Monday, November 5, 2007

The Wisdom of Spock

"Did you ever watch Star Trek," the older girl asked, sitting down at her laptop.

The younger girl just looked at her strangely and shook her head.

"Well, in the original series, the one made before I was even born, there was a Vulcan character, who was incredibly wise." The other girl still looked puzzled. "So, we will just ask about people who channel and see what we can learn."

She knew that by using this tool to find others who had experience with channeling or being a medium, they might find all they needed to know to help them proceed. It was not just random hit or miss searching. Rather it was organized information about people into a resource that would let one type in key words (such as channeling or medium) and then provide a list of relevant data. would search other sources about a person from the web including bios and social networking pages or Internet sites, as well as other’s information about the source. One could add pictures, links, and tags to enhance a listing. One could even vote on the information in a listing as to its appropriateness. But it was not social networking. Though people could join the Spock community, being able to add to the resource and interface through messages and such, this was more of a handy way to find information about particular people or interests.

She typed “channeling” into the question queue. She pressed the return key. The results followed and gave several potential people to look into for insight. Some were famous, some were not.

One in particular that was of interest was Dae Mo Nim, meaning "honorable Great Mother." This entity channeled by the medium Hyo Nam Kim since the mid-1990s seemed to have similar traits to the entity of which the two women on the computer were concerned. Apparently this medium worked with the Cheongpyeong Heaven and Earth Training Center in Korea.

"That is amazing that there are so many others that have this in common with me," the younger girl said, looking both relieved and at awe with the screen.

"At least you have found a others," agreed the one whose fingers had flown along the keypad.

Inner Knowledge

She did not look at Penny as she said the words. Joan knew Penny would think her insane for asking such a question, but she had to know. The time had disappeared and she wanted to know where it went. One moment she was opening an email from Rainey and the next she was on her dining room floor, listening to the two women in her life that most agitated her. How had that happened?

But there was a part of her that knew the answers to these questions. It was the part that was not letting her focus on Rog or the girl that had been found with him. This part of her demanded her attention and until she gave it the needed thought moments, nothing more would occupy her mind.

She had a feeling that something more had happened than just blacking out. It was in Penny's eyes. Penny had changed towards her. Something had happened. Something big. And Penny had not laughed when Joan asked her about the channeling idea. In fact Penny had remained very quiet for several moments.

Then she had said, "I don't know. I don't know anything about channeling. Maybe. Why do you think so?"

Joan had then told her about Rainey and Zuleese. What she did not tell Penny is that she herself had wanted to be the one who channeled Zuleese and that she had coveted Rainey's ability to do so. Why would a benevolent soul speak through the body of such a horrid person as Rainey? Why was Rainey deserving of this special blessing and not she?

But now, maybe things had changed. Maybe Zuleese had left Rainey as a host. Maybe this ancient wise one was now using her instead. A warm emotion filled her inside and suddenly she felt as though the joy would bubble out like euphoric brainwaves. And for a moment she just basked in the potential.

But Penny had stopped the car and was looking at her in an odd way.

"I don't know. But let's try to find out," Penny said, getting out of the car.

Joan looked around at the unfamiliar setting and realized this must be where Penny lived. They were in the city now.

A Different Channel

As soon as Rebbecca returned with coffee and Penny felt her mother could handle the discharge task of taking Rog home, she ushered Joan to her car. As the girl dragged her feet, Penny wondered if this was what it was like to have a temperamental child. She was infinitely glad, she and her ex had not created a new being in their time together.

She opened the passenger side door and even helped Joan fasten the seat belt. Then she herself got into the driver's side and started the engine. Except for the noises of the car process, there was silence. She put the car in reverse and pulled out of the parking spot. There was little traffic and little conversation. Joan did not seem to notice.

Finally Penny had to break the silence, "He'll be okay."

A little voice answered, "I know." This was followed by a longer stretch of silence that did not feel like solitude to Penny.

"I am sure that girl was just someone he had given a ride too."

"I suppose so," the little voice answered with no emotion. What was she thinking?

More silence.

"Joan, are you alright?"

