Chapter One of...
a soon-to-be-published, metaphysical novel © 2011
Many years before our solar system entered a mysterious, massive, energized, galactic cloud that dramatically transformed life on Earth there was a very-exclusive destination for the rich and famous called Broad Beach. It was a mile-long strip of sparkling white sand that, during the twentieth century, had been developed into about one hundred very-luxurious, very-private homes.
Located at the west end of Malibu, California the small, seaside community was a high-priced refuge for the elite movie stars, producers, writers and lawyers working in Hollywood: the former entertainment capitol of the world. The estimated value of that small tract of beach homes in the 1980s was more than one billion U.S. dollars.
At the time, American dollars were highly valued on Earth and a billion of them could purchase many things. Although no one wanted to admit it, much like a collective game of Russian roulette, at any moment a tidal wave could sweep across the coastline and wash the entire community of Malibu into the Pacific Ocean leaving a desolate landscape devoid of humans and their precious homes.
During much of the 1980s, the head of security for the very-influential Broad Beach home owners association was Bert Nosek. Bert was a Malibu local with intimidating, but handsome, Aryan features. He had bronze skin, light-brown hair, blue-green eyes, and a very-deep crease in his forehead located just above his nose which had been broken more than once. The single crease on his face was so deep it never got tan and on the rare moments when he was really relaxed it looked like a small, white scar. That crease, combined with his broken nose, made him appear angry even when he smiled.
At the time, Bert was in his twenties and he made a rather colorful first impression at work because he wore a red bathing suit, a red windbreaker and he rode a red all-terrain-vehicle the home owners association had provided for him to patrol the beach with. He was frequently followed by a friendly, but annoying, pack of local dogs. Bert was usually a nice guy, but when someone was trespassing and refused to move along he was verbally skilled at giving them a very hard time. Such a hard time, in fact, that most of them left and never returned.
From Bert's perspective, the beach security's role was extremely important. He believed he was there to help the homeowners retain legal control of their private property. According to the laws at that time, the homeowners had very-expensive parcels of the beach that extended from the street to the mean high tide. This meant they owned the beach to the wet sand or even into the water if the tide was up.
Bert often wished he had a dollar for every time someone had argued with him that no one could own the ocean. Bert took a different view of the situation because he had been warned by the legal team for the homeowners that if a court of law ever determined the public had actually attained "passive access," by routinely sitting on the dry sand above the mean high tide, the homeowners would lose control of their precious, private beachfront.
For some reason, this legal loophole troubled the homeowners more than the impending, destructive force of a tidal wave. Perhaps it was because, unlike a tidal wave, the public was something the homeowners could control. Like it or not, it was Bert's job to keep the public off the private area of the beach even if it meant calling the sheriff's office to arrest someone for trespassing. At times, especially during the high summer season, Bert could be the meanest, mean-tide enforcer on the planet.
He once heard that people were complaining about him in other beach communities as far away as Tahiti. There were a few people that thought Bert was a Nazi and said so to his face. But that was all about to dramatically change one fateful year.
In 1985, as usual, summer officially ended on September 21, the fall equinox, which was just another postcard-perfect day in Malibu. Bert was still working even though it was very quite at the beach. All the kids were supposed to be back in school and Bert's seasonal job was nearly at an end. In some ways, those last few weeks of work felt more like a paid vacation.
While stationed at the public walkway, Bert could visually survey the entire private beach. He had a weathered, old, circular, redwood table and a folding chair. His surfboard was leaning up against a brick wall that defined the public walkway, and his ATV was parked nearby. As usual, one of the local dogs, a wet and sandy golden retriever, stood by impatiently waiting for someone to toss a tennis ball into the water.
Bert's girlfriend Mandy, and her friend Eva, had skipped school and come to the beach for a visit. Since he wasn't busy, Bert invited the girls to go for a swim. While they splashed, screamed, and laughed in the surf, Bert caught a few waves. Afterwards, Bert took his surfboard over to a storage area at a nearby beach house. He quickly put the board away, walked to the other side of the house and took a hot, outdoor shower which was a real luxury.
