Thursday, August 14, 2008

Past Lives--Part 13

Dear Friends,
I'm finally here to present to you my contribution to this writing project. It's not to the perfection, that I'd like it to be, but I still hope you'll enjoy reading it while ignoring the errors. It's my own fault for producing a mediocre piece of writing, for I waited to the last minute to write it. I might still be doing some editing while you are reading it, so don't be alarmed if you see something now but then it disappears, or vice versa.

I'd like to thank Eric S. at Ruminations of a Small Town Mountain Boy for allowing me to use the last paragraph of his story to incorporate it into the first part of my story.

"One grabbed his hair and pulled his head back, while cutting a line along his forehead, and yanked Lukas's hair, scalp and all painfully off his head. Lukas began to scream out in pain, and the other Indian came over and grabbing his beard pulled his chin up. Lukas felt the knife, slice deep, through his neck.
Lukas could feel the blood running down his neck. He tried to scream, but the only sound that came was a sickly sounding gurgle. The third Indian that had remained sitting until now, got up and walked slowly toward Lukas. He drew Lukas's own knife from his belt, and drove it deep into Lukas's chest, pulling upwards. He then reached inside Lukas's open chest, and cut out his heart. With a wild terrifying war cry, he held the heart up for Lukas to see, as he died"

Whenever you see itilicized words in the first part of my story, they are from Eric's last chapter of his story. Above is his last chapter in its entirety.

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Past Lives is a collaborative writing project which features creative and clever stories from bloggers around the world. Our story starts with a fictional Australian character called David. As a last ditch effort to resolve his phobias David goes through Past Life Regression (PLR) therapy. Join us as we follow David’s past life journey through different times and continents

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Beads of sweat form on David’s forehead. Even though David is lying on the lounge bed, he appears restrained. With a stiffened body, he has his head going backward as if somebody’s pulling his head back as he struggles to pull it forward.

David is reacting to what is happening to Lukas (his name in this particular Past Life in Part 10). David looks trapped in his tracks as he struggles to free himself from whatever that is holding him down.

One grabbed his hair and pulled his head back, while cutting a line along his forehead, and yanked Lukas' hair, scalp and all painfully off his head.

David is twitching and moaning. He’s in extreme agony by the look on his face and by the way his body is contorting.

Lukas began to scream out in pain.

“Aahhh!!! You Bastards!” David is now vocalizing Lukas’ screams and thoughts. “If ya’ think ye can get me to drup on my knees to surrender to ya, yer dead wrong! I’d rather die, standin’ proud thun to give in, you Bastards.”

The other Indian came over and grabbing his beard pulled his chin up. Lukas felt the knife, slice deep, through his neck.

”Aaahhh!!!” David screams again.

Dr. Harlowe wants to stop the session. He has so much sympathy for David, and David’s obviously in so much pain right now, but Dr. Harlowe doesn’t want to interrupt David in the middle of his PLR. Based upon previous sessions, it’s clear to Dr. Harlowe that David is almost at the end of his journey in this particular life. Therefore, he held off on waking him up.

All of a sudden, Dr. Harlowe can only hear garbled mumblings come out of David’s mouth. David struggles to free himself one last time. Sweats have been profusely coming out of his face, and his clothes are completely drenched.

Lukas could feel the blood running down his neck. He tried to scream, but the only sound that came was a sickly sounding gurgle. The third Indian that had remained sitting until now, got up and walked slowly toward Lukas. He drew Lukas's own knife from his belt, and drove it deep into Lukas's chest, pulling upwards. He then reached inside Lukas's open chest, and cut out his heart. With a wild terrifying war cry, he held the heart up for Lukas to see, as he died.

David’s body goes limp. Only his chest is moving up and down now. Dr. Harlowe and Petra, his assistant, both let out a big sigh of relief, since they were completely tensed during the entire session. They stayed unmoving for a few minutes to gather their composures. Dr. Harlowe and Petra haven’t seen anything like it before that they themselves were pretty shook up. Dr. Harlowe turns off his analyzer and monitor.

“That was an extraordinary event!”

