It was late evening. The sky was veiled in darkness, the streets bathed in orange. Curio’s face was cast in blue and white from a monitor on his desk, six feet away from his living room window. Whenever he used his computer of a night, he always kept the light off. The only light would come from the screen. It wasn’t a top of the range model. It was four years old, and had an internet connection. It was paid for back when he had a job as a customer services assistant at an electrical goods store and could afford such items. He had never understood why they cost so much. They had their benefits, obviously, and used correctly, they could yield great rewards. However, Curio had paid £599 for his now outdated model, and found that, as with most computers, he sometimes wanted to throw it through the window. It would sometimes crash. The screen would freeze. His mouse pointer would not click on anything, and he sometimes found himself having to switch it off at the mains. They were precarious, unstable, and downright expensive. It was however, a central point of Curio’s world. He had been musing over writing a book to put down his evidence for the existence of paranormal reality, but he knew that before he could even start, he would have to gather a lot more evidence. For now, one of the main reasons he had acquired the internet, was for emails and the use of forums. He could connect with many other believers, and could save their postings. There were many others out there with ‘gifts’. Curio wondered that because of his talents, he should practise all areas of the supernatural. The others in cyberspace had talents in certain areas. Curio was convinced he could have it all. Max, in Texas, could read animals minds. Phabio, in Berlin could foretell the future just by staring at cloud formations. Jazz, in Argentina could become possessed by any human that had died since the apes walked upright. Miko, in Singapore could telepathy talk to aliens. Their evidence, to Curio was compelling, and their stories, with their permission, would be used in his book.
He checked his email, and found he had four new messages. Two were from Africa. Somebody urgently needed a correspondent in the UK and could they help them. They were obviously cons, and he deleted them without hesitation. One was from a newsletter he had signed up to: ‘Uncanny kingdoms’. It gathered together and documented actual evidence, actual according to the writers on the site, of paranormal activity. Curio had signed up instantly. They had a forum, and Curio had signed up as himself. There was no need to hide behind a moniker, like a lot of others he had come across. Be yourself, he had thought, not Beefluvva69, or Twisted Sinna. Or Red eye. It was all very well feeling a sense of anonymity, and he knew why people did it. It was for that reason. They hid behind obscure names and gave out abuse across the network because nobody knew who they were. They could sit in their little hovels, tapping away at the keyboard, clicking ‘Send’ every two minutes, saying anything they liked, to anybody who had left messages. There was a lot of weirdo’s out there, Curio had found, and their posts, and the way they were written told him more about the person, than what they meant to say. What would the moniker ‘Angel eyes’, say about that person? Probably a woman, maybe she thinks she is attractive. All in all, she may be half decent, a bit egotistical, but normal. Whereas ‘Spunkmonkey’, meant that that person didn’t take themselves too seriously, was probably the ‘crazy one’ in his social circle. If he had one. Yet, would be second choice to meet over ‘Angel eyes’. All signatures were like that, let a part of the real personality of that person through, albeit, slight, but still significant in understanding a person. Curio, the previous week had posted up a question on the forum: ‘Does anybody out there have any real experiences of regression or reincarnation? Who were you in a past life? I might use it in a proposed book. Post here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks, Curio’. Since he had checked yesterday, other than the 14 replies he had, he saw that there were 3 more, unread. The others were all positive, and usable as evidence. Before he read those, he opened up the email he hadn’t read:
As a fan of yours, I was pleased to see your posting on the internet regarding regression. I felt I had to write to you. I have to confide in someone. I don’t think anybody will believe me. So I write to you, hoping that you can explain the meaning of what happened to me. I know and understand the techniques of regression. It’s a serious interest I have. I wanted to find out who I used to be, so I used the techniques on myself. I set up a video recorder to film what happened, but I ended up kicking the tripod and it fell over. Now it needs fixing. What I found out was that I was around in the seventeenth century. The visions I had were vivid. They were real. I was looking at me in my past. I saw myself digging. I was removing bodies. I knew, I don’t know how I knew, but they were for research. Doctors paid me. That was how I made money. It never paid well though, so I started murdering. It didn’t matter how they died. Drowning, strangling, beating, burning, stabbing. All I know is that I took to it like a bird takes to the air. I could feel myself enjoying it. I made more money then. Then after a while, a lynch mob found me, strung me up out in a field and burned me. I could feel the flames, and when I woke, I was much hotter. My temperature had risen. Please help.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Curio frowned. What exactly was he asking? OK, he was murderer. Did he want to go back to the life before that and change his destiny, so that the following existence would not yield psychopathic tendencies? He didn’t have an answer, but decided to reply as best he could:
I appreciate your letter. You must not be an amateur in order to regress yourself, so you obviously know what you’re doing. Perhaps you should confirm that it is true that you were a murderer by looking, basically, in the history books. There would probably have been some reference to it. Also, you could try regressing yourself again, and if you see the same vision, then that should confirm it. Yet, you may regress to other lives as well. There is no telling with it. Once you go back, it’s down to chance which life you see.
I would be interested to know if you do this. I think it’s impossible to change anything that’s happened. Basically, you would have to alter time, and that, I believe is impossible. You enter the realms of fantasy down that route. You cannot change the past. However, that’s my opinion. Maybe it is possible. Who am I to say it isn’t?
He clicked ‘send’, and sat back, satisfied. He read the other forum replies, and found two to be of value, but one was from ‘Abe’, who seemed quite sceptical:
‘Curio, you can’t expect common, decent folk to just believe something on hearsay. There is a lot of what you would call ‘evidence’ that cannot stand up to scrutiny. That goes for all things paranormal. If you look at them closely, then the proof that they offer is thin, insubstantial, and built on quicksand. I know you, Curio. I’ve heard you on the radio. You talk drivel. Why don’t you subject yourself to scrutiny, or become silent until you know what you’re talking about’.
Curio folded his arms and shook his head. Cheeky git, he thought. He typed hard on the keyboard:
‘Abe’, you don’t think I know what I’m talking about? Well chew on this. The police have called me in six times to telepathically find missing persons. I will admit I’ve got it wrong twice. The other four, I’ve got it spot on. Is that chance, considering how big Britain is? They could have been anywhere, but I got them right. Also, four times in a row. Now is that not proof that I have some ability? and if I have some ability, then that surely proves that telepathy is real. It is fact”. Curio sent that message, and spent the next few minutes reading other posts, and the latest newsletter. He went back to the forum and found that ‘Abe’ had replied.
‘OK, that is good, but it cannot be called proof. Not yet anyway. You need a few more hits to reduce the laws of chance and possibly consider the fact that you may indeed have some ability that could be deemed ‘psychic’. If you provide further evidence of your ‘powers’, then maybe I’ll start believing. Until then, goodbye’.
Surely that was proof enough, he thought. Nevermind. He shut everything down and turned the computer off. Soon, the room was plunged into darkness.