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The Other Side

By tstewartshiu All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Scifi

Chapter V - (Excerpt from MOA, Moa Series, #1)


Ritual: Luck

Oil: Base of Almond Oil – Thyme, Sage, Basil

Incense: Basil

Incantation: “Good begets good.”

Choose a stone—any kind will do—and clear it by letting it sit overnight in the light of the new moon. Anytime thereafter, anoint the stone and your palms. Light the basil and let it burn while you perform this ritual. Hold the stone between your palms and say the incantation. Then bury the stone next to a tree.

Believe you will receive your heart’s desire in divine timing. Good begets good, so do something kind for someone else, and it will return tenfold.


“Hey, Heidi. Do you want to do something fun?” Hillary kneels down next to her niece.

It is eleven thirty in the morning on a day which has dawned bright and clear. Molly, Heidi and Hillary have staked out a prime spot on the soft sand at Waikiki Beach. This is a favorite spot of both vacationers and locals because the waves are not as strong or large as the ones on the North Shore and it has accessibility to shops, restaurants and hotels. The clear water and expansive beach of Waikiki is perfect for beginning surfers, sunbathers and swimmers.

“Sure.” Heidi sits up on her heels, dusts the sand from her hands and waits for instructions.

Hillary leans in, “We’ll create a play circle. Let’s collect 5 rocks. Any shape or size will do.”

“Cool.” Heidi spots a beautiful white stone. She holds up the rough porous stone about the size of her fist. “How’s this?”

“Great! Keep going. By collecting the stones, we are gathering happiness and love to put in a circle of energy. Then we can send the happiness and love anywhere we want.”

“Like to Mommy?” Heidi asks, her eyes wide with hope.

“Sure.” Hillary smiles.

Heidi looks down at the shell in her hand, “Or maybe Daddy?”

Hillary reaches over, brushes seaweed off of Heidi’s cheek and fights back tears. “Yes, even daddy.”

The two go on gathering the other four stones. And they line them up—the white porous stone, a jet-black piece of petrified wood, a brownish red volcanic stone, a rounded smooth rock the size of a half dollar and a flat gray almost square rock.

Heidi digs her toes in the white sand while Hillary picks up a pearly, pink shell half, goes to the water’s edge and fills it up. When she returns, she explains, “Sea water for anointing.”

“What does that mean?” Heidi scoots in close.

Hillary uses her index finger to draw a five-pointed star in the sand. “Anointing is when we use oil or sea water as a way to connect us more deeply with ourselves and the ritual.”  She places the stones on each corner of the star and says, “I believe in the power of Water. The dolphin lives in water and breathes air and I am safe to create....”

“...and play.” Heidi adds.

Smiling, Hillary nods and says, “Yes! Now put your hands on the sand like this and say, “The earth is my playground.”

She takes the shell half, dips her middle finger in the seawater, anoints Heidi’s forehead and the top of her feet with a small amount of seawater, “You are safe here and welcome in the game of life. Now you do the same for me.” Heidi carefully takes the half shell and anoints Hillary’s forehead and feet.

Molly sits up, a look of worry clouding her face.

Oblivious to her sister’s concern, Hillary lies back in the sand and makes a Sand Angel. Heidi is delighted and follows her aunt giggling with delight.

“Look at the sky and take four deep breaths.” Hillary says.

Between fits of laughter and giggles, they both manage to inhale and exhale four times.

The two get up, wave their hands in the air and, upon Hillary’s cue, run clock-wise three times around the circle shouting, “Wheeeeee!”

Hillary runs straight into the waves and falls face forward with a large splash.

Heidi runs in a large circle around her mother shouting and scattering sand, “Wheeeeee! I love the dolphins.”

The waves roll over Hillary, dumping her face first on the ocean floor, and she is temporarily blinded. She wipes the stinging salt water and grains of sand from her eyes with her palms. When her vision clears, her first sight is Molly’s face and stern expression.

Hillary exits the ocean in large steps, careful to avoid the glare in her wake that she senses.

On the ride back Heidi is chatty, reading every sign between the beach parking lot and their home.

“No loitering...Shelby’s Donuts...Bruddah’s...Oh, I like that place...Chase...why do they name a bank after a game?”

The sisters sit quietly. Their silence is punctuated by their occasional responses to Heidi’s questions.

When they arrive home, Hillary quickly retreats to her private bathroom.

