By John Jones All Rights Reserved ©

Horror / Thriller

Chapter 23

Curio nodded, disinterestedly. He was stood at his landline telephone, listening to Mrs Abercrombie as she talked about her husband. For nearly twenty minutes, all he had said was: ‘Ye’, ‘really’, or ‘right’. It was another ten minutes before she finally let him go, and he was relieved to put down the receiver. He walked through into the kitchen. On the door, there was a photocopy of a book cover which featured the stern face of the author, behind him a silhouette of a castle. There were no castles in it, or references to the past. ‘There and back’ by Daryl Paloma, was basically his account of his tour of the other side by his guardian angel. Often at night, in his dreams, he would be awoken by Aisha, to walk amongst fluttering petals, to see his relatives who had crossed over, to taste the crisp, fresh atmosphere of paradise. His trips there had now ended. It was basically Aisha taking him for a visit of where he would cross to after his death. On his last visit, she had told him that the next time he came, he would stay there permanently. There had been no more visits after that, and Daryl could not just sit by and not tell people. He had to let the world know by writing his account of his experience. Daryl had not always been on the straight and narrow. At one point in his life, he had found himself homeless, and taking hallucinogens to forget his circumstances. It was here, at his lowest ebb, that Aisha came down to visit him, and he then knew that he had to clean himself up, get back on track, and become an example to others in similar predicaments.
Curio opened a tin marked: ‘Sugar’. In it were four ginger biscuits which he took out and ate on the way back to his computer. Switching it on, he sat in relative silence, crunching away as the machine started up. A few minutes later, he was browsing through the message board on ‘Uncanny kingdoms’, and began to read the messages on a thread entitled: ‘The facts of Aliens’. It was basically somebody writing about how they had seen foreign objects in the distance, where else? outside their kitchen. This simple observation was their evidence of life beyond the stars. The lights darted about the sky like confused fireflies. That was it, that was proof. Aliens existed, and to the observer, was fact. They were however, only a few steps away from believing fully the truth about abductions. Now that they knew aliens existed, then the reality of abductions was not too much of a step to take regarding their convictions.
‘Taser09’ from Phoenix, Arizona had written in one of his posts from the original thread he had started, in reply to ‘Owl hunter’, about those with secret knowledge about what the lights were: ‘Yes, no question about it. Why is it always us kept in the dark? We know, though. They think they can fool us, but they are wrong. Those crafts were definitely over that military base, and I reckon it proves that the government know about them, but they’re not telling us, as usual’. ‘Owl hunter’ had replied:
‘I heard once that the government have known about aliens for years, but it would create panic if they told the world. So it’s they who examine the aliens. I don’t know about abductions. Maybe there’s different species of them. The weaker ones get caught by the military, taken in and examined. Others maybe experiment on humans, and animals. Remember, animal mutilations still happen today, but nobody sees it. These aliens must be more intelligent than us. They must be to build such specialised ships’. The following reply was from ‘Abe’:
‘Strange isn’t it? how these aliens can build such fantastic spaceships, fly all the way to earth, then dart about the planet and not be seen by anybody except the ‘government’. Funny how the government knows everything doesn’t it? When you’ve no answers yourself, the government’s always to blame. Have you ever stopped to consider the fact that these lights might not actually be UFOs? or is that too much for you to comprehend? If they’re not, then what of other cases? Oh no! Maybe they’re not UFOs either. Maybe aliens don’t exist at all. These beings come all this way just to communicate with the government? Seriously, how likely is that?’. Hello Abe, Curio thought. I think you’re the one who doubted me. He then began to type a reply:
‘Abe, you’re the one who doubted my abilities. I seem to remember you wanting more evidence of my ‘powers’, well I’ve more news that will dampen your argument against me. Remember I had four psychic detections in a row. Well it’s now FIVE. Five in a row. The police came to me first. Soon after that, a man came forward to hand himself in. He confessed, and it was proven to be him. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr Cynic. Surely now, that is proof that I have a gift. Not only have I proven that I can find missing persons, I can commune with spirits, predict the future, and believe I can psychically heal. Not just those, but many others besides. Science cannot answer everything. There is a world outside its boundaries, and it is here where I explore, and prove it as a fact, as I have recently done’.
Curio posted it, and was surprised when a reply came seconds later from ‘Taser09’:
‘Oi! Get back on topic’.
After a brief scan through the rest of the new posts on various subjects, he opened up his email, and saw that he had a new message from Ribbet:
‘Curio, I’ve done it again. I’ve regressed myself to an unknown time. I was on a pathway near a bridge, sat next to the body of a crow. It turns out I was a cat in this life. I had blood around my mouth and sat there completely satisfied at what I had done. This proves to me that reincarnation is not simply about coming back as the same species, but all species that have consciousness. Anyway, got to go.
Curio didn’t need to think about what his response would be, he instantly knew it, and clicked: ‘reply’.
‘Ribbet, thank-you for keeping me informed of your regressions. I don’t doubt your sincerity, or of what you used to be. Reincarnation has never been about returning as the same species. Maybe you will return in the next life as a fish, or a Koala bear. I doubt you, or anyone would know what their next incarnation will be. So it is no surprise to me that you have been something other than a human. I have sometimes wondered about this phenomenon, because it systematically proves that there is life beyond death. It is here that I wonder whether or not we get to choose what our next embodiment will be. Do we decide? Maybe in the next life I would like to be a bird, but not if you’re around as a cat. The thing is, although it would make sense to believe that none of us can choose our parents, and none of us can choose our appearance, I wonder if this is really the case. Do we choose ugliness, and ailments? It would also make sense to believe that we would prefer to be fit and healthy, as attractive as it’s possible to be. Wouldn’t that be the sensible option? Well, I wonder. Maybe some of us choose to be ugly with miserable childhoods, with useless parents. Why, I hear you ask? Why choose this? I think the answer is basically trying something different. If you choose to be handsome and healthy in ten or fifteen consecutive lives, then are you not going to want a change at some point? Maybe it could be a case of: ‘Okay, been there, done that. I want to be a Jaguar, or a Crocodile’. If time is infinite, and I believe it is, then surely you would want to try all aspects of life at least once. That is simply my opinion.
He clicked: ‘send’, and waited for it to acknowledge his message. As he did, there was a knock on his door. He frowned, looking in that direction. Who could that be? he thought. Nobody had knocked on his door for months. He saw his message had been sent, then shut down the computer. The knock came again, and he looked around the place to see if it was clean enough for a visitor in case they wanted to come in. It wasn’t, but he had to see who it was, and went through to the hall and opened it slightly, peering out into the muted light of the hallway.
“Good evening,” said a man who looked to be in his late thirties with a short back and sides haircut and small glasses. He produced identification and held it before Curio.
“My name is Michael Patrick, I work for the ‘North-West report’, I wonder if I could interview you about your psychic detection?”.
“A reporter!” Curio said as a statement. “You want to interview me?”. The man simply nodded and put away his identification. Curio smiled and opened the door wide. He gestured inside.
“Come in, Come in”.

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