BUY

Chapter 1

Monday, June 4, 1973

The First Lesson

From somewhere deep within the vast void of the earliest Universe, the Creator smiled as the grand plan went into motion. For out of that abysmal darkness, it created light and matter. From those constituent parts the realms of existence came into being along with their various guardians and overseers. Then, with great care and deliberation the Creator caused its greatest creation: the First and Second Souls.

The First Soul, a construct fashioned with free will,  was tasked with the overriding desire to preserve and protect that which the Creator created. The First Soul, afforded with many protections, evolved through incarnation, but was not allowed to attain perfection and ultimate transcendence. For to do so would remove it from its primary task–the preservation and protection of the cosmic order.

The Knot of Eternity. (trans.) G. L. Love. 2nd. edition with T. Good. (Old Oaks Academy Press, 1960), vol. I.1, 13-14.

 

When the aged rabbi and founder of his hamlet’s synagogue passed away, surrounded by adoring family and friends, the First Soul of Creation departed his withered body.

Bernard Isaac Cohen had a hard, but satisfying life, filled with challenge, crisis, and sheer superhuman effort. Many who lived through the horrors of Bergen Belsen attributed their survival to the rabbi’s strength. Despite famine and disease, he had somehow managed to keep their spirits up until the British and Canadian forces liberated the camp in mid-April of 1945. This solitary man, somehow, managed to stand apart.

Now free again, the First Soul sought another host. During its travels it sensed the extreme love and devotion issuing forth from a rural household. The First Soul, attracted to this intense unconditional love, found this particular circumstance an auspicious choice. So it merged with the unborn infant full knowing, through its long experience, that simple choices often portended great things.

The primordial First Soul took root within the fragile babe, this Texan, this child of promise. The First Soul had high hopes this would be a special soul carrier.

*          *          *

The office of Hawthorne Insurance nestled in a copse of tall lodge pole pines on the corner of South Kansas Street. Painted in maze yellow with white trim, this once detached two car garage now had on three of its sides bay windows all trimmed with gathered lace curtains. At its entranceway, mounds of potted bright yellow and white flowers greeted its visitors. Its many windows just sparkled in the sun.

Mrs. Hawthorne, founder and sole owner of Hawthorne Insurance, struggled with the lock of her office’s front door that early June morning. The summer humidity in Topeka, Kansas, always swelled the old wooden door frame. Finally in, she bee-lined to her desk, plopped down her heavy purse stuffed with mail, and made for the kitchen to make some coffee. Soon, its aromatic waves crested and flooded the office. Furnished in tasteful Early American furniture backed by dark maroon Colonial-style wallpaper, the office’s comfy familiarity soothed the soul.

Thirty minutes after her arrival, Mrs. Hawthorne, ever the efficient one, had sorted the mail, downed two cups of coffee, and had prepped for her nine o’clock appointment. Then she heard a distinctive rattling from nearby.

Glancing over her cheater reading glasses at the fax machine, the slight, gray-haired woman noted several curled up transmissions in its output tray. Gathering up the four yellowed thermal transmissions, Mrs. Hawthorne scanned the first three and shredded them without a second thought.

But the fourth stopped her cold.

Mrs. Hawthorne’s fax machine possessed a special second function, other than electronic transmissions, which produced up-to-the-minute notices of all paranormal births occurring between the eastern border of Colorado and the Mississippi River. A marvelous mechanism generated this information. Named Ollie,  a pleasant auto-writing gnome resided within.

The fourth transmission’s header said Infant Insurance Policy Application, an obvious ruse to confuse the nosy and hide the document’s true importance. Ollie had encoded across the page a numbing bureaucratic quagmire of unidentified tick boxes, numeric values, obscure entries, and even some fields with ordinary text.

Mrs. Hawthorne smiled at the intellectual challenge like a fresh crossword. Ollie’s special transmissions, after all, represented puzzles for her to solve. So she went to her desk and retrieved a Reese’s Cup from her candy stash, returned to the fax machine, and rapped upon its ivory colored plastic casing with her knuckles. At the signal, a tiny pink hand and forearm covered in downy white fur extended from the darkness of the tray, into which Mrs. Hawthorne placed the treat.

“Thank you, Ollie, for that special transmission,” she said.