She pulls a large plastic bin from her bag, locks the door, unsnaps the lid to the bin to reveal an eclectic collection of essential oils and resins and settles on the edge of the tub.

She lovingly adjusts each vial of oil. Frankincense, Palmarosa, Chamomile, Dragon’s Blood...each essence represents a doorway of healing. Her first experience with the healing properties of these oils came with the use of Dragon’s Blood during her freshman year in high school.

Darla Melbert a “Threats” newbie had taken it upon herself to make an example of Hillary by calling her out as an oddball. Since they shared the same first period class, Darla’s first order of business was to sit directly behind Hillary and quiz her loudly about her knowledge of the occult.

“Hey, Hillary.” Darla whispered loudly. “I’ll bet you know some pretty cool ways to bump people off.”

Hillary did her best to remain cool. “Sorry, can’t help you with that one, Darla.”

“I don’t really need your help,” she would sneer and the entire class would prepare for the verbal assault that was coming. “What makes you so special?”

Hillary would put her nose in her book, but Darla would continue, “You’re a know it all.” Invariably, the teacher would be forced to intervene and send one or both of them to the office.

Hillary endured this abuse until Thanksgiving break. During a bustling holiday shopping trip with her mother, she wandered into a bookstore and headed straight for her favorite section Religion and Inspiration. Hillary loved to sit among these books and imagine the generations of people who fought, lived, loved and died to be heard. She identified with those who risk intolerance to say what might be considered unorthodox during their lifetime and felt protection within the literary confines of the bookstore. On this particular day, however, she walked up one side, then down the other running her hands over the book spines. Surely there was no solution to her protection issues at school within this aisle. She pulled several books and tucked herself into a space between shelves between Shinto and Taoism, but nothing resonated. She returned the books to the appropriate location and, disappointed, walked toward her mother. She listlessly perused the pocket sized gift books in the check out line as her mother chatted away about dinner plans. Then, she saw it. In a rack of moleskin diaries and joke books was the book that forever changed her life—simply titled, “Protection.”

Over the break, that book went everywhere with Hillary. It contained the basics of what remains a pivotal element in her young life. Through rituals, oils and positive intention, protection was within her means. Most importantly, she discovered Dragon Oil is commonly used to uncross or remove hexes. It is a definitive protection oil that is distilled from the South American tree, Sangre de Drago and creates ultimate protection to increase power to the user.

On the first day back at school from Thanksgiving vacation, Hillary was armed with the small vial of Dragon’s Blood oil. She had every intention of using it to anoint Darla’s desk before class. All was still as Hillary stepped into the empty classroom, dabbed oil onto her finger, said a protective prayer for herself and the area surrounding it—just for good measure—then slipped out, fully intending to blend into the class as if she’d never been there. But, after rounding the corner at the end of the hallway, she stopped short.

“Did you hear about Darla Melbert?”

“No. What happened?”

Two senior girls, whom Hillary did not know, were at a locker, their heads close.

Hillary backed up behind the corner, out of sight but within earshot.

“Tried to kill herself during the break. I guess her dad was molesting her and her mom didn’t believe it.”

“How do you know?”

“My sister volunteers at the Mayfield County Hospital and saw the whole thing.”

“Oh my God! Is she okay?”

“Well, she’s still alive. They kept her in the Psych Ward for a few days then let her go.”

“Wow, tough break. Anyway, what are you wearing to Shelby’s party Friday?”

Stunned by the news, Hillary walked through the now crowded halls back to her first period class. Hillary slid in to her own desk behind Darla and found it hard to concentrate during the remainder of class.

The bell rang. Hillary followed Darla to her locker and touched her arm.

Darla turned, her eyes stony and said sharply, “What?”

Hillary handed Darla the Dragon oil and said simply, “For protection.”

That was a turning point in Hillary’s life. From that moment on, she vowed to right any wrongs to which she bore witness.

Hillary turns the shower on, adjusts the temperature then slips into the shower to wash off the day’s sand and sunblock. Aside from sleep energy, the performing of mundane tasks—like showering—are the best times to approach and communicate with humans. So, I seize the moment and pop into the shower.

“Hello, Hillary.” I say.

“Aaaaaahhhhh!” Hillary jumps and backs up against the wall. “Wwwhat? What are you doing here?”

“You have 72 hours to learn all there is to know to rescue Hawaii and all of humanity from certain doom.”

