"This book was written in the beginning of the twentieth century, so that it could travel through time to pass on the word of the gates to those people throughout history who might help. So we have continued to look for them from the future, studying history to find them, and giving them this book to read. We have other methods to reach those who lived before this book was printed. We need people of different times to work with us. "
To work with whom? To help in what? Help whom? And what did the writer mean by "visiting them in the past?" Time travel? It had to be time travel... but time travel was not possible. My eyes were now glued to the old, brown pages. Their condition at least revealed this book had travelled a long way in time.
"Unfortunately the knowledge of the gates has spread. Now these gates are being sought by those who should not be allowed to find them. And unfortunately there are ways to enter the buffer zone without the gates, though humans cannot do it on their own. Still, with some help, many have found their way there. They use the buffer zone for evil purposes - and they stay practically immortal within it, building their own kingdom there, deep inside the zone. They call this place the City of Immortals. The inhabitants of this place cause havoc in the human world when they visit it in their shadow form. We have learned they have other aspirations as well, much worse than simply finding riches and power in the past. To find them and to stop them, we need a group of helpers. These people are carefully chosen."
I was beginning not to like what I read. What was it that the "humans cannot do.... on their own" and what did "when they visit it in their shadow form" mean? What the heck was this book trying to say? It felt more and more like the ramblings of a madman.
"Also you should know that not all who die go into the lighter levels of the afterlife. They are the ones who have done horrible deeds to others, and as a result their energies are so low they would have difficulties in moving any higher even if they wanted to.
"Some of these dark souls like to stay near the physical world, and feed on people's fears. These would be the ghosts. Being in contact with human fears helps them stay in their own, lower energy worlds, because human thoughts are energy. Negative and positive thoughts are real things in the buffer zone; physical, mouldable material. And those who live in the buffer zone, on the lowest levels of the Unseen Worlds, have built their worlds from these energies. If their world begins to thin out, they go to the human world, and cause fear, and take that energy and rebuild their domain."
OK, this was officially beyond strange. Whoever wrote this need not fear I would ever quote any of this to an outsider. I'd end up in a padded cell in no time. But I realized I could no longer stop reading, either. Mechanically, I took another chocolate, but I couldn't really taste it any more.
"These souls, together with the living people of the City of Immortals and their shadows, are the source of the ghost-, vampire-, werewolf and evil spirit-stories. The shadows can go anywhere they want to, with no need to use the gates; they can come into the human world, and then vanish back before they are caught. Humans cannot do this unaided. No one is safe from these shadows, not as long as they can freely walk through the borderline between the human world and the buffer zone."
Oh great - I had been a very scared young girl, believing in ghosts and vampires, and it had been a huge job for Mom to make me unbelieve in them. It wasn't that long ago that I'd stopped using a night-light. And now this... odd book told me I had been right all along? That those horrible creatures actually existed?? And to make it even worse - there was no way I could be safe from them?
"And now to the reason you are holding this book: It contains information on how you can find a gate to the Unseen Worlds. You need to find it on your own, following a trail of clues, to gain permanent right and skills to walk through the gates. And you have been considered able to do this by someone who has travelled that path. Someone, who trusts you have the qualities to do the work.
"You are invited to join us, if you know how to follow the clues, and find your way to us. It is essential that you don't reveal this knowledge to anyone, as that could lead the "Immortals" directly to us. So far, because of the differences in our energies, we have managed to stay hidden from them in the buffer zone. But they do know we exist. Our fight against their shadow world has made us their enemy. Nothing would be more important to them than to find the gates we use in the physical world we all share, so they could walk freely between our world and the buffer zone.
"The name of the person who told us about you is written on the back pages of this book. Check that before deciding if you want to continue."
I sighed. I knew. And when I saw Kitty's signature as the last one in a long list of names on the empty pages at the end of the book, I was not surprised.
"If you accept the invitation, follow the next advice to see what happens."
It was night already, and just as when I was a child and had read a book that was too exciting, I just wanted to feel secure, and sleep without nightmares. So I decided I'd return to the book again when it was daylight.
For a brief moment I considered finding my old night light from the cupboard, but then decided against it. I folded back the bedside lamp, drew the blanket up to my ears, and closed my eyes, hoping I could fall asleep.
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