Hidden Reality (Metaphysical Fiction)

 

 

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Photo from Pix a Bay (Public Domain)

Angel parks her SUV parallel to a pale blue minivan at the market’s lot.  She rummages in her overcrowded purse for her shopping list.  Thinking out loud, she considers unloading all of the debris that has piled up in her purse and consequently her life.  She tosses out an ancient roll of Tums–a good start.  She finally locates her grocery list: A dozen eggs, a dozen oranges, two gallons of milk, organic bread (even though it costs more), and Sugar Loops for the kids.

She begins to feel dizzy as she climbs out of the car.  The world spins and the parking lot becomes a kaleidoscope.  Then a tornado sucks her up and tosses her into a dark forest.  She lands on the ground; jolted into a hidden reality where the world appears upside down and backwards, like one’s reflection in a mirror.  She reasons that she hit her head on the car’s doorframe knocking her unconscious.

She feels like Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz and she makes a joke about Kansas.  The forest, though, seems familiar to her, but she can’t say why.  She’s never stepped out of the suburbs where she was born and still resides.  She’s never seen a forest or a river and she’s never climbed a mountain, yet this forest feels like her real home.

She rises slowly from the ground while brushing off her floral skirt.  Patting down her tangled hair, she then checks her makeup in a compact mirror.  In the distance, she notices a muddy trail leading to a cabin, so she decides to walk to the cabin and seek directions back to the suburbs.  As she staggers, shoes slipping on the slick trail, she smells a mixture of pine needles mixed with roses.  The roses cause her nose to itch, but she ignores this and keeps walking towards the cabin.

Angel quietly raps on the front door.  She hears someone shuffling his way to the door as she waits apprehensively for him to appear.  Although she would like to run away, she musters up the courage to confront her fears coupled with her longing for answers.  An old man answers the door and shouts at her.

“It’s about time you showed up!”

He introduces himself as Uriel, the guardian of the forest then he invites her into his modest home.  Growing increasingly uncomfortable, Angel stutters when asking Uriel for directions back to the parking lot.  She tells him that she must buy food for her family or they’ll go hungry.

Uriel explains that the only one starving is Angel.  “Your soul needs to be fed with a nourishing substance.  You don’t even remember that you have a soul and this causes me grief.”

Uriel leads Angel to a modest table where a king-size banquet awaits them.  A variety of thick, dark breads sit next to a bowl of lime-green apples, dark cherries and blushing peaches.  Angela’s eyes scan over the fruit and bread that wait to be consumed by her.  She notices three large pink and blue crystals the size of a small cat.

“Why have you placed crystals among the food?”

“These crystals all contain magic that can help you see into hidden reality.  Each crystal represents a different part of you. The light blue one represents your past and the pink and blue one represents your future.  The largest one represents your truest potential of living in this moment.  The crystals help you map out your journey into other realities and they guide you on your journey into the future.”

He waxes on, “You’ve lost sight of your life’s purpose and you’ve grown bored with the role of everyone’s caretaker.  Work with the crystals on a daily basis and you’ll discover that you indeed have a soul and a purpose for your existence.”

They finish their feast and their conversation.  Uriel gives Angel directions to a mammoth oak tree with a human-size hole in it.  He tells her to dive through the hole and find herself in the market’s parking lot.  Angel embraces Uriel.  She thanks him for the meal and directions back to her day-to-day life.  Reluctantly, she strides to the tree, glances over her shoulder, then dives into the gaping hole, which sucks her in and spits her out in the parking lot.

When she gains consciousness, she finds herself lying on the pavement next to her SUV.  She reasons that she must have fainted from a dizzy spell.  She hopes no one saw her lying on the ground.  As she rises, she notices three crystals gleaming in the sun.  She wonders where they came from then she recalls a strange dream in which she was sharing a feast with the guardian of the forest.  He gave her three crystals, but how did those crystals make their way into this reality?

It’s possible that the forest represents reality and that Angel dreamed up the life in the suburbs.  Then she has control over her boring life living among minivans, shopping malls, and parking lots.  She can always wake herself from that nightmare.  And maybe this time someone will comfort her.

By Patricia Herlevi (previously published). All Rights Reserved

 

Short Fiction–The Space Between Us

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Author’s note: I wrote this story as part of a trilogy with each story representing an Ayurvedic medicine dosha. This story represents Vata (space and air).

The Space between Us

By Patricia Herlevi

As Anetti ambled on the cobblestone alleyway, she heard the comforting sound of church bells in the distance and a set of chimes hanging on a storefront singing in the wind.  The bells and chimes soothed her nerves and she hadn’t felt so relaxed in days due to the windy weather that swept through Seattle and caused her bones to tremble. Her eyes roamed the alleyway in search of a warm lit cafe and the fragrance of roasted coffee beans to bring her back to herself.

