It happened six months after the break-up, when she was still living in the one-bedroom apartment on St. Charles Avenue. The rent there was high, but Meg had felt that the atmosphere would inspire her art.
The apartment itself was beautiful with its wooden floors and high ceilings. Of course, the plumbing was eccentric, but that was to be expected. The building was old. She had been exploring an idea for a sketch when it first happened. It had been quite abrupt and quite definitive in changing her life forever.
As she was beginning the outline of a figure, she momentarily relaxed her grip on the graphite pencil. Suddenly without a conscious command, her hand began to move by itself across the page. She was so startled that she just watched in amazement, not trying to remaster control. At first, it drew only nonsensical lines, but they eventually began to flow into letters and then a bold, script handwriting that was not her own. Later, she would come to learn that she was experiencing a phenomenon known as automatic writing. But in that moment, she had no idea what was happening.
In the midst of the initial chaotic scribbles two words were sharply formed, GET OUT. She sat stunned, staring at the page. She thought that it must be her imagination, some sort of hand spasm. Cautiously, as an experiment, she put the pencil back on the paper and once again relaxed her hand. Immediately, something took grip of it and aggressively spelled out in stark bold letters the words — GET OUT. She looked furtively around the room and instinctively spoke out into mid air, “Get out of what?” She waited then quickly the words ran across the page. GET OUT OF THE APARTMENT NOW. Meg felt a cold chill of fear run up her spine. It took less than a second for her to decide. She dropped the pad, grabbed her purse and keys, and hurriedly left the apartment. For two hours, she drove around aimlessly in the dark, too scared to even approach the building. Finally, after nervously devouring a late night milkshake and cheeseburger, she steeled herself and returned home. Turning the corner, her heart lurched at the sight of the flashing lights of a police car in front of her building. She shakily parked the car, then tentatively approached one of the officers standing out front. Smiling she asked, “Excuse me. This is my building. Is there a problem?”
He seemed more than willing to answer, “Yes Ma’am, a break-in up on the third floor. Luckily, no one was home.”
She looked down at the cement, feeling a little dizzy. “I live on the third floor.”
“Well, we’ve already talked to the owners. This was 3-B.”
“3-B, I’m in 3-A,” she told him shakily.
His eyes widened a little. “Yes, we saw that place. Right across the hall. There was some tampering on your door. It appears they tried to get in there too, but the locks were too much for them.”
Her mouth went bone dry with fear. “Yes, I have two locks, but I only can lock the second one from outside the apartment.”
“Well, you were lucky tonight, but I’d look into more safety features. Two locks aren’t going to keep out someone who’s really determined.”
She nodded and smiled again. She took the stairs to avoid the crowd that had gathered. On her floor, a mass of people was gathered across the hall. Peering through the cluster of figures, she could see that items were thrown all about the front room of that apartment. As she put the key in her own lock, she saw the gouged wood all around the metal. It looked as though a screwdriver, or some other tool was used to try to break into the lock itself. She closed the door behind her and quickly bolted the interior lock. Still feeling less than secure, she grabbed a nearby folding chair and shoved it under the doorknob.
Meg could feel her heart hammering loudly in her chest. The discarded tablet still lay on her bed where she had left it. She sat down slowly and then picked it up, once again placing the pencil on its surface. “Who are you?” She felt silly. She was speaking to a tablet. She waited. Nothing happened for a moment, and then she felt the familiar tingling in her hand. The pencil moved slowly this time, deliberately spelling out the letters. A FRIEND.
“You knew about the break-in.”
WE FELT DANGER IN THE AREA.
“We? Who are you — what?”
TOO UPSET. GO TO SLEEP. TRY IN THE MORNING.
It was true. She was very upset, almost hysterically so. “This isn’t something evil, is it?” Her religious training had bred quite a bit of fear into her.
NO EVIL. WE JUST CARE ABOUT YOU. HAVE A CUP OF TEA AND GO TO SLEEP. And then there was no more. She waited a few minutes, rambling off questions, and then finally gave up. It was all so bizarre. Something or someone had possibly saved her life tonight, but what? Her mind was spinning. Overwhelmed, she decided that she was in no shape to attempt to sort out the ramifications tonight. She’d just go to sleep, after a cup of tea. Yes, that was a good idea.
The night was a restless one. It was filled with a collage of disturbing images that the morning rays managed to quickly chase out of her mind. She was still in her nightgown and robe when she tried again. Having finished her first cup of coffee, she felt bolstered enough to face the unknown. The first words that were written across the page were FEEL BETTER?
She answered awkwardly, feeling quite bizarre in speaking aloud to a tablet of paper, “Yes, somewhat.”
A trail of flourishy circles swept into the first incident of extensive writing that she received. MEGAN IT IS THROUGH YOUR GIFT OF SPIRITUAL AWARENESS THAT WE ARE ABLE TO SPEAK TO YOU. IN THIS LIFETIME YOUR SPIRIT HAS CHOSEN A PATH OF LEARNING THAT WILL AID IN ITS EVOLUTION. YOU WILL SPEAK TO MANY THAT WILL HELP GUIDE YOU.
The clearness of the message stunned her and left her mind empty of coherent-sounding questions. So instead, she asked, “Are you dead?”
WHAT YOU ARE IN CONTACT WITH IS THE SPIRITUAL SELF OF BEINGS. DEATH IS NOT AN END AS YOU PERCEIVE IT BUT THE PASSING OVER INTO ANOTHER MODE OF EXISTENCE.
“I don’t understand,” she said truthfully.
IT IS EXTREMELY COMPLEX AND NEW TO YOU. DON’T ATTEMPT TO FLY WHEN YOU HAVE ONLY BEGUN TO CRAWL. THE FIRST THING THAT YOU MUST DO IS FIND A NEW PLACE TO LIVE. THIS AREA IS WRONG FOR YOU.
“Where should I go?” Because in reality after last night’s incident, the thought had already crossed her mind.
FOR NOW, OUTSIDE THE CITY WOULD BE BEST. YOU WILL RECEIVE HELP.
Copyright © 2021 by Evelyn Klebert
Journey with metaphysical author Evelyn Klebert into a collection of short stories that travel beyond the pale into the unpredictable realm of the paranormal.
In “A Grey Mourning,” a disillusioned man encounters a mysterious being on the foggy streets of New Orleans. “Contact” is a tale of automatic writing, when a young artist establishes communication with a spirit guide, and the victim of a car crash unravels the true nature of her existence in “Dancing on the Threshold.” The final tale is called “Isolation,” in which a confused and disoriented woman finds herself in an old, quaint house where she must piece together the mystical implications surrounding her predicament.