Please enjoy this excerpt from my latest novel, entitled “Dead to Love,” a fantasy thriller with a slightly sci-fi edge about a psychic whose disappeared daughter, she discovers, is the victim of an ancient network of vampiric beings, as many other missing children in and around her community have been. Said psychic/housewife/mother transforms into an inter-dimensional, time-traveling avenging angel who takes down the network of vampires in her hometown, visits a fairy world in the inner earth, a distant planet helmed by a fellow potentate and angelic avenger, and ends up a kind of messianic leader on Earth who leads a revolution and war against the elite rulers who have worked in collusion with the vampire beings for eons to suck the life force from the human race and ecology, for their own power-mad ends.
I am also looking for a graphic artist to design the cover, or to even turn this into a graphic novel, so please comment or email me if interested at: email@example.com. Thanks for reading!
Part Three: Insurrections and Resurrections
I don’t know how much time passed before I finally woke up behind my own eyes again. It could have been one hundred years, or ten minutes. I had vague hints left in my head of perhaps time and space travel, and the sense that they were boasting of their cosmic pockets of dominance, showing off their handiwork in the form of slaves and the results of their brutal impositions and abuses of power in locations like our humble little hamlet. I figured they had wiped my memory of most of what I had seen, but leaving behind streak-like remnants of themselves upon the windows of my mind.
I came-to in my body like brass that awakens as a bugle, the sunlight on my arms like writing on a chalkboard saying, “Here is a body. Your body. You have come into the world again.” Indeed, the sun was in its body, smiling down at me through a dead tree on a spring morning. I was still lying where I had passed out, next to the Owens farmhouse. I went to sit up, and cried out due to a pain in spine, and Florian came running to me from around the side of the house.
“Connie! You’re alive! I knew you would make it,” he exclaimed, in a great rush of pathos, as he knelt down beside me, caressing my fallen-asleep arm.
“Where are…” I began, still trying to wake up my body and brain and get my bearings.
“Where are…what? Who?” Florian asked.
“The children. Are they okay?”
“I just checked on them a couple of hours ago. I told them to stay at the house until we returned. I knew we would both return, that you were fighting them body and soul,” Florian enthused.
“Where…are they? The monsters?” I queried, with a tremor in my voice.
“Disappeared. I guess we succeeded in evicting them…at least temporarily,” he said.
“Did you see a ship beam them up, or did they just vanish, or…” I queried him.
“I saw strange lights, then felt their darkness was gone,” he replied.
“How long have I been here?”
“Three days,” Florian said. “I thought you were either comatose or close to dead at times. But something told me you would pull through.”
“Let’s go see about the children,” I said, slowly standing up, breathing deeply the blue canopy of spring air.
Florian nodded, helping me stand up, and we walked together across the sunny field full of dead trees to collect the children and deliver them safely back to their families. As we walked, my mind was a moody sea of other-worldly, diabolical images – afterimages seared in my head from my off-planet journey. Although I wanted to determine just what it was I had seen and experienced while trapped in the thing’s head, the recall was painful – and horrifying. It was a kaleidoscope of jarring, inhuman images, symbols, and viscera that had only compounded my existential nausea. Florian must have seen this as we walked, as he lovingly helped me at every step. Smiling as he did so, even though my head was brimming now with the unholy sights of these beings coldly and scientifically calculating what must have been the brains and breath – spiritual weight? – of many children – likely not just from Sheldon Vale. I had the distinct feeling as we walked that they were working out a way to create or clone humans and use them as a slave race. I remembered telepathically picking up on one of them thinking, “When we can clone and replace them, we reduce our thumbprints to virtually zero, and keep the originals for study and slavery.”
I shuddered and kind of bent over a bit under the weight of this notion. Florian grabbed my arm, and suddenly I felt like a Jewish person in the Third Reich pogrom being escorted across some dead waste toward her doom. A feverish dread overtook me then, and I began to sob softly, the tears clashing with my newfound joy at being back in my body and out of the Alf-thing’s head. Florian offered his deep sympathy and support, and somehow we made it across that godforsaken field to the house where the old farmer’s corpse still slept.
“T-too much horror. Too much death here,” I stammered. This planet is inhospitable. Hostile to life, I thought, but didn’t say.
“I know,” Florian said, hugging me close. I was so grateful to him for not trying to explain away or soften my statement, but just accepting it.
