DEJA VU

DEJA VU

A Story by alanwgraham
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A spooky story of deja vu linking the time of Mary Queen of Scots to the present day!

"

Deja Vu

 

 I have found to my peril that time itself can be a curious and slippery companion, a rogue of many disguises. It can be predictable or subjective, appearing to slow or accelerate. It can pull you into a false security as it flows along serenely or it can race dangerously like a riptide.

 

I guess that everyone has experienced that spooky déjà vu feeling of 'been there done that,' and it seems spooky when we can't put our finger on the link to an earlier experience. Then we start to gnaw at the conundrum until the 'oh that's it,' moment and our universe slips back into its familiar place. Occasionally, however, we gnaw down to the bone and we're still in the dark.

 

All I say to you reader is, read my story with an open mind and judge for yourself!

 

I should put the story into context and explain that my wife Mary and I live in the small Scottish village of Kingskettle which lies about five miles from the village of Falkland, home to one of the Royal palaces of the Stuart kings. The village lies below the one thousand foot high Falkland Hill where I regularly indulge my passion for hill running.

 

 Last Thursday, being a pleasant autumn evening, I drove along to the foot of the hill and set off up the path in time to witness the sunset from the summit. Half way up I turned on to the ancient track from the village and stopped for a moment to catch my breath. It was probably the very track that the young Mary, Queen of Scots, took when she indulged her passion for falconry. Resting my back on a fine oak tree I watched the reds and oranges of the sunset steadily intensifying. Then something happened that took my breath away.

 

As I turned quickly from behind the tree a pigeon sped past my head so closely that I felt the beat of its wing. Before I had chance to exclaim, a hawk, in silent and deadly pursuit flew straight into my shoulder. The hawk fell at my feet, feathers flying, then gathered itself and flew off. I stood agape, heart pounding, eyes wide and with a  rush of exhilaration at this unique brush with nature. What was strange about the event was that a curious feeling of déjà vu came over me as I stood recovering my wits and I had the distinct feeling that I had heard what sounded like an echo of a lady’s voice calling out ‘hurrah.’ I returned home, mulling over these curious events.

 

 

 The year 1563 ……..

 

It was a fine autumnal  evening. The young Queen Mary had ridden with her small retinue of servants up the hill track to the open woodland above Falkland palace. Mary was a fanatic for falconry and they had enjoyed good sport with the red haired queen’s hawk, a merlin, having taken several birds. With time drawing  into the fine evening the hunting party rested for a period  to enjoy  a repast of bread and cheese, with some roast venison and a glass of  French wine. As Mary sat on the coverlets spread on the grass she expressed her desire to release her falcon one final time. Meanwhile, her servant, William, had hidden behind a large oak to save the queens blushes as he answered natures call.

 

 Resting his back on the tree as he pissed William watched the fine colours of the sunset deepening. Finished, he readjusted his apparel for modesty and turned quickly from behind the tree. Then, something happened that took his breath away. A pigeon sped past his head so close that the beat of its wing ruffled his hair. A moment later, the queen’s hawk, in silent and deadly pursuit flew straight into his shoulder. The hawk fell stunned at his feet, feathers flying. Mary let an involuntary gasp escape but when the bird gathered itself and flew off, she shouted a loud ‘hurrah’ across the clearing.

‘Are you injured William,’ The Queen asked. ‘I am uninjured your Majesty.’

‘Then have a glass of this fine wine to recover your wits!’ Then Mary whispered to her lady, Mary Beaton, ‘perhaps it’s as well he had just pissed!’


The present day ......

 

The following day I had some time to spare in the morning. The month before we had decided to have one of our trees cut down. The large mature sycamore, although healthy, had become a danger. Our neighbour Jamie, who works as a tree surgeon, agreed to take on the task and the tree was felled and cut into slices.

 

That was when my work began - chopping the slices of trunk into pieces for our fire. It was a new task for me and I made the beginners mistake of trying too hard.  As time passed I gradually learned to use the weight of the axe and I developed an effortless swing. I did the chopping on a hefty section of trunk about two feet across and the same height that Jamie had left for me. My routine was to place the section to be chopped on the block, place the axe above the spot and then smoothly lift the axe above my head. Gravity then did the work. I was normally close to the mark and the cut wood would fall to the side. As time passed the pile of logs grew.

 

Then something quite unnerving happened.  I placed another circle of trunk onto the wooden block and lifted the axe to place it above the wood. Then I hefted the axe above my head and just as I was about to release the shining blade there was a commotion behind me and a small dog darted in from the public pavement and jumped up on my leg barking loudly. My concentration gone the blade flew down and hit the wood a glancing blow.

