Characters Environments 
Author Marian Parisher-Nichols
Poems and short stories, free to read.
"When I write, I shoot from the hip!"
Chapter Three; Possession & Astral Flight
 

Mariah’s growing friendship with Myra is previous to her, but Myra is losing her strength and endurance.  Spiritually she is growing weaker, the many weeks with the incubus have taken its toll, for it has been draining her of her life-force and nothing is stopping it or refurbishing her weakened spirit.  Mariah feels that there is only one thing left that will sustained her until this is over, Spirit Possession.  With the exorcism of the incubus from the O'Keefe's home, Mariah is now free to come into the house without using telepathic methods.  Thus on this morning early with the entire family sleeping, Mariah slides in on silence vapor.  She is unseen and unheard; she drifts along the extended corridor, stopping at Myra's closed door and easily passes through.  Myra is alone, good, had Mrs.  Grey been in the bed also, Mariah would be unable to achieve this procedure.  Myra is lying on her back in a deep, sound sleep, Mariah slides above her and turning with her face upward, she lowers herself into Myra's sleeping form.

This is not a take over but instead a merging of mind and spirit, for unlike a hostile possession, they do this to save the life energies of the possessed person.  Mariah and Myra will function as one entity, each will know what the other knows, feel what the other feels, love or hate what the other loves or hates.  Myra will now know the spirit world, and Mariah, once more will know the physical.

           

Arising at about eleven thirty AM and after a moderate breakfast, Adrian receives permission to work in the study.  Bookshelves lined three walls, for Myra's father, a lawyer, has his law-books and other academic material here for easy reference in preparation of law cases.

Sitting at the keyboard for hours, he learns a good deal of the O’Keefe’s family history.  Mr. and Mrs. O'Keefe joined him there around two o’clock and both are instrumental in giving information that helps him narrow his search and speeds things along.  He learns that Frances O'Keefe's family (which is where they suspect the relationship to Mariah) they trace this back for only seven generations, to an abandoned male infant.  Someone abandons him on the steps of an orphanage (now destroyed) in Charleston, South Carolina in June of 1869.

The family that take in and raise this orphan name him, Lewis Mercer.  The period coincides with the dates in the Family Bible of Worthington Manor just four years after the civil war.  However, this will not reveal how the murder took place; the identity of the perpetrator; why he committed the foul deed; who took the infant and why or how the child wound up in South Carolina.  Even now, this search is asking more questions than it is answering; such as; why was Mariah's body left at the mansion?  What happened to the other family members, for the parents of Thomas Worthington were still living at the family home, yet there is no trace or record of them found anywhere.  Still, the number one unanswered question is; how had this old southern plantation gone unnoticed or even thought of for over a hundred and fifty years?  All records of the manor stopped abruptly in the year 1869!  It’s as though a shroud of invisibility drapes over the mansion, yet the farmlands surrounding the main house continued in used.

A detailed search of the history of the Worthington Family revealed it a well-respected family, owning five hundred or so slaves, claims ten thousand prime acreage of cotton, tobacco and corn, in eastern North Carolina.  This very wealthy and famous family had great influence on the governing body of the county of Nash, but yet no one remembers them.  Why wasn't this family missed?  They need to do an honest discussion with the Nash County Sheriff Department about their investigation of the crime.

           

Upon awaking, Myra feels unusually refreshed and rested, “This is going to be a most glorious day.  I can just feel it!”  She rises and quickly showers and dresses.  Though the day is mostly over, for it is half past four, Myra feels she can still accomplish a few things.  She heads for the kitchen for she is ravenous.  “Good morning Gerti!” she calls out cheerfully, while taking a stool by the counter.

“Mornin' nothin', child, 'ts pretty near supper time.  Y’all done and sleep the whole days 'way.  I’m gonna have supper pretty soon now, you wantin' somethin' now or can you wait?”  Gerti speaks without turning to see Myra.

“Oh, Gerti, I can wait.  Just a cup of coffee, that should hold me,” Myra lightly replies.

