Story: Divining Intervention
Justin liked the house; he’d lived in it for a number of years and it suited him. It was convenient for work and just the right distance from the centre of the city to allow him to get there easily without the noise and crime associated with inner city living. The garden was manageable and the rooms were big enough to give him the space he needed. There was only one problem – he rarely spoke of it and sometimes didn’t even acknowledge to himself – the cellar. Now it may sound strange to anyone else, and he certainly couldn’t have discussed it with a friend over a pint of beer, for instance, but he never felt comfortable in the cellar which opened out onto the garden. You could access the cellar either from a trap door in the kitchen which took you down concrete steps, or by means of descending the steps from the back room into the garden and then opening up the door from the outside.
The cellar was spacious and extended under the whole house. It had been a selling point, he remembered. When the estate agent had shown him round, he talked about how it could be converted to a basement flat, games room, sauna etc etc. Justin shuddered to think. He used it to store the lawnmower and the other garden tools but hadn’t even bothered to organise shelving, so the garden implements were just left there – unusual for him, since he was normally tidy and ordered – a measure of how uncomfortable the place was for him. Justin would open the door, get what he needed and shut it firmly behind him.
Perhaps it wasn’t so unusual for someone to feel uncomfortable in a space that really wasn’t part of the house. What was a little remarkable for a thoroughly sensible man, not given to flights of fancy or airy fairy nonsense was that sometimes Justin would feel as if whatever it was in the cellar – the vibes, the atmosphere, call it what you will, was somehow creeping into the kitchen, through the trap door and permeating the rest of the house. It was like a feeling of dread and when it built up, Justin felt the urge to throw a party in order to banish it. Nothing wrong with an occasional party! Except Justin’s parties were something else and he always lived to regret them. The neighbours would complain, there was usually damage done to the house and Justin – well – he could remember he’d enjoyed himself and it all seemed right at the time, but he couldn’t remember everything and there were events that frankly, he was a little ashamed of. So it was that Justin would resolve never to do this again but the cellar was still there and as the gap grew between the last party and the present, Justin would get an overwhelming urge to have another extreme party in an attempt to banish the feelings that seemed to arise from the depths of the house. Then, as is often the case, something that had seemed insignificant at the time, became the catalyst for an extraordinary change.
Justin was recovering from one of his parties when there was a knock at the door. Believing it to be a neighbour about to complain, Justin ignored it for some time, but the person on the other side was evidently not going away. Cautiously, Justin opened the door. Standing in the porch was a short, unprepossessing middle aged man carrying a briefcase and staring up at Justin through his glasses. There was something familiar about him.
“Hello, Justin. We met last night at your party, remember? My name’s Simon. You were talking about some problems with your cellar.”
Justin was taken aback. It wasn’t uncommon for him to forget things that happened at his parties, but it was uncommon for him to tell people about his cellar.
“If you remember, I told you I was a dowser and that I deal with buildings under geopathic stress. You hired me to do an assessment of this house, and well, I think you do have a problem here. I’ve done some preliminary work with the map, and it appears that you may have some underground streams. If that’s the case, then the house may well be in need of my services.”
Justin watched open mouthed as Simon walked in and pulled out his divining rods. He followed Simon, who walked around the house holding metal rods which were either stationary or made strange crossing movements. Whenever this happened, Simon would write something in a red notebook. At one point, Simon stood in the middle of the kitchen, close to the trap door into the cellar with his eyes closed. The rods would cross, he would write, and then shut his eyes again. Finally, he appeared to finish and Justin made them both some tea.
“There is evidence of geopathic stress here,” caused by two underground streams which cross. That in itself is likely to cause problems, but the water is impure and can only add to the issue. I’m pretty sure I can help you. You see, the electromagnetic energy caused by this can have a very bad effect – either physically, mentally or both. Looking at the layout of the house, I can redirect the flow of water and thus the energy, so that it will be there but will bypass the house and not have any effect on it.
“I don’t know how you’re going to do that – it’s all a bit beyond me, but please, go ahead. If you can sort this out, I will be eternally grateful,” Justin assured him.
Looking out of the window, Justin could see Simon in the garden and hear him in the cellar but he didn’t really know what he was doing. After a short while, Simon came up the steps and into the kitchen where he held out the rods again. This time, they remained stationary.
“That should be fine now,” said Simon. “Here’s my card and my bill. Let me know if you have any more trouble.”
After Simon had left, Justin made himself another cup of tea. He felt very different. His head seemed quieter and he felt light, somehow. The house was very different. The feeling of dread that he had lived with so long, had completely gone.