Goodbye Tomorrow
by Alex Clark
forum: Goodbye Tomorrow
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

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Goodbye Tomorrow


           "You know whom, that thing used to belong to, don't you?"

          "No, who?"

          "Remember Jessica Stephens? Well it used to belong to her Uncle Jack. My Dad said that he'd always had a problem with his weight and after using this thing a couple of times, he lost complete control of himself and ballooned to a whopping 600 pounds.

          He died exactly one year on from the last time he used the board and my Dad says that the funeral director didn't have a coffin big enough for him, so they just buried him in an old piano box."

          "Baloney… that's just a scare story that your Dad told so you'd never use it." 

          The wire of Lana Powell's brace caught the broken rays of the afternoon sun as she forced a nervous smile towards her friend who was pre- occupied with removing the lid to the box that sat on her lap.

          The girls were enjoying the best Sunday yet of May in the grounds of the local stately home. They sat cross- legged under an impeccable oak besides a bejeweled lake and watched with anticipation as the lid was removed from the aged Mystifying Oracle.

          Diane Fuller cast the empty box on the ground beside her pleated skirt and dropped the board on her crossed lap. She carefully placed the heart- shaped planchette on the black text that ran in between the moon and star images. She made Lana jump by abruptly snatching her wrist.

          "Put the tip of your little finger on the heart Lana." Diane said flippantly as moths and splendid insects formed a dazzling halo above her head.

          "I don't know about this Di. These things are bad news - they predicted the death of Sylvia Plath you know."

          "You're such a dreamer Lana… this is just a bit of fun and if it works, think of the tales you can tell at school tomorrow. Right, "are there any communications?" Diane boldly asked the layers of emerald adorned oak above her head.

          Nothing at first. Lana looked relieved. Then the planchette moved abruptly. First one way, then another. It began to spiral arbitrarily; it moved in elongated swirls before tentatively settling on the image of the benign sun.

          Lana swallowed hard.

          "You moved that yourself." Lana ejaculated tremulously, hopefully and expectantly.

          "No I didn't silly, just pay attention and be quiet for moment." Diane spoke out with confidence.

          "Who is out there?"

          The red plastic planchette began once again on its unguided course before quickly picking out letters from the arced selection of letters.


          Lana looked on, confused and relieved that the thing wasn't making any sense.

          "What do you suppose that means then?"

          "Well, it's simple isn't it? URFRND, it means 'your friend'.

          "Oh, OK then, ask it another" Lana's confidence was building.

          "Are you dead or alive?" Diane dared the board.


          "I don't like this Di, why can't you ask it something nice - it's already told us that it's our friend" Lana irked by her friend's cruel questioning noticed that the abundance of flies, insects and moths that has so recently been jovially congregating above the girls' heads had hastily dispersed. But before she could fully acknowledge this anomaly, the planchette took her by surprise with a swift movement.


          "What does that mean Diane?" Lana said with a distinct air of discomfort.

          Diane replied in a low ominous tone. "He says he's my friend… but not yours."

          "I want to stop playing this daft game now Diane." Diane tightened her grip on Lana's hand, so she was unable to pull away from the board.

          "Why don't you like Lana… what is going to happen to her?" Diane pressed the board with a cruel smile.

          The planchette commenced its lugubrious journey along the honey- blonde maple surface of the board.

          The grounds of the mansion carried a solemn air of grandiose foreboding. The birds had ceased their song and the even though the sun still shone brightly the sparkle of the waters' ripples had become dulled.

          The boisterous trill of nearby children's laughter fell quiet and as a large malevolent cloud loomed on the horizon, throwing an oppressive blanket of darkness over the manor grounds, a piercing falsetto scream tore through the sky.

          Lana Powell's eyes, normally small and serene, dominated her face. Wide and searching, they'd lost their innocence. Diane jumped to her feet and in doing so the Ouija board fell from her lap and turned face down in the dirt. She shielded her face from the horrific ballet of terror that was unfolding of the face of Lana. 

          She ran on by, leaving her friend clutching at some invisible matter- less in the air. Diane only stopped running from the wild cacophony of evil once she was safely at home, alone.


          "And when you were running, did you look back at all?" Diane's boyfriend quizzed somewhat doubtfully whilst taking a sip of his coffee.

          "That's the thing, as I ran, terrified at what had just happened, I glanced back over my shoulder and Lana was still sat there, with her back to me, her legs were still folded and she was scraping at something beside her head. You see, this was fifteen years ago, we were just schoolgirls then and I thought Lana had just been spooked real good. As I ran, looking over my shoulder at her, a fantastic Murder of Crows stealthily glided over my head and began settling in the tree in which Lana was sitting beneath."

          "That's a pretty good 'orror tale you've got there Di, you ought to try selling that one… so what happened to ol' Lana then?"

          "She died of a heart attack under that oak on the very same day aged only thirteen. My Dad told me years later that rigor mortis had set in so severely that the doctors simply couldn't unlock her fist to remove the red, heart shaped planchette that she had held onto whilst she died."

The End



copyright 2005 Alex Clark.

Alex Clark:
I was raised in the kind of small village where a dead dog could and often would attract an audience. It's the kind of place where you either end up working in the local supermarket; staggering round with a glazed look in your eyes, or you develop an eccentric imagination that blossoms into creativity. Fortunately for me, it was the latter.

Previous publishing credits: Though there is none of my work to currently get your teeth into, two of my stories have been accepted for publication in the first and second volumes of 'Macabre Masters'. A pulp anthology, being edited by award winning writer/actor/ filmmaker, David Hayes. Publication date, TBA.

You may contact Alex Clark at: