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A Dead Man's Odyssey: A Paranormal Journey into the Nether World

A Dead Man's Odyssey: A Paranormal Journey into the Nether World

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A Dead Man's Odyssey: A Paranormal Journey into the Nether World

Länge:
302 Seiten
5 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Aug 29, 2012
ISBN:
9781449762643
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

This story is about a man who had finally reached the end of his rope with the Christian assault on his soul. It was an assault that came at him from all directions, burying him in theological contradictions. By this time in his life, he had given up on his faith and decided to walk away and let the chips fall where they may. He would lead his life one day at a time, and to hell with who was right and who was wrong. It wasnt going to be a pleasant experience coming his way in this middle world that he suddenly found himself in, but it would wind up being a turning point in his lifea turning point that would bring him back into the fold, for the Shepherd is a jealous caretaker and dreads the loss of a single member of his flock. All of his issues would not be resolved, but the events happening in this place beyond the grave would ultimately strengthen his faith and would serve as his shield against further attacks from the adversary. Follow him on his journey as he finds himself stranded somewhere between heaven and hell.
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Aug 29, 2012
ISBN:
9781449762643
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

The author was born and raised in an secluded neighborhood of the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, called Piggsville, but is presently living in a somewhat remote area in upper Michigan. He lived and worked in the metropolitan area of Milwaukee until he retired in 2004 to initiate his writing career.


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A Dead Man's Odyssey - George T. Horvat

A Paranormal Journey into the Nether World

George T. Horvat

Copyright © 2011, 2012 George T. Horvat

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

ISBN: 978-1-4497-6265-0 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4497-6264-3 (e)

ISBN: 978-1-4497-6266-7 (hc)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2012914179

WestBow Press books may be ordered through booksellers or by contacting:

WestBow Press

A Division of Thomas Nelson

1663 Liberty Drive

Bloomington, IN 47403

www.westbowpress.com

1-(866) 928-1240

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.

Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.

WestBow Press rev. date: 08/27/2012

Contents

The Accident

Ljuba

Jake

Harry

Cheryl and Sister Sylvia

The Cherub and Lillith

Ljuba’s Freedom

Benito and Jerry

The Vacant Ones

Carol

The Plan

Alfred

Ambushed

The Amazing Ending

Prologue

This is a story about a man suffering from delusions, doubt, frustration, fear, anxiety and shattered beliefs, but miraculously when all seems lost, divine intervention leads him toward renewed hope and redemption. In this story he suffers an unexpected trauma that leads to disorganized fragments of reality that challenge the limits of human comprehension. However, as with many turning points in life, these experiences can sometimes be used as roadmaps when a stagnated existence becomes stale and hackneyed. E.g. same old, same old.

Revealing experiences can often be what is needed to jumpstart a faith that has been drained by a tirade of opinions and varied interpretations of the truth to a point when the truth itself becomes lost in the many truths. Many before him have walked away, frustrated, because of being inundated with a multitude of abstract interpretations of scripture. Whom do we believe, what do we believe, who’s right and who’s wrong? Is it any wonder that hands go up in frustration?

Unfortunately, this situation has been brought about because of the meddling of human minds that have muddied the edicts of The Creator to a point where confusion now reigns in theology. Because of this, Christians have become competitors, rather than partners within the church and harmony in the word has become the victim rather than the blessing.

This story is about this one particular man who by now had reached the end of his rope trying to deal with the Christian assault on his soul. It was an assault that came at him from all directions, burying him in theological contradictions.

The main battleground had by now reduced itself in his mind to the conflicts between faith and logic and logic seemed to be winning the battle because of tangible evidence, whereas faith required acceptance without evidence. By this time in his life, he had given up, decided to walk away and let the chips fall where they may. He would just lead his life one day at a time and to hell with who was right and who was wrong.

However, what he didn’t know was that even though he had given up on God, God hadn’t given up on him, despite the fact that he had become mired in the secular world because of what he had believed to be an unresponsive Creator who despite his incessant prayers had refused to heal his beloved wife from a dreaded cancer that ultimately consumed her.

It wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience coming his way in this middle world that he suddenly found himself in, but it would wind up being a turning point in his life−a turning point that would bring him back into the fold, for the Shepard is a jealous caretaker and dreads the loss of a single member of his flock.

This man was truly in for a big surprise that lingered with an ominous question that was desperately in need of an answer.

What would happen to him would not resolve all of the issues, but the events happening in this place beyond the grave, would ultimately strengthen his faith and would serve as his shield against further attacks from The Adversary.

So come and follow him on his journey as he finds himself stranded somewhere between Heaven and Hell.

The Accident

I have to admit that I couldn’t recall a single time in my life that I felt more confused than I did at this particular moment. Looking out over a landscape that was totally foreign to me and yet oddly familiar, I could only ask questions that desperately needed answers. How did I get here? I wondered. Where is this place anyway? But better yet, why am I here?

For some strange reason I had this queasy feeling that I was a fugitive from reality. Standing here at this deserted intersection on the outskirts of a city, I then began to reflect on how it all began.

–––––- 0 –––––-

I remembered that it was a soft summer day and as usual, I had just finished fixing something. Fixing things seemed to be an everyday routine lately. After I had retired about seven years ago, there just wasn’t enough money to hire someone to do the fixing, let alone replace what was broken. So the burden inevitably fell upon me.

When my wife died twenty-eight years ago I instantly became not only a factory worker, but a housewife too. That was a burden I never imagined I’d ever have to bear. She was only forty when she died. No one ever thinks that they will die at the age of forty, do they? Even at that age we still feel invincible, but then cancer is never choosey, is it?

When I retired I thought that things would get a whole lot better, but boy was I ever wrong. My first born is still with me at the tender age of forty-nine. He’s had some medical problems that just recently seem to be subsiding and even though he’s getting a late start, I’m hoping that in the near future he’ll be able to get out on his own.

If not, that’s ok too. However, I would feel a lot better if I knew that he would be all right after I’m gone, because he depends on me so much.

Well the bike is fixed, I think? It’s my son Jeff’s bike, which I was working on, not mine. He likes to ride a lot during the summer, both for exercise and to kill time. He’s been averaging over fifteen hundred miles in a season and the last couple of years he’s gone over two thousand miles. That’s a lot of dedication on a bicycle, way beyond my ambitions.

When I retired I sold my house in the city and moved north into the upper peninsula of Michigan and now live in a very rural area. The road we live on winds its way through the woods for about twelve miles, linking highway 95 to highway 69, with only a few houses along the way. We live about a mile away from a little town of about five hundred people called Channing that intersects Highway 95 and Lake Ellen Road. There are times when hours will pass before a lone car will go by. Our place is on ten acres of land, the same as about a half dozen other houses on this stretch of Lake Ellen Road, but once you go around the first bend the houses are few and far apart.

Well, I’ll just put my tools away now and hopefully the bike is fixed. If so, I think I’ll just take it out for a short ride, just to make sure everything is working properly. This thing is a mountain bike and is pretty complicated, as bikes go. It’s got a lot of gears and even has an active suspension system, so I’m going to have to take it out long enough to run it through all of the gears. It shouldn’t take more than five minutes though, so I’m not going to bother going inside to tell Jeff that I’m leaving. I’ll probably be back before he even knows that I’m gone.

It wasn’t long before I was down the driveway and out onto Lake Ellen Road heading west, in the direction away from town. We live about a mile west of Channing. There’ll be a lot less traffic going this way, but as I said, there’s never much traffic on this road anyway. It’s just that I’m not really sure how far I’ll have to go before I’m satisfied that I’ve got a good fix.

Still heading west it wasn’t long before I’ve gone through all of the gears successfully. I’m thankful that everything seems to be working just fine and think about heading back when I’m about to round the first turn by the last house on this stretch of road where Lake Ellen Road makes a ninety-degree turn and heads north.

I should really go back now but I’ve only been out a few minutes and that long straightaway heading down toward the county line is beginning to look very inviting. It’s been a long time since I’ve ridden a bike and this one is a real dream to ride. Why not? I’ll just go down to the first turn before I head back home. That shouldn’t take more than ten minutes and after all, it is a beautiful day to be out riding on a bike.

