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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Supernatural · #1926048
Tobias, the Medium who is leading the spiritual meeting, sits in front of me. I'm ready.
Entered for Consideration in "Tales of Terror

WINNER of the Fourth Annual Monster March 2013 Round of Tales of Terror by lotte , April 2013

FEATURED in the WDC Newsletter: Spiritual: The Uninvited, Editor's Picks, by Shannon , August 3, 2017

FEATURED in the WDC Newsletter: Horror/Scary: Choosing the Right Words, Editor's Picks, by willwilcox, September 6, 2017

FEATURED in the WDC Newsletter: Horror/Scary: Natural Disasters, Editor's Picks, by Arakun the Twisted Raccoon , September 23, 2017


Even with my eyes half-open, a soft darkness envelops me. My arms and shoulders twist like two small palm trees in a high wind. ‘Something’ ran up my back all the way up to my head, and then I felt it melt, like caramelized sugar, inside of me. It tastes like dark chocolate, salt, and sand. I can’t completely control my mind or mouth anymore but I can still hear my own thoughts, and my irregular breathing. The blood in my veins rushes, like water running down a fast flowing river, anxious to reach the ocean. This makes me dizzy but I maintain my equilibrium. My tongue refuses to move; it is as dry as a piece of toast. Suddenly clear as day, alien thoughts mix with mine, and so I finally… let go, as this is my mission.

I am a Medium of Incorporation; lost and earthbound spirits “use” my body to communicate with the physical world. Images and words appear in my mind as mental impressions. I may enter a trance-like state sometimes, but I am almost always awake during the incorporation of a spiritual presence. I know what they experienced and lived, and my body is theirs for a brief moment. Sometimes, it lasts for a couple of hours. Each spiritual case is different.

The spiritual center is located near Skull Lake, in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro but I live hours away, in Barra da Tijuca beach. When I go home, after a spiritual session it is up to me, with my training, to leave no trace behind of a spirit’s past under my skin, or in my heart.

Tobias, the Medium who is leading the spiritual meeting calmly sits in front of me. A respectful silence reigns in the room. Some people cough, others squirm impatiently in their chairs expecting that their departed loved ones might come tonight. Suddenly, my head tilts and my chin rises up, defiantly. A twisted, half-smile distorts my face. I immediately know that the spirit which has taken over my body is that of a very old woman. Her hair is long, dirty and uncombed. Her eyes are two burning coals. Her dress is torn and rotten. She is bare foot. My bloated stomach is nearly exploding with excruciating pain. My breath reeks of alcohol and cigarettes. I hate both. Images of noise filled bars, empty glasses, and clouds of choking cigarette smoke fill the air. I relax, as the meeting and communication with the lost ghost is about to start. The spiritual-physical incorporation is complete now so I remain very calm; this is the first rule in the Mediums of Incorporation Book 1.

“Welcome, may the good spirits be with all of us tonight. I am here to help you, dear spirit. What’s your name?” The Medium asks.

I can hear her tiniest thoughts loudly through the silence inside of me. Both the spirit and I share the darkness inside of me but I force my eyes to look, and search within my body, to find her face. She is there, sitting in the corners of my own body, making my aura become darker as it blends with hers. Deep wrinkles run down her face. She has bad teeth. Sadness, like none I have ever felt before in all these months of spiritual incorporation; fills her eyes. She hides from me or from my thoughts, maybe both. "The Good Spirits sent you here, and I'll help send you Home." I whispered. "I'll help send you Home." I knew she had heard me but I had to repeat it many times, maybe for my own sake. "I'll send you Home."

As if watching a film in a quiet movie theater, I see her wander stumbling into a dark bar. The odor of Moonshine whiskey hangs in the air, like a gray cloud on a rainy day. She pushes a blue baby carriage. My mouth waters violently then a warm, burning liquid runs down my throat hitting my stomach like an atom bomb. I sense desire, and madness, disgust, and abandonment. My eyes close, and open slowly. I lick my lips. I want to spit out the burning taste, but it is impossible now. The baby cries and so she pushes the carriage with her foot---I move my right leg in synchronous strokes.

“Stop crying, Milton. Shush, Grandma’s busy.” Her mouth tastes of stale, charcoal filtered moonshine.

I force my eyes to look ahead, and slide backwards in time. Mediums can do that, and much more. I learned well but I must be very careful; otherwise I could be doomed, or lost, with unwanted Spiritual Baggage on an untraceable astral voyage.

