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Mormon Ghost Stories

Somewhere In Between

Cover Image for Somewhere In Between
Moroni's Ghost
By: Moroni's Ghost

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

1 John 4:1

The bell on the door jingled as I pressed it open. The smell of dust and overly strong perfume permeated the small shop as I stepped inside. I never thought I would end up in a place like this, but all other avenues had been fruitless. So, this was a last resort really. And one I really wasn’t looking forward to.

Gaudy decorations hung around the walls of the room, an ostentatious neon sign which read “Psychic Readings” being the most prominent of them, hanging in a place of honor in the middle of the room. A framed poster depicting tarot cards hung next to it. An array of other paraphernalia dotted the rest of the walls. A wooden moon, a carved image of two hands extended out offering nothing and an array of crystals were among them.

“I’ll be right there” called out a sickly sweet voice from the back room. “Please make yourself comfortable.”

I sat down on one of the two dark purple chairs that sat beneath the neon sign. Bright pink pillows with white embroidery and frills decorated the seating. A high backed chair with plush looking arms sat on the other side of the small room with a round table filling a space in the middle. Atop the table was a crystal ball, perched on a stand that looked as though someone had bedazzled it.

I sat there, questioning my decision to come here in the first place, when a woman finally came around the corner. She was not wearing the stereotypical gypsy outfit one might expect when coming into a place like this, though a large exotic necklace hung about her neck. Her auburn hair was in tight curls and fell down onto a smart white top. A black pencil skirt completed the more modern than expected look.

“Oh, Brother Billings, I was expecting to see you sometime this week, but not so soon.”

“Please, you can call me Tom. How did you know that I would be coming?”

“My readings of course. I see all my clients before they are actually here. Some just appear more clearly than others. How is Rick doing? I suppose that's why you are here?”

“How did... why yes, it is. I just... I just wish I could do something to help him.”

“I’m sure the doctors are doing their best. But a coma this long... chances start to get pretty bleak I hear. I’m sensing that the doctors are starting to consider other options, I imagine you have some tough decisions ahead?”

“Yes, I’m all he has left, so I have to be the one to make the call. Obviously I want to hold on to hope, but the medical bills are stacking up and I don’t know what to do.”

“Well, you have come to the right place. I’m sure I can help you know what to do.”

A small sense of relief washed over me. “That’s good to hear. Can I just ask one thing? Can you not mention this to anyone else in the ward?”

“All of my consultations are confidential. You have my word, I won’t mention this to anyone.”

Another wave relief washed over me. “Great, thank you.” I had been worried that if the bishopric knew I had sought out Sister Valentine’s services they might have second thoughts about my service in the young men's organization. I had heard of other members in the ward coming to use her services, many with great success. But the bishop had a vendetta of sorts with Sister Valentine. It sometimes seemed as if he was jealous of how popular her readings and accuracy were. He was big on priesthood and using the correct channels of authority. Sister Valentine seemed to throw that reliance on the bishop into question.

“So” Sister Valentine said “what is it you would like to accomplish today? Would you like me to speak to your brother?”

“Yes, I just want to know what my brother would have me do. I want to know if he wants us to keep him on life support or... if he is ready to say goodbye”

“Then let’s begin. It helps that I am already familiar with your situation. It will strengthen my connection to the spiritual realm.”

She reached into the drawer of a small nightstand that sat beside her chair and pulled out two short candles that had seen better days. She placed them on opposite sides of the table. Then held out her hands and motioned for me to hold them. I did so awkwardly.

Then she began to chant but not in any language I was familiar with. They sounded like nonsense words, but there was a repetition to them. As the chanting continued she paused long enough to say “now, chant with me.”

I fumbled along, trying to mimic the words she was saying. As I did so, a faint glow started to shine in the crystal ball on the table.

“Ah, that was quick.” Sister Valentine said. ‘I knew our strong connection would help things along.” The chanting stopped but the faint glow in the crystal ball remained. “Do you have anything on you that belongs to your brother? Oftentimes objects can help lure the spirits of those they belong to.”

“And this will work even though he is still alive?” I asked skeptical.

“Yes, it works with those in a coma, even those asleep who are dreaming. They are no longer just in the physical realm. Instead they have one foot in, one foot out as it were.”

I fished around in my pocket and pulled out a baseball card that Rick had owned as a child. I had done my research ahead of time and thought a personal possession might come in handy.

“Ah yes good!” she said “Something that he owned and will be nostalgic to him, effective bait indeed. Someone prepared ahead of time!” She winked at me and took the card, placing it in the middle of the table. She took my hands once more, then began to speak.

