Who’s Your WIP; Spirit Heath by Lisa Groszek

This month I bring you an excerpt from Lisa Groszek’s latest work SPIRIT HEATH.

~~~~~

“Oh Zander, you make me laugh so. I’m sure going to miss you when you’re gone,” Nurse Sheila said.

“My time is near,” he whispered, still smiling at his joke, admiration in his wrinkled grayish-blue eyes, “I can feel it coming. Funny, it sounds just like the wind chimes that Genie loved hanging next to the open window in our patio room, as if she’s there, calling me home.”

“Perhaps she is; rest now. You’ve earned it.”

Zander’s half closed eyes narrowed into a warm smile for his caregiver who had stayed by his side. She had refused to go home regardless of the fact that she hadn’t slept in at least a day. Nurse Sheila had seen to Zander’s care for the last five years. She cared for him as a daughter does a father. His only child had gone before him as had his wife. His family was gone, only Nurse Sheila remained now.

Zander was one hundred and eight years old, one of the oldest humans alive and his minutes were now numbered. He drifted in and out of consciousness, always recognizing Sheila’s concerned face. He knew she’d miss him and he fleetingly wondered what she’d do with herself now that his time was over. But the chimes were growing louder, demanding his attention. He was just aware enough to open his eyes one final time.

“Ah Genie, there you are my love. And Roy, my son, I’ve missed you both so,” the words were mumbled, but Sheila knew they would be Zander’s last. She sat there quietly for another few moments, watched his eyes close and his chest cease rising and falling. She kissed his cheek and covered him with a sheet.

“I hope you have found them,” Sheila whispered.

******************

Moments after exiting the body of Zander Medfin, Spirit Heath opened his silver eyes and blinked the lids a few times. He breathed deep of the sweet ambrosia that filled the air in Quadrant sixteen of the Radial. He began to sit up and felt as the billowing figure of Senior Eleanor placed the strength of her arms on his back helping him rise.

“Spirit Heath, there you are, welcome back. You lingered so long with your human,” said Senior Eleanor, “It’s hard for your being to remember how to move at first, are you well?”

“Yes,” Spirit Heath replied and was surprised at the realization that he had no mouth or voice box, “just readjusting.”

“It’s sometimes hard to let go of those human qualities, especially since you were a part of Zander for so long. Human traits are human; therefore, we leave them behind with the bodies we leave. Our communication is through the mind, though I’m sure you remember now.”

Spirit Heath did recall and was beginning to relish the thought of being home. Here he didn’t have to worry about human things like eating. Being dexterous enough to stab food with a fork, or scoop it with a spoon was bad enough, but having to hold with one and cut with the other, he remembered, was a daunting task, at least for a time. Here the ambrosia was constantly floating through the air and taken in through his porous outer layer. It was all the sustenance he would need until he was again placed with a human. He would need some time to recoup though; being through the human experience was extremely draining; it was usually at least a month or so before one was again ready to be placed.

Idly, he wondered what type of human he’d be placed with on his next visit. What would this human have to accomplish within his lifetime? How long would it last? He looked up and met with Senior Eleanor’s narrowing eyes.

“I’m surprised you have these thoughts so soon,” Senior Eleanor cautioned, “it usually takes weeks before a being is even ready to think about returning to the human world, you’ve only been here for minutes.”

“I had a restful human. I think that makes me eager to go back, after I’ve had some time to debrief and rest, of course.”

“Good.” Her tight eyes relaxed, then froze up again. “We have a special assignment this time around and I think you’ll find it an interesting one.”

He knew his mentor was hiding something, but knowing her so well; she’d get around to telling him when she was ready. He wanted her comfortable so he decided to distract her. He took a moment to observe, “You’ve gotten taller since I left. Does that mean you’ve reached your next plateau?”

“I’ve forgotten just how long you’ve been gone, Heath, a lot has changed and yes, I’ve grown. I’ve been awarded my Initial Rite Status. We’ve had a lot of coming and going since you were last here. And a lot of new ideas,” she said nodding toward the doorway to their left, “Once we meet in the Grand Hall, it will be made clear, rest now, soon enough it will be time for you to share.”

The human experience was always interesting, Spirit Heath distracted himself as he absorbed the idea of change that was clearly making Senior Eleanor nervous. Sure he could be assigned to a bat, a fish, a gnat, something with a much shorter life span, and it was always nice to try out different abilities such as floating on the air or being nocturnal, but even those things become redundant after a while. The human experience was never redundant. Good or bad, it was always enthralling because of how it would differ from the last. Of course, while in the experience, Spirit Heath could only focus on the traits of his current human, but when it came time to come home, rest, and debrief, he was able to see the intricacies that were involved in each human experience.

“Yes, I always enjoyed the human experience myself,” Senior Eleanor said with a nervous smile and quickly flashed her eyes away as they entered the sharing space, “but the domesticated animal experience wasn’t bad either. I once was a cat named Tibidoe and my owner cherished the very ground I walked on. It was nice to be taken care of and also nice to realize that some of those human emotions can be felt by animals as well. I actually outlived my human owner and was passed on to her daughter who also took good care of me. But it was incredible the sense of loss I felt after she’d gone. I became quite lazy and depressed and probably shortened my own life span as I just didn’t want to be as active as I’d been before.”

“How many of your experiences do you get to remember once you’ve moved up the ranks?”

“All of them. It takes a little getting used to, getting all those memories back at once, but after a while you’re grateful to have them. I know you’re coming up on your five hundredth anniversary which is another reason why you were chosen for the special mission. Soon you will be the mentor, I will move on to the Great Assembly, and you will be given a new spirit to teach. There are a lot of changes coming up in your future,” she finished, smiling again.

“What is it like, spending all of your time here? Do you ever get bored?” Spirit Heath noted again, her reference to change.

Her usually sure hands that have ceaselessly handled the sharing caps and Integration Stimulator, latest fibrous and Plexiglas network of sharing material to be developed, fumbled often as she prepared to receive memories of the human Zander that Spirit Heath had just left.

“Oh no, there’s always something to do. There’s always beings scheduled to come back to us each day. Getting to hear their stories is one of the best parts. It’s what allows us to keep track of the human pulse. Through all of the experiences from all walks of life we decide what things need to be changed and decide how we’ll go about making those changes. That’s why I don’t really get this conscious spirit assignment, but like I said before, once we have more information it should make more sense,” she finished with that ever present smile, but Spirit Heath could see the concern that she was trying to hide.

“Is it something you fear?”

“I always fear the unknown. And I don’t like how they said we may have to start fresh,” she threw up her narrow arms in frustration, “does this mean another ice age? They said ‘no’ when I asked, but how else would we start fresh? I don’t like not having details.”

Her eyes contracted as she concentrated on the conversation that brought her this knowledge.

“What do you mean we need to start over?”

“Senior Eleanor, the time is upon us. The humans need our help before it is too late.”

“But a full reckoning? Is that necessary?”

“It is still to be determined. Starting fresh may be the only right choice left for them. Remember your place,” the shadows behind the curtain seemed larger as they reminded her that she was not yet among them, “Soon you will be a decision maker too. We always have to remember that the decisions must be what are best for the humans.”

“Maybe this is one of your tests to see if you’re ready. They say it’s sometimes hard to do what’s necessary, but we have to trust that they know what’s best for our continued existence here, right?” Spirit Heath said in an attempt to calm her.

“I suppose you’re right,” she smirked, “it is time to get those memories out and get the ball rolling, but before we do, let’s move around a little bit to be sure you’re in top condition. Are you strong enough to glide over on your own or would you like a little push?”

“Ah, I guess you’re right, it does take a little time to remember everything. I’m glad hovering comes naturally otherwise I’d be flat on my face,” Spirit Heath laughed once, “I think I will be okay. Let’s go.”

~~~~~

LisaLisa Groszek is thirty seven years old, married, and has two amazing children. She was a middle school English teacher for twelve years, and is currently a literacy coach. She recently completed a half marathon and aspires to be an avid runner. She has loved the written word since she first began to read! She is elated that she can translate that love to the page and share it with her readers. She has published two novels, “The Lonesome Isle” and “Above and Below” which are paranormal mysteries and is currently working on her third novel, “Spirit Heath”.

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About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

2 Responses to Who’s Your WIP; Spirit Heath by Lisa Groszek

  1. OK, that was really interesting. Great excerpt, Lisa.

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