The Spiritual Side

The Spiritual Side

A Story by christopher fox

This is my first draft for one of the short stories I'm compiling together for a book of short stories. This is my second attempt into fiction in prep for novels.


End of the week. Just means a few days of watching television, and then I get to start all over again on Monday. I can't remember doing anything different for more than a few years now. I had always felt that my life would just pick up. When I was in high school, I had thought “well college will sure be fun,” but nothing ever happened. After college, I landed a job and am just your average office junkie, a paper pusher. It is highly doubt-able that my existence has any great meaning to the greater humanity at large. If I were not here, people would get along just as they have. My friend might miss me, my one friend in all of this city. I guess I haven't really been able to get out much. With the waking up at the same time everyday, shower, breakfast, and off to work. The same thing for more than a few years now.

There is not so much that is very special about me, my name is Benjamin, I am about 5 11, overweight from lack of doing anything for awhile. I have never been real good at sports, I was always last picked. My whole life, I have always thought that something would just happen, but maybe I just need to do it. But what could I do? I have never cared for parties, nor been a fan of drinking. I get sweaty when meeting new people, so going out in the average way to a bar is most out of the question.

Back at my apartment, another Friday night. Looking at the same things, never changing, for more than a few years. The thought never bothered me before, but on this night, it made me sick. I ran immediately to the bathroom, as I entered, I caught myself in the mirror and at first I didn't believe that it was me. The sickness I felt that prompted me here dissipated and I just stood there motionless staring at this person in the mirror. Beginning to recognize the familiar face, I had to ask, “What have you done with yourself Ben?” Feeling the same belly rolls that just seem to get bigger and bigger, the only thing that I can say that has really changed.

Walking back out to my living room, I spot the remote control and almost get sucked into my usual night that precedes my usual day. But then I glance over to the door. Maybe there is something out there, maybe I need to do something. I've just always expected something to happen, but I have never done anything to allow anything to happen. I go through my everyday expecting life to come to me, and nothing ever has. And how could it? I'm stuck here in these confining walls where no one sees me, or I'm at the confining walls at work, where no one even knows my name. Maybe just going for a walk for a little bit would at least shake up my night. Seeing people might just take me out of this funk. It is exercise after-all, and God knows that I could use every ounce of it.

Going from my living room, glancing back towards the door, I head to my bedroom and change my clothes into something more suitable to go walk around in. For the past couple of years I have really only headed out right from my apartment. I have never considered it until now, but I only ever go to work, the grocery store, and then back home. There is some sort of comfort in the usual. But that comfort doesn't seem to be a comfort right now. Maybe I've run out my comfort and I need a change to refil it? So, maybe I'll head left out of my apartment tonight. “My big change up,” I say as I head back into the bathroom to see how I look. “What have you done to yourself Ben?”

Heading out the front door of the apartment, I glance right as my body almost begins to go through my usual. I force myself against nature to the left. After a few steps, my nerves calm and I just try and enjoy the walk into the unknown of the city.

Not so far into the walk, I come across a shopping center I had never even known was there. Window shopping I see tons of things that excite me, and I wonder why I have never done this before. While looking through all the windows, I spot a New Age book store and decide to see what it is all about. I have heard of these places and laugh to myself that I should even be in such an establishment.

The place smelled heavy of incense and was a place I had never even considered finding myself in, but I was changing up my Friday night, so why not?

“Hey man, can I help you find anything?” Asked that hippie man behind the counter. He looks like he has done way too many drugs, and is dressed in very bright colors. I had only ever seen a person like him at a distance, and never dared to converse with someone like him.

“We"ell I-I Uh--” Come on Ben, get it together, no more of this social anxiety. Maybe I could use some more friends. Clearing my throat and looking at the ground I spout out, “I've never been in a place like this, but I also haven't ever done much of anything outside of my usual routine for a few years now and just trying to change things up.”

“Far out man, it sounds like you need to meditate.”


“Yeah man, get in touch with yourself, your higher self man.”

“ I don't know what that means...”

“It's cool man” The hippie man reaches under the counter and produces a book, handing it to me he goes on to say, “This book will explain it all man.”

I take hold of the book, and read the back cover to try and get a sense of what it is about. The book seems to be about what I am feeling It says that it can help feelings of depression and unhappiness in one's life. With some hesitation, I buy the book and leave the store right away. Hiding the book the best that I could for the rest of my walk. If I had any other encounters with people, I didn't want them to think that I was some sort of weirdo. Walking around I began to believe that the strong smell of incense would never leave me. Just in case I struck up conversation with someone, I tried to think of a cover story.

This walk was a great idea though, already my Friday night has been so much different than it has been in a few years. I haven't even bought a new book that I wanted to read since before college. Continuing down the street a bit longer, I check out the various shops, but find nothing of real interest. So, I decide to head back to my apartment and conclude a successful change in my usual.

Arriving back at my apartment, I place the book on the coffee table that is in front of my couch. Staring at the cover for a period of time, I decide that I'll make a cup of tea and dive right into the book. Most of the shows that I liked were over or already started anyway.

Cracking open the book, it wasted no time in describing the correct way to meditate and goes on to describe what it calls 'deep mind states'. I found out quickly that the book also has a multitude of exercises, and even includes a CD that you listen to to help you reach the states faster. Deciding that the first exercise seems the easiest, I grab a pair of headphones and an old CD player to test this stuff out. Shaking my head and wondering what I was doing, I calm myself and do what the CD says to do.

It couldn't have been more than five minutes and I start to feel my body vibrating. I think to myself how weird of a feeling this is.

The CD states “Clear your mind and concentrate.”

“That's strange...” I say to myself, but shake it off and try and focus as the book had described. Not but another five minutes later did I think my eyes opened, but I clearly felt that my eyelids were closed. I start to think more and more that there is something to this stuff, and try to relax and focus more. My eyes fully open, but I still felt them closed. I go to stand up and turn around to see myself sitting on the couch with the headphones still in.

“This is weird...” I say in disbelief, because I still felt my body vibrating, “maybe it put me to sleep and I am just dreaming.” As soon as I think this, my eyes actually open and I find myself back in my body that I was just looking at. It couldn't have been more than ten minutes, but as I glance to the clock on the wall, more than thirty minutes have passed.

My thoughts were thinking more and more that there might be something to this stuff. Personally, I didn't feel less depressed, I only felt absolute exhaustion. I decide to go to bed much earlier than I usually do, because there was no way I could have stayed up much longer. That night was however the most peaceful sleep that I have gotten in quite a few years.

Waking the next morning, I feel more rested than I had ever felt in my whole life. I had no dreams during the night, but that was nothing out of the usual. The only unusual thing was what I had experienced just the night before. In trying to feel that state again, I decide to meditate right away I woke up. The book had stated that best results would be reached with doing the techniques twice a day.

Setting up the same variables as I had done just hours before, I prepare to attempt that first exercise again.

Back on the couch in the living room, I put the headphones on and start to focus again. First the breath, and freeing myself of thoughts. After what I felt was five minutes, I again feel my body begin to vibrate. The tones in the headphones continued, but there was no voice telling me to clear my mind and concentrate. I at first find it weird, but calm myself and continue with the exercise. The next thing with my eyes begins to happen again, but when I get up and turn to look at my body again, I find I am no longer in my apartment. The place I am in is very dark and I can make out nothing recognizable. Turning in circles a few times, I try and wake myself up, but it is of no use.


In fear of hearing the most chilling voice I have ever heard, I exclaim “Wh"o whose there?!”


In this moment, I have never been more scared and tried to close my eyes to keep waking myself up.

It's no use, you are ourss

I open my eyes again and find myself in my living room, but I am not on the couch anymore. I am standing on the other-side of the coffee table. Turning to my right to look towards the sliding glass doors, I see a giant black mass. It looked like a bad special effect, but all the light in the room was streaming into the mass.

“hello Benjamins”

Becoming wide eyed, I didn't fully believe that I was awake and tried to pinch myself, but I feel the pinch. I try a lot of different ways to try and break myself out of this horrific trance. It began to become more difficult when I heard what must have been thousands of people laughing at me. In full an absolute break down I fall to my knees and start to cry. Still attempting to wake up one more time, I close my eyes and try to tell myself that none of this is real. The laughter in my head continues and then a clear voice comes through, “We're still heres,” and the laughing becomes louder. And louder.

Going past my absolute breaking point I could do nothing but open my eyes and let out a scream that had to have waked up the entire complex. There was a bright rush of white light from the center of my chest and the next thing I know is that I am back on the couch. All of the lights I had on were off, and it looked as though the sun still hadn't risen. The headphones were placed neatly on the coffee table which is no longer in front of the couch, but it is against the far wall. In a full sweat it takes me some time to catch my breath and try to understand what just happened.

“It was just a dream,” I shakily try to convince myself. If only to calm my breath and my heart. My heart felt like it was going to rip out of my chest. The bullies growing up, never made me feel fear to this extreme. It was unbelievable, I could do nothing for a few hours but sit on the couch and stare into the far wall, but I don't think I ever really saw it. The events of what I experienced just kept replaying over and over in my head. I kept hearing that laughter over and over, it weighed me down into complete uselessness. Tears flowed down my checks, and I could do nothing but be on that couch.

A few hours pass with me trying to rationalize the experience, and I am able to calm myself down enough to try and sort through what to do next. Maybe the book has some explanations. Snapping back to myself with a gasp of air I go across the room to the coffee table and pick up the book. Flipping through every page, it doesn't have any mention of dark black things that get into your head. The book only says happy things will happen and never mentions anything even remotely close to what I believe I just witnessed. “There has to be answers somewhere, other people have had to experienced this too.”

My next attempt to find answers was to call the book store that I got the book, but they are only opened on weekdays. In a rage, I throw my phone across the room, and sit back down on the couch. I look to the book and it is flipped to the last page with the author's information. The thought seeps in that I could call the author and find some sort of answers. Going across the room I pick up my phone and try to dial the number listed. The number that was listed in the book was disconnected, so I try my luck online. I had to keep moving forward, I couldn't keep replaying those awful images in my mind, but all of my attempts to communicate with the author of the book were in vain. Even internet searches proved of no use, because no one had even heard of the book. I scoured through hundreds of pages of results and never found a single mention of the book that I had in my possession.

The morning passed away in this frantic blur as I attempted all research in vain. I even tried to explain what had happened to me on various forums but only got called crazy. No one had ever even heard of what I went through.

Out of options and losing touch with reality more and more with each passing moment, I call my friend and ask him to come over. He could tell from my voice that something was wrong. It was difficult to talk to him though, because of all of the static, so he said that he would be right over.

It took my friend the usual amount of time to reach my apartment, and what a sight he saw. I was still dressed in the clothes that I had slept in and he made no short time in noting that. I opened the door and said, “He"ey come on in, ca"an I ge-t you anything to dri"i"ink?”

Almost being put on a defensive my friend looks me up and down, “no, I am alright, are you okay?”

I respond that I have been better, and try to explain what had happened over the past twenty four hours. I could tell in his eyes that my friend didn't believe a single thing I was saying to him. And then he finally said it.

“You know you shouldn't do drugs.” He said it with a condescending look, a look that he was better than me. I couldn't believe it, the one person I thought I could count on, and it seemed like he didn't even want to be there any more. I did look in a bad shape, but I told him everything that had happened. Realizing that I played all the cards that I possibly could have played, and that no answers were going to come. I told my friend to go ahead and leave, and that I will be fine.

He must have interpreted the snap to calm as a bad sign and thought that I may have gone insane. In as a consoling way as he could have been, my friend says that everything will be alright and then leaves the apartment. On his way out the door my friend must have called the police because they showed up not so long after to my apartment.

I at first didn't realize who it was, because no one ever knocked on my door, but after the first two knocks they identify themselves. In tears I went to the door and answered. The police came in, essentially pushing me out of the way and offered me a seat on my own couch. Seeing the coffee table across the room, they ask if this is the usual spot for the piece of furniture. I state no, and that it has been a straining morning. The police then take my vitals and ask me a series of questions. I suppose I answered incorrectly, because they told me that my friend had called them in concern for my life.

I broke into tears as the police grabbed me and began to drag me from my own apartment. As the police were doing this, I looked to the corner by the sliding glass door and see a shadowy figure with a great wide smile. The smile was the only thing that wasn't black, it was a large toothy smile that mocked me. I began at that moment to exclaim to the police to look at the shadowy figure in the corner to prove that I am in fact not crazy. The police look into the corner and tell me that there is nothing there. This event prompts the police to only believe more so that I am in need of professional help. The police begin to move faster to get me to the help that they perceive that I need.

I was rushed to a mental hospital, and placed into a room. I was there for some time until someone came. I tried to ask for any answers as to what was going on, and they stated to please be quiet and only answer questions when asked. After the initial intake, I was given clothes and a room to stay in. I was there for a day or so and was not allowed to talk to anyone.

Since the intake, I have been told that I will need to stay in this room in order to become acclimated to the environment. A person comes and brings me my food, but does not speak to me. It feels like I am in prison, and for what? During the intake, I was also told that the psychiatrist must meet with me to prescribe medication before I will be allowed to mingle with the other patients.

During that day alone, I really started to reflect on everything that had happened, and think myself so stupid for wanting a change in my usual. This is what you get Ben... I then began to experience what must have been a nervous breakdown. This started because no one believed me when I told them. What hurt most was that I was betrayed by what I considered to be my best friend. I cried myself to sleep that night.

After some time on the second day, I was allowed to finally have the first meeting with the psychiatrist to prescribe medications. A great level of excitement came over me concerning this meeting, because the psychiatrist is the first person that might be willing to talk to me. This visit with the psychiatrist will also allow me to start to mingle with the other people in this facility, and that has to be much better than being alone in a room.

I get escorted into the psychiatrist's office and sit down on the lone chair placed in front of the desk. The attendant that escorted me gets dismissed and closes the door. The psychiatrist does this without looking up, but there is something very familiar about this person. With a large smile, the psychiatrist looks up from the papers they were examining and asks, “Did you enjoy my book?”

© 2015 christopher fox

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Featured Review

good story.

I think you need to find a little more depth. Why is Benjamin alone? No family, no work mates? It niggled at me that there was no explanation.

Try to describe him within the narrative rather than in a short little section. So Benjamin could describe how he looks when he sees himself in the mirror.

Try to spend a little time expressing the routine nature of his life rather than just stating it.

These are minor niggles, a good piece.

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

christopher fox

7 Years Ago

Thank you very much, that is great advice. I will be going back over this soon and will attempt to .. read more


good story.

I think you need to find a little more depth. Why is Benjamin alone? No family, no work mates? It niggled at me that there was no explanation.

Try to describe him within the narrative rather than in a short little section. So Benjamin could describe how he looks when he sees himself in the mirror.

Try to spend a little time expressing the routine nature of his life rather than just stating it.

These are minor niggles, a good piece.

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

christopher fox

7 Years Ago

Thank you very much, that is great advice. I will be going back over this soon and will attempt to .. read more
It's a pretty nice cliffhanger! Let me see if I can put you in the top three. (But don't get your hopes up)

Posted 7 Years Ago

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This honestly has a lot of potential. There were a ton of grammatical & punctuational errors, however. With time, I think this story could turn into something great. Keep pushing. (:

- Brittney

Posted 7 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


7 Years Ago

I know you'll find success!
christopher fox

7 Years Ago

Thank you so much!

7 Years Ago

Sure thing!

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3 Reviews
Added on May 1, 2015
Last Updated on October 23, 2015
Tags: conspiracy, Spiritual, Demons, new age, meditation, change


christopher fox
christopher fox

Colorado Springs, CO

I'm 24 and have been writing my whole life. I began to share my work in 2014, and haven't gotten the performance side down just yet. I was on episode 703 "Shock" of the Risk podcast, and that record.. more..


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