“For sure,” Petra says in agreement. “He sure worked up a sweat this time, didn’t he?” she says as she grabs a clean towel from the drawer and wipes the sweat off David’s face, neck, and arms as much as she could. When she finishes, she takes her seat back.

“David, at the count of three, I’d like for you to wake up, remembering everything that had happened. One….two…three….” At that, David wakes up, looking so worn out and weak.

“Whew! That was some bloody, awful way to die, Doc!” David starts to shiver as he talks to Dr. Harlowe.

“Would you like some coffee, David? You were in a tremendously bad situation that you couldn’t stop sweating and now you’re all wet.”

“I’m sorry, Doc. Hot coffee sounds really good. Thank you.”

Petra gets up and hands David a blanket from the drawer.

“Thanks Miss Petra.”

“You’re welcome, David.”

“Petra, I think we all deserve some hot coffee today.” Petra acknowledges the doctor and then leaves to fetch three cups of coffee from the employee lounge room. When she came back they drink their coffee, more as a celebratory drink than anything else.

“You come back here next Tuesday (Past Lives—Part 11) and we’ll go over what we’ve done so far. Then I’ll give you ten days reprieve to recover a bit, since these sessions have been taking a toll on you.”

“That would be great, Doc.”

David had enjoyed his rest from his PLR. He went for another PLR (Past Lives—Part 12) after that very traumatic experience and was relieved that his experience in it was not as brutal. David had another break after that because Dr. Harlowe had to go on a 2-week conference in New York.


“Good to see you again David, You look well-rested. You look very good, too. Must be going on a date with someone special?”

“No, Doc. I just feel awesome today. A friend gave me his old computer and showed me how to blog. Do you have a blog, Doc?”

“Don’t have a clue what a blog is, David.”

“Oh, anyway, my friend set me up a blog site and showed me how to chat with people around the world. I met this girl, who goes by the name of Sutebean. She came to visit my blog and left a comment, so I returned the visit, and we’ve been talking to each other now for a week. She seems very nice, Doc.”

“That’s wonderful, David.”

“I can go on and on talking about her, but I know we have a session to do. I’ll keep you posted when time allows.”

Dr. Harlowe, for the first time, is seeing some improvement with David. David is more upbeat and more on the positive side today than in any other time before. Dr. Harlowe and Petra notice David’s new haircut, his well-shaven face, and his clean, ironed shirt. He’s a very handsome man, now that he’s cleaned up. To the doctor’s analytical observations, these are signs of big progress in David’s condition. Dr. Harlowe is optimistic.

“Ready, David?”

“Ready, Doc.”

Dr. Harlowe turns on the recorder, along with a video camera. He thinks that it would be nice to start videotaping the actual process, which of the several lecturers and researchers at the conference he had attended in New York have suggested to do. “At the count of three, I want you to go to the years between 1831 through 1849. One…two…three…” Just like a switch, David is already into a deep sleep, answering questions on demand. At that, Dr. Harlowe allows David’s Past life to take over.

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PART 13

The year is 1847.

“Father, I am not a prisoner who needs to be guarded! I demand that you remove Lt. Anderson away from me!”

“Young lady, don’t you ever talk to me in that manner again! Go to your room, at once!”

“I hate you!” I stump my feet all the way upstairs to my room. I glare at Lt. Anderson as I pass him by. He is always serious and at attention, like a post. Even though he is not showing any emotions outside, I am sure he is laughing inside, and thinking what a brat I am. Ooh, how I hate my father. I wish my mother is still alive. She would be on my side, I know it. I want to run away—away from here, because I feel like a prisoner in my own home.

It has been three days now, since Father sent me to my room. So far, I have just been sulking. Lt. Anderson has been dutifully stationed himself just outside my room. He is a very handsome man and looks very dashing in his military uniform, but he never once talk to me. He is just there, watching me like a hawk. I tried to talk to him or to make friends with him, but he just does not say or react to anything. He is all military. “Yes Miss Pearson. No Miss Pearson. Can not do that Miss. Pearson” If only he is a bit friendly or playful once in a while, I might start to like him, or perhaps, even to fall in love with him. On the other hand, it is good that he is not friendly anyway, because I certainly do not want to be like my mother, who gets left alone most of the time while my father is somewhere else doing his Military duties.

