MIKE O'HARE
co-author of The Meadow
Mike O'Hare
December - 3 - 2014 | 0 Comment

A SHORT STORY FOR BEDTIME

An angel in the making

“Leave me alone! Stop this please! What do you want of me? Why are you doing this?” She sat up abruptly, no longer finding solace in sleep that would take her from this world of tortured thoughts. Peter looked at her, his sleep also being broken by Elizabeth’s outbursts that were becoming more regular and unbearable for both of them.

“Bear with it darling”, he said as he took her hand, gazing at the tears as they coalesced with beads of perspiration, cascading down the shallow facial contours to the tip of her chin. Only his pity was greater than the frustration he felt. He was powerless to help her and yet he must find a way to overcome the terrible affliction that had befallen her.

His thoughts went back to the time when they attended that fateful party. They were reluctant to accept his boss’s invitation as Elizabeth had had an accident in the garden that day which meant a visit to the hospital was inevitable. The leg wound wasn’t too bad, but needed ten stitches and a tetanus injection. As a consequence, she was advised to rest and steer clear of alcohol for at least three days.

If only they had heeded the doctor’s advice, but how could they refuse such an invitation that was not given to every colleague in Peter’s office. They had agreed to make the most of it, Peter also keeping off the booze so that he could drive. Parties are not quite the same without being able to ‘blend’ into the atmosphere, so the absence of the odd relaxing drink kept them bright eyed and far too observant – not the chosen state for the partygoer.

Elizabeth and Peter were the perfect couple – great friends and lovers with a respect for each other that matched the mutual dedication they unashamedly portrayed. No matter which mode of life they found themselves – home, social or work – they would always look out for each other.Elizabeth was particularly vulnerable of late due to the sudden and unexpected death of her mother. She was devastated and without Peter she would have crumbled.

Their marriage was into its third year and as yet no family plans had been made. There was plenty of time ahead, so they made a pledge to selfishly share each other until such a time dictated that their wings should spread over the nest. Life was good and their outgoing nature always ensured a positive response. Parties were no exception. However this time a certain game was to be played that would have the most devastating repercussions.

Certain so-called, well-meaning individuals, upon hearing and discussing Elizabeth’s recent loss suggested that a séance should be set up whereby her mother, perhaps, could come ‘through’. There was no one experienced or qualified to take up the mantle so a friend of Peter’s boss suggested using the Ouija board as a tool. A makeshift base with letters and numbers along with the obligatory glass was all that was needed. Peter was in conversation with someone, so Elizabeth seemed to have no objection to this, as it would help to fill in time that was becoming laboured.

Everything went smoothly for a while, most people being amazed how the glass seemed to move with very little help. Of course the odd finger-pointing would occur, thus alleviating the tension that ensued. It was light-hearted enough as most people, if not all – barring Peter and Elizabeth – were well lubricated.

The lack of alcohol, coupled with Elizabeth’s feelings and vulnerability towards her departed mother seemed to create a ‘doorway’ where certain energies could enter. Peter was interested and had studied phenomena when he was at university. It wasn’t his mainstream subject, but he did have access to the Department of Parapsychology through his roommate, Colin. He knew that physics could show how energies could travel and manifest – both positively and negatively.

By the time he realised what was happening, Elizabeth was beginning to feel restless and quite ill. This was the excuse for them to beg their leave, so they gave their customary thanks and left. “What on earth possessed you to get involved in such a thing?” He shuddered on the choice of words he had used as he drove at speed to get her home.

“I’m sorry darling. You were engrossed with a friend and I saw no harm in it. After all, they were doing this for me. Are you going to scold me?” That look in her eyes took all the venom he had conjured, knowing better times would be ahead when they reached home.

For a few days, everything seemed to be all right and the event at the party was soon forgotten. Then the nightmares began. In fact they were more than nightmares, because she was experiencing horrible things in her waking hours. However, it was at night when she was resting, whereby her relaxed mind seemed to be replaced by involuntary thoughts and sounds – voices.

After a few weeks, matters became unbearable. “We must get consultation on this Elizabeth. If it’s a medical condition, we need professional guidance”. He knew that they must go through the motions of seeking help through the orthodox channels that were available. However, he was sceptical that there would be any mileage in this. In due course the appointment was made and they attended the consulting rooms of Mr Childs, a renowned psychologist and psychiatrist.

Upon leaving Peter said: “I’ll give him some credit – he was thorough. It’s such a shame these guys are so conditioned and blinkered in their findings”. Elizabeth was not so relaxed about things as she had just been diagnosed as having a mild schizophrenic disorder. “Do you believe I’m mad Peter?” she wept. It was not the kind of diagnosis they had been looking for, although Peter suspected as much. “These people have no idea of what they are dealing with darling. Besides, how can something like this be termed as ‘mild’? I’m going to get in touch with Colin Hamilton.”