I savored being held in his warmth – which I could see now as a copper-orange radiance – as we ascended the sloping yard grown with high grass, and the walkway that led to the front door. I could hear children’s playful chatter from inside – and being suddenly hushed at hearing our footsteps approach. As Florian pushed the door open, his son stood in the middle of the gaggle of children, looking very much like some Peter Pan with his Lost Boys (and Girls). I was suddenly overjoyed to see them all, and hugged them, trying to control my sobs so as not to scare them even further. I caressed and stroked their heads, answering their by turns precocious and innocent queries into where I had been.
“Did the aliens take you away? Sebastian said they took you away. Just like Fiona,” said Tommy.
“They tried, hon,” I said. “But weren’t strong enough to get me.” Though the mention of her name plunged me into a momentary grief again, the kids seemed invigorated and put at ease by this announcement, which lifted me up. I told them they would be going home soon, that Florian and I would be taking them back to their parents that day. There was a somber mixture of gladness and gloom floating around, like the heavy clouds that hung over the pastureland where our reconnoitering broke from its lunar flanks toward some measure of normalcy.
Or, so we had hoped.
“Les is gone,” Sebastian said in a disturbed, excited way.
“What do you mean, gone?” I asked, perplexed.
“His body is gone. Go look,” said he, pointing urgently up toward the room where we’d left his body.
I did just that, ascending the staircase in a slightly wobbly fashion, still adjusting to being back on Earth after my “kidnapping”. Florian followed me closely, as did Sebastian, Tommy, and Ariel, a girl of about ten. I stood in the doorway of his bedroom looking at the bed with its slightly-ruffled bedspread we’d lain him atop of. At first I couldn’t accept what I was seeing, as my mind raced with the possibilities: Did he rise from the dead like Lazarus, or some zombie? Did the aliens come for him during the night?
And then I recalled his words the day before: “I have a whole closet full of books that could tell you a story” – about the UFOs, aliens, whatever they were. I stepped into the closet where earlier he had pulled a gun from a shoebox, and saw a pile of books on an upper shelf, flanked by two old banker’s boxes. Pulling aside some hanging clothes, I spied a few more boxes on the ground, amongst haphazardly dispersed pairs of old shoes and boots.
“Hmmm,” I said aloud, as I pulled one of the boxes out from its dark, dusty hiding place.
“What have you got?” asked Florian.
“I don’t know. Les said he had books that could tell the story about the aliens. I just want to look through and see if there’s anything that can tell us something useful about these beings,” I said, extreme curiosity dripping from my voice.
I pulled out a large notebook, and began flipping through it, soon hushed into utter amazement at what I was reading. Florian could tell by the sounds I was making that it was something incredible.
“What?” he inquired, matching my own curiosity, then repeated his query a few moments later when I refused to answer.
“It’s…I mean, this guy…okay, here’s a passage: ‘My conversations with the cosmic time-traveler who claims to be a teacher and oracle for humanity who is millions of years old and who calls himself Onquoristhenes Barl, or just Quoris for short, have altered everything I knew, or thought I knew, regarding human existence and life on Planet Earth. Since he arrived, one month after Carol’s passing, he has revealed our true human origins, purpose of life on Earth, and also who and what the aliens that operate via the ancient vortexes are – one of them being right here, next door at the Owens farm.”
Florian stood next to me, looking over my shoulder and reading silently along with me in mute amazement.
“He explained that as an immortal “way-shower” and tenth dimensional tracker of these beings, he had been witness to their first colonization of Earth long before the first humans were present – about five million years ago.” I turned to look at Florian shrouded in amazement, His eyes returned the sentiment, and began scanning the old man’s closet for more written records of his interactions with supernatural beings. He pulled a box off of the top shelf, and walked out into the room and placed it on the bed, fingering the books and papers contained in it.
I continued: “He gave me instructions for warding off the evil ones in what he called the ancient tongue or Universal language – Obrez och izz machem azzdel mog paz ib, repeated again and again until they disperse, for instance, is a very ancient protection spell against them. He also informed me of how to summon him, in case he needed protection or aid of any kind: Ma’az zoll higun b’el maz Onquoristhenes Barl mogeb.”
I hadn’t considered the summoning power of what I was saying as I read out of Les’ notebook – even struggling in places to pronounce the words as I did. I just read out the words. Then, as soon as they’d come out of me, I looked across to where Florian sat upon the bed, whose eyes gave me a kind of “Uh-oh” look that I’m sure I must have been sending as well. We sat in a crushing silence for a long moment, expecting this warrior to appear. Who was this immortal protector of the innocent from evil which a nice, now dead and disappeared old man had written about? I thought.
