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Meditation, Mindfulness, and Mirror Realms

by Bradley Ramsey (He/Him) 7 months ago in Short Story / Adventure
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Close your eyes and pull back the curtain

Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash

Most people can deal with the stress of daily life, but I’m not one of those people. I have my fair share of personal demons, usually in the form of drugs and alcohol, but at a certain point not even numbing myself works.

Try meditation, they said.

Next thing I knew, I was getting served ads all over the internet for a meditation app. And they say they’re not spying on us.

I stared blankly forward at the computer on my desk. Working from home has its benefits, but when you’re burned out, inspiration doesn’t exactly leap off the screen.

I looked over to the window on my right, at the perfect little neighborhood stretching out from my window. A “For Sale” sign sat prominently in the lawn of the house next door.

It had been empty for quite a while, but the other houses featured manicured lawns, the season’s decorations, and big families with children who played in the backyard. The quintessential American dream. So why did every day feel like a nightmare?

I put on my headphones and started the meditation app I downloaded. A soft voice spoke through the ambient noise of the track.

“Welcome to a short meditation exercise that will relieve stress and call attention to the points of tension throughout your body.”

I’ll believe it when I see it.

“Begin by closing your eyes, and focusing on your breathing. Focus on the way your chest rises and falls. Focus on the way the air flows into and out of your body.”

A series of three bell chimes cut through the ambient audio. The voice continued.

“Focus on the world just beyond the veil of your understanding. The one you’ve always known was there.”

Wait, what?

I opened my eyes and almost fell backward into the futon along the back wall. Somehow I had gone from seated to standing. The air around me was thick. It shimmered and flowed like the surface of an ocean.

I reached up to take the headphones off my head and realized they were gone. That’s when it hit me.

I’m still sitting in the chair!

I looked down at myself, calmly sitting in my office chair with headphones firmly in place. I could hear the muffled sound of the meditation track still playing.

What the hell is going on? Some kind of out-of-body experience?

I reached down and plucked the headphones from my body. To my surprise, they came right off but I remained perfectly still. The second I touched them though, the sound coming from them shifted. The voice was the same, but the message was totally different.

I placed them on my head and turned around to exit my home office.

“If you’re hearing this, then you’ve successfully crossed over. Very few people can perceive what exists in the cracks between dimensions, but for those who possess the ability, an entire new world awaits you. One of magic and mystery,” the voice said.

I stepped forward and watched as my feet hit the floor. Ripples came out from beneath each step, expanding outward and through the walls. I pushed the door open, but instead of my hallway, I was greeted by an alien landscape.

I stepped out onto swaying blades of grass that changed color when I stepped on them, pulsating with a luminescence that reacted to my every move. The place where my hallway should have been was replaced by a river of stardust that flowed and emanated tiny bursts like supernovas in its currents.

Parts of the world I knew still remained though, jutting out from the landscape at awkward angles. My bedroom was across the river, complete with my bed and dresser, but it was flanked by trees made from ribbons of color, and topped with flowers that opened and closed in a rhythm like they were breathing.

“Take caution in this realm, however. We recommend going in groups with fellow Soulwalkers, to leverage their unique abilities against the many horrors that exist beyond our reality,” the voice in my headphones said.

I took another step forward and paused as an ear-shattering roar rocked the ground beneath my feet. All around me, the grass flashed a bright red. The trees unraveled and sunk into the ground like a turtle’s limbs retreating into its shell.

In the distance I saw a gargantuan beast galloping forward on four legs. Its body was a mass of writhing tentacles with no visible head or limbs beyond its legs that crashed into the ground like skyscrapers of flesh.

In front of it, a woman was sprinting towards me with all her might. She had piercing blue eyes and auburn hair that flowed behind her.

“Get back inside!” she screamed.

I was still in shock. Paralyzed by the sights, the smells, and the adrenaline of watching an alien beast charging toward me.

The woman collided with me as I stood there, slack-jawed and completely useless. She pushed me back through the door and into my office. I landed on my back, but the impact was like falling into a cloud.

The woman turned around and slammed the door of the office behind her. She stood there for a moment, catching her breath.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

She reached down and extended her hand. I took it and climbed to my feet. She plucked the headphones off my head and placed them back on my body in the chair to our right.

“When you wake up, come find me,” she said.

I blinked and she was gone. I was back in my office, sitting in my chair, wearing my headphones. A bell sound chimed three times against the ambient audio.

“This concludes your meditation session,” the voice said.

I tore off my headphones and stood up.

“Hello? Anyone there?” I asked.

I spun around my office, looking for shimmers of grass, or any sign that what had just happened was real.

Outside my window, I saw a group of movers hauling furniture out of a track. They carried it across the front lawn, past the “For Sale” sign, and towards. The front door.

A woman stepped out and pointed inside the house. She had flowing auburn hair, and when she turned in the direction of my window, I saw those striking blue eyes.

Guess it’s time to introduce myself to the neighbors…

Short StoryAdventure

About the author

Bradley Ramsey (He/Him)

Lover of dogs, gaming, and long walks on the beach. Content Marketing Manager by day, aspiring writer by night. Long time ghostwriter, finally stepping into the light. Alone, we cannot change this world, but we can create better ones.

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