Jared the Paramedic II ~ The Family Gathers

Chapter 17: Cleansing

Main Character ListMain Character List ("<\/p>\r\n<h3 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Main Characters<\/h3>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Jared<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 29<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'3\", 230 lbs of solid muscle, trimmed dark black hair and deep chocolate brown eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic (Partner: Liam) \/ Shift Supervisor \/ Paramedic Field Trainer<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Liam<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Mathew Bear (grandfather), Melanie Bear (cousin)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Bear<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nicknames: Masqua, Standing Bear<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Titles: Sacred Medicine Man of the People, President and CEO Bear Investment Group (secret)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Liam<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 22<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'0\", blue eyes, curly blond hair, nicely toned and tanned<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic (Partner: Jared)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Jared<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Eagle<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nicknames: Mikisow, Soaring Eagle<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Troy<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 25<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'11\", brown eyes, blonde hair, solid but not overly muscular.<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Tyler<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Tyler<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 25<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'11\", brown eyes, dark brown hair, slim<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Officer (Partner: Josh)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Troy<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Josh<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 25<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\", blue eyes, light brown hair, solid. He and Darrin could pass for cousins or even brothers,<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Officer (Partner: Tyler)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Darren<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nickname: Ditch Pig<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Darren<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 26<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'0\", green eyes, light brown hair, solid. He and Josh could pass for cousins or even brothers.<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Fire Fighter<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Josh<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Spirit Guide: Wolf<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Nickname: Hose Puller<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 5<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Jesse<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 32 (looks 22)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'10\" 160 lbs, blonde hair, clear blue eyes, light olive skin (darkens considerably when tanned). Has an eidetic memory.<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Lawyer, McCoy &amp; Associates (owner, President, CEO), McAdam Construction (owner, President, CEO)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Husband: Marc (deceased)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Zane<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance:&#160;Jared II, Chapter 1 &#160; &#160; | &#160; &#160; Jared, Chapter 16 (phone)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Zane<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 26<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\" 140 lbs, brown hair, brown eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Director of the LGTBQ2 Centre<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Boyfriend: Jesse<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 11<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Conner<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 18<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'10\", 150 lbs, slightly built, brown curly hair, hazel eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Student<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships:&#160;Frank (surrogate father)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 11<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Mark<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 18<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'11\", 150 lbs, slightly built, dirty blonde straight hair, grey eyes<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Student<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Sgt. Frank Myers (father)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 15<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Adam<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 19<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\", 145 lbs, black hair, chocolate brown eyes, olive skin<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Tom (grandfather), Frank (surrogate father)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 17<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Patrick<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 17<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 6'0\", dark shaggy hair, large soft brown eyes, contagious smile, and a light mustache<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 11<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Mathew (Grandfather)<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Jared and Melanie (grandchildren), Liam, Tyler, Troy, Darren, Josh, Jesse, Zane, Conner, Mark, Adam (adopted grandchildren)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 12 &#160; &#160; | &#160; &#160; Jared, Chapter 2 (mentioned); Jared, Chapter 8 (astral)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">")

Recurring Character ListRecurring Character List ("<\/p>\r\n<h3 style=\"text-align: justify;\"><span style=\"text-decoration: underline; color: #999999;\">Recurring Characters<\/span><\/h3>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Sgt. Frank Myers<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Police Sergeant<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Mark (son) and a daughter, Conner (surrogate son), Adam (surrogate son)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 1<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Rob<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Ambulance Base Manager<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 4<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Melanie Bear<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'6\", with olive skin and jet black braided hair to her waist<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Executive Assistant to the CEO\/President, Bear Investment Group (3rd in command)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Mathew Bear (grandfather), Jared Bear (cousin)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 10 &#160; &#160; | &#160; &#160; Jared, Chapter 2 (mentioned)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Jack<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: COO of McCoy &amp; Associates<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Molly (wife), Jesse (surrogate son)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 5 &#160; &#160; | &#160; &#160; Jared II, Chapter 3 (phone)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Molly<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Jack (husband), Jesse (surrogate son)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 5<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Julie<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Office Manager for the local McCoy &amp; Associates office<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Used to babysit Jesse and Marc when they were young<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 3<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">John<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: CFO and Acting CEO, Bear Investment Group (2nd in command after Jared)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 10<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Amanda<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: A pleasant woman, shorter, plump, eyes full of life, and&#160;grandmotherly. &#160;Also a sensitive.<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Hospital Social Worker<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 13<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Marci<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Paramedic<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 14<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Tom<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 75<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Owner and Operator of Tom's Marina<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Relationships: Adam (grandson)<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared, Chapter 17<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Trevor<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 23<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'8\" 130 lbs, long blonde hair, very fine facial features with delicate hands<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Works at the LGBTQ Centre<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 4<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<h4 style=\"text-align: justify;\">Nikita<\/h4>\r\n<ul style=\"text-align: justify;\">\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Age: 19<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Description: 5'9\" slim, blonde hair, crystal blue eyes, muscular<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">Job: Works at the Chinese Resturant<\/span><\/li>\r\n<li><span style=\"color: #999999;\">First Appearance: Jared II, Chapter 14<\/span><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n<hr \/>\r\n<p style=\"text-align: justify;\">")

