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Chapter 55
Wed Feb 14, 2018 19:57


If I was to play a useful part in persuading these seperate men to meld their own abilities into one coherent group, as my father seemed to have suggested, then I needed to stop pretending that I wasn't aware of my talents and take stock of what they were and if possible to make the most of them if not actually expand them.

My inherited peculiarities as my mother had put it were more of a liability than an asset, or so they had seemed for the most part. It's all very well being sensitive to out of the ordinary influences but not a lot of use if you cannot exactly define what has caused that response. So I thought that I should make an attempt to define my abilities with a view to improving them.

I can detect danger but cannot specify what it is nor when or where it may happen. It's most effective as a warning to change course or perhaps cancel a proposed journey and is mainly applicable to travel whether on foot or by vehicle. It also is effective at warning me like that verse from Macbeth 'by the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes'

I have always had a rapport with animals of all sorts, they seem to trust me, whether dogs, cats, horses, cows I can usually get up close on first acquaintance and they won't shy away. I'm in the habit of talking to them because they like it though I'm not sure if the words have any meaning, it might be as useful to sing to them.

I can become invisible not by actually disappearing but in making myself unseeable by mentally not being there which is impossible to describe but was the first talent that I discovered and deliberately made use of. In school I showed a friend how to do it and his scepticism turned to delight once he got the knack himself. Its not a difficult skill, the most important part is to learn not to look at those who are searching for you and to 'become' part of the scenery.

I imagine these three abilities as being properties of a bodily energy field, a projection of oneself that can be shaped to perform those functions. There's no reason why most people shouldn't have similar abilities. What's required is a methodology to use in teaching how to make the most of these inherent skills. We need to codify it, in order to make it easy to understand and to build upon by a series of exercises.

Up till now I had done my best to pretend these abilities were a mixture of coincidence and imagination but the effect that Cornwall and Wales had upon me made it impossible to ignore that either I possessed some sort of sixth sense or was quietly going round the bend something that couldn't be ruled out if my mothers occasional comments about my 'butterfly mind' and 'make believe world' had some truth to them.

That was why I was extremely surprised to hear from my father what she had told him about my 'peculiarities'. Apparently she'd been told by Charles and Freda, the Hodsons who lived next door and were self declared 'white witches' that 'your son, Tolbert, has latent powers of which he is as yet unaware.' This hadn't sat well with mother since her own father had told her that she could 'try your best to keep Tolbert in the dark but sooner or later he'll discover it for himself.'

Mother was dead set against grandfathers 'druid nonsense' and yet it was she who had encouraged me to read fairy tales and myth and legend as well as fantasy. It was as if she was in two minds about it because although she obviously loved traditional childrens stories, she was equally determined that her husband and her children would climb the ladder of financial success by choosing careers rather than follow their own inclinations as I had to her initial disappointment although that had changed especially now.

So I had a lot to mull over as a result of the Christmas visit and the only person I could really talk to was the professor, although Tom had listened to my exposition nearly the whole way back to London. Besides the Professor must be anxious to hear about everything from me even though I'd posted him abbreviated versions of my notes. If only cats could talk, I thought, because Tom did actually appear to be listening to me.

It was good to be back at my flat and able to unwind, wander around in underclothes thanks to the steam heating, my idea of heaven is when its below zero outside and you have to open a window to let some heat out whilst staying just below sweating temperature!

So I was going to treat myself to a long hot bath and make the most of the temperature when I heard a hissing sound whilst I was in the bathroom setting everything up. At first I thought it was the radiator valve because it does that every so often and then I heard another sound like a growl and it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps Tom who had been asleep on the bed, was finding my idea of luxury a bit overpowering.

Sure enough that's who was making the noise and whatever was causing it was outside judging by the way he seemed to be scratching at the window. I quickly put my dressing gown on and opened the flat door followed by the front door so that he could get out, not wanting to open the big window and let all my heat out. Perhaps another cat was issuing a challenge, whatever it was Tom shot across the road into the park.

I thoroughly enjoyed my long, hot soak complete with tea, cigarettes and reading material. Its my idea of sybaritic luxury and its essential that one enjoy it from within a deep old fashioned bath tub not one of these modern excuses for a foot bath. The Victorians knew what a bath tub should be.

Thoroughly relaxed and cleansed I put on my pyjamas meaning to lie on the bed and just unwind, think about things and wait for Tom to return and demand entrance as he usually did and I fell asleep and woke with a start, feeling slightly chilled at about 5.30 in the morning. The heating is turned down after 11pm and it must have taken that long for the air temperature to fall, it wasn't by any means really cold but enough to awaken someone who was lightly dressed and wasn't in bed.

I decided to get properly dressed take my torch and see if I could spot Tom, there wasn't much point in getting into bed now anyway and I felt well rested. I knew my torch was in my briefcase that I'd carried my notes in, I always carry a torch if a car journey looks like it might mean driving at nightfall. I found it entangled in the strings of the cats cradle and since I had to separate the two I thought why not give the thing a trial while there was nobody about?

Almost as soon as I entered the park I could detect the difference in atmosphere. For one thing there was a mist shrouding it even though the street outside seemed quite clear but of course trees do tend to cause this effect because of transpiration but then surely only when they are covered in leaves ?

"TOM!" I called, using my torch to illuminate the darkness and I thought I heard something running and headed towards the sound. Perhaps the cats cradle would produce some sort of result, I got it out of my jacket pocket and tried it. At first it felt just like you would expect holding a forked stick would and then it grew warm to the touch and began to quiver as if it was trying to get free of my grip. In the process of trying to get a better hold on it, hampered as I was with the torch also in my hand, I dropped the torch by accident and it promptly went out.

Just as promptly, almost like the suddenness of stage lighting, the view in front of me became bright day light and whatever it was I was looking upon certainly wasn't London or anywhere I could recognize. Alarmed my first thought was to put the thing back in my pocket expecting the vision to cease and I did so but the vision remained. I looked in vain for the fallen torch which should have been at my feet since I hadn't moved but there was no sign of it and looking around and behind I saw that I was standing on top of a low rise surrounded by open countryside.

    • Hooray! - Sarge, Thu Feb 15 10:24
      We have crossed the river! Way hey, I'm overjoyed. Let's go exploring, shall we?
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