As he walked from the house back to the beach, he noticed a young boy, who looked about eight-or-nine-years old, digging in the sand. "Havin' fun?" Bert inquired.
"Yeah" the boy replied robotically without smiling or looking up.
To Bert, it seemed odd that the boy wasn't glad to be out of school and playing at the beach on such a beautiful day. Curious, Bert then noticed a large, deep scar on the boy's forehead and wondered how he had got it, but decided not to ask. Perhaps the kid was home from school because he was feeling ill. Bert considered that a blow to the head hard enough to create that type of scar could also cause severe headaches.
Realizing there was nothing he could do for the boy Bert shrugged his shoulders and jogged back to his beach chair, rapidly rubbed on some sun-tan lotion, and got comfortable. After a few minutes, the intense sunlight had warmed his copper-colored body to the bone and he began feeling very relaxed and glad to be alive. It was a rare moment that he wished would last forever.
Suddenly, the shocking sound of a very large piece of plate glass breaking rippled through the calm morning air which caused Bert to reflexively turn his head toward the event as he jumped up from his chair. He was surprised that, for some reason, time seemed to slow down and his vision telescoped toward the sound. The gut-wrenching sound had come from the house where minutes earlier he had just taken a shower. In a surreal moment, Bert saw a boy behind the glass. His head violently bounced backwards after slamming into and shattering the large, sliding glass door located on the second story of the beach house.
It was then that Bert realized it was the boy he had met just minutes ago. Bert watched in horror as the boy reflexively clutched both his hands to his bloody face. In the next instant, a tall, adult man appeared from the shadows behind the boy and swept him up in his arms. Then, time seemed to suddenly speed up as massive amounts of adrenalin surged through Bert's body. He sprinted to the beach house with super-human speed and quickly opened the door without knocking. Although the owners of the house knew him well, Bert realized the people using the house that day were just guests.
As he ran up the stairs, Bert didn't hear the boy screaming or crying which worried him even more. "Security!" he yelled as he raced to the top of the stairs. He then walked quickly into the living room where the boy's grandmother was standing in shock. The color had drained from her face and she was staring into space like a statue.
"Has anyone... called 911?" Bert asked while trying to catch his breath.
"My husband took Tommy to the bedroom to stop the bleeding."
"Did you call the paramedics?" Bert asked in deadly serious tone, still trying to catch his breath. As the grandmother silently shook her head Bert spun around, quickly scanned the room, found a phone, and called for help. After he hung up, he surveyed the scene.
"The paramedics are on their way and should be here very soon. Do you have something I can clean up this glass with?"
"I guess so," she replied still in shock. Bert searched the house and soon found what he needed. But as he was carefully cleaning up the bloody, razor-sharp shards of broken glass, something invisible touched him like a cold breeze, and the hair on the back of his neck stood up.
Whatever it was, it caught one hundred and ten percent of Bert's attention. At that moment, he had an illogical, horrifying feeling that some kind of paranormal parasite was in the house, and it was actually feeding off the negative energy generated by the physical pain and fearful emotions of the traumatic event. Bert didn't want to upset the grandmother any further, but his curiosity and survival instincts had now kicked into over drive.
"How did this happen?" He asked while trying to appear calm.
"I'm just glad the sliding door was shut or... this could have been a lot worse."
"I really can't explain it. He was just sitting there on the floor in front of me. The next thing I knew... he was running full speed across the room toward the balcony. If the sliding door was open... he would have jumped over the railing and fallen to his death."
"Look, I know it's really none of my business, but earlier I saw your grandson playing out in front of the house and I noticed he has a large scar on his forehead."
Looking puzzled she said, "Yes, you're right, he does."
"May I ask how he got that?"
