ASSOCIATES (2005, November, v. 12, no. 2) -

The Hand Beyond
(Part 1 of 2)


Tinker Massey

The Hand Beyond
Chapter 1

Somewhere in my dreams, I heard a dog growling, and then a bark. No! Too real!

I woke up and saw the dog standing at the top of the stairway. I stood near him and listened. Strange sounds! Was it someone trying to break into the house? I sent the dog to investigate and then I saw it. Fire dancing in the cracks of the attic door! I turned, put some clothes on, and raced down the stairs falling near the bottom. It would be trouble finding the animals, caging them and getting all of us out, but the fire was slow. I found the cats and cages and called the Fire Dept. Then, I ran the cages and my pocketbook out to the car. When I returned, I found the dog guarding the house against the Police at the front door. I opened the door, answered questions, leashed the dog and grabbed a coat before going to the car and moving it from the vicinity of the house. The adrenalin rush made me tired and weepy, but very alert. The Fire Dept put the fire out quickly and all the utilities were turned off. I found the numbness wearing off. EMS workers took my blood pressure and seemed to be working on my hand. I had been burned, rather severely, but had not noticed in the hurry to get everyone out safely. They kept insisting I go to the hospital, but I kept repeating “later,” as if there was a need to do something. The Fire Dept. escorted me back into the bedroom upstairs so I could retrieve some clothes and I vaguely looked at the damage. Through glazed over eyes, I could tell this fire had been very strange. There was enough time to get out, and the damage was hit and miss. Had I experienced another in a very mysterious trail of events?

It had been two years since my last husband’ s death. I had assumed, since it was from natural causes, that the spirit had also gone willingly. Perhaps it does …and then perhaps there is an essence that lingers to cause some mischief. Who knows? Where do these things begin and when do they end? Since Bob’s death, there had been a series of items missing from the house, things being moved from one room to another and general unrest occurring in the very atmosphere of our domain. I treated it as a simple haunting and began making quiet remarks to the spirits present or just ignoring their tricks. It was going to be a long haul until this was rectified. Having been visited by my second husband’s deceased father, I was in tune with friendly spirits in houses, but this was something different. This was vindictive. As I perused the waste of the fire, I noticed that items sitting side-by-side from the two husbands received different treatment. The items from my second husband, Bernie, were only singed or not touched at all, while those from Bob were consumed. I had fire experts and lay people alike view the results and they were all stumped. No one could even determine how or why the fire started. A true mystery of gargantuan proportions!

I continue to have “bad luck” but there appears to be some relief from the attacks and harassment of the past. I can only hope the worst is over. I would like to relate my story to you now, while I am in a state of near sanity.

The Hand Beyond
Chapter 2

It was a typical bright Florida morning in the middle of the state. Seemed like we had been traveling forever, but in reality, it was only a little over two hours when we came to Deland. Down the interstate, turn off into the deep pine forests past a very distinctive milk processing plant and into the depths of a different country, we rode that day. I had been told of the eeriness of the land, but I only found the countryside to be charming and beautiful. Spring always brings such loveliness to the woods, with assorted wildflowers blooming their purples, yellows, whites and pinks. We made our way slowly through the winding landscape until we approached a small village adorned with old oak trees spreading their beards of gray moss in the scorching sun. The three of us (Mom, Bernie and me) had made this sojourn in quest of some answers here in the heart of Cassadaga. We had come looking for a lady renowned in her abilities to see the past and the future, Reverend June . We parked the car and began walking around the village until we found the sign which professed Rev. June and her husband lived there. A quaint old home which had shown signs of numerous additions made in the past. We enjoyed the masses of flowers planted in her gardens and along the walkways, until her last clients appeared in the doorway to leave. We entered and asked Rev. June if we might see her for some readings. She needed about ten minutes of rest before beginning our sessions.

Each of us spent about twenty minutes with the Reverend and were delighted, if not somewhat perplexed by the results. Mom talked with Rev. June after the session in the reception area and told her that she was not convinced that her name was June. It should be Elizabeth, insisted my mother. June stepped back and a quiet smile crept over her face. She told us that her father wanted to name her Elizabeth, but that her mother won that battle. It was apparent that she knew my mother on another plane and felt that she, as well as the rest of us, were “sensitives.” That is a term used for those who have some connection with another communication sense. We had all experienced some form of extrasensory perceptions over the years, but my mother’s experiences were stronger than ours. Bernie had always believed in this kind of communication or “seeing,” but no time had brought it closer to home for him than experiencing a visitation from his deceased father about a week after our marriage. We were together in the house and some rattling of cabinets and dishes was heard. I called out that he was welcome in our home and that he knew where the cups were, so just help himself to coffee or whatever he wanted. During Bernie’s lifetime, I don’t think we were knowingly visited more than a few more times, but we always knew his Dad was there. He was a kindly person and never caused us harm or mischief. Bernie joined his Dad some ten years after our marriage. Oddly enough, I never actually felt any visitation from Bernie, but I have always believed he was around. His role was my protector/guide, and he was near whenever I needed him. Rev. June pointed out that I also had an Indian spirit guide and an older gentleman dressed in black that I presumed from the description was either my grandfather, who I never knew, or my great grandfather, who I visited and adored as a child. My mother would not talk about her session. I saw no need to violate that privacy.

