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Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClerc.
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The rain stopped. Rain no longer troubles me but it still brings about remarkable incidents during my walks. The sky revealed an appropriately unearthly moon which slid from behind the dark sliver of a silver rimmed cloud and glowed a gauzy warning. I saw another soft steady light showing the way from within the parsonage of Saint Peter The Fisherman. From next to his chapel, the light’s warm safety beckoned even me.

I walked among consecrated graves as the moon tempted stars to join her weather change celebration. I entered the parson’s cottage.

The priest motioned with his pipe and continued to speak, “Reality is actually 12 dimensions. It is not the three of length, breadth, and depth nor these three plus height, as explained by Saint Paul:

“'That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;' that of course is Ephesians chapter three verses seventeen and eighteen.  Thank you Saint Paul, you state the existence of the four most easily recognized spatial dimensions so clearly.”

“Nor do five dimensions explain fully the realities observed by the five senses, even considering time as dimension; thank you Albert Einstein not quite as obvious as Saint Paul but backed by so much math who can argue... successfully?”

“Just as fingerprints  that disrupt, deform, or displace by whatever medium is available, can be left in the visible three dimensional five sense  realm, so ghostly images, or if you will ghosts themselves, can leave their imprints in the other nine dimensions.”

“As hammer and chisel blows can deform, so to speak, a piece of rock and leave a statue for six thousand years; so emotion, the action of a human spirit clothed in flesh, can remain imprinted upon realities that exist in the nine unseen dimensions and last long after the perpetrating spirit has shed his...or her robe of flesh and passed further up and further in to Glory or Damnation as the individual case may be.” The priest produced pipe smoke and exhaled towards the fireplace.

“That doesn’t sound as impossible as some theories I’ve heard attempting to explain the cause for disembodied spirits. But just what... just what makes you think that...that nine dimensional stuff?” The Ghost Hunter took a sip of coffee.

The priest laid down his pipe and stared into the fireplace, “I read scientific works extensively; usually papers by theorists, astrophysicists, and others, on this and related subjects. Of course I read the Bible extensively as well. Ideas and facts from the two main areas of study I’ve mentioned complement rather than contradict the theory I’ve shared.”

The psychic stood. Her long dark hair fell from the restraint of her cap leaving a dark mass about her head and shoulders. “I sense the presence of a spirit.  I often hold conversations with them.” She pulled her long gray skirt to her as if the spirit of a mouse lurked nearby. She pulled away from me but continued to look down anticipating a ghostly rodent. I couldn’t help myself, I laughed. No one heard. Even The psychic relaxed.

The priest turned from the fire, “If your interaction with spirits only concerns the past, you could be sensing the spatial impressions I’ve explained. If your conversation involves the present or future, you could be talking with daemons.”

The psychic poked her hair back into her cap sat and said, “The next thing you say will probably be against evolution.”

“Actually I’ve heard an interesting theory for a young earth that involves the not so well know fact of gravitational time dilation.” The Priest moved from the fireplace towards her and she recoiled.

“Maybe we can discuss creation some other time,” the priest puffed his pipe.

“Even so, gravitational time dilation is quite interesting. One’s position within a gravity field dictates the absolute rate at which time passes. It’s fact. No argument possible; part of the natural action of gravity. Given the right circumstances it’s obvious," added the Priest.

My great-grand-daughter the famous thirty-five year old heiress held up a hand and eyed the other three. My Favorite said, “Since it’s my money that will pay for our visit and my family’s tomb is the destination, let’s stick to things spectral.”

The ghost hunter scratched his cheek and spoke. “Depending on which factors control access to these nine unseen dimensions and how well they can be manipulated, access might be anywhere from simple to impossible.”

“But that’s a novice’s perspective. I have photographs. I have recordings and other readings: all with scientifically valid equipment, all produce hard data and all from the family tomb or its general area. We are speaking of a lively spot in a dead sort of way,” he laughed. I laughed too. The family crypt is livelier than this meeting.

The Psychic
looked for me and then turned back to the Ghost Hunter, “That’s not the right word but then neither is 'dead.'" She pause and said,  "Energy,” spreading her fingers.

The Ghost Hunter smiled at her, “We have a true sensitive in our psychic. We also have well documented family history as our guide. There will be more phenomena. Interpretation should be our point of greatest effort. Tingles are OK but less productive.”

“Everything we’re doing is cutting edge in one fashion or another. I’m excited. It’s great to get more from a religious person that just a few words of condemnation.”

“Thanks again, preacher...I mean Father.”

The group left the parsonage, no doubt thankful the rain stopped. I stayed. My walk not even half over, I listened to the priest as he prayed and visited with his God; would that my religion be half his.

***
I approached my house. A clear morning dawned with a pale white sunlight filtering through and cutting the morning’s own mists to clarity.  

“There’s the cool one. My Father’s Father’s Father,” said My Favorite.

“Ain’t they a word for that? Grand Poppa or something?”  A new helper stared down into the entrance of my family’s crypt, a sub basement cellar on the west side of the mansion.

No doubt his perch afforded him a great angle from which to lust after My Favorite. I quickened my pace, the better to chastise him. But she beat me to the words, “Put your eyes back into your head, broom operator, and get to work.” She has a quick tongue like her mother.

“What’s the pick and shovel for?” The Ghost Hunter’s eyes widened and darted.

“To dig for buried...treasure? Buried people? Buried whatever’s there. Remember the seismic data? I guess it’s easier for me to remember; I paid a months salary for it.

"Two and a half feet down, right in front of the old gazebo-chapel-porch site just inside the stone circle plot is another stair just like the one I’m standing on; with another set of chambers that are, from a layout standpoint, an exact mirror image of what’s visible here.”

Except it is two hundred and fifty years older I thought.

The quick tongue of My Favorite sallied again, “And it’s two hundred and fifty years older, I’m told.” She actually looked my way. I’m flattered. I thought she didn’t hear me.
 
“Family treasure, manuscripts, money-gold-jewels, unknown technology, maps, religious artifacts, occult stuff: amulet or other cursed object. I’m sure there is something down there; certainly more graves at least. That’s where the apparitions seem to come from. That’s where the hair on the...” she rolled her eyes and her head. “The hair on The Psychic's
neck stood erect and danced macabre. Ha right, her thong slipped and mal-adjusted her brain.”

I must admit, I laughed. I didn’t think it was possible here but I did. The image that came to mind was indescribable and yet painfully funny. Then I was deeply moved. My Favorite said a short prayer blessing her, our, ancestors and anointed her dig with Holy Water. A two and a half foot deep hole in soft ground didn’t take her long.
    
“Broom operator, uncover this metal plate. Then see if it’s a door or just what else besides the easiest find ever, but not the least expensive.” She walked over to her back pack and pulled out a family journal, “That plate should be four by six, feet, if it’s all still there; the mirror image of the other one.”

“Great-Great-Grand’s Great-Grand dug this one. It’s right inside the arc of that ancient stone temple circle layout thingy. We need to keep as much of that intact as possible; unless we find gold-emerald-rubies. Go ahead and dig. Let’s find out how well the Great-Grands did on their conservation. It was old when they showed up too.”
                           
 ***

I have been at my house since my birth. It’s not the only place I’ve ever been but it is my only house. At dusk with the initial excavation complete we, The Ghost Hunter, The Psychic
, The Laborer, I could just call the man a broom operator but he hasn’t touched one since I first saw him; come to think on it he hasn’t labored either. The Laborer who doesn’t, My Favorite and The Priest stood among decorated paper dinner bags.

Slivers of fried potato and bits of fried beef escaped man’s fingers to become bugs’ supper. I have never had the opportunity to eat a hamburger. I consider that a blessing. Their conversation concerning the lack of a find picked up my ears, no mean task.

“The shaft is there but the whole of the thing looks as if it were the start of an excavation.” The Ghost Hunter is so one dimensional. They dug the thing out sidewise and looked at virgin soil.

My Favorite sighed, “It’s the mirror image of the other crypt. Go over and look.” She sipped her beverage through a straw. “Well, don’t anybody break a leg moving too fast. There’s supposed to be a map or journal in that fourth grave-slot; maybe in the coffin maybe next to it. I have a key, the key. ”

    ***

Quite a shock: the crypt open, the corpse gone, seeing it empty; no remains, not even dust only a dried leather satchel with a journal. I recognized a single portion of the jumble, handwriting. Handwriting is not the most recognizable trace the departed leave. Usually that favor belongs to the corpse. Sometimes clothing or the effect of a final act holds that distinction. My family’s ancient burial place, the home of my family, my earthly abode empty? We were all appalled together. The theft of a vase or a painting would require a bit longer to perceive than some things. One however must assume that the theft of something personal would be noticed more quickly.

I am revolted.  It explains much. The pall was gone too. The casket seemed unused. But a prominent journal entry seemed a veiled ransom note, but for a corpse? After so long would not the perpetrator be beyond punishment and the victim beyond care?

To any who would dare,

The will of the Enlightened and Ascended is enforced. Death is no stronghold. The Power is appeased. What will you pay? How will it be collected? Will you bow? Victims all, the temple is ours. Tremble and fear.

            THE TIMELESS ONES  

***

Arrogance is many times misplaced, often misguided and almost always groundless. The most arrogant individual I ever met in the body was a bum whose sum total of earthly treasure consisted of a couple of blankets and a change of clothing. A note from an arrogant criminal is mostly a joke no matter how shocking or powerful.

Enlightened and ascended arrogance calls to mind followers of Lucifer all of whom were kicked out of paradise together. It seems they may be employed as grave robbers. Candy from a baby? Ha, the coins from a dead man’s eyes are easier to carry than the corpse, and worth more.

As for being afraid, the dead fear only The One who controls the Second Death and The Judgment. Who could be responsible for such mindless drivel?  The ones who stole the body are the first suspects. Where should we look? The newly excavated tomb being a place frequented by the dead could very well be the place. But the now empty coffin was buried long ago.

Is it the Ghost Hunter who is dusting off some hand held contraption, a recorder? Yes, and a new model magic lantern’s image maker too.

“Whoever or whatever, it or them; they have a heat signature, cold or hot, we’ll catch it. If they make a sound at all, we’ll catch that too.”

Whom have I offended in this life? Who is so arrogant and so slow to boast responsibility? Who and when . . . ?

“Who and when could this be? It looks as if the body never reached the grave let alone the coffin. Diary time.” My favorite, always a quick intellect, I wonder what she has in mind? Every time I have perceived a choice little reference to written material such as this, she was looking for conformation of a previous insight. She already possesses the answer but she will share it with its proof.

All I have is time. Earthbound and confused; what can all of this mean to one as long dead as I?

“Dig the other direction. Don’t take the mirror’s choice. The second crypt is left handed too.” My Favorite will find the answer.

Read more stories by this author



2010-05-24 19:41:39
The story is full of interesting ideas, but is rather confusing. It needs work. At the end, we're left with no real resolution. The characters could use a bit more introduction, too. Give us a bit more background on the characters, a clearer plot, and a more solid ending! Nice start, though.

2010-05-04 02:24:23
I liked that; loved the pseudo-science and that glimpse of an interesting world you give us.




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