“It’s different,” I said simply and looked around. It was different. It was like an unpopulated version of my world.
“We are in another layer,” he said and walked toward a bunch of crates that were stacked up at the entrance of the alley. He sat on one and patted the other.
“Sit down and I will tell you what you need to know. And many things you’ll wish I didn’t.”
I did as he said, noticing that my feet made no marks in the snow as I walked, feeling no chill in the air at all.
“All right,” I said. I adjusted my position on the crate so I was facing him and waited patiently for him to continue.
“This place, the Thin Veil, the Otherside, the Black Sunshine, is a parallel world for the dead. It is a place of transition, the world where souls first step into before they travel above or below or to the other places I have not seen yet. My name is Jakob but it wasn’t always Jakob, that is just my name when I am here. All us guides are called Jakob. We help souls cross over to where they need to go and some of us, some of us are guardians. We keep this place free from monsters and special people such as yourself.”
That was an awful lot for my uneducated brain to take in.
“You keep this place…free from…people like me? Monsters? How…”
His voice dropped to a lower register. “Monsters are real, Pippa. I know you’ve seen them when they cross over. Sometimes they look like ordinary people. At other times, they look like the demons they are. Or faceless shadows. They come from the underworld, a place of blood and sorrow. The Thin Veil is the closest point for them to break through. They look for souls to possess, for bodies to have, for lives to devour. They are very, very dangerous. And they tend to go after people like you. That is one reason why people like you are a threat to this place.”
“Well, my goodness. You know I would have never come here had you not dragged me here. It’s not like I can step into this place anytime I want.”
“Oh, but dear Miss Lindstrom, you can. You can come here anytime you want, now that you know. And if you’re really powerful, which I suspect you are, you can create doors whenever you wish.”
I was powerful enough to create doors to another world? It was too unbelievable for my ears, despite the fact I was sitting with a spirit guide in what appeared to be another dimension.
“So they want me…”
“They want you because you possess this power. It is very attractive to them. You also attract other beings, not just monsters and demons. You attract ghosts, spirits who remain here because they are unable to move on. They can see the world they left behind and roam among it but others do not see them. Except for you. Can you imagine an eternity of loneliness, of being ignored, and then finally being seen, being listened to?”
Oh, I didn’t have to imagine that feeling. I had experienced it many times before.
“So why am I safe here? Why am I not safe on the other side?”
He looked around him. “The guardians are out doing their job, keeping the demons at bay. They can’t do anything for the spirits who spend their time here and in your world, but the demons they can control. However, if they slip past, and it does happen, they are free to cause destruction. The guardians cannot come to the other world, and even guides shouldn’t.”
“Will you get in trouble for coming to see me?” I asked, wondering who exactly Jakob answered to.
He shrugged. “I might. But I’m pretty stealthy. This world is as vast as yours and they can’t be everywhere at once.”
“And in my world?”
He chewed on his lip before speaking. “In your world, it’s…easier to be watched. From here, you can conjure up doors or windows that will open up anywhere you please. It’s how I’ve been able to watch you while you were a child, then watch you now. When I’m in your world – the living world – I am aware that at any moment one of the guides or guardians, or even demons, can find out where I am or what I’m saying. It’s like a mental and physical leash that keeps me tethered to the Otherside.”
I rubbed at my temples, feeling a bout of pressure on them.
“You’re in pain,” he said and began to get off the box.
“No, no.” I waved at him to sit back down. “It’s just a lot to handle.”
“That’s why no one should ever know. You knowing you’re special was always enough, you never needed to know it all, to come here. That’s why I tried to keep it from you. That’s why we aren’t allowed to tell.”
I pinched the bridge of my nose and the pain subsided a bit. “You said there are others like me out there…people who can see ghosts. Are they in danger too?”
He nodded. “Some more than others. You have this ability, this light inside you that promises power that few have. A power that will only worsen from here on in.”
I gave him a sharp look. “What? Why?”
He pulled anxiously at the cap on his head and didn’t say anything. I put my hand on his leg and squeezed. Hard.
“Is this about the baby?” I asked, my voice trembling.
He sucked in his breath and nodded. “I know I won’t succeed in preventing the child from being born. I can see that you’d never let that happen. But I will tell you this much, that child will bring pain to your life and to others.”
“How could you say that about an unborn child!” I shrieked, the words coming out of my mouth in a hot fury. “About my child!”