“Must say y'all shore sound chipper 'day then yours been at.  What airs gotten into you anyhow?”  Gerti now turns and closely inspects Myra, as if looking for horns or something worst.  “Understand you folks had a might' 'citmen here’s last' nigh.  But yours mammy an' pappy seemed right happy 'bout it all,” said Gerti dropping all of her Ts.  “How come' y’all wait 'til me an' Melinda done an' left 'before you all start with the fun, hum?”

“Believe me, Gerti, it was no fun,” Myra speaks with a bit of irony.  “Where's Mother and Father?” she asks after a bit.

“O they is in yer pappy's study, with that fellow from New Yoke.  Been in thar most of afternoon, duin' somethin' on that thara 'puter.  Shore keep' demseves buzi.  Wanner tell'em supper be readi 'bout seven?”  Gerti flippantly asks.

“Sure thing, give me a minute to finish my coffee,” Myra replies.

Thus, Myra makes her way to her father's study, she finds Adrian at the computer and both parents seated on either side looking intently at the monitor.  “Good evening one and all, Gerti said that the three of you have been very busy in here, you must have found something important to hold your attention this long.  So what have you discovered?”

In unison the three look her way, “Hello Dear,” her mother greets her.  “Did you rest well?  You certainly look as though you have.  You seem different somehow, more confidant and lively.  You no longer have a thing to worry about, except school, and your father and me,” she smiles lovingly at her only child, and then kisses her cheek then a cheek-to-cheek hug.  “Come; listen to what Adrian has dug-up today.  He has worked very hard, I know he must be tired,” she pats his back in a motherly fashion.

“Yes, well,” breaks in Mr. O'Keefe, “all of this is quite interesting, don't see how any of it can really be of help.  Seems to me the best way to solve this murder is to hire a private investigator,” he states as he too leans toward his daughter kissing her on the brow.  “Evening Sweetheart, slept well I take it.”

“Yes, Father I did, slept like the dead,” this with a little humor to it, while smiling sheepishly.

Adrian, however, is not fooled, eyeing Myra intensely, he sees two auras.  This is no real surprise to him, and he is just as certain that Myra is not aware of what has happened and he is not going to tell her until or if the need arises.

Myra's father gives up his seat to his daughter, “Myra, sit here and Adrian will go over everything with you; I'm going to phone the office to see how well things went without me today.  Probably fell apart,” he added jokingly.

“You overrate yourself, Jonathan,” said his wife with a smile.

Knowing she is joking with him, he kisses her lightly on the lips, “Maybe I do, but you don't” and winks significantly.

“Wait, Honey, I'll walk with you, must check with Gerti on dinner anyway.”

“Oh, Gerti says dinner is at seven,” Myra gives this information as her parents are leaving the room.

She turns her attention to Adrian, who begins to relate all of the information learned on this day.  As she listens, Myra is somewhat surprised by how familiar some of it feels, but holds her tongue, for she has no proof to substantiate it.  “It's too late today to start much, we did call Sheriff Flint and he has set an appointment with us first thing tomorrow morning.  Think you can be ready by nine?”

“With bells on,” she replies perkily.  Adrian smiles and shakes his head, not too sure, if two women in one body is something a man alone can deal with successfully!

           

On Wednesday morning by eight, Adrian, Myra, Mrs. Grey and Mr. O'Keefe (who is taking a few hours off from work again) are ready for the trip to the little Township of Nashville, the county seat.  This is a very old and historic town, with the courthouse on Main Street and the Sheriff Department located at the back of the courthouse.

Arriving in Nashville, you feel as if you have gone back in time, the storefronts date back to the forties and fifties.  The constructions of any new businesses are on the outskirts of town.  This small town is a big difference from New York, at least the parts that the Grey's come from.  The town offers a relaxed, even lazy atmosphere, and the natives walk unhurriedly down Main Street, stopping to talk with each other as though each might be in his own home.

They arrived at their destination and a deputy greets them, “Good morning, may I help you?  Oh, hello Mr. O'Keefe, Sheriff Flint is expecting you.  Go right in.” he motions to a frosted glass door toward the back.  The county has just recently constructed this new facility and it had an air of authority surrounding the grounds.

