The Astral Prisoner
Sometimes freedom is a prison. And vice versa.
Now, your honor, let me draw your attention to Exhibit F. I would like to ask the Court to read this document into the record, for I believe it will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that my client is emphatically not guilty of the charge of first-degree murder.
10 September 1997
Journal entry of Wallace E. King
Idaho State Penitentiary
I am a prisoner. My crimes are a matter of public record, as anyone who has recently read The Idaho Statesman knows. What the public does not know, however, is that I have escaped... and yet I am still a prisoner. For the past few months I have escaped on a regular basis, you see. I exit my cell, walk past the guards on my block, scale the razor-wire fence, and I am free.
Sometimes I visited my ex-wife and children in Nampa. I have stopped going there--it has become too painful. Often I follow the wardens home after their shifts end. Warden McGovern, for instance, lives in a big white house at the end of Del Sol Lane. He owns a golden retriever, drinks Corona beer, and his wife prefers to be on top while making love. I know this because I have accidentally entered their house on several occasions while they were in the act. I didn't stay and watch because, contrary to what the prosecuting attorney stated at my trial, I am not a pervert.
It came out during my trial, you see, that I owned a large personal library that included works on the occult, metaphysics, and the paranormal. They used this as evidence to suggest that the killings were satanically inspired--which, of course, is bullshit. Now all those precious works are gathering dust in some police vault as evidence in the famous case of Idaho v. King. How I could use those books at this moment! Perhaps if I had them with me in my cell I wouldn't have made this final mistake.
It was only here in prison that I started practicing the art of astral projection, you see. And entirely from memory. Back when I was still married, I had started studying ceremonial magick and psychic phenomena primarily out of curiosity. I delved into the rituals of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and I read all about Carlos Castañeda's psychedelic adventures. That was when I had no intention of actually practicing any "out-of-body" experiments of my own. If I had known that I would wind up in a maximum-security prison, I would have paid closer attention to the methodology of astral projection.
The first time I actually left my body, I noticed myself floating off my bunk toward the ceiling. The moment I realized what happened, however, I immediately snapped back. Eventually I taught myself how to rise above, turn around, and look at my sleeping body while my astral body was wide awake. Gradually I learned to walk down the cell block and to exit the prison grounds entirely.
You will never know the elation of rediscovering your freedom after it has been taken from you. I kept a journal beside my bunk and mastered the technique of "sleep writing" while within the dreamlike state. As a dream quickly fades away upon awakening, the memory of the astral journeys would quickly dissipate if I didn't immediately write them down. Yet, once I had written an entry, I committed the contents of my astral prison escapes to memory. Then I destroyed the item. The guards and wardens might not look favorably upon such "other life" activities beyond the prison walls, should they discover any of my entries--especially if they contained details of their private lives!
When I first started exiting my physical body, the world outside appeared exactly as it was in the physical world at that moment in time. If I left my body at, say, 7 p.m. and I entered into a house, they probably would be watching The Simpsons. It would appear very much like the real world. Yet, often the images were fleeting and somewhat blurred because I did not fully know how to control my astral body nor how to concentrate my thoughts. Therefore my travels often became a kaleidoscope of psychedelic real-world images combined in a disjointed fashion. It was very much like ordinary dreaming, only more vivid.
However, once I built up a kind of astral stamina and strengthened my powers of concentration, I learned how to stabilize the images. Thus, if I wanted to visit the pyramids of Egypt and the Sphinx, I merely concentrated on that desire for a moment and suddenly I was there standing before the Sphinx's paws. I used this method to travel to Shanghai, Bangkok, Bombay, Moscow, Berlin, Vienna, Paris. Anywhere I wanted to vacation, I merely packed my astral baggage and off I went. And yet, my body remained confined in the Idaho State Penitentiary.
After several months of out-of-body adventures, I made the most frightening discovery of my life. I learned that there are living creatures who inhabit our dreams, just as fish live in the sea or birds live in the air. I had read about these beings before, but it was an enormous shock to realize that I was actually encountering living beings in a surrealistic world. I believe Carlos Castañeda called them inorganic beings or scouts from other worlds or dimensions.
Usually the scouts appeared as incongruous elements in dreams, such as an object out of place. The trick was to focus your attention on the out-of-place element. Usually it would transform into an intelligent being of some sort. Often one would have to bargain with the scout in order to learn the wisdom of that being's particular dimension. Most of the time this involved sharing energy with the scout. I don't know why, but it seems that the energy from our particular dimension is a highly priced commodity in the interdimensional marketplace.
The first time I encountered a scout I was in a department store examining a set of finely decorated Chinese porcelain jars when suddenly I noticed a rodeo clown standing next to me. For some reason I instinctively reached out and grasped his hand. At that moment all the images of the department store started to swirl in a giant vortex. It seemed as if the clown and I were traveling through a giant funnel of light. Then suddenly the swirling stopped... and there I stood in another world.
This particular world was especially bright with neon colors. There seemed to be geometrically shaped glass houses that diffracted light the way a prism separates light into the rainbow spectrum. There was a pungent fruity odor in the air and I caught a glimpse of a dazzling forest of violet and crimson trees.
All this took place in a split second before I was jolted awake in my bed. The shock of knowing absolutely that other worlds exist simultaneously and parallel to our world caused me to immediately awaken.
The world of the rodeo clown scout was the most pleasant I have encountered. Others, such as the one I am currently in, are far more dark and sinister. I believe Castañeda himself had visited this world. Here the beings appear merely as murky gray clouds of energy and the world is essentially a darkened labyrinth of tunnels--much like a honeycomb.
Unfortunately, I had forgotten that one must never speak a desire to stay in an inorganic being's world. That is why the prison guards shall find my body, bruised from my thrashing around as my astral self journeys from place to place, next to this undestroyed journal entry. My final journal entry.
I'm sure the guards will be falsely accused and sentenced for my death. Believe me, I know exactly what they will go through. For I myself am but a prisoner.
Corey Wicks (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a local government reporter for The Star-News, a weekly newspaper in McCall, Idaho. Recently he was honored by the Idaho Press Club for his crime reporting. He is a voracious reader of esoteric literature, and is a member of several esoteric organizations, including the local Masonic lodge, the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, and the Traditional Martinist Order.
InterText Copyright © 1991-2000 Jason Snell. This story may only be distributed as part of the collected whole of Volume 10, Number 2 of InterText. This story Copyright © 2000 Corey Wicks.