Work had not gone well and Anetti felt crunched with deadlines and little breathing space to maneuver.  As it turned out, autumn weather only exasperated her nervous tension, and she stayed awake at night chasing away worries about money.  Her relationship with her partner, (who spent more time traveling for business than he did with her), also kept her awake. Rumbles occurring all around her, she heard change in the wind whispering to her.  Holiday brochures grabbed her attention too.  If only.

Meanwhile, the wind picked up and threw its weight against Anetti’s thin body and her thick black hair came out of its pony tail hitting her in the face.  One of her high heel boots caught on the cobblestone and nearly sent her into a brick wall.  Tumbling forward, she bumped into an attractive Indian man, dressed in casual business attire.  She guessed that he worked for the software company hidden in the loft near the nightclubs.

Funny she had never seen him before, not that she would or should have noticed. After all, her partner Neil had proposed to her.  A discussion of wedding plans was scheduled for the next week after the fiancé returned from France where he promoted his life coaching DVD.

Not able to dredge up pre-wedding bliss, Anetti reflected on the lack of spark she felt with Neil, not that she desired one of those unpredictable magical relationships between soul mates.  But then maybe she did. She never bought into all that new age stuff, that there’s one partner in the world for her and she’d know when she encountered him. She met Neil at Green Drinks and found that he could hold an intelligent conversation even after downing three glasses of organic red wine.

Her own mind buzzed on all the dark chocolate she had consumed. And everything after that moment fell into the groove of predictable, grounding, and comforting.  An astrologer once told Anetti that her triple Gemini threat needed grounding energies.  So she hooked up with a double Taurus and at least he satisfied her in bed, even if his thought process seemed stuck in molasses some of the time.

The Indian man held onto Anetti for a few moments longer.  His dark eyes gazed into her green ones causing an erotic stirring in her body that she brushed aside.

A slow grin widened across his face as if he was pleased by the woman who materialized in front of him.  “Are you okay now?”

Stepping back and away from the man, Anetti nodded.  “Thank you for saving me from hitting my head on that wall.  That’s all I need.”

“This weather makes walking difficult.” He pointed to a café, “I was just going to grab a cup of tea, would you like something?”

The man’s English accent captivated her and she enjoyed the way he wrapped his tongue around the word “tea,” but she now felt an urgency to return to the office. “I’ll take you up on your offer next time we bump into each other.”

Weeks past by and Anetti and Neil chose the wedding gown, the cake, and invitations. They decided to hold the ceremony at Deception Pass State Park, weather permitting and set the wedding date for the end of May.  While Anetti enjoyed scheduling gown viewings and meeting with wedding planners, something felt off.  Did she want to spend her life with Neil? It’s what her mother would prescribe for her restless soul, but the bigger picture sent chills through her.

After a day of sneaking in time to browse caterers’ websites, Anetti slipped out of the office to grab a coffee.

When she approached the long line of business people and tattooed hipsters, she noticed the Indian man ordering his chai tea. She decided to ignore him unless he noticed her first.  So she scrunched down and hid behind her wool coat, hoping he wouldn’t see her and at the same time wishing he would.

As the man turned away from the cashier, his eyes darted over to and locked on Anetti. He approached her. “Remember when I saved you from the wind.  I’m Sanjay.”

Anetti blushed, not because she felt virginal but she wondered if Sanjay’s penetrating brown eyes could read her erotic thoughts. “I’m Anetti.”

Sanjay pointed at a corner table that had just cleared.  “Join me?”

Anetti’s fought with her usual indecision and thoughts of consequences as she projected herself far into the future.  Sanjay’s request was simple and innocent enough.  He wasn’t sending out sexual vibes.  For all she knew, he was probably already married or had an arranged marriage pending in India.  You never could tell with foreigners, especially those that worked for software companies.  Here today and gone tomorrow.

Glancing at her watch, she noticed she had a few minutes of lunch break left and sat in a chair across from Sanjay.  He eyed her while he sipped his chai.

“So do you work at an office nearby?”

Anetti looked for a ring on Sanjay’s finger but noticed his fingers were empty of any jewelry. “I work at Rialto Graphic Design.” She pointed to an orange façade just outside the window.

“Do you enjoy your job?”

“Lately it’s been one deadline after another and I wonder if the headaches are worth it.”

Sanjay smiled gently.  “I know of a cure for headaches.  Do you have one now?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact.  I thought that a cup of black coffee would remedy the problem.”

“Do you mind?”  Sanjay walked behind Anetti and massaged the base of her neck.  His gentle hands wove in and out of her thick hair. The massage did the trick and a little more.

As the weeks flowed into each other, Anetti found herself having lunch with Sanjay.  She knew that she felt more than friendship, but refrained from going further by reminding herself about her upcoming wedding.  Then one rainy afternoon everything changed.