"It was about a year ago. He was in the back of his dad's pickup truck playing with a cat. The cat jumped out of the bed of the truck and Tommy jumped out after him head first and hit his face on the trailer hitch. I probably shouldn't tell you this, but for some strange reason, Tommy thinks he can fly."
Alarm bells suddenly went off in Bert's head as he visualized the boy jumping out of the truck. It was clear that something was very wrong with this situation, but he instinctively knew this wasn't the right time or place to deal with the problem: he needed more information... and a plan.
Later, after the paramedics had stabilized the boy and drove off with their sirens blaring, Bert walked slowly back to his post with a pain in the pit of his stomach that felt like it was draining his life force away; eating at his soul. It was unlike anything he had ever experienced before.
He was deeply troubled in a way he had never known and was trying to stay calm in the midst of the mental chaos he was experiencing. It was a survival technique he had learned during his training as a Junior Lifeguard. He knew that if you get caught in an undertow in the surf you don't panic because it only makes things worse. You have to save your energy until you reach calmer waters and then swim for shore. But, hard as he tried, Bert couldn't shake the feeling there was something supernatural in that house that had touched him.
Later, after work, he went to visit his neighbor Louis to try and get some answers. Louis listened calmly and sympathetically to Bert's account of the day's dramatic events. Louis was no stranger to physical trauma. Decades earlier he had become a quadriplegic during a terrible car accident. One night, he and his friends were driving back to their naval base in Georgia.
Unfortunately, they were very drunk. Louis was passed out in the back seat. Later, when he woke up, he was told by a very-pretty, very-polite nurse that there had been a head on automobile collision and that his friends were dead. To his horror, he then realized he was strapped into a hospital bed and was paralyzed from the neck down. He was also extremely hung over and doped up on massive injections of morphine. However, Louis was young and lucky in some ways. With a lot of physical therapy, and prayer, he progressed relatively quickly and soon regained control over his upper body relatively quickly. The way he saw it, from his down-home southern perspective, being half a man was better than being dead.
"I walked right out of that hospital more than once, in my other body," Louis grinned like a little kid on a swing even though he was sitting in his very-worn, badly weathered wheel chair.
"That's how I found the will to survive. Even now, I love to go for walks on the beach." But Bert was sitting cross-legged on the floor lost in his own thoughts.
He said, "I don't know what to do about this Louis. It feels like something is sucking my spirit down a drain!"
After a moment of silence, Bert realized what Louis had just said, "Wait... did you say you were walking?"
"Don't tell anyone, but I can walk whenever and wherever I want," he said in a serious, secretive tone.
"Man! That's really weird." Bert stared at his old friend for a moment as a memory flashed through his mind. "I mean... for years I have been meaning to tell you that when I see you in my dreams... you can get out of your wheelchair and walk around. I'm always so amazed every time I see you can do that, but I never mentioned it because I thought it was just a crazy dream!"
"Well, it's not crazy. It's natural. My grandma told me that everyone has a spirit body. I didn't believe her 'till I ended up paralyzed in that hospital bed."
"You know, that's really interesting Louis, but I still don't know how to deal with what happened to that boy at the beach today. What would you do?"
Louis closed his eyes and was silent for a few moments. Then, he slowly opened his eyes, looked at Bert, and said, "I would drive up to the mountains right about now. And I would find a spot where I could see the sun setting. And in the last ten minutes or so I would stare deeply into its energy without blinking until I had a vision. You see, tonight is the autumnal equinox. It's a time for nature to find balance. Just remember, balance is a zone that is always located between two opposing forces. To enter and stay in that zone, you must be neutral."
Bert felt a surge of positive energy as he stood up from the floor. He thanked Louis and then hopped onto his motorcycle and sped off. He rode up to the mountains like a man on a mission. He understood he had encountered something evil and he felt that the only way to defeat it was with the aid of something good. Though he didn't know how it would happen, in his heart, he was determined to find a way to defeat the evil entity.
