FEATURED in The Writing.Com Newsletter - Horror/Scary: Oh So Squeamish! - Editor's Picks, January 26, 2011
Pedro Paulo Cavalcante Vera Cruz felt people's impressions on objects that he touched. He read their feelings, thoughts and moments - usually the bad thoughts rather than the good ones. The feelings... just came. He was sensitive and mental, he captured things from the person’s soul; he could perceive hidden information from the normal senses. He had extrasensory perception, a rare gift, people said. Given by God? Maybe. Maybe it was also a curse. A mean, evil eyed curse he often wondered.
People called him the Brazilian Uri Geller in Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro. His family and friends weren't really sure if his abilities or techniques were real or theatrical yet, his readings or perceptions were satisfactorily counseled to his “customers“; people from all over town knew about him and came to his house; sometimes knocking on his door late at night. Once he nearly stepped on an old lady - she was sleeping by his doorstep - curved like a fur ball, waiting to catch him before he left the house. Other times, when he arrived home late afternoons, he would find a long line of people anxiously waiting for his arrival. It was difficult to find intentional trickery or delusion, lies or false predicaments in him - still there was something in him that… people couldn’t explain. It was a certain... toughness in him.
Some psychics have a "helping hand" from the other side but he didn't. He wasn't a fortune teller, a clairvoyant or even spiritualistic. He didn't see ghosts or poltergeists. He didn't have conversation with celestial bodies or knew things through astrology. He was endowed with a predisposition to "feel" other people's thoughts, actions and lives through his sensitive hands. It happened when he was very young. Young and paranormal. Was it hereditary? He often watched his parents from the distance and knew it was not hereditary. It was impossible - maybe not but the wasn't sure. It probably came with him, when he was born.
He often felt singled out, weird and lonely in school and during his teenage life, girls rarely looked at him twice. He told himself that he wasn’t a nerd - and he didn’t look like one - but every time he got close to somebody he would become nervous, irritable and he would avoid touching people’s objects, possessions or belongings. And, if it happened, this simple attitude would become a nightmare or a living “movie” in his mind; as if a red curtain had opened in the corner of his mind and a “film” would “play“, in color and sound surround, showing him bits and pieces of people's lives: lies, big fat lies, intents to deceive and gossip. Silence and secrets. Wrongdoings and violence. The causing hurt or suffering of a loved one. People hurting people and worse, family hurting family. Murderers, pedophiles, killers, rapists, evil intentions. Cries and sorrow. Torture. Suicide, murder and death. So much evil. It saddened Pedro Paulo to see what evil human nature was capable of doing behind closed doors. And, this rare gift, this... thing he had in his hands came without request or acceptance. Whenever he touched an object he knew that he had to be careful; all objects leave a perfect, perpetual impression in the astral light.
Pedro Paulo was single, a widower, with a small house in a quiet neighborhood. He lived quietly, occasionally visiting his family. He was attractive - light brown hair, almost no gray, a full hairline, dark green eyes, square chin,really nice teeth and tight, thin lips - maybe this was the reason why people thought he was always a bit stressed or... tough, harsh... even impolite sometimes. Yet, it wasn't - it was a self-defense mechanism, maybe protecting himself from the spiritual intoxication, as he called it.
Once, a friend was doing drugs before he died. He touched his friend's jacket and he immediately exhibited all the symptoms and feelings of the drug inside his body and mind - he threw up for hours. Another time, he held his aunt’s purse and diagnosed an illness that killed her two months later - cancer. He never found the courage to tell her. It was horrible. He had felt it on his hands and… in his mouth. It was as if he had eaten stale, raw cod-fish. He was sick for many days. But, he never forgot his worst experience ever: when he touched... Angelica's sweater, in the choir rehearsal. He longed for her, dreamed of her but she would never looked directly at him. He sensed her feelings toward him: she was avoiding him like the plague! He became so depressed that he intensely, fervently begged God to cut his hands off and give them to somebody else! Why... me?
As he got older - and he was aging superbly (he did thirty minutes a day of treadmill and his cholesterol was 160), he started reading various books, studying techniques and understanding reasons why he was "that way“; trying to comprehend psychic abilities and powers, trying to believe in something that could explain his hands... or his strange phenomena. A well known psychic researcher devised and named his powers: psychometry - or the measure of the soul or aura of a person or object detected by the holding of an article, releasing precious data regarding the owner of such object. Complicated? Yes.
