The Fox Sisters were known for their ability to speak with the dead. They listened to the rap, rap, raps of the spirits knocking on walls, on tables, on the inside of cabinets. The raps were letters spelling out secrets. They said a man had been murdered. Buried beneath their house. Such secrets. Secrets are better left unsaid. Sometimes, Maggie and Kate Fox would try to close doors, cover their ears, not listen. The public called for more, for more, voices like pounding. The taste of alcohol was sweet compared to the pounding.
Maggie dreamed of the sky bleeding into her skin whenever she went out at night. The stars in her veins shimmered and fell. She didn’t ever wish upon them. What could she have wished for? Kate began to manifest the spirits onto stages across America. They shimmered and shook. The spirits never asked for much. Rapping, rapping.
After years, the sisters finally admitted to fraud. The rapping merely the cracking of their toes done in unison. “We only wanted to play a joke on Mama,” they said. Voices shaking with age, with years of drink. The public moved on easily.
Years later, children playing in the ruins of the old Fox house found white sticking out of the ground. So chalky-colored, so smooth. They were the bones of a man, murdered some said.
Chloe N. Clark is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing & Environment. Her work has appeared such places Booth, Sleet, Rosebud, Menacing Hedge, and more. She studies ghosts and magic, doughnuts and monsters. Not necessarily in that order. Follow her @PintsNCupcakes.