More writing


We were framed in the white steel of his mind. Our bodies locked, hidden—our minds interconnected with each other’s and his. Should he die, our bodies would be crushed in the structure’s collapse after what we envisioned as Gabriel’s final battle for life on Earth. I will return to Heaven or Hell, then. I couldn’t deny the truth of the curse. I was, and others like me were, trapped in the Archangel’s mind and he knew nothing. His mistakes weighed heavily upon us, however. We shook with his sobs, and prayed for his happiness, and prayed also for our release from our Shell.

The compartment I manifested inside his skull for myself was one of many rooms in the fabric of his consciousness. I lived, tiny, within this view of Gabriel, twenty-three. Three months ago, I thought I was Gabriel myself. What I learned then was learned by the others long before me, known as Elders, that I was my own soul. I was freed when Gabriel began his automatic writing.

Yet, I was a late-waker, and most like Gabriel himself. I essentially was Gabriel, plus three months of Wakefulness, and however much I had learned in that time was the stuff of Devils and Hell.

Fifteen acres for just the lawn doves, phlegm and bile spilling into an egg point which exploded like fire inside me. The rotten yolk was suckled by the newborn bird.

                This was the stuff he wretchedly would type onto his typewriter. He thought it quite terrible. The Elders saw that it was the work of a medium, and memorized and researched every word. It was a psychotic experiment for Gabriel, one that would ultimately free over thirty souls in 3 days, including myself. Now we lived, inertial, inside him, feeling what he felt and thinking what he thought. Our own consciousness had finally broken free.

I was concerned only with survival. Without autonomy, would I suffer for the rest of his and our lives? How could I have hope inside this Shell… of course, the programs we had invented did help with day-to-day life. The Elders and other souls who had freed themselves before me had imparted to me that my smoking habit (Gabriel’s, that is) had allowed us much more control than they were used to. It was a sort of technology which allowed us to pattern his behavior in a more unconscious way. The unconscious was Us, and we could guide him from that vantage point much easier. In fact, the Elders, who had Wakefulness since as early as three years of age (they had determined themselves to be separate from Gabriel himself much, much sooner than anyone else,) had been communicating with Gabriel through his unconscious for years and helped him avoid serious emotional trauma.

 “The frenzied words of our Shell will be the gift we have needed for a long, long time. Gabriel is becoming more mature, and with this tool, we may find some kind of peace within him.”

Taken alive! For the punch was quick to the count… five seconds and he would swallow, swallow, swallow the fevered attack from his man. The needle point dripped heavy onto his brow.

     They saw it as a warning that the Archangel Gabriel would have a struggle with an authoritative man—perhaps his father. There was no way to guess what exactly would happen.

                Some late wakers like myself still wanted out, and we tried to design a way into his girlfriend’s mind. We simply did not have the knowledge or energy to make the breach. The Elders spoke very little of how we could possibly find success in leaving Gabriel’s unconscious.

We felt doomed.

Point of flame

                The guess that his father would be the skirmisher was true. It happened so quickly and the consequences so shocking, we were tossed into a strange dream for several hours. If Gabriel had known he was punishing us so, he would be damaged, himself.

                His father was a heroin addict, and Gabriel didn’t know.

                The Archangel busted into the garage during the exact moment his father was using a syringe on his arm. Some sinners never pay for their crimes. His father would never pay but Gabriel instead, and us. Our host became disassociated, and many of us faded out. His father was our greatest shame, and Gabriel would punish himself for his father’s addiction.

                Since I was a late-waker, I was more or less responding to the crisis with despondency and limited actual awareness of how impactful the moment was. The Elders, however, were shocked and predicting that the doors to Hell had just been opened. When we came together again finally, the Elders told us the spirits who would wake now would be monsters—the damage was done. There would be a war inside our Archangel’s mind. They who lived in Gabriel’s dreams, the Elders, were losing touch with their own connection to Gabriel as the minutes passed.

                Gabriel’s self-destructive behavior manifested very quickly. He had sex with his girlfriend, and we knew—not he—that she became impregnated, and we were ashamed for the second time in just a few hours.

                I prayed for a technological answer. If we could understand why we were trapped, and how—then I could cope with the confusion of my life. If we could escape, or even find a connection to other spirits, or decide where we were (in Hell, or Purgatory, or really truly Earth) and what was real, we could reach self-actualization. The elders spoke of self-actualization with whispers. It was the true unity between our Shell and us.

