Nathan slowly crept into the center of the pentagram and lit the white candle. The loosely organized tools and appliances adorning the basement walls slowly became visible by the flickering flame. Silently and mechanically, Nathan retreated to a seated position beyond the boundary of the pentagram. He modulated his breathing so it was synchronized with his heart beat. He visualized light moving throughout his body and sensed energy ambulate within his body with the light. He slipped into a low level of consciousness. Holding his arms out to each side he proclaimed, “Oh spirit, I command thee. Grant me all knowing sight. Grant me all knowledge of the past. Grant me insight into the world beyond.”
When the ritual was over, Nathan remained seated at the outskirt of the pentagram. His awareness returned. He could still see the surrounding junk in the room, strobing with the flickering light. He turned on the basement lights and extinguished the candle. There was no sense of change. His immediate perceptions where still limited to his normal surroundings. He locked up the basement and headed up to his study on the first floor. With a freshly brewed cup of coffee and light jazz playing at a low volume, he intensely scoured his manuals on occultic practice. Something didn't work right. What did he miss? Why are his senses unchanged? Nathan pondered his ritual and leafed through dozens of pages across eight books. Everything he did seemed right. Whatever mistakes he made would remain elusive for now.
Nathan retired to his bedroom for the night. He watched an hour of news on the television and then shut the lights out. As he drifted asleep, his mind kept replaying the ritual over and over again. His first dream reenacted the event with a strange twist. In the dream, Nathan was levitating a foot off the basement floor. As the ritual ended a new version started playing as if a tape machine were in a loop. In this version a red humanoid entity with black lips and small green eyes sat across from Nathan listening to the incantations as they were spoken. As this ritual ended the entity started to laugh at Nathan. The entity acted as though Nathan had done something foolish. In his next dream Nathan was walking down the street in front of his house. He just kept walking and walking and walking. The more he walked, the less aware he was that he was still in front of his house. But he would continue walking and walking and walking.
“It's time to get up honey,” Nathan's mother stated.
But Nathan's mother was dead. She passed away over fifteen years earlier. Why was he hearing her voice? Nathan turned over on his side and looked up from the bed. He could see the translucent image of his mother greeting him. She smiled and made a gesture for him to get up out of bed. Nathan jumped out of bed in an instant.
“Goodness gracious,” she said. “You should get up more slowly than that.”
Nathan stared at his mother but did not make a sound. He simply exited the bedroom attempting to ignore her.
“Finally got up for breakfast,” another entity said. Nathan saw the translucent image a man in eighteenth century garments standing in his living room.
“Who are you?” asked Nathan.
“Edgar Mason,” replied the entity. “I've been talking at you for several years, but this is the first time you've responded.”
“Where did you come from?” asked Nathan.
“I've always been here. I died one hundred and eighty years ago in this house.”
Nathan cut short his conversation with the entity and aggressively walked into the kitchen. He could see some of the present day kitchen, but he was also seeing all the other rooms that existed before along with the view of the surrounding wilderness. Nathan struggled to figure out and find the refrigerator in his own kitchen. He felt around until he firmly grasped the orange juice bottle. As he put the bottle up to his lips and drank, he felt the pelting wind and rain from blustery storms that had past several centuries earlier. His skin was turning red hot from the unforgiving sun from a past drought. He had trouble sensing the floor from the muddy, uneven terrain upon which his house was built. He dropped the orange juice bottle and fell to the floor. He crawled on the floor towards the dining room.
Once in the dining room Nathan tried to stand up. He saw the surroundings as a compilation of three previous rooms and the surrounding wilderness. Several people were walking into and out of the room, oblivious to Nathan's time and place. Others simple stood and observed, whether in a moment frozen in the past, or as the passive specter in today's material world.
From the crowd a red entity emerged. “Strange pastime you picked there,” said the entity smiling through his black lips.
“How do I get back to normal?” whimpered a distraught Nathan.
“I don't think you can. You're stuck now. Bet you wished you picked bowling as a hobby, huh,” teased the entity.
Nathan tried to think of what to do next. He decided to crawl back to his bedroom and lie in bed until he could find a way out of this mess. He crawled along the walls he could feel, which he assumed were from his current house. All the while entities kept coming and going from the different rooms of his house. Every once in a while he would feel their kick as they walked through him. Once in his bedroom, he found his bed and climbed his way into it.
Nathan looked up from his bed hoping he could see his mother again. He could tell she was there, but with the ever building crowd of entities filling the room he could only see her for brief seconds at a time. Nathan lay in bed with the sun beating on down on his burning skin. He endured the torrential downpour and viscous winds of storms past, several feet of snow and ice encased his body while the sun burned his skin, all from the prone position on his bed. Conversations in dozens of languages filled his consciousness, preventing him from developing his own thoughts.
Nathan was reported missing two days later by his coworkers. The police found him in his bed completely unresponsive. After a complete medical examination, he was committed to a sanitarium.
Nathan spends his days at the sanitarium either bed bound or attended to in a wheelchair. Most of the time he cannot discern his bed or wheelchair from past surroundings. He merely observes all the people who have lived in that particular spot going on about their lives, all at once. And sometimes the red entity appears to him, just to make fun.
Kenneth L Gibbons is a factory worker from upstate New York. He holds a degree in IT. He is a passionate musician and song writer. He is also the author of The Ghost Hunter, available through http://www.kennystales.com.
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