This is a straight stretch of road, fully a mile long, but just as I was within about a hundred yards of where the road turned, I saw a very large logging hauler coming around the turn headed my way. These trucks are the size of two semi-trailers and are super heavy duty with up to forty wheels under the trailers alone. They load these things up to ten feet high with logs and that’s a lot of weight. I noticed right away that he was going way too fast for that turn and I slowed down not wanting to get too near him, just in case he had to come over into my lane. It sure looked like he might have to in order to make that turn at the speed he was traveling.

I pulled over to the shoulder just as he was about to pass me and noticed that his whole trailer was swaying back and forth trying to right itself coming out of that turn. This guy was in way too much of a hurry and he was going way, way, way too fast. I’m told that these guys get paid by the load and time is money to them. The more loads they can haul in a day the more money they make. I know the mentality.

Oh-oh! One of his tie-down chains snapped and his load was shifting! I’ve got to get out of the way and quick! I was back on the pedals and pumping furiously heading toward the turn, hoping to get out of the way before he lost his load. Being buried under a load of logs is definitely not the way I want to die. I didn’t bother to look back but I could hear the rumbling thunder behind me made by the logs cascading off the trailer just as I arrived at the turn.

Whew, that was close, I murmured, knowing just how close I came to being the late great me! With that, I stopped, straddled the bike and turned to look back. Sure enough the logs had just finished settling in a heap on the road right where I had been.

Boy that really was close! Good thing I got out of there in time.

By this time the driver must have realized that he had lost his load and I heard the screeching of brakes and the flashing of red coming from the taillights of the truck, as it came to a stop in a cloud of dust, but with no Hi-O-Silver!

There’s a guy who’s got a big job ahead of him, I said aloud. I don’t think he’s going to make much money today and I’ll bet right about now, he’s in a really, really bad mood.

Then just as I was about to turn to head back home I noticed something that gave me some serious pause. There was a road here that was never here before, or one that I had never noticed before. I have to admit that just seeing it sent a queasy feeling through me.

Why hadn’t I ever seen this road before, I wondered. I’ve traveled this way hundreds of times in the last seven years since I moved up here and yet, I’ve never noticed this road before.

This is really weird, really, really weird, I muttered aloud!

The road went straight off into the woods, right off the apex of the turn in Lake Ellen Road. It didn’t seem to be much of a road though, only about one lane wide but it was asphalt, so it probably wasn’t a driveway. Most driveways up here are just gravel.

Just then I heard some beeping and looked back again to see that the truck driver was backing up to where the logs he had lost were lying alongside the road. When the truck stopped I watched him get out and just stand there staring at the logs. I’m sure he was trying to figure out how he was going to reload that mess. These trucks have their own jib cranes and even though he was going to lose a lot of time, I knew that he really didn’t need any help, so I turned my attention back to this strange mysterious road that I had never seen before.

By now my curiosity had gotten the best of me and I just had to get a better look at it. But I decided to move cautiously to the entrance, just in case it was a private road. Looking down to see if there were any houses visible, I could see that the road itself was very straight, had a slight downgrade to it and was heavily wooded on both sides. But from this vantage point I still couldn’t see any houses and decided, out of curiosity, to explore a little further in.

So back up on the bike and peddling slowly I advanced cautiously down the road, still questioning inwardly why it was suddenly here and why I had never seen it before. I was thinking that maybe it was installed recently for the purpose of new construction. That’s about the only thing that would make any sense.

Farther and farther I went and by then I fully expected to come upon the construction of a new home or perhaps a new business. But that didn’t really make any sense either. Why would anyone want to put a business in the middle of the woods? No, it had to be a new home being built, I decided.

But wait a minute, this was unusual, I thought, stopping and looking down at the surface of the road. It was asphalt all right, but it was old and weathered and cracked and by the looks of it, this road had been here for a long time, a very long time!

This is nuts!

By now I was beginning to talk to myself out loud. Somehow the sound of my own voice was a little reassuring, but not very. This whole thing was beginning to feel crazy and even though I knew that I wasn’t, was I asleep, I wondered. Was this a dream?

