The Beginning Begins
The soul we got to know In The Between, didn’t get to go to Heaven. Too much karma. She accepted reincarnation and selected her new parents. Immediately, as The Beginning Begins, she discovers she’s not alone. The soul sharing the womb is well known from prior incarnations. Now named Zoë and Madison, they are able to remember some of their past-lives, are in spiritual contact with the mind aspect of their souls, called Starry and Blaze, and see whatever their mother sees, through her eyes.
Well educated and wealthy, their dad, Isaac/Zak, is an archeologist seeking the scrolls copied-out by Zoë when she was Salome-Alexandra, the Queen of Israel. He’s also trying to find the Urim and Thummin, those dice she rolled out to tell the future when she was the queen, as well as when she was Duanna, in Uruk (Mesopotamia), living her incarnation as the high-Priestess of Inanna. Their mother, Jasmina/Jazzie, is a “sensitive” from a long line of women mystics who practice magic. Ultimately Jazzie sees auras, spirits, and ghosts in an effort to help her husband find those long lost items and to protect her unborn children.
She must, since the man, named Abraham Sharp—previously incarnated as Zoë’s son and in another past-life as Madison’s husband—is a billionaire in this life, using the practical magic of the Hebrew Kabbalah to find those same scrolls and dice.
Zoë’s resentments towards her twin brother, Madison, who once indirectly caused her to die from an overdose of opium when they lived as sisters in Egypt, and also more directly was the cause of her being burned at the stake during the Spanish Inquisition, are resolved. But Abraham Sharp’s bitterness has festered for thousands of years and is only now being brought into the open for those old karmic debts to be paid—waiting for the people—souls—to be in the right place at the right time.
Here is an except from Chapter Fourteen
Mom woke with a start to the sound of loud thunder. Lightening flashed from the window causing her heart to beat faster. She gasped. Madison and I watched through her eyes to find out what happened. Another clap of thunder sounded like it was right on top of the roof. The flash-powder lightening lit up the entire room. Mom gasped again. She remained in her curled position, with her face on the pillow, but clearly able to view the door. The only movement was from her chest pounding out its increased heart rate.
“Madison, did you see that Roman soldier?” I whispered.
“Yeah man, the dude had a mean look on his face. Acted like he was looking for something.”
“Maybe someone,” I suggested. “Wasn’t that fist to chest then arm straight out thing he did just before he faded away a Roman salute?”
With the next clap of thunder and lightening strike the figure was completely gone, but a hand could be seen that was inside the door feeling for the light switch on the wall. Dad stuck his head in as a lamp lit up at the side of the bed. He smiled, “Good, you’re awake.” His smile turned into a frown as he sat on the bed, “What’s wrong Jazzie, did I scare you? You look like you saw a ghost.”
I could feel Mom wriggling up to sit with her back against the headboard and press a pillow over her abdomen. She whispered, “I think I did.”
Dad chuckled. “No, they didn’t kill me, only put me through the proverbial wringer.”
“I’m glad you’re okay, but I didn’t mean you, Zak.” Pointing at the wall next to the door, she said, “There, there was a Roman Centurion—they wore those red crescent-like brushes on the top of their helmets, right?”
Dad kissed her. “You must have been dreaming. Now let’s go get some dinner. Everyone is waiting for us and I’m hungry. You’ve got to be. You can tell us about your dream while we eat.”
Mom brushed her fingers through his damp hair. “I wasn’t dreaming, but my heart beat is starting to calm now. I’ll just go to the bathroom and then, yes, let’s go eat.”
The halls were all well lit up. As soon as they entered the great room, Mom called out to Monime, “I thought you said this house was built in the 1990s.”
Monime shrugged. “That’s what the owner told me. Why?”
Dad grabbed a chair for himself while Cephas pulled one back for Mom at the table. Thunder rumbled and the lightening flashed, giving the room an eerie quality. As he pushed the chair in, Cephas said, “If the electric goes out—it shouldn’t, but if it does—we’ve got lots of flashlights, candles, and some battery operated lanterns.”
“She either had a dream, or we’ve got the ghost of a Roman Centurion in our bedroom,” Dad told everyone, pinching off a piece from the hunk of bread on his plate and handing it to Mom.
“I wasn’t dreaming.”
Monime and Cephas glanced at each other and together said, “Oh.”
Mother asked, “You know about it…him? You’ve seen him too?”
“No,” Monime answered slowly. “The housekeeper, Judith mentioned she’s seen something, though. We didn’t really believe her.” There was a level of anxiety in her voice when she added, “But never in that room. Are you afraid? Shall I put you in another bedroom?”
Shamy got Mom’s attention by saying, “Spirits can’t hurt us.”
“No. No they can’t. I am not afraid. I was surprised, that’s all. The house being so new, I didn’t expect it to have a ghostly Roman floating around in it.” In a whisper she added, “Or that I would see it.”
“Who knows what was under the house before it was built. This town has history from way back.” Cephas laughed, pointed at Dad, and added, “Even your favorite, Josephus Flavius was involved with Tiberias.”
Dad’s cheeks turned pink. “He’s not my favorite. Some of what he’s purported to have written may not be accurate, so I’m curious about him.”
Cephas’ response was raised eyebrows.
“I don’t know much about Josephus Flavius. It sounds like you two men do. Care to enlighten me?”
Cephas put down his fork and cleared his throat. “I’ll tell you, Shamy. He was a well-educated Jew. Studied with all of them—the Sadducees, Hasidim, and Pharisees. Some called him a coward. Some called him smart. He convinced Vespasian he was going to be Emperor of Rome, so he was saved during the first Jewish-Roman War, went to Rome, and wrote about…”
Dad interrupted, “We don’t know if that’s true. His writings were saved because the early Christian fathers said he wrote about Jesus.”
Cephas’ eyebrows went up again. “That is true, but the main thing we’re discussing right now is what he did in Tiberias. He took control of the city, let Herod’s palace be destroyed, but his Jewish army that was loyal to Rome stopped the pillaging, and Josephus surrendered it to Vespasian.”
The tension in the room was thickening. Monime changed the subject. “There have been more than a dozen earthquakes in Tiberias. I’ve always wondered about the secrets that were uncovered or perhaps covered up at each of those horrid events.”
Shamy didn’t seem to want to ignore the friction. She asked, “Why are you two dancing around this Josephus business? I know Zak respects you greatly, Cephas.”
Dad said a little too loudly, “It doesn’t matter.”
“When Zak was a young man he told me he thought he was a reincarnation of Josephus.”
Mom exclaimed, “You never told me that!”
Glaring across the table at Cephas, Dad said between clenched teeth, “If I’d wanted to tell you, I would have.”
Cephas sighed deeply, “The ladies are right. This strain between us is obvious and needs to end. I said what I did to get it out in the open. I promise, I’ll not tease you about it ever again.”
“Of course not. Now that everyone knows what a stupid kid I was.”
“How were you stupid?” Mom questioned.
Dad looked down at the table and only let his eyes slide towards Mom. His words were barely audible, “Thinking I could have been the great Josephus.”
“Is that worse than us believing Abe Sharp was Hyrcanus or that Zoë was Salome-Alexandra?”
Dad turned and grinned at Mom. “No, I guess not.”
Cephas said, “What?”
There was another great ear splitting clash of thunder and an explosion of lightening before everything went completely dark. Total silence added to the sense of mystery. It took less than a minute before there was the sound of a match being struck and several candles started their glow, not quite ending the feeling of suspense.
Monime left the table to light more candles. She firmly asserted, “Don’t say a word till I come back.”
No one did. Our mother watched Cephas as he took his time examining the faces of everyone still seated. He was frowning at Dad when Monime placed a couple of lanterns on the edges of the table where everyone sat, took her seat, and said, “All right. You can start Jazzie.”
