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Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Friday, 20 December 2019

Lizzie's Cosmic Christmas Journey - A Christmas Story from Janey Bracken for 2019

Lizzie Thompson lay perfectly still as she peeped over her bed covers and stared at the tiny glowing light shining from the ornately moulded cornice above the door in her bedroom.  She blinked and pulled the covers even more tightly around her chin as the light seemed to move in the darkness.  Lizzie wasn’t unused to strange things happening in the cold and draughty Victorian house where her mother and father rented the two top floors and her Granny and Grandad lived on the first floor and also had rooms in the basement of the large terraced house.  It was 1959 and the Thompson family had lived in the house in Renfrew Road, Kennington, London since Lizzie's Grandparents were in their twenties.  Ten year old Lizzie always felt that the house was haunted, she and her brother Tony, who was five years older than Lizzie, had never really talked about it, but she knew that Tony had had nightmares in the past where he imagined someone was standing at the end of his bed; He had told their  Mum and Dad about it, but they just said he must have had a bad dream. Lizzie shut her eyes tightly deciding to ignore the strange light, and exhausted, she finally drifted off to sleep.

It was the week before Christmas and Lizzie’s Dad John had brought home a small Christmas tree, John worked in Brixton Market in the furniture shop there and he had also brought home a big bag of fruit and vegetables to stock up the larder, he knew that by waiting until the end of the day, just before the market stalls packed up for the night, that he could get some real bargains.  They had to watch every penny as times were hard. Lizzie jumped for joy at the sight of the Christmas tree, her brother briefly looked up from reading his Superman comic and then bored, he carried on reading about his hero the legendary Man of Steel.

Lizzie’s Mum Mavis told her that she’d have to wait until they’d had their dinner of stew and dumplings before she could decorate the tree, her Dad had been working hard all day and he was hungry.  As Mavis served up the food John had quickly sorted out a pot of soil for the little tree to sit in and once potted, he put the tree  on the low side-table in the corner of the room.

After dinner Lizzie nagged her Mum until Mavis went and got the box of Christmas decorations down from its storage place on top of the wardrobe.  Lizzie watched as her Mum opened the box full of delicate ornaments wrapped in newspaper and cotton wool. Mavis sighed as she found a couple of the glass baubles had been broken. She had always wrapped them carefully each year, but for some reason the thin glass had shattered.  She cut some lengths of black cotton for Lizzie to thread through each bauble top to tie them to the tree branches. Lizzie loved it, the shiny sparkling decorations had always filled her with wonder, but best of all was the angel for the top of the tree, a pirouetting ballerina angel with an organza dress and silver wings. The little angel was tatty now, but Lizzie loved her and Mavis helped Lizzie to place the ballerina right at the top of the prickly tree.  The multi-coloured lights on the tree shed a soft glow over the shiny baubles and Lizzie loved to sit next to the table gazing into the branches with  the smell of the pine needles adding to the magic of the whole thing. Lizzie’s Dad hung some paper chains with crepe paper bells and globes from the ceiling. Lizzie was in her element. 

Mavis, who was busy making tea for everyone, asked Lizzie to go downstairs  and switch Granny and Grandad’s electric blanket on so their bed would be lovely and warm by the time they were ready to retire for the night; The old house was freezing in the winter, although her Grandparents did have a coal fire in the sitting room in the basement where they spent most of their time, the other rooms, including their bedroom on the first floor were really cold. Lizzie stiffened with fear, oh no, she thought, how she hated that room on the first floor where her Grandparents slept.  But she just nodded and headed down the stairs. She’d never seen anything, but she sensed that there was something in that bedroom that filled her with dread.  She quickly ran into the room and without looking around her, she went straight to the double bed and switched on the electric blanket before running out again, however, as quick as she was, she thought that she did just catch a glimpse of a reflection of an eerie glowing white light in the dressing table mirror as she hurried out of the room.  It reminded her of the light she had seen in her bedroom. Shaking, she climbed the stairs back up to the safety of the living room and her Mum and Dad.

Throughout Lizzie’s childhood she had experienced unease in the big old house, she had run down the stairs to the basement on one occasion to go and see her Grandparents and something had knocked into her halfway down the staircase, banging into her shoulder, but there was nothing to be seen. She had often heard noises too, as if someone had bronchitis and they were struggling to breathe. wheezing and coughing, but again no one was there. She had scary dreams of ghostly people in Elizabethan style  clothes wandering about in the yard at the back of the house and she would wake up in a sweat and full of fear. In the daytime objects would go missing, her toys would disappear, only to reappear again the next day.  Lizzie had always been a worrier, even in her childhood she fretted that something would happen to her or her family, although her parents were full of love and they gave Lizzie and Tony a safe and wonderful life with the little money that they could scrape together.