Nah, no this can’t be a dream! This is too real, I thought while doing a quick survey of my surroundings. Looking intently at the trees, then up at the bright blue sky and feeling the soft summer wind, I could only conclude that this is all definitely real. Yeah ok, crazy real, but nevertheless real! However the intensity of my reservations was increasing, so I resumed peddling, but more slowly this time, advancing a little farther in, hoping to see something that would make sense, anything!

Then finally, there it was. Down at what seemed to be the bottom of the grade I saw what appeared to be the corner of a house. But from here it sure didn’t look like something that had been put in recently. What little of the house that I could see looked like something that had been here for a long time, a very long time?

"This is really nuts, I muttered aloud again! An old road, an old house! Here? No it can’t be! I gotta be dreaming! I’ve gone around this corner hundreds of times and none of this was ever here before. Sure I wear glasses, but I’m not that blind! What the hell is going on here?" I questioned myself aloud.

Then taking a deep breath I began thinking that maybe the wise thing to do would be to just get out of here. But my curiosity was still strong and won out. I just had to see what was at the end of this road. I just had to! So with nervous caution I decided to continue on and take a look. Then as I slowly drew near the house, more and more things began to reveal themselves. The house seemed to be situated on the corner of an intersection down there. I couldn’t believe it, a crossroads. Here in the middle of the woods? Nah it can’t be!

But unbelievably, the closer I got the more it looked like this road did indeed end at a crossroads. Now this was really getting weird, because by now I could swear that I was actually hearing the faint sounds of traffic. Could this road actually be leading back out onto the highway? I’ve lived here for seven years! Why didn’t I know this?

OK, OK, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m just going to go down to that intersection and if I see Highway 95 then this will all make sense.

At this point in time I needed desperately to convince myself of that.

Uh-huh, I’ll probably recognize what’s down there and then I’m out of here!

I was still talking aloud, but more and more the sound of my own voice, as nervous as it was, was the only reassurance I had left that I wasn’t dreaming. I have to admit that I was actually a little afraid of what I might see when I got there. But I just had to go and look. I just couldn’t stop myself!

When I arrived at the intersection, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Straddling the bike now, with my feet on the ground, I could only stand there frozen and wide-eyed in disbelief. There was a town here! No, no, not a town! Not a town at all! No, there was a city here and it didn’t look like a small one either.

–––––- 0 –––––-

Well that’s how it all began and now I find myself, full of apprehension, standing here wondering in amazement at what lies before me. But all the time I just can’t get over that feeling that something’s wrong here, really wrong! This has got to be a dream and I’m going to wake up and this will all be gone! But wait a minute, wait a minute! I know what this could be! It’s a mirage, a mirage! Yeah that’s what it is, that’s what this is. It has to be; it’s got to be! This is just an illusion brought about by some freakish weather thing. I think it’s called an inversion or something. I’ve seen these things before but they were always far away. They were never this close and it was never that I was actually in one, like now! Wow, wow, wow!

Part of my mind said that this was fantastic and I should stay until it fades away, but the other part said, Get the hell out of here George, as fast as you can.

I have to admit that by this time my mind was racing and my heart was pumping as if it wanted to leave my body. This was all so real, so very real and yet it couldn’t be; it just couldn’t be. I just stood there for a while, captivated, my head moving slowly from side to side taking in all there was to see, thinking that at any moment it would all just disappear in a flash and I would be left standing alone in the middle of the woods.

But it didn’t, it didn’t disappear.

I seemed to be standing at the outskirts of a city because off in the distance I could see a congestion of taller buildings and I began to wonder just what city this might be. However, there were things about this city that caught my attention. Unbelievably for some reason, this city actually looked oddly familiar. It was very much as I remembered certain parts of the city that I was born and raised in, the same city where I lived until I retired. But it really wasn’t exactly the more like the way it was when I was a little boy way back in the forties.

Huh. And that was a long, long time ago, wasn’t it George! Yeah I know I’m talking to myself again.

I have to admit that the thought that I was in a dream or some kind of a time warp that went back to the days of my childhood was getting to be a little exciting. But by now I had convinced myself that this was indeed a mirage and now with my apprehensions subsiding, I actually wanted this mirage to last a little longer.