Anetti rode a bus to work and as she waited for it, a torrential downpour soaked her through to the bone. As she stood shivering, Sanjay approached her.  “First the wind storm and now this rain, the weather doesn’t agree with you.”  He chuckled. “I have an apartment near here.  Do you want to go there and dry off? Then afterward I can give you a ride home.”

Water rolled into Anetti’s eyes blurring her vision.  Hunger rumbled in her stomach and passion stirred in her groin. Against her best judgment, she found herself not only in Sanjay’s apartment but also his bed. Rationalizing that she hadn’t betrayed Neil, she felt that she fulfilled her own needs. Sanjay felt grounding and exciting, a combination she’d never experience with Neil.  Come to think of it, she hadn’t experienced any real passion with her fiancé either.

But what would she choose in the end, a passionate love affair with an unknowable future or the predictability of a life with Neil? Destiny had spun her around in a different direction then she previously sought, but it wasn’t as if she never saw the warning signs. Perhaps she wasn’t free to choose her own fate. In that moment as she stretched her bare legs under silk sheets and felt Sanjay’s warm kisses on her neck, she felt at home for the first time in her thirty years.  The wind stopped hounding her brain and she found the center of a storm.  Nobody thought that was where it was supposed to go.

##

All Rights Reserved

 

Enter 5-D (Short Excerpt of the Character Pandora)

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John Williams Waterhouse “Pandora”

This is a short excerpt from my urban fantasy novel Enter 5-D.

Pandora is about the enter the labyrinth and encounters the Minotaur. She successfully escaped Pluto’s punishment.

As Pandora contemplated her choices, she heard the sound of high heels echoing in the hallway behind her and then Persephone with Demeter dressed in black dresses and stilettos entered the office. The women’s glittering eyes landed on Pandora and assessed her predicament.

Persephone lowered her eyes and in a haughty voice acknowledged her former husband. “I didn’t know you had company. You always liked them young and pretty.”

Pluto raged. “What are you doing here?”

“My mother and I thought we would stop by for a visit, if you know what I mean.”

Pluto’s Confidant entered the office and gaped at the women in the room. He hid his excitement by presenting a glacial expression.

“Did I come at a bad time?”

Pandora took that moment to back out of the office and when she entered the hallway, she sprinted to the end. However, when she reached for the door and grabbed the knob, she realized that Pluto had locked all the doors. Wishing she had her toolkit with her, Pandora pulled out a bobby pin from her hair and a credit card from her purse and set to work on the lock.

(As you can see, this is a multiple narrative novel so I skip back and forth between characters and their scenarios).

Romantic Fiction–Space Between Us

DSCN0800_01Vata (The Space between Us)

By Patricia Herlevi

As Anetti ambled on the cobblestone alleyway, she heard the comforting sound of church bells in the distance and a set of chimes hanging on a storefront singing in the wind.  The bells and chimes soothed her nerves and she hadn’t felt so relaxed in days due to the windy weather that swept through Seattle and caused her bones to tremble.  Her eyes roamed the alleyway in search of a warm lit cafe and the fragrance of roasted coffee beans to bring her back to herself.

Work had not gone well and Anetti felt crunched with deadlines and little breathing space to maneuver.  As it turned out, autumn weather only exasperated her nervous tension, and she stayed awake at night chasing away worries about money.  Her relationship with her partner, (who spent more time traveling for business than he did with her), also kept her awake. Rumbles occurring all around her, she heard change in the wind whispering to her.  Holiday brochures grabbed her attention too.  If only.

Meanwhile the wind picked up and threw its weight against Anetti’s thin body and her thick black hair came out of its pony tail hitting her in the face.  One of her high heel boots caught on the cobblestone and nearly sent her into a brick wall.  Tumbling forward, she bumped into an attractive Indian man, dressed in khaki and an REI fleece.  She guessed that he worked for the software company hidden in the loft near the nightclubs.

Funny she had never seen him before, not that she would or should have noticed. After all, her partner Neil had proposed to her.  A discussion of wedding plans was scheduled for the next month after the fiancé returned from France where he promoted his life coaching DVD. But Anetti decided to postpone the wedding until spring.

Not able to dredge up prenuptial bliss, Anetti reflected on the lack of spark she felt with Neil, not that she desired one of those unpredictable magical relationships between soul mates.  But then maybe she did. She never bought into all that new age stuff, that there’s one partner in the world for her and she’d know when she encountered him.

She met Neil at Green Drinks and found that he could hold an intelligent conversation even after downing three glasses of organic red wine.  Her own mind buzzed on all the dark chocolate she had consumed. And everything after that moment fell into the groove of predictable, grounding, and comforting.  An astrologer once told Anetti that her triple Gemini threat needed grounding energies.  So she hooked up with a double Taurus and at least he satisfied her in bed, even if his thought process seemed stuck in molasses some of the time.

