Chapter 117:

Charlie Charlie Challenge (2)

My Demon Queen

Standing outside the shaded veranda, taking in the cold wet wind from the ever lasting rain. Lighting would crack, lighting up the world.Bookmark here

The sky rumbled, blue and red sparks running across the fluffy black cotton that is the cloud. It was really an odd sight to behold. Especially when you view it with the pitch black city below. I wouldn't say it was entirely black because some buildings remained in function-- like that hospital there and the shopping complex there-- for example. Probably thanks to the backup generators.Bookmark here

I turned to look behind me. Liliath and Prune sitting silently on the sofa as Nine got the 'game' ready. A large pengram mat-- which I had no clue when she prepared. Orange flame wax candles that gave off a distinctive smell in contrast to the mellow scent of the rain.Bookmark here

"Liliath, Prune. Did something happen just now?" I made sure my voice was loud enough so that they could hear me through the rain.Bookmark here

Prune shook her head left and right, Liliath nodded up and down. Huh?Bookmark here

"Well… If it's something concerning you, feel free to share it alright?" How curious.Bookmark here

I almost had a heart attack just now because of their weird antics-- must have something to do with that. Did they cry? Prune's eyes were slightly red if I remember correctly.Bookmark here

"All done!" Nine came holding a piece of scratch paper and two pencils.Bookmark here

The living room was quite bright in fact, 5 candlesticks and two phones with the flashlight running placed into a funnel-like paper cut out to spread the light out like a lamp. That said, the pitch dark places where the light could not reach still gave off an extremely eerie vibe-- as if something could leak out from within-- like a strand of hair or something.Bookmark here

If anything, even if a ghost were to appear, everyone would be safe-- Liliath had the ability to obliterate anything-- and I mean ANYTHING in her path.Bookmark here

Let's just hope it doesn't come to that-- I don't want the apartment to come crumbling down.Bookmark here

"Nine, what is this?" Prune asked.Bookmark here

"Have you ever heard of the Charlie Charlie challenge?"Bookmark here

"I don't know if this is even the right era to play it anymore. The trend is gone. And-- isn't this like the worst possible time to play such a dangerous thing?!"Bookmark here

"What could this challenge be about? Looks to me like something eerie," Liliath asked.Bookmark here

"You'll see, you'll see."Bookmark here

Charlie Charlie Challenge. Basically it's like the Ouija board except it's not. You could say it's a 'kind' of ritual to summon a paranormal event. Honestly, I've never tried it before but when Nine suggested it I can't believe I agreed with it.Bookmark here

I wouldn't have so readily accepted it if not for the failsafe that is Liliath.Bookmark here

Though, it's very possible we might meet a cute ghost-- no.Bookmark here

Nine on the paper divided into quadrants with 'NO' and 'YES' written on it, she balanced two pencils on top of each other. Coupled with the pentagram map underneath and five candles placed at five different places in the living room, you could say this would be one of the most immersively creepy games I'm going to play to date.Bookmark here

Why do something so reckless? Why not? If anything, I should be surprised that Nine was willing to play this sort of scary game. I thought she was someone who gets spooked easily.Bookmark here

"S-shouldn't we go to bed already? It's 11PM now and we still have school tomorrow," Prune said, showing us the time on her phone.Bookmark here

"It should be fine. A little loss of sleep is nothing. Come on, just once," Nine prodded.Bookmark here

Prune turned to me for salvation-- that I couldn't give. She had no choice but to resort to an alternative.Bookmark here

"I'll just watch from here."Bookmark here

"Suit yourself. Okay, to give a brief explanation to the greenhorn Liliath, the Charlie Charlie challenge is a game that summons a mexican ghost called Charlie. You ask a yes no question and Charlie will give an answer depending on the question. Actually, if you trace it to its roots, the game began as something you play using beer bottles, not pencils. Moreover, it was unknown how it evolved into the current game but Charlie would've not been the name of the ghost if it really originated from Mexico-- the ghost would've been called Charliotte, not Charlie. Some say the game originated from some other place and we got the whole history wrong but who cares! It's fun so let's start asking questions!"Bookmark here

"All we do is ask questions to the supernatural being called Charlie?"Bookmark here

