I wrote this story for my wife Leah. She is the inspiration for a lot of the story ideas I come up with.
“Ugh, I just can’t get up today,” my wife said, snuggling a little more under the covers.
“Come on,” I said. “You’re going to be late for work if you don’t get up now.”
She rolled over and pulled the covers up to her chin. “No, seriously. I think I’m stuck.”
I pulled the covers off her, which elicited cries of protest, and dragged her out of bed.
“Thanks,” she said, after she stopped glaring at me. “I really think it’s getting harder to get up lately.”
I didn’t tell her, but I was having the same problem, except for me it was in my recliner in the living room. When I was there late at night and had to go to bed, it was like my butt was literally glued to the seat.
“I think it’s ghosts,” my friend Herbert said. I wasn’t surprised at this, since Herbert had just binge watched a reality show about ghosts. If it had been history documentaries, he probably would have blamed it on the Mongols.
“How could it be ghosts?” I asked.
“Maybe they’re holding you in place for fun?” he suggested. “Look, why don’t I bring my Ouija board over and see if I can talk to them.”
“I don’t like Ouija boards,” I said. “I think they’re stupid.”
Herbert’s answer to this was to bring it over anyway the next time he visited and set it up without telling me.
“Just try it once,” he said when I noticed. “What harm can it do?”
I watched him do it. He put his hands on the pointer and said, “Ghosts—if you’re there—are you the ones responsible for the . . . the trouble getting out of bed and chairs and stuff?”
There was a pause. Then the pointer went to YES. “Why?” Herbert asked.
There was another pause and then the pointer began to spell out words. T.H.I.S M.I.G.H.T R.E.Q.U.I.R.E S.O.M.E E.X.P.L.A.I.N.I.NG. I W.O.U.L.D R.E.C.O.M.M.E.N.D G.E.T.T.I.N.G A S.C.I.E.N.T.I.F.I.C O.U.I.J.A B.O.A.R.D
“They make scientific Ouija boards?” I asked.
O.H Y.E.S, the board responded. T.E.X.A.S I.N.S.T.R.U.M.E.N.T.S M.A.K.E.S A G.O.O.D O.N.E. I T.H.I.N.K I.T I.S. T.H.E T.I.6.6.6.
I thought Herbert was just messing around with me, but he came back a week later with a genuine scientific Ouija board. It was about three times bigger than a normal one and had lots of symbols and mathematical notations on it.
“I got the TI-668 since it has statistical symbols too,” Herbert said.
“Do you really think spirits from beyond are going to be talking a lot about standard deviation?” I asked, but he just shrugged.
If there were really ghosts in our house, they really wanted to talk. Herbert guided that pointer around the board for over three hours while I took down pages and pages of notes.
I took all the notes down to the local university. I came home that evening, exhausted and confused.
“You’re not going to believe what I found,” I told my wife. I told her. She didn’t.
According the university’s history department, our house was built on the site of an ancient astrophysicist burial ground. Even now, the dead astrophysicists would create microscopic black holes form from time to time, especially in the bedroom and living room. That’s what was making it hard to move.
“Is there anything we can do?” my wife asked at last.
“I suppose we could move,” I said. “Let’s not move to the house next door though. Apparently that was an ancient taxi driver burial ground. The owners of that house often wake up in nearby fields owing $14.50.”
We decided to stay where we were. Now whenever we are late or sleep in, we just blame it on astrophysicist ghosts.