Sheriff Flint greets them and after the introductions, they get down to business. “Okay John, just what kind of information do you need to know about the old Walton place?” ask the sheriff getting right to the point, for he needs to get out on patrol.  Sheriff Flint is a white male of medium height and stocky build.  He is in his late forties, has dark hair and a full mustache with streaks of grey running through it.

Mr. O'Keefe turns and looks at Adrian, nods his head, giving Adrian the permission to proceed with the interview.

“Sheriff in your investigation of the — did you called it the ' Walton Place'?  —did you find anything that would identify who murdered the victim, if it was committed in this date and time?”  Adrian askes, as he leans forward.

“You know people; we were as surprised as anyone when this old place turned up with a mummified body in it.  You realized it's been over a century since this crime, and the trail is colder than an iceberg floating in the north Atlantic.  And it's for dammed certain the murderer is long dead, so there's not much point in trying to apprehend him.  So I reckon I don't understand just what you are looking for,” the sheriff looks from one to the other.  “And if weren't for the fact that John here is an old friend I wouldn't be giving this info to anyone 'cept family.”

Mr. O'Keefe explains that it is thought that his wife, Frances is a descendant of the dead woman.  With that bit of news, Sheriff Flint tells what they discovered.  The old manor is sitting on land that is rented from an absentee landlord, Charles Walton, living down in Wilmington, North Carolina, and when contacted he was as surprised as the sheriff was at the existence of the old house.  As far as he knew when purchasing the lands, there were no dwellings on it, much less an old plantation with a corpse in it.  He purchased the land over forty years ago from an agency in Rocky Mount and he did not know who the original owner was.  There were over five thousand acres and over the years, the owner sold bits and pieces of it, except for the thousand areas where the manor is located.  Different farmers at one time or another have rented those lands, but never had anyone suspected the existence of the manor.

When checking the interior of the house they discovered it had three stories, the third story could only be reach by the stairs at the back of the house near the kitchen, for this is where the servants lived.  However, they found no evidence that could help in solving the case and honestly, they weren't trying due to the case's extreme age.  There was no point to it; they are trying to solve cases that are more recent.  The manpower was insufficient to handle all their caseloads.

Thanking the sheriff for the help he had been able to give them, the troop leaves Nashville, heading to Mr. O’Keefe law offices where they dropped him and take the car home.  Myra takes control of the big car and drives to her home.

“I guess we need to go back to the manor house sometimes today,” Adrian suggests.

“We can't today,” Myra speaks, “We need another twenty four hours to rest.”

Adrian glances at her, she is looking straight ahead as if she had not spoken, and he knows that this is Mariah speaking and not Myra.  Mariah is telling him that Myra is still too weak for the task ahead.

“Adrian,” Mrs. Grey whispers in his ear, “Is Myra possessed by Mariah?”

“Yes, Mom, she is,” he answers with somewhat of a sigh.  “I am in the mood for some sunshine and a swim, what do you say?”

“Oh that sounds fantastic,” giggles Myra.  “It would certainly cool us off a bit and I could work on my tan.”

“Well, you two help yourselves, after lunch I'm taking a long nap,” Mrs. Grey state emphatically.

So they spend the afternoon in the O'Keefe swimming pool in the back yard.  After dressing in their swimming suits, Myra chooses a black one piece that contrasted strongly with her pale hair and complexion; they expend buildup energy swimming long laps.

Adrian cannot help but admire just how beautiful Myra is, very petite, well proportioned and as dainty as she is, still with strong muscles and flawless firm skin.  As the afternoon whiles-away, Adrian finds that Myra is becoming enlightened to the spiritual side of life, no doubt, compliments of Mariah.  He feels that after tonight that Mariah will release her bond with Myra, for they cannot exorcise Worthington Manor while Myra is possessed.

They swim together, racing each other for trifle rewards, and generally just getting acquainted.  Gerti sends them a picnic lunch by way of the housekeeper.

