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The Other World

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When we refer to our sixth sense, we tend to use the verb “to feel,” (as in I felt a presence in the room), which is actually one of our original five senses. Why, then? We have no definitive verb for our sixth sense as we do for the other five. Thus it remains distant and mysterious, the stuff of myths. And yet it is very much alive today—as much as it was in the ancient worlds. Almost everyone has it to some degree. We call it intuition and we call it schizophrenia, but it is one and the same.
My family has a history of schizophrenia. I started seeing things when I was six years old, but I don’t have any memories from before that, so I can say in all honesty that I’ve been seeing them all my life. There was a gnome in our garden, just a normal gnome and I was sitting on the porch step staring at it as I often did on muggy days like that one. And it moved! It wasn’t just the wind rocking it; the gnome turned around and waved at me before returning to its former position. My friend Cass was with me when it happened, and she called me crazy when I told her what I saw.
That’s when I knew that it had started happening to me: the family curse. At first all we see are little things like that, something real doing something strange. Before long it advances and we see things that aren’t there at all—at least not for the eyes of a normal person. We see shapes in the wind, obscure figures moving oblivious to all else. After that we start hearing things and the obscure figures become solid and come to us and whisper secrets in our ears. Near the end our vision becomes so crowded with these figures and our ears so filled with their words that we can neither see nor hear anything else. Then we leave. We disappear without a trace and our bodies are never found.
My brother says they’re aliens and they take us up to their spaceship to do experiments on us and then throw us into space. My mom says they’re fairies and they take their Chosen Ones to another realm to live with them forever. I used to think that they were ghosts that dragged us into the spirit world, but now I’m not so sure.
I can see them now and hear their words, and what they tell me is not of this world. They speak of volcanoes that spew water, and oceans of fire, islands in the sky, and a living and conscious earth. They speak of light people who live in the wind, demons who live in the fire, spirits in the water, and clay people who are nurtured by the earth. And they tell me of strange pink creatures that sometimes appear on the floating islands who cannot change their shape and preach a strange religion called Science when all around them is magic. They tell me I will go to this world and teach the creatures all that is not real yet still more significant and powerful than all that is. I am afraid, but they tell me that the creatures are real and cannot hurt me, and that the only thing that can is that which is Unreal.
They tell me their world overlaps our own, and that sometimes they touch and allow things to pass through. So maybe they are aliens from another world, or maybe they are fairies—or are they the same? With luck, this will find its way to the hands of someone experiencing the same thing and help whoever that is to accept it and find meaning. Then again, maybe I’m crazy and this will only serve as a testament to my own insanity.





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