On Friday, Jared and Liam returned to the school shortly before the final bell of the day.  Brett took them into the oldest part of the school and up to the abandoned office area to await the students' arrival.  As they entered the room, Jared and Liam both felt the presence of at least one shadow in the room but were also sure there was more. The two of them were also quite aware the shadow knew the moment they entered the room.  Neither of the men had any fear or apprehension resulting from what they were sensing around them. 

The two of them moved a table out from the wall to set the medicine bundle, bowl, and leather hide onto it.  The two men spread out the deer hide, set the scared bowl, and placed the smudging bundle within it.  Liam pulled out four more bowls, one of black, white, yellow, and red.  He set those to the side.  In the black bowl facing the west, he placed white sage plants.  In the white bowl for the north, he placed fresh cedar.  In the yellow bowl for the east, he placed coarsely shredded tobacco. And lastly, the sweet grass braid went into the red bowl for the south.  He moved them to the side.

He then unrolled a smaller piece of leather which had the medicine wheel drawn in natural black and ochre inks.  He carefully aligned the circle in the correct direction.  From a leather bag, he pulled out a small white pillar candle on a dish and placed it on the east quadrant.  Next, he pulled out a couple of large feathers and placed them on the north.  Then he retrieved a piece of granite which had been smoothed and rounded by the glaciers at the time of the beginning, placing it on the west side.  Following that, he placed a small bowl on the south section and poured water into it from a small container.  Finally, he took a bison bone and deer dew claw rattle from the bag and placed it gently next to the leather medicine wheel.  He gently moved the sacred bowl with the smudging bundle in the middle.  He looked up at Jared who was smiling.

"You've been speaking with Grandfather, haven't you?" asked Jared with a smile.

Liam smirked back. "Maybe.  Now that I physically don't have to drive for hours to visit him, we meet in the middle world all the time for lessons.  I have started to recall more and more buried memories."

"So I see, my soulmate. The rattle, which is not a newly made one…"

Liam cut him off. "Grandfather gave it to me and I brought it back from the middle world.  It's a relic from the original Celtic tribes from one of the ancient medicine men. I didn't realize the other tribes were making the same rattle except with their local deer and bison parts.  It's part of the common knowledge of the origins of the tribes."

The first of the students came into the room and were surprised to see Jared and Liam.  They knew them as paramedics, not ghostbusters.  Soon enough, there were a dozen students consisting of six girls and six guys. Brett remained in the room with the students as well.

Jared and Liam had everyone sit in a circle for the discussion.  One by one, each of the students introduced themselves, explained why they had joined the club and if they had participated in the Ouija board session. 

The discussion was beginning to get interesting as Jared asked about spirituality in their lives if they had any.  Some of the students were mainline religions with a couple of agnostics, atheists, and evangelistic church members as well.  Jared found it to be very interesting that someone considered to be of the ultra-conservative evangelical group was in a club like this.  Brett reminded Jared politely they were not allowed to discuss religions except in a very clinical and generically factual way. Jared explained it was necessary so he had a general idea how the spirit was working once the persons were identified as being possessed. 

The group discussed their views of ghosts, spirits, and the next world.  Brett was getting uncomfortable about these discussions around religious beliefs, and his body language was showing it by squirming in his seat. Jared and Liam assured anyone there was no obligation for anyone to remain if the discussions around good or evil and religion bothered them at all.  None of the students were uncomfortable with the discussion, but they did chuckle at Brett's discomfort.

Jared moved onto the equipment the group used for ghost hunting and found it to be pretty basic items they were using.  The young people had bought all of the items online at various ghost hunting websites. 

"We are considered to be Shaman in our tribe, and we are very experienced in dealing with the spirit world," said Jared.

"You mean you're both natives?" asked one of the girls.

"We are both members of the tribe," replied Liam.  "Jared is actually called the Sacred Medicine Man of the People, and I am the Keeper of the Old Knowledge.  There are Shaman in many faiths, not just the spiritualism of the First Nations.  Don't forget, we are all brothers and sisters from the original tribes created on the earth."

"None of that's real," said one of the young men.  Liam and Jared both recognized him as one of the football players from earlier in the week.

Liam smirked at him and said, "We'll let you be the judge of that.  But, it is interesting that someone who doesn't believe in a religion believes in spirits and ghosts."

The young man laughed and shook his head.  "I believe in ghosts, but nothing else.  They are possibly metaphysical energy generated by the body and released upon death; possibly moving onto another plane of existence."

Liam smiled, "But you don't believe in God, Heaven, or Hell, and yet you're acknowledging the existence of spirits."

"Not spirits, energy releases.  There is a big difference – the church just controls you with stories of a sky fairy who will crush you if you do not behave the way you should."

"So, what you are saying is there are forms of energy released upon death, and there are other forms of energy which may be beyond our comprehension but there isn't a god."

"Nope, no sky fairies or God.  We are the result of evolution on this planet, not divine intervention."

He turned to Jared and spoke, "Grandfather would love to have tea with this young man and listen to what he says."

The young man asked, "Your grandfather?"

"He's everyone's grandfather," replied Jared.  "In our culture, anyone of that age or position is automatically called grandfather by the entire tribe with the respect an elder person should have.  My adopted brothers and I as well as our associates all call him grandfather out of respect for his knowledge.  He is known among the tribes as the Most Sacred Medicine Man of the People and Messenger of the Creator.  He raised me from a young child as my father, but I also got the benefit of his being my blood grandfather.  I got two for the price of one."

"Wow, he must be in a nursing home by now?" asked the young man.

Liam laughed, "He may be 98 years old, but he lives alone, splits his own wood, hunts wild game and still comes to visit us grandchildren on a regular basis.  He conducts sweats and many ceremonies as well."

Jared laughed aloud, "My grandfather is very active physically and mentally.  He is a challenge for myself and my brothers in any games we play, and he is one hell of a practical joker – keeps us on our toes."

The group chuckled at that information.

Jared smiled, "And on that note… let's get started.  Liam, would you smudge the room and door while I get the people."

"Of course."

Both lit bundles of white sage, sweet grass, cedar, and tobacco and blew on them until they had a large red ember.  Approximately 10 minutes later, they were both done.  While smudging the people, Jared had explained the sacred plants they were using and why.  The students found it all interesting.  Liam had smudged all the windows and doors leading from the room.  He knew something was watching him with interest and concern from a couple of different locations within the room.

Liam and Jared moved back to the front of the room.  Liam took some of each of the four sacred plants and crumbled them between his fingers into the bowl in the center of the medicine wheel. 

He took the rattle and stepped backward to shake it.  As he shook it and chanted, the bowl of sacred plants flashed with fire and then began to smolder.  That caused the group to jump.

Jared addressed the group, "We just announced to the spirit world we are here, and we were also calling the spirits and spirit guides to come in for a visit.  Before you say anything, these are the spirits of the Creator, not the shadow world.  They are here to help."

There was silence for a moment before one young man asked, "Is this like on TV where dead people visit, and you'll tell us about them?"

Liam chuckled and looked at the ground, "No, it's not like that.  Well, not like that all the time."

The young man looked confused and a few others were smiling while they sat back in their chairs with crossed arms.

Jared had the two people he sensed had been invaded move into the circle, and sit inside the big circle, facing each other.  For all intents and purposes, they formed their own circle.  He had the others tighten together but remaining in a circle with their chairs.

"Ok, let me tell you what I know after being in the room with you guys and talking with you," said Liam. "There's a low-level shadow or evil spirit in the room which you allowed through the door you opened with your Ouija board.  Two people who did the session each have a shadow inside them which needs to be removed. One person has a low-level shadow and servant of the evil one residing deep within you."  He looked at one girl who was from the evangelistic church.

She looked surprised and replied, "I don't know what you are talking about."

"You wouldn't be aware as you are under its influence.  We are sitting in the circle which represents mother earth, the life cycle, and it is full of positive power," said Jared.  "You are in a circle within a circle... and trapped.  Neither of you can flee the body you are in to hide in someone else."  The young people were looking at each other in shock and horror.

Brett asked, "Shadow?"

"A shadow or shadow person is a human-shaped figure but the color or consistency of a shadow you would make in the sun – or lighter.  It depends on the shadow's strength and purpose," replied Jared.

One of the girls from the big circle asked, "Are they evil like in an evil spirit?"

Jared answered back very quickly, "No, many are not.  Some are wandering looking for the door to leave; others hang around not even realizing they're dead.  Some may be trying to finish something they should have done before they died – usually unexpectedly.  A few are evil, and from time to time there are some truly evil ones who use the other shadows or the energy from people who are alive.  Now and then we have dealt with demons, shadows of pure evil, hatred, and a lack of morals.  Their only purpose is to feed on people, grow, and spread darkness. Unfortunately, they are real."

The young people whispered among themselves in groups.  Liam and Jared moved to the front of the room and stood behind the table. 

"We will explain everything we're doing so you can follow along to understand what we are doing," started Liam.  "On the table is the medicine wheel and in each quadrant a representation of four elements of world and life."  As he lit the candle, "This is fire and the east, the water in the bowl is the south, the rock is the earth in the west, and the feather is from the bird who flies in the air to the north.  These are also the seasons of mother earth and representation of the physical life cycle of all life on the planet.  No life on this planet can exist without these four things – in balance." He stepped to the side and Jared took over.

Jared gestured to the four bowls of sacred medicines.  "Each of these medicines has been given to us to use in our spirituality, and to protect us from the shadows or evil spirits." He took some of the tobacco and placed it into the sacred bowl on the table.  He followed the tobacco with sweet grass, sage, and cedar pieces. Jared explained the purpose of each as he mixed them, Jared said a word loudly and once again a flame appeared and then settled to a smolder.

Liam picked up the rattle and shook it while reciting, "Creator, we are here to protect and cleanse these people and ask for your help."  The two men had been facing the east, they turned and repeated everything exactly the same for each of the directions.  Liam gently placed the rattle on the table as Jared moved to the back of the room where he could observe everyone.

Liam began the chanting and prayers as he lit the smudging bundle again.  No one in the room understood what Liam was saying as the smoke began to rise in the room.  The two inside the circle were beginning to squirm in their seats, and this didn't go unnoticed by Brett.

Liam smudged himself and commenced to do a smudging of the young people in the outer circle.  Three-quarters of the way through the room cleansing, a ghostly translucent shape appeared in front of them all. 

The students in the larger circle were astounded that everyone was seeing it at the same time.  Jared moved forward and took the smudging bundle from Liam, fanning it with his eagle feathers.

"Shadow, you have one chance to show yourself peacefully," said Jared very loudly. "You may come forward to be identified and cleansed which would allow you to move on in peace."

The spirit became more defined until he materialized into an older man dressed in a suit from the 1960's. He walked over to the girl Jared suspected of being the master to the low-level shadows in the room.  He tipped his fedora hat to her and then moved towards Jared.

He opened his mouth and screeches similar to nails dragged on a chalkboard came out of him.  The students making up the outside circle placed the palms of their hands over their ears.  It didn't bother the young people on the inside circle.  The ghost box which had been left on by Jared now provided an interpretation for the people in the room.

"I wish to move on in peace... it's all I have wanted for many years.  I have been in this building for a long time and wish to leave it to the present people to look after," the spirit said.  The spirit looked at Jared and Liam directly, "You two are well known in the spirit realm as being very fair, very, very strong, and the chosen ones of the Creator."

Brett interjected, "May I ask a question, Jared?"

Jared looked at the spirit who nodded his head.  "Go ahead," replied Jared. 

"Are you Mr.  McKnight, the very first school administrator?" asked Brett.

The spirit nodded and seemed to smile.  "I am, and I wanted to stay and protect my school, but I have seen it in very good hands for many years.  I see it in your hands now, Mr.  Halgen, and I realize I am not needed anymore."

The kids in the room where amazed they were witnessing a real conversation with a ghost. 

The spirit continued, "These young people need to understand how dangerous what they did really is, and I hope the chosen of the Creator can educate them.  I tried to protect them from the evil ones who are in this room."

Jared smiled and said, "Thank you for your service to the school, Mr.  McKnight."  The group watched as he fanned the smudging smoke towards the ghost and chanted something in another language.  They missed Jared's eyes flashing pure white for just a second, opening the door for the spirit.  They watched as the spirit began to glow as the white smoke covered his form. The glow began to increase until the shape was very bright, and then it dissolved into pure white – disappearing entirely.  There was nothing now but smudge smoke.

The people in the outer circle all sat their quietly for a moment with their mouths hanging open, even Brett's. Two the young men bumped fists and said out loud, "Fuckin' A incredible, dude."

"Language," said Brett. The two young men apologized. "But, I need to agree. Fuckin' incredible guys.  Jared, these spirits are real?"

"You saw it with your own eyes and spoke with it, as well as the totally different reaction from the two in the center of the circle to the spirit you saw," said Jared.

Liam spoke from the back of the room, "The servants and spirit in the middle now have the same opportunity to voluntarily leave their hosts and stand before us."

The group turned their attention to Liam, now standing there holding a large staff.

"You guys really get into your roles for this stuff, don't you?" said one of the girls in the middle.

"You know exactly who we are, don't you?" replied Liam as he moved to the edge of the outer circle. "Who are you?" Liam's voice thundered with power through the room, shaking it enough it felt like a small earthquake.  The students in the outer circle grabbed their desks but settled down by Jared's hand signals to reassure them.

The girl's eyes in the center turned red in color, causing the outer circle of people to jump in their seats. "Yes, I know who you both are, and how weak you are compared to me.  My name is not important."

Jared diverted the spirits attention by saying, "This is the last chance for you to voluntarily leave those hosts you have blended with."  No one moved.

Liam raised his staff and held it out straight with both arms.  His eyes were glowing white as he said, "Spirits, do you wish to be released?"

One of the young people quickly replied, "Yes."

"Stand and place your hands on the staff," directed Liam.  She did so and as her hands touched the staff, a shadow left her body. Jared commanded it to approach him; it moved towards him and hovered.  He fanned the smudging smoke over them while chanting.  The shadow instantly began to turn opaque as the smudge enveloped it.  The girl, now free of its influence stood still to shake her head.  Liam moved her towards Brett to sit down.

Jared turned to the remaining person being possessed, "Leave the girl and face the Creator."

She laughed at Jared, "I really like this one, Shaman.  They preach so much hatred at their place of worship I fit right in with them.  They don't even know or care how much evil they are spreading in the name of their church."

The other girl who was a member of that church looked horrified at what was being said.

The spirit continued to speak as it looked at her friend, "You are so gullible, Cindy, the same as the rest of your friends in the church.  They speak of love... except for anyone different from your image of perfection; so many groups like yours have changed the words in the bible and then published the changes to support their position.  There isn't anything I could make them do to serve my agenda better. They also do it with free will, so they have no clue how many of the shadow servants have blended with them to draw strength from their hosts.  The people flock to false leadership and messengers, all in the name of monetary profit."

"Carla, this can't be true," cried Cindy.  She turned to Jared and Liam, "That doesn't even sound like her."

"I told you religion is the root of all evil," said one of the young men.  "I'm an atheist and all religion should be illegal."

