What lies beneath the surface?


You are pulled from a deep sleep, your heart racing. What woke you? The night is dead with silence. Your eyes glance at the bedside clock: 3:oo am flashes at you in neon green. They call it the Witching Hour. I call it my hour of secret dread. Every tale ever heard about bogeymen, ghosts, poltergeists, knife wielding masked burglars rushes through my brain. What was that? Did I see a shadow or did my eyes just make that up? Why is the curtain moving when the windows are closed? That door is opening…

You are visiting a new friend. Something tugs at your thoughts as you knock on the front door. You wonder where this sense of memory stirs from. The door is answered. You know what she is going to say before she says it. You know what the entrance hallway is going to look like. You have been in this house. Before. The whole visit spins out before you echoing your memory. But this is the first time you have walked into this house. Isn’t it? De’ja`vu. Hindsight or foresight?

Footsteps in an empty house. Inexplicable sounds and smells. Shadows in doorways. Objects being moved. Someone watches you. You turn around, there is nobody there. Someone follows you. You feel a breath on the back of your neck that raises all the hairs on your neck. A terrible foreboding of danger.

What lies beneath the surface of your 5 senses?

Whether you are superstitious or cynical, we all have a 6th sense. This is the sense that warns you of dangers you cannot expect. This is the sense that makes sense of the impossible, the illogical, the supernatural. This is the sense on high alert at those eerie hours when the night is the most silent and it is the darkest and coldest hours before dawn. This is the sense that makes you turn around and look for the watcher, the stalker, the hunter when you know you are alone but someone or something is following you. This is the sense that you experience when “someone walks over your grave” and a shiver down the spine shakes the bones in your body. This is the sense that you tap into when something strange is suddenly inexplicably familiar. This is the sense you tap into when you walk into a house and know within your bones that though you are alone, you are not the only person in the house.

This is why I write the stories I write. I have always had a strong 6th sense. Those closest to me have been known to be freaked out by my 6th sense. I have seen ghosts. I have spoken to ghosts. I have warned ghosts away. I have dreams of future events that always spell danger or threats with an uncanny way of coming true. It has got to the point that loved ones do not want me to tell them if I dream of them. I have innumerable events of de’ja`vu. I can see through social masks of strangers and judge their characters accurately within minutes of meeting them. This strong 6th sense is something I have alternately loved and hated all my life. It saved a friend and I from the clutches of a serial paedophile/killer. It saved my father from being strangled by a vengeful ghost. When it comes now, I listen. It has never been wrong. But now I accept it as part of me. These are not stories. They are inexplicable events that have happened.

But this 6th sense, this sense of the eerie supernatural and inexplicable paranormal has always fascinated me. Whether one believes in ghosts or other supernatural/paranormal beings, there are many things in life that seem to lie “beneath the surface” of what we know or can explain. You may believe a house is just a house. But sometimes there are things left over, a sense of people and emotions that your rational brain just cannot explain. There are too many things/events that happen that overwhelm the rational brain but the evidence is too strong to be in complete denial.

I love exploring what “lies beneath the surface”. It is about digging beneath the layers of the inexplicable and allowing your 6th sense to guide your other 5 senses. These are the questions that fill my stories: What is the sense of de’ja`vu really? What is that 6th sense of danger, of knowing/feeling someone’s eyes on you even when you are alone? What is the meaning behind dreams? How can you tell whether a person has good or evil intentions with no known proof except a “feeling”?

As children this 6th sense is undisputed and accepted. But when people (usually adults we trust) start telling us we are just “imagining” it, we doubt ourselves. We start doubting the innate ability that we all have that taps into our survival skills. We start “growing up” and decide it was all just child’s play. But was it? Even the most cynical adults do get glimpses of this 6th sense throughout our lives and more often than not, this usually is re-activated by events/people/objects that put us in danger and we tap into our base survival skills. This is why I write the stories I do and even read the stories I do. Stories where someone’s life is put in danger through natural and/or supernatural means have a heightened sense of this 6th sense.

Adults have a lot to answer for. We tell a child they can do anything but they cannot think or feel what they think or feel if it does not fit into a rational acceptable explanation. Are we helping them grow up or are we stunting their innate abilities and gifts not to mention imagination?

What is imagination after all? What is so childish or illogical about imagination?

If a man had not imagined flying there would be no aeroplanes – something we now take for granted to get around this global community. If a man had not imagined there was land beyond the seas he could see in all direction, most of this planet would be undiscovered.

Talking to the cynic in those of us over the age of five…

  • Are you willing to suspend your rational beliefs when faced with something you can’t explain? 
  • Are you willing to admit that life is full of inexplicable matter “beneath the surface”? 
  • Does everything have to be tied up in a tight, neat box of explanation wrapped in a tidy bow of rationality? 
  • Are you willing to ask: What if? 
  • Are you willing to admit you cannot explain everything? 
  • Should you want to explain everything? 
  • Isn’t that the beauty of life: it’s mystery and unpredictability?

Trust that 6th sense. Explore the de’ja`vu. Trust yourself. Open your mind and open your eyes. Unleash the childlike belief you were born with. Life is full of inexplicable mystery.

The joy is not in having all the right answers but in discovering the right questions.

 

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9 Comments

  1. I once stood in the garden and felt someone/thing watching me – I searched the bushes, looked behind me – even looked up at the rooftops around me – nope nothing but I knew I was not alone. Silence all around, heat of day not even bird song. Still I looked because I’m not a believer in such.

    I found them in the end three small frogs in a pond, only their golden eys showing watching me as I stood towering above them:)

    Having said that I do believe in nurturing children’s imagination – think we try and strait jacket them too much – I do believe in the those great leaps in faith that lead mankind onward in discovery and invention – I do believe we are all capable of doing so much more than we do – that we only allow a small amount of our brain power to operate – I just don’t believe in the supernatural – sorry – there is a reason for everything if we can find it, or maybe discover it in the future because that is another thing I believe in – the future – despite my dystopian writing!!:)

    good post as always.:)

    • Thanks Alberta. Mmh I wonder what those frogs were thinking 🙂 I definitely agree there is a reason for everything but I also believe some things are beyond our own understanding and reasoning. It makes life interesting. I wouldn’t want to know and understand everything after all.

  2. My sixth sense is also quite accurate. Like you, I have seen ghosts, experienced bouts of prescience, and dreamed things that many, many years later came to pass. I sometimes wonder if I am not caught in a loop, repeating through the same events; that thought makes me tired.

    Or maybe I’m tired from getting up before 5 to try and fit in everything I need to get done in a day. Including commenting on yet another of your excellent posts. I enjoyed the picture-phrases interspersed throughout, too, especially Life asking Death “why people love me?”.

    • Hi hun 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. Us “ghostly” people have to stick together 🙂 I am a quotes junkie and love splashing them through a post. That Life asking Death is also one of my favourites.

  3. Nicely written, Kim. I live in a 17th century cottage and the inexplicable is always present here. You might like my new novel (not out yet) which deals with supernatural manifestation over a a span of 1200 years. In the meantime, perhaps you would care to read my free short story ‘The 500’ with a more modern theme, although you might find it slightly controversial. http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/117026

    • Thanks JD 🙂 OOoh that cottage would contain the inexplicable…Wow! I am jealous. Your WIP sounds right up my alley. And thank you muchly for the link to your short…look forward to reading it. I will let you know my feedback.

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