My name is David Velocek. I mention that now, not by way of introduction, but to reaffirm in my own mind just who the hell I am. There’s a lot in life that can screw you up good and proper if you’re not prepared for it, and to my way of thinking you either shrug them off philosophically or try to make the most of them. Personally, I prefer the latter approach, since the former smacks too much of meek resignation and if there’s one thing I can’t abide – it’s the fucking ‘sheep’ of this world.
You might be thinking, ‘Oh yeah! I bet you’ve had a real hard life, buddy, but not nearly as hard as mine.’
Well, be that as it may, I still feel bound to say that there’s sod all in most men’s lives that can come anywhere near the bizarre changes that have taken place in mine.
I’d heard of out-of-body experiences before – who hasn’t at one time or another. Like most folk I considered it to be, at best, the hallucinations of a dying brain and but for my accident, which left me paralysed from the waist down, I would have gone on thinking that way.
The injuries to my heart and back in that near-fatal car crash were so appalling that no one expected me to survive the night. But I did, much to the relief of those who struggled to revive me. I said nothing of my experience during my recovery period; nothing of my ethereal bilocation in which I vacated my shattered body and looked on at it with calm detachment as the fire crew hauled it from the mangled wreckage, nor of my sudden return to it only to feel the full agony of my injuries.
I don’t suppose you have any idea how it feels to be utterly dependent on someone. Well let me tell you, its bloody degrading! Nothing can prepare you for it. There were days when, in the dark of my thoughts, I contemplated suicide. But how was I going to achieve it when they kept a constant vigil over me. Short of spontaneously combusting, there was no way in hell I was going to shuffle off this mortal coil anytime soon.
As I drifted through the mind numbing banality of what remained of my life a germ of an idea took root in my mind: What if, by an act of consciousness, I could control further out-of-body-experiences? What had I to lose by trying? Anything was better than the half-life to which I was condemned.
Monique, who could be pragmatic when it suited her, suggested I’d be better off coming to terms with my situation instead of entertaining idiotic and irrational notions. We’d had more than our fair share of arguments over the years, chiefly concerning her growing need for children, but this was the mother of ’em all. The fact that we couldn’t afford to raise a family did nothing to dampen her persistence. And she was telling me to be realistic!
“Hell will freeze over before I’ll help you.” she assured me.
‘Old Nick’ must certainly have been taken aback when two days later a heavy frost descended over his domain.
Thanks to Monique’s sudden and baffling change of heart and her frequent visits to the local library my knowledge of ecsomatic experience grew. Like my own, the majority of such cases were trauma induced and were of little use to me. Others claimed an innate ability to exteriorise their astral forms. Again, there was nothing previous to my accident that even hinted at such an ability. I was getting nowhere fast until I began concentrating the bulk of my studies on the teachings of certain mystics who claimed that in order to externalise the astral spirit one needed only the will and desire to achieve it. To say I was possessed of such qualities would have been an understatement. I was absorbed by the idea of freeing myself from my intolerable situation. To feel whole again was my entire purpose and it overrode all other considerations.
By now relations with Monique had reached breaking point – the shortage of crockery and ornamentation baring witness to it. Yet we’d always found a way of making up our differences and it was invariably between the cool sheets of a bed. Denied even this simple pleasure in life things began to sour further between us and our relationship degenerated into a constant stream of mental abuse. It was during this period I decided to put my theories to the test.
I could hear beneath me the sounds of my disaffected lover as she busied herself with her everyday chores. I waited impatiently for the monotonous drone of the vacuum cleaner to cease. Monique was a creature of habit and I knew from experience that this would be her final task before settling down with a cup of coffee and a magazine. The house soon fell silent and with every ounce of my imagination I reached out across the room to the portable TV, focusing my mind on its every nuance until at length I was mentally experiencing every subtle difference of its design. My concentration was such that had a bomb gone off I wouldn’t have heard it. Then came the indefinable moment when imagination and actuality merged and I found myself standing at the foot of the bed, looking down at my other self. Believe me, there aren’t any words to express how I felt at that moment. ‘Totally freaked’ is about the best I can come up with. It took several minutes just to calm my shaking nerves.
Having gained some control I realised my first task was to analyse my situation. The question was how? How could I be certain that it was truly happening and not some kind of self-delusion? Hard, irrefutable evidence was needed if I was to overcome not only my own doubts but those of Monique, too. As I reflected on this I noticed with some amusement that I wasn’t standing on the floor so much as in it! I recalled my training and by the simplest act of will corrected the misalignment. There were a lot of disciplines I had yet to master and spatial awareness was one of them.