I fly like a straight arrow into a bright tunnel, and enter the old woman’s mind and find the baby’s soul. I see him---so small and vulnerable. I immediately taste little drops of salt water, and warm milk. Something warm and sticky surrounds his little body. Milton can’t speak but his feelings express his discomfort and nervousness. The smoke annoys him. People bump his carriage; he can’t sleep. I understand what he wants: his mother’s warm breast, and the comforting silence of home. I reach out and touch the baby’s soft head. My arm stretches out in the air in front of me. His body smells of baby-powder and lavender. The last thing I see is his penetrating stare right into my eyes! I hear a distant voice coming from far away. I am jerked back, into the old woman’s soul again. I went too far. I want nothing more than to stay with Milton, and protect him.

“What is your name?” The Medium asked the spirit enclosed in me.

Thick and sticky, my mouth, lips, and tongue move slowly. My name is Marilda,” the upset ghost replies. “Why? Let me be. I’m… busy.”

My body rocks and rolls in the chair. I struggle to control it; I must; this body is mine, not hers! I am just a “bridge” for spiritual communication; I must assert control over this ghost.

“You have been haunting someone’s home, Marilda, for too long. There is someone here, in this room tonight that loves you and wants you to crossover, Marilda. It’s time for you to go.”

“I can’t. I’m busy. Besides, I must go there.”

“Where?”

“There to that place.”

“What place?”

"The others, like me, told me I could find them in that place."

“Find ‘them’? Find who?”

“Them---him---there, I must find him. I--I lost him. Oh I am so confused. I don’t remember where to find him.”

“Find who, Marilda?”

My chest fills with air, and then empties slowly, like a balloon expanding and contracting. A long, hollow cry fills the spiritual center’s quiet room. People in the room clasped their hands together. The pain is too great for me to control. Tears run down my cheeks like a flash flood in a desert. A longing, aching pain fills my heart and I think that I am going mad like her.

“My---my little grandson; I---lost him. I LOST him. Oh my God---I lost himmm.”

“How Marilda? The Medium asked her, patiently, his breath smells like cinnamon, and coffee.

“Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear;” Marilda moans.

“How did you lose him? You must remember, for your own sake or you’ll wander endlessly in the Umbra, searching for something that is not there. That’s the place where you are now---eternally between planes, but you’ll never grow spiritually or find the light. You are lost in time. So, please, try to remember.”

“I---I had been drinking that day but nothing wrong happened..."

“Where? When?”

“I took the baby for a walk so I could buy bread. I didn’t want to but I—I had to. I had to go into the bar. I only needed one shot. Only one, you see, I was quitting… but it’s so—so difficult to quit. And this was my—my fate.” She cries.

I start to moan, then cry, long and deeply. I cried this way when I lost my father, years ago, but this lament is hitting my heart like pieces of burning charcoal. It scorches my lungs like the hot smoke from burning cellophane. I understand the ghost’s pain; she must unlock her hurt. It must be coming from deep within her soul. It’s indescribable, I can’t control my feelings, her pain is overpowering.

“Stop, leave me alone. Oh, I look everywhere for him, day and night. I’m a fool, I’m a fool.”

Tobias speaks in a soft but power filled voice, “Not yet. You must tell us what happened or your soul won’t be free, Marilda. You are living in a vicious circle, repeating the same thoughts and routines every day. This has to change but it will only change if you want it to. Tell me what happened.”

“I drank some, but not much, I swear. I pushed the baby’s carriage, backward and forward, until he stopped crying. I had already bought bread, so I had some time. I stayed there for a while. He stopped crying; so I drank more. When I had enough, I went home.”

“What happened, Marilda, when you got home?” Tobias’ breath has an odor of cinnamon, mixed with coffee. It is soothing.

“He—Milton wasn’t in the--the carriage! He was not there! He was gone. He was taken!” The scream of that wounded soul was like a lightning bolt striking a tree, cutting it in half, and destroying its existence forever. She and I were sobbing. My chest was wet with a mixture of tears and spilled moonshine. I am filled with guilt and fear. I want it to stop; sometimes the communications are so intense, almost too shocking for me to bear. I have been thoroughly trained and prepared, as a Medium of Incorporation, to handle nearly anything coming from the unearthly world.

“Marilda, you told your story, and now you are free from your past but you need to be free in your new future. You need to talk with someone now. The person is here and wants you to cross over. She has been haunted by your spiritual presence for twenty years, Marilda.”

“Twenty years? What are you talking about?”

“Twenty years have gone by since your grandson went missing.”

