Friday, July 25, 2008

Past Lives - Part 7

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.

If you are just joining us, please read Part 1 of the story and follow the links at the end of each story to learn where David's journey takes him. Please note that you will be traveling to different blogs as each author adds their story.

Henry from the roof- “Hey boss! Don’t stand right under it! Move outta the way. Please, Boss! If it drops…..”

Zane- “Shut-up! Get that thing off of that rope right now!

Henry- “As you wish, Mr. Zane.”

CRASH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stop!

Dr. Harlowe switches off the video.
"David, is this too upsetting for you? It's been over a week since your last visit and I hope you are rested and have been thinking about your progress."

David has a stunned look on his face. He can't speak. He stares at the blank monitor where he witnessed himself reliving a traumatic death.

"David? Are you alright?"

David blinks and clears his throat. "Yes, Dr. Harlowe. I'm fine."

"Have you been able to understand how some of your phobias may have rooted in your repressed memories?"

"Um.. yeah, I guess." says David. "I can easily see where my fear of being trapped or tied up came from."

"You sound as if there is more we haven't touched on. Can you share your feelings right now? What else is bothering you? Talk to me David."

"Well Dr. Harlowe, there's the water thing. I thought if I joined the Navy it would get me over my fear of water. I am confused by it. I love the ocean. I am intrigued by it's beauty and mystery. Yet, you couldn't get me to swim in it on a bet. Same goes for lakes and even swimming pools."

"What scares you about swimming pools?" Harlowe asks.

"It's the thought of swimming near the drain and getting stuck." David replies almost as if he were talking to himself.

"Lets explore that a bit more this session, shall we?" Dr. Harlowe dims the lights and begins regressing David to a time when he was traumatized by water.

David starts to panick and choke.

"David...listen to me...DAVID....go back further...a little earlier..."

Davids breathing slows and he's calm.

Harlowe: "Tell me...what is your name? I would like to know how old you are and what year it is."

"My name is Seth Wilkes. I am 14 years old. The year is 1864 and I live in New Bedford, Massachusetts with my mama, little sister Victoria and Grammy. Two months ago mama agreed to let me set sail on the Charles W. Morgan whaling ship. I have always dreamed of working on a whaling ship. Cap’n Morgan is my uncle. He says I’m too scrawny to ever be first mate but I can be his cabin boy. He even let me bring Lilly, my Australian shepherd along. She has a heart shape right on her forehead. That’s why mama said she knew we were meant to be together, I have the mark of a red heart on my arm. Grammy says it’s from an angels kiss.

I am old enough to learn a trade. Ever since Daddy died, Grammy said I would have to be the man of the house. I had polio when was little so now I walk with a limp. Mom says I am lucky to be alive. She says what I lack in size I make up for in heart. I hope I have a good heart. Mom says Daddy died because his heart just wasn’t strong enough.

My family has a long history in the whaling business. Uncle Morgan says whales are primarily hunted for their oil, which is used for lighting and lubrication. Uncle says that oil from New Bedford lights the world, making our city one of the richest in the country! Since nearly half of the world’s whaling fleet is based along the coast of New England it is only natural that I follow in the family tradition of whaling.

We have been at sail for 6 weeks. So far I am adjusting to being at sea okay. I got real bad sick the first couple of weeks. All the crew just laughed at me every time I had to run from the dinner table to get sick. Lilly didn’t get sick at all. She stays right by my side. Uncle forbids her from his cabin because he has his dumb fat cat Manny in there. Lilly wouldn’t hurt Manny but Uncle spoils that cat something awful. It’s my job to clean up the quarters and that includes Manny’s quarters. He has a fancy purple satin pillow he sleeps on. When Uncle sits by the fire in his velvet red chair, Manny is always in his lap.

I have a bed made up in a little room just off Uncles room. It’s real small and doesn’t have a window so I don’t stay in it much. Sometimes I just sleep down below with Lilly in the store room. It’s warm in there and smells like home. The smell of flour always reminds me of Grammy’s homemade bread. How I would love a piece of her hot bread smothered in honey right now.