Jakob remained nonplussed. “Any woman who carries life carries a great power within her. You already have a power, a life force that others want, need, crave even. With a child growing inside of you, you will be more susceptible to…other forces. You’re putting yourself in great danger. Not to mention your child. If she manages to emerge unscathed, untainted by dark spirits, you may be subjecting her to a life just like your own. A life that will end in pain and misery.”
For all the frightening and horrible things that he had just told me, my brain froze and fixated on the little, minor detail he let slip: It was a she. I was carrying a baby girl.
“Yes, it’s a girl,” Jakob admitted, quite literally reading my mind. “And maybe you won’t pass your powers onto her. Maybe it will skip a generation. But you’re dooming someone to a life just like yours.”
I felt weak and was glad to be sitting down. I shook my head lightly, feeling tears creeping up behind my tired eyes. “My life isn’t so bad. I have Ludie. I have a child. I have a home and I have money. I have what I’ve always wanted.”
I didn’t know if I was trying to prove something to Jakob or to myself.
“But those things won’t last, Pippa, and you know it,” he pointed out with a gentle tone, as if that could soften the blow. “Ludie is just an ordinary man.”
“He’s more than ordinary,” I spat at him.
“But he’s not like you.”
“So you’re saying I can’t love him because he doesn’t have this wretched power, this disease?”
“I am not saying that. You will continue to love him, no matter what happens. But he isn’t like you, he won’t ever understand the real you – this you - and when things get hard in the future, he will run. He will always run.”
I looked down at my gloves and absently picked at them. I felt low and ashamed. “He thinks I’m special too.”
“Of course he does. But Ludie is just a man, Pippa. He’s a perceptive man and more in touch with his feelings than others, he is more open-minded and he can feel that energy you give off. It attracts him like all other living and non-living things. But his heart isn’t drawn to yours like yours is to his. Very few people with these abilities can find each other in all the worlds. When it happens, you know. It’s a magnet affect, a sense of finding your missing half, someone who gives off what you do and draws you in like they do to you.”
“Let me get this straight. I’m doomed to be alone until I find someone like me?”
“I can’t answer that,” he said.
I glowered at him. “You seem to know my future very well. I’m going to assume my heart won’t be acting like a magnet with another anytime soon.” When he didn’t say anything to that I continued, “And my daughter. What’s to come of her since nothing looks very rosy anymore?”
“I do not know,” he said. “In my vision, you wouldn’t have the daughter at all.”
“Because you told me to?”
“Because it’s not your husband’s. It belongs to another man who will leave you as soon as he gets word of your pregnancy. Because it’s dangerous and you are not in the best health and are getting old.”
The nerve of him. I was not that old.
“Why are you telling me all of this, Jakob? Why didn’t you just let me be? You didn’t have to follow me today. You could have stayed away like you had been doing all this time. I would have never known any of this. Why did you do it?”
He looked sheepish as he stepped off the crate and walked away.
“Because I’m selfish. I’m lonely.”
I was caught off guard by the honesty of his answer. He stopped and shot me a shy look.
“It’s true. This is probably why we aren’t allowed to interact like this. You draw me to you just like everything else is drawn to you. I like watching you. I like talking to you. And I have reason to believe it will be easier for us to converse now.”
I squinted at him. “How?”
He raised his hands to sky. “Now that you’ve seen this place, you’ll be able to come here whenever you like. You can see me or choose not to. You’ll step out of this and feel changed. You might notice other abilities about you that you hadn’t noticed before.”
He strolled back over to me and held his hand out for mine. “I do not know that Pippa. But I am certain you will once you leave this place.”
I placed my hand in his and let him raise me up.
“You say that by choosing to have my baby, I’ve chosen a path different from the one you saw,” I told him. “So how do you know that everything I am supposedly doomed for will still happen. You don’t know, do you? I could find someone else like me. Ludie could stay by my side. I might divorce Karl, maybe Ludie and I will get married and live somewhere wonderful. You don’t know anymore.”
His smile was small. “I do hope you prove me wrong, Pippa.”
He kissed my hand and then gestured back to the darkened alley.
“Now, we shall see what you can do already. Concentrate on that air, on that space, and imagine a door opening. Will it to be true.”
I looked to the grey, stale air above the alley and tried to focus my eyes on the nothingness that was there. I thought of the shimmer, I thought about walking through a portal, a door, and stepping back into a land of noise and color and people and life.
It took a few seconds of silence and concentration but before I knew it, there it was. The way out of the Thin Veil. The way back into the world I belonged.
***P/S: Copyright -->Novel12__Com