When you judge people you never know what is at the heart of them. Oh, you might think you know but you don't. But it's a way to know what's at the heart of you. Here is my position when I share my home with a stranger. I want to believe that they mean well but I learned the hard way I could be wrong. I don't think I'm wrong on this occasion, though, when I accept as a roommate the young man we saw on the ghost tour, the one that passed by us claiming there were no ghosts in St. Augustine House.
"There are some ghosts here," I tell him, in jest but not really. He looks at me like he knows I'm teasing him, that there could not possibly be any ghosts in my home. "I'm in the heart of St. Augustine," I explain. "Practically every house here is haunted. Don't you believe that?"
"No," he says politely. "I mean, hey, what's a ghost anyway but a concept we have? It's not a human being gone on to some other existence. I've never seen a ghost and I just don't believe in them. But if you say there are ghosts here, then I'll go along with that because I really want to move out of my apartment and into a house. And you gotta nice house."
I have to laugh. I like his honesty and he is attractive in a mysterious way that is hard for me to define. It's just the way he glances at me from under thick dark eyelashes. His black eyes are beautiful and his tan has shades of gold. He's tall but not too tall and well built as though he's been working out at a gym. He seems fit and he appeals to me sexually, but I suppress that because I'm at least thirty years older.
"So, what's wrong with St. Augustine House if it's not the gangster ghosts chasing you away?"
"I'm just tired of the place. It's old and creaky, the plaster is crumbling, the plumbing leaks, it has a dank, musty smell, and the landlord is absentee. He's in Miami so he can't be bothered with the problems. The rental agent next door is pretty nice, him and his wife, but they can't fix things that the landlord doesn't want fixed, and he basically doesn't want anything fixed. That building is a hundred and fifty years old. I want to live with some new construction and I'm tired of living by myself. I like a little companionship when I get home, you know, someone there, not just empty rooms."
"I used to live in that place, Stephen."
"Really? Which apartment were you in?"
"I started out in number 3 and ended up in number 1."
"How 'bout that! I'm in number 1."
"I should tell you that I'm usually home because I'm a writer, and writers have to stay home if they want to get any writing done. I'm investigating the recent murders of the young women. I'm writing a book about it." I thought I would throw that out there, just to test the idea on someone. You get a new idea, a new project, and you want to test it out. His reaction is favorable.
"Oh, really? How interesting. How's your investigation going?"
"I haven't started it. I just wanted to see your reaction. I'm not sure I will even do it but I'm seriously thinking about it."
"Oh, go ahead on." He smiles. "I like the idea and who knows, you might even solve the case. Wouldn't that be cool?"
I like him a lot already. I ask him one more qualifying question before I accept him as a roommate. "Where do you work, Stephen?"
"I'm the assistant manager of the Moonlight Restaurant."
"Oh, nice place. Well, good. If you want to, you can move in today."
"Sure, let's do that," he says. "Here's the rent and the deposit."
"I'll write you a receipt." He tells me his last name is Allger so I write the receipt to Stephen Allger, but I notice he looks at it a little too long, like maybe I misspelled his name. "No," he says, "that's the correct spelling." He smiles at me as he pockets the little piece of paper. "I'll be back later today with my stuff."
"Ok, here's your key." I give him the key to my home and he leaves. What a nice guy. He seems peaceful and calm and probably we'll get along just fine. I call Laurel in Atlanta to let her know I made a good choice in a roommate, and she seems happy with that.
"Don't worry," I tell her. "He's the assistant manager of a restaurant downtown, so he has references. And he paid his rent a month in advance."
"Uh oh," says Laurel.
"Uh oh what?"
"Uh oh, he paid his rent a month in advance."
"And that means...?
"In Hitchcock's 'The Lodger,' he paid his rent a month in advance."
"So, what does that mean? I don't get it."
"In means that no one ever pays their rent in advance unless they have to, and if they do, there's something suspicious about it. That's how Hitchcock built suspense in the minds of the audience."
"Ok, I get it. I don't think it's suspicious but I get it. So when the lodger turned out to be Jack the Ripper, I guess he didn't get his deposit back?"
"The lodger wasn't Jack the Ripper."
"See there. Oh, I forgot to mention he's the guy who came out of St. Augustine House at our ghost tour, and then went back in. You remember, the..."
"...one who doesn't believe in ghosts," she finishes my sentence. 'So how is he going to like living in your haunted house?"