The spirit laughed again, "You atheists are even better at spreading hate and intolerance than the crackpot religious groups are.  The atheists have created and become a religion of their own – their common belief and objectifying what they preach of there being no god.  They deny the existence of a higher being while cultivating and worshipping the hatred of anyone who does believe.  It's not enough for you atheists to not believe, you have this need to actively belittle, ridicule and promote hatred towards those who believe. You all repeat the same science doctrine and same arguments put forth by some academics for hundreds of years. Just read the blogs on MSN and Yahoo, there is so much hatred in them, it is so energizing for us.  You are so helpful in my missions, both of you.  We don't care who spreads the hatred, we just need it spread to give us strength."  The girl laughed loudly.

 The young man, as well as Brett, sat stunned at what had been said to them. 

"Enough," said Jared. Both Liam's and Jared's eyes were now bright white. 

The girl stood to face them as they moved closer.  "Fuck you shaman.  Your turn to die," she said.

She was focused on Jared and didn't see Liam's staff gently touch her on the shoulder.  As it did, there were bright sparks that flew from it as if arc welding were taking place.  The outside ring of students moved under their desks for protection.  Liam began chanting after the sparks had begun.

Jared grabbed some of the sacred plant material from the bowls on the table, moved forward and quickly threw them onto the young lady.  She threw her head backward with her mouth wide open, screaming.  As she did, a very large and black shadow orb exited her mouth and floated upwards to form a cloud.  Jared trapped it within a white orb he created.  The dark shadow inside the orb was very active as it moved around in circles trying to get out.  There were times eyes appeared inside the orb, looking out at the students which caused them to move backward unconsciously.  Suddenly, the orb cracked, and it escaped.  The black mass moved around looking for an escape from its predicament.

Liam stood back, his staff in a position similar to parade rest.  His eyes turned white as he gestured with his free hand 'come here' with the palm up and fingers curling in repeatedly.  Liam finally spoke in ancient Gaelic.  "You probably need to be with the womenfolk and children to be safe, shadow.  The weakest and sickest of them would be the only ones you would score a victory over."  He laughed at the shadow.

The shadow began to vibrate in the air giving off the feeling of a static electrical charge to everyone in the room.  People felt as if ants were on their skin from the shadow's electrical intensity. The form suddenly lunged at Liam and engulfed him.

Jared yelled out, "LIAM!"

The only thing anyone could see inside the black mass were two very bright white eyes.  Suddenly, part of the shadow formed a mouth and began to scream.  Liam was still standing in the middle, but now his form was becoming whiter and brighter on a steady basis.  The demon was burning up like an early morning fog being consumed by the sun. The last part of the demon was consumed into oblivion, and Liam returned to his current form standing at parade rest.

Jared felt relief but would be having words with Liam about the way he handled the demon.  He moved around the room and smudged everyone one more time before placing it back on the table.

"Any questions about what happens when you play with the occult, children?" asked Jared sarcastically.

There was a pause for a moment before everyone started to hurl questions.  Jared held his hand up for silence.

"What you saw today was the direct result of you guys playing with the Ouija board, and calling for spirits to appear for you.  Ghost hunting is dangerous, especially for your ages and lack of knowledge because it is usually the evil or distressed who respond to you first," explained Jared.

Liam now spoke up, "What you saw was what you might call an exorcism in simple terms.  These evil shadows or spirits had possessed your spirit, or soul if you prefer because you allowed it.  Each one of you who were possessed had a weakness, and it was exploited."

"What do you mean by weakness?" asked one of the students.

"I think your weaknesses could be summarized simply as your prejudices, dislikes, intolerances and your own personal insecurities.  These can be exploited by the shadow evil ones, but meanwhile, I suggest you find something else to do for a club and head on home," said Liam.

Jared suddenly turned his head and looked at one of the young men in the group.  Liam moved behind Jared and placed his hand on his boyfriend's shoulder.

"Jared, he needs to know," said Liam.  "But let everyone see what is happening in the room."

Jared nodded slightly. "Everyone hold hands."  The group quickly reached and took the hands of the person next to them. Jared moved and reached out to grasp Brett's shoulder.  As Jared's and Liam's eyes turned white, the group suddenly saw the presence of two more shadows who resembled people.  One was near the one young man and the other was near one of the girls who had been silent throughout the ceremony.

"Trent, I'm your mother and I finally get to speak with you."

