Chupacabra Disco

by Misti Rainwater-Lites

artwork by Lisa Y Mendez

My familiar scratched the screen door of the travel trailer to shit. When Carlos comes home from twelve hours of community service he is going to be pissed. I'll appease him, as always, with Caldo and an industrious blow job. I never liked cats until now but this cat is special. Black fur, green eyes, melancholy temperament. I don't know who the cat belongs to. I feed her leftover pizza and Pop-Tarts. I call her Kathy Acker.

Lightning lit up the San Antonio onyx sky and the cypress tree's branches danced a frenzied tango with the howling wind. Kathy Acker mewled and scratched and I said, "Forget it, sister. I'm allergic to kitty cats. I'm tryin' to conjure up some magic here. Scram."

I don't follow the directions in the handbook. Fuck that noise. Who has time to order white sage from Amazon? They don't sell white sage or peppermint oil or crystals or fat unscented jade green candles at Wal-Mart. I improvise. I take out the Monopoly board. I put four strawberry scented votives on the board. One for each railroad. I scribble my lottery combo on a page from my son's Spider-Man coloring book. I place the page in the center of the board. I chant, "Multiverse. I need some money. I need a dentist. I need a deep tissue massage. My brain is too damaged from too many bullshit entry level Texan American jobs to enable me to clock in and clock out for forty years and then draw a pension. Please. Send a ship. So. Mote. It. Be." I seal the spell with a bottle of Corona. I toast Lester Bangs, Charlie Chaplin and Maggie Estep. I take a sip and slip into something less comfortable. My man will be home any minute.

I Was Possessed By That Guy From Christian Death

by Steven Hughes Purkey

artwork by MT

Deirdree had been asking me for a couple of weeks to try out the Ouija board my mom had sent her…a Parker Bros. glow-in-the-dark model that looked like it hadn’t gotten much use. I hadn’t “played” on one since my childhood & it was ooky & spooky & one night I gave in & said, “Sure…let’s play Ouija.”

We dimmed the lights down to just the red & blue Christmas lights that we had hung off the dusty old paintings on our walls & sat on the bed…face to face, with the Ouija board sideways between us…so that neither her nor I were directly in front of it.

I was kind of scared, but wanted to do it, out of my own curiosity & because Deirdree wanted to be a Necromancer: one who summons & communicates with the dead…she was already a die hard witchypoo.

So, we settled down…put our fingers on the planchette…& started asking it questions.

“Is there anybody there…?” Deirdree asked the empty dark room, her eyes closed.

I closed my eyes, as well, & focused on the question, as she’d instructed.

At first, nothing. Nothing at all. lO minutes of the two of us trading off questions for any potential spirit who wished to play with us…hoping for something to happen…

& then it moved. On its own. The planchette took on a life of its own & starting moving around the board with a force that I knew was not coming from either one of us…it was physically impossible for Deirdree to be moving the thing the way it was moving & I sure as hell knew it wasn’t me!

It travelled to the bottom of the board, below the letters, numbers, & good bye…right off the edge. Dead silence.

We put it back in the center & tried again…but it kept happening. Right off the board it’d go.

After another long bout of silence, I decided I’d better refocus & try something else…so, I let my mind go like I used to do in meditation. I let the falling feeling come over me & then I noticed that I no longer had control over my breathing…something was taking over. I let it.

“I’m not doing that…” I explained to Deirdree that I was not, in fact, heavily panting on purpose. I could feel my body being pulled back & to the left…I did not resist, & when I took my hands off the planchette, I could feel something pulling them back down. Some kind of gravitational force placing my fingertips back on it… I went with it. & when Deirdree asked who was there, we sat in transfixed suspense…

First, the letter “R”.

Then the number zero.

& finally, resting on the letter “Z”.



We haven’t played Ouija since…not because I’m afraid (only kind of), but because we just haven’t. There’s more to the story…more to tell…but I’ll just leave it at that. “ROZ” has seen through my eyes, had control of my body, & I just don’t know that I’m ready for that again, now that I know what I’m in for…but one of these nights very soon, I think we will be drawn back to the Ouija, & the mysteries it contains…I can feel it.

Dreams, Visions, & Ghosts: An Introductory Course In Listening, In Not Being Boring

by Wendy Hockstein

artwork by Oscar Moreno

People will sometimes ask me if I believe in ghosts, though not as much as I would expect them to do so. Not many people believe anymore, and if they do they’re embarrassed. People don’t want to hear people’s ghost stories anymore, just like they don’t want to hear about people’s dreams. I like hearing about people’s dreams, and their ghost stories. What could be more interesting? The inner, and unconscious thoughts, and projections of your friends and family, there’s nothing better. Ghost stories are even more exciting, somebody you knew at least thinks they saw something that is basically magic. 

If you don’t like people’s ghost stories and hearing about their dreams, you are never allowed to complain about your friends being boring. They are trying to share with you maybe the only times in their lives when they are not boring, and if anything at least they’re trying. And what are you adding to the conversation, anyway? Some story about what some person at work did today whom your friend doesn’t even know? Yeah, Judgey McGee, you really are the life of the party. In any case, some people do like to hear about people’s dreams and ghost stories, and though I have a lot of dreams, I only have one real ghost story. I’ve had many visions, especially when sick, and seen spirits, but I do not think of them as ghosts. They were not stuck here, just visitors. I have also heard, felt, and seen strange things in a house I once stayed in, but it is so hard to say what’s creeping around houses at night. It could have been faeries, spirits, ghosts, or anything else. It could have even just been the faceless old woman who lives in all our homes, and I was just too young to know it was alright to talk about her…