"He says he will believe in ghosts if that's what it takes for him to live here." We both laugh.
Buoyed by Stephen's enthusiasm about my new project and book, I decide to ride my bike downtown to deposit the money and to see what clues I can come up with about the last murder. At least I can find out where the woman was killed and even ask a few questions at the courthouse.
I feel the excitement you feel when you begin a new project and I hope it will be enough to help me meet the obstacles, the kind that can dim my enthusiasm. Everything seems so easy in the beginning of things, but doesn't it always happen that when things get tough, the enthusiasm wanes? I don't stop to think what might occur if I stick my nose into this business. It doesn't occur to me that I can't predict the obstacles I will meet. But I don't think about that; I think only of the joy of a new project and all its creative possibilities.
JuicyGirl wants to expand the Cut Up's act to include sex in the Astral Plane but the other girls don't want to. So when Louise comes along and applies to join their group, JuicyGirl is motivated to accept her but only as long as Louise can be counted as a 'yes' vote for her new idea.
"Just think how it will seduce the audience away from the conflict plays," she campaigns to the others. "It will totally involve them in our performance and they might even give up on conflict if they can count on sex."
"But it was sex that got us into this situation," says SillyGirl.
"And that's a bad thing?" replies JuicyGirl, prepared to debate to the end her point of view. "And you're wrong, it wasn't sex, it was crack, and I'm not talking about including crack into our act, so don't get that mixed up in your silly head."
JuicyGirl can be convincing. In life she was just as smart as she was addicted to crack, but her intelligence factor was not enough to help her out of the maze she was in when crack ruled her completely. Now, she is enjoying being alive without being addicted, and she is about to actualize, for the first time, the depth of her intellect and her artistic talents.
TraumaGirl doesn't agree with JuicyGirl and can be daunting when she doesn't agree. "I don't want to relive that part of my life, if you don't mind," she argues. She knows the rules. She doesn't have to act out any part of her past life that she doesn't want to. But JuicyGirl reminds her that it is no good trying to suppress things that are unpleasant unless it is something like an addiction to crack, which is ok to forget about.
"That's the point of our act," she reminds TraumaGirl. "You can't suppress this vital part of our lives. You know what happens if we do. You remember what Mavis told us."
"What happens?" asks TraumaGirl. "I forgot."
"Exactly," says JuicyGirl. "You'll forget. We'll all forget. We have to include sex or we'll forget that part of our lives." She glances quickly at TraumaGirl to see whether she has won her argument. She almost has but not quite.
"So what if we forget?" says TraumaGirl, who doesn't enjoy acting out the fun parts but only the traumatic parts. "I don't mind forgetting about that part. It wasn't traumatic and it wasn't all that great to me."
"But sex is part of who we are," JuicyGirl argues, producing at the same time a pedestal to stand on, for effect. She got her name because she likes to act out the juicy parts, and this new idea suits her sense of drama. "Without sex incorporated into our act, we lose the sense of who we are and where we came from. We stand to lose our sense of self-worth," she says, dramatically. She notices TraumaGirl is subsiding to think about that last comment. She feels she has won TraumaGirl over to her side with her secret weapon, the knowledge that ghosts can forget their human past lives.
That only leaves SillyGirl, who she knows she can win over, and ActorGirl, who is interested in acting out anything, no matter what it involves. Now, with Louise on board she can artistically actualize sex plays to compete with the Bored Player's conflict plays. And it will be exhilarating to defeat StumbleBlock, who is always lurking in the shadows to spy on them.
She turns to Louise and says, "What do you want your performance name to be? I am JuicyGirl and this is SillyGirl, TraumaGirl, and ActorGirl. Why don't you be..."
"Wait!" says Louise. "Let me decide. I choose to be LoverGirl." She might also have added a second name, CleverGirl, because she has just been clever in selecting a name to put her in the good graces of JuicyGirl, who obviously is the guiding force of the Cut Ups. She also knows she can change her name later if she wants to, Mavis told her.
"I love it!" says JuicyGirl, jumping down from her pedestal to spin in a circle, so pleased with Louise for taking a name that fits so well into the new act. "Great choice, LoverGirl!" And that is how Louise became LoverGirl and how she became JuicyGirl's new best friend.
THE TWO-WAY DOOR
Mavis doesn't enjoy debating George about his spiritual path, and George likes it even less, but when you have been married for over three hundred years, you just have to put up with things.