The worst part of being at sea is First Mate Obed Hendrix. He has a monkey that rides on his shoulder. He got it on one of their trips to Tahiti. The monkeys name is Simon. Lilly hates Simon. She barks at him every time she gets the chance. One time she chased him all over the deck and everybody laughed except Obed. He told me if I didn’t keep her away from Simon he would toss her overboard. Obed and Simon are just alike, mean and ugly! Obed makes me clean up after that horrid beast. Simon will throw poo at you if you aren’t careful. Uncle just laughs and says it keeps the crew entertained. Just wait until Simon throws poo on uncle, he will certainly have a change of heart!

I heard tale of a ship that was crushed to pieces by a bowhead whale. That whale is found in the Bering Sea. We are headed there now. It’s said there are so many whales being slaughtered there that the sea turned red.
Uncle has always hunted the east coast for the sperm whale. It is mostly sought after because of the quantity of oil it contains and because it floats when it is killed. The ship has many functions and one is to serve as a mother ship to a fleet of smaller whale boats that 6 men row out to kill the whale and drag it back to the ship. It also has a brick oven used to melt the whale blubber which is then stored in vats. Below we also store thousands of pounds of whale bone to sell when we get back to port.
Tonight after dinner Lilly got after Simon again. Simon started it. Lilly was minding her business chewing on a piece of whale bone I gave her. Simon jumped down from the cupboard and snatched it right from her mouth. Lilly knocked the cake off the table that was for desert. Everybody was mad at Lilly. Obed said if she didn’t get locked up he wouldn’t be responsible if she disappeared. I decided to sleep in the store room with Lilly. I don’t trust Obed.

All of a sudden I awoke from sleep by this awful noise. It scares the bajeezus out of me. Then…*bam* there it is again. I hear men swearing and there are boxes and bottles falling from the shelves. What is happening? Is it a whale?
The ship is tossing and crashing hard. A keg of ale is rolling toward us. I grab Lilly and try to reach the door. Just then another huge crash and water is filling the room. I scream. A shelf has fallen and trapped me. Lilly is swimming toward me. I can’t move my arms. I’m trapped. Water is rising to my neck. Mama…all I can think of is mama…and Lilly……."

To read PART 8 in David's journey, you will be travelling to Rocksnowhite, in Romania. David's next PLR Session is in the next couple of days so check back to find out where his past life journey takes him.
If you would like to contribute a story and join in David's journey, please email



redchair said...

Oh My Gosh Jules,
Wonderful story!! You did such a great job, but I knew you would. And what a relief: No longer am I the only one who kills a child in her PLR story.

Seth is so sweet. It breaks my heart when the water starts to fill the cabin. (I found myself saying ‘No- Don’t do it Jules! You’ll feel so guilty! I still haven’t got past my Sassy guilt! )

Manny and I are honored to be in your story and I love the endearing way you made reference to the red heart. Absolutely beautiful presentation on your blog and I love the pictures. They brought us into the time and place and walk right along with your story. And photo of the little boy! -He’s such a perfect Seth.

Your description of Seth dealing with all the personalities was exactly what a child that age would do. I had absolutely no idea how you planned to bring him to his demise until we got there. You suggest underlying possibilities with his dog, etc.- but didn’t give it away. Nicely written. Great job, Jules.

Jules said...

Oh my gosh Vikki!
I was so scared to even look just now to see if anybody read it yet.

The photo is one of my Dad when he was young. I really wanted to use it. I photoshopped a heart on his arm but it doesn't show up. And one on Lilly.

I really appreciate your very kind compliments. Were you referring to my reference to you as Victoria or the RED CHAIR Uncle sat in by the fire? wink wink

Lilly's Life said...

Oh Jules, I thought I posted a comment earlier and its gone into the nevernever...

