room was getting darker, ominously.