"Why must you keep going through that portal alone? Do you have permission to go through so often?" she asks him. Mavis only speaks in rhyme when other people are listening. She always wanted to be a poet, but her physical life was cut short. Now that she found her rhyming voice she speaks in rhyme most of the time.
"Of course," he replies, a little exasperated with his wife for continuously asking that question. He notices she sometimes forgets she already asked a question. That's a small problem with Mavis, these days. She has been in the Astral Plane so long she tends to forget her purpose for being there. He hopes to avoid the discussion about leaving the plane because that can start a debate between them. They stayed this long because Mavis wants to stay and make her rhymes and because she's afraid to go forward. She's afraid of forgetting who she is and that she's a poet.
"The Saint gives me permission to travel through the portal," he reminds her. "If he didn't I wouldn't do it."
"But what's so important? What is the Empress doing that is so important to the Saint?" Mavis has to be told the same answer over and over, and it is beginning to worry George.
"She's writing about the Cut Ups," he says. "But it's more than that. She's writing about us, all of us, and how we live our lives now. The Saint feels it is important and he wants to ensure she has the proper guidance."
"But I'm afraid for you to go alone. What if you don't come back?"
George suspects that Mavis's real fear is that he will develop an attachment to the Empress. "The portal is a two-way door; you know that, Mavis. We go through that same portal as the Shadow Breakers and we always come back. There's nothing to worry about." He changes his mind about the real issue and thinks now is a good time to talk about it, despite the debate that might ensue.
"You know, honey, we've been here a long time, three hundred years. We're on our last year here. We can't stay here. We have to either go back or go forward. People can only go back or forward. Remember how it was before we got here?" Mavis reluctantly nods her head, 'yes.' "We knew we couldn't stay human forever. We knew there was a time limit, didn't we? Nobody wants to leave their plane of existence, Mavis, but eventually they have to, eventually the body has to drop off or else there is no progress made, no soul evolution. And now, just like then, our bodies have to drop off. Do you want to talk about that?" he asks, with true concern for her feelings.
"No," she replies, flatly.
"Ok," says George. He decides to take up the subject later. The Saint already spoke to him about moving forward, but if Mavis doesn't get an understanding about it and if she doesn't start to lose her fear, she might become a Go Back. Being a Go Back is not bad because you can only go back so far, but in their case they will be separated, and they don't want to be separated. He takes her hand gently in his and kisses her on the cheek. "Let's go look for Louise," he says, "and see how she's coming along with the Cut Ups."
Warner Thompson normally can't be bothered by locals dropping in. He usually lets Tommy handle it, but this one is different, Tommy says. This one is investigating the murders and is writing a book about it. Warner knows he has to handle this himself.
"Let her come in," he says, mentally preparing himself for the barrage of questions coming his way. But when she enters the room, he feels a change come over him that he can't explain. She isn't young and beautiful, which often causes a change to come over him that he can explain. She's about his age and attractive, but there's something about her that's as mysterious to him as that little voice in his head.
"Hi," she says, holding out her hand to shake his. "I'm Grace Courage. I'm wondering if I can speak with you for a moment about the recent murders."
"Sure," he says, uncharacteristically nervous. "What can I do for you?"
"Well, I have an idea to write a book about the serial killings, and I'm just hoping you can put me on the right path. You know, get me started in the right direction."
Warner normally would put her on the right path out of his office, but there is something about her that connects with something deep inside him and for the life of himself he can't see what it was. So he has to just run with it until he can understand it better. He's like that, never shying away from something intriguing, but at the same time always trying to get a handle on it. This time, however, he feels like an open book.
He watches her carefully as she politely waits for him to speak but he knows he seems a mute. He must look strange, even disoriented. He doesn't know how to stop this feeling. It's this woman, he thinks. She's doing it somehow. But what is she doing? The little voice in his head whispers, "The time is coming."
"I can't be much help to you because I don't know much about it," he says.
"Are you handling the investigation yourself?"
"Yes, I'm supervising the investigation but I'm not out there turning over stones, so to speak. My officers are on that detail." It stuns him that he tells her the truth.
"Have they discovered anything?"
"No." He wishes he had more control over himself. Giving straight answers to straight questions about police matters is not within his nature, yet here he is like a puppet on a string.