“But---but didn’t this happen yesterday? Yes, yesterday. It happened yesterday. Oh no, I can’t talk to her! I can’t face her. She told me to disappear from her life. Yes, she did. She hit me. She threatened me with a knife… but she was right, wasn’t she? No I cannot see her!”

I tensed in the chair ready to run. With all my might I hold tightly to the chair, barely prevented her escape. The knuckles of my hand became white, then red. I had often wondered how strong the earthbound spirits were. Nothing had prepared me for this, where did this strength come from? By sheer will alone, I forced her to stay inside of me. I felt her fear as she said, “Let me go, please!”

I responded softly, “Not yet, wait, soon, please wait. You’ll be free soon. Listen to him!”

The Medium explained, soothing her wounded spirit with his calm voice. “It happened twenty years ago, my dear. Talk to your daughter. It’s time to end this suffering. You are in the spiritual world, Marilda, not in the world of the living or anywhere in this earthly plane. You need spiritual treatment and care. There are hundreds, thousands of spiritual hospitals, in space, and around our planet ready to care and protect earthbound spirits who recognize their mistakes. Also, you have loved ones waiting for you in other planes, spiritual ones, where you will go soon. You need to crossover, dear one. It’s time to understand, forgive, and be forgiven. It’s time to move on.”

“She won’t forgive me! I follow her every day. I see her weep sometimes, tightly holding his teddy bear, in her garden, under the night’s sky. I talk to her, caress her hair but she doesn’t hear me, or even look at me. She hates me. And so she drinks, more and more, in bars, especially when she goes out. I force her to drink, so that I can taste the vapors of the liquor in the air. You see, it’s our only moment together.”

“Marilda, your moment together is now destroying her just as it destroyed you in your past by influencing your actions.” Truth finally blows softly on my face. Redemption, with the smell of cinnamon, finally allows hope. I let go of the chair, folding my hands on my lap.

“Oh dear; Oh dear; No, I don’t want this fate for her. Where is she? Where is she? Clara? Clara! Clara! Where are you?”

How is it possible for me to describe a mother’s feeling for her child? Can anyone describe a grandmother’s consciousness full of love, and regret? There are no words just endless passion of love, and fury.

A gentle wind is blowing on my face now; I feel a peaceful, beautiful glow of warm light coming from the portal which opens right in front of me. With the door to the spiritual world wide open before me I have to restrain myself to keep from flying on through with the ghost. Soft celestial music, which I can savor with every cell of my body, surrounds us. I see Marilda’s mother waiting for her on the other side of the tunnel of light, her arms stretched out, and eyes full of tears.

No one can describe this feeling of total bliss. Goosebumps pop out all over me. I breathe deep cleansing breaths; in and out very slowly attempting to regain control of my thoughts.

“Clara! Forgive me.” Marilda pleads.

Clara’s response is a simple soft touch on my arm. My senses are saturated with the scent of roses. It is the smell of comfort, the overwhelming smell of forgiveness.

“Mother.” Clara cried. “Mother!”

“Clara! Dear sweet Clara, please forgive me.”

“Yes, mother. I forgive you. Go in peace.”

Marilda’s tears roll down my cheeks and now I sob uncontrollably, my heart is drumming a frantic cadence in my chest. I breathe in and out slowly taking deep cleansing breaths over and over in an attempt to regain control of myself. She gradually releases me, I feel relief then happiness. She is free from her past. She can wander through the stars, and space, the unknown cosmos, to the limits of the universe and beyond. Marilda will discover amazing spiritual secrets beyond the grasp of the living.

As she crosses over, the wind from the tunnel is more intense; pulling Marilda into it, like a flake of iron to a shining magnet. Ah such love ahead, such peace. I want it too but it isn’t my time yet. Soon, I always think with a smile, soon...

My body relaxes and Marilda’s free spirit flies away with a snap as if chewing gum had been stuck on every pore of my body and then softly stretched to its limit letting go suddenly. A multi-colored bubble floats through the air and enters the tunnel. I smile and cry; this time the tears are mine, from a mixture of relief and a feeling of accomplishment. Smiles spread throughout the room as the Mediums realize another lost spirit is on its way home!

The Medium speaks ending the meeting, "Oh Good Spirits, I summon you to protect and guide Marilda’s spirit in her new journey ahead. Cure her, mend her, and take her into the next spiritual level. Thank you for helping us tonight. Thank you for bringing us so many lost souls in need of light.”

As I get up to blow my white Guardian Angel’s candle out and cleanse my body by drinking spiritually purified water, I feel a sudden pressure on my head. It is so heavy that I stop; petrified. It is as if a stone carried by a mudslide falls onto my head. I collapse to the floor.