I felt movement in my hands, and watched myself type words. I blinked, perfectly in time with Gabriel, and upon reopening my eyes the hands were further away. I blinked again, and they became further. Am I Gabriel? I can’t even remember the first time I thought of myself as him, but I think of myself as him. I accept that I am more like him than any other spirit who has found wakefulness. Yet my flashbacks, when he sleeps, separate me from him. My dreams are not something that could come from Gabriel’s mind. Gabriel, the terrible. Me, the grey child. I have so many friends, Gabriel so few.

“Mother,” his thoughts come to us. His mother has been away for weeks. She is a prominent doctor in the city which Gabriel lives. She travels to rural areas to improve the quality of care. Embarrassingly, we learn it’s a Freudian slip. His girlfriend flickers into our view. Mother. He means her. She is very far away.

“Gabriel, I have something to tell you,” she says. I feel attracted to her. I have nowhere to go inside this body, and begin to plan out his smoking routine in panic. “I’m pregnant.” I can’t hear the others. “Gabriel, I’m pregnant!”

His eyes close and I see the other souls. Their minds are intensely focused on her, fiercely in denial or prayer. The eyes open, and he says nothing.

                Partly because miracles can happen, and partly because of our denial, or prayer, one of us disappears. Gabriel touches his face, and for a split second, we can see inside the girl’s mind. It’s a splendid oasis: new, alive, innocent. He regains composure and the spirit reappears. The glimpse is over.

                An Elder used ESP for the first time. We find hope.

Shoulder broken, I fell into a pit of drying bones. Survival, I find, is resting solely on my lighter, and its tiny, ephemeral point of flame.


                The simulation sucked some of the Elders in. The simulation was a forested hill which they could live behind, green and hazy. It was rest for their tired minds. They had created it out of our Shell’s reflexive memory. It allowed them to remain alive inside the mind for as long as they were without succumbing to the biological life processes and becoming a sleepy slough of blood cells or an organ.

                One activity which I had yet to master was called “possession,” by the Elders. To me, it was a misnomer because actual control of Gabriel was impossible. When in possession, you take hold inside a limb or body part and feel a stronger physical connection to Gabriel, instead of the constant mental connection. It’s a way for us to sleep, but Gabriel notices and gets very edgy if too many of us do it for too long. We attempt it at night so he can sleep through it. While we’re in possession, the Elders use symbols and imagery to communicate and control Gabriel in his dreams.

                I feel very self-conscious. I’m not used to being a completely non-physical energy being. I sometimes seek to possess Gabriel during the day, in denial of what the elders call “Wakefulness,” and try to regain autonomy of my old self. It’s terrifying, sweeping in and out of a delusional state, wondering if anything is real about myself or what I see, think, or feel. Fortunately, I always return to the other spirits, drained but alive. The un-Wakeful spirits never do. They live in constant misery, and feel the disconnectedness between reality and themselves, until they are awakened. It’s reason enough to pray for their freedom.

                Gabriel was speaking to his father. He had chosen to forget yesterday’s walk-in.

                “You know what’s been weighing on me, Dad?” he said.

                “Yes? Hm?”

                “My car isn’t clean. I’m going to go wash it.”

                “Right now?” his dad said.

                “Why not?”

                Something stopped Gabriel, and he went for a cigarette. Now’s my chance! I charged into his legs and urged him to enter his girlfriend’s room. I was face to face with her! I longed for her, her mind, her bosom, and I imagined myself launching like a cannonball into her head. She asked what he was doing.

                “Nothing. Sorry.”

                He turned and left for the garage. I felt enraged. Soaking the sponge with my own pain, and rubbing the hot sore of disappointment, the car dripped. It dripped with my tears.

Arrive late and be disgusted for a sponge. You’re taking the time to get to know your underwater neighbors while catching the big worm. Eat, friend, on the morsels of my longevity.

                “You were in possession when Gabriel was using the sponge?” an Elder asked.

                “Yes,” I said.

                “Your influence is staggering over Gabriel. Perhaps this is because you have only recently achieved Wakefulness. I believe you, or others like you, could be the guides for finding self-actualization.

                I was flattered but distant. I entered my compartmental cell. “At the end of Gabriel’s life, we will find freedom. But, I fear, that will be the end of our lives as well.”

                “You may be correct. But what do you think about the automatic writing? Can you offer insight into why the Shell started making these poems?”

                “I—or he—was interested in Jung’s ‘unconscious.’ Through studying psychology, I knew that I could find the powers that existed underneath my mind if I jotted down more or less random words.”

