Sample Chapter

A Lesson in Woo-Woo and Murder D3  (1).j

Prologue

 

  “The best I ever had? That’s really a hard question.”

  “It isn’t for me.”

  “Well, then, why don’t you answer first?”

  “Okay, I will, but I still want to hear from you. What’s the best otherworldly, self-enhancing, spiritually awakening moment you’ve ever known?”

  “Let me think about it. Since you brought it up, you tell me.”

  I wanted to hear what she had to say as well. I don’t participate in a lot of “otherworldly, self-enhancing, spiritually awakening” discussions. I don’t even know if I’ve had any of those experiences, but perhaps I have. I supposed I’d find out this week because we were standing in line to get our tickets to the Whole Life Exposition, which I imagined would be full of people who had these experiences and be trying to sell me something so I could join the club.

  I’m not against joining a club, but I tend to be a fringe member when it comes to things that require membership. I might buy a few shares of stock in the woo-woo world, but I wouldn’t be a big investor. What lay ahead of me remained to be seen. All I knew was I was getting paid to be here and I had a job to do.

  “You won’t believe this, but I saw the future. Not all of it, but clearly some of it. It was like déjà vu, but it was future vu. I’ve seen this moment. Living it now is almost exactly as I saw it.”

  “What? This exact moment we’re having? Was I in it? Was I saying this? Is that what you saw?”

  “Yes and no. I didn’t know you were going to say that specifically, but here’s the trippy part. Not only did I see this moment coming. You did too.”

  “Wait. You’re saying I actually foresaw this moment? I don’t think so. I had no clue we were going to be here, doing this.”

  “Yes, you did. It’s eerie but it’s true. I’ll tell you.”

  “Do I need to sit down?”

  “No, you’ll be fine. This moment you’re having right now, you did know was coming. Maybe not this exact way, but close enough. You thought it. You felt it. You knew it. But you didn’t consciously register it.”

  “Yeah, well, I have no idea what my subconscious has been up to.”

  “You and everyone else. Yet as soon as I share it, you’ll say, ‘Yeah, you’re right. I knew that. What’s the big deal?’”

  “Huh?”

  “As soon as I tell you, you’re going to say, ‘That ain’t no woo-woo.’ But that’s where you’re wrong. It is woo-woo, and the fact that you don’t think it is, well, that’s part of the woo-woo. You might think it ain’t, but it is.”

  “I’m confused. What is this not-big-deal you’re going to tell me that I’m going to tell you I knew all along and it’s no big deal?”

  “You knew this. You knew this would start with What’s the best …? They all start there.”

  “Yeah, I knew that. That ain’t no woo-woo. That’s just doing the same thing over and over and over again.”

  “You can think that, but what I’m telling you is, woo-woo ain’t all you think it is.”

 

Chapter One

What the Woo?

Thursday, August 1, 1985

  You may have noticed that there’s a certain repetitiveness to my books. My work and life are probably similar to yours in that there’s a lot of repetition. I like that. It’s comforting. By and large, I know what to expect of the day, and that familiarity is reassuring and provides peace of mind.

  I eat the same foods. Visit the same places. Hang out with the same friends. Read the same kinds of books. Watch the same kinds of movies. Go to the same kinds of concerts and events.

  Unless I’m being paid.

  That’s when, while I try to maintain a healthy degree of stability, as I have to deal with unknown elements that influence my path.

  In 1983 I went to the US Festival and wrote about it in A Lesson in Music and Murder. If you haven’t read it, this is a small spoiler alert but not a critical one. I met Eve and Sheridan there. They were camped out in a Cherokee tepee. I never found out what Eve did, but Sheridan was a drug dealer and poet.

  They’d called me up a couple of weeks ago and made an appointment to see me in my office.

  After hugs and perfunctory niceties, Sheridan got to it. “Dave, we need you to help us out. We wouldn’t ask you if we didn’t believe you had the requisite skills and panache to do the job.”

  “That’s kind of you. Not sure what skills and panache you’re wanting, but I’m open to doing what I can to help.”

  “Yes, Dave, we suspected you’d say that and we want you to say that, but first Eve needs to tell you what we want and then you can decide if you’re in or out.”

  “Okay …”

  “I would never ask you to put yourself in harm’s way if I didn’t think you could navigate your way through,” Eve said, and gave me an encouraging smile. “We believe in you. We’ve seen how you can turn nothing into something.”

  “Voodoo-therapy magic, Dave,” Sheridan said. “You do that. And while we believe in you and your powers, voodoo is only one of many forces at play in the universe.”

  “Yeah. I get that.”

  “Dave, we want you listen to what Eve has to say with an open mind.”

  “I’ll see what I can do, although your warm-up is getting my guard up.”

  “You should be skeptical and wary, Dave, because we’re speaking about things you know very little about.”

  “That covers a lot of ground. Can you be more specific?”

  Eve gave me a warm smile. For a forty-plus hippie-esque woman, she did have an innocence that made me trust her.

  “There are unseen forces in the world. We don’t always understand why things happen the way they do. I’m sure you’ve had moments when something out of the ordinary happens that you can’t explain.”

  “Like when I got my doctorate. My parents still can’t figure out how that happened.”

  “We’re having trouble too, Dave, but listen to Eve.”

  “Researchers, scientists, neurologists verify we only use a portion of our brains. Yet there are those amongst us who’ve been able to access parts of their brains that others haven’t. I meditate and spend time at spiritual retreats and I’ve come to feel the forces moving. I don’t know how. I don’t know what. But I know those forces are coming to the expo. The tide will change.”

  “Doesn’t the tide come in and out on a daily basis?”

  “Dave, pay attention. Eve is telling you there’s bad juju coming. She can feel the turbulence even if other’s can’t.”

  “Okay. That’s not good. Yet that allows for an ounce of prevention.”

  “That’s why we’re here.”

  “I’m an ounce of prevention?”

  “Well, you’re not a spoonful of sugar. Nevertheless, Eve believes having you around during the expo will stem the tide.”

  “You won’t stem it, but at least you can try to end it.”

  “So wait a minute. You want me to come to the expo and just hang out. And if something untoward happens, put an end to it.”

  “You’re listening, Dave. Yes, that’s what we want you to do. That and a few other things.”

  “Care to elaborate?”

  “I don’t know what’s going to go awry,” said Eve. “But something will. We have a booth at the expo and we want you with us.”

  “You want me to stay in the booth for a week?”

  “Yes and no. It’s Wednesday night through Sunday afternoon. We need you to be around. You don’t have to be in the booth the whole time. You just need to make things better. That’s what you do, don’t you?”

  “I try, but as much as I’d like to help you out, I can’t take off that amount of time—not without getting paid.”

  “Dave, do we look like we were born yesterday? We’ll pay you. Not your usual high fee, but you’ll value what you get.”

  “Is there a dollar amount associated with that?”

  “Dave, you know relationships are built on trust. You have to trust us with this.”