However the little voice did not answer right away. Penny turned her head and slipped a glance at the passenger. Joan looked like she was about to say more but the words were not being easily formed.

"I can't remember what happened at the house. I don't remember you coming in or even Rainey being there. My head really hurts and nothing feels quite right."

So that was it. Joan was still back on the earlier events.

"Penny, what was I doing when you came in?"

Penny had not thought about this or how she was going to deal with it. Did Joan honestly not know?

"You were doing something with the computer."

"So how did I end up on the floor of the dining room?"

Oh crap, thought Penny. Might as well tell her what I saw.

"Well, Joan, you were not quite yourself when I came in. Your eyes were funny looking, like they were rolled back in your head and I could only see the whites. Your voice was also different, like you were someone else...or something else?"

Joan remained quiet for a long while, digesting this and then asked, "do you think I might have been channeling someone else?"

Chapter Four

In the hospital waiting room, four women sat uncomfortably upon the plastic benches. One paced. One looked lost. One was trying not to have a panic attack and one was about to go on a coffee run.

The one who had gathered her purse and was taking notes on the back of an old envelope verbally listed the three orders and headed for the door with a swiftness that no one noticed. Rebbecca was personally pleased for the excuse to get out of the florescent lit room of chaos and saddness. She was also glad to have a purpose.

"I don't understand," Penny said pausing in mind pace,"Who is this woman that they thought was me?" She personally would have liked to have been the one on the coffee run, rather than being left here to put the pieces together. Her mind was a bit unhinged at present and any meaningful thought was lost in a vacuum of her confusion. A little voice told her she should be more worried about Rog, but she felt that he would be fine. His prognosis was good. The concussion, which the doctor had insisted on calling a "TBI" (traumatic brain injury) was mild, as were the fractures in his left arm. He was currently having a cast put on and then would be discharged to their care.

Madeline looked up her daughter, "I don't know who this person is. Joan are you sure you don't know her?" Joan just shook her head and sunk down more in her misery, almost balling herself into a smaller frame. Penny wondered if this pathetic puddle would actually be able to care for Rog while he healed. The doctor said he should spend the next few days resting at home. Was there anything restful about Joan, she wondered, let alone whatever weirdness had happened earlier. What a strange and awful day it had been.

Penny had been allowed to view the person who had briefly hijacked her persona. They looked nothing alike. Penny was a blond, this woman was a brunette.

Madeline had continued to speak, "You know Rog will need a lot of peace and quiet once they release him, Joan. I know you will want to take care of him, but I think he should come home with me. I can take care of him. In fact, I think you should stay with me as well."

Penny was a little surprised when the younger girl just nodded, not really leaving the quiet misery that appeared to be keeping her company. That was very diplomatic, Mom, she thought and decided against letting this be vocalized. Then she realized she needed to fill Madeline in on the events that had transpired earlier with Joan. What if that happened again? How would Madeline function with the monster? She could not leave her mother to deal with that.

Feeling the burden of heavy responsibility sinking her down into the ground, Penny asked the slumped mess, "Joan, I was wondering if instead, you might like to stay with me tonight? We could talk about your wedding plans and get your mind off the worry you must be feeling about Rog." Again Joan just nodded. Madeline cocked her eyebrow at Penny in a questioning look that asked, "What gives?"

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Idol Moments

"I didn't know you watched American Idol?" the voice said to the other.

The other answered, "Are you kidding? I've watched every episode since it began" and then went back to looking at her cellphone.

The was barely a pause. Like the phenomenon of the Idol shows themselves, Idol fans, once connected, had much to discuss.

"What are you doing? Why do you keep looking at your cell phone?" the one without the cell phone asked.

" I am reading Idoler's blog post that China is banning American Idol."

"Cool. Well,not cool about china. That kind of sucks! But cool that you can get that on your phone. I've never done that. And who is Idoler?"

The girl with the cell phone looked shocked for a moment, "Well, yeah, I can read lots of things on my cell phone. I get all the latest Idol news sent to my phone through the Idol Exclusive web site. It's totally cool, you should check it out if you are such a big fan. It is a website where you can talk to other fans, gossip, find out the latest news, all idol, all the time. "

"That's awesome. Is it free?"