For some reason, even though Bert had grown up in Malibu, he had never been to the top of the mountains before, so he just followed his instincts and rode toward what appeared to be the highest part of the Santa Monica Mountains. Eventually, he found a narrow, dirt road that veered left off the main road toward a mountain peak, so he slowed down and turned on to it.
The old, unmaintained road started off smooth and flat, but as it wound tightly up and around the mountain it became dangerously steep in a couple of places. It was also a challenge to navigate his bike safely through the bushes and deeply-worn, rocky ruts, but Bert was not concerned. He loved riding motorcycles in any terrain, in any weather, at any time of day or night.
When he reached the top of the mountain he could tell it had been leveled by a bulldozer many years earlier. He then noticed the odd-looking remains of a small cement building that had no walls and no roof; just four columns and four beams.
At first glance, it reminded Bert of some sort of temple. As he rode over to the modern ruins and parked his bike, Bert recalled reading that a NIKE anti-missile civilian defense network had been installed along the Santa Monica Mountains during the 1950s courtesy of the Cold War. It had recently been dismantled, in the 1980s. He felt it was a bit ironic that he had stumbled on an abandon radar station for a nuclear missile defense system while seeking a supernatural defense of his own.
The view from the mountain top was breathtaking. Bert could see all the surrounding mountain ranges behind him and the Pacific Ocean and the Channel Islands in front of him. The fragrant, chaparral-scented air was unusually clear that evening due to the warm, dry wind gently blowing from the desert to the sea. He had arrived in time to watch the sun setting in the west and the full moon rising in the east. He found a spot of wild grass to sit down on cross-legged. Then, he decided to face due north and tilt his head back as far as it could go. This unique position allowed him to see the sun with his left eye and the moon with his right.
After a while his neck hurt, so he focused all his attention on the last glimmering of the sun. Staring deeply into the orange-glowing light he mentally asked God for strength and guidance. After the sun had set, he got up and stretched his legs. Because he wasn't planning to stay the night, he hadn't brought any food, water or a bedroll.
He decided that he would meditate until he got tired and then ride back home. Bert had never really meditated before. He had read about it, and had talked to people that thought it was great, but it never seemed necessary to him. He sat back down in the same spot in the grass and crossed his legs again. It was only semi-dark due to the full moon rapidly rising and the sky beginning to sparkle with starlight. And as the sky grew a bit darker, he could see the Milky Way passing slowly overhead.
Bert felt like he had entered a dream state. It was surreal the way the natural light was subtly illuminating the surrounding mountains and the warm-scented breeze brushed his hair while thousands of crickets all around the mountain were chirping loudly in a rhythmic, almost hypnotic pattern. Suddenly, Bert had a flashback of the sound of the boy crashing into the glass. He recalled being touched by something invisible, something evil. Confusion and doubt began seeping into his mind and he wondered how he could possibly find anything out in the wilderness to help him fight the entity he had encountered earlier that day.
He looked up at the stars and considered where he was sitting at the moment. As he closed his eyes, breathed deeply, and relaxed, his mind drifted back in time and he could see visualize that when this radar station was operational it used to receive and send signals at a distance. This led to a very-strange idea. What if he tried sending a distress signal into space from this site? Perhaps he would receive an answer. But how could he send a signal powerful enough to be picked up in space? He didn't even have a flashlight.
After a few moments of contemplation, he decided that he would mentally project one thought for as long as possible. Rather than sending a fearful distress signal Bert instead chose a positive, universal thought: love. A few minutes later, he realized that by using the power of sound he could construct a stairway to the stars using the harmonics of a single tone. He began slowly chanting the ancient, sacred tone "ohm." After about thirty minutes his head was tingling and he was feeling tired, so he stood up and took a break.
After walking around for a little while, he sat down again, and resumed the task at hand. He decided to try and boost the audio signal by placing his tongue up against the roof of his mouth while humming deeply from his diaphragm. Upon doing so, the top of his head really began tingling. Mentally he could picture a beam of energy projecting out of the top of his head and extending into the sky. Then, he realized that there was another source of energy he could use... the mountain. He had read about vortexes that concentrated the Earth's energy. These locations were historically considered sacred sites by native people. Perhaps this peak was such a place.
He then visualized a stream of energy spiraling out of the earth where he was sitting. He mentally saw it surging through the base of his spine and moving up his body. And then he realized that there were thousands of crickets chirping all around him that night. Perhaps he could tap into their sonic signal. Bert began timing his signal, like a Morse code, with the collective eee... eeee... eee... eeee of the crickets. It was now or never. He summoned all the physical and mental strength he had and focused on the moment, the energy, and projected the thought of love... love... love... love.
As time passed, and nothing happened, Bert grew weary. He thought about riding back home, but realized he was too tired. He decided it would be safer for him to rest a while before going anywhere. He stood up and slowly stretched the kinks out of his legs. The ground was too rocky to lie down on comfortably so he walked over to the ruins of the radar station. Unfortunately, over time, the place had been littered with broken beer bottles and obscene graffiti from kids that went there to party in their four-wheel drive trucks.
Bert looked closely at the four concrete pillars attached to the cement foundation and noticed there were ledges on the base of the pillars that were large enough for him to lie down on. He chose a ledge that was shaded from the bright moonlight, placed his motorcycle gloves behind his head, zipped his jacket up all the way, folded his arms, let out a deep sigh and closed his eyes. The cement was still slightly warm from being baked all day by the sun. The ledge was hard, but at least it was flat, and smooth, and surprisingly comfortable for a block of cement.
Although his mind was still racing, Bert's body began to relax and he suddenly had the sensation he was floating up. He had felt this way many times before while falling asleep so he didn't resist. But what seemed really odd this time was that he was now floating in a white light brighter than anything he had ever seen before. He marveled at this experience for a moment, but soon realized there was something coming toward him from a distance which made him very uneasy.
He watched intently as the figure of a man wearing a glowing-white robe slowly came into focus as he approached. The unusual-looking man stopped when he was directly in front of Bert and looked him in the eye. Feeling very apprehensive, Bert naturally wondered who this individual was and what he wanted. Instantly responding to Bert's inner thoughts, the man replied, "I am your Father. I am here to help."
Although help is what he had requested, Bert was completely caught off guard and felt very confused by the enigmatic figure that didn't look anything like his dad. This Father had long hair and a beard. And although the pupils of a normal human's eyes are black, the center of the Father's eyes radiated an intense white light that outshone the extremely-radiant light they were both immersed in!
In that moment time seemed to stand still. Looking into the face of the Father, a thousand questions raced through Bert's mind at once. The Father's reaction was to simply laugh. It was not an evil laugh. In fact, Bert got the impression that the Father was genuinely amused by the situation. In the very next moment, from Bert's perspective, he was sitting up. He then quickly stood up and started walking in circles while trying to comprehend what had just happened. "What the... wait a minute... who the heck was that?"
Suddenly, he realized that the moon was now setting in the west and the first glow of sunrise was beginning to illuminate the sky to the east. Although he didn't have a watch Bert knew hours had passed. "That's impossible!" he yelled.
"I was only laying there for a few minutes. I wasn't even asleep yet. What the hell happened?" At this point, he was totally perplexed, so he sat down and waited for the sun to come up over the horizon before leaving. But rather than going home and getting cleaned up, Bert rode straight back to the beach and dove into the cool ocean water. Then, he took a hot shower at the house where he kept his surfboard.
After drying off and warming up he felt an urgent need to go back into the house and check on the boy that had cut his face open the day before. He walked slowly over to the house and knocked on the door. There was no answer, so he opened the door and walked to the bottom of the stairs.
"Hello? Is anyone home?" Moments later, the boy's grandparents appeared at the top of the stairs and silently peered down at him. He could tell they were physically tired and emotionally drained.
"Sorry to bother you. I just wanted to see how your grandson is doing."