"Would you mind keeping me informed if you come up with something? My situation is this. I want to write a book about these murders and I hope to make some money from it, just to be honest with you. You see, I'm a writer and not a financially successful one, but I'm trying to be. So I figure if I can write a great book about the serial killings, then I can publish another book I want to write and I can also stop getting roommates. I'm just hoping you can point me in the right direction so I can take the right slant in my book that will help with the sales."
She must really be naive to think that a chief of police in any town is willing to supply her with enough material to write a book about an ongoing investigation. But something inside of him suggests that he guide her at least a little, if only to keep her under control. He can't have her running all over town asking a lot of questions and spreading around information about murders that he is trying to keep under wraps.
"I'll tell you what," he says. "If I come up with anything that I think you can use in your book, I'll let you know."
"You will?" she says, excitedly.
"Sure." He almost laughs out loud.
As she leaves his office, he hears Tommy asking her what the chief said, and he hears her tell Tommy the chief is going to give her whatever information he comes up with to help with her book. Tommy laughs out loud, and that is when Warner knows Grace realizes she has been conned. But the little voice in his head says again, "The time is coming."
Gladys Kurtz is just leaving her cozy office when she nearly bumps into the woman she saw on the ghost tour, the one who insisted gangster ghosts haunt St. Augustine House. She tries to avoid her but she is practically side by side with her, so there is nothing to be done but to be pleasant. "Hi," she says.
"Oh, hello," says the woman. "I remember you. You're the one on the ghost tour. How are you? I'm Grace Courage." She extends her hand.
"I'm Gladys Kurtz. Nice to meet you," she lies. It doesn't hurt to make friends with people who can vote you in or out of office, and she is a master at politicking and is used to shaking hands with people she could care less about. "Seen any ghosts lately?"
Grace laughs and says, "Every day. How about you?"
"Not recently," says Gladys, a little sarcastically. "What are you doing, shopping?"
"No, I was just talking with the chief of police."
"About the serial killings." That stopped Gladys in her tracks.
"You were just talking to Warner Thompson about the serial killings. And what did the chief of police have to say about that?"
"He said he would help me any way he could, but then the assistant chief of police laughed so fast when I told him what the chief said that I realized Thompson isn't going to help me at all and was just feeding me a bunch of bull. In fact, I bet he tries to stop me from writing my book."
"Oh, you're writing a book. I see. You're writing a book about the murders and the chief of police is going to try to stop you. Well, I can help you."
"Can you? What can you do to help?"
"I can find out some things for you. I'm influential around here. I can help you get that book going if you like. How would you like a little collaboration from a woman on the inside?"
"That's great. It's nice to know everyone on the city council isn't trying to hush up the murders."
"No, of course not. Here, let me give you my phone number, and you give me yours. If something comes up, I'll give you a call. Or you can call me if something comes up. Don't worry, I won't let Warner stop you from getting any information you're entitled to get, as a citizen." Gladys always feels good when she is getting in control of some part of city government, and this is one of those times when she really feels good. Now isn't it lucky she ran into this woman? Fate works in mysterious ways.
Gladys gets in her car and drives out to Nine Run Road, a deserted dirt road off Highway 213, where she is secretly meeting a man. Her two reasons for meeting him are, one, he has something she wants and, two, he has the name of a man for her to call. This is the part of her life she thinks no one is entitled to know about, and she intends to keep it this way.
Out on Nine Run Road, she turns down a small lane that looks like it hasn't been traveled in years. She rounds the curve and stops behind a screen of scrub oaks and palmettos. She doesn't want anyone to see her and even more important, she doesn't want the man to find her until she scouts him out and makes sure no one is with him. She gets out of her car and walks back down the lane a little until she sees his car go by with only him inside. That's all she wants to know. She backs her car out of the lane and goes to meet him on the other side of the highway where he waits at their usual rendezvous.
Jimmy Dobbs has been a pimp one way or another all his life, and he's good at it. He knows how to get a girl going in the life and he also knows how to keep her going. If fear of him is not inducement enough, there is always the addiction to crack, a profitable business he runs on the side. The two businesses work well together, and Jimmy is making money coming and going. When his girls work hard for him, he works hard for them. But there is no rest for the weary when Jimmy gets going on crack and gets business lined up for his girls. And if they get tired, then he just gives them some crack and that takes care of that.