Althea, the maid, is very kind. She brings me my meals inside my room and also gets my bath ready everyday with some nice warm water that she heats up in the kitchen. Each time she comes up, we chat a little because Father forbids her from spending too much time with me. Outside my room, and downstairs inside my father’s study, my father shouts. He’s always shouting, it seems.

“Has Lillian come out of her room, yet?!”

“No Sir!” Lt. Anderson replies.

“Althea, go get her cousins Victoria and Julia. Maybe they can convince her to come out of that room! And if they can not get her out of that room, I’m going to drag her out myself!”

Father’s booming voice sounds ominous, and I shudder at his threat. Unfortunately, I have inherited his personality trait, because I am just as stubborn as he. I like the idea that my cousins are coming over, though. I love both of them dearly. I wish I could see them more often, instead of once in a while during summer time when they are home from the boarding school. They are a bit older than I and are both away to a boarding school. I hope to join them there this coming school year, if I have not yet run away.

Cousin Victoria, oh, how I admire her artistic talents. She can produce some of the most amazing paintings that the King of England would proudly hang in one of his palaces. As young as she is, her very first painting is already hanging at the Governor’s Mansion in Albany. As for Cousin Julia, she can always solve the hardest mathematical equations. Often times, she has tutored me when I had difficulty in anything that is Mathematically-related problems. And as for myself, well, I guess I am just this brat that Father can not seem to contain in the palm of his hand. I really am not a brat, you see. I am only a brat to my father and to that Lt. Anderson. I consider myself as a free spirited person, who wants to spread her wings and fly as high as she can go. I am into anything and everything that is beautiful. Mother used to tell me that I made her laugh and happy, so I must have a talent in comedy. But why, I wonder, that I am not able to make Father laugh or make Lt. Anderson laugh? And so, I am still finding my own talent. I have found that I like to write short stories. My mother and my teachers had said that I have a way with words, that I should be a writer. So, who knows, if my talent truly lies in writing?

That reminds me, my mother gave me a box of beautiful stationery, along with a beautiful wooden pen with some engravings on it, six months ago. Here they are. I remember the first time I held it in my hand. I ran my fingertips on its smooth, dark mahogany wood and then onto the engravings.

“To My Beloved Daughter on her 16th Birthday”

Mother said that she had to special order it from England, since nobody makes this kind of pen here in America. It took three months for it to arrive, she told me. Remembering Mother now moves me to tears.

“Oh, Mother, why did you have to die so young? Did you not know that I love you? If Father would have been here, I knew you would not have died with a broken heart. Oh, how I miss you so. I miss the times we had our walks in the flower garden, had our talks and tea at the veranda. And mother, I do not understand why Father have me guarded like a prisoner? I do not understand!”

“Miss Pearson, are you alright?”

I am taken by surprise.
Is that Lt. Anderson's voice? It can not be. It sounded too friendly and too sympathetic. But then again, who else could it have been? Perhaps Father had put somebody else to give Lt. Anderson a respite. I have been crying and sniffling that whoever is outside my door must have heard me cry. “I am alright,” I say. My curiosity gets the best of me, so I open the door. “Oh, it is just you.” I do not know what has happened, because he asks me if he can say something. I am dumbfounded, to say the least. “Y...y...yes, you may.” I am usually the one who instigates a conversation, and once I get going, I never stop. So I am just not myself, all of a sudden. My heart starts to thump heavily.

“I have been meaning, for days now, to ask if you would like to accompany me to the Officers’ Ball tonight?” He said it so shyly, looking down at the floor, and sneaking a glance at me. I am not aware that there is an Officers’ Ball tonight. What happened to the Miss Pearson this, Miss Pearson that? What is his ulterior motive, I wonder? Has Father paid him extra to do this, just to get me out of my room? This last thought infuriates me.

“No, thank you,” I say haughtily.

“I apologize, Miss Pearson, for asking. I was out of line.” All at once, he takes his place by my door and stands at attention. I notice him turn very red.