Suddenly the phone rang downstairs and I heard Monique lift the receiver in answer. Now, I guessed, was as good a time as any to test out my condition and at the same time hopefully acquire some hard evidence to boot. The move was easy; I simply thought about it and was there, hovering impossibly at a point just below the ceiling. As I drifted down to ground level I eavesdropped on Monique’s conversation. She was completely unaware of my presence and so spoke openly (albeit in hushed tones).
A growing sense of unease filled my mind with disturbing images of treachery as I listened in. Monique was becoming increasingly agitated and there was a familiar edge to her voice.
“Damn it, Roger!” She was almost hissing the words down the phone. “Do you think it’s any easier for me? I need time. It won’t be easy telling him about us, especially now.”
There was a brief silence then, “Okay, eight o’clock. I’ll think of some excuse to get out the house.” With that, she hung up the receiver.
What I wouldn’t have given right then and there to lay my hands on her scrawny throat and squeeze the life out of the treacherous bitch and this Roger, whoever he was. One way or another, she was going to pay for her infidelity.
Shortly after returning to my physical form, I took stock of our relationship. How dumb could I have been? A blind man on a horse galloping through the dead of midnight would have been hard put not to see that it had scant chance of surviving. From the very outset it had been volatile and unpredictable. Now that sex and children were out of the picture the idea of spending a lifetime with a hopeless cripple must have been unbearable for Monique. Incredibly, I found my attitude softening towards her. Then came the lie, the fictional bullshit that hardened my resolve for revenge. A ‘sick friend’ was the excuse she used to get out of the house. Jesus! She couldn’t even bother her arse to come up with something original. I would have my revenge soon enough, but first I had to see for myself just who this Roger was.
The car’s digital clock showed 20.00 hrs. It had taken only fifteen minutes to fix Monique’s image in my mind and leave my body and arrive, unseen, at her side. She had already pulled into a deserted side road and as a second car drew up behind, her welcoming smile left me in little doubt that the stranger stepping from it was her lover, Roger.
She embraced him with a passion that I had not seen in many a year. You could scarcely have slipped a sheet of paper between them. He was the type of guy you’d expect to see on the cover of some glossy fashion mag. No doubt he had seduced Monique with his fashionable motor and sartorial elegance. To me, however, he was little more than a pretentious prick with too much money. She couldn’t have picked a more dissimilar partner if she’d tried.
I turned from the gut-wrenching spectacle, more determined than ever to exact my revenge on them. The question was how? How could I, crippled from the waist down in one form and incapable of physical contact in another, find the means of avenging myself? The answer, when it came, was incredibly simple. Having seen more than enough, I returned home. As things turned out it would have been far better if I’d stayed, because I would have learned something more about Monique other than her infidelity. Foolishly, however, I allowed a moment of self-pity to determine my hasty action, and it was a costly mistake.
In the days that followed the tension grew worse and I could see in Monique’s eyes a new determination to put an end to the rancour that gnawed at her like a cancer. I also longed to be rid of it or, more accurately, to be rid of her! Then one night I discovered something strange, something I hadn’t been previously aware of.
I had just vacated my sleeping body and was drifting aimlessly through the night sky when I chanced to look back toward the house. To my amazement a spectral figure rose up through the roof and moved off in a westerly direction. It was Monique. I watched as in her nakedness she drifted upwards, her silken hair cascading down the length of her spine. She was like an angel of light, so beautiful and innocent of aspect that it was hard to imagine her as anything else. But this was no angel I was dealing with and I forcefully reminded myself of that fact. In her wake a streamer of silvery mist extended down connecting her bodies, one to the other. I had learned that this silver cord was capable of infinite extension and would remain with her so long as she lived. It was a lifeline, an umbilical, that would warn of any danger to her material self and instantly return her astral spirit to it should the need arise.
I knew that whilst in astral form Monique could see me so I discreetly followed her on her outward journey, eventually managing to expunge the niggling doubt that she had perhaps always been capable of voluntary projection. Reassuringly, the fact that the cord was visible was evidence to the contrary. Had she been an adept, or at least comfortably familiar with her condition, she would not require a visual connection to her other self. Like a child with its comforter she felt safe in its presence. Her ability lay at an unconscious level and no doubt she would wake in the morning to recount her night’s wanderings as nothing more than a dream.
Although I had already exercised my skill to pass through solid objects, I’d never once ventured beyond the physical environment. I was aware from my studies that several other planes of existence were said to exist; subtle counterparts, each interpenetrating the other, each invisible and equally intangible to all except certain ‘sensitives’ and those travelling in astral form. I personally had yet to visit them. That night my education was to reach new dimensions, in more ways than one.