"Yup.."Bookmark here

The pencil shifted to the 'YES' quadrant. Ooo-- how creepy.Bookmark here

"Oh! Look!"Bookmark here

"That must have been the wind, the window is still open," Prune tried to rationalize.Bookmark here

"Then Noel, close the window!"Bookmark here

"I'll leave a small opening."Bookmark here

Nine repositioned the pencil and then beckoned Liliath to ask a question. Leaning close to the table, she asked:Bookmark here

"Will Nine marry Noel in the future?"Bookmark here

"Hey!" the hell kind of question is that?!Bookmark here

The pencil didn't move.Bookmark here

"See, it's fake," Prune said, hugging the pillow.Bookmark here

"Do I need to use magic on it?"Bookmark here

"No. no. You're supposed to let it run it's thing naturally-- look!"Bookmark here

The pencil shifted to the NO quadrant.Bookmark here

Liliath and Prune let loose a relieved sigh. I look at them alternately. They naturally shifted their gaze right back at me-- What?Bookmark here

"Noel, your turn," Nine repositioned the pencil again.Bookmark here

"Okay, Charlie Charlie will Nine fall off a cliff."Bookmark here

"HEY!"Bookmark here

The pencil instantly shifted to the NO quadrant. Heh.Bookmark here

"Looks like you're safe."Bookmark here

Nine didn't reply and could only look at the pencil in silence.Bookmark here

"T-that's really bad you know Noel? What if it turned out to be yes?" Prune's voice quivered.Bookmark here

"Yeah.. sorry. My bad."Bookmark here

Nine shook her head and slapped her cheeks with both her hands to come back to herself.Bookmark here

"Prune, are you sure you don't want to try?" Nine tiled her head and asked with a grin.Bookmark here

"A-alright. Just one." Prune replied with a serious expression on her face.Bookmark here

Repositioning the pencil, Prune presented her question.Bookmark here

"Will Liliath marry Noel in the future."Bookmark here

At those words the pencil instantly shifted to the YES quadrant.Bookmark here

"See! Have more trust in yourself and Noel," Prune shot a look at Liliath-- who could only hang her head.Bookmark here

"What? What has this got to do with me?"Bookmark here

"What do you mean it doesn't!" Prune huffed. Her face was visibly red. She was genuinely angry-- what happened? Was it to do with something previously?Bookmark here

"Um.. alright."Bookmark here

"Okay okay. Next one is Liliath."Bookmark here

"Nine, how many rounds of this are we going to play? We have to get to bed if we're going to wake up early tomorrow," Prune said with a stern voice. Hm? How rare. Prune is actually mad.Bookmark here

"How about this round as out last then?" Nine said, slightly annoyed.Bookmark here

A short game. Welp, two more questions before ending this. Last one is mine--I better ask a good one then.Bookmark here

Prune curled back up on the sofa. Nine readjusted the pencil and came Liliath's question.Bookmark here

"Here's my question Charlie-- can you show yourself?"Bookmark here

The candle light furthest away flickered and went out. The sound of rain seemed to drown into the distance all of a sudden. I felt goosebumps crawl up on my skin.Bookmark here

"Oi LIliath.. you.." Nine's voice was quivering.Bookmark here

"Should I have not asked that.. sorry," Liliath's shoulders dropped.Bookmark here

"No.. it's alright," I brought myself closer and petted her head.Bookmark here

"Sorry Noel."Bookmark here

"No really.. it's alright."Bookmark here

"The pencil!"Bookmark here

Turning to the paper, the pencil was seen visibly shaking wildly.Bookmark here

Another candle went out, the one closest to Prune.Bookmark here

"Hiikh!" Prune climbed down the sofa and quickly snuggled up to Liliath's side.Bookmark here

Surprisingly, Liliath remained unfazed or should I say that she's looking at something within the darkness.Bookmark here

"H-hey! Don't just leave me out!" Nine quickly rushed over to our side. So it's now a four person sandwich. Liliath in the middle.Bookmark here

I brought up the UI. And typed 'Holy Water' in the search bar in preparation for the worst.Bookmark here

"Liliath, holy water is e-effective against ghosts right?"Bookmark here

"Usually that would be the case for wraiths however for the ghosts from your world.. I'm not too sure." Liliath's eyes were glued to something-- the pitch black kitchen area.Bookmark here

