Author: KimHua PM
Complete A skeptic of the supernatural encounters more than he ever expected when he attends a friend's séance. Written with a Biblical worldview. Feedback greatly appreciated.Rated: Fiction T - English - Spiritual/Supernatural - Chapters: 3 - Words: 9,326 - Reviews: 17 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 02-03-06 - Published: 01-11-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2087585
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light." 2 Corinthians 11:14
"We need to talk."
"Sure, babe, what about?" replied Robert Bagley, turning to face the girl who had just tapped his shoulder. He watched a scowl flicker over her face, and awaited the usual retort. It did not come. Strange, she hates it when I call her that. Something must be really bugging Holly if she won't respond to my teasing.
The two friends were making their way out of the lecture hall and heading home, the last lesson of the week having finished a few moments ago. Both were in their final year of an Electrical Engineering degree. They had met when they were put together on a group project in their first year at university and had been firm friends ever since.
"It's about tonight," said Holly.
"Ahh, yes, tonight. She told you then?"
"Well, Alicia did. Robert, you know what my beliefs are. How many times have I told you, séances are dangerous! None of you have the faintest idea of the risks you are taking. You are playing with fire, and you will get burned!" Holly's bright blue eyes searched Robert's face, pleading with him. He gazed back at his pretty auburn-haired friend with affection. She really believes that I might get hurt in some way, and so she's trying to warn me away. So caring, always so caring. You know, Miss Swift, were our views not so different I would want more than just friendship. He sighed. That privilege, however, lies with one Jacob Levy. Jake's a lucky guy. I guess he would say "blessed." Noticing Holly bristle, Robert hastily put a hand on Holly's arm. "Hey, I'm sorry. That sigh wasn't directed at you. I was lost in my thoughts for a moment."
"Look, I know you believe séances put me in danger "spiritually", but remember I don't believe the same things you do. We've gone through all this before. Quite frankly, I don't expect anything to happen. It's all "freaky feelings" and auto-suggestion brought on by the environment and the situation. I don't believe that when we die we somehow wander about as disembodied spirits waiting to answer other people's questions."
"Then why are you going?" Holly demanded.
Robert did not answer. He was thankful his friend could not see the rosy tinge colouring his cheeks in the rapidly fading early evening light.
She yelped as she suddenly understood. "Scarlett?" Smiling in spite of herself, she punched Robert good-naturedly on the arm. "You never told me!"
"Hey, we're not going out or anything!" protested Robert. "I just, erm, want to get to know her a little more. I thought this would be a good opportunity." The willowy, red-headed Scarlett Channing was the fifth member of their friendship group. The self-acclaimed "freethinker" of the little band, her New Age beliefs and practices made for some spirited discussions. Jacob and Holly, both Christians, would continually challenge Scarlett, who together with Alicia Ackerman often put up a stiff fight. Robert greatly enjoyed the debates, but agreed with neither side. "You know my answer," he would always reply whenever the others sought his opinion, "If it can't be shown scientifically to be valid, I don't accept it."
Turning serious again, Holly continued with her plea. "You know, just because you don't believe in demons doesn't mean that they aren't real! What you believe makes no difference to the truth! You can believe that you can fly with all your heart, but just try stepping off the Eiffel Tower. You will still hit the ground with a thud."
"We'll be fine. Nothing will happen."
"You can't know that!"
Robert glanced sharply at his friend. "Holly, ease up, okay? Wow. I've never known you to be this pushy." You're normally so gentle.
"I'm not be-" She stopped speaking, and took a deep breath. "Okay, maybe I am," she admitted, "but I have good reason to be!"
"Well, like I said, we'll be fine," said Robert. They walked in silence until Holly broke the tension. "Rob, you know why I'm going on and on about it, don't you?"
"I have an idea, but why don't you tell me," he replied.
"You are my friend, and I care about you. I know you are in danger – don't ask me how, because you won't understand the answer. If the positions were reversed, and you knew that I was about to place myself at risk, wouldn't you do the same as I am now?"
He looked across at her. Her eyes glistened in the pale light of the street lamps. She's close to tears! he thought to himself, a little taken aback. "You know I would, Holly," he said softly. Noticing their surroundings he continued, "Hey, this is where we part. Take care, and perhaps we can all meet up tomorrow."
