Dreamed 1984/10/9 by Chris Wayan
A little girl appears in my house. She speaks to us, but we can't hear her. Her image is glassy, though in sharp focus. A sort of ghost... but ghosts aren't what you think. She's a person living in another universe, learning to manifest here.
She must have been crossing over for some time, for she's used to the sound problem, and understands much of what we say--learned to read lips pretty well. But we can't; trans-cosmic communication is new to us. So she slows down and exaggerates her lips (so strange, trying to read translucent lips!) and I get a few sentences. She wants to warn us of something, but I can't get what.
A ghost investigator from Stanford arrives--an expert translator, who knows how to lipread. He's a middle-aged white guy who feels slippery to me. Reluctantly I let him in. They converse a while, silently; I feel uneasy, excluded. When he translates, he doesn't look at her to see if she disagrees. Indeed he seems to see her as an annoying distraction. He wants to tell us what she should have said, and she insists on what she merely DID say. She's just a child after all!
A child who's crossed the reality barrier.
Whatever she was warning us of, he won't tell us. Denies any such thing--"You must have misread her."
A ghostly alligator appears, creeping up behind her. As she and the investigator silently converse, we say nothing, assuming he mentioned the gator. In fact I know he did--it just seemed very casual, just "watch out for the gator" casually dropped into a speech I couldn't follow. But I could follow her answer, too: "Watch out for the WHAT?" she mouths back. Not a common word to lipread... He repeats it in a quick, casual mumble, then resumes, "...as I was saying..." He doesn't point, or enunciate, or shout--and the gator is getting dangerously close. We wave our arms and distract her, point at the gator just a yard behind her now.
The lizard leaps, but it clamps onto mere air. She blinked out, ducked home (or into a third continuum) just in time.
"Wow" says the investigator. "Lucky she believed me at last, just before it jumped."
Yeah, right. It was too blatant not to be deliberate. The investigator wants our ghost DEAD!
It makes no sense. Ghosts like her create his whole field! He'd be out of a job...
Suddenly I get a wild surmise and look hard at him. And it's there. You'd never notice unless you had the suspicion to start with, but around the edges... just the faintest hint of translucency. He knows so much about lip-reading and ghosts because he's a ghost himself. He started from another continuum, like our ghost girl, but managed to get so solid he could pass.
Guess he doesn't want rivals!
Hostile or not, he's left her a gift, though I bet he doesn't know it. He's shown us what's possible. The next time she appears, I can tell her "If HE can manifest fully in our world, with practice, you can too."
NOTES IN THE MORNING
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