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Authors: Danielle Q. Lee

Tags: #romance, #angels, #spiritual, #paranormal, #demons, #ghost, #heaven

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BOOK: Dimensions of Genesis
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“Exorcisms?” Gabe repeated, startled by the
question.

It was certainly not his favorite topic, his
eyebrows inadvertently pulled together as he considered what he
knew of them. He'd heard many terrible stories during his short
time at the seminary, stories of vicious attacks by people under
the influence of demons. Even though exorcisms were a pivotal part
of the Catholic Church’s duties, Gabe had sincerely hoped he'd
never have to face it.

“Well, not much really.” Gabe readily
admitted, “There was a brief course on it during seminary school,
but other than that, I only know the rumors.”

The old priest turned away and stared out the
window. With his hands clasped firmly behind his back, he sighed
heavily.

“I need your help.” Father Francis stated
after several moments of silence.

“Help?” Gabe felt a fear rise in his throat;
he prayed Father Francis was not asking him what he suspected.

“Yes.” The old priest turned to face Gabe
with guarded fear flickering behind his eyes.

Swallowing hard, trying to ingest this
uncomfortable idea, Gabe already knew.

“With an exorcism?” Gabe choked on the words
as he forced them out.

Father Francis nodded

“If you don’t mind me asking…why me?” Gabe’s
eyes were now wide with trepidation.

Sighing again, he explained, “Performing an
exorcism is exhausting work. As far as I can tell, you are the
youngest priest within the province. I need someone who will be
able to assist me with the spiritual, as well as the physical
tasks, of this particular case.”

It was true that Gabe was substantially
younger than any of the priests within a hundred miles of
Summerland. As far as he knew, all the priests in the area were in
their sixties or older. He could see how this elderly man would
need a young body to help him through such an event.

Now feeling morally and professionally
obligated, Gabe closed his eyes and asked cryptically. “When?”

“This afternoon.” Father Francis stared
emotionless at the young priest.

“This aft…” Gabe began but stopped short. He
suddenly felt frightened.

This afternoon! He thought wearily. That gave
him little time to prepare himself mentally or spiritually for this
terrifying excursion. Not to mention, he yearned to find Lily and
discuss what happened between them.

Before Gabe could finish working through his
thoughts, yet another knock at the door interrupted the tiny
room.

“Father Gabe?” A young boy’s voice whispered.
Gabe recognized the voice as belonging to Tim, one of the altar
boys.

Composing himself with a deep sigh, Gabe
strode to the door and opened it. Young Tim, in his long white
ceremonial garb, smiled politely at Father Gabe.

“Um, Father Matthew was worried about you. He
sent me to check on you and see if you were coming out soon.”

Relieved to have an excuse to remove himself
from the uncomfortable situation, he said to Tim, “Thank you. Tell
Father Matt I’ll be there in a moment.”

Leaving the door open, Gabe turned to Father
Francis, giving him an unspoken signal that the conversation was
over.

Reaching into his jacket pocket, the old
priest produced a black business card with white writing on the
front. Handing it silently to Gabe and nodding a good-bye, the old
priest walked out of the room.

Gabe shook his head as he tucked the business
card into his pocket, pondering today's bewildering events as he
left the room to assist Father Matt.

All things considered, he hadn't a day this
emotionally disturbing since the day his father was killed.

 

Ghost Story

 

“Tony, my man, how are we feeling today?”
David’s cheery voice preceded him as he entered room 217.

“Dr. Blake!” Tony answered, his brown eyes
shining “Did you bring me that drive thru burger that I
ordered?”

“Hah! Not on your life mister!” David chided
back, grabbing Tony’s chart and glancing at the latest test
results. He noticed Tony’s blood pressure had been erratic over the
last couple of days.

Keeping his face positive, David closed the
patient file and nonchalantly checked Tony’s vitals for himself.
Tony’s heart condition was nothing to take lightly. Two open heart
surgeries in five years, this man had already used up most of his
nine lives.

“So, grab any pretty nurses lately?” David
teased as he pumped up the blood pressure cuff, stethoscope tucked
tightly inside.

“No,” Tony responded slyly, “but the day
ain’t over yet.” He grinned at David as he raised his thick grey
eyebrows twice.