“Oh, wow” Hillary sits awkwardly on the tile seat behind her, scattering plastic bottles of shampoo and conditioner. The water hits her cheek and spray goes everywhere, but she does not seem to notice.

“Please know I don’t mean to scare or harm you, only to inform you of a celestial opportunity.”

“A celest…Look, Moa, I’ve come a long way in even acknowledging your presence. I’m not a psychic and I can’t read energy. So can you please go find someone else to freak out while asking them to save the world?”

I know she is confused and scared. I will move as carefully as I can, given the extreme urgency, but she doesn’t know what I know: Hillary is the only one who can open the portal and save Hawaii.

“Okay,” I say patiently, “You have the power within you. I can prove it. Have you ever been sitting at a traffic light, sensed that someone is looking at you, turned to face them and they are?”

“Yes.” The revelation begins.

“That power is within you! How could you possibly feel something from another person who is in a completely different car unless you...”

A loud knock interrupts our visit.

“Hillary?” It’s Molly and she doesn’t sound pleased.

“Yes.”

“Can I come in?”

“Sure.” Hillary throws her hands up in desperation. Her privacy has been encroached by an entity. What’s the difference if her sister comes in? “Why not? Come join the party.” Hillary stands, letting the warm water flow over her, hoping it can give her some courage and clarity.

Molly comes in and sits down on the commode opposite the shower. The two women lock eyes through the fogged-over glass shower door. I blend into the shower mist. Molly is furious as she confronts her pruney sister. “Who’s Moa?”

As Hillary shifts her weight from one foot to the next, a dribble of soap curls down the drain around her right foot. With a visible gulp she begins, “I had a dream and this little girl appeared to deliver a message that Steve is okay.”

“How does Heidi know about this?”

“Um…let’s see, I might have sent Moa to Heidi…

“You what!” Molly stands up and puts her face inches from the shower door.

Hillary fearfully backs up. “I…I was sleepy and didn’t believe her…but it all just….”

“Stop it! Do not tell my sweet little girl ridiculous nonsense. No spells, no witchcraft, no more make-believe rituals. I will not allow this in my house.” Molly stomps off slamming the bathroom door.

I ride the steamy wave of mist back to my spot in front of Hillary who is welling with tears.

“All is well.” I send a whirl of calming blue energy to her head. I am able to intervene with humans if I am the cause of worry or upset or, heaven forbid, someone is in harm’s way.

Once she has calmed down, she says, “Do you have some kind of fascination with my morning ablutions?” The distress lifts from the top of her head in a wisp of gray smoke, which curls past the ceiling and dissipates.

“No,” I smile, “I’m just catching you at the perfect vibration.”

“So when I’m showering, I’m at the perfect vibration to speak with you?”

“Yes. You are relaxed enough to feel, see and understand me.” 

“How do I explain this to my sister?”

“Here is what you say to your sister:  My ancient world and your world—earth—are very similar to watching television with a DVR. Both worlds co-exist and going between them is as easy as switching the tuner.”

“Genius! Now, if I agree to work with you, may I please finish my shower?”

I leave her to rinse and repeat in peace.

Dinner is a feast of local fare. They found a variety of lau lau—chicken, beef, pork or, Hillary’s favorite—salted butterfish wrapped in Taro or Ti leaves. Molly steamed white rice—one of the island staples, along with macaroni salad. Before Steve passed on, he showed Hillary a way to make the meal even more delicious by drizzling a little shoyu onto the rice and macaroni salad before eating. Just as it is with her essential oils, when mayonnaise and soy sauce mix, two very different flavors create a fabulous new one!

As Hillary shakes the shoyu over her food, she thinks of Steve and his warm humor and happy grin. His gift of gab has definitely rubbed off on his daughter.

Heidi is munching on some carrots and peppering her mother with a barrage of questions/statements.

“How come I have to eat carrots? Auntie doesn’t have to?”

“Because Aunt Hillary is grown.”

“She’s not a grown up.”

“I didn’t say…”

“Moa is wise and she’s not a grown up.” Heidi shoots a piercing defiant stare at Molly.

Molly, in turn, glares at Hillary.

With only two and a half days to go, I decide, enough’s enough and I blow a gust of air against the curtains of the living room. The filmy drape creates a perfect backdrop for me—my shape distinctly outlined, my face clearly shows up and they all see me. All three mouths gape as the thin veil of our two worlds bridge.
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