Without knowing exactly how, I suddenly found myself standing on the edge of a yawning abyss, in an alien world of freakish proportions. To the west the rays of a dying sun struck the landscape at an oblique angle, casting elongated shadows across a lifeless terrain. It was a place that any sane person would actively seek to avoid. Had I not been so distracted by it all I might not have been caught out so easily by Monique.
“Appropriate, isn’t it.” she said.
I turned to see her gracefully descend to my level and immediately went on the defensive. “’Appropriate?’ I fail to see what’s so damned appropriate about it.”
“Look at it. This place is a living hell. Isn’t that what we’ve made of our lives? It only seems right our dreams should reflect the same.”
“Why have you come here, of all places?” I asked.
She moved closer to me. “Because it’s only here in my dreams that I can tell you the things that need to be said.”
“Such as?” I asked, knowing full well what her answer would be.
“I’ve met someone else, and I love him very much.” She looked away, unable to return my gaze.
With utter contempt I spat the word back at her. “Love! Jesus, stop deluding yourself and see it for what it really is. It’s the one thing I can’t give you anymore so you go out and seek it elsewhere, like the bitch in heat you are!”
She turned on me like a wildcat. “You pathetic shit!” She stretched out her words for emphasis. “You think I went out looking for sex elsewhere because of your accident? Christ, you really are dumb. The affair began long before then!”
There was no stopping Monique when she was in full flow. She let me have it with both barrels. I was ‘immature’, ‘inconsiderate’, ‘stubborn’, and generally an ‘all round bastard’.
Okay! I’ll admit it. There were times when I was inconsiderate. Who hasn’t been at one time or another? It was hardly grounds for getting laid by the first guy who happened to come along, and I told her as much.
“Think what you like.” Her words were barbed and full of venom. “One thing’s for sure though; you’ll never screw me again.”
“And neither will Roger.” I assured her. “I’ll see you fucking dead first!”
I couldn’t believe it! The bitch just stood there smirking. Then she smugly told me that because this was her dream there was sod all I could do about it.
I grinned wryly, asking, “And what makes you so damned sure you’re dreaming?”
Once again that same maddening haughtiness crept into her voice. “What else could it be?
Suddenly realising what I was alluding to, she laughed. “What – you’re trying to tell me that there’s some truth to those dumb experiments of yours?”
I assured her there was and went on to describe in detail everything that had transpired since her phone call. “How else”, I quizzed, “could I possibly know the name of your lover?”
There were a few brief seconds there when I thought I had the bitch stymied. Then she explained as to how it was possible for me to know everything.
“Because this is my dream. You’re just a product of it. You’re only reflecting what I know.”
Her logic, albeit inaccurate, had me beaten. It would have given me immense pleasure to wipe the self-satisfied grin from off her face. The problem was, any threatening gesture I made towards her would result in her immediate withdrawal into her earthbound body. It appeared we had reached an impasse. Then something she said next furnished me with the answer to my dilemma.
“So you see, short of possessing my body, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to prevent my leaving you. Oh! There’s one other thing.” she began to add, “It might interest you to know that …”
She never did finish her sentence. I couldn’t believe how easy it had been to take possession of her soul. But why not? Hadn’t the slut been easy meat on the Earth plane? The trick now was to prevent her astral form returning to its host. This was crucial to my hastily thought out plan, because lengthy periods of separation from her body meant the very real danger of irreversible dissolution. To put it quite simply, the bitch would die! The plan, of course, was not without its own personal dangers. Preventing her return meant that I too was forced to undergo the same period of separation.
Monique died before the immense strain on my damaged heart took me out, too. I was never quite the same man after that. In fact, if you could see me now you’d know just how bloody ironic that statement is.
I’ve managed to rid myself of Monique. Everything that made her unique, her thoughts, dreams and hopes; almost everything that she was has gone.
I have another form now – one that’s served me well. Through it I’ve managed to destroy and make pitiful the life of Monique’s former lover. It still gives me a thrill to recall how he begged and pleaded with me not to leave him. The stupid sap couldn’t understand how I had come to loathe him and the touch of his hands on my new body.
It hasn’t been easy adapting to Monique’s form over these last few months, but its had its moments. If I need reminding of just how beautiful she was I merely look in the mirror, and gratifying my desires is equally as simple.
If only I had listened longer to Monique before dispossessing her of her lifeforce. Even now her lover’s child makes itself felt within my womb, and I dream such strange dreams. In them I am giving birth to a child: a female, normal in most respects, but for her long silken hair and the silvery umbilical that binds her to me.
© David Calvert 2011
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