“Ha, ha, ha” David laughed as he removed the
cuff, “nothing like a dirty old man to keep those nurses on their
toes!”

“I asked one nurse if she’d like to play
Ether Bunny with that laughing gas over there, I changed my mind
when she said she'd order me an enema!” Tony giggled hysterically
as David looked at him with a mortified expression.

“Tony!” David tried to smother a laugh.

The two men chatted for a bit, discussing
baseball scores, hot nurses in the hospital and David’s upcoming
golf tournament.

Tony had spent weeks recuperating from his
last major open heart surgery. However, things were not moving
along as well as David would have liked. It was beginning to look
more and more like they'd have to do a heart transplant if this
widowed grandfather of six was going to be around much longer.

As though he'd read David's thoughts, Tony
spoke quietly. “Hey Doc?”

“Yeah Tony?” David replied quietly.

“I’m...getting worried” he said bluntly
as tears invaded the corners of his eyes. David sensed where Tony
was heading with this conversation.

Taking a deep breath, David sat on the edge
of the bed and looked at him compassionately.

“Doc…do you think…do you think I’m going to
get better?” Tony kept his eyes down as he fiddled with the
sheets.

“Tony, I promise I'll do everything I can to
keep you around for whole lot longer, okay?” David felt a lump
forming in his own throat as he reached over and squeezed Tony’s
shaking hand.

Nodding his head, Tony looked up at David and
said quietly, “Thank you…I just…don’t feel ready to go yet, you
know?”

Tony stopped suddenly, a thought flashing
across his face. “Doc, you’ve been doing this gig for a while, what
do figure happens when you die? I mean, all those people that have
them near death experiences, you must have seen some of that in
your line of work.” Tony’s face, though old and wrinkled, looked at
David with the innocence of a small child.

Completely at a loss for an answer, David
grappled with himself to give Tony any other answer than what his
logical Atheist beliefs offered. He couldn’t very well tell the
kindly old man that he believed that death was the end. Dirt nap
time.

Deciding this was a perfect time to lighten
the mood, David started seriously, “Well, Mr. Bishop, I’m
afraid I don’t know the answer to that.” David then continued with
a mischievous tone. “All I know is that if I have to choose between
wife and death...I choose death!”

Tony bellowed out a chuckle that jiggled his
body so hard, he had to hang on to the oxygen cords draped across
his face.

Smiling, he stated, “Well, I trust ya Doc, I
know you’re not going to let anything happen to me.” David smiled
in response, hoping he deserved the trust Tony gave him.

The men laughed and joked for a few more
minutes and after wiping away a few tears from laughing too hard,
David promised to check on Tony before he left for the evening.

Relieved at having dodged the death and
afterlife question from Tony, David wandered to the nurses’ station
to see if he was needed anywhere.

As he approached the station, he noticed a
couple nurses chatting intensely amongst themselves, one happened
to be the young nurse he'd scolded the evening before. He scrambled
to recall her name.

Snapping his fingers, he called out, “Nurse
Henderson, how are you today?” Pleased with himself for
remembering, he noticed how she’d startled when he spoke. She and
the other nurse immediately ceased their serious conversation.

Jumping to attention, Nurse Henderson looked
visibly rattled as she regained her professional composure.

“Dr. Blake, uh, hello, I’m…fine, thank you.”
She seemed to struggle for words as she addressed him.

“Was I interrupting something? I apologize, I
didn’t mean to…” He began.

“Oh no sir, we…we were just…discussing...an
incident.” She said cautiously.

“Incident?” David was intrigued now, “What
kind of incident?”

The nurses looked at one another tentatively,
obviously debating if they should discuss their secret.

“Please, I promise I won’t...say anything or
be upset.” He pleaded, unsure as to why he was so eager to discover
the contents of their classified information.

The other nurse, a lovely dark-skinned woman,
stood and walked to him. She leaned in close, obviously to keep her
story within earshot. David noted her name tag stated she was Nurse
Ross.

“Well,” Nurse Ross began with her voice
barely a whisper. “I was up on the third floor this evening, you
know, Palliative Care.”

He nodded and she continued.

Nurse Henderson, listening nearby, started
chewing on her nails and pacing to and fro.