Years later, after my father’s and Bernie’s deaths a few weeks apart, Mom and I journeyed to Cassadaga to see June again. We had made some adjustment to our losses, but we needed to meditate and commune with another “sensitive.” I asked June if she was ok, because sometime in March, I had felt a great loss for her. I apologized for not contacting her at the time, but Bernie was ill and there was little time to spare. Also, I had lost her number and was not sure how to contact her. She admitted that her husband had passed and that she was aware of my anxiety and compassion at that time. We seemed to meet on another level in our minds and I was more secure with her grief and with mine. She foresaw a number of radical changes for me and eventually additional learning and writing for publication. It seemed funny at the time, because I was never confident about my writing skills, although my senior English teacher taught me well, along with basics I received much earlier in my life. My Mom was again quiet about her session and we proceeded home, stopping in Deland for a nice meal and a new look at life.

The Hand Beyond
Chapter 3

It was one of those lazy summer days, filled with light fluffy clouds darting about the sky and shimmering streamers of heat dancing in the soft breezes sifting the powdery fine sand of the country roads. Reclining on a chaise beneath an ancient grey bearded oak tree, I could hear the final strains of Madame Butterfly crying from the public radio station. Each note was solemn and built upon itself a mountain of sadness in the depths of the orchestral moans. I was lost in the fantasy and magic of the opera’s sad conclusion and one’s inability to maintain control of reality and loss. Tears ran down my cheeks seeking the quickest retreat to their mad escape and I became aware of an emptiness I had not known before. Seeming to know my deepest thoughts, Socrates eased her way onto my lap and walked up my body until her eyes met mine in a melding of emotion. I cradled her in my arms and soothed her fur until I was filled by her purrs and cooing. She was my salvation since Bernie had passed, and she knew all my moods and needs. I rose from the recliner still cradling her love and made my way to the house. A cool glass of mint tea would soon bring me to an easier time and I could begin my studies.

Life was becoming more tortured with the addition of school after some twenty years of work, but I was trying to complete a dream…a goal to become a degreed person with an income that would support me. I was tired and frustrated by the fact that I had spent twenty years in the field I was endeavoring to study and master, and was still treated as an uneducated person. There was little time to coax the plants to do my bidding, or make those crafty things for my own pleasure, or play my violin. Each year brought new revelations of a body growing older and more riddled by arthritis, aches and pains. It seemed almost ludicrous to pursue a master’s at this time of my life, but I was doing it for my own survival. I gathered my tea and made my way into the den. It was paneled in white with deep rich pine shelving adorning one whole wall. The TV sat across from the double recliner bordered by large lamps triumphantly rising from bulky end tables which were also caverns of game-rich and filled spaces. No carpet or rugs adorned the floor, only mottled tiles rich in blues, greens, browns and yellows. The wet bar stood like a monument to Bernie, as he had wanted this structure more than anyone. The glasses shone with the sparkle of newly washed gems and all manner of color sprang to the air as I turned on the lights over their abode. I could not remember the last time we had watched the beer signs light up together and how they ran their little path ‘round and ‘round the picture. I leaned back in the recliner and closed my eyes. I could feel a slight breeze rustle my hair and knew Bernie was with me. I couldn’t see him, but my glass of tea moved slightly to a better spot on the end table and I smiled. Bernie was there and I grinned as I lifted the glass once more. I could imagine his path as other items moved in the room. The fireplace pieces jangled their brass extremities in a cacophonous accompaniment to the wind chimes’ tinkling clarity, and the perpetual motion machine started up on its own. I watched the orchestration as glasses sang out and cat toys rolled away in their jingling clamor and balls rolled around the pool table running into racks and cues and soft felt boards until they reached the leather strapped pockets with a final clink. I broke out into a laugh. Bernie was brightening my day as he had always done. I wondered if his Dad was helping? There was so much movement and joy in each event that I had to enjoy it. I thanked him and all who might be participating, then dozed off in the chair. I would live to know another day and be in awe of what the spirits could do to help and cheer me. I thanked God for their protection, love and guidance, and knew a peace I had not known for ages.

(To be continued and concluded in the March 2006 issue of Associates)

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