The Indian man held onto Anetti for a few moments longer.  His dark eyes gazed into her green ones causing an erotic stirring in her body that she brushed aside.

A slow grin widened across his face as if he was pleased by the woman who materialized in front of him.  “Are you okay now?”

Stepping back and away from the man, Anetti nodded.  “Thank you for saving me from hitting my head on that wall.  That’s all I need.”

“This weather makes walking difficult.” He pointed to a café, “I was just going to grab a cup of tea, would you like something?”

The man’s English accent captivated her and she enjoyed the way he wrapped his tongue around the word “tea,” but she now felt an urgency to return to the office. “I’ll take you up on your offer next time we bump into each other.”

Weeks past by and Anetti and Neil chose the wedding gown, the cake, and invitations. They decided to hold the ceremony at Deception Pass State Park, weather permitting and set the wedding date for the end of May.  While Anetti enjoyed scheduling gown viewings and meeting with wedding planners, something felt off.  Did she want to spend her life with Neil? It’s what her mother would prescribe for her restless soul, but the bigger picture sent chills through her.

After a day of sneaking in time to browse caterers’ websites, Anetti slipped out of the office to grab a coffee.  When she approached the long line of business people and tattooed hipsters, she noticed the Indian man ordering his chai tea. She decided to ignore him unless he noticed her first.  So she scrunched down and hid behind her wool coat, hoping he wouldn’t see her and at the same time wishing he would.

As the man turned away from the cashier, his eyes darted over to and locked on Anetti.  He approached her.  “Remember when I saved you from the wind.  I’m Sanjay.”

Anetti blushed, not because she felt virginal but she wondered if Sanjay’s penetrating brown eyes could read her erotic thoughts.  “I’m Anetti.”

Sanjay pointed at a corner table that had just cleared.  “Join me?”

Anetti’s fought with her usual indecision and thoughts of consequences as she projected herself far into the future.  Sanjay’s request was simple and innocent enough.  He wasn’t sending out sexual vibes.  For all she knew, he was probably already married or had an arranged marriage pending in India.  You never could tell with foreigners, especially those that worked for software companies.  Here today and gone tomorrow.

Glancing at her watch, she noticed she had a few minutes of lunch break left and sat in a chair across from Sanjay.  He eyed her while he sipped his chai.

“So do you work at an office nearby?”

Anetti looked for a ring on Sanjay’s finger, but noticed his fingers were empty of any jewelry. “I work at Rialto Graphic Design.”  She pointed to an orange canopy just outside the window.

“Do you enjoy your job?”

“Lately it’s been one deadline after another and I wonder if the headaches are worth it.”

Sanjay smiled gently.  “I know of a cure for headaches.  Do you have one now?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact.  I thought that a cup of black coffee would remedy the problem.”

“Do you mind?”  Sanjay walked behind Anetti and massaged the base of her neck.  His gentle hands wove in and out of her thick hair. The massage did the trick and a little more.

As the weeks flowed into each other, Anetti found herself having lunch with Sanjay.  She knew that she felt more than friendship, but refrained from going further by reminding herself about her upcoming wedding.  Then one rainy afternoon everything changed.

Anetti rode a bus to work and as she waited for it, a torrential downpour soaked her through to the bone. As she stood shivering, Sanjay approached her.  “First the wind storm and now this rain, weather doesn’t agree with you.”  He chuckled. “I have an apartment near here.  Do you want to go there and dry off? Then afterward I can give you a ride home.”

Water rolled into Anetti’s eyes blurring her vision.  Hunger rumbled in her stomach and passion stirred in her groin.  Against her best judgment she found herself not only in Sanjay’s apartment, but also his bed.  Rationalizing that she hadn’t betrayed Neil, she felt that she fulfilled her own needs. Sanjay felt grounding and exciting, a combination she’d never experience with Neil.  Come to think of it, she hadn’t experienced any real passion with her fiancé either.

But what would she choose in the end, a passionate love affair with an unknowable future or the predictability of a life with Neil? Destiny had spun her around in a different direction then she previously sought, but it wasn’t as if she never saw the warning signs. Perhaps she wasn’t free to choose her own fate. In that moment as she stretched her bare legs under silk sheets and felt Sanjay’s warm kisses on her neck, she felt at home for the first time in her thirty years.  The wind stopped hounding her brain and she found the center of a storm.  Nobody thought that was where it was supposed to go.

##

The title “Vata” refers to a personality-body type or dosha from Ayurvedic medicine of India.  This story originally appeared in a triptych representing each of the three doshas.  I wrote the story as a healing tool for women with the Vata dosha (for balancing emotions and physical symptoms associated with this dosha).

All Rights Reserved