Outside his dirt smeared window, Curio watched as a plane slowly made its way across the sky, which was slowly beginning to darken as evening crept in. He thought about closing the curtain, but it wasn’t quite dark enough. He was sat at his computer, his face multi-coloured, a mug of tea curling steam in front of the monitor. His inbox had only one new email. He saw it was from Ribbet:
I appreciate you responding to my email. I decided to regress myself again. I was much more in control this time. You were right about it being down to chance which life I see. I can’t control it. I went back even further, and I came to a conclusion that there is something in me that’s generic, and they’re proven scientific facts aren’t they? I’m going to keep trying this, I want to see all the lives I have been. This latest vision of me has taught me a lesson. I finally understood the meaning of the pyramids in Egypt. In my vision, I was exhausted. I was standing at the side of a river. My hands were aching, and I was watching, ahead of me, about half a mile in the distance, the pyramids actually being built. They were about halfway done. I noticed something floating above them, some dark, round objects that I know were helping them. I know of your interest in ancient astronauts, and how else could they have built such magnificent edifices, with little technology if they didn’t have outside help? Outside of this world, I mean. I believe in that now, as I’ve seen them, and when I see the pyramids, these days, I realise what they mean. They correspond exactly with the constellation of Orion. I know now that the pyramids are pointers. Markers left on earth to point the way to the stars where we come from. Whoever created us are simply stating where they are. This is us. I’m not sure I would go so far as to use the word ‘aliens’, but obviously they’re not of this earth. As I stood watching the construction, I looked down and saw why my hands ached. There was a woman lying dead beside me. I had strangled her. I pushed her into the water, and I had no feelings. No remorse. I turned then and walked away. Then I awoke. Maybe you don’t believe me, but I do, and that’s what matters. I thought I would share my experiences with you. I’m going to regress again, and I will tell you the result.
Thanks for reading this.
Curio sat back in his creaking chair, staring at the screen. He was right, he thought, he had to be right. The pyramids were pointers to the home of the creators of humans and animals, and maybe the earth itself. Perhaps they had always been there. There had been no mystery. Hieroglyphs and mythology had been created by society. He couldn’t bring himself to reply just yet, the information was still sinking in.
“I wonder who you are, Ribbet” he said. Finally, he managed a response:
‘Ribbet, I can only thank you. The information you have given me cannot be wrong. It’s been staring us in the face all these years. I cannot disagree with you. One thing I must correct you on though is the word ‘Generic’. I think you meant ‘Genetic’, the passing on through the generations of certain traits, characteristics. Yours, unfortunately so, seems to be the desire for, I suppose, murder. When you regress, this seems to be a prominent feature, as though your genes are trying to tell you what you were. I wonder if this has been a feature in all your previous lives, and if so, then it must feature now, in this life. I would be interested to know if this is so. Do you have any murderous tendencies these days? and how hard is it to suppress them? And of course I would be interested to know what you were when you regress again. If you have any more revelations then I hope you will again, think of me first. I don’t know if you know of my intention to write a book which will explain the facts of the paranormal. Other people’s experiences as well as my own will be documented, and I hope, taken seriously. I suspect you already know of my success as a psychic detective. Four in a row. Now if that is not proof, I don’t know what is. The implications of that are quite undeniable, such as the understanding of the energies and brainwaves that I use to find them. They need to be investigated more. What other secrets could they yield? If any paranormal activity is proven to be correct, then that could have a positive domino effect. If you could please refrain from telling others about what the pyramids are, I would be grateful. I won’t claim it for myself. It will be used in my book with your permission, and you will get a special mention. Anyway, time for me to sign off.
Hope you get back to me soon.
He sent the reply, then checked the ‘Uncanny kingdoms’ website for any new additions on the forum, but there were not many, and they were not of any interest. He shut down the computer, then stood up and crossed to the window. He looked down onto a glass strewn car park, at two cars parked there, at two youths leaning against a nearby wall chatting animatedly, at two girls of similar age sauntering over to them, at their unheard banter. They wandered away, one of them putting his arm around one of the girls. They disappeared around a corner, and nothing moved down there, except for an empty crisp packet, rolling along in a gathering wind. He sighed, and closed the curtains. He manoeuvred his way through the dark until he switched on a lamp beside his sofa.
