by R.T. Allenson

A second later and he was gone – just like that Madison vanished from my sight in a puff of smoke after having asked the magic 8-ball one too many times; the man who sold it to us had warned us of asking it the same question repeatedly, telling us that we’d eventually get what we asked for…

His presence, I could still feel it linger for a while but eventually that too faded into nothingness. The magic 8-ball had fallen hard on the ground, the window cracked and dark liquid oozing out and spilling all over the floor. It’s bleeding, I thought to myself. His house was empty and dark save for the one working lamp by his bedside. His parents weren’t home yet and immediately I felt a sudden urgency to find him. It wasn’t  a trick or a prank; I saw him vanish a second after I barged into his room, his face transfixed as he stared at the 8-ball’s answer…and just like that he was gone.

I took the 8-ball, carefully holding it to prevent anymore of the liquid inside from spilling and shook it slowly.

“Where’s Madison?” I asked. Immediately, I shook my head. Yes or no only. But I could feel the die inside the ball move and I waited for an answer. The die surfaced into view and my eyes widened.


I shook the 8-ball again, harder this time. “Where’s Madison?”


“Where’s Madison?” I cursed under my breath and shook the 8-ball again. It took a while before the die came into view and when it did, I felt a chill run over me as I read the words…


I shook the 8-ball and gulped. “Yes.” I answered meekly. It felt like ages before the die popped out into view again and I remembered what the man had told us…that the 8-ball was different from the rest and that we shouldn’t ask it the same questions again and again, otherwise we’d get what we asked for. And though I wasn’t asking anything in particular, I felt dread at what I had started. I held the 8-ball in my hand and I looked closer as the die finally came into view. I felt sick and cold and I thought of running but before I could, I felt something breathe on the back of my neck.