The young man went pale, "Mom? But I kill…"

"No Trent, I've wanted to somehow speak with you all these years, it wasn't your birth which killed me. The choice was given to me to abort you and stay alive, but you were born as my gift of life to you, Trent. You need to understand this."

The woman was beautiful and stood approximately 5'5" with long dark hair.  Her son resembled her in many ways except he was taller and very muscular.  The young man had tears running down his cheeks.

"Trent, you need to drop this guilt and the belief that you killed me.  Your father has done a wonderful job of raising you, son, and he now has a wonderful wife.  She has tried so hard…"

Trent spoke, "She tried to be my mother, but my real mother is dead because…"

"Trent, she is trying to help you and truly loves you as much as any mother could love a son.  She truly loves you as much as I do.  She's not trying to replace me, she's trying to be a wife and the mother you need to grow up into a good adult.  That's all.  Trent, I made the choice not to have an abortion and take the risk of my life with your birth."

Liam moved behind the young man and touched his shoulder.  Trent's mother stopped talking as Liam linked the young man directly with the spirit. They didn't need to talk aloud as they were now sharing thoughts and memories with each other.  In a moment of the link being in place, it was over.  In that moment, the two had spoken to each other on another level where a few seconds of time is hours.  Trent now understood and accepted what his mother was saying, and for the first time in his life – he no longer thought of himself as the piece of shit who should be dead instead of his mother.

The gentle lady turned to Liam and Jared and bowed.  "Thank you, and peace be with you both."

The two men returned the bow and replied, "And also with you, mother."

The girl on the other side of the room was looking at the old man near her.

"Guido?" she asked timidly.

"Yes, little one, it is Guido.  Baba also sends her love and greetings."

Her hand went to her mouth, "Oh my God."

The spirit laughed, "No, not God – just Guido.  We don't have long little one, but we know you are having trouble getting help to go to university.  We are going to give some information to the Sacred Medicine Man of the People and ask him to act on our behalf."

The girl looked confused.

"Little one, we know you are destined to be a Doctor, and we have always known.  Your mother, our daughter was never one to save money, so we hid something from her."

"You what?"

Guido looked at the floor and then at his granddaughter.  "Your mother is a good daughter and has always been a good mother and wife, but she sucks at financial responsibility."

The girl laughed, "That's an understatement.  She drives Dad nuts."

"He has the patience and love for her only a saint could have, little one.  What we did was to hide money and saved enough for your education... room and board, too."

The girl looked shocked.

"We didn't get to tell your father because we both died in the car accident so suddenly, so I will tell the Sacred…"

"Please, call me Jared, Grandfather."

The man stared and bowed, "An honor you give me, Jared.  Please, help my little one get in contact with a lawyer we had been using in order to gain access to the trust fund we set up." 

Jared bowed to the older man, "I am humbled you choose to place your trust in me to help your loved one."

Liam stumbled slightly.

Jared steadied his soulmate, "We need to end this.  The energy drain is tremendous on us, and Liam is weak."

The two people began to fade as they both said, "Thank you."

Jared and Liam both chanted and prayed, "Thank you for your blessing of speaking with loved ones, and for the protection of the people from the shadows.  We remain your servants, Creator."

There were more questions, many of them were answered but after some time, Jared and Liam began to deflect them.  After a short time, the students had all left. 

Brett asked the big question, "What the hell did I see, Jared?  I mean, even those clothes Liam is wearing are pretty exotic."

Jared and Liam stood in front of Brett.  "I'm assuming you are one of the agnostics of the group, Brett?" asked Liam.

"Agnostic and tendency to atheist but I'm not a hate preacher like was discussed earlier," replied Brett.  "This sure gave me something to think about though.  I knew you were considered a medicine man, that's why I asked you here to help but I don't know what to believe anymore.  These powers you have, both of you, where do they come from?"

Liam gave him a very sarcastic smirk, "From someone you don't believe in; the highest power of all - the buffalo."  Jared smacked Liam in the back of the head. 

The three men left the school and headed to a restaurant and for the next two hours, Brett was educated on the ways of Mother Earth and the Creator.

End of Chapter Seventeen

Comments Appreciated at Snowblind


Other stories I have written:

The Break In

The Wilderness Canoe Guide

The Extraction