Adrian is finding that his feelings for Myra are growing past friendship and this worries him, for he is twelve years her senior and he never imagined that this would happen.  He senses her attraction to him, but wonders, maybe that it is just infatuation.  He will not dwell on it now; just enjoy the moment, for there is a rougher road ahead they need to travel together before thinking of a personal relationship.  As the sun drops behind the horizon, turning the sky from Carolina blue to hues of lilac and rose, they decide to call it a day and head for the main house.  Each has a large beach towel draped around them, Myra ties hers at the waist in Tonga fashion and Adrian's is about his shoulders.

Gerti is serving dinner as they enter and she calls to them.  “We'll be there as soon as we shower and change,” Myra answers.  She stops for a moment and looks up at Adrian.  “It has been a marvelous afternoon, Adrian, thank you,” she then stands up on her toes, for he is a good foot taller than she is, and taking his face in both of her hands kisses him lightly on his cheek.  She gazes into his mellow gray eyes, then Adrian, as if being control by an outside force, wraps his arms around her waist and pulls her closer and presses his mouth firmly to hers.  She sighs and parts her lips slightly allowing the kiss to deepen.  She moves her arms up about his neck in an unexpected response.  For a brief moment, they forget everything but each other and the closeness of their bodies… their spirits.

Adrian, with all the strength that he can muster breaks away, taking her arms from around his neck, “We had better get inside,” his voice is husky.  Myra nods, and quickly heads for her room.

           

He will be sleeping again on the sofa, allowing his mother the guestroom, later as he is readying for bed; Adrian considered the events of the day.  He can't say he regrets the intimacy with Myra, only he wishes that she had not been under Mariah influence at the time.  Myra might not even remember the incident after Mariah's departure from her.  He would have to wait and see.

Myra goes to her parents' room to ask her mother if she has a sedative and, if so, could Myra get one.  “What's the problem Myra?  Don't you feel well?”  Mrs. O'Keefe asks with concern.

“I feel find, Mother, just keyed up from all the swimming this afternoon, just overtired I think,” Myra answers wearily.  She didn't want to reflect long on the encounter with Adrian.  How could he have any respect for her, after all she is the one who kissed him first and he was the one who stopped it?  What must he think of her?  Thanking her Mother and kissing both of her parents, “Good night,” she returns to her room.

           

Much, much later at one in the morning, while the household is sleeping soundly, Mariah departs from Myra.  Her spirit lifts up and separates from the sleeping girl, while suspended in mid air over the still form, Mariah calls.  Myra, come with me.”  She extends her hand and Myra's astral body reaches out its own hand and takes it.

Both figures are clothed in fabric as sheer as spider’s silk and with their hair flowing as a colorless scarf in a strong wind, looking down they both sees Myra physical body asleep in her bed.

Am I dead?”  Myra wonders.

“No,” answered Mariah, their thoughts being transferred without spoken words, now the spirits depart.

Where are we going?” asks Myra looking at Mariah with a new perceptive; for this Spirit is wonderful and sensitive, and unearthly, even heavenly, magnificent and so like Myra in appearance that it is hard to grasp.

“We are going sight-seeing in a lofty way,” smiles the Spirit, “but first to visit Adrian.”

They have no trouble moving about, traversing through walls, doors and other objects as easily as through air.  Hovering above the slumbering Adrian, the Spirits call his name as one, “Adrian,” after a second, again, “Adrian.”

Startle out of a deep sleep; Adrian wakens, but is paralyze where he lay.

He is sure he is dreaming with his eyes open, for before him are two identical female beings and surrounding each is a soft bluish white glow.  They are seminude and their bodies are shimmering as though they are made of crystal, their hair appears to be of white gold and is rippling as waves in a pond.  Their eyes blaze purple fire, and they are drifting in slow motion, side to side, and up and down, five or more feet above the sofa.  They both look like Myra!

“No, Adrian, you are not dreaming, although we can not allow you to move, I am Mariah,” she conveys to him.

“I can hear her but she does not seem to be speaking,” thinks Adrian.