“Well, I was changing Mr. Murphy’s dressings
when I heard something from out in the hallway. I could hear this
noise, like someone walking through the halls with their slippers
on, a shuffling…” she explained, her eyes wide, “and there was this
awful wheezing, like someone trying to breathe.”

David nodded, urging her to continue.

“I went to see who was out of bed, you know,
figured it was a patient wandering about. When I got out there,
Nurse Henderson was coming from the next room to see what the noise
was too.”

Nurse Henderson nodded in agreement as she
continued her nervous marching.

“Yah.” David said, intrigued. His imagination
took off in a few directions. Could it have been an intruder or an
escape patient from the Psychiatric Ward? His thoughts swarmed with
curiosity.

Nurse Ross glanced around with a paranoid
sweep of the ward, and then continued.

“Well.” she started, nervous, “then both of
us,” she tilted her head back at Nurse Henderson, “saw someone
walking towards the end of the hall. It was a…a woman, with brown
hair, in a blue robe, but not just any robe, a fuzzy chenille robe,
you know…” she seemed to be trying to lead David into guessing
who belonged to the blue robe. He responded with a confused
shrug.

Sighing, she filled in the words for him.

“Mrs. Lambert, you know, she always wore that
fuzzy blue robe, she insisted on wearing it because she hated
wearing our hospital gowns.” David frowned and the nurse seemed to
be getting impatient with him.

Nurse Henderson piped up to explain, “Dr.
Blake…she’s been dead for a year!”

Nurse Ross hushed her and quickly added, “She
stopped before she went around the corner, she…she turned and
looked at us and...It was her! It was Mrs. Lambert!” She hissed
vehemently. “We went running down the hall to follow her,
but…nothing, there was no one was there. There was nowhere for her
to hide neither. All the doors are locked down that hall.” Nurse
Ross shook her head.

David struggled to understand what these
ladies were trying to tell him. Did they mean to say they’d seen a
ghost this evening?

“But…” He said carefully, “there’s no such
thing as ghosts...are sure of what you saw?”

Instantly defensive, Nurse Ross scowled, “We
wouldn't be so shook up if we weren't sure of what we saw!” Her
tone indicated David had insulted her.

“Well, it’s just that I don’t believe in
ghosts, so there has to be a rational explanation.” He stated
logically.

Nurse Henderson, pacing behind the nurse’s
station, muttered to herself, “Well, of course, he’s not going to
believe us.”

“What do you mean by that?!” David demanded
as his brow knitted into a scowl.

Nurse Henderson dropped her eyes to floor,
remembering her rank, stated quietly, “Well, everyone knows you
don’t believe…well…in God or anything for that matter.”

He sat in stunned silence for a moment. It
was true, if he had no belief in any kind of afterlife, it would
make sense that he didn’t believe in ghosts.

These are intelligent women, David
considered, why would they concoct some weird story knowing it
might hurt their integrity?

“Okay, I apologize, I’m...a little shocked, I
suppose. I didn’t mean to offend you. I just…don’t know what to
think about this.” He struggled for words as he tried to wrap his
head around the situation.

“Yah, that’s pretty much how we feel about it
too.” Nurse Ross said bluntly as she stood up. She paused suddenly,
her eyes glazing slightly as she remarked, “Her face, her eyes,
they were so…empty.” Shuddering as she recalled the ghost's face,
Nurse Ross turned and headed down the hall to do her rounds.

Nurse Henderson retreated to the nearest
washroom, visibly shaken.

Ghost?

The very idea of anything paranormal usually
created all kinds of involuntary reactions in David, such as
rolling his eyes or making skeptical remarks. But these two ladies
seemed particularly shaken up. He wasn’t one to take the word of
colleagues lightly, so he was disturbed by this latest
development.

He hadn’t known Mrs. Lambert very well; he
didn’t often work in the Palliative care unit. It brought back too
many unpleasant memories for him to voluntarily tend to cancer
patients. Not that he didn’t go up there; he just avoided it as
much as possible.

Mrs. Lambert had succumbed to esophageal
cancer last year. He recalled her stubborn tendency to do whatever
she pleased. She'd refused the conventional treatments offered by
the hospital.

BOOK: Dimensions of Genesis
10.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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