“Rick... Rick... Fredrick Billings, we wish to speak with you... I am here with your brother Tom. I am here because he wants to speak to you Rick...”

A sudden chill filled the room. I shuddered at the briskness of it.

“Ah, so you can hear us Rick... I need you to come closer Rick... Tom has some questions. I know you must want very badly to watch over your body Rick... but Tom needs to speak to you. We won’t keep you for long.”

A strong burst of wind swept across the room, blowing the baseball card up into the air. But instead of gliding back down to the ground, it stood suspended in mid air.

“Ah, Rick, how nice of you to join us. Your brother knows you well. It has been a while since I have seen someone so attached to something in the physical world.”

Sister Valentine’s face then contorted into a twisted shape. Her voice dropped an octave as she began to speak. “Sister Valentine! Well, I never would have expected Tom to come see you, let me tell you. Tom! How’ve you been?”

My jaw dropped to the floor. The voice, the way it spoke. It didn’t sound exactly like Rick because it was Sister Valentine’s voice. But the inflection, the way she spoke, it sounded just like Rick.

“Rick...” I said “is... is that really you?”

“Sure is baby bro. Things have been rough lately huh? I see all those doctors always yapping at you.”

“So you know what’s on my mind then huh? I just... I just don’t know how I can be the one to make this call. That’s why I wanted to talk to you. So that you could be the one to really decide.”

“Well, to be honest, I’m kind of digging the setup I have right now. You wouldn’t believe the things I am seeing while in this coma. Of course they tell me I won’t remember a lick of it once I wake up.”

“So you are going to wake up? That’s great? Do they tell you when that will be?”

“No, they don’t really give us details like that at all. But they keep us busy. You know all that stuff about spirit prison and paradise? Turns out, that's why people go into comas and stuff. We sort of act as middle men for the spirits in paradise to go teach the spirits in prison. I don’t fully understand it myself honestly, but something about the wicked spirits in prison and the righteous ones in paradise not being able to mix. So the ones in paradise have us teach the ones in prison by playing a game of telephone with them. We help convey all their messages.”

“Oh, and you, are you enjoying that?” I asked.

“Oh, I am having the time of my life up here. They tell me I am one of the best they have ever had come through. Spiritual conversions are through the roof!”

“So, what does that mean? You won’t be coming back? At least not soon?”

“I mean, like I said, I don't really know. But you don’t pull your star player off the field when you are behind at the bottom of the 9th am I right?”

“So, I shouldn’t listen to the doctors? I should keep you around?”

“I’d prefer it that way, that way I get to help in this great work here I am a part of. And don’t worry about the bills. I can help with that. They don’t give us intel on when we wake up while we are up here, but I do know a few things that’ll help you cover my medical bills. No winning lotto numbers or nothing like that, but there are enough guys up here with insider knowledge on stocks, I could make you a fortune. Think of it as insider trading, but no one would ever know, since you know, I am in a coma.”

“Are you sure Rick?”

“Tom, you know me, I make things work.”

Rick had always said that phrase while they were growing up. And it was true. Tom had come in here hoping for some solace that he might find peace in letting his brother go. But, if Rick could really help him afford his bills, then there would be no reason not to hold on to hope.

“Alright” I said “I’ll tell the doctors no. We are going to hold on as long as we can.”

“Glad to hear it! But just remember, you are gonna have to come talk to me so we can start on that financial plan of yours... oh, looks like they are calling me back to work here buddy. I’ll see you next time though”

And with that, the glow of the crystal ball disappeared as the baseball card finally fluttered back down onto the table. Sister Valentine, who had stayed in a fixed position during the entire chat, collapsed onto the table.

“Are you ok?” I asked as I got up to help her.

“Oh I’m fine dear, happens all the time. Just a bit of tea, herbal, of course, and I will be right as rain.”

I got her a cup of tea and we sat for a few minutes in silence.

“Well,” she finally said “did you get the answers you were looking for?”

“Yes, I did... did you not hear it?”

She laughed “Ha, no, not at all. When I am acting as a conduit for a spirit I completely black out. Well I am glad you found what you are looking for then.”

I paused “...would it be ok if I came back the same time next week? I want to speak with Rick again.”

She looked slightly surprised for the first time, then said “Of course, I am here anytime you need.”

“Great,” I said, “plan on me being back then.” I started to get up to leave, excited at the thought of visiting my brother’s body after having had a chance to speak to his spirit.

“Oh, before you go” Sister Valentine said “will you be paying with cash or card?”

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