Today is Halloween and rather than post a true story today, I thought I would post an extract from my novel The Last Observer. I chose this extract as it is an account of a psychic account and somehow, it appeals to me as a Halloween story. Have a great Halloween and keep an eye out for the broomsticks – there may be some tipsy drivers out tonight!
The room was almost as big as his entire flat he thought as he lay down in the huge bed. His hand now throbbed and his face felt sore too as he rubbed it gingerly. For Stanley, reality had truly taken on a feeling of being unreal. In a matter of days, hours even, his cozy little world had turned upside down. He had even the target of a shooting! Despite this, simply being a few feet away from Jo had a strangely calming effect on him. “He really ought to be scarred shitless,” he thought to himself, yet he felt somehow serene, and above whatever it was that was going on. He was warm, cozy and…. Wait, he thought, I am really quite warm. He felt his own brow. Did he have the beginnings of a fever? He wasn’t sure, but it did feel awfully hot all of a sudden in the room. Stanley got up and checked the radiator. It was slightly warm. He opened a window and stood in the cold breeze but he was really beginning to feel uncomfortable hot. He took off the T-shirt he had been given and lay on the bed but this didn’t help at all either. He was simply beginning to boil. He stood up and tried walking around the large room but he didn’t just feel hot but suddenly terribly weak as well.
“Jo,” he called rather hoarsely as he also seemed to be having trouble with his throat. It felt constricted as if someone was being strangling him. He was beginning to panic a bit now as the room began slowly rotating and he had to hold on one of the posts on the bed. Something was seriously wrong and getting worse fast, he thought.
“Jo,” he tried to shout the word but all that came out was a strange rasping sound. The room was spinning wildly and Stanley felt faint and near to collapse.
“Stanley, think of the light,” said a voice close by. “Imagine Stanley the light around you.” A hand was touching his forehead and he felt himself pushed down onto the bed.
“Stanley, focus, listen to me Stanley,” said the voice. “FOCUS!”
Stanley was trying to focus but his throat was constricting, he was dripping with sweat and the room was spinning wildly, but there, in front of him every so often, as the room went around, was a vision of beauty. It was Jo. He must be dreaming. A bad dream, he thought to himself.
“FOCUS!” she screamed at him and then slapped him hard across the face.
He tried again. He tried to lock onto her beautiful eyes and to stop the room from spinning.
“Listen to me,” she commanded him. “Listen to me. You must imagine water.”
“Yes, give me water,” he managed to croak.
“No, it would kill you,” she said. “I said imagine water. Imagine you are like a fish surrounded by clear, cooling water. Imagine that you are breathing in the water through your gills and as you do, that the cooling water is taking the heat with it. You breathe in cool water and breathe out hot water as it takes the heat away.”
Stanley was struggling to make sense of this. “She wants him to be a fish and he was dying? Why?”
“Stanley, listen and focus. Concentrate. Breathe water. Breathe it through every pore in your body. Water surrounds you, cold, clear water. Breathe. Imagine.”
“Stanley was a fish,” he decided deliriously. He was a very large fish in a very large tank and through the glass, a beautiful woman was looking at him and speaking but he couldn’t hear the words. He could just see the mouth moving just like a fish might in a tank. Suddenly, Stanley was breathing water like a fish through his gills. It was cold; very cold. But it got hot quickly and he had to spit it out as it was burning his insides it was so hot. Surely, there wasn’t enough water even in his large tank to take all of this heat. He would boil alive.
“That’s it Stanley,” she screamed. “Breathe it in and be surrounded by the water.”
He breathed in and exhaled. Cold, Hot, Cold, Hot. His throat was beginning to feel better and he was definitely feeling less hot. The beautiful vision outside of the fish tank was holding his hands he realized. “Yes, he did have hands despite being a fish,” he marveled.
“Keep it going Stanley. Imagine water. Breathe the water. Don’t stop.”
Stanley was now imagining being in a river. Swimming in a mountain river and the water was foaming all around him rushing by as cold as ice from the melt waters further upstream. He was feeling more and more normal. His temperature was subsiding.
“Ok Stanley, good job,” said Jo.
He realized it was Jo. Somehow, she was swimming with him in the river. No, she was holding his hands so she couldn’t be in a river, and then he was back lying on the four-poster bed with Jo leaning over him holding both of his hands. Her face was determined, her grip was extremely tight, and his hand was hurting like hell.
“Ouch,” he screamed.
“Good. You are back,” said Jo.
“What the hell happened?”
“Relax a bit and keep thinking of the light around you Stanley; an aura of blue-white light protecting you. OK?” said Jo. “Sit up if you can.”
Stanley hauled himself up into a sitting position. “It’s Ok, I feel better now.”
This extract is from The Last Observer available from all good book sellers.