The Mediums carefully picked me up, surprised, because the session was apparently over. They set me on a chair. Tobias, the Medium in charge, closes his eyes, puts his hand on my head, and jumps back, charged with a lightning bolt of energy!

“There is another spirit inside of her! Come on, help me Mediums. Elizabeth, concentrate. I know you are tired. I know that every bone and cell in your body is worn out but you need to concentrate. We must help this entity. This is our mission.”

“But the session ended, Tobias. It may not have permission from the spiritual world to be here. The Good Spirits may not have allowed it to come. Oh please, I am so tired, thirsty and deeply empty. I cannot; I cannot do this. Please, I need to…”

“Elizabeth! Concentrate.”

And so I do. The pressure is so intense that I feel sorry for people that suffer from migraines. It is as if my head is being run over by an immense truck, full of cement pipes. I have never, ever felt such anger, as that which fills my heart. The dark monster is crushing my soul with its extreme power! It is too big for me but it insists upon creeping into my body. I can’t breathe, as if I had a pillow over my face. I utter unknown words only. I am filled with fear, a feeling a Medium must never allow into their heart. I am powerless against it, like a piece of cloth that has fallen into a puddle; slowly absorbing dirty, muddy, water. My legs and arms tremble so much that I have to be secured to the chair. I have never experienced such desperation, angst, and hatred within my heart. "The Good Spirits sent you here, and I'll help send you Home." I whispered. "I'll send you Home." I knew it had heard me but it had not yet understood the meaning of my words.

Tobias speaks loudly, “My good spirit. Our session has ended. We ask you to come tomorrow. Please go back to where you came from and wait, please return tomorrow. Now go in peace.”

“Oh No! I won’t. No! And I don’t want to be ‘good;’ I just want---her. WHERE is she, I demand you tell me! She was here minutes ago, I know it. ‘They’ told me so.” The grotesque figure inside of me shouts loudly! My mouth tastes like rotten eggs, mud, earth, and foul stale water. My heart is nearly exploding in my chest. I have lost control. I can’t even see inside of myself! There is no light, only blackness. I can’t even grasp the chair; I am becoming weaker and weaker by the second.

“Who, are you talking about?” Tobias asked, already fearing the answer, as much as I do.

“Her… Marilda the old drunken BITCH! Where is she? I can’t find her. I know she’s here. She's vile. Tell me. WHERE IS SHE, damn you, where is she?”

Tobias answers, “She’s gone. She’s at peace now. She finally crossed over, my Good Spirit.”

“WHAT? Impossible! And I will say it again, I am NOT GOOD, you idiot human, and I never will be. You are all fools! You don’t know anything about life and death; you think you understand laws of physics, philosophical speculations, determinism, free will, consciousness, and the absolute zero but you are all WRONG!” It made me talk so fast that I bit my tongue; blood oozes from the corners of my mouth and down my chin, staining my lovely white dress. “You fools think you know everything about the dark side, and spirits but you don’t, and never will. Even the tiniest human being is born evil because of the evil and malevolent aspects of the human personality. The rational and tangible analysis is that without dark there is no light---therefore goodness is an old-fashioned, medieval moral concept. Another one is needed so, darkness is good.”

I know, right then, I am damned. The malevolent spirit is in total control of me. There isn’t a union of two minds anymore but only one and it is not mine---it's Milton's. My fear feeds its insatiable needs. Fear is the worst kind of human emotion. Fear must not be allowed into your heart. This is the second rule in the Mediums of Incorporation Book 1. I can’t help it; lack of hope has devoured my soul. The more I struggle the deeper I am stuck, a prisoner within my own self. Tobias looks at my body in shock; he desperately searches for me inside my ugly stare. I catch glimpses of the demon's motives and I can feel my mouth and voice working, but I can't hear them. My throat is on fire; raw. I know he wants to crossover; go... Home. I had said so. My image is faded, and distant now. I am no longer there.

“I will never, ever, ever leave this body until she comes back, do you hear me; NEVER! I can, and I will---stay. I have the power of the dark side. You don’t know what this means now, do you? I do. You mortals, you sinners, you think you’re good, huh? Ha, ha; nobody’s good. We are all born spoiled bad. Don’t you see that? I’ve seen horror. I lived horror. My life was chaos. The dark side always wins, believe me! Bring her back; take me to her or else!” It snarls and coils like a poisonous snake in my gut, taking over my aura, my chakras, my soul, owner of my past, my present, and my future.

"Why don't you take us Home, Elizabeth?"


Words: 3,500

For Dayo Moarzjasac

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