"Is there something there?"Bookmark here

To be honest, I'm seriously shaking. I'm pretty sure it's obvious from my voice but I'm trying my best to keep my calm. Now I regret trying this game. WHY THE FUCK DID I AGREE WITH THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE!?Bookmark here

"There is."Bookmark here

The pencil fell off the table-- no answer was shown to Liliath's question.Bookmark here

With three candles left and one last question.Bookmark here

"Nine.. is it a custom to give a closing to this game? Like saying can we leave or thank you or something?"Bookmark here

"I-it depends. Some say yes, others don't.. w-what do we do now? Liliath, you're not lying right? Is there really something there?!" Nine asked with her teeth clattering.Bookmark here

Liliath nodded. Prune leaned squeezed closer to Liliath.Bookmark here

Now what?Bookmark here

Should I close this?Bookmark here

What should I ask?Bookmark here

I took the pencil from underneath the table and placed it back on top of the other pencil.Bookmark here

"Are you alright if we end this game here? I would appreciate it if you don't trouble us too much.."Bookmark here

Another candle went out, and then..Bookmark here

"Fu. Fu. Fu. Sou jian da yo. Mada owaremasen no. Demo, daijyou bu, abunai tokoro mou inakunata."Bookmark here

I felt a tickling sensation behind my ear.. a soft child-like voice-- Japanese?!Bookmark here

Charlie is Mexican isn't she?! Why Japanese? I speak english and have a clue as to what the fuck she just said.. Don't tell me my biggest worries came true?!Bookmark here

To turn around or not turn around-- Liliath's gaze was still glued to something in the kitchen while Prune and Nine were doing the same. Nobody was looking my way-- and my back was facing the sliding door to the veranda. Did they not hear it?Bookmark here

No harem please.. No harem.. Don't just drop another girl into my life without my consent SYSTEM!Bookmark here

I turned around…Bookmark here

A black fabric came into view-- raising my head, what greeted me was a pair of glowing eyes. One blood red, the other gold. Four horns, velvet hair-- Liliath?Bookmark here

Seeing me, she smiled and placed her fingers on her lips before melted back into the darkness.Bookmark here

"The hell did I just.. huh?"Bookmark here

They disappeared. the phone flashlight, gone-- Liliath, Prune and Nine-- gone. The only thing left were two candles and the paper and pencil that had yet to move.Bookmark here

"N-no.. the fuck is this?"Bookmark here

Did I fall unconscious?Bookmark here

"Just leave us alone can you Charlie? P-please?" I said in a strained voice.Bookmark here

In the barely visible darkness I saw the pencil shift-- I didn't know what quadrant it landed on but I felt something grip my heart as footsteps came close. The candles went out entirely and plunged me in utter darkness.Bookmark here

A light chuckle, and the sound of thristhy breaths-- I felt my heart race as I retreated a few meters back until I hit the sliding door.Bookmark here

Two hands clasped onto my shoulders.Bookmark here

"AAHH!!"Bookmark here

I blinked-- and saw Liliath?Bookmark here

The lights in the room were back on, Prune and Nine looked at me with the same worried look.Bookmark here

"W-what happened?"Bookmark here

"You passed out.." Liliath pulled me into her embrace.Bookmark here

"H-Huh? T-this isn't a dream right?" I couldn't help but bury myself closer to her to calm myself down. I was shaking really badly, heart pounding so hard it was as if it would jump out of my chest and a cold clammy sweat poured out of my skin.Bookmark here

"You're seriously out of it.. the moment you asked that last question the lights came back on. Gave us quite the fright," Nine laughed, "But that's it for tonight-- this was on hella scary night… Prune, can I sleep in your room tonight? I'm still shaking."Bookmark here

"We'll keep the lights on as we sleep," Prune nodded fervently.Bookmark here

Liliath pulled away and looked right at me-- a pair of crimson eyes, different from the Liliath I was with the golden iris.Bookmark here

"Should we do the same? The danger still remains."Bookmark here

She whispers the second half of her words.Bookmark here

"Y-Yeah.."Bookmark here

Honestly. I don't know if I could bring myself to say no.Bookmark here

The hell is up with that last part? Danger? Did Liliath just save me from Charlie?Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.