7 Apparitions-Book Three of 7 Lessons-7 Short Stories of Reincarnation and Paranormal Experiences
Slowly, Greer managed to successfully pull his numb arm out from beneath Ashley’s resting body without waking her. For the next few minutes he stared at the ceiling fan, flat on his back, as he welcomed the blood rushing back into his left arm, tingling as it regained feeling. He pondered the increased frequency of this event, as Ashley had been staying over two to three times a week as of late.
He glanced at the alarm clock, which sat immediately to his right on the night stand, and noted the time of three forty-five a.m. Welcoming back possessed mobility of all his fingers, he turned to check on his sleeping beauty.
The light from the street lamp beamed in through his bedroom window and allowed Greer a familiar point-of-view; its soft glow illuminated Ashley’s glistening light brown hair, from an angle that just missed her eyes, enabling her to maintain a peaceful slumber.
She sleeps like the dead. Greer had recently told his best friend, Sean. The running of the bulls wouldn’t wake her.
Greer stared a moment longer at his beautiful girlfriend and ran the back of his feeling-restored hand along her soft cheek. Though she remained sound asleep, the sensation of his touch stimulated a head turn away from him, with her body following, thieving what little comforter Greer had been using.
I’ll try not to take that personally.
Still lying on his back, he closed his eyes and began to drift into a light sleep. He was beginning to feel chilly, another familiar occurrence as his partner was, as usual, wrapped in a cocoon of all his warm bedding. A moment later, having just about drifted out, he felt a severe drop in temperature in the room. He opened his eyes, surprised to see a building fog. Despite blinking and rubbing his eyelids several times to clear the haze from his vision, the same fuzzy perspective remained. A continued decline in the air’s temperature was followed by the realization that he had lost complete control of his body. He struggled to move his arms and legs only to lose the battle to a frightening realization of complete paralysis.
Am I dreaming?
Thinking, rather hoping with all his might that he was having a nightmare, he told himself to wake up. No longer could he swallow, blink or even breathe. The fog now completely surrounded him, blocking any view of his bedroom, including Ashley, not that he could turn to look.
Was she aware of what was happening? Was she paralyzed too?
Unable to turn his head or call out, he felt a full-on panic attack. His heart pounded hard within his chest while terrifying fear engulfed his sense of being. Feeling trapped inside his own body and unable to move, created a smothering wave of claustrophobia that prompted an even more rapid heartbeat. The room, now permeated with a blinding white haze, fell hauntingly silent as he experienced a loss of hearing to accompany his horror. Greer yelled inside his mind for help, for Ashley, for the ability to move!
A few more seconds, which felt like minutes, passed as the horrific torture endured. Staring at the white blanket of smoke, he became light-headed and was convinced he was going to pass out, or worse.
Just when he thought he would surely lose consciousness, assuming he was truly awake, an image began to form directly above his frozen face. An outline of a large head pushed its way past the white barrier and materialized before Greer’s wide, dry unblinking eyes. Retreating mist revealed a terrifying sight to which Greer, immobilized and helpless, was forced to witness.
A demonic visage now stared down, barely an inch above him. Its leathery skin was folded over, both burned and scarred. Giant, blood red eyes directed a primal, piercing glare into Greer’s soul. Pointed teeth, brown and crooked, jutted from its mouth. Inside his head, Greer screamed in terror at the monster before him. The devilish apparition seemed to be studying Greer’s motionless form as he floated up and down, moving ever closer to Greer’s terror-stricken face. Coarse, wire-like hair on the chin of the evil being brushed against Greer’s cheek and, with their mutual contact, his physical senses returned. Greer inhaled a welcomed breath of air, but was overcome by a foul stench he would later describe as a mixture of death and decay. Audible, low growls emanated from the creature as Greer finally blinked his aching eyes. Despite numerous attempts to blink the image away, the demon remained. Panic and fear instantly transformed into anger.
Feeling his mobility restored, he jumped up with outstretched arms, and lunged for the demonic intruder before him. The demon growled loudly as it was pushed upward and away from the bed by a set of forceful hands. A sensation of extreme heat emanated from the creature’s soft, mushy skin. The monster hissed as it turned, revealing a long black tail with small red spikes which whipped around and knocked the alarm clock from the night stand. In a flash, the demon disappeared beneath the bed; the fog pulled along with it, and leaving no trace of its presence.
Greer ran to the wall and quickly flipped the light switch to the on position.
Ashley, awakened by the light, rolled her body back toward Greer’s side of the bed. Pulling her soft hair away from her deep, blue eyes, she witnessed her boyfriend, who wore only a pair of boxer briefs, gasping for air. Wide-eyed, he stared at the bottom of the bed, trying to make sense of his terrifying experience.
The lamp’s illumination demanded Sobek’s attention as well. He waddled, sleepily, into the bedroom doorway and glanced upward at Greer. He tilted his head slightly, bearing the typical inquisitive Labrador expression; this demeanor was duplicated by Ashley, who had sat up in the bed, oblivious to what Greer had just endured.
“Bad dream, Sweetie?”
Greer collapsed himself downward onto the edge of the bed. As his breathing returned to a normal cadence, he glanced to the floor and saw the alarm clock, on its side, displaying a time of three forty-seven a.m. In disbelief, he exclaimed, “Two minutes?”
Sobek responded by taking several steps forward and sloppily licking Greer’s left cheek which, despite what had just occurred, managed to bring half a smile to his face.
“Wanna talk about it, Greer?” asked a very sleepy, unaware Ashley.
Greer scratched Sobek’s neck and then got up, turned off the light, crawled back into bed, and kissed his girlfriend on the forehead.