"Well… he lost a lot of blood and required over three hundred stitches, but the doctors have assured us he's going to pull through," the grandfather said solemnly as he laid his hand on his wife's shoulder trying to comfort her.
Bert suddenly had an overwhelmingly bad feeling again. It was like a cold wind blowing against his back while standing on the edge of cliff. He knew the dark entity was still feeding on the family's pain. He paused a moment, reflected on his experience in the light with the Father, and then felt the energy in him shift dramatically.
It was now warm and moving up his spine as it had the night before. He took a deep breath and gently said, "Look, I know this is going to sound really weird, but I have an important message for you."
He realized he was about to cross a point of no return, but he was determined to finish what he had started. His voice grew lower and louder and seemed to fill the entire house as he said, "You can heal the cuts on your grandson's face... but if you don't do something to help him heal the scars on his soul he will hurt himself again. And each time the wounds will be worse than before."
Bert was shocked by the compassion and intensity of the message he had delivered to people that he didn't even know. He was emotionally overwhelmed by the moment. He quickly turned and left before the boy's grandparents could see tears welling up in his eyes.
Later that day, Eva showed up again only this time she was not with Bert's girlfriend Mandy. Bert briefly glanced over as Eva sat down nearby and noticed that for some reason she was staring at him with a very-weird grin.
"I saw you in a dream last night," she said.
"Right," he said while lost in his own thoughts.
"And you taught me how to fly!"
It took a moment to sink in, but Bert was stunned when he realized what she was actually saying. He was very reluctant to tell Eva everything that had occurred in the past twenty-four hours. How could he? Even he didn't really know what had taken place during those missing hours the night before, but he knew that floating and flying was pretty much the same thing. Even so, he wasn’t sure exactly what had happened to him and was worried Eva might think he was losing his mind and tell Mandy which definitely would not go well.
"So, do you remember what else we did in your dream?"
"Of course. It was like a scene from Peter Pan. You came to my window and took my hand, and then we flew up to the mountains."
"Are you serious?"
"I'm totally serious. In fact, I've been learning about drea
ms in my psychology class. Apparently, flying in your dreams is supposed to mean something spiritual." "That's weird."
"Yeah, but it gets even weirder. I was being a bit of a bitch."
"OK, I forgive you... and then what happened?"
"Well, you were showing me how to fly around and I was like... no way! You really expect me to do that? I can't fly. Then you got all pissed off and put me in a shopping cart and started pushing me down the mountain really fast. And I thought that was totally ridiculous, so I jumped out of the shopping cart and started flying by myself. I was like... this is totally incredible! And you followed me all the way back to my house, and made sure I was safe, and then you flew away," she said with a huge smile on her face and a twinkle in her eyes as she lit a cigarette.
Bert smiled back at her and shook his head. This was just too strange.
That evening he arrived home feeling exhausted. The phone was ringing when he opened the door. He tossed his motorcycle helmet on the couch, picked up the receiver and said, "Yes?"
"There you are," his grandmother's voice said sweetly.
"Oh, hi Granny."
"You sound tired, so I won't keep you. I just called to say that I saw you in my bedroom last night."
"Let me guess... I came in the window and taught you how to fly," he said sarcastically.
"No, you were standing at the foot of my bed... telling me something... and for some reason you were all lit up like a Christmas tree."
"What? Are you sure it was me?" Bert suddenly felt energy flowing up his spine again.
"Of course I could tell it was you. You're my favorite grandson Bert. But, it was just so beautiful the way the light sparkled all around you. I had to call and tell you about it. That was definitely one of the strangest dreams I have ever had. I was in my bed, and I woke up and saw you standing there in the light smiling at me. But, for some reason, no matter how hard I try, I cannot recall what you said to me."
"Well, that makes two of us. I appreciate you telling me about this, but I'm really tired right now. Can I call you back this weekend?"
"OK Bert. I love you."
"I love you too Granny. Goodnight."
Please check back periodically for updates to the progress of my novel.
Robert M. Stanley
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