JOSHUA L. GOODBODY.
A PSYCHIC EXPERIENCE
A work of total fiction.
When Joshua turned 16 years he wondered about this aura which surrounded him. He seemed to have been attracted to this isolated part of the country surrounded by rolling hills and a forest of trees.
He tried on several occasions to move to another location but it was if there was a magnet pulling him back to the sparsely populated area.
One night while tucked up in his rucksack he awoke to find leaves gently floating around where he slept, a scent of perfume filled the air.
He began to wonder what all this was about when this gentle voice which seemed to waft through the forest whispering Joshua, my name is Nikki welcome home. Nikki had died a violent death.
A cold sweat ran down the small of his back, his mind was racing, what could all this be about he thought. Calmness enveloped him, he could nearly touch the aroma of her perfume, and it became so strong it began to smother him. Then the voice began to whisper in his ear Joshua, Joshua it was beginning to hypnotise him, as it began to drift away he felt he had to follow.
Deeper and deeper into the woods it enticed him, now his fear turned to excitement where is all this leading to he thought to himself, the voice answered his innermost thoughts. Then this feeling of Deja Vu, why do I think I was here before, why do I recognise this particular spot. I was never here in my lifetime he thought. Again a voice interjected Joshua, do not be afraid you are on a mission, you are the chosen one, and you are here to seek revenge for the evil deeds perpetrated on young victims.
As he moved through the forest his feet sinking in the undergrowth brushing spider webs from his face and clothes. Through the morning mist he saw this form approaching. Joshua, the voice whispered, my name is Gwen follow me, we still have some distance to travel.
Gwen had died of strangulation.
The scent became stronger the farther into the forest Joshua ventured.
Joshua was an only child, adopted and raised on the outskirts of the city, he mixed with very few, was known to be very serious, read a lot, mostly books on the occult and survival. No notice was taken when he packed his kit bag with a variety of fruit and food from the fridge rolled up his rucksack and left home. Even when at school he could leave whenever the mood changed, he was taunted a lot for being shy and not very outgoing which lead him to become secretive and communicating with very few.
Joshua had been in the forest now for four days and nights, food was becoming scarce and his water supply low but he had learned from previous excursions that to keep warm and sleep longer hours his regular supply would last him for a week. Darkness was falling on the forth night; he was about to bed down when the now familiar call of Joshua, Joshua, Joshua echoed through the forest. There were several voices calling at the one time. Joshua could not settle but this voice whispered in his ear Joshua, my name is Lauren, sleep now and one of us will call you in the morning. Lauren had been suffocated.
Joshua slept very uneasily throughout the night wondering why he was here, what purposes did it serve what of these voices?
Just as dawn was breaking he fell into a deep sleep only to be awoken by another gentle voice urging him to rise and follow her. This was Vikki. Vikki had been smothered. Joshua rose splashed himself with some bottled water had his buttered scone, two bananas and an apple, rolled up his rucksack and followed the perfumed filled air. After travelling for about two hours Joshua came to an opening in the forest, it seemed as if gravity was pulling him to one side, the scent of the got stronger and stronger –
Then it happened, Joshua came on what he knew as an open grave covered in masses of fresh flowers, this was the scent that filled his nostrils the first time he had heard the call, Joshua, my name is Ursula welcome home – home it was for the previously mentioned also at home were – Naomi, Jill, Violet, Becky, Julia, Loretta, Jude, Billie and Lucy, all were aged between 14 and 16 years. All had been sexually assaulted; innocent lives taken and brought to this out of the way spot in the forest.
Now this out of body experience Joshua had been experiencing over the past five days began to make some kind of sense, but who was he going to explain his find to? more to the point would he be believed?
Even though the voices attracted him to this place there was no one he could talk to for an explanation of how they came to be here in this particular spot lost in the forest.
Then the voices together as one whispered as though they did not want anyone else to hear – Joshua, Joshua, you must go to back into the city and report this to the police, all will become clear then.
It was then he recalled the voice, which had told him earlier in the week do not be afraid you are on a mission. Joshua stood quite still, he could not speak with fear, then he felt himself being turned around to face the way he had come and this voice he recognised as Ursula saying to him follow my form I will lead you back from whence you came. So without any hesitation Joshua began the journey back out of the forest.
He was still wondering to himself how he was going to convince anybody of what he had found, when he eventually returned home he was relieved to find no one present. He went upstairs ran himself a steaming hot bath, had a change of clothes and made himself a substantial meal. He was surprised how calm he felt after his experience over the past few days. He sat down after eating, gathered his thoughts together and thought he should leave before his mother arrived back from her placed of work. Joshua wrote her a note to say he had been home but had to leave as he was on a mission.
His mother arrived home shortly after Joshua had left, read his note had a wry smile to herself and thought Josh on another mission so what’s new.
Joshua made his way into the city, walked by the police station on a number of occasions before entering. He approached the desk Sergeant, excuse me sir he said my name is Joshua L. Goodbody and I’ve got a story to tell, the cop looked a Joshua.
