Power to Scare


       Irritation filled the medium's voice. "The spirits won't talk to you if you don't believe who they are!"
       "Fine," I said. "Any spirit guide of mine who doesn't even know my real name probably couldn't tell me much of value anyway."
       The assistant cleared his throat. "The physical demands of conducting these sessions are very draining. It's time to end."
       The medium prayed, then meditated as dim lights came on. The assistant slowly turned the lights brighter. The medium straightened in her chair and talked with various attendees.
       "This is so-o-o wonderful!" the elderly woman's enthusiasm bubbled over loudly. "I'm so-o-o glad I can keep in touch with my husband! His advice helps me so-o-o much!"
       I overheard a middle-aged man say, "My business training and experience sure didn't prepare me to pull myself out of the financial mess I'm in. Sure, it'll be high interest, but I'm going tomorrow morning to see about getting the loan my spirit guide suggested. Man, will I be glad to get my life turned around!"
       Everyone else seemed absorbed in their own experience. I was shocked that no one else seemed even slightly concerned about my "spirit guide" not knowing my name. "In my opinion," I told my friend as I started the car, "that was a bunch of malarkey."
       "But what about the other voices? What about that woman who makes it through life because she can hear from her husband?"
       "There may be something to seances held where the participants can see what's going on, but the intense darkness is crazy. Doesn't take much of an actor to fake different voices. Why the total darkness, anyway?"
       "When it's dark, there are less distractions. It's easier to meditate."
       "Well, you can go back as often as you like, but I'm not wasting my time. It was nothing but a show."
       So-o-o, where do I look?
       The highlight of my life was the monthly weekend visits with Jodi. Her little-girl playfulness relaxed me. And since she'd only have a daddy till she was six, I treasured each opportunity to teach her what I had learned.
       I enjoyed work in Muncie. Hosting the talk show kept life challenging and interesting. As production director, I broadened my experience in producing commercials and organizing things so that each commercial was taped by the appropriate person and in the studio before its time to play. With The Hotline and my mid-day music show, people all over town recognized my voice. I delighted in the variety of people who said "I love your show!"
       But prestige wasn't as gratifying as I'd hoped. My spiritual quest deepened. By the time I accepted a position with WAMS in Wilmington, Delaware, I didn't even have to induce hypnosis to glimpse other lives. Visions came off and on -- something like daydreams, but much more vivid.
       As music director and afternoon drive announcer at WAMS, I met a number of recording artists. Some excelled in self. Others seemed genuinely interested in local events and people. Barry Manilow, for one. He had served as Bette Midler's music director and had wowed her fans with his mid-show performance. Eventually, he went out on his own. As music director at WAMS, I and five other radio personalities were invited to Philadelphia to attend one of his first concerts and then to meet him in his dressing room backstage. He was every bit as personable one-on-one as he was on stage. When his first song "Mandy" was released several weeks later, we started playing it immediately.
       A year later, Barry Manilow was back in Philadelphia at a much larger theater. He'd had a blockbuster year -- articles galore were written about him, he faced radio and TV interviews constantly, and "Mandy" had just hit Number One in the nation on the Billboard "Hot 100" music chart. With his exploding popularity, instead of a half-dozen radio invitees, several hundred people jammed into a much larger dressing room. When I stopped to shake the singer's hand, he smiled and said, "How's it going at WAMS, Jay?"
       I couldn't believe my ears. Had I been from a major station, I probably would have been cynical. But, being from a small station that couldn't do much to advance his career, I was amazed!
       One afternoon the Pointer Sisters were scheduled to stop at our station. I expected them to come in, do a few minutes on air, record a few station promotional announcements, jump into their lime, and leave. Fifteen minutes, tops.
       So much for expectations. After the interview, they stayed all afternoon. They helped me do my show. They talked to people on the phone. They hung around the station doing whatever came to mind. They filled the station with fun, friendliness, and humor.
       It didn't take long to see there was as wide a variety in the characters of celebrities as in the rest of the world's population. And it felt good to have respectable celebrities showing me respect.
       One afternoon during my show, the secretary cracked open the studio door. "There's a lady out here who won a record in your contest."
       "Tell her I'll be there to get it as soon as I start the next song."