He was about to pick up a TV guide to see if there was anything worth watching, when the telephone rang. Its shrill, high pitched tone punctuated throughout the small flat, and no doubt his neighbours could hear it as well. With the walls being so thin, Curio sometimes thought that not only could they hear him talking, but the person on the other end as well. He picked up the receiver.
“Hello,” he said.
“Oh, is that Mr Curio Enchantment?” came a woman’s voice. She sounded elderly.
“It certainly is, how can I help?”
“I’d like a reading, I wonder if…”
“Where do you live? I’ll be round as soon as I can”.
The wind was growing stronger and bringing with it an increasing chill. He had put his winter coat on, as none of his others were warm enough. He hardly felt the cold though. He was pleased because it was another chance to prove himself to be psychic. The woman lived a 15 minute walk away, and he found the streets to be fairly empty. He reached her bungalow and was soon stepping inside the hallway. Soon after that, he was in the living room with a steaming cup of tea, perched facing Mrs Abercrombie on the edge of a sofa. She was in a similar position, looking at Curio with sad, hopeful eyes. She looked to be in her late eighties, a small woman who would be unable to stand up in strong wind, or even an ordinary gale. She had the type of face that was basically a mask of wrinkles. She still however, tried to make herself look attractive by applying yellow eye shadow. It had been poorly applied though, a line of it almost reached her left temple. He wondered if she had applied it while he was on his way. It didn’t matter though, what mattered was the advancement of his familiarity and experience, his education. She had asked him to get in touched with Max, who was recently deceased. She wanted to know if he was happy wherever he was, and to tell him that she was thinking of him.
“Right,” said Curio, sipping his tea and putting it down on a coffee table.
“I need an item, something belonging to Max. Something that was personal to him. She uncurled her hands that had been resting on her lap, and Curio saw that she had been holding an object. Handing it to him, he saw that it was a cat’s collar. A tear ran through the maze down her right cheek.
“Tell me he’s alright,” she said. Curio just looked at it for a while.
“Max is a cat,” he said, as a statement. “Not your husband”. Mrs Abercrombie shook her head.
“I had ‘im for years. He always used to jump up when I was sitting here and demand, demand that I stroke him. He could sleep anywhere. Once, I found him sleeping in the cupboard upstairs. He would always….” Curio interjected:
“I always thought Max was a dog’s name. Anyway, I’ll see if he’s in the spirit world, and see if he’s got any messages for you”. He tried not to speak through clenched teeth. A fucking cat, he thought. Not a husband, son, human. He sighed, closed his eyes and hovered his hand around two inches over the collar. He knew he could basically make it up as he went along, but decided against it. If there was potential for humans to contact people, then there was no reason to suggest that it was not possible to contact animals. If everything living had a soul, then once the physical shell can no longer sustain it, death occurs of the tissue, and can no longer be deemed to be living. The soul, life-force, or spirit, can not die, as it is an energy. It converted into something else, and that something else, is deemed to be inside the spirit world. That was according to Curio. He guessed that the deceased may be somewhere close, watching them like a guardian angel, waiting for their loved ones in the real world to join them, so they would be first person they would see upon crossing over. Yet, with cats being cats, their loyalty to humans is never a strong point, so it was probably away cavorting with other cats, being chased by dogs and chasing mice, generally being the way it was in life. Its personality, according to Curio, would stay the same, as with humans. If you were a happy go-lucky kind of person, then that’s what you’d be in the spirit world. It was the same if you were a cantankerous, greedy, miserable person, then that’s what you’d be in death. He had often wondered about people who died with their minds so bitter and twisted and disturbed, that perhaps that was the way they would be for eternity. If in life you were fairly ‘normal’ or sane, then should insanity take over the mind, then upon crossing over, does the psyche revert back to normality? Curio didn’t know, and couldn’t begin to give any sort of answer, other than that of speculation. He was convinced they could communicate with the living, and a cat may provide good exercise, as he knew he was nowhere near good enough to do it professionally. His mind, he believed, was almost tuned into the spirit world, rather like static on a television screen. He hoped it would disappear in time, leaving a clear picture. As it was with his abilities, he could not call himself an expert, only an amateur, and he knew that all opportunities to practice the crafts were to be taken up.