Christmas Eve soon came around and Lizzie excitedly went to bed, she knew that she would have trouble getting off to sleep as she couldn’t wait to see what she would have in her Christmas stocking the next day.  Suddenly Lizzie spotted the same glowing light in the corner of her room, she dived under the bedclothes, but when she glimpsed again it was still there, she was terrified. Slowly the orb of light began to float over to the bottom of her bed and she could see the outline of a tiny being inside the orb as it began to grow. Lizzie could hardly breathe, she was frozen to the spot, her body feeling like lead as she saw the semi transparent figure forming from the light.  Lizzie watched as the features of the figure took shape and Lizzie had the strange feeling that the entity looked vaguely familiar.  She suddenly heard a voice in her head telling her not to be afraid and the complete fully formed figure of a middle aged lady smiled down at Lizzie in the room now lit by the lady’s aura of greens and sparkling blues and yellows.

The spirit told Lizzie that she must get out of bed and go into the living room. Lizzie was still afraid but did what she was asked, suddenly being able to move from the paralysis that had enveloped her.  As Lizzie entered the living room there was a hissing sound coming from the Christmas tree as water ran down the wall onto the socket where the Christmas tree lights were plugged in; There were also sparks and the bottom of the tree was actually smouldering.  She heard the spirit’s voice once again in her head “Go and wake your parents Lizzie, hurry” it said, and with that Lizzie sped off into her parents bedroom to tell them about the fire. Lizzie’s parents both sprang into action and her Dad switched the electricity off at the mains before tackling the melting lights and singed tree.  The leaky roof dripping onto the electric socket had nearly killed them all, if Lizzie hadn’t have woken them up the whole house may have been engulfed in flames. Lizzie looked around as soon as she came back into the living room, but there was no sign of the spirit lady.  Lizzie decided to stay silent about the spirit and when her Mother asked her how she had discovered that the tree was on fire, Lizzie just said she hadn’t been able to sleep and wanted to look at the Christmas tree. Lizzie’s Dad cursed himself about not unplugging the tree lights before they went to bed as he should have done, but at least Lizzie had saved the day.  Making sure everything was safe, they all went back to bed and Lizzie, still amazed at what had happened, drifted off into a fitful sleep. She had never seen the little white orb again since that night, it seems the spirit lady’s job was done. 

Christmas day was lovely, Lizzie and her brother opened their presents and Lizzie was delighted with her new roller skates and other toys.  Mum Mavis cooked a feast of a turkey roast with all the trimmings. along with Christmas pudding and custard for dessert.  Granny and Grandad joined them for Christmas dinner and everyone had a great time.

It was only when Lizzie was in her twenties that she spoke about the old Victorian house being haunted.  After her Granny and Grandad had passed away Lizzie’s parents had decided to move to a modern house in the same area. The old house was sold to a builder who would renovate it and sell it on; The house needed so many repairs that John and Mavis didn’t think they could afford the upkeep now that John’s parents had died.  So Lizzie, brother Tony and their parents sat chatting one day and Lizzie decided to tell them about the orb and the other ghostly things that happened in the old house.  Mavis looked at her daughter and said that she too had experienced things in the house.  Grandad’s bedroom which had always spooked Lizzie had been Mavis’s bedroom when she was a child and Mavis admitted that she had seen two ghosts in there one night, she said she thought they were children and they were hand in hand as they glided into the room from where the wardrobe stood. Mavis, too scared to get out of bed had simply hidden under the bed covers all night, similar to what Lizzie had done when she first saw the orb, but Mavis  had never told anyone about it.  Tony told Lizzie that he hadn’t felt comfortable in that room either and when Grandad and Grandma had died he refused to move in there and said he would rather sleep in the basement, eerie though that was. Tony told how he had frequently heard the wooden towel rail on the back of the door being turned in the scullery, just along the passage from his bedroom, but there was no towel on it and no one in the scullery to turn it or dry their hands.  Dad John was still sceptical, however, the underground tube train system ran below the houses and you could feel the building tremble as trains passed through, so he thought this may have led to the family thinking that the house was haunted.  In spite of it all the family had happy memories of the big house and although poor, they had spent lots of happy Christmases there. 

Both Lizzie and Tony had married a few years later and Tony and his wife June and their two kids had moved away to live near Tony’s  job on the other side of London. Lizzie and her husband and moved just a few doors away from her parents so that she could look after them in their twilight years. Lizzie and her husband Steve had eventually  split up and now she was on her own after both of her parents had died within a short time of each.  Her Mum seemed to have given up after her dad had passed on, they had been so close and Mavis couldn’t face life without her John. However, Lizzie wasn’t lonely, she worked locally at the Post Office at the end of the road, so she kept herself busy and she enjoyed chatting to the customers, most of them regulars, who dropped in.
Lizzie had stayed in the house that she had shared with her ex-husband Steve, she never married again. but she had a friend called Paul who she went out with and they were both happy to keep their own homes instead of moving in together.  Paul was a postman, so they had got to know each other through work.

It was December 20th  2012 and Lizzie felt tired after being out all afternoon doing her Christmas shopping. She was in for the night and decided to pour herself a glass of wine and watch television.  Around  9pm she dozed off in the armchair and had the same dream that she’d had a couple of nights running. It was as if she was floating in the corner of a dark room and looking down at someone in a bed below her.  The small figure in the bed had hidden his or her head under the bed covers and Lizzie couldn’t make out what the child  looked like in the darkness.  She woke up at the same point in the dream as she had the other night, the point where she attempted to float down to the bed for a closer look at the frightened child.  Now fully awake, she got up out of the armchair and made herself a cup of hot chocolate before finally retiring to bed.

Paul had popped around to see Lizzie on Christmas Eve, but he had to leave early to take some Christmas presents around to his sister Val’s house for his nephew and nieces.  Lizzie didn’t mind, she would be seeing Paul on Christmas night and they could have a nice chat and a drink to catch up then.  Lizzie watched a Christmas film on the tv and phoned her brother Tony to wish him and his family a Happy Christmas. They’d asked her to come over for Christmas dinner, but Lizzie just wanted a quiet Christmas at home this year, she wasn’t as young as she used to be and she liked to do her own thing, plus she wasn’t keen on travelling to the other side of London when everyone would be rushing about and the roads would be icy because of the snow they’d had for over a week now. 

Lizzie stayed up late that Christmas Eve, she’d started to watch another movie but found she kept missing bits as she nodded off to sleep all the time. She was comfy and warm in front of the coal fire and her Christmas tree lights twinkled prettily.  She still had the little tree top angel from all that time ago when she was a kid. The angel was collectable now being that it was a vintage angel from the fifties and Lizzie still loved it.  Suddenly Lizzie spotted some smoke near the bottom of her Christmas tree, she quickly became alert and jumped out of the chair to see what was on fire.  However, rubbing her eyes, she could see that the tree wasn’t her tree with her modern baubles and tinsel, it looked like the  one from her childhood with the old fashioned lantern lights and she could see the cable was melting and sparking, causing the smoke as water dripped down the walls onto the plug from the ceiling.  It wasn’t only the tree that had changed, Lizzie, in shock, suddenly realized that she was back in the living room of the old Victorian house from her childhood. She moved swiftly to the tree and tried to pull the plug out of the socket, but her hand simply went through the plug and the wall as if she was a ghost. Was she dreaming? Well it seemed so real to her that she felt she had to do something to stop the house burning down.  She headed towards her old  childhood bedroom and realized that she wasn’t touching the ground but floating just under the ceiling as she passed through the wall and into the room where the young 10 year old Lizzie was in bed trying to get to sleep.

She gradually floated down to the bed and the old and the young Lizzies stared at each other, the child shaking in fear.  Lizzie smiled at her younger self and tried to speak to her, however no words came out, but she realized that she could talk to the little girl through her mind.  She had to get Lizzie to wake her parents to tell them about the tree being on fire, so she had no time to waste. Luckily little Lizzie followed her instructions and went  into the living room to see the fire, the girl then sped off into her parents' bedroom to wake them. Lizzie felt herself being pulled back to the ceiling and suddenly with a thump she landed back into her body. She was still sitting by the fire in the comfy armchair, her own 2012 Christmas tree back in place in front of her. 

Lizzie sat there confused and wondering if it had all been a dream, but then again, although there were gaps in her memory from her childhood days,  she did remember that strangely lit orb shining from the ceiling in her bedroom, but everything else was vague.   She wasn’t sure how it happened, but somehow Lizzie had travelled back through time to save herself and her family from tragedy and Lizzie had contacted her younger self. She had always been interested in science and she loved to read science fiction and ghost stories, maybe it was because of her experiences as a child in the house that she had always been convinced was haunted.  She remembered one book she had read about quantum physics, it explained time-zones and different dimensions where people could have more than one version of themselves, doing slightly different things and living in parallel frequencies alongside each other, but it was all too much to think about that eventful Christmas Eve.

Paul came over as promised on Christmas night, he brought some wine and chocolates and he gave her a gold bracelet for Christmas, it was a charm bracelet with three golden charms already attached, an angel, a tiny Christmas tree and  beautiful little pendant with I Love You written on it. Paul had put both their pictures inside the pendant and Lizzie’s eyes welled up with tears as she thanked him. How lucky she was to have Paul, he had always been there for her and maybe, just maybe they were both ready to take their friendship to the next level, who knows what the new year would bring.

Note: There had been much speculation as 2012 approached that the end of the world was about to happen. The ancient Mayan Calendar predictions did not proceed beyond December 2012 and many people had expected some major event to happen to destroy the planet.  However, everything seemed to carry on as usual and the world, still full of good and bad, appeared to continue along its path.  There were some real mysteries, however, people have different memories of small things changing, some remember their favourite breakfast cereal being spelled differently, or a line from a classic movie, but worded not quite how they had remembered it, a phenomenon that became known as the Mandela Effect.  Lizzie’s book about time-lines and dimensions had been closer to the truth than she thought, December 2012 saw the entanglement of the time lines suddenly join together as one dimension to produce a positive future for mankind with one outcome, the golden era. The Universe had spoken, it was time to dispel evil and corruption and for the whole truth of the real history of the planet to come out with the great awakening of the populations.  It may be slow, it may be painful as the bad influences fight back as they are forced to relinquish control, but their battle is useless, the game is over and they must learn to be part of the harmony and peace that Mother Earth has now chosen for the future generations.

Happy Christmas for 2019 and here’s to a wonderful 2020 for everyone.

Janey Bracken