We sat there a few minutes more, eyes darting about the room, expectant of the visitor, going to the window to see if he may arrive in a ship, holding our breath.
But, indeed he did not show.
“Maybe he didn’t show up because I did not have an intention to summon him when I read the words,” I supposed.
“Or, perhaps they were meant to be spoken only by the old man,” Florian opined.
“That could be. Nonetheless, his writings are incredible. I want to take some of these with us to read,” I declared. “They probably have information we can use in our battle against…them.”
“I just hope he has no family who will come looking for him, and who will find some of his personal belongings rifled through,” Florian cautioned.
“I sense he has no one left. At least, none who’ll be urgently looking for a man who’s now disappeared. And, not before I can get these notebooks back here.”
“Where do you think his body went?” Florian inquired abruptly.
“Well, my instinct tells me his nefarious neighbors stole the body for reasons all their own,” I replied, gesturing toward the Owens farm. A strange heat thundered through me just then, causing my heart to skip a beat. I swooned, and Florian rushed to my aid. I assured him I was fine, but he insisted on me lying down on the bed. I thought nothing at the time of the fact that the body of the old man had been laid there less then twenty-four hours before. I closed my eyes and quickly drifted into a strange dream-like vision. Or, vision-like dream.
In it, a mysterious, yet benevolent-seeming figure appeared before me in a kind of crystalline cloak, who gestured for me to follow him. And as I did so, great towers were felled by the staff he waved all around him, the buildings falling into what became a great, Eden-like garden. It seemed like we had walked hundreds of miles, though it felt effortless, like watching a sunrise. The garden gave way at one point to deep, thick, dark forest. We walked a little ways, and then he rested against a mind-bogglingly huge oak tree.
“I am the one you have summoned, but I knew you long before you spoke the words today,” he said. “There are many earth-saviors upon Planet Earth right now, Constance, and you are one,” he said, with high wonder in his voice. “Your life on Planet Valtane-IV is not a dream or hallucination, as you have feared. No, it is simply one of many places in which the expression of you exists. And you are not dead to love, as you have suspected of yourself, yet rightly of so many,” he added.
He pointed his staff upward in the low light towards the upper canopy of the great, old trees, his gaze following the line it traced, then making its way back to meet mine.
“Now your many selves have come together as one to fight this final battle with evil, personified by the ones you have been battling,” he continued. “Your powers have been enhanced one-hundredfold. You will be able to read minds, become invisible, alter your shape, and perform really anything you can conceive of – only because you have attained the proper level of benevolent intentionality and heart frequency,” he informed me.
He then turned and reached inside what must have been a door in the oak, retrieved an object, then turned, and I saw it was a thin crown of gold or some other precious metal, which he placed upon my head.
“And now you truly are an empress, in the true sense of the word. An empress of world-changing love. The cosmos is like a waiting lover, breathless with anticipation,” he spoke, a smile of innocence and wonder rising upon him. I could only emote the feeling his beatific smile aroused in me.
“Now, you are free to do your work for the people and all life on Earth, by the powers that bid me to you which exist at the center of the Universe, Galactic Crown, and everywhere,” he said, then touched the crown of my head with his staff. “Go, Constance, and do well in your sacred work, with a laughing heart. I will meet with you again soon.”
With that, he kind of spiraled his staff around me and in a flash I was back, snapping my eyes open back in the old man’s room, Florian’s heavy, concerned face hovering over me.
“Wow, that was a trip,” I declared.
“Whew, you came back. I thought we’d lost you there, again,” said Florian with a hard-bitten smile of relief.
“I just saw…Onquor…whatever his name is, in a vision just now,” I declared, sitting up quickly. “I want to look through the rest of that notebook,” I continued, going to the closet where I’d dropped it.
“So he showed up in your hypnotic state…not in person, then, eh?” Florian asked, with something like disbelief or skepticism. “Are you sure it was him, and not…one of them?”
“Positive,” I rebutted. “He crowned me, conferred special powers on me to…read minds, shapeshift, et cetera. Took me through a crumbling city of towers which became an Eden, then to the most beautifully mysterious forest I could ever have imagined,” I said, with true wonder pouring from me. “I feel renewed, rejuvenated, unbelievable!” I exclaimed, with a new fire surging through me. “Let’s collect the children and get them back home where they belong,” I said, gathering up three of Les’ notebooks, and joining the children, who were anxious to be getting home.
