We were curious if Tessa was the first Xerian that Riley ever encountered. She wasn’t. When Jake was teaching him how to do regressions, he encountered his first Xerian without even knowing it. Enjoy!
“Bangers and mash?” Riley asked, lifting one eyebrow. “If Sully finds out, he’ll put you back on a diet. You know that.”
Looking at Riley sharply, Jake Adams said, “He did. He’s demanding I turn over a new leaf, but I’m having any of it this time. There’s only so much tofu and lettuce a man can take.” He raised one silver eyebrow at Riley. “You’re not going to tell him, are you?”
“No, I wouldn’t dare,” he said, laughing. “So, I take it you’re not getting many of Sully’s wondrous, gourmet meals lately?” Riley had partaken of enough of Jake’s partner’s lavish spreads and could sympathize with the man.
“Try none for the past three weeks.” Jake stabbed a sausage and took a bite. He closed his eyes and got a blissful expression on his face. “Aaaaah,” he sighed. Opening his eyes, he pinned Riley with a glance. “Enough about my culinary woes. What’s going on with that new client of you mentioned in your last email?”
Riley took a swig from his bottle of Drakes Hefeweizen before answering.
“Well, he’s a forty-five year old male. He and his wife have both been having nightmares, causing them to argue all the time. The wife went to a therapist and had a past life regression that seemed to help her. Now, the man wants one for himself. From me.”
“And?” Jake prompted. “I don’t see the problem.”
“I’ve never done a past life regression. Hell, I don’t really believe in that stuff. Do you?”
Jake took his time before replying.
“I don’t think it matters whether you believe in it or not. What matters is, can it help your client.”
“I don’t know how to do a past life regression. For that matter, I wouldn’t even know where to start.”
“Well,” Jake began, “I’d advise checking on YouTube. There are some really good examples on there that you can watch and see how it’s done. I’d suggest practicing a bit before you try it with a client, though. Maybe see if one of your friends or those online students you have would be interested in being your test subject.”
“Huh. You know, that just might work. I’ll pitch it to my D&D group. They’re pretty open-minded already, so at least I won’t have to justify it.” Riley laughed. “They’d love to find out that they were barbarians in past lives.”
“There you are, then. Problem solved,” Jake said with a smile. “Now, what about dessert?”
* * *
“So this will help me and Theresa understand why we keep fighting?”
“That’s the idea, yes. Let’s get started.” In a soothing voice, Riley eased his client into a hypnotic state. Once the man was under, Riley said, “I want you to go back to the time when this problem with your wife started.”
His client began to squirm, then he screamed.
Riley rushed to calm the man.
“Simon, remember, you’re only watching the scene. Nothing you see can hurt you. You’re safe.”
The man calmed slowly, but Riley could see he was still stressed.
This isn’t the way Red Tom’s regression went. Did I do something wrong? He wasn’t thrilled to find out he was a Norse serving wench in a past life, but he didn’t scream or act this agitated. Having a blow to your ego isn’t the same as being…what? Frightened for your life. That’s how Simon’s acting.
“Simon, tell me what you see. What’s going on around you?”
The man shook his head and raised his arms slightly off the couch as if to ward off something or someone. “They’re all dead. Everyone’s dead but me. They’re coming! I’m going to die!” The fear in Simon’s voice gave Riley goosebumps, even in his cozy little office.
“Simon, remember this happened in a different life to someone else.” When the man’s breathing returned to normal, Riley asked, “Who’s coming?”
“The others, the enchanters, they’re going to kill me like they did all of my friends. I was inside when their bomb went off or I’d already be dead. I can see them coming across the field toward me. My weapons are all broken. I’m helpless.”
Enchanters? Where…when could he be fighting enchanters? Some game? D&D, maybe?
“What happened next?” Riley prompted gently. “Keep in mind that you are just an observer and these events cannot harm you in the here and now.”
Simon’s voice flattened into a monotone, like he was reporting the news. “I’m watching the enemy advance. I know it’s just a matter of time until they get to me. I hear a noise behind me. I turn to see what it is…then I see a bright flash of light and hear a loud noise. There’s a hole in my chest. I fall back onto the ground, looking up at a person standing over me. Her eyes. I know those eyes. Theresa! Nooooooo!”
Riley once again reassured the man that he was safe. Why do I have to keep reminding him that he’s only an observer? None of the videos I watched had this problem. Why is this different?
After Simon had calmed down, Riley asked, “Do you remember anything else that happened?”
In a dreamy voice, the man replied, “I know I am dying. There’s an emerald yimox hovering over my body. Legend says that they carry our souls from one life to the next, so I know everything will be okay. This isn’t my final life.”
Riley filed that away for the moment, and began bringing Simon back to the present. “Simon, I want you to come back to my office. You will remember everything that transpired, but as though it happened to someone else. You will awake refreshed and calm when I snap my fingers and count to three. 1…2…3.”
Riley snapped his fingers.
Simon bolted up from the couch. His eyes were unfocused and a little wild.
“Simon? How do you feel?” Riley asked.
Hearing his voice, Simon focused on Riley. His expression went from terror to fury in an instant.
“You said this would help me. You expect me to believe my wife killed me in a past life? What kind of shit is this? My wife’s regressions haven’t shown anything like that.” The man stabbed a finger in Riley’s direction. “What did you do, plant something in my head? That’s unethical and you know it. You just want me to keep coming back for more of your ‘help’.” Simon stood and began pacing around the small office.
“Simon, please calm down,” Riley said, following the angry man with his eyes.
“My wife’s therapist is teaching her self-hypnosis and ways to overcome her anger. You…you’re just making it worse so you can make an extra couple of bucks from me. My wife killing me? Bullshit!”
With that the man stormed over to the door and left, slamming it behind him.
Riley sat back in his chair. “Well, that kind of sucked.”
* * *
“But Jake, I did everything exactly like in the videos I watched,” Riley said, slamming his fist on the desk.
On the other end of the phone call, Jake chuckled. “I see you’re dealing with your frustration in a healthy manner.”
Hearing the gentle reprimand in Jake’s voice, Riley took several deep breaths before he continued.
“I did what you said and tried a regression on one of my friends first. It went just like in the videos. Perfect textbook regression. So why did this one go so wrong? I just want to help people, Jake. But I made things worse for him.”
Riley heard Jake sigh on the other end of the call. “Riley, m’boy, that happens sometimes. Some people are harder to help than others. You’re not going to be successful every time. The person has to want to be helped, to be open to it. If they aren’t, there’s only so much you can do for them. Sadly.”
“So what would you suggest I do now? Should I contact my client and see if he wants to try again?”
“No. If he wants to, he’ll come back. I think if this is an area that you want to explore and add to your therapy toolbox, you should take a full course on past life regression. That’ll make you better prepared to handle the more difficult cases.” He went quiet for a moment. “There’s a good one that’s being offered as a pre-conference workshop at a small hypnotherapy con in Sacramento next month. I normally don’t go to the small cons, but that might be worth your time.”
“Hmmm. Maybe. I’ll have to check with Tessa to make sure we don’t have any plans for that weekend.”
“Well, if you do go,” Jake teased, “maybe you can practice on Tessa and find out what she sees in you.”
“More likely, she’d rather know who she was in a past life. Probably Guinevere or Cleopatra, knowing Tessa.”