"Calm down. Calm down. Yes it's a Quija Board."
"I gotta Wee... What's a Weejee board?"
"I played with one of these as a kid," said my mother. "I don't know how it works. Some say departed spirits guide the pointer. It's really fun."
I was 11 that Christmas. We were at my great grandmother's house in Georgia.
"How do I use it? What does it do?"
"You ask it questions and it answers."
"It's like an eight ball," said Clyde holding up a black ball with an eight on its side and a small window at its base with white writing inside.
"Well, sort of, but this board is a little more involved. Here put the board on your knees."
Clyde and I sat across from one another with our knees touching. We placed the board lengthwise between us.
"Now place the pointer on the board and your finger tips lightly on each side."
We did as were were told.
"Now, ask a question."
"Will I ever be knighted?" I was an English subject, having been born there, and having seen The Black Knight with Allen Ladd I wanted to become a Knight someday.
"What kind of a stupid question is that?" blurted Clyde.
"You're just jealous 'cause you can't be a knight."
"Now hold on you guys. Let's see what the Quija has to say."
We settled down and waited. And we waited. Then, ever so slowly, the pointer began to move on its felt tips over the smooth face across the letters to the word NO on the right hand side above the alphabet.
"You did that!" I yelled at Clyde.
"Nuh Uh," he smiled.
"OK. Ok. If you two can't behave I'll have to take it away from you." My mother reached for the board.
"No! We'll behave," we both said.
"OK. I got one."
"Will I marry Denise Darcel?" said Clyde with a grin.
Once again a long wait was interrupted by the ever so slow movement of the pointer. It slid across the surface speeding up to the word YES in the upper left hand corner.
"HAH! Yes!" yelled Clyde.
"You made it move there."
"OK. Time to stop this." My mother reached for the oard again.
"Wait. It's my turn to ask."
"One more then."
Clyde and I settled down.
"Who will I marry?"
"It'll never answer that question."
"Yes, it can," said my mother. "It can spell names out as it slides and stops on letters. Watch and see."
We waited. I glanced at Clyde who was smiling. At that moment the pointer came alive. It moved to letters in the alphabet imprinted under the glazed surface. Slowly and then a stop. I.
"Are you writing this down?" I asked my mother.
"Yes. I'm writing."
Then the pointer picked up speed. Stop, G. Slide, stop, U. The movement began to speed up. The excitement for me was rising.
Stop, D. Faster. Slide, stop, D. Slide, stop, F. Slide, stop, I. Another, G. Quick slide and back, G. There the pointer stopped.
"Is that it? What does it spell?"
"I'm going to marry a girl named Ivy GuddFigg?"
"Yup. That's what the board said. You're going to marry a girl named Ivy Guddfigg." Clyde said it as he got up. He walked out of the room. I could have sworn he was laughing behind that closed door but I was overwhelmed with my future spelled out for me. It was my fate. I would wait for Ivy. The Quija board predicted it.
I'm still waiting, Ivy.