But something is going bad wrong in Jimmy's business. His girls are turning up dead and with some kind of bizarre knife carving on their foreheads. The truth is, he lives in fear that the finger of the law points in his direction. His only defense is that he stands to ruin himself if he kills off his quality goods. He knows he can use this logic to talk himself out of a murder rap, but what about the crack? The Man is involved and The Man doesn't want even the smallest trail leading to him. The Man will do anything to keep his identity secret. Jimmy knows The Man considers him to be the link between the dead girls and him. This scares Jimmy nearly to death just to think about it. He makes a promise to himself that if anything comes up about it, he will leave town so fast and go so far that by the time The Man discovers he's gone, he won't ever find him.
He starts putting back money just in case something like this happens, and he cuts back on his purchase of crack to do it, telling The Man he needs less now because his girls are dead. The Man tells him he had better get him some new girls. Jimmy is worried and he is making plans.
THE AL CAPONE SYNDROME
Sometimes the life of wealth and leisure is just not enough to satisfy a person. Something about life, to some people, can become boring. When that happens they want to start something up that intrigues them and of course it must be something that makes them even more money than they already have.
It's the Al Capone syndrome -- no matter how much money they have it's never enough and no matter how many people they kill, it doesn't satisfy. These are some of the people who advance to the Astral Plane and automatically become one of the Bored Players. On the Astral Plane, their Physical Plane activities are automatically curtailed, so they are bored and are left with nothing to do but get with the program or start over. But on the Physical Plane they are dangerous indeed for they can impact us as though they are immediate forces in our lives, when they are not. They're just people who arrange their lives in such a way that ours can get disarranged.
Jimmy's crack supplier is one of these people, and where Jimmy is frightened of him The Man is terrified of getting caught in his own crimes and bad intentions. It's as though he's running from death and he thinks the way to outrun it is to build up a wall of wealth and position while destroying the lives of other people and making everyone else as miserable as he is. But no matter how many people he makes miserable, it never makes him happy and he never learns. But he will have to learn. It is not a matter of 'if' but simply a question of 'when.'
Page 1 - A Ghost Tour | Light of Recognition
Page 2 - Deus Madre | Authentic Metaphor | Bury the Evidence
Dagon-Jah the Potter
Page 3 - Reality Bytes | The Cut Ups
Page 4 - The Time is Coming | Non Deus Non Madre
Gary Gravestone | Dagon-Jah's Creation
Page 5 - The Roommate | LoverGirl | The Two-Way Door
Grace Courage | Gladys Kurtz | Jimmy Dobbs
The Al Capone Syndrome
Page 6 - Outside Forces | Good and Evil - God 'N Devil
The FoundDeads | The Stalker
Page 7 - The Dinner Date | Concealed Personas | Some New Girls
Ghost Real Estate | Dagon-Jah at Knossos
Page 8 - The Bucket | Stage Call | A Trip to St. Aug
Elevated Consciousness | The Black Madonna
Page 9 - Planes of Reality
Page 10 - The Masterpiece of Dagon-Jah
Page 11 - The Praetorian Guards | MetaphorMan
The Lurid Appeal | The Indian in the old Fort
Deus Madre Redux | Something About Her
Something About Him | The Bored Players
Page 12 - The Arc in the Covenant | The Man
Page 13 - The Artists Round | The Good, the Bad, and the Curious
Part 14 - Death and Remembrance | Ur Nammu, the Created God
Part 15 - Worlds Apart | You Don't Know What It's Like
Spinning the Sword | A Destiny Foretold
Invoking the Archangel
Part 16 - Some Go Forward and Some Go Back | Going Home
Back Travel | The Miracle of Birth
The Fire that does not Consume
Copyright Notice - "The Shadow Breakers" Text and images copyrighted March 21, 1993-2017, Claire Grace Watson, B.A., M.S.T., U.S. Copyright and under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, All rights reserved. Additional to these copyrights is TXu 692-656, Isis and Osiris, The Phaistos Disk Deciphered, June 26, 1995, above images included, and The Shadow Breakers, including twenty-two of these images, copyright 2005. All solution images, pictograph tracings, disk tracings, photos of Phaistos and Heraklion harbor, Crete by Claire Grace Watson. No part of this web page may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.
Copyright Notice - Disk of the World - Text and images copyrighted March 21, 1993-2017,
Claire Grace Watson, B.A., M.S.T., U.S. Copyright and under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, All rights reserved. No part of this web page may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.