“My family does believe in reincarnation. Over the past months, since I got pregnant, there were many things that happened to cause us to believe that my unborn daughter, who we will name Zoë, was once Salome-Alexandra and that Abe Sharp was her son Hyrcanus.”
Cephas’ eyes remained on Dad as he listened.
“We don’t know everything yet, but Shamy and I are going to try to find out more by engaging in the practical magic of the Kabbalah.”
Ripping his gaze from Dad to stare at Mom, Cephas uttered, “Magic? What? Why?”
“We know that Abe Sharp was doing that kind of magic and we need to find out more.” Mom sighed before she continued. “He seems to be seeking something he lost in a past-life and we think it might be the scrolls and Urim and Thummin that Zak believes disappeared not long before Salome-Alexandra died.”
Running his fingers through his hair, Cephas looked back towards Dad and asked, “Is she talking about those scrolls you’ve been trying to find all these years?”
“That’s right. I’ve been researching. She’s taking it to another metaphysical level because Abe Sharp has done and said some things that alarmed us.” Putting his hands up, Dad rolled his eyes, and then added, “But we can’t prove a thing.”
“We can’t prove what we know about him either,” Monime said in a low voice.
It was our Dad’s turn to show surprise. “What?”
“I’m the one who caused all of that thumbprint lock business. Abe Sharp was sneaking around in the storeroom and I know he was reading my research. I told Cephas and he eventually told Sarah Pattern.”
“Sarah told me it was gossip she’d heard. How do you know it was him in the room?”
Monime gave Mom an uneasy look before saying, “I could smell his scent—sandalwood.”
Moving his back squarely in his chair, Dad said, “Okay. Cephas, we might doubt one or the other, but we must believe it when both our wives are saying these things. So we’re going to need to accept that Abe Sharp is a problem. He’s barred from the storeroom and we’ll get on with checking to see what all is in there to make sure it’s all recorded properly. Right?”
“Right. And I promise not to bring up Josephus ever again.”
Dad raised his hand and waved it back and forth as he laughed. “Doesn’t matter, that cat is out of the bag and maybe it needed to be.”
All the lights came on taking away the shadows in the room.
“I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think it’s time I go to bed,” Shamy said, while hiding a yawn behind her hand.
“I agree. If you wake up earlier than the rest of us Jazzie, the housekeeper will give you breakfast. Then if you want to you can go back to bed again.”
All of them got up from the table. At Cephas’ suggestions each selected a lantern to take before going off to the bedrooms.
Dad and Cephas were talking about when they’d leave in the morning, so Monime took Mom aside for a moment. “Your grandmother told me more about your metaphysical experiments while you were asleep. I’m willing to try that past-life regression you suggested, but I still want to sleep on the other.”
Mom told her, “I want to sleep on all of this, too.”
The lights all stayed on as they found their bedrooms. Shamy said goodnight as she opened the door to her room. Mom yawned hers and Dad mumbled his. When they shut the bedroom door, Mom asked Dad, “Will you be gone all day tomorrow?”
“I will. And I’ll be leaving early. You can sleep in, or get up to eat, and go back to sleep like Monime suggested.”
“I’ll see how I feel tomorrow.”
Putting his arms around her, Dad asked, “That ghost won’t be a problem, will it?”
“Let’s hope not. Still, I don’t believe in coincidences and he did seem to be giving you a salute. Some time will you tell me more about sensing you were Josephus? You’ve always made a joke of it whenever you’ve mentioned his name before.”
“Can’t be too serious about myself, now can I?” he said as he wiggled his brows up and down.
Mom said nothing.
“Okay. Okay, I promise to tell you my deepest secrets, but not tonight. I’m really beat.”
Our mother found her pajamas in her bag, put them on, and after they brushed their teeth, our parents got into bed. Dad turned out the light on the side table, Mom snuggled into his arms, and he was gently snoring as she closed her eyes.