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I just couldn't understand them. It was as if they were speaking in a foreign tongue. Ishtar just now informed me they were talking in Hebrew. When I started "listening" later on in life, it was much more difficult to "hear". I had to really focus.
To