“Yes, we are using our thoughts to speak with you… yes we are able to read your mind.”  Mariah informs him.  “I wish to thank you for what you and Myra are doing to save me.  It has been an eternity since all has taken place, but I at least now know part of what became of my son.  When done, I will reunite with him and his father on the next plane.  I am taking Myra on a tour, she will remember this as a dream but you will know that it is not.  I will have her back by dawn, see to it that no one awakes her, for if she is and the astral body has not returned, it will never be able too, and Myra's physical body will perish.  Wait and let Myra awake on her own.”  With this, the two spirits levitate through the ceiling and Adrian falls back to sleep.

           

Higher and higher, they sore as eagles on silence wings, time stands still and the Earth is surreal.  They are able to see where there is no light, hear where there is no sound, feel with their minds and taste the wind.  They speed along with the swiftness of light, seeing lifetimes passing before them, seeing the past, and seeing the future.  They feel no cold, no heat, no discomforts…only the pleasure of being so completely free that there is nothing in the Universe to compare with it.  They look down at the Earth flying beneath their feet, up at the heaven and the stars are moving, each one in its given place in the sky.  The sky itself is a deep dark, blue velvet and the clouds are puffs of spun silver threads.  The moon glows white, sending spirals of radiant, silvery moonbeams down to the sleeping Earth.  They soar even further, leaving the Earth behind, taking a tour of the outer-most planets, close to the very Sun, where in another form they would have perished long ago.  They anticipate its heat but there is none, there are comets roaming the heaven minding their own existence, keeping to their own paths, as with the order of a superior Being.  There are other astral bodies traveling here all with the magnificent glory of Mariah and Myra.

It is time for the return trip to Earth and for Myra to her physical self.  As promised to Adrian, they arrived just as the sun is peeping over the horizon, turning the shy to crimson.  Mariah escorts Myra to her bed.  She lowers herself down to her body then back into herself, and immediately she is sleeping soundly.  Mariah bids her farewell and retreats to the Manor house.

           

Adrian is startled into consciousness, events of the night before quickly returning to his waking mind.  Seeing Mariah for the first time is shocking and even more so because Myra is with her and the duplicate pair they present is quite hard to come to terms with.  Psychic he is, but Adrian has never witnessed the Astral Body before now.  He is aware that this mode of paranormal transformation has been debated but as yet he has not been able to accomplish this feat so did have his doubts until now that is.  He also knows just how dangerous it can be, and for that reason, Mariah came to warn him of the danger of awaking Myra if her Astral Body had not yet returned to the physical one.  Looking at the bedside clock radio he sees it is four forty six am, an hour, or so until dawn, he will wait for them.

Pulling on just his jeans, quietly he makes his way down the long narrow corridor to Myra's room.  Slowly turning the knob he eases open the door, the obscurity of the room is broken by the glow of the full moon spreading its soft bluish luminous over Myra's still figure.  She is lying on her back with one hand up around her face and the sheets pulled to just under her arms, so they are resting outside and on top of the covers.  Her ashen hair spreads out over the pillow.  She lies so perfectly still it is as if death has visited her.  However after a second of watching, Adrian can just makes out her breathing, yes she lives.  He takes a seat over in the corner of the room and waits.

As the first rays of the rising sun breaks through the bedroom window, Mariah and Myra slide in headfirst on the waves of light.  Myra lowers herself back into her motionless body and is at once sleeping soundly.  The two spirits looked as they had when appearing before him the night before, so he is further convinced he had not dreamt the visit.  Mariah catches sight of him in the corner and in less than a heartbeat floats over to him; he rises from his sitting position to face her.

You and your mother come to Worthington Manor today, alone,” and with that thought…she tilts her face toward the ceiling and effortlessly glides up and out through the roof.

Adrian does not move for a minute, Mariah has something to reveal to him and she does not want Myra or the others to know it yet.

He walks over by Myra's bedside and gases down on her lovely face…if only he had not fallen in love with her, for it complicates his job and compromises his reasoning and psychic abilities.  He leans over her and places a soft kiss on parted lips, there is a slight twitch of her mouth as if tickled by a feather but she does not wake.  Adrian smiles and noiselessly leaves her room.