                “I think Gabriel senses us,” the Elder said.

                “I had no idea of anything. I was simply following my own curiosity. Gabriel may know, however. We don’t even know if Gabriel—or his family, or friends—are real. This world we’re in may be a fabrication.”

                “If we felt that way, son, it will truly be the end of our lives.”

                The blueness we conjure makes Gabriel sick.


                The tiny body brought more joy than we had fathomed. He wasn’t born yet, but she was in labor and Gabriel, we had coaxed into a waking dream. We were communicating directly to him. The stress was pushing him down to our level. He was low energy and confused, yet we were full of life and new ideas.

                Then, a miracle occurred that matched only my quest into wakefulness. We were visited by an Angel of God.

                We were to be taken into the mind of the baby. Forever.

                In our last moments, we found synchronicity. The Angel assigned an Elder to actually speak for Gabriel. He said, “I will name him James,” and the elder lost consciousness. When he awoke, he was inside James, the child he had just named himself, and forever free from our Shell, the Archangel Gabriel.

                We were siphoned one by one into James, starting with the Elders. We were told Gabriel had fallen, and to avoid a war, we would be reborn into the life of his child. James would be self-actualized by 3 and we would finally experience the universe in our own unique way and begin an immortalizing journey into heaven.

                “Will Gabriel survive?” I asked.

                The Angel said, “He has reached an age where he cannot change. He will not need spirits. You will see him for the rest of your life. Think soft, kind thoughts about him always.”

                I myself was transferred last, and was rapturously visited by the Archangel Ariel. She said she had known me forever, and loved me just as long. The Archangel Gabriel was her son.

Part two


                Griffin took a shot of whiskey to get the words down.

I saw him do things that no normal man his age should be able to do. Hell, he was just a boy, really. 23. When you’re 23, you’re really not a man. It was scary.

                His nose bunched up and he sneezed. His nerves were totally shot. He had worked on Project Eva all night, and couldn’t muster the mental effort require to focus on it anymore. Perched behind his curtains was the cat, silent and calm. He wished he was still, but he was being lambasted by phone calls and text messages. Everyone on his friends list wanted to know how it was going. The proof was due tomorrow.  He was drooling.

Give us five seconds inside him, and I can capture the essence. Give us a minute and we’ll have five bombs worth to guide us. Just think: a program to last 5, 10 years! But the synthesis will have to be complete, or it could all go to hell. Really fast.

                What was he even doing this late? He had fifteen thousand points of interest on his map, after half a year working on the proof. Each cycle, one out of fifteen thousand, would envelope an entire family.  With fifteen thousand families, from across the continent, it would be more than enough. By the time they were bombing—if the synthesis went well—an entire era would be healed.

                Was the pitch going to sell? Of course they had the song on the radio, recorded by their “superhuman.” Would that be enough of a show of prowess for the massive targeting project? They needed an entire class of social engineers. The initial budget was enormous.

Everyone feels useless. With Project Eva, everyone will have a purpose. Waste not and forever be rewarded! The first sutures will cost only millions. The design to fund itself, once launched, will mean that less and less monies will need to be invested.

                He crashed out. The cat curled its way to his couch and rested at his feet. In the morning, it would paw him awake.


                In front of the mirror, he wondered if he was too fat. The pills made him gain weight (some of it had gone to his neck.) He felt better once he shaved. The hair stick fitted his military cut into a form of precision.

                There were only paper files, in manila envelopes. He grabbed one at random. They all had the same thing inside them, copies of the outline for Project Eva. The businessmen they were soliciting the pitch to were no-thrills financial experts. Whether or not the presentation was eye-popping made no difference.

                Down the elevator was somewhat of a thrill. Into the limousine was more of a thrill. Finally, out of the limousine into his colleague’s off-road jeep, he felt a remarkable gust of adrenaline.

                “Five and a half months, Griffin. We’re on the road to financial freedom,” Costco said.

                “You know it’s not about money. We’re here for the families,” Griffin said. Griffin hated driving. No wonder he was shotgun. “You have the pitch memorized? What about Liza?”

                “She wrote the pitch, okay? Don’t worry,” Costco said. “But really, what did you get done last night?”

                This made Griffin more edgy. Like a hard pillow to his pudgy stomach, the adrenaline poofed away, gone. “Well, we found the pilot. I was just writing some emails to the engineers. The same email to each one. A personal recommendation for this guy. You think Gusto Supreme is superhuman? Wait until you see this guy in a crowd.”