Through the Door

Through the Door
'The Wheel' by Valerie Smith 

Eight of us sat in circle as the Crone laid out the story. We were there to contact the dead.

We were in a new age shop run by the gray-haired witch-crone now leading us. Mellow instrumental music drifted among the smell of sage, incense, and stale cigarette smoke. Eau de feline? A couple older cats slinked around the corner near the back room where an Elvis clock was ticking.

“Envision the scene with as much detail as possible,” she said. I closed my eyes. I was outside on a spring day when I came across a stone stairway ascending to the clouds. The steps had messages scrawled on them that I created and read as I climbed.

After being led through a dark tunnel, we reached a mysterious inner chamber. I had the sense of being deep within an exceptionally vast structure. The ancient air was still. If it were to reverberate, the tremble would have cut right through me. In front of me there was a door (“envision your door’s color and texture,” said the Crone), flanked by a figure on each side. I imagined archangel Michael, securing my entry on the left, and Diana the huntress standing tall to the right.

Inside the door was the purpose of our gathering: to connect with someone from the other side. I aimed to reconnect with my mother’s mother. I slowly opened the door.

The room was warm, dimly lit, filled with brimming bookshelves, dusty plants, and comforting bric-a-brac. A window looked out on a yard of trees. There was a fire burning in the hearth and a rocking chair nearby, just as she used in life.

Then I saw her, peaceful and glowing. I heard her bemused laugh. When we embraced, my body filled with an immense love, stronger and more assured than I could have anticipated. I felt tears of joy streaming down my face as I told her I missed her, asked her how she was, how grandpa was doing (I hadn’t gotten to meet him on earth, but had been moved by pictures of him young, handsome, and uniformed, seated at a piano). She touched my face and whispered in my ear, told me to tell my mother, the necklaces, made and check…

After some time, yet much too quick, we said our goodbyes and carefully reversed course, returning back to the present, where Crone had ‘gifts’ to give each person from our loved ones. Mine was a stuffed dog, and similar to a toy I remembered having as a child. That’s sweet, I thought to myself, somewhat unconvinced. Nonetheless, I was happy, I had experienced something wonderful that felt so real. But one question remained in my mind.

I called my mom as I walked to the car. Told her I visited gramma, she sends her love, and she had some kind of message. Necklaces, made and check…

My mom gasped. “You’re not going to believe this…I bought some necklaces at the thrift store with gramma and they were sitting on the desk right here. I looked at them, all unmarked as usual except one. It read: Made. In. Czech…”