“Go back to sleep, Ash, we’ll talk in the morning.”
Sobek reluctantly found his way back out to his bed which had been moved to the living room to accommodate Ashley’s presence overnight.
He actually tried to fit all three of us in the bed. She later told one of her friends.
There’s plenty of room for all of us. He had told Sean.
Greer stared at the ceiling, reliving the traumatic experience repeatedly in his mind’s eye. He argued with himself that it had to have been a nightmare.
But it was so real! And the clock was knocked to the floor! It seemed like it was surprised to see me or was curious about me…the way those piercing red eyes looked at me!
After another hour of confused inner dialogue he fell asleep from mental exhaustion.
The alarm clock, still on the floor, sounded precisely at seven a.m.
Ashley moaned. “It’s Saturday Greer, why did you set the alarm?”
To which he simply replied, “Gym.”
Greer took a quick shower then mixed a concoction of fruit, protein powder and several muscle building products together in a blender. He drank this as he walked Sobek around the block, his mind heavy on the nightmare, or nightmare-ish experience.
By eight o’clock he’d come back home to find Ashley getting dressed and gathering her belongings.
“Are you heading out, Ash?”
Ashley stopped, sat on the edge of the bed, placed her hand to her right and motioned for Greer to join her.
“I am, but not before you tell me about last night.”
Just then, Sobek made his way onto the bed and from behind, lathered Ashley with a lick along her right cheek. At this she laughed and turned enough to reach Sobek’s soft, black coat; making use of her nails to lightly scratch him as he had become accustomed to enjoying during her visits.
Greer smiled at the familiar scene of Sobek and Ashley’s loving interaction, but was quickly distracted as he noticed the alarm clock, once more.
Ashley looked at him expectantly. “Well?”
Greer paused, still staring at the clock, and withdrew into his mind.
Was it just a nightmare? Did I knock the clock to the floor by accident?
He turned to see Ashley’s raised eyebrows, which he had learned, the hard way, were a signal of waning patience.
I don’t want to scare her and she already thinks I’m half nuts with all the past-life regression stuff. She didn’t see or experience anything so how could it have been real?
Greer finally chose a response. “It was just a bad dream and I don’t remember much about it. I must have hit the clock without realizing it.”
Ashley managed a half-smile while observing her boyfriend, who had once again, held back in a conversation. She continued scratching the neck of Sobek, who had sprawled across the bed on his side, eyes half-closed and quite content. While she didn’t necessarily believe Greer was lying, she was sure he was not telling her the whole truth.
It’ll take a few conversations, but I’ll get the story eventually. She would tell her friend later that day.
Ashley maintained her patient demeanor and allowed the short conversation to end…for now.
“I’m gonna get going. I’m meeting some friends later. See you tonight?”
Greer, relieved and foolishly confident that he would never need to share his experience, grabbed her overnight bag and walked his girlfriend to her car, with his faithful dog in tow.
Ashley bent down to address her favorite canine much like she would an infant, “I’ll see you later Sobeky, yes I will!” Sobek wagged his tail and lowered his head to receive one more head scratch.
Greer waited as Ashley finished her doggie goodbye. She stood up and leaned in to kiss him.
“Have a good workout. Tell Sean I said hello.”
They kissed and set a time of seven o’clock to meet for dinner.
Thirty minutes later Greer was at the gym, beginning his first set of back pull-downs, having just finished telling Sean his tale of the demonic visitor.
Sean immediately declared the event a bad dream and then delivered a jab as a matter of course. “Was it the Ghost of Christmas Past? If so, present and future are next and ‘Future Greer’ will be the real nightmare.”
Greer finished his set and switched places with his workout partner. Sean turned his hat backwards and began his pulls while Greer responded, a bit impressed.
“First of all, points for the literary reference. Second, it wasn’t a ghost; it was a demon or something evil…definitely not human.”
Sean, having finished his set, customarily swapped places with Greer after taking the liberty to increase the weight. Sean removed his cap and ran his hand through his short blond hair while checking out the “scenery” and offered some Sean-sight to his buddy.
Sean-sight is like insight except it comes from Sean so ya gotta speak his language. He explained to Ashley later at dinner.
“Man, it’s just leftover past-life, dream symbol, astral, alien, science fiction, horror movie sweat.”
Greer breathed out between reps, “Ya know, just because ya string a bunch of words together, it isn’t necessarily a sentence.”
“You get my point.”
And Greer did. Sean was suggesting that his buddy was purging the recent months’ experiences of past life regressions along with consistent exposure to metaphysical readings, programs and books.
“Focus on real life for a while, ya know, like Ashley?”
Greer was surprised. “Since when are you on Team Ashley?”
Sean was ready for his set and motioned for Greer to move. “Since the whining about not having a girlfriend stopped.”
Greer pondered Sean’s assessment and landed on the same airstrip. “A release dream, eh? That makes sense.” Greer applied the theory to another dream. “I guess the recurring dream could be something that needs to be released too. But, what?”
Sean was slightly interested but more focused on the workout. “You have the same dream over and over?”
Greer took a swig of water. “Yeah, for years now. It must mean something.”
“Of course it does. Can we focus now?”
“You’ve never had a recurring dream?”
“Yeah, G, I dream that we focus on our workout.”
Sean then noticed a bruise on his friend’s neck. “How’d that happen, man?”
Greer turned his head sideways to see it in the adjacent mirror. “Not sure, must have bumped into something, or, I dunno. Been there over a week now, thought it would be gone by now.”
With that, they moved on to another subject and the next exercise.
Thank you for reading chapter one of 7 Apparitions-the third book in the series. All 7 short stories are available in one low priced collection-click below: