Sex in the Afterlife
by Stephen Faulkner
The Ouija indicator slides effortlessly across the board on its
felt-tipped feet, its course unguided but for the vibrations applied by
sixteen lightly resting fingers. Taken seriously, the answers received
to the questions posed would mean that the realm of those who have
passed over to the "other side" has been successfully contacted; taken
with a large grain of incredulity, the questions asked of and answered
by the succession of circled letters and pointed-to yeses and nos are
merely used as a source of an evening's entertainment. Whatever the
state of mind of the two participants the question "Is anybody there?"
brings the heart-shaped indicator to an immediate gliding stop on the
As if they are investigators grilling a suspect, they begin with a
series of preliminary background inquiries. Name: Vivian Schondel; date
of death: April, 1965 (no more specific an answer than this); means of
demise: automobile crash; age at time of death: 22; the vicinity in
which life was lived: Jersey City and Manhattan (residence and place of
occupation, respectively.) Addresses of each: garbled, a mélange of
numbers and letters without any apparent meaning.
Occupation? The young woman sitting knee to knee across from her
male counterpart in this time-passing endeavor looks up and smile as
the indicator circles the letters P-R-O-S-T…."Prostitute?" she asks,
not allowing the plastic pointer to continue. As if hearing her
interruption, the pointer slides with a jerk to the word YES.
"Where were you killed?" the young man asks.
MADISON AVENUE BETWEEN 34TH AND 35TH STREETS.
"You said an automobile accident, but how?"
HEAD ON is the only answer. The indicator rests on the final N of its reply, waiting.
"You were in the car?"
YES. Clarification is complete as far as the young man is concerned.
Vivian Schondel wasn't on the sidewalk or trying to cross the street
when a car hit her, she was inside the car itself. His female
companion, however, sees another line of questioning to pursue. "Were
you on your way to a job--a trick?"
"And you never got there?"
FOOLISH QUESTION spells the sliding, halting, sliding indicator before swiftly skidding to NO.
The young woman smiles again, appreciating the retort. "Of course
not," she agrees. "How could she if she was killed in a traffic
accident before she could get there."
The indicator moves again, spelling out BRIGHT GIRL. The young
woman's smile dies, her apologetic admission for her foolish question
now a thing of regret. "Snide bitch," she mutters, causing the
indicator to move to an answer. "Don't you dare," she admonishes it,
and it doesn't. It halts in the blank space between numerals and
letters with a shuddering pirouette on the board's dry, slick surface.
A pause ensues in which time the young man formulates his next
question along with the courage to pose it. "How much did you earn for
50 PER TRICK OR 200 A NIGHT.
"How long did a single trick usually take?
DEPENDS ON WHAT WAS ASKED. USUALLY NO MORE THAN AN HOUR.
"And for 200 dollars…?"
THE WHOLE NIGHT LONG.
"Sort of a cut rate on bulk orders, huh?'
"Even if the night ran six or eight hours?"
"Even so, that was pretty damned expensive in 1965, wasn't it?"
I WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY.
The young woman stifles a derisive laugh at the comment.
YOUR GIRLFRIEND WOULDN'T BE, the indicator spells out, answering the
wordless remark. The young woman is taken aback by this unwarranted
attack. "Do you say that because I'm a woman and alive?" she asks,
intent on striking back. No answer. "Because I can still…?" Even though
the question goes unfinished, the meaning is clear. Still, no answer.
Satisfied with the apparent success of her verbal counter-attack, the
young woman says no more.
Another pause, a sharing of glances, supposedly meaningful looks
between the two participants. "Anything else you'd like to ask?" he
says, noting her resumed calm, her thoughtful expression. She nods
curtly as she straightens her fingers on the indicator. "Did you enjoy
sex?" she asks in a decidedly curious tone.
WITH MOST MEN I DID.
"But not all?"
THERE WERE SOME CLINKERS.
"What would you say the percentage was of the men you had sex with that you truly enjoyed?"
"Seventy five percent?" said the young woman, a bit surprised.
THAT'S WHAT I SAID came the reply, snide once more.
The young woman takes a deep, calming breath to quell her growing anger, and then asks, "Do you miss it? Sex, I mean."
The indicator pauses in the blank strip of the board between
numerals and letters, making tentative circles as if weighing
alternative responses, mulling it over. Final answer: NO.
Consideration again; circling in on the answer, ORGASMS ARE BETTER HERE.
"Better in the afterlife?" asks the young man skeptically. The answer to this is YES.
"But how? I always thought a woman's orgasm was a physical and emotional thing. Being dead, you have no body…."
BUT I HAVE EMOTIONS comes the reply, nearing pulling the indicator
from under the young man's fingers. It skips lightly over the letters
of the reply except for those in the word HAVE, settling heavily on
each letter as if for italicizing emphasis.
"Orgasms with only emotion?" he says, whispering, not believing. "Is that enough?"
YES, says the spirit, AND WONDERFUL.
"Emotions of the spirit?" asks the young woman. The indicator glides to YES, then spells out EXACTLY.
It is evident that the young man still does not quite understand
what is being said. His face shows his bewilderment, his desire to
"It's nothing that can really be described," his female friend tells him, answering his pleading look.
DO YOU SHARE LOVE, the board asks, as if it is only the board, the inanimate object bridging their laps, which speaks.
"As friends," admits the young man, telling what he knows to be the
truth. "A love between friends." The young woman looks at him
quizzically in an effort to hide her smile.
GOOD START, the indicator spells out, racing from letter to letter. THEN WHY DON'T YOU HUG?
"Hug?" he says, felling lost.
"As friends," explains the woman as if understanding completely what the deceased woman is trying to say. "Embrace as friends."
"But there is no orgasm in just an embrace," he complains as he gets
up. "I love you like I said, as a friend, and I'll always cherish our
friendship, your hugs, but it's not sexual, there is no orgasm in
that... those..." He is confused for a moment by the proper choice of
words in this particular case. His friend's arms encircle him, draw him
close. His reciprocation is done unconsciously, natural, grateful and
"Maybe where she is," says the young woman as she holds him. "This
is enough or maybe even better than we feel it here, in the physical
world. Maybe there, where she is, an embrace does cause orgasms, or
else it's an orgasm in itself."
"Spirits embracing," he says hollowly, trying to accustom himself to
the concept. "Orgasmic ghosts." He shakes his head, still not convinced.
"A mingling, a blending of spirits," she says, relaxing her muscles
at the same time his do the same., They look closely at one another,
eyes studying eyes (brown into hazel, hazel into brown), noses nearly
touching. "Isn't it enough?" she asks.
He pauses before answering, forcing his mouth into a closed, shy
smile. "If I were a spirit," he says with the hint of a shrug, his eyes
fixed and shining. He looks away in silent expression of his
uncertainty of the meaning of his own words.
© 2015 Stephen Faulkner
Bio: Mr. Faulkner is an out of work college administrator who is
now honing his writing craft. He looks forward to sharing his stories
with those who appreciate his singular style and point of view. His most recent Aphelion appearance was Playing God in our July 2014 issue.
E-mail: Stephen Faulkner
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