       Minutes later when I turned the corner, I did a double take. An incredibly beautiful woman smiled up at me pleasantly. Whoa! She listens to me?
       I gathered my wits, led her to my office, thanked her for listening, gave her the record, and shook my head as she left. A couple days later she called with a request. Come to find out, she had been a regular caller to request songs while I was on the air. But now I placed that name and voice with a mental image of a lady with long black hair, olive skin, brown eyes that danced, and a smile that could warm a cold day.
       Eventually, I asked Maria to dinner. She was a real head-turner. As we got better acquainted, I found she was more than beautiful. She was also fun and friendly. One evening on the phone, she said, "The other day on the radio you mentioned karma on your show. Do you believe in karma?"
       "Yes, matter of fact, I do," I responded, thinking I may have just lost a listener and a friend.
       "You believe in reincarnation?"
       "Yes, I believe in it and look forward to learning and growing as rapidly as I can. Why do you ask?"
       "Well, I believe in it too. And I just really appreciate knowing others who have grown beyond tradition and embraced advanced spiritual concepts."
       Our shared belief in reincarnation drew us together. As I became acquainted with Maria, I repeatedly saw a vision of the two of us meeting in front of a white stone building that looked like it was of ancient Greek or Roman architecture. We met to talk but were always very quiet about it. I sensed it was some sort of clandestine meeting.
       "Maria," I Said one evening, "I keep seeing a vision of us meeting together."
       She smiled. "Do we by any chance meet in front of a white stone building?"
       My eyes widened. "Yes."
       "And stairs on either side of the building meet at the top forming a small porch in front of a door? And small recessed windows flank the door on left and right?"
       My mouth dropped open. "Yes."
       "And we both wear white, except your tunic has a dark tie around the waist?"
       "Maria, I can't believe it! That's exactly what I saw. How'd you know?"
       "I've seen it too," she said matter-of-factly. "We were together in Greece a long time ago in former lives."
       I just sat there shaking my head.
       Then she asked, "Do you remember ever being a sailor?"
       "Perish the thought!" I grimaced. "I get seasick just thinking about the ocean!"
       "But have you ever seen anything in a vision that would even suggest life as a sailor?"
       "Not in this life or any other," I assured her. "One trip to Korea in a troop transport ship with my head hanging over the railing is more than enough ocean travel for many lives!"
       "Well, my dear, even if you've not seen it yet," Maria assured me, "you were a sailor in another lifetime. I was your girl in the home port and whenever you returned, we spent most of our time together."
       "O-o-o-K." I shuddered at the thought.
       "Yes, I've even seen you and me together by a scraggly tree on top of a big cliff of white rocks overlooking water. I'm not positive, but I think we were likely on the white cliffs of Dover, England."
       "OK, OK. I'm glad it was a former lifetime! And I certainly hope I don't have any karma to work off on an ocean!"
       Maria laughed at my dismay.
       "By the way," I said, "a while back you mentioned that you used to have greater psychic powers than you do now."
       Maria's face blanched.
       I pressed on. "Why do you think you lost the power?"
       She shivered. "I didn't lose it, exactly. I suppress it."
       "Why?"
       "Because ..." Maria shuddered as her voice trailed off. Her expression turned dark as a thundercloud. "Never mind. I haven't told a soul."
       "It's OK. You can trust me with it."
       "It scares me."
       "Why?"
       "I don't want to be responsible for it."
       "What do you mean?" I urged her on.
       "Well, I didn't use to realize the power that was involved." She stared out the window. "Then a friend of mine was dating a real jerk. One evening Mike beat her up because dinner wasn't ready when he arrived. No questions. Just beat her up. Broke her arm and bloodied and bruised her all over. The next afternoon she dropped by and we talked a while. I got so angry I said, 'I wish he were dead!'
       "The words were barely out of my mouth when my friend looked at her watch and jumped up. 'Ouch!' She winced when she bumped the cast on her arm against the table. 'Hey, it's 3:25. I've got an appointment at 3:30.'"
       "She took off. A couple hours later she telephoned. 'Have you heard the news?'"
       "'No,' I said, 'Why?'"
       "'Mike was killed in a car accident.'"
       "The news that night said witnesses saw the car swerve off the road and hit a tree at 3:25 p.m. It was daylight. The road was dry. There weren't any cars near enough to cause a problem. There was no apparent reason. And he was killed instantly."
       She sighed. "At 3:25 I said 'I wish he were dead.' At the same moment, he died." She looked down at her feet, then closed her eyes and shook her head. "I feel responsible for his death."

 

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