It felt like a pilgrimage, the eight of us walking like a large family across the verdant fields, back across the edges of the desiccated Owens farm (we of course wanted to keep the children as far away from that place of dreadful evil as possible), eventually to the highway road Florian and I had zoomed down just days earlier in search of the beasts – though it now seemed like a hundred years ago. Florian’s Mercedes still sat where we had left it. We all perfunctorily piled in, the eight of us easily fitting into the roomy sedan.
“I remember hearing music in my head when I was…away. And, it wasn’t coming from them. Did you sing to me, Florian?” I asked. He smiled, looking down, two of the smaller children between us looking curious at my query.
“I sang, I talked to you, told you old stories…yes,” he replied, smiling a sunny smile at me as he started the engine. “Anything to keep reaching you, keep you connected to the earth. I wasn’t prepared to let you go, Connie,” he admitted sweetly. “I knew love would keep you here. That it wouldn’t let the wolves drag you away.”
“I feel…clarified,” I said, the colors leaping out like never before. Watching the children jostling for space in the car, I felt alternately sad for the tragedy of their being incarnated in such a maligned world, and also hopeful that they were part of a new generation of warriors against the dark cabal on Planet Earth. These were strong souls – strong enough to handle what they’d been through, and worse, and had come out the other side even stronger.
“Clarified? How so?” Answered Florian, steering back down the highway into town.
“I feel like…being in that thing’s head and assimilating their technology, hieroglyphics, their agenda, just…kicked off something extrasensory, otherworldly in me,” I replied, as I gazed out my passenger window at the leafy whirl of spring dancing in the morning wind. I could read the auras and life force energies of the trees, and even dark and light spots over the rural homes indicating, apparently, the general health of the house, or those dwelling in it.
“So, they kind of…kidnapped your spirit and took you on a ride, is that it?” Florian asked.
“I think what Alf was trying to do has backfired on he and his gang completely,” I said. Florian gave me a square look and raised his eyebrows at that.
“Hey, we need to know where all you kids belong, so…you just tell me where your homes are and I’ll let you off there, okay?” Florian queried the children. There was a strange silence after he asked.
“Do all of you know on which streets you live?” I asked them. The little girl who sat beside me, Gloria, shook her head.
“I’m only two blocks from the school,” said another girl, Ariel. The other children chimed in with their places of residences somewhat reluctantly, which I picked up as a collective message to us that they were not comfortable with that prospect.
“We would love to take care of you, dear ones, but you really belong with your parents,” I said, as some of the children hung their heads. “If you’re afraid because you were taken from your homes, do not be afraid now. They won’t come for you. I have forbidden it. Your parents will be happy to see you,” I added, smiling.
“You promise?” asked Tommy.
“Promise. Now let’s get you all home.”
And that’s exactly what we did, letting each child off at their homes, after making sure there was someone there to receive them. For two of them we had to discern where their parents worked and drop them there. The parents of four of them were extremely glad to receive them, pouring out their gratitude effusively. No one answered at Ariel’s, so we took her home with us.
“Just until we can get you home, sweetheart,” I said to her innocent face like a trusting flower.
Home was for me now apparently Florian’s, after this exchange in his driveway when the four of us pulled up:
“You’re not going back there, I won’t let you. I insist you stay with us.”
“You’ve seen that I can handle myself very well with these monsters, Florian.”
“I’ve seen it, but I won’t allow you to risk his return if I can help it.”
“I’ve seen his mind through and through now, and can unravel him with a word, but if it will make you feel better…”
“It will,” he replied with a very authoritarian insistence.
We all piled out of the car and up the path to Florian and Sebastian’s house.
“You’ve been awfully quiet, young man,” I observed of Sebastian as the thick wooden front door swung open, held by Florian as we stepped inside. “What’s on your mind?”
“Oh, just listening to the cosmos, Mrs. Girard. To life,” he replied, as he made for the living room couch and plopped onto it with a thud of relief.
“This, from a fourteen year-old?” I marveled, gazing at Florian, a sly, proud smile sneaking up his face as he removed his coat and hat.
“He’s beyond his times, surely,” Florian said, as he disappeared into the next room and put his Luger away in a safe. I followed him in there, Ariel close on my heels.
