My uncle is weird.
He claims he can talk to the dead, but I'm not sure how.
So I ask him, "How do you talk to the dead?"
He responded, "How about I show ya'."
Not really thinking about what psychotic thing it may be, I just nodded along in agreement because I was really curious.
"Okay," my uncle said, "Come here next week and I'll show you how."
It's been a long week.
I couldn't wait to see what "talking to the dead" was like.
After making my way out in the country side to my uncle's house, I knocked on the door.
I knock again...
I shouted his name in case he might be napping or distracted by something else.
"In the back," his voice rang out.
Scurrying my way around the house, I step foot into his back yard and pause in mid-step.
There was a dirty, old closed coffin in the back sitting on a table.
"So," my uncle said, "Want to know how I talk to the dead?"
Thinking of the words in my head, but not able to speak them, I just gave a simple headshake.
"Alright, come closer. It's really neat."
I inch my way closer and closer with question and disgust in my face thinking, "I hope it's not real".
Beside the coffin I stand as my uncle has a big grin on his face, "I'm glad you want to know. Your parents and siblings don't understand what beauty lies ahead of us."
He raised up the coffin lid.
I thought I was gonna hurl as my stomach churned and twisted from the foul smell that seeped out.
I covered my mouth with both hands and turned away.
"Ah," my uncle sighed, "I love doing this. It's kinda scary, but fun at the same time," and he gave a big old sniff.
I turned around because of disbelief in my mind, but too curious, I had to know if there was a body in there or not.
Turning my eyes first to look, there was a body inside half rotten. The face stretched down and pale grey color on lips, eyes, ears and nose dry and cracked as it's hair was long and thin draping over the skullish face.
"Now you gotta understand," my uncle said, "It's not always good to do this because you never know what may happen. We don't know if this were a benevolent or malevonent being. So if something goes bad, run."
I took a few steps back, but still watched as I shifted my hands from my mouth to eyes peering thorugh the openings I created.
My uncle put his hands together, closed his eyes and gave a persevering breath.
He walked over towards the body and stood above the dried, skull-shaping head and
layed his face on it.
I could hear him mumbling and whispering then he'd be quiet.
Wanting to hear what he was saying, I walk up closer. I didn't want to, but I was like a kid in a candy store wanting more.
He turned his head with his eyes still closed putting his ear against the body's mouth like it was speaking.
My uncle then turned his head with the rotting body and pressed his lips against it's ears mumbling and whispering again.
I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
His breath made the hair slide across the face and he listened again one more time by pressing his ear against it's lips.
Still peeking through my hands, my uncle raised his head away from the body still facing it with his eyes closed and reached his arm out towards me.
Words didn't come out mouth and I took one hand away and pointed at myself wondering if his gesture was towards me.
He shook his head.
Cautiously, I walk up with still one hand covering my eyes and stood beside my uncle.
He turned towards me with his eyes still closed, but his mouth slightly open and he kept slurring a word quietly.
It took me a while to understand, but it hit me.
His breath quick and shallow when speaking in his trance,
"listen, listen, listen, listen, listen-".
This was too much. This was too real. I wanted to leave. I just wanted to be gone. I want no more of this.
I thought about leaving and just walking away, but my uncle's hand calmly reached out towards my arm and lightly grabbed it still repeating,
"listen, listen, listen, listen, listen-".
I thought about it thinking, "No. I'm not." But it conflicted with the idea that I don't want to make the spirit mad.
I lean in, but forced my body to as my mind wanted to back away.
My uncle still had a hold of me.
So I begin to lay my head down towards the body's face.
Face to face with the dead person, I turn my head looking at my uncle having my ear barely touch it's cold, dry, cracked pale grey lips.
I couldn't hear a word. Not a sound.
Starting to rise up from the body, in the quiet air, I heard my uncle breathing a word.
"Paradise, paradise, paradise, paradise, paradise-"
I decided to whisper back to see if he could still contact me through his trance.
I asked in the midst of his repetition, "Where is paradise?"
My uncle shushed as he didn't speak a word.
He spoke with his face though showing me his eyes closed giving me the reason.
I lean back down and close my eyes making my sight pitch black as uncle was still holding me.
There was no response.
Until I was pushed and locked inside with the body.
He told me through the coffin, "Paradise is in front of you".