This story is by B.G.Strong and was part of our 2020 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
“You should be seeing yourself sitting here in class. Float yourself down, and into your physical body. Open your eyes.” Miss Rosa spoke in a soft voice.
Amelia watched as the rest of her classmates opened their eyes and whispered their experiences to one another. They were in their Western Esotericism class, studying Astral Projection.
“Who would like to share with the class where they went? I don’t expect many of you to have been able to get out of this building. That’s okay. You’re beginners.”
“I couldn’t get out of the classroom.”
“I wandered the hallways.”
“I made it to the main doors, but couldn’t leave the building.”
“That’s all good. It takes time to be able to travel long distances.” Rosa said. “With enough practice, you’ll be able to travel vast distances.” The class ended, and students grabbed up their backpacks and started heading out into the daylight. Amelia stayed behind.
“I have a question.” She said.
“Ask away.” Miss Rosa said.
“Can you manipulate things during astral projection? Like, touch real-world objects?” Miss Rosa narrowed her eyes.
“You traveled a great distance today, didn’t you?”
“Just to my apartment.”
“How many miles?”
“Seven miles is a lot for your very first time.” Miss Rosa said. “I know you try to hide by sitting in the back of the classroom, but powers can’t hide.”
“Is that bad?” Amelia asked.
“No. It just means you really want this. But if you want this for the wrong reasons….well.”
“What about my question? Could I – or someone – manipulate things during astral projection?”
“Mystics say that it is possible. It takes a powerful and strong desire to do so. I have never known anyone who could do it, and I am hoping that it isn’t true.”
“Imagine the chaos that could ensue. There is already the issue of voyeurism, which we cover extensively in this class, but imagine what else: trickery, theft…maybe even murder. I caution you.”
Amelia didn’t say anything. Instead, she walked out of the classroom and went out to her car.
When Amelia came home, she walked into the kitchen and took a sip from her coffee cup. The coffee was a little cold- as she expected it to be.
She made it 35 minutes ago, while she was in class.
When she had asked her question, she was searching for more of a reaction than an answer.
Amelia continued to hone her craft. She continued traveling to her apartment to do mundane tasks. Eventually, she was able to pass her house and see just how far she could go. She was overcome with boundless energy.
“You all should be ready now to start doing this at home.” Miss Rosa said. “Remember to go with a calm state of mind and with good intentions. It may feel like you’re regressing because you’ll be in a new environment, and you may not be able to get as far as you do here in the classroom. Just keep trying.” The class dispersed.
That night, Amelia was nervous. This is when she would find out if she could really pull off the whole reason for her learning this skill. She remembered Miss Rosa’s comment about really wanting it. Amelia had never wanted anything more. If she could accomplish the tasks she wanted to – needed to – then she would indeed be free. The pain that she had experienced the last few years would finally be gone.
She waited until it was late – almost midnight. She sat in a comfy chair in her bedroom, with her feet planted firmly on the ground. She closed her eyes and inhaled, the oxygen filling up her lungs, and exhaled a long low breath. She imagined herself leaving her physical body, just as she had in class. Eventually, she actually felt herself go.
She looked around to get her bearings and decided to head East towards the University she had recently dropped out of. She hovered over the dorms, letting her senses reveal to her which one she should go into B-1-10. She had only been there once before.
She stared at him. Willing him to wake up.
He did with a start.
“What the hell – Ammie?”
“What are you doing here?”
“Do you feel bad?” Amelia asked.
“For the night we had?”
“The night we had? You spiked my drink.”
“You took the drink in the first place. Why were you even at that party if you didn’t want it?”
After the party, figuring out what had happened, she went to the Dean. She received a lecture about drinking and partying and had her partial scholarship revoked. He received local celebrity attention for his skill on the school football team. She dropped out of school because of the constant whispers, and graffiti in the bathroom with her name. He received another scholarship.
She raised the gun up and pointed it at him. He reached towards his bedside table, only to find an empty drawer.
“I guess you forgot that you get talkative when you’re drunk.”
She pulled the trigger.
Amelia tried to go to sleep but couldn’t. When it was time to go to class, she decided not to. She needed her strength. She had another visit to make.
That night, she repeated the process. She sat with her feet firmly on the floor, closed her eyes, inhaled, and exhaled, and imagined herself floating above her body. Once she was separated from her physical body, she took off.
Until recently, Amelia had worked as a receptionist at a physical therapy clinic. The work was decent, and they offered her somewhat flexible hours to fit with her school schedule. When Amelia left school, she asked her boss if she could be moved to full-time and maybe given some additional duties to save up until she got back on her feet.
“What’s in it for me?” Her boss asked, legs up on his desk, leaning back in his office chair.
“What do you mean?” She asked.
“I hear you’re quite the party girl.” He said, motioning to the couch in his office.
Afterward, he thought it would be too risky to “keep her around” and told her to look for work elsewhere.
She knew that he frequented a local sports bar after work. As she waited for him to emerge, she thought about that time on the couch – trying to forget how his calloused fingers felt on her skin. Trying not to dwell on the things that brought her to that desperation.
He got into his car, started it up, and started his drive home. He turned onto the freeway.
“You shouldn’t drink and drive.” She said, from the back seat of the car.
“What the – Amanda?” He swerved a little.
“It’s Amelia.” She said and reached for the steering wheel.
She floated out of the car just before it swerved and went through the meridian, and into an oncoming semi-truck.
She showed up late to class the next day. Her classmates were whispering about the recent suicide of a college football star, and of the crazy collision last night on the freeway.
She slumped into her desk with her steamy cup of coffee still full. She kept her sunglasses on. She didn’t care if her classmates thought she was hungover, it was better than the truth.
She didn’t participate in the exercises. She dozed off instead.
She woke up to someone tapping on her desk. It was Miss Rosa.
“I know your secrets.” She said. “I am going to keep it to myself, of course, how can I prove anything? But you cannot be in my class anymore. I will not support what you are doing.”
“I don’t want to hear it. I am sure you have your reasons, but they will not be good enough for me.”
Amelia didn’t argue. She couldn’t. The truth was, she didn’t need the class anymore. She only had one visit left, and she was sure she was strong enough to do it tonight.
For the final time, she sat in her chair, with her feet planted on the ground. For the last time, she floated above her apartment. She traveled to the home where everything started. The house where her world began to unravel – where the events which took place led her to believe she would never be worthy of a man’s true love. She would always be an object.
The man in question was the first man she ever loved – and he thought he loved her too. He was supposed to, unconditionally, in fact. Instead, he abused that love and did something that most people would find revolting and unforgivable.
In his bedroom, she stared at her biggest villain, for the last time, gun in hand.
“Amelia?” He said.