The cell phone girl rolled her eyes, "Of course. You sign-up and log in. There are forums, groups to join, photos and even some videos. It is pretty new, but it cuts to the case on social networking. Rather than belonging to some large group and hoping to find people to connect with, you know everyone is there for the same reason on Idol Exclusive." And with that, she snapped her phone shut, slide it into her pockets, and began extracting herself from the conversation.

"Well, that's so cool that you like American Idol. We'll chat online about it later, but my break is over."

The other girl looked at her watch, "Me, too." And with that, the two nurses went their separate directions.

A little girl sitting nearby in the waiting room had listened to the whole conversation. Even adults like American Idol. How weird, she thought.


Rog was very uncomfortable. Feeling entrapped amidst the masses of wires, curtains, and lights, a sense of claustrophobia began to pluck at his tired strings. He was very ready to be done with his hospital stay, though it had not really even been that much time since he had first arrived. He had a vague memory of why he was here and there was something about a black haired girl, but then time moved quickly in the mind and all he could dig out of recollection was a vague remembrance of the sound of ripping metal.

There had been a lot of people converging and then dispersing from his bedside. There were the doctors and nurses, EMTs and orderlies, and then there were the police. He had watched as they approached him. At first it had been amicable, then one of them, the shorter of the two, had gotten a little uppity. He had wanted to know where Rog had gotten the gun they had found in his car. He told them he did not have a gun and did not know anything about it. But there was a nagging feeling in his hurting brain that maybe he did know about this gun, he just could not quite put his finger on it.

They had left, the taller one, non-descript in cop quality, had told him they would check back on him. The shorter one just huffed away. Rog did not care. His head hurt too much.

There was a lot of movement beyond the surrounding curtains of his space. There were moans, cries, laughter, and boredom in the surrounding sounds. He listened closely for the voice of his mother.

Instead he heard the carefree conversation of what sounded like teenage girls.

A Question of Identity

Madeline watched the sleeping figure, the rhythmic breathing and the deep sleep of the injured. This sleeping beauty was oblivious to everything and Madeline wondered several thing all at once. Who was this person? What was she thinking? What was she doing with Rog? And why did they think she was Penny?

It was the latter question that was voiced into the room of silence and beeping sounds.

The nurse looked at her in astonishment, "I beg your pardon?"

"This is not my daughter. This is not Penny. Why would you think she was? Did she say she was?"

The nurse flipped through meaningless paper on her clipboard, scribbled a few words, and adjusted her sterile gaze at Madeline, "No, she has not been conscious at all. The man who called the ambulance said she was."

Madeline had not even thought about this person. As soon as the mention was spoken, the artist mind began depicting a sinister rendition of the person. She knew it was the truck driver who had caused this mess; the truck driver who had robbed her of her peace.

"And the truck driver, was he the one who called in the accident?" she asked the nurse, beginning to feel the ill stomach affects of sudden negativity into her system. The nurse nodded. "And he, is he alright?" She knew the answer to this. He had probably walked away from the accident with little more than a few bruises.

"He seems to be. They are still looking him over downstairs in the ER." Madeline nodded and tried to refocus her mind on the girl before her. She needed time to process everything that had happened. The negativity and anxiety were causing her distress. Soon she wondered if it would turn into a panic attack. She had never really had one, but now it seemed to be a possibility.

The nurse followed her eyes to the sleeping girl, "Do you know her?"

Madeline looked at the bone structure, those high cheek bones, fair skin, black Irish maybe. There was no glimmer of even the slightest inkling of the stranger's identity.

"No," was all that she could answer. Then she thought about Rog.

"Did you ask my son?"

The nurse rolled her eyes just a bit, "He has not been very talkative. The police have not been able to get any information out of him?"

"The police? Why would the police want to talk to him?"

"Standard procedure in an accident." Madeline thought it odd that Rog would not talk to them. That did not sound like her son. he would try to be helpful.

"Perhaps you could be there with him when they talk with him?" the nurse asked.

"Of course," said Madeline.