Thursday, December 10, 2009

Friday Fiction: How to tell the future

Part 1
For eleven year old girls

What sleepover is complete without a good ghost story? Well ladies, this goes even further, here’s how to summon the ghost of Bloody Mary herself! All you need is a candle, matches (you can get those from Mom’s purse) and a bathroom with a mirror.

This works best if you do it at midnight, as close to witching hour as possible. Every girl should be in her nightgown, teeth brushed, hair in curlers and ready for a good scare.

Gather in the bathroom and turn out the lights. Take a moment in the dark. Some of you might giggle, but remember, you are summoning the dead – this is serious business!

Light the candle. Be careful not to light your hair, Aqua Net is highly flammable. The most timid of you may want to stand watch and give warning if an adult or older brother should pass nearby.

The bravest girl should hold the candle in her left hand and stand in front of the mirror.

Together, everyone must chant “Bloody Mary” ten times. Blow out the candle and look into the mirror.

Some people say Bloody Mary will appear in the mirror, dressed in red and dripping gore, ready to answer your questions about the future. Others say she’ll appear to tear the eyes out of the closest girl, as retribution for disturbing her rest. No one knows for sure. The question is, are you brave enough to find out?

Part 2
For women of a certain age

First, try not to be too surprised when the moment comes, when you want to know with such
ferocity it consumes you. The question will vary – it might be about children or career or secret longings or something less expected, but it will be there and it will sear you.

Second, don’t waste much time denying your need for an answer. No matter what the question, the need for the answer may matter more than the answer itself.

Third, and everyone does this, talk it out with your girlfriends. They will each answer differently and each will be wrong. Don’t be distressed, they're doing the best they can. The wisest one might refuse to answer and instead will direct you to me.

Because, fourth, you will come eventually to me. I will not give you the answer either, though I’ll shuffle the cards and give veiled hints; it’s never clear. If I like you very much and see the right kind of hope in your eyes, I will suggest the -

Fifth. Go home. Turn off the lights. Light a candle and gaze at your reflection in the mirror for a long, long time. Remember, mirrors used to be sacred; we dismiss them too easily now. Wait. See what happens. Welcome whoever appears and who you are when the candle burns out.

(c)2009 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. No, I don't think I'm brave enough to summon Bloody Mary.

    Now for me waiting to see who comes out after the candle goes out...

    Tempted for a moment, but only just :)

    A very good story!

  2. This was a magical story. Like an old Gypsy was telling it. Great job!


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