Have you ever wondered how a Colonial America ghost (circa 1770’s) would describe the modern house cat? Excerpt from work-in-progress, “DELILAH, ASTRAL INVESTIGATOR” (YA to adult fiction)

The only other living, breathing being that could initially see me came into the good-mother’s modest abode some three days after Lady Delilah’s first glimpse of me. “She”—for it was definitely female—evidently had been rescued from the inadequate charge of Delilah’s school/hovel-mate (called a roomie?) named Judith or Judi, another absurd derivative of an honorable namesake. It seemed the care of a mere cat was too much trouble for Judi.
A cat? Just let it out? Are there no mice or rodents left in Boston in this day and age?
Regardless, t’is naught my duty to judge this black-and-white ball of fluff with long silky hair that most definitely can see, hear, and resent me!
Hissing, spitting, and thrashing her thick wooly tail—mayhaps, I had inadvertently stepped upon said dark bushy appendage when first she bounced out of a small crate of unusually lightweight skyblue-colored material—most assuredly something other than wood.
I thought she was a very small raccoon, but the colors were more reminiscent of a skunk, the pattern resembling a gentleman’s evening white tails.
She had a coal black mask around exotic emerald-gold eyes above a snow-white furry face with incredibly long white whiskers and elaborate eye lashes, a pink button nose, and high pointed ears, exactly half-black/half-white with the inner ear canals showing pale pink delicate skin amidst long fuzzy white hairs.
Her beauty, for a beauty she was despite her loathing of me, emanated in a full luxuriant royal-white ruff that nestled her tiny face and fell in long pristine waves down her entire breast. Her small body sat squarely atop short, fuzzy white legs, a splash of glossy black spilled across her back to the tip of that recalcitrant tail. Surprisingly, the massive silky hair that flowed from her underside to the floor was pure gleaming white.
She was a playful little mite, using her front paws with nary a single claw like tiny hands, throwing small items up in the air, catching them adroitly, and using her front feet to clean and arrange her long hair. It just seemed inaccurate to refer to her shining coat as the fur of other cats as it was more like spun silk threads or even human hair. The grooming process was lengthier than a regal lady adorning herself for a ball.
Her back feet, however, incongruously large and shaped like a rabbit’s had her flouncing and bouncing up and down Delilah’s sleeping area, on the floor, across the room…until she encountered me…than she would halt in startled animosity, drawing back and rearing up on those big clawed back feet like a grizzly bear. I expected her to roar! Sometimes she did growl low in her throat as she hissed and spat at me.
What in the world was this wee beastie!?
Besides the small meshed crate, which she never stayed in, she has her own kitty chamberpot, rectangular in shape, made from the same lightweight material as the crate, but in bright dazzling pink! Some bits of fine gravel fill this chamberpot…an odd system, to be sure, but the cat seems to enjoy scratching and digging through this substance. She seems terribly affronted if you watch her. A prissy little creature! I wondered why Lady Delilah didnae’ keep her in her cage?
Pardon me; I should dignify Delilah’s cat with her given name. She is called, Mollie. Delilah loves to talk to her by name in cooing tones, but when I dare to recite that nomenclature “Mollie” just stares at me with those huge almond-shaped eyes filled with hostility, looking away in disgust as if I was boring her.
Mollie sleeps pleasantly on the bed pallet with her mistress. Delilah’s greatest joy is watching this useless beast either stalk me or play with multi-colored hairbands—another new word for me—I would have referred to them as thongs that men in the colonies use, bits of rawhide to tie back our long tresses. This is so American, rather than the stodgy, smelly wigs of the British.
There’s also something called a rubber band that Mollie chases and flits from place to place, and finally, yes, there are mice. No, not a real mouse! These are made of cloth in vivid hues, some that rattle, some with bells, some with long tails and feathers to dangle in front of Queen Mollie. I can think of her in no other context rather than the highest of feminine royalty.
The name “Mollie” is known to me as an Irish wench. Delilah tells me, however, that this wee critter (less than one-half stone in weight; according to Delilah only six pounds? I think of pounds as currency) is Turkish in heritage and an Angora, but I cannae’ accept the lady’s jest for all know that the Angora is a goat!
Thus, a long, tedious tale of my new arch-enemy. This is how Queen Mollie became a member of our astral team.

Delilah, Astral Investigator and the Voice of Her Spirit Help-mate


Episode One

(Work in Progress)

I am delving into the differences between characters’ voices. Delilah, Astral Investigator, is very much a modern, young woman. The guide on her astral projections, however, hails from an ancient time and place. This is not the beginning of the novella, but the first introduction of Delilah’s spirit help-mate. He is just becoming grounded in his new reality. He’s not sure what he is or who he is. He doesn’t even know his own name yet! His speech is colored with his history and the wonderful new words, concepts, and theories he is learning from Delilah.


“She’s barely breathing!” the woman screamed in the close confines of the bedchamber. There was no one to hear a mother’s anguished pleas.

            The short, stout woman twisted a circular disc on the wall and brightened the room to a harsh glare. The sickroom had been bathed in shadows in reverence to the sleeping young woman in the small bed.

            The girl’s cheeks were flushed bright red, her dark hair sweaty and damp. A machine on the bedstead puffed a healing mist into the air. The vapor did not seem to aid the poor, sick damsel.

             Gurgling sounds filled the hush of the night as she thrashed and struggled, fighting to fill her damaged lungs. The acrid smell in the atmosphere indicated the presence of strong medicine in the modern breathing apparatus.

            The older woman dashed out of the room—the sound of gushing water, pounding feet as she rushed back in, clutching a steamy towel.

            As the grieving mother lay the cloth upon her daughter’s heaving breast, I saw the raven-haired beauty rise like a ghost out of her sublime body and stand before me.

            Her name is Delilah. No last names, please. No one can see me, or so I had thought, until her violet eyes burned into my soul.

            Who am I? I don’t really know. I may be a part of Delilah—on second thought, though, probably not, since I am distinctly male and not of this era, I suspect. I may be a guiding host sent to watch over her.

            Yet, I do know I am naught the legendary, Biblical Samson. That would be just too odd!

            The first time I saw her was the result of a fever which exacerbated her acute, chronic Asthma. She penned the dream in her diary, finding it weeks or months later, only to be terrified by the repercussions of her out-of-the-body experience.

            But how could she turn away? When she had accomplished so much for a soul trapped in purgatory? When she scribbled in her journal the initial “episode” (the first new word I learned from Delilah)—fever still in residence, but no longer life-threatening—it fell upon her like crushed stone that if she allowed herself to return to the netherworld, she might become caught in a plane of existence naught of her own reality. Mayhap she would become one of the episodes herself—unknowingly experiencing the same actions for neigh onto eternity with the suffering, misery, even the physical pain, as fresh and pungent as the death itself—and no one remembers the continuous, repeated actions!

            Delilah is a do-gooder and wants to aid her contemporary, global world. She immediately perceived the deranged souls escaping from their karmic prison, as eventually they all must do, though it may take centuries. After the first episode, she analyzed the vivid dream. She concluded these projections foretold the return of crazed, frightened, ignorant souls from The Dark Ages, breaking free from their shackles.

            Delilah is a voracious reader of history. She loves antiquity and the beauty of royalty. But what of the plight of common-folk? They outnumbered royalty hundreds-of-thousands to one!

            Her self-interest is historical fiction. She loves something called “role playing” with ornate gowns and crowns and pompous etiquette. In her warped sense of reality, she steadfastly refused to study the plagues and blackness that descended on her beloved planet in medieval times.

            This has changed, however. Delilah now acknowledges and fears the bitter entities coming back to release evil onto her world. She has decided she must learn the truth of a past riddled with madness.

            I do have to suppress an amused titter at this onset for I know the first journey of flight was not from the Black Plague delirium. This episode was more current, only some forty years before the timeframe in which Delilah lives. She thought it positively ancient! Long before her birth!

            The educational analysis and hypotheses of her advanced scientific degrees revealed the continuum of time and the quantum physics of infinity—such lovely terms I have learned from Delilah’s delicious genius! Her academic accomplishments allowed her to astutely surmise the vengeance that could be unleashed on her society, and it shook her very soul!

            All matter, all energy, does not end. It is infinite. Therefore, the demented will return when they can create the most havoc in a global world that is overpopulated, depleted of natural resources, and suffering from modern plagues—the sicknesses of waste, pollution, and newly released microscopic vermin.

            The grace in Delilah’s mind? If she can help lost souls banish their demons and perversion, there will be less chaos and evil in her civilized world.

            Reading and watching the daily news after her initial dream, but still in a high-pitched fevered state, she saw for the first time what was happening to her entire planet. Yes, she’d seen it before, but suddenly it had terrifying consequences and prophetic direction.

            The direction Delilah saw was not pleasant. The episodes she investigates will reach to the past and the future. All directions of time can be entered and augmented. Delilah and I have so much to learn from each other.

            She still scribbles by hand the astral episodes in her dream diary in the dark of night by light of a single candle. It pleases me that she writes in the old-fashioned way of my lifetime. It is a bond between us. She must record the dream in scratched, cryptic letters as soon as it occurs or she loses the fine detail which is so crucial to her challenged reality.

            A few days later, she takes her rough-hewn draft and transfers it to a well-lit “screen” (another new word for me). We, together, will pen the stories that need to be told and record them on these new magical devices that seem to have outlived the Gutenberg Press.

            But I get ahead of myself. I have so much to tell! We will begin at the beginning with all the revelations that Delilah and I unwillingly share.

© Copyright by author, Deborah A. Bowman, all rights reserved.