Then, his big time "reading" happened in late August of 2001. He was in the local supermarket. He heard a desperate mother crying in the wine aisle. She had lost her little son five minutes ago! He introduced himself. He told her that he could help. She screamed and cried and called security, thinking that he was the kidnapper or a child molester. She accused him of taking her little son and kicked his legs. He was nearly arrested but after much explanation, the police inspector agreed to his “token-object reading” skills, upon his insistence and assurance. He could be of some help. Everyone was looking at him. He held the child’s teddy bear. He shivered. Immediately he felt large, heavy hands grabbing him down and big hands covering his mouth and felt pushed into a room… a… bathroom. The boy was right there! He told them to search the bathrooms, quickly, as the perpetrator was about to escape! He could feel the little boy’s tears and fear in his own mouth. Saliva and tears. His felt his little heart beating fast and warm urine running down his legs. The shame and the horror. The knowing of not knowing what would come next. I want my mommy! What is this warm, hard thing on the back of my neck, pressed against me? Mommy, mommy! I want my mommy! Please stop! Let me go to my mommy!
They caught the man on his way out of the men’s bathroom clutched to the little boy. He was arrested right there. The hurt little boy ran to his sobbing mother and they embraced. People cried and applauded. The mother held her son tight, swearing to never ever e v e r leave her son out of her sight again. Thank you Lord, Oh thank you. She looked at Pedro Paulo and thanked him deeply but she did not dare touch him. The police was impressed yet they investigated his whole life. Nothing at all. He was clean. They called him a paranormal hero. He was mentioned in all the major Brazilian TV breaking news.
The special police force started requesting his “services”. He was invited to participate in the most complicated of cases where he would touch the most complex of objects. His whole life was about touching, reading, feeling and seeing other people's lives, like a “play back” of events or like “mental fossils” of ideas but... those ideas were always bad, evil, mean and too horrible to remember. He ate, drank and dreamed of missing or dead people and badness. Every single day. Why couldn't people just be... good? It was easier, wasn't it? Where did all this meanness and darkness come from?
Sometimes the emanations emitted were too horrible and too intense for him to even handle the object. His hands trembled and he felt suffocated. The thoughts, the shapes and sounds of evilness were so intense that he often had cold sweats and woke up screaming in the middle of the night. This gift or talent was innate in him but it also enabled him to live or develop a normal, healthy life of his own.
One morning he woke up and that was it. He couldn’t take it anymore. He just couldn’t. He had no life and he wished to touch objects and people and feel nothing at all. He wanted to be able to embrace a woman and touch something, anything, without the fear of becoming part of someone else’s life, tragedy and story. He needed his life back. His life wasn’t his. He wanted normality, tranquility and to become an anonymous person in the city, in the planet, in the universe. He was tired. Why did he need to help others if it didn't benefit him in any way? He helped, rescued and suffered but nobody was there to help, rescue and love him. Enough! He hated his life. He hated his hands. He didn't want them anymore. God gave his weird hands to him but he didn't care if Satan came from hell, right now, and cut them off and took them away, took them to hell! Oh yes! Take them, my red, evil friend because God gave these damned hands to the wrong person. Just go ahead and take them, please!
The very next day, he quit his job. He said that he was going to disappear, go away. His co-workers were really upset with him. He had a gift! He had to help! Why wouldn't he... help anymore? Why? He was adamant. He had to. No more. While driving home, he thought that he had to have his own dreams. His dreams were fading away - he wouldn't allow his to happen - he'd spent a lot of time, alone, dreaming of another life. He refused to continue this way. He thought about all the possibilities ahead. Travel, far away. He had enough to do so. No more saving people from... other people. Couldn’t they see this? He needed to have another life and peace. No more hands in between. He needed his own self back. He needed to change. Oh he hated his hands so much! The moment he turned the corner street, a red crane fell on top of his car from a construction building in the corner street. He survived but he lost both hands. They were both cut off in the most mysterious of ways. Exact same place, little bleeding, quick healing.
Gift or Curse?