To Joshua’s surprise the man in uniform stood up from is desk and said to Joshua, come along inside and tell me your story. Joshua began telling of his adventure. The law man seemed disinterested until Joshua started telling him that his visit to the forest started out as just an over night sleep out, then these voices started enticing him farther and farther into the forest.
The Sergeant made Joshua a mug of coffee and placed a variety of biscuits on a plate and presented them to Joshua just like at a prize giving. You enjoy that Josh while I leave the room for a few moments.
Joshua wasn’t feeling that hungry he just picked at the biscuits, he was enjoying his mug of coffee when the door opened the sergeant had returned with a plain clothed detective, so you are Joshua L. Goodbody, pleased to meet you, my name is William T. Constantis.
Sgt. Waah was filling me in on your overnight sleep out, you don’t mind if I join your company. Joshua getting more excited by the minute said of course not, the more light we can shine on what I am going to tell you the better. For some reason unknown to himself the detective recalled the words of Leonard Cohen “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
Joshua began his discourse by informing both parties of the voices he was hearing, how he was drawn farther and farther into the forest by the voices. It was not until he started to mention names that both Constantis and Waah got really interested. The detective asked Joshua if they gave their surnames, when Joshua replied in the negative he was urged to continue.
Joshua talked of going home but when encouraged to stay he said not my house home, but home to the forest where all his friends were. He gave the detective and the sergeant all their names, he was allowed to leave but promised to come back tomorrow.
Both policemen got to work immediately hoping this was the break they had been waiting for, for the past seventeen years.
All these young ladies aged between 14 and 16 years lived within a thirty mile radius of one another and had disappeared without a trace over a period of two years in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s the case had remained open on all of them since, but there seemed to be no common denominator to link their disappearances, as they were not friends and all attended different schools. A couple of days past, both policemen began to get anxious as there was no sign of Joshua returning, they both went around to Joshua’s house and spoke with his mother who did not seem a bit perturbed when telling them she had not seen Joshua for the past couple of days, this was not at all strange as Josh could take off for days on end without ever saying where he was going or on his return where he had been. Both officers looked at one another, thanked Mrs. Goodbody and left. When they were gone she said to herself there is something very strange going on here. She went up to Josh’s room, on opening the door she was overcome by the smell of fresh flowers even though there was not a flower in the house, the room was neat and tidy as usual so she closed the door behind her locking in the smell of fresh flowers and got on with the remainder of her housework.
Both officers arrived back at the station to find a young lady waiting to speak to them. They were taken aback when this young lady said hello Detective Constantis my name is Ursula, I’ve come to lead you to the man responsible for the deaths of those young girls.
Both officers were even more intrigued now, how did she know them and know what case they were working on. She started by saying, here is your common denominator in a word – Circus.
There was always great excitement when the circus arrived in town, the anticipation of both young and old was palpable.
Children would gather around and watch in awe as the Big Top was erected, caravans encircling it, animal cages to one side the candy floss stand and the fat lady selling sticky toffee apples.
A couple of days before the circus opened for business members would visit near by housing estates and schools with passes at reduced prices.
One particular member would always visit a school in a different town and village each time the circus pitched tent. He would visit a first year class and so as not to bring notice on him-self, all the passes would be in sealed envelopes.
On leaving the class he would announce that four lucky girls would receive a free pass to the front row and the young lady who would be presented with a red rose would be encouraged to come back stage and meet the circus personnel and see the animals being washed down, groomed and fed.
Ursula was able to give both officers times and dates which corresponded with the visits of the circus and the disappearances of the young ladies. She left the building and shortly afterwards Joshua arrived at the station, are both you men ready to come with me now and I’ll show you where these bodies lie.
They both grabbed their coats and headed for Constantis’s unmarked car followed closely be Joshua, while travelling in the direction of the forest Sgt. Waah started to tell Joshua of the visitor they had earlier when the car was filled with this over powering scent, Joshua said that’s it, that’s the scent that lead me to this open grave, what amazed me said Joshua was how the flowers were so fresh after all this time, with the grave being so far into the forest and not a florist for miles and if there was some one keeping it fresh why they had never told anyone about it. They arrived at the scenic spot surrounded by rolling hills. The first thing the detective noticed were all the wild flowers growing around the entrance. There was a small gate lodge some distance down the road he could see they had at least one hot house out back as the sun sent a rainbow of colour as it penetrated the glass, he thought to himself now there’s a place worth a visit.
Joshua guided them through the forest. When they reached home all was quite calm, Joshua became nervy as both officers moved closer to the grave, it was covered over, not open as it was on his last visit here, both men gave each other a quizzical look, they could not afford to disbelieve his story about meeting all those young ladies and what about Ursula’s visit to the police station.
There were still a lot of unanswered questions. Before leaving both men told Joshua that they were going to visit the gate lodge and make some enquiries. That was fine by Joshua as it added a little more excitement to his adventure.
When they arrived at the gate lodge the detective left both Joshua and Waah in the car. As he went to the door it was opened by a grey haired old gentleman. Hello I’m Detective Constantis you are – Abe Hendricks the man replied. We were just in the neighbourhood Constantis said I noticed your hot house in the distance thought I’d surprise the old lady with fresh flowers.
Come through said Abe I don’t get to many callers, mostly locals and some regular callers from out of town one in particular said Abe he would possibly be my best customer. All this information without ever asking a question how wonderful thought Constantis. I suppose you know all your customers names he queried, no just a few of the locals replied Abe, never was much for names any how, when they reached the hot house the detective got the scent of the flowers that adorned the grave they had just left. He said to Abe I’ll have some of those, but Abe said I don’t want to disappoint you but that’s a special order I have to have them ready on a regular basis for this client. The detective though not disappointed as he had learned a lot from this visit said to Abe well I am disappointed I can’t have any of those so I’ll let you make me up a bouquet yourself. The detective thanked Abe paid him for the bouquet and left. Back in the car Joshua asked the detective if he could be dropped off before returning to the station as he had some business to do in town, Constantis said it was the least they could do after all Joshua had done for them.
They returned to the station a little the wiser now they knew where the grave was but what or who was in that grave that question had still to be answered.
What they did know for sure was that whoever purchased the flowers from Abe Hendricks had reason for doing just that. It had been a long and fruitful day so both men decided to have an early night and start fresh in the morning. The detective picked up the flowers and said here sarge, bring these home to your longhaired chum I’m going for a Jack Daniels.
The next morning started off at a rather slow pace in comparison to the past few days, which they were thankful for, as they could catch up on some important paper work and it allowed them the time to go over some old files. They had just opened the file on Becky when the phone in the office rang breaking their concentration. Sgt. Waah answered to be told there was a lady called Ursula outside wishing to speak to him, show her into the office he said. The door opened in walked Ursula, are you men ready to move she asked, they both grabbed their coats and headed for Constantis’s unmarked car followed closely by Ursula.
Constantis remarked to Waah are we in a time warp or what but this time with a female?
Were similar words and expressions not exchanged did we not grab our coats and head for my car yesterday followed by a young man, who is heading this investigation them or us?
It was at this point that the sergeant stopped the detective in his tracks do you know where we are going? Oh shit said the detective I suppose we’ll have to ask the young lady. They sat into the car and before either man could pose the question Ursula said let me explain the scenario to you both. I’m going to take you to a house on the outskirts of the town where you’ll meet a man in his late sixties, you’ll list off the names given to you that you already know about for the past twenty years or so and wait for the reaction. This mans name is Gustav Openheimer, he was known to all as Uncle Bob the circus clown. His was the one act during the circus performance where he could mix with the crowd and present one or two young ladies seated in the front row with a flower that was their passport to go back stage to see how the circus worked from the inside.
Uncle Bob would then arrange to meet them after the matinee and evening show, the next day that’s when our fate was sealed. Neither the detective nor sergeant could understand what she meant when she said our fate.
Ursula answered their silence by speaking these words written by Beatle George Harrison –
“We were talking about the space between us all and the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion.
Never glimpse the truth then it’s far too late when they pass away. We were talking about the love we all could share, when we find it to try our best to hold it there with our love – with our love we could save the world if they only knew. Try to realise its all within yourself no one else can make you change.
And to see you’re really only very small only very small and life flows on within you and without you.”
Rather heavy stuff they thought for a lady of her age but what age was she? What era did she belong to? this whole situation was becoming more and more intriguing. Ursula directed them to this street, pointed out the house to them and said this is as far as I go, I must go back home and tell my friends that our fears will soon be over, our families will soon have peace of mind, we will have our own separate homes and you William T. Constantis will take Joshua L. Goodbody under your wing and make a proper cop of him, for I can guarantee there is no crime he cannot solve.
With that she asked him to stop the car and let her out which he did no questions asked.
They drove around the block a couple of times a look of astonishment on both their faces. It was then they spotted Joshua L. Goodbody stepping up the street, they pulled into the kerb rolled down the window of the car and before either could say a word Joshua said I’ll go to the door and see if there’s anybody in.
They switched on the car radio at this time and the D.J. was just announcing that from the Beatles Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album he was about to play Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite which was quite appropriate for the house they were about to visit. He was walking up the pathway to the front door when he heard this now familiar voice whispering go on Joshua show them you can do it. Joshua gave two heavy knocks on the door, he could hear this shuffling coming up the hall and this gruff voice saying I’m not expecting any visitors today. Joshua beckoned both cops to hurry up to the door before it was opened.
As soon as the door opened the old man looked at Joshua and turned ashen faced, without another word being spoken Constantis listed off the names as Joshua told him. He read the man is rights and told him anything he said would be taken down and used in evidence against him.
All the old man said was-
Strange fits of passion I have known,
And I will dare to tell,
But in the lover’s heart alone,
What once to me befell?
What fond and wayward thoughts will slide?
Into a lover’s head-
Oh Mercy! To myself I cried,
If Lucy should be dead.
The words of William Wordsworth.
Constantis arrested him and took him to the station.
C. J. Black∁β
This story is fictional and does not depict any person or event.