Ways to Live Forever

Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls Read Free Book Online

Book: Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sally Nicholls
Tags: Retail, Ages 8 & Up
“probably-impossible”. (Not like “Ride in an airship”, for example, which is “possible-but-very-very-difficult”.) “What do you want to do? Stand in a haunted house and look hopeful?”
    Kids in books never have any trouble finding haunted houses, but there isn’t one round here.
    Felix tapped his nose and looked mysterious.
    “Leave it to me,” he said. “But let’s go to your room. We don’t want your mum to see.”
     
    Felix wouldn’t say anything until we were in my room with the door shut. Then he put on this hushed voice and said, “Have you ever done a Ouija board?”
    I haven’t. My mum hates Ouija boards. She says you shouldn’t meddle with stuff you don’t understand. I told Felix and he said, “She goes to church, doesn’t she? What’s that if not meddling with things you don’t understand?”
    I hesitated. I couldn’t help remembering The Exorcist , even though I knew it probably wasn’t a very scientific film. Felix said, “Oh, come on! You want to meet a ghost, don’t you? How else are we going to get one to come?”
    So we did it.
    Felix knew exactly what to do. He opened my writing pad and drew the Ouija board in red and black felt tip. He put all the letters of the alphabet in a big circle with the numbers up to nine in a small circle in the middle and YES and NO in two corners.
    “There!” He looked round my room. “Now, it has to be properly dark and ghostly, like a séance.”
    We went into the kitchen. Felix stood guard (not that he needed to – Mum was upstairs, on the phone). I found a whole pack of night lights, the kitchen matches and the big torch.
    “They have this sort of veil,” said Felix.
    “Net curtains!”
    I was kneeling on the sideboard taking the net curtains down when Ella came in. She stared at us.
    “What’re you doing?”
    “Making a Wendy house,” said Felix. “Want to play?”
    Ella’s not stupid. “You are not.”
    “We’re doing research,” I said. “For my book.”
    Ella screwed up her face. She wasn’t sure if we were having her on or not, but she did know whatever we were doing, we probably weren’t supposed to be.
    “We’re going to call up a ghost,” said Felix. “A great big one drippling with blood. You want to see?”
    If he thought she was going to be scared, he was wrong.
    “Yes! Let me come!”
    “I dunno. . .” He grinned at me. Ella launched herself on him.
    “Let me! I’ll tell Mum!”
    Felix loves an audience. He made her go and put on her bridesmaid’s dress, because, he said, they always have girls in white at séances. While she was gone, we put all the candles out on saucers around the room and drew the curtains.
    It was only four o’clock, so it wasn’t really dark. Ella and I sat on the bed with my pad between us. Felix pushed his chair up against the bed and draped the net curtain over our heads, so it covered us completely. It was like being in a tent; dim and dappled and a little bit spooky. Felix switched on the torch and shone it under his chin, sending dark shadows leaping up his cheeks.
    “ Welcome to the Pit of Oblivion,” he said, in this deep, mock-scary voice.
    The idea of a Ouija board is that you put a penny or a glass in the middle of the bit of paper. Then you each put a finger on the penny or glass and any spirits hanging about make it move.
    “Why do you need your fingers if the spirits move it?” I said.
    “You just do,” said Felix. “Otherwise it doesn’t work.”
    None of us had a penny and we didn’t want to leave our tent to get a glass, so we used a jelly baby instead. We all put our fingers on it and Felix said:
    “OK. Is anyone there?”
    For a moment, nothing happened. Then the jelly baby moved.
    YES
    Ella squealed.
    “You did that!” I said.
    “I did not!” said Felix. Then, before I could argue, “What is your name?”
    “M-A-R-I-A-N,” I read, as the jelly baby moved across the board. “Marian!”
    “Marian who?”
    “T-W-A-N-E-T. Pack it in!” I

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