A sickle-shaped moon cut through wispy clouds. Kiana scooted closer to the fire. "See that moon?" Megan asked. "That’s the Ghost Moon."

"That’s right," Suta said. "Do you know about the Ghost Moon?"

Kiana shrugged, "It’s like a moon that looks like a ghost or something."

"Wrong," Megan said, shining a flashlight up to reveal her powder-white face. "The Ghost Moon is used by witches to commune with spirits."

"Do you know any witches?" Suta said, her black eyes piercing Kiana accusingly.

"No," Kiana said incredulously, "that’s just fairytale junk."

"Wrong again," Megan said smiling and looking down into the light. Kiana followed Megan’s eyes down to the flashlight: it was floating. Kiana gasped. Megan opened her clinched fists to reveal a small dagger in one and a silver pocket watch in the other.

"Is this a joke?" Kiana asked.

"This is initiation," Megan said.

"We have to initiate you," Suta said.

"You two are crazy!"

"Three witches can open the door to the other side!" Megan exclaimed.

"We can know everything," Suta said.

"Everything the dead know," Megan said.

"Back off bitches!" Kiana yelled as she pulled a taser from her bag. The flashlight fell to the ground. "I ain’t playing!"

"But sister," Megan said getting on her knees, "with a third, all the secrets of the universe are ours."

"Think of the power!" Suta said, dropping to her knees.

"You believe this crap?" Kiana asked.

"It’s as real as you and me," Megan said. The flashlight levitated again then floated to Kiana.

"How’d you do that?" Kiana asked, dropping the taser to take the flashlight with both hands.

"The Ouija taught us," Suta said, her black eyes reflecting the fire. "The board taught us about you too."

The fire popped and glowed warmly. Kiana’s curiosity overcame her. "What did the board say about me?"

"It said that you are our sister," Megan said.

"It said that you are strong in the spirit," Suta said.

"Together we can open the door!" Megan said. "We can find all the answers!"

"OK,"Kiana said, "suppose I did want to join, what would I have to do?"

"You’re already doing it," Megan said. Kiana’s attention was drawn to the light of the flashlight reflected off the silver pocket watch Megan dangled. Suta took the dagger from Megan and drew a circle around the girls’ camp. Megan raised her eyes and chanted under her breath. A pale dome of energy rose from the circle. Then Megan and Suta turned to Kiana chanting, "The Third, the Board."

"Wait," Kiana said, "I don’t want to do this!" Suta pointed the knife at Kiana’s heart, and Megan began to swing the watch on its chain. Kiana reached for her taser, but she couldn’t let go of the flashlight. Searing pain jolted through Kiana’s body. She felt the sickle moon slice her open, and she fell into the blind pupil of a black abyss.

Kiana awoke feeling groggy and stiff. Overhead the Ghost Moon was slicing clouds. "Awake, Third," Megan said, and Kiana felt the pocket watch land on her body.

"Awake, Board," Suta said, and Kiana felt the dagger land flat on her. Kiana tried to move, but she was too stiff. A bizarre merging sensation overtook her.

"Great Angel of Light," Megan said, "we join you in this Ouija made. . . ." As Megan spoke, Kiana found herself staring through Megan’s eyes at Suta. Suta was standing at the other end of a large board. Carved into the board were planetary symbols, numbers, the alphabet, and two words. The knife lay next to the word, "No," and the pocket watch lay next to "Yes."

"Made of bones we ground," Suta said, and Kiana suddenly saw through Suta’s eyes.

"Made of the soul we captured," Megan and Suta said in unison, and Kiana saw the board through the eyes of both. Night birds shrieked in the distance as Kiana realized her fate.

"Coven Board"
Copyright: © 2010 Robert C. J. Graves

Robert C. J. Graves lives with his wife, Emily, in Emporia, KS, where he teaches general education and business technology classes at Flint Hills Technical College. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals, including 491 Magazine, Bijou Poetry Review, Chickenpinata, Crash, the Chiron Review, Eclectic Flash, Eleutheria - The Scottish Poetry Review, Haiku Ramblings, Mikrokosmos, Poetry for the Masses, Prairie Poetry, Vox Poetica, and Word Salad Poetry Magazine. A former bartender and freelance sports writer, Robert holds a Ph.D. in English (Rhetoric and Writing) from Bowling Green and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Wichita State.

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