I close the door and go to sit on the edge of my bed. I replay the whole conversation in my head. If he apologizes for asking me, then perhaps, Father has nothing to do with it? And oh, that sad, pathetic look on his face, how could I be so unkind? Maybe he really does want to take me out to the Ball, and he is asking me, wholeheartedly? Besides, I would not know about the Ball, since I shut myself in for three days now. I can not wait until cousin Victoria and cousin Julia arrive. They will be able to advise me of what I should do.

Oh good, I hear Althea’s voice. They must have finally arrived. I dash out of the room to see my cousins. I do not see my cousins, instead, I hear Althea telling Father that my cousins are invited to a Ball, and that they are unable to come. In my excitement to see my cousins, I did not notice that Lt. Anderson followed me downstairs. I am sure that he has heard everything I heard. I am crushed. I run upstairs to my room, and Lt. Anderson follows. I was rude to him earlier and many more times in the past. Perhaps it’s not too late to accept his invitation?

“Lt. Anderson.” I am now the one who is stumbling and feeling unsure of how to say the things I want to say. Not looking into his eyes, I say, “Is it too late to accept your invitation?” No answer. “I shall rephrase it another way, Lt Anderson. I would be more than happy to accompany you to the Ball.” Still, there is no reaction from him. I am now feeling frustrated. However, I have one more ammunition to try. After all, I was the rude one, so I should try one more time to see if the Lieutenant is going to respond. “I apologize for being rude and unkind to you. I hope that even if you are not taking me to the Ball that you would accept my apology.” I wait a moment, but still, he does not respond. I now accept my defeat and start to close the door.

“Please, Miss Pearson, may I request permission to speak freely?”

“Of course, Lt. Anderson.” He moves from his place and faces me. This is the first time that I really get to see his dark-brown eyes. They are tantalizingly beautiful. They are perfect for his handsome face.

“I accept your apology, and I still would like to take you to the Ball. I shall ask your father’s permission right away. May I be excused?”

“Certainly. But before I go with you to the Ball, I would like for you to call me by my given name. Also, I would like for you to feel at ease around me. Not to be acting as my guard, if you get my meaning?”

"Yes Lillian.”

“Now, that sounds much better. I shall wait for you to hear what Father has to say.” I watch him go to my father’s study. I now notice my cheeks so warm, and my heart beating irregularly. I am very excited about going to the Ball with the most handsome man on earth! I wish we were more in the best relations much sooner. He comes up in a hurry with a smile on his face. He lifts me up from the floor and tells me that Father said “Yes”. Oh, I almost kissed him! We hug so tightly until we realize that we have only known each other a few minutes ago. So, he puts me down. Even though he has been guarding me for four months now, it is only now that we truly made the acquaintance.

“I am sorry, Lillian. I could not contain my excitement.”

“No need to apologize, Lieutenant. I liked that you are human after all.”

“Now, if I am to take you to the Ball, nothing of that Lieutenant word from you. Call me Richard.

The Ball is perfect. Cousins Victoria and Julia both look beautiful and elegant. Richard is the perfect gentleman, treating me like a princess. As we dance, we gaze into each other's eyes. He whispers in my ear how lovely and captivating I look. I say, “Please do not say such words to me, for I might fall in love with you.”

“But I do wish for you to fall in love with me.”

“But I am only sixteen years old.”

“I shall wait for you until you are ready for me.” And so, I allow myself, and we both fall in love tonight.


Fast forward to the year 1849, two years later.

Richard did wait
for me until now. In fact, we had our lavish Wedding just a few days ago. Cousins Victoria and Julia were my bridesmaids. They are both married now and living happily with their husbands. Father and I have made amends shortly after the Ball. I sensed that he had always hoped that Richard would be my husband. Since our reconciliation, I am able to make Father laugh, all the time. He told me that I am witty and a great comedian. He explained to me that when Mother died, he became very protective of me because he did not want to lose me, too—his only child.

Life has been great for Richard and me. Presently, we are on our honeymoon, excursing the Niagara Falls. I have never been here and neither has Richard. We've heard that if you are to wish to be someplace else right now, that you would want to be at the Niagara Falls. They are absolutely right.