“Fiona is the same way,” I stated, firm in my usage of the present-tense and feeling deep within me that she would be returned safely to me. “An old soul, certainly.”
“We can only hope she will return to us body and soul,” replied Florian.
My eyes swept across three rudimentary but alluring paintings. Florian saw this just as Ariel tugged on my dress complaining she was hungry.
“Those are Lisette’s. So she’s always with me in my dark hours. Let’s get something from the kitchen for the kids to eat, shall we?”
“Okay…they’re nice, her paintings,” I remarked. “Playful, childlike. But, fierce.”
“Just as she was,” he said.
We all stood there a long moment looking at the paintings, Ariel included, then adjourned to the kitchen and as the sun fell through the plum, cherry, elm and oak trees so familiar to me, we let comforting smells of cooking a hearty meal enfold us. Strangely, this felt more like a family, a spirit of unity, then my own family had. I let the spirit of celebration and unity dance like a dervish as after eating we joked around, played impromptu music on Florian’s piano, drums, and other instruments he had laying around his living room. Sebastian sat down at the piano during this beautiful burst of spontaneity and played what sound at first like a Chopin piece, but which I came to realize was his own. When he finished, I asked, “Is that yours?” to which he merely smiled humbly.
“That’s for Fiona, wherever she is. Maybe she will hear it and will return to us,” said he, and my heart paled, caught itself, then smiled.
Soon after that Ariel and Sebastian wandered out into the backyard area, no doubt to wonder at spring’s industry budding in the gardens and on the trees. Watching Ariel excitedly bounce around the yard through the sliding glass doors, I couldn’t help but think of Fiona, though my sadness was brightened by the sheer joy I felt being back on solid ground and in my body. Life itself buoyed what could have been a sad moment as I watched the children with whom I felt a kinship play in Florian’s backyard.
“Nice to have a moment alone with you,” Florian said from the kitchen. “Can I get the empress, destroyer of evil, something to drink? Beer? A glass of wine? Mineral water, perhaps?”
I told him wine sounded good and asked what kind he had. He said he had a good bottle of 2006 Bordeaux in his wine rack, and I said that sounded wonderful. As he opened it and poured us each a glass, I wandered his library again, pulling the occasional collection of poetry or treatise on mysticism or magic off the shelf and flipping through its enthralling pages.
“Here we are,” said Florian, handing me a glass as we sat down in the living room.
“Danke schoen,” I said, accepting the libation and tipping my hat to his German ancestry.
“Bitte schoen. Nice to see the children playing out there. Sebastian’s usually hiding away somewhere studying or writing,” Florian remarked.
“Yes, it is. Though seeing Ariel running around…”
“Reminds you of Fiona, I know,” Florian comforted. “She will be returned to us, I feel it.”
“Yes, so do I,” I replied. The wine was touching something deeply Gallic or Romantic or ancient in my blood. It made me think of errant knights and rogue nobles playing with courtly love and sophistry. Was I just trying to distract myself from the hard truth – that my life had just fallen to pieces?
“You know, I swore after Lisette and the anguish her loss brought me that I would never, ever love again. That it would be just me and Sebastian, but…”
“But,” I urged him, after a long pause.
“But, I never counted on you, Connie. For years you were just the neighbor next door. Wife of a man whom I even knew in a cursory way was beneath you. But, I never gave it much thought, you know?”
“Yes, you busied yourself in your gardens and greenhouse. I could tell the time and seasons by you,” I revealed, laughing. Florian echoed my levity. “We called you ‘The Gardener’.”
“I can think of worse names,” he countered, with a deep smile and another quaff of the wine. I must have looked worried he might be offended, for he added, “It’s a compliment, my dear,” with a devastating smile. My thoughts spun wildly as I drank down the excellent ferment, which I commented on.
“This particular selection comes to us from the Haut Medoc. There’s an expression in this Chateau that’s more fulfilling than sex or religion for me.”
“It’s superb,” I agreed. “Alfred never liked wine. It was always beer or vodka breath. Eventually I was so disgusted with his drinking that I myself stopped altogether. Nice to experience something positive in the alcohol world.”
“Oh, you’re a non-drinker? I’m sorry to corrupt you,” Florian replied, looking genuinely worried.
“Oh, no, no…I had no good reason to drink. Never went out, buried myself in my work, took care of Fiona, was a homebody. I’m happy to have rediscovered it. I used to imbibe in my younger days. I drank some good wine in college once or twice.”