“You’re most welcome, Mrs. Hawthorne. I thought you would be pleased,” came the tinny response. “And thank you for the most generous treat! You shouldn’t have.”

Mrs. Hawthorne sat down and began deciphering Ollie’s notations in her head. Juggling this against that, transposing the result, all the while taking into consideration the date and time of the document. Being a formidable mathematical savant, the process did not take long. In fact, Mrs. Hawthorne’s long hand transcription of it took longer.

Her aged, freckled hands trembled as she read. “My dear Lord. Never before have I seen such an intriguing birth notice.”

Ollie’s special fax said, after Mrs. Hawthorne’s decoding,

 

Jonathan Joseph Stone. STAT: Unaffiliated

IPAR: 10. SN: 1

SSD: June 3, 1973

Mother: Constance Marie Stone. STAT: Unaffiliated

IPAR: 1. SN: 47949222

SSD: October 17, 1911

Father: Andrew Richard Stone. STAT: Unaffiliated

IPAR: 3. SN: 89754522

SSD: February 4, 1909

Birth Location: Denton County, Texas

TIIIS Contact Name: Reverend Paul Roberts

TIIIS Contact Number: (940) 382 2577

 

Gazing upon her transcription and taking in its importance, Mrs. Hawthorne paused to consider postponing her nine o’clock appointment. As the Central United States Membership Coordinator for TIIIS, The International Integrated Interface Society, this information needed to be disseminated to both TIIIS’ local and regional contacts.

The membership coordinator in Mrs. Hawthorne smiled at the word, “unaffiliated,” as it represented an opportunity for TIIIS to increase its numbers. But best of all it meant the Stones could not be counted among those godless heathens, allied to that other paranormal organization–CMES, Consilium magorum et sagarum, The Council of Magicians and Witches.

Pox upon them, she added with hard eyes. Her own allegiance with TIIIS had been forged from her desire for raw vengeance–a harsh word that could not bring back Mr. Hawthorne, ever.

Back to the transcription. Mrs. Hawthorne had twisted it in her hands while she had recalled Mr. Hawthorne’s gruesome fate.

The newborn’s Innate Paranormal Ability Rating, or IPAR, could not be any higher at ten, she noted, while his father’s had a stout rating of three.

I only have a rating of two. Mrs. Hawthorne thought. Is young Jonathan perhaps the product of good genes?

That notion, however, Mrs. Hawthorne dismissed when she considered the child’s Soul Numeral, an SN of one.

Never have I seen such a low soul number! According to this, young Jonathan carries the very first, The First Soul of Creation. If true, then he is both blessed and cursed. Poor thing. Both he and his family will be put through such tribulations. She thought with an empathic shake of her head.

When Mrs. Hawthorne took note of the Soul Separation Date or SSD of young Jonathan. She again paused to reflect.

The First Soul waited only one day, if that, to reincarnate. Usually, souls wait a considerable time before they re-enter the mortal world. But not this one. I wonder why? What would cause it to return so soon?

At that moment, Mrs. Hawthorne jerked out of her reverie as the bell over her door chimed.

“Good morning, Mrs. Hawthorne!” a cheery voice greeted.

“Ah, good morning to you too, Mr. Keeney. You’re early.”

“It’s because your office always smells so inviting, Mrs. Hawthorne.”

“Would you like a cup?”

*          *          *

A non-script, pre-World War II, red brick building near the Thames River held the London office of TIIIS on its second floor. Within this oversized broom closet of an office, the society’s president, P. I. E. Smithers, sat wedged behind his worn wooden desk with his assistant seated likewise less than six feet away. Their world consisted of a doorway, a window that viewed a brick wall, and rows of filing cabinets, their tops covered in stacked files. Neither men remembered what color the walls had been painted.

“Mr. President, have you had a chance to read the fax from Chicago?” the assistant asked as he pointed to the president’s in-box.

“Yes, I have, Geoffrey. Among the many details that make this birth report so remarkable, I note in particular The First Soul chose its next mortal carrier with considerable dispatch. That extraordinary detail alone told me it must have been for a very good reason.

“Geoffrey, start a file on this Jonathan Joseph Stone. I have a feeling we will be hearing from him.”

“Very good, sir. And Mr. President…”

“Yes, Geoffrey.”

“I have managed to secure for us a more spacious office.”

BUY