Boy, what a story I’m going to tell, I said aloud as I marveled at what lay before me. What a story!"

Looking straight out from where I was standing it appeared that I was at a remote intersection on the outskirts of this city. The street directly across the intersection where I was standing traversed off at an angle, as it bore its way among what appeared to be numerous small manufacturing facilities. Directly to the left and across the street was an open field that was somewhat overgrown and unkempt and just beyond that field was another small factory with a weathered sign painted on its old brick façade that said Flegar & Sons. All of these buildings looked as if they had been here for a very long time. All in all, everything around me looked old and weathered but oddly nothing seemed dirty. It was almost like an artist’s painting but much more real.

Now looking farther to the left, I saw a long row of houses on my side of the street with what looked like another factory farther down, just beyond the houses. The houses were all single story homes and were all similar in structure.

Hmmm, these look like the row houses that were built in the late eighteen and early nineteen hundreds for workers, I murmured to myself.

Still, everything looked neat but noticeably old. Not a single sign of debris, as one would expect in a neighborhood like this. If any of these houses ever did have paint on them, it had weathered off a long time ago, because most of the wood was quite sun bleached and gray.

That’s when I first noticed her, because up until now I had yet to see another human being. There was no one about, no one at all. Not even a car or truck had gone by since I got here. In fact it was quite deserted and my initial thought was that maybe it was a Sunday and all of the factories were shut down. But yet there she was, sitting on the middle stair of the stoop of the second house from the corner. Whoever she was, she just sat there motionless, a single solitary soul sitting and staring down pensively, seemingly unaware of my presence.

I wondered if I moved from this spot would this marvelous mirage disappear. Fearing that, I still instinctively wanted to approach this woman and talk to her. Would she disappear along with this mirage, I wondered? Of course she would, I thought. After all, she was a part of it, wasn’t she?

But I desperately needed some answers and she appeared to be the only one around. I knew that I had to chance it. What’s the worst that could possibly happen? Right?

I just had to see if she could see me the same as I could see her and if so, maybe she could explain this strange phenomenon.

So I set the bike down at the side of the road and slowly started moving in her direction.

Humph, nothing. Nothing happened. OK then, let’s get a little closer, I thought; let’s tempt fate a little further. If this is a mirage, then the worst that could happen would be that it would disappear and I’ll just find myself standing all alone in the middle of the woods, right?

But then as I drew near to her a thought jumped into my head that sent a chill through me.

I had just crossed the street, stepped up onto the curb and was walking on a sidewalk.

How could that be? If this was truly a mirage, that was impossible!

Looking down now, I noticed the rough texture of the cement sidewalk that I was standing on and rubbed the sole of my shoe on it briskly.

Oh my God, this is real, I gasped aloud! This isn’t a mirage! What’s going on here?

I could feel my heart begin to pound again and a rush came to my head. This wasn’t just a curiosity anymore.

Where the hell am I? Am I in the Twilight Zone, I blurted out, looking about frantically? Oops, there I go again! I’ve always had a problem with using expletives in emotionally charged situations and this was surely turning into one of them. Sometimes it just isn’t easy bringing bad habits under control.

But now I was getting really scared. This wasn’t funny anymore, not even amusing. My mind began to race again. How could this be? All I was doing was riding a bike down a country road and then this. This just doesn’t make any sense.

A dream! Yes that’s it. This is just a dream. I’m going to wake up and then this will all be gone. Yes, then it’ll all be gone.

I know that it was my own voice that I was hearing but I have to admit that the tone wasn’t very convincing. I was really scared now because I had never had a real life dream before. Oh sure, I’ve had realistic dreams before, plenty of those, but none that had all of these elements of reality. Even those dreams, as realistic as they were, jumped around a lot, but not this one. This one was way too real and by now it was really scaring the bejesus out of me. I just didn’t know what to make of this anymore.

Looking up I could see that the old woman had noticed me and was now staring at me with a strange expression on her face. It was a vacant kind of smile that panned her face, as if she were looking through me.

She appeared to recognize my confusion and seemed to be amused by it. Instead of looking up at me though, she just rolled her eyes without moving her head, while watching me. Instinctively we both seemed to know that an

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