“Good. Well, I’m glad that’s all over between you and that monster…who probably couldn’t name one cultivated grape, the troglodyte.”
“I should check on the kids,” I said, getting up.
“Oh, well let’s go together,” said Florian, following my out through the sliding doors.
Not seeing the children at first, I got a bit concerned. Perhaps we shouldn’t have let them out of our sight, considering that there were parasitic alien creatures still flying around the area. Suddenly I was nauseous as we walked the huge gardens. I paused to sit on a low stone wall as my head spun.
“You okay?” asked Florian.
“I think so. Just a bit dizzy,” I told him, though I truly felt awful.
A moment later, after Florian had begun rubbing my back, the children came running out of the trees.
“I saw Twirl,” Ariel announced.
“What did you say honey?” I asked Ariel. It took me a moment to parse her words.
“I said I saw Twirl. She comes to my house, too,” she beamed. “She lives in the trees.”
“Well, honey, that’s amazing. Twirl is a fairy, right?”
“Yes,” was Ariel’s matter-of-fact reply. “She helps make the trees big and the fruit grow.”
“That’s really interesting,” I replied. I exchanged bemused looks with Florian and Sebastian. “Fiona had an imaginary friend named Twirl. Could she be the same?”
“I would think she has to be, unless…” Florian surmised, and trailed off.
“Yes, I would think so. It has to be,” I agreed, suddenly recalling the days when Fiona, too, would come running into the house and say “a girl named Twirl lives in the trees,” and at about the same age as Ariel.
“Wow, that’s cool. A real live fairy, huh? I think I did see something…but it was only a quick flash of light,” said Sebastian.
The trees answered us with a beautiful, green silence after Sebastian’s comment. Gathered in our silent marvel, sun flares exploded in the periphery of my vision. It was, I surmised, the corona of the quantum field also answering our sentient presence. I simply let the light fill me up, energizing me through my eyes and skin. Soon, my nausea and dizziness passed.
“There is something deeply mystical about the trees back here that I’ve always loved,” I said, looking to Florian, who was gazing back into their newly-budding, rioting mass. “Something sacred to counter the alien evil that’s infested this place.”
“There are real fairies in our trees; ugly demons, including your husband, have invaded our town and kidnapped and tortured our children, the ring of fire is going berserk, there are about seven revolutions occurring in as many countries right now…I wonder what else can happen?” Florian asked in a hush as the children ran ahead of us into the house.
“I don’t know,” I truthfully replied. “You know, for such an introverted, studious young man, Sebastian certainly knows how to let his inner child run loose,” I observed. Florian let out a knowing laugh.
“There are two sides to him. The serious one, and the energetic child. I think being around these other kids has been good for him,” he agreed.
“So Ariel’s neighbor didn’t know where her parents worked?” I asked.
“No. In fact they hadn’t seen them in many days,” Florian answered.
“That’s strange,” I said.
Stepping into the house, I went over to Ariel, who was sitting on a kitchen chair.
“Ariel, where do your parents work?” I asked her.
“They used to work at the school, but now they work at home,” said the somewhat pixie-like child.
“Oh, they lost their jobs? During the recent teacher layoffs, is that it?”
She merely nodded, looking sad. Her dark blond hair fell around her face in an unkempt way. I placed a hand upon her head, both in a comforting fashion, but also in an intuitive, empathic way. Perhaps I could see through her mind, use her energy as a compass to possibly ascertain where her parents were. I had done this in some of my in-person psychic-clairvoyant sessions. Sebastian flipped on a lamp, as it was now dusk, and sank into a reading chair in a corner of the living room with a book on the Roman Empire. I closed my eyes and felt into Ariel’s own quantum field.
“What are your parents’ names, Ariel?” I asked.
“Um…Gary and Reb-becca,” she responded hesitantly in a tender, innocent drawl.
“Okay, I am going to try to find your mommy and daddy now, Ariel. I’m going to keep my hand on your head and try to see where they are,” I told her.
“Okay,” she replied, seemingly understanding.
Almost immediately after this exchange, I got the “download” that they had been despondent after her disappearance a few weeks back, and had embarked on a statewide search for her, to no avail. I could feel their great desperation and grief, and that they had almost given up hope. This insight had come to me much quicker and more vividly than any I had done before. Being behind the thing’s eyes had clarified me.