 

Behind me, I heard a woman’s shrill voice shrieking, ‘Geddon, Geddon,’ and the dog ran off. ‘Damn!’ I cursed, and turned back to the block. This time I paused to regain my focus and looking down to steady the blade I dizzied for a giddy moment but when I steadied I was looking, not at the bare wood with its rings but the bare flesh of a ladies neck.

 

 ‘Sweet Jesus,’ I heard her groaning quietly as I lifted my axe again. To my mortification, my first attempt had struck Mary's head a glancing blow. This time, it nearly severed neck from body. Angry and exasperated, I sawed through the remaining flesh. The head rolled away, while the body fell on its back, bleeding.


‘God save Queen Elizabeth,’ I heard myself shouting as I bent down to grasp the severed head by the hair and raise it to the crowd gathered in the great hall of Fotheringay castle. There were cries of anguish, then one of the Queen’s maids, Jane Kennedy fainted. Suddenly, the head fell and rolled away, leaving only a red wig in my hand. Onlookers gasped, seeing the gray-haired head, suddenly old, yet only forty two, facing them, lips still moving.


I lifted the queen's dress to remove her garters, as her executioner, my time-honoured prerogative, but was startled as a small dog emerged from the folds. Mary's pet, Geddon, had hidden in the dress. Geddon rushed to the corpse and circled, barking loudly, confused and distraught. At this point a protestant Lord stepped forward and pushed the dog's nose in the puddle of the queens blood.


In the present …..


As I straightened up I felt light headed and my vision clouded. I had a clear conviction as I came back to normality that I had somehow had more than a déjà vu experience and had somehow slipped through a crack in time itself.

The experiences with the falcon hitting my shoulder and the echo of ‘hurrah’ and my wood chopping transmuting into an execution seemed too real to be explained by chance. They weighed heavily on my mind so I decided to do some research.


Firstly, I decided to read the history of Mary, Queen of Scots. There was indeed a recorded account of her falcon striking one of her servants on Falkland hill and that she had called out ‘hurrah.’ Then as I read the details of her execution the detail all corresponded with what I had experienced. The clincher for me was that her dog was called Geddon. The strange thing was that I had no recollection of any pre-knowledge of these details.


Then I turned to explore possible explanations.

Lately scientists have come up with the seemingly bizarre concept that we exist within one of an infinite number of parallel universes. Until recently I would have dismissed this as the unproved daydreams of pseudo scientists but the events of recent days have made me think again. Please take my word for it that every word of this tale is a true account of these unbelievable events.


As you have read, the story concerns time and it was the double experience of that spine tingling phenomena of deja vu that triggered my investigations. Perhaps my failure to explain these occurrences was due to a memory lapse but I dismissed that as explaining all cases and considered that there was something more fundamental going on. Something connected with the nature of time itself and the very fabric of the universe.


What if the well accepted notion that individual events, such as the behaviour of electrons, are intrinsically unpredictable leads inescapably to the concept of parallel universes. Each outcome is possible so all outcomes are possible. Every event in the universe that you and I inhabit will exist in varying detail in neighbouring universes.


When events in parallel universes are close enough in detail some form of resonance ripples through the space time continuum and Joe Bloggs in universe 23 grunts, 'been there, done that!' and simultaneously Joe Cloggs in universe 24 grunts ‘that’s spooky.’ Perhaps it's the same resonance that occurs when I play a certain note on my saxophone and the same note will sound on my piano. Incredible as it seems, could the phenomena of resonance acting across parallel universes be the source of these unexplained deja vu experiences?

 

It is for you, the reader, to decide but these are facts that beg for explanation!

 

 

© 2018 alanwgraham


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Featured Review

This was such a terrific read! I think that for the minutes that i took to read this I was indeed motionless.Your idea of resonance ripples is the stuff of a great Sci Fi movie as well :) Irrespective of whether you are proven right, it will always be a very clever, imaginative and interesting concept to me! Your writing style as always has been one of my favorite things about your pieces, the beautifully smooth transitions between de ja vu and reality. You must have gone into a good bit of research for this? Its been a while since I visited WC and Im so glad that this is the first thing that I read :D Just Excellent stuff! Keep it up!


Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

1 Year Ago

Thanks Lee for your encouraging review. I appreciate that you realise how much research this took bu.. read more



Reviews

I'm dazed, flabbergasted and mightily impressed. After reading some of your replies to reviewers, I feel less slapped about, knowing that it's fiction. I've had small deja vu events like most everyone, but this one takes the cake. One theory/explanation I've heard is that deja vu results from a brain glitch wherein the memory passes through short time storage and goes straight to long term, thus causing us to "remember". An outstanding job, Alan!

Posted 1 Year Ago


I think we all have brief moments of deja-vu. sometimes it can v
be as a result of a dream, or, as in your story, a coincidence that reflects a story that you have read. What I can never be sure of, however is whether it is solely imagination, or.... can we mentally have a link with the past. After all instinct is not always a conscious reaction......
An intriguing story here Alan, and the closing lines give a degree of food for thought, beyond fictional imagination.
Norman


Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

1 Year Ago

Thanks Norman. The wood chopping did remind me of the head chopping but the rest I'm afraid is inve.. read more
Norman223

1 Year Ago

Surely that is the essence of effective writing, Alan. Plain unvarnished truth doesn't shine without.. read more
An uncommon story told WAY outside the dots, as only a recovering physics professor could manage! I can only imagine what goes on inside that complicated noggin’ of yours, considering you’ve invested most of your life studying proven science, yet you managed to slip thru the reality crack & also embrace such a whimsical notion . . . perhaps we could call it “Déjà vu on Steroids”!?!?! I’ve always loved the notion of Déjà vu, so I’m intrigued & impressed at the way you can weave together such a tapestry of ideas with delightfully tangential crossroads. This one is a bit tangled, but your storytelling keeps everything lined up for the reader to connect the dots easily. I can’t respond to your summon, that I consider the truthfulness of your hypothesis . . . when I’m just stunned & marveling at the way you come up with farfetched ways to relate everything past & present! Your mind is truly one of a kind! (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

1 Year Ago

Thanks. I'm laughing to myself when I read you review. I have to own up to being only a teacher and .. read more
Goodness, what a conceptual problem you pose for us! I am aware of the 'parallel universes' theory with its resonace, which could explain the Deja Vu. But I think it is probably more likely to be an anomoly of time itself, (doing a sort of double take hiccup.) Also I have heard the theory that sometimes one side of our brain works quicker than the other, hence the feeling of 'been there, done that'... But your story is very intriguing, and you tell it so well. The pigeon and hawk incident repeating! This surely could not be a coincidence. And you had not read about the Mary, Queen of Scots, before the incident? Oh, I love a mystery, so perhaps we should just smile in awe rather than try to beg for explanation! I love the way you have written this, so sincerely, and with an open mind.


Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

1 Year Ago

In a way Astri I'm quite please to tell you that the whole thing is more or less a fiction. It was w.. read more
Great Aunt Astri

1 Year Ago

Ah... I fell into the trap of believing the 'I' was you!. Although I didn't really believe this was .. read more
Excellent write Alan from start to finish. I found the whole read exhilarating. In actual fact it gave me the creeps, and if it does that to me, then you are on to a winner. Have always been interested in history and I found the setting and the story so interesting. Thank you so much for a great read.

All the best

Chris

Posted 1 Year Ago


This was such a terrific read! I think that for the minutes that i took to read this I was indeed motionless.Your idea of resonance ripples is the stuff of a great Sci Fi movie as well :) Irrespective of whether you are proven right, it will always be a very clever, imaginative and interesting concept to me! Your writing style as always has been one of my favorite things about your pieces, the beautifully smooth transitions between de ja vu and reality. You must have gone into a good bit of research for this? Its been a while since I visited WC and Im so glad that this is the first thing that I read :D Just Excellent stuff! Keep it up!


Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

1 Year Ago

Thanks Lee for your encouraging review. I appreciate that you realise how much research this took bu.. read more
history really repeats itself in one way or another and at least there was a bond between you and mary queen of the scots for that matter coz you were given the honor to experience the deja vu

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

alanwgraham

1 Year Ago

Thanks for reading this sette. The idea came to me when I chopping wood and turned into quite a comp.. read more
sette

1 Year Ago

yup because sometimes in our lives there are deja vus which either make us aware or not
alanwgraham

1 Year Ago

That's very true sette. It's an interesting thing that we all experience.

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Added on May 9, 2018
Last Updated on June 7, 2018

Author

alanwgraham
alanwgraham

Scotland, United Kingdom



About
Married with three kids, I retired early from teaching physics but have always enjoyed mountains. In my forties I experienced a manic episode which kick-started a creative urge. I've written a novel .. more..

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