It was the perfect setting for a horror to happen. The night was just begging for it.
The Catt Box
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Primitive Goth Grim Reaper Doll!
The moon was full and low in the sky.
It was a Friday night....and not just any Friday night, it was a Friday the 13th.
It was also storming wickedly....the wind was blowing, the lightening and thunder were coming in rapid succession, and the rain was torrential.
The girls didn't have a prayer.
It was back in the year 1973.
Debbie, Hattie, and Cathy were having a sleep-over in Cathy's old, creepy house. For as long as anyone can remember, it was rumored to have been a haunted house. It was the oldest home in the town and Cathy's family was the first to have lived in it in decades.
The girls were alone for the evening, as Cathy's parents were attending a party and wouldn't be home till very late.
The girls were energetic, giddy teenagers, eager to grow up and date and have freedoms that most girls dream of at their age.
They had shed their bell-bottoms, got into their pajamas, and listened to their records.......
It was the year that everyone was trying to guess who Carly Simon sang about in her song You're So Vain......and Cathy, Debbie, and Hattie also loved singing along to The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia, by Vicki Lawrence, Rocky Mountain High, by John Denver, and Cher's Half Breed.
They had long since given up on the notion of marrying David Cassidy and other teen idols of their young teen years. They had their whole lives ahead of them and their hopes and dreams were becoming a little more realistic....sort of.....
Their tastes in music were beginning to change, as well. They were moving away from the 'bubble gum' music and getting into other interesting sounds.......groups like Grand Funk Railroad and Pink Floyd, and even Led Zeppelin.
But on this particular weekend they were bored and they began to venture into darker methods of entertainment.
After all, earlier they had gone through their yearbooks and swapped pictures with each other. They had already read through all the Slam-books they had made and circulated throughout the class that year...they had already gossiped and giggled about their classmates. And with all of those activities already behind them for the evening, there was nothing else left to do.
At first they dabbled with having a Sťance, but nothing unusual happened, so they then turned to a deck of Tarot cards.
They read each other's fortunes and laughed at their impending futures and improbable predictions.
The storm that was raging outside seemed to be getting stronger.
Would you believe that while writing this story, right now, we're getting a storm?....and it's thundering and turning very dark outside.
Another uneventful hour passed and then, against the better judgment of Hattie and Debbie, Cathy brought out the Ouija Board.
Although they were cautious, they were also very curious of the mysterious game.
Cathy had found the Ouija Board in the attic shortly after her family had moved into the spacious house. It was hidden beneath the dusty floorboards, wrapped in a piece of stained and tattered gauzy fabric.
Tucked snuggly into the faded red velvet ribbon that bound the Ouija Board was a fragile, dead, black rose. And attached to the dried stem of the rose was a small note that simply read:
Death comes through here.
Cathy had never removed the Ouija Board from the cloth before, but now seemed to be the perfect time to experiment.
"There's safety in numbers!" she reasoned, and having her two best friends close by gave her courage to explore.
Debbie and Hattie finally agreed and the three of them set out on their uncertain journey.
While inspecting the contents of the old cloth, the girl's conversation grew quieter, more serious. They began to discuss the black rose, the old cloth, and the strange note.
What did it all mean?
Hattie slowly repeated the words that were scrawled on the note....."Hmmm........Death comes through here."
The girls began to speculate as to the meaning.
Did it mean that someone died while playing with this board?
Did it mean that whoever played with it would die?
Or did it mean that Death himself, the Grim Reaper, had been contacted by it's previous owners?
The very thought of being able to contact the Grim Reaper was scary, but intriguing.
They wondered what would happen, and with a vote of two to one, they decided to go ahead and do just that..........contact the Grim Reaper himself!
Well, think about it....they didn't smoke cigarettes, didn't use recreational drugs, didn't drink alcoholic beverages, and they were virgins. What ELSE were they gonna do?
Messing with Death was their only other option.
The storm began to pick up it's pace and the lights started to flicker off and on. The girls lit several big candles and placed them on the floor around them. The amber lighting made them look scared.
Perhaps they really were scared, and the candle-light merely revealed that fact.
Nevertheless, they loved the atmosphere of it all.
At this point the girls had been listening to the Led Zeppelin album Houses Of The Holy. They had heard that Led Zeppelin had made a pact with the Devil. It was a well-circulated rumor, but one that they didn't take seriously, until after this night.
The album had continued playing......all the way to D'yer Mak'er. The girls readied the Ouija Board, moved the candles closer to them, and sat in their circle.
Just then, the song "No Quarter" began to play. The instrumental was very eerie ....strange... dark.... and seemed to set the tone for what they were about to do.
As they began to attempt to conjure up the Grim Reaper, the words from the song filled the room.....
Close the door, put out the light
No, they won't be home tonight
The snow falls hard and don't you know?
The winds of Thor are blowing cold.
They're wearing steel that's bright and true
They carry news that must get through, oooh....
They choose the path where no-one goes
They hold no quarter, they hold no quarter.
Suddenly, the girls felt a chill in the room. They felt the air move around them, yet the candle flames never flickered. The hand-piece to the Ouija Board stopped cold in it's tracks and couldn't be moved.
The floorboards began to creak and the windows rattled violently.
Suddenly, the Fern plant that hung above the window seat withered and drooped lifelessly.
The fish in the aquarium stopped moving.
The girls looked up towards the bed and the cat's tail had stopped fanning back and forth, and it's breathing became very shallow. All three girls could feel their hearts beating slower, in spite of being terrified.
The words to the song continued to play......
Walking side by side with death
The devil mocks their every step
The snow drives back the foot that's slow
The dogs of doom are howling more.
They carry news that must get through
To build a dream for me and you
They choose the path where no-one goes
They hold no quarter, they ask no quarter.
Just then, a gray mist seemed to rise up from the floor and a dark, black-clothed figure was present.
It was him.........it was Death......it was....
The Grim Reaper!
He stood about 36 inches tall, from the bottom of his black fleece, hooded robe to the top of his 19 inch wide plastic Scythe.
He was also wearing black pants, but they couldn't be seen.
Trust me, the LAST thing those girls were thinking about was what was under that robe.
NO ONE thinks of Death in that way.
He never spoke a word as the girls studied his ominous appearance.
The only other thing in the room that seemed to be alive, besides the girls themselves, was a black Crow that accompanied the Grim Reaper. The Crow was perched upon the wrist of his right hand, which was holding a metal human skull.
Below his huge black hood was a metal pendant of a skeletal Grim Reaper.
Hanging from his twine belt was the Book Of Death. The girls knew exactly what it was. They had learned about the Grim Reaper in Mythology class. The Grim Reaper always has the Book Of Death with him.....and everyone's name is in there. And as each person dies, the name is then removed.
The little hand-made book was made of black leather. The pages were made of Onion Skin paper, and had been aged and dried.
And hanging from the book was a bookmark of black string with two real carved bone skull beads.
And there it was......the infamous Hour-Glass Of Time.
It was made of wood that had been painted black and distressed.
The girls tried in vain to see up under his large hood, but there was nothing there.
The faceless entity was merely a symbol of everyone's eventuality.
There is no face....there is no personality.
All that exists under the hood of Death is a painted and sanded black head. Facial features have never been needed.
As the song on the record player came to an end, the ghostly figure disappeared.
The fish began to swim around in the aquarium again, and the cat took a long deep sigh and began to fan his tail lazily.
The three girls silently looked at each other and knew that they could never speak of this night to anyone. No one would ever believe them.
Just then, a section of the dead Fern fell to the floor. The plant had not been restored back to life when the Grim Reaper left.
What caused the bizarre events? Was it the old, creepy house?
Was it the Ouija Board and the imaginations of three bored teenage girls?
Was it the Led Zeppelin music and the legend of the band's pact with the Devil?
.....possibly, it was just teenage dramatics, hormones, and a failure to water the plant.
No fish, cats, or teenage girls were harmed in the writing of this story.
However, the Fern DID die, and for that I apologize.
Copyright © August 31, 2003 Cathy Palmer-Scruggs / Catt Alexander
Special thanks to eBay seller imosh for the fantastic Grim Reaper pendant.
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My dolls are not for everyone, they are my art. If you are offended, I suggest you hit the back button. It will not do you any good to write me 'hate mail'.
In spite of the dolls I create and the stories I write, I do not use recreational drugs, I don't smoke cigarettes, and I don't even drink alcoholic beverages.. I out-grew a lot of things a long time ago.