"Yeah, you too."
- - - - 0 - - - -
Jacob Levy could tell something was troubling Holly the moment he let his girlfriend in the house. Her eyes, normally so full of life, were sad and her slim frame drooped as if she was bearing the whole world on her shoulders. Without a word he shut the door and drew her into his arms, feeling her relax into the embrace. Minutes passed in an easy quiet borne of long familiarity. Sensing Holly shift her stance, Jake took the opportunity to speak. "What's up, hon?"
She looked up at him. "It's the others. Scarlett is holding a séance this evening. Robert's going." A faint smile played on her lips as she remembered her friend's embarrassed silence earlier. She lay her head back on Jake's chest. "I'm worried about them. They just don't get it; they can't see the danger. Scarlett seemed almost offended when I challenged her on it."
"We both know she has these beliefs. There is a lot she is involved with that is unscriptural. It's nothing new," reasoned Jake.
"Yeah, I know. But I can't shake the unease I feel at the moment. Somehow tonight is more serious than usual. Perhaps the Lord is burdening me for a purpose."
"Well, that's quite possible. Do you know what time they are planning to conduct the séance?"
"Nine, I think. Rob's going round for half eight."
Jake released his girlfriend. "How about we pray for them from half eight? he said, "We ask the Lord for guidance, and pray for their protection. If there is a specific reason for your burden then perhaps God will make it clear as we pray. Okay?" He smiled and squared his shoulders. "Right now I'm hungry; let's eat."
"Sounds like a plan," said Holly, brightening slightly now that she had shared her concern with Jacob. She offered up a silent prayer of thanks. Dear God, he is such a blessing! Thank you for putting him in my life. She followed her boyfriend into the kitchen. "What's for dinner?"
- - - - 0 - - - -
I don't know what Holly was so worried about, thought Robert, as he perched on the edge of a big armchair in Scarlett Channing's living room. Soft ethereal music floated from a large hi-fi in the corner, and the sweet smell of cinnamon filled the air. He thought he could detect frankincense, too, and something else he did not recognise. Several large lighted candles placed around the room gave it a warm glow. He glanced over at Scarlett, who was laying a white cloth over the circular table she had placed in the centre. The striking redhead looked up and smiled, revealing perfect white teeth. "You okay Rob?"
He gulped. Gosh, Rob, get a grip! You've known this girl for months! Why the sudden self-consciousness? "Um, yeah, thanks," he managed.
"Want a drink?" she said, getting to her feet, seemingly oblivious to his discomfort.
"Erm, no thanks, but thank you." He watched her retreating form as she moved to the kitchen. She's very different to Holly. Holly's... wholesome, pure, like a lily. Scarlett's mysterious, almost dangerous. More like a violet. She's... captivating. She's also single unlike Holly, whose heart is already spoken for.
"Hey, Robert." Robert spun round, startled out of his reverie. The newcomer was Scarlett's housemate and best friend Alicia Ackerman. Small, with a full figure, she contrasted starkly with Scarlett's tall, slim frame. Her blonde hair was pulled up in a tight bun. Upon entering the room she had not missed the direction of her friend's intent gaze. Hmm, I did wonder why he was so happy to come.
"Hi Alicia," Robert replied, trying to cover his surprise. "How are you?"
"Good, thanks." A sudden thought occurred to her, and she grinned, a mischievious twinkle in her eye. She leaned over to whisper in his ear. "What do you think of Scarlett in a long black dress? She'd look nice, huh?"
Her friend recoiled as if bitten by a snake, emitting a strangled cry as he fell into the armchair. He coughed, his heart pounding. "W-what did you say?" he whispered fiercely as he struggled to sit up and regain his composure.
Alicia smiled sweetly, delighted with the response. "Oh, nothing," she said. Deftly avoiding any further response from Robert, she called to her housemate. "Scarlett, are you almost ready? Do we need any more candles?"
"No, there's only the three of us," said Scarlett as she returned from the kitchen holding a glass of water. "We have enough... what are you grinning about?"
"Oh, nothing," replied Alicia, giving Robert a conspiratorial wink. His face flushed. "Shall I turn off the music?"
