By sean mcnulty
‘Visualise those little hairs on your fingers quivering as a covert wind runs over them. It’s the same wind in your mind making the terrapins drop.’
‘Terrapins?’ asked Geissel, his eyes remaining closed.
‘Ssh. Now make a fist with your hands. No. Not for real. Visualise it. Good. Are you visualising it?’
‘Now your arms are extending. No. Not for real. Yes. Visualise. Your hands are now extending too. Palms out in front. Visualise. Yes. Now are your hands moving?’
‘No. Should they be?’
‘Yes. But not for real. Visualise.’
‘Wait, yes. I believe they are.’
‘Good. Now your arms return to your sides. And you can feel your legs, yes.’
‘Visualise. Your right foot.’
‘I feel it. I see it.’
‘Now your posterior tibial. Visualise the inversion and eversion of your intertarsal joints.’
‘Your feet. Move them about a bit. But not for real.’
‘Good. Now your soul.’
Geissel lay still and silent for a moment. Eyes closed.
Soon there was a tension and his whole body was trembling.
‘Don’t be afraid. Keep trying.’
Geissel maintained his position. But the physical strain intensified.
‘I’m sorry,’ he said. ‘I cannot get to it.’
‘God has it. And He won’t let me near it.’
Walter sighed: ‘You’re not ready. Best to try it when you are alone. Projection works more effectively without distraction. It seems you are an easily distracted man, Father Geissel. But you know what to do now.’
Geissel sat up. The lines of age on his face were more observable than usual. It was as though his brief venture into astral projection had cudgelled his spirit so hard it had revealed his earthly fate.
‘Can I ask you a question, Walter?’
‘Yes, of course.’
‘Why did you mention the terrapins? What was that all about?’
Walter replied: ‘I like terrapins. I like to drop them in there when I can.’