This place is beautiful beyond description. It is rugged, natural, and majestic. The Seventeen miles and two days of horseback riding from Buffalo, New York is well worth seeing this natural wonder. We are staying at this little makeshift Inn because that is all that is available in this part of the state. Tomorrow, we are going to the Canadian side. We were told that the view there is much more spectacular than from the American side.

Last night, Richard and I made love for the first time. We both agreed that we would wait until on our honeymoon, and so we did. We kissed and made love until our thirst and hunger were satiated. I wake up this morning, still savoring about last night.

Today, however, is the day that we are going to cross the bridge to Canada, and I am very nervous. Terrified, might be more like it.“Lillian, Darling, I need you to hold on to the ropes the entire time. Just look at where you are stepping and not at the water below.”

“Yes, Darling.” Richard takes my hand as I step onto the bridge. Not so bad, I tell myself. We step further and further. I feel the bridge sway violently under my feet as I go further. I feel a little dizzy and become distracted. I make the mistake of looking down at the water below. It feels as though I am being pulled down by a strong magnet. I stop in my tracks and can not move anymore. Richard does not realize that I am not right behind him. He is already well ahead of me when he looks back. I see him coming back for me. He is saying something, but I can not hear him over the roaring sound of the waterfalls. I am going to faint, I know it. A sudden burst of strong wind knocks me down. I lose my grip of the rope, and my body goes limp and gets wedged in between two bridge rails made of heavy duty ropes. My last memory is that Richard is running towards me.

“Lillian! Lillian! Hold on tight!” I hear Richard saying. I somewhat recover from my fainting spell. When I realize about my situation, I panic and accidentally kick my feet on the slat of the bridge, pushing myself out of the bridge. I am now completely hanging upside down on the ledge of the bridge!. The only thing that is holding me are my boots that are entangled with some of the ropes that make up the bridge. The red heart-shaped locket Richard gave me as a wedding gift dangles below my head.

“Richard! Please hurry, I am going to fall! My boots are slipping from the ropes!”

“I am almost there Darling!” he says, but in his haste, he stumbles down. His right hand lands in between slats.

“Oh Richard, I think I am going to fall! Hurry please, Richard!” Richard gets up finally and runs towards me, but my boots are now completely off the ropes.

“Lilly……yan........!” Richard looks helpless, seeing me plunge to my death.

"Richaaaaaaaard! I love you...........!”
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For the next Past Life, you can hop on to Natasha's Fabric of Life, who will be doing Part 14.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Remember When

I know that Father's Day is long passed, but as I said before in my Unspectacular Quirks post, I'm seldom punctual. So, today, I'd like to dedicate this post to the love of my life.

Hon, I know that I haven't been a perfect wife, but still you loved me unconditionally. Out of the young and gorgeous women in your life who wanted to be with you, you chose to be with me instead. Young, naive, and poor as I was, you took me into your life and showed me the world. You loved and nurtured me, patiently, until I blossomed into the woman I have become who can truly give and reciprocate the love you so deserve.

We've had our ups and downs along the way as many married couples have. But I admire you in your steadfastness and commitment to our marriage, even when, at times, I'd like to leave and just throw everything away.

Within the first year of our marriage, I asked you to send me back home to the Philippines. Having never been away from home and away from my family, I felt homesick and despondent. Even at 22, you had the maturity to tell me to give ourselves a chance, before resorting to what I'd asked of you. From different cultures and backgrounds, you and me, you thought we needed time to adjust and to get to know each other better.

When you first learned that we'd be parents, you were ecstatic, beyond comprehension. As much as you loved hunting and other outdoor sports, you gave them up to dedicate your time to fatherhood. The children's activities with school, martial arts, basketball, volleyball, and soccer games had replaced hunting and other outdoor sports you loved doing with your friends.

Almost thirty-one years of marriage, two children, and one grandson and a granddaughter on the way later, you're still standing by me, loving me and supporting me while I achieve my dreams and goals in life.

I dedicate this post to you, my love, along with this beautiful song by Alan Jackson--
Remember When. And if the time of my demise arrives before yours does, I'd like for you to play this song at my funeral to remember me by.

With All My Love,
Tootie