There was a rumor going around when we were children, a rumor that turned into a game of sorts. You take the card from a deck of cards, the queen of spades, and then draw a spade on a mirror in a pitch black room. Press the card on the symbol so that the queen is facing the mirror. Say three times "Queen of Spades please appears", then light a candle and say it three more times. If she appears she will blow out the candle and you will see her face in the mirror. It is a pale face with black eyes and blue hair. Of course you have to be alone when you do it.
It was something the kids liked to challenge each other to. A game of dare, and with so many kids claiming to have done it and to have actually seen it with their own eyes, thou now that I think about it, they were probably lies. When you are kid, if your friends say something to be true than it is undeniably the truth. So of course I done it, but I admit not for the reason many would assume, I knew if I told them they wouldn't understand. The reason why I did was not to prove I was brave or to brag to my friends or to fit in. the only thing on my mind, my only reason was that maybe I can bring something back this way, to bring someone back. Someone I cared for very much passed away and thou I did not believe in ghosts the face I wanted to see the mirror, more than anything was the face of the person I missed so much. If only, just once more.
I did what my friends told me to do. I lit the candle; I said the words. Nothing happened. I said another three times, but nothing. Maybe because it was the middle of day and there was light coming in thought the glass parts of the bathroom door. There was no way I could do this at night. I wasn't scared but if I got caught doing something like that, I knew I would not see my friends for at least a month. In my mind I didn't expect it to work either. Something like this can't be true, just like Santa Clause.
I had a dream that night, a nightmare of which the details I cannot recall but a woman dressed in black with blue hair appeared in it. Of course it would make sense to have such a nightmare right after. I told my friends about it and they fell quiet for some reason, we laughed it off as kids always do and forgot about it. Time passed and I forgot it even happened.
Ged broke his arm few days later. He told the other kids something but I notice they were leaving me out of their conversations. I heard it later from another friend that apparently it was the Queen of Spades that broke his arm by causing the shelf above his bed to collapse on him at night. The idea was scary, but somehow still unbelievable. It didn't fit in with the game at all. It was not a face in the mirror, it was something different. Ged had been the origin of the rumor, the origin of the game we began. He said he learned about while he away at his cousins and told us all about it.
I can't quite recall how much time passed. Things began to feel strange around the house. Even when I was alone I still felt like there was someone in the house. Mother always locked her room when she left, she kept chocolate and sweets and alcohol locked in a cabinet, the good stuff that was only served for guests. I didn't care for the drinks, but the chocolate, no kid would say no to that. Mother had left, soon after I heard footsteps in the hall. I thought she forgot something and came back. The door to mothers room was wide open. I saw her lock it when she left and she always took the key with her. The lights were on. I went in- no one was there. I looked around the tiny apartment but there was no denying I was all alone. I called mother on her mobile to ask if she had returned recently. She said she had not. I should have been more scared but I got some to eat as much as I wanted for the night. She said she had not. I should have been more scared but I got some to eat as much as I wanted for the night.
The footsteps might have from the neighbors upstairs, and there was a chance mother forgot to lock the door, perhaps a draft when she left caused the door to open. I was all obvious in my mind at the time. Nothing to do with some Queen Spades.
Ged once again said something that confused me when we met after school to play. We played make belief, we played yu-gi-oh cards, we had a Jumanji game board we ourselves made from a cardboard box, we snuck into kindergarten and used the swings after it closed and made fun of the elderly guard who couldn't catch us. And sometimes we just sat there talking about stuff. It was a rainy day so we sat on the stairs inside Ged's apartment building. That is when he said it.
She was trying to kill him, I didn't get it. He said it was the Queen of Spades. It couldn't be a card, this much I knew. I asked him what it was, this thing- Queen of Spades. You know what he said then? He said it was a spirit. The game we were playing all this time was not some make belief, not pretending , but an actual spell to summon a spirit. He said he could talk to it sometimes, that it told him to tell us about the game or else it would hurt his family.
Then he suddenly fell silent and turned white. He was grabbing at his throat at if trying to rip something of, but there was nothing there, yet he was starting to turn blue in the face. I realized he wasn't breathing. Then he suddenly fell of the railing as if he had been flung with great force and lay there on the ground unconscious. We were terrified, we all just ran our separate ways. He survived as later I saw him outside but I didn't feel like talking to him or any of the kids anymore. Still I did not want to believe it was the work of a spirit. There was no such thing right?
He had said before he could talk to his Queen of Spades somehow. If I had indeed called such a thing then I would know. But I didn't. Spirits are like ghosts and ghosts are essentially dead people I knew that from movies. I knew some people who died but none of them ever came back, I knew this much. In my mind death was not something you can come back from. All those stories about life after death, god, angels, heaven, hell just can't be real, if they were someone would have seen them.
I had prayed to god only once. I had never done anything wrong, I didn't go to church much but it didn't seem like it mattered much. I prayed for the person I cared for to wake up and be alright. The school got a call from mother, grandmother was in a coma. We were on the way to the hospital and then I prayed that she would wake up and be like before. The moment I finished my prayer the mother's phone rang- grandmother had passed away.
I asked god one thing, only once. She died because god wasn't real, if he was real no doubt he would have saved her. So I knew things like gods and ghosts could not possibly exist. But to this day I know how to explain what happened during that summer when we played the game of Queen of spades.
Many more strange things happened. I had a dream, a nightmare. I only ever had nightmares anymore. We were all being chased by black car. That was it, all I could remember. When we met outside, thou I began to avoid Ged I still spent time with my other friends. Greta refused to go anywhere without Ged. We sat on the sidewalk playing cards, not regular cards, after all the strange things none of us would go near a card deck. Thou I admit I had developed a habit of taking out the particular card and stare at it from time to time. Maybe I can catch the picture on the card move, or see a glimpse of whatever this spirits thin is supposed to be. Parked behind us was a black Mercedes. Just a parked car, no driver engine off, normal everyday car. So imagine our surprise when out of the blue the engine came to life. I recalled my dream and shouted to run. We all got up and ran into the nearest building and shut the door. I told everyone I had that dream, they believed me. Even I began to believe that something was, maybe, a little bit magical in all this.
The sound of footsteps had become a common thing. Not during the day, but only at night. I could hear the sound of someone walking outside my room, in the hall between the living room and the kitchen. Of course maybe mother needed to go bathroom but none of the light ever turned on. Mother would sometimes tell me to be more silent when went to the bathroom at night. She would get mad every time I tried to tell her it wasn't me. The door to her room had been open several more times just like before and mother would yet at me for breaking into her room, even if never set foot in it. I learned my lesson from that one time. Some important things from her room had gone missing and mother thought someone had broken in or perhaps one of my friends stole it. I was forbidden to have anyone over, I dared not tell her that I never had any friends over in the first place.
The footsteps had always wandered around the hall, since the bathroom was there and it was in there that I had performed the ritual as we now called it. But things changed again. The wardrobe door in my room opened and closed on its own. It could not have been the cat, it slept in the living room or with mother, never with me since it made too much noise and woke me up at night. I had believed I was safe, that whatever it was could not go into my room if the door was closed. But now it was in here with me. I figured if i ignore it maybe it won't see that I'm awake.
I closed my eyes. But I could hear it. The footsteps, moving closer to my bed. I wanted to look, I wanted to know if I'll see anything there but I didn't. I fell asleep. I don't know what it did later on. The wardrobe door was left open in the morning when I woke up. It was as if it was telling me: this is really happanening, you didn't imagine it.
One evening when I came home all the lights in the apartment were on. Since mother began to blame for leaving the lights on time and time again, I knew it did it. I didn't leave the lights on, ever. I was getting tire of being blamed wrongly, of being called a liar when the thing that lived with us did all those things. Mother did not believe me. I realized I wanted it gone, whatever it was. I told it as much, when I was alone I yelled that I want it gone, that if I want to go back to where it came from. I took the card and ripped it to pieces.
It has been silent at night. No footsteps, nothing strange. A normal week. Then one day the mirror in the bath room, the mirror I used to summon it, just fell of the wall and broke. According to Ged to send back you need to use the mirror and the card used to call it the do the ritual backwards and say please leave instead of please appear. He had told me all that way too late. I had ripped the card and the mirror was now gone. But for the time I still thought it to be over, I thought it to have left because I ordered it to.
It was day time and I was in the living room, alone. Mother had taken the cat to the vet. I hear them, the footsteps. They began from the area around the bathroom and moved along the hall. There was no door into the living room. I sat there terrified when I realized it was coming here, I believed it only walked around at night, it was day time now. I stared at the dark hall, I saw nothing, no movement, no shadow nothing, but I heard it. It was walking and then it was silent. It was here. For a moment I just sat there looking around the room I fear. Then I felt it, the cold and the pressure. Is if someone had their ice cold hands around my throat. I could not breath properly. I realized it was trying to kill me, I don't know what I ever do to it, but I began to cry. I thought : this is it, I'm really going to die here, now. I got up. It was hard to move, my head was dizzy and I could feel something pulling me back by the neck.
My grandmothers prayer book. I grabbed if of the small table with the picture of grandmother, I had made it in my room after she died. Put her picture and all her things a could find there. I began to read the prayers. I could not speak out loud, but in my mind I spoke the words. Whenever I felt sick grandmother would sit by my bed and read prayers out loud. I didn't believe in god but I believed in my grandmother. And then as I read them, with each line repeated in my mind the cold icy hands began to let go. I could breathe again I read the prayers out loud still crying. I don't know how many times I repeated the same prayers over and over; it must have been at least an hour.
If there is no god then why did it let me go? I think maybe there might be a god, and maybe it let go because it was afraid of the holy word. Because the Queen of Spades is more than a children's game but something dangerous. And if ghosts and god are real then perhaps the other things are too and those things fear god.
Even to this day I know now what really happened during those summer months. But sometimes at night I still wake up and listen fearing that I will hear footsteps outside my door, and at those times I pray to god, and bad things don't happen anymore.