This story is AMAZING. Seriously. You have a real gift for story telling and it is extremely well written. It is also clear that you have put a lot of thought into this..I was captivated from the beginning and I enjoyed all the little nuances and 'hooks' which will allow this story to progress in all sorts of ways. I love Australian Shephards too - used to have one...and Victoria and Manny and the Red Chair....

You certainly were able to capture the 'voice' of a small boy and the photo of your father was perfect. I am going to read and reread this again and again.

By the way I also really like the way you handled the beginning because its clear David has some additional issues other than just the one he first thought. But you did so in a very careful way to enable the story to continue. YOU ARE A STAR - IT IS TRULY FANTASTIC!!!

tashabud said...

Jules, I agree with Vikki and Lilly, and they both took all the words right out of my mouth. However, I still have a some things to add. I really did feel and live Seth's life and experiences through your words. You masterfully created the characters, settings, and story lines in ways that have brought this story to life so vividly into your readers' imaginations.

Alas! Another tragic loss in David's past lives! So, so sad. He had so many traumatic experiences! No wonder he has so much issues to deal with. I can see that he'll have a long ways to go yet before he recovers from his phobias.

Excellent job, Jules. Have a great weekend.

Jules said...

Oh Lilly,
Thank you so much. I wish I could put on paper what I saw in my mind. I just couldn't get it out right. ha
But I appreciate your very kind words.

Tasha~ coming from you the writer I am very flattered! I am anxiously awaiting your installment, girl!!!

This was lots of fun. A big Thanks to Lilly and Vikki for all their time and effort to get this going. It sure takes a lot of coordination and planning on their part!

Matthew S. Urdan said...

Love the new header graphic!

Jules said...

Thanks Matt!
Thats my backyard! :)
I am waiting for Chic and Sassy to do a Country Girl Blog template and I am gonna jump on it!

tashabud said...

Jules, I haven't started mine yet. I've been busy visiting reading many blogs and commenting that I haven't had the time to work on my novel yet either. I'm still brainstorming as to what persona I'm going to take on for this meme. But I guess I have to start soon, huh?

Eric S. said...

Jules, you did a masterful job. This is going to sound strange, but I actually heard it narrated in Seth's voice as I read it. I was able to picture Seth, limping back and forth in his uncles cabin and sleeping curled up next to Lilly in the store room.

I agree with Vikki and Lilly, you did a wonderful job tying the story into previous chapters. I am so intimidated by you wonderful writers, I hope I can do the story justice. I understand what you mean by being scared to see if anyone has commented, I will be the same way.

Jules said...

Eric you are too kind. Thank you so much. I wish I could have had your ability to phrase things so descrptive and colorful. Just like you did with Seth limping back and forth can curling up with Lilly.

I can't wait for your installment!


Gorilla Bananas said...

I fear for the monkey's life, even if he was a pampered little rogue.

tash said...

Brilliant piece Jules. Love how you tied everything in. I'm still trying to start working on mine. Then I read something like this and feel inadequate.

Jules said...

Gorilla bananas~ Ha! if Simon was he good swimmer, he was fine!

Tash~ Thank you so much! You will be awesome... Once you get your story in your mind, I bet it plays out just like a movie in your head and your fingers won't be able to keep up with your ideas!

queenlint1 said...

OMG! This could have been me! I was so freaked out that you chose to put Seth and Lilly on a whaler! (I love how you named Seth's dog after Past Lives' Lily!! and Sir Hugh's Lillabeth, too!)

I am flipping freaked over deep water where you can't see land in any direction! I was a Red Cross life guard in my youth, swim like a fish and will swim in a bottomless lake or any swimming pool. But get me out over deep ocean with no land in site and I'm a mess!

You executed this story incredibly well! I really expected that damn monkey and his owner to somehow have a nefarious part in Seth's ending, but you surprised me with the whale's fluke crushing the hull of the ship.

Good, good work, Jules! Brava! Are you going to do another?