"Yeah." Scarlett finished her drink, placing the empty glass on the mantelpiece. She sat cross-legged by the table and beckoned to Robert. "Come sit on the floor. I find it helps the concentration, much better than using chairs." Hesitantly he joined her. Say something then, you idiot! "Er, you have a much larger living room than you usually get in student houses." Scarlett chuckled.
"Yeah, we do. It's actually my parents' house. They bought it a couple of years ago, did it up. When I've finished uni they'll rent it out to other students."
"It's very nice."
"Thanks. We think so too. Well, we seem to be ready. Robert, seeing as it's your first time, we'll do most of the talking. You just focus on relaxing."
"Erm, before you start, you know I don't believe in this stuff, right?" said Robert.
Scarlett laughed. "Yes, of course. But see if you say the same by the end of this evening, okay?"
"Won't the spirit or whatever it is refuse to come if there is a sceptic in the room?"
"Not necessarily. We are going to call up Alicia's grandmother Erin. We've been talking with her all week; she's very keen to meet you."
Yeah right, thought Robert. He nodded. "Okay."
"First," said Scarlett, handing him a white candle, "we must charge the candles. Take it in both hands, close your eyes, and visualise its power emanating from it. The candles, being white, are peace; seeing as this is your first time we want the encounter to go as smoothly as possible. Just picture peaceful smoke wafting from it."
Robert did as he was instructed, closing his eyes and imagining the unlit candle in his hands smoking. Well that wasn't too hard. A bit odd, to say the least. He opened his eyes and looked expectantly at his friend. "Now what?"
"Hand it to Alicia. We each do this with each candle."
A couple of minutes later the procedure had been done on all six candles, Scarlett having lit and placed each one in its own small glass candle holder in the centre of the table. She then took Robert's hand in her own. He very nearly jumped at the touch, barely managing to control the reflex. That's right, Rob, he told himself. She took your hand. No big deal, 'cos Alicia's done the same. You're all holding hands.
"Close your eyes," instructed Scarlett, her voice beginning to flow with a gentle rhythm. "Breathe in... hold... breathe out. We want to be calm, at rest, in touch with our senses. Breathe in... hold... breathe out." To his great surprise Robert found himself relaxing as he followed Scarlett's soft directions." Well, if nothing else, at least I'll be nice and mellow by the time we are done.
"Okay," continued Scarlett. "Now, repeat with me, 'Our beloved Erin, we request that you honour us with your presence'". You've got to be joking, thought Robert. Can't we go back to relaxing?
"Come on, Rob," urged Scarlett, "join in. Please?" With a small sigh Robert began to murmer the invocation with the girls. This is silly.
- - - - 0 - - - -
Several streets across town, Jacob and Holly came to the end of the hymn they had been singing. His eyes still closed in worship, Jake bowed his head and began to pray. "Father God, how great You are. How wonderful your love for us is, that you would send the Lord Jesus Christ to die for us. Father, thank You for saving us, for giving us Your Spirit. Thank You that when we don't know what we should pray for or how we should pray, the Spirit gives us the words to pray, and that He Himself prays for and with us. Lord God, we have little idea why you have so burdened Holly this night, only that it has something to do with Robert, Alicia, and Scarlett. You have put them in our lives for a purpose; perhaps this is a part of that. Please help us to pray; give us wisdom and direction. Protect us as we intercede for our friends; protect them from all the schemes of the Enemy. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
"Amen," affirmed Holly. She paused to gather her thoughts, then spoke, her voice catching with emotion. "Lord, our friends are in danger! They are blind to the truth, hard-hearted to your word. Dear Scarlett – she is so mixed up! Lord, please enlighten her mind, open her eyes to see the truth. Draw her to Yourself. Alicia – protect her from Scarlett's influence on her beliefs. Help her to see the truth. And Robert – he calls himself a sceptic. You know his heart – soften it Lord; may he come to know You as His Lord and Saviour. Father God, whatever happens tonight we know that You are in control. Nothing takes You by surprise; nothing can disrupt Your purposes. May You use the things that go on this evening to frustrate the Enemy and to continue Your work of salvation. In Jesus' name, Amen."