The name rang a few bells in Elizabeth’s memory. “Wasn’t he your friend at university? You’ve never spoken to him for years. How can he help?” Peter felt guilty at Elizabeth’s accusation, but he knew she was right. He must be very diplomatic when, or if, he could locate him. He was in for a shock when, after days of phone calls and letters, he discovered that Colin was living in the States. He was now a respected professor dealing in psychic and paranormal phenomena at the Monroe Institute in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

The song of the same entered Elizabeth’s mind and she suddenly thought of Laurel and Hardy. For some reason, she felt a kind of peace come over her – one that she had not previously experienced and she began laughing uncontrollably. Upon mentioning this to Peter, he became convinced that a window had opened within her psyche that allowed entities to flow. He put this down to the night at the party whereby her vulnerability and willingness had opened certain doors. “Don’t worry darling, I’m getting in touch with Colin come hell or high water”.

Emails, letters and phone calls went out. Peter was leaving nothing to chance, knowing how so much mail can be ignored when dealing in such matters. A few weeks past, and still there was no news. He was desperate and Elizabeth’s brief respite from her ‘visitations’ was the catalyst which convinced him that her unhappiness was the key to why negative energies found free reign to manifest within her personal boundaries.

“Well, if we can’t beat them, we’ll join them”, said Peter as he reached for a blank audiocassette. “Now, where’s that video we have of Laurel and Hardy?” Elizabeth was beginning to wonder who had the condition. “Darling, you know that I love you dearly, but what on earth are you doing?” His glance towards her illustrated the connectedness they still shared. If anything, this situation had brought them even closer. “Trust me darling. I love you too”.

At 7 p.m. on a foggy Monday evening at the Monroe Institute, Colin Hamilton was sifting through mail that had been carefully selected for him during the day. One small package that caught his eye had a picture of Laurel and Hardy with a hand drawn arrow pointing to the opening flap that bore the message: “If you still have flat feet and a silly tattoo on the knuckle of your right thumb, then open this.” Peter was, of course, referring to some personal traits of Colin’s that he knew could not be ignored.

Colin placed the cassette into the player and listened to the song Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Suddenly, he heard fits of delicate laughter interspersed with uncontrollable cries of utter despondency. This repeated for several minutes, when the recording was interrupted by Peter’s voice.

“Hello Colin old mate. This is Peter Bennett if you hadn’t already guessed by the envelope’s message. The voice you can hear over Laurel and Hardy is my beautiful Elizabeth. Do you remember her? We were courting by the time we went our separate ways. She is now my wife who I love dearly and who has been diagnosed as crazy – to be more specific, a schizophrenic disorder. I remember being privy to some of your experiments at the university and I’m convinced that you don’t believe a person can be so normal one minute and then this. Please can you help? My phone number is enclosed. I’m sorry to get in touch under such circumstances”.

At 2 a.m. the next day, due to the time difference, the phone conveniently rang, interrupting one of Elizabeth’s living nightmares. “Peter, it’s Colin. I’ve just read your message. Is this Elizabeth I can hear now?” Peter grasped her hand and just glanced to the heavens as if to say ‘Thank You’, thank You’.

“Yes Colin, it’s Peter and thank you so much for contacting me. You have no idea of what we are going through”. There was an uneasy silence as Colin listened intently to Elizabeth’s ramblings. “Believe me Peter, I have every idea of what you’re enduring. I want you to do me a favour. Get every tape and video you can find that plays light music and has an amusing content that appeals to Elizabeth. Keep playing them constantly. I’m leaving for the UK in a few hours. My secretary has already booked my flight. I’ll be with you some time tomorrow, ok?”

Tears were streaming down Peter’s cheeks as he acknowledged Colin’s message. He knew Colin was a genius from the discoveries and documented evidence he accumulated at the university. This also was an opportunity that Colin could not ignore. It was manna from heaven because he had been looking for a subject where he could test and eventually prove that there was a strong connection between schizophrenia and clairvoyance. Was Elizabeth going to be his angel in the making?

Tests and experiments are still continuing in the field of conscious recognition and discovery thanks to Elizabeth’s co-operation. The experience has left her psychic ‘doorway’ permanently open, but she is now able to control her gremlins after discovering that we all have them. Sometimes they surface when the opportunity arises as they did in her situation.

Things eventually got back to normal, but Peter found himself as the taxi for Elizabeth as she visited centre after centre, town after town, giving solace to people and proof that there really is more to life than this.

End

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