He was silent for a few moments, his mind trying to tune in to the spirit world with the help of vibrations that he believed he could sense coming from the collar.
“He was a loving cat,” he said. Then he smiled. A white Angora cat came into his mind. It was swiping at a feather trying to drift to the ground. Curio smiled.
“A playful cat”. The image then changed to the cat rubbing itself against somebody’s shin. He guessed it was Mrs Abercrombie. In the image, she crouched down and stroked him.
“Liked to be stroked”. Mrs Abercrombie snivelled.
“Yes, he did”. Curio then saw him playing with other cats in a field. The sun was shining and butterflies fluttered around. These thoughts of the cat simply sprung into his mind, and he fell silent for a few moments more, contemplating as to whether or not this was real. It felt real. He decided that it was.
“I see him now,” he said, “Playing with other cats. He’s happy now, in what I can only describe as a paradise”. Mrs Abercrombie put her hands to her face, and more tears flowed. The image then faded away, and Curio opened his eyes.
“I saw him,” he said. “He was a white cat, wasn’t he? He was very caring”. Mrs Abercrombie seemed to produce a handkerchief from nowhere. She dabbed her eyes and stood up.
“Mr Enchantment, you were amazing. I can’t thank you enough”. She crossed to the mantle-piece and picked up a twenty pound note that had been behind an ornament of a golden eagle. She handed it to him.
“Take this as a thank-you”, she said. Curio just looked at it, surprised. He did not expect to be paid. The practice and experience would have been enough, but he took it.
“You don’t have to do that”, he said, feeling obliged to say it, and putting it into his pocket. He expected her reaction to be the one she gave:
“No, please, I insist”.
Out in the hallway, he put on his coat. Mrs Abercrombie opened the door. As he went to walk out, he noticed a framed photograph of an Angora cat on the wall.
“Was that him?” he asked. Mrs Abercrombie looked to the floor and nodded. She bid him farewell, and Curio walked back through the darkened streets, trying to work out whether or not he had actually seen the real cat, or whether it had been concocted by his subconscious to meet with expectations. He had once heard a psychologist on the radio discussing why people are susceptible to believing strange things. Most of what he had said, Curio had thought to be complete baloney. He was basically being sceptical about things paranormal. The man had said that when people try to contact dead people, try to speak with them, or ‘connect’, what is actually happening is the mind is believing at an abnormal rate the fact that there is a presence, so therefore the mind creates the conditions inside your own body to make you think that there is a ghost present. You become cold, you may enter a trance-like state, and the subconscious creates images, that of which you were expecting. The part of the mind responsible for dreams is activated in consciousness. Dreams cannot be predicted or controlled, and in a conscious state, is activated by belief and expectation. It feeds you with what you had already presumed. Sometimes belief is so real and powerful, that the mind projects images out into the real world, seen only by the believer, who sees what they had expected in the haunted house, and therefore, believe that they had seen a ghost which reinforces their convictions. That becomes their proof, what they ‘know’. He had concluded by saying that people should stop believing in fantasies, and concentrate on what is known already known, and is fact. Basically, add to existing knowledge. Of course, at the time, Curio had said loudly at the time to the radio:
‘What? Restrict freedom of thought? Absolute load of bollocks’, and switched it off. The only seed of it that had remained was that of the part of the mind responsible for dreams. Was it really responsible for the images of the cat? No, it wasn’t he thought, because how then did he know that the cat was an Angora? He smiled. Yes, he thought, I’m improving.
The imposing, cold, faceless building where he lived, loomed above him, and he hoped he wouldn’t have to live there much longer. If his talent kept growing, he thought, then so will his reputation, and people may even, some day, see this as a tourist destination. He hoped that when he was long gone, into the spirit world, his fame will be so high that his flat will have been preserved. Perhaps there would a plaque to him. ‘…and this is where he used to live before he became famous throughout the world’ a tour guide may say. That thought gave Curio some comfort as he climbed the lightless stairs. He had never known the lift to work.