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Intangible - Chapter 4

Intangible - Chapter 4

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Published by Chantal Boudreau
Chapter 4 from my paranormal thriller - Troy's perspective of his first encounter with Silvana.
Chapter 4 from my paranormal thriller - Troy's perspective of his first encounter with Silvana.

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Published by: Chantal Boudreau on Feb 22, 2012
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IntangibleChapter 4 – The JourneyTroy was still kicking himself for jumping in neck deep without trying to get a better ideaof what exactly had happened to him in Marcia’s room. Honestly, he hadn’t believed he hadreally left his body and floated off to meet this Laura. He had figured that it had been the alcoholmessing with his mind, or that somebody had slipped something dodgy into the blue cocktail inthe computer science lounge. To put his hungover mind at ease, he had decided he would proveto himself once and for all that it had been some ridiculous fabrication of his imagination. Hewould do this by repeating the prior night’s experiment while sober. When it didn’t work, hehad told himself, he would settle in to nursing his nauseous belly and throbbing head in the hopesof getting some studying done later in the day.He had positioned himself on the floor, legs crossed and eyes closed, and begun the silly breathing exercises that Marcia had taught him. After finding that sound again, the one that hadcome to him the night before, he had started repeating it in his head, over and over again.Perhaps the fact that he was groggy simplified things and had him a little out of touch withreality to begin with. Maybe once he had breached the spaces beyond the physical it was thatmuch easier to make a return trip. Troy wasn’t sure. No matter the reason, he had soon beendrifting away from his body, connected only by a single thread, in half the time it had taken himto do the same the night before.Being of sober mind that morning, with only the residual hangover to fog his senses,Troy had been much more aware of his surroundings in that other world. They had been blurryand psychedelic his first time through, and he had been numb to any discomfort, but this timewas different. As he had raced through the ether, flying without any control, he had noticeddetails he had missed on his initial travels. Some of the presences that had whizzed past himwere cloying and had threatened to pull him into them, perhaps never to let go. Others werehorribly intimidating and had made Troy’s heart beat even faster as he rushed by. He had feltlike he was drowning in a sea of other people’s emotions, the combined influx of anxiety,depression, violence and bliss attacking him from all sides in an overwhelming tide.Unlike the night before, Troy had not floated freely until he stumbled across Laura.Having found this place filled with distractions which he hadn’t noticed while intoxicated, hekept being led off on tangents, tempted away from the route he sort of recognized, but only barely. The more he struggled to relocate Laura, the more wrong turns he seemed to take untileventually he had lost that path altogether, and even worse, he wasn’t so sure that he could findhis way back either.While he roamed the ether, he cringed like an errant child trapped in a world many times bigger than the one from which he had come, shrinking away from anything he couldn’t identify. Not only had he been desperately frightened, by that point, panicky even, but he had also been
 
growing weaker than he had been when he had first set off in search of Laura. That was when hehad noticed that the glow of the thread that connected him to his body, wherever that might be,had gotten fainter. His panic had escalated - a response to the sense of foreboding thataccompanied this realization. Troy had been sure that the change in this thread was a bad thing.He had been certain that if he couldn’t get back, something terrible would happen.Troy had never really understood just how easy his life had been until that moment intime. He had suffered his share of unpleasantness between his parents’ divorce and the financialrepercussions and constant bickering that followed, but he had never known the kind of urgencythat came from being in real trouble, not the kind of urgency that he ended up experiencing as aresult of venturing somewhere potentially dangerous. He was essentially stuck. Or, at least, thatwas how it felt to Troy. He truly knew nothing about the place he was or how things workedthere. He was the supernatural equivalent of a toddler teetering out into the middle of a highway,with no way out without risking becoming psychic road-kill.Being a typical young man, Troy had never been someone prone to introspection. Henever examined the way he felt about things or questioned why he responded to events the waythat he did. He preferred holding a grudge to openly confronting someone. If things upset him,he’d go out partying with Matt and drink his sorrows away, rather than trying to resolve hisissues. He didn’t take any of his responsibilities seriously, partially because he was too shelteredto have to endure the resulting consequences for neglecting them. He didn’t have any of thoseoptions now. He was stranded and he was alone. Never mind helping Laura, he couldn’t evenhelp himself.“What do I do?” he pleaded, not to anyone specific. He hoped that he might get somekind of answer from the multitude of spirits in the void, all somewhere beyond his immediatereach. “All I wanted to do is help her. Am I being punished for that?”His words echoed aimlessly around him, wasted on deaf ears. None of the soulssurrounding him acknowledged him, or even seemed to notice him. He wondered how he hadmanaged to connect with Laura the night before. It had seemed easy then, despite being drunk. Now he was more like the mime in the invisible box, with passers-by purposefully ignoring him.He had to find someone who shone as bright as that little girl and then he had to force his wayinto their space, so they had to take notice. Once he had their attention, he would beg them tohelp him, if that’s what it would take.Pulling together all of the energy that he had left, Troy began his search. He abandonedhis quest for both Laura and the way home for the sake of one that might offer him salvation. Hewasn’t sure what he was looking for, but he had a feeling he would recognize it if he found it.The time that followed - only minutes, but what felt like an eternity - may have been theworst few moments of his life. An anticipation of certain doom, if he failed to find what he was
 
looking for, drove Troy even harder. He wanted to see his mom and Matt again. He wanted thechance to make something of himself.That was when he saw her, this great shiny beacon drawing him in, so bright that healmost couldn’t look at her. He questioned why she would be so much more obvious than therest of the spirits out there, but he wasn’t about to argue with providence. Clearly, he was meantto find her, and hopefully, she’d be willing and able to help. Now it was just a matter of gettingher to notice him.Troy didn’t recall any discomfort in manifesting in front of Laura the night before, but perhaps the alcohol had desensitized him to it. The experience was definitely not enjoyable thatmorning. Reaching the beacon woman was not that difficult, it was just a matter of not resistingher pull, but once he got there, to make himself observable he had to pull himself together whenevery inch of him wanted to drift apart. The sensation reminded him of touching something youknew would give you a static shock over and over again, repeating the discomfort until there wasenough of him there to see. When he was sure that there was a sufficient collection of his presence to be noticed, he tried speaking to her. She beat him to it, with a single word.“Hello?”He wished that he could see her better himself, but the glare from her shine was blinding,and it almost hurt to look at her. Troy averted his gaze as he struggled to respond, fighting adizzying disorientation. It reminded him of staring into headlights when a car was headedstraight for you. The words that he finally formed weren’t exactly what he wanted to say, but itwas close enough.“Where am I? This isn’t where Laura is or home. Why am I here? I was trying to get back to her, but I got lost. Now I need to get back to me. This is somewhere in between.”The sound of Troy’s own voice startled him when he spoke. It didn’t actually sound likeit was coming from him, but rather as if it were being channeled in from the spaces all aroundhim, hollow and echoing. He supposed it wasn’t really his voice, since he had no physical meansof evoking sound present, but something he was somehow generating from whatever strayenergy he could pull in from his surroundings. It replicated what his real voice would sound likeif he were there, to the best of his ability. At least he could communicate with her.“Wait, wait – what are you talking about? Who are you? What are you? I have no ideawhy you’re here either. Maybe if you start from the beginning and explain, I can help you.Perhaps we can put you to rest,” she said.The brilliantly bright woman
had 
heard him and was willing to acknowledge him, even if what she said in reply didn’t all make sense to Troy. Put him to rest? What did she mean bythat? The confusion and accompanying frustration threatened to disrupt his concentration and he

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