(Chapters 1 & 2 in previous posts)
Sedona was said to have vortex’s, portals of energy that could heal the sick and cure the sad. It hung above them, like the silhouette of an alien castle visible through prisms of light. It was the time when daylight mingled intimately with dusk, and the copper terrain lit up like a gateway. They approached it excitedly, Elle thinking that they might be on Mars, because everything felt slower, scarcely defined.
They went on a hike to explore the skirts and sheets of crimson rock, and when they got to the top, Adam sat sprawn legged and started stacking pebbles, his clunky boots on either side. Adam had never looked as beautiful to her as he did meditatively stacking rocks on top of each other with precision and care, with the ruby mountains as their backdrop. In moments he was so apparently a child, the same way Elle, with her ancient heart, was so apparently the opposite. She walked through the curved crimson rocks toward solitude. When she looked for long enough, the jagged corners of the mountain appeared to contort into wise mens faces. Sometimes she wanted to climb into the skin of the mountains, or trees, and live as a fractal of the earth. She skipped threw the mountain side, ascending up, up up, the dimming light reverberating on her gilded footsteps. She reached the pinnacle, and lit a candle she had in her pocket for Steve, her dead ex boyfriend. She thought about how he had always said that he was like a cat, with nine lives. She hadn’t been able to forsee, even with her tarot cards and knowledge of planetary movements, which one would be his last. Time stood still on the mountain.
They had both taken a flight from reality, and seemed to enter an altered state.In the delirium of what had been a very emotional, mystical day, they had forgotten to eat, so they went to a nearby supermarket. Everyone there appeared to be operating at a slower pace. When they returned to the car park, they stopped, heads cocked, mouths open. The stars glittered above them like jewelled insects, opening and closing. Neither one of them had seen so many stars in their lives, and Elle, who was convinced that she was from the stars, gazed up, longingly. They were taken out of their trance by the appearance of a figure who seemed to come from nowhere.
An elderly woman with a big, leather brown bag had hobbled over towards them. “Excuse me, I’m sorry to bother you, but I need a ride to the Denny’s, thirty minutes away and I was wondering if you could help me.” she said, in a calm, collected tone. She had a surprisingly soft, young face for someone of her age and stature.
Elle had learned from fairy tales to never turn away a mysterious stranger, because if you were kind, some of them grant wishes. Adam was a little more apprehensive, but after a few meaningful looks, they both agreed, and they let her into the back seat. In the privacy of Adam’s car, she revealed that she was a psychic, a healer, and a vortex guide in the area. Elle, nearly jumped out of her seat. She agreed to stop off at a vortex and star lookout spot on the way to Denny’s. They asked her countless questions, the main one being if aliens had ever visited the area. She replied in an almost robotic, dazed voice. “Space brothers and sisters. Yes we have been visited by Space Brothers and Sisters. I belong to the Great White Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Ascended Masters. Jesus Christ is the Highest Ascended Master. Some space brothers and sisters are good, and others are bad.” Her fingers were firmly clasped on the handles of her leather bag, the contents of which grew more and more mysterious.
When Elle prompted her with more questions, she responded with the same monologue, word for word. Adam disguised a laugh as a cough. For an instant, Elle felt a surge of anxiety, wondering if they had let a robot into the car, or if they were going to be taken to some secret CIA database, and she would be tied up and drained of her magic. She held her imagination back, knowing it often got the best of her.
Elle shared that she had started doing healing work too, that her ex boyfriend had recently died, and what held importance in her life was changing. Before she could utter another word, the healer put both of her hands on Elle’s shoulders. “I initiate you into the Great White Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Ascended Masters. You should come to our mystery school. We meet three times a year in an undisclosed location to teach.”
Elle took a deep breath inwards, not really knowing how to respond, but whispered, “Thank you.”
They arrived at the Denny’s after what felt like a lifetime, and before the healer got out of the car, Adam turned to her and asked if she could help fix Maureen. She claimed to be able to active DNA, and cure cancer. She said she could, for $400. Then she led them both in meditation, and asked them to imagine gold pouring into their crown chakra, going through their head and filling up their bodies. When she got out and opened the door of the Denny’s to enter, a black cat walked out. Elle thought of Steve.
They headed, filled to the brim with molten gold, to go seek out the place to watch the stars. In the stagnant peace of the night sky, the mountains around them had turned to deep purple. They took out a blanket, and laid back, still excitedly chattering about the strange hitchhiker. There was a moment of dispute over whether she was legitimate, and Elle, who felt an unease growing in her body, didn’t believe she could cure Maureen’s cancer. This agitated Adam, who argued that Elle thought she knew everything, and she didn’t. Their bickering softened under the flowered nebulas above. The stars shone in foreign colors, hovering in space like butterflies, pirouetting and spinning around their heads, which were conjoined in the desert carpet. They saw shooting stars, mystical ecstasies vibrantly outlined in the atmosphere, caught in midnight silk. Elle longed to return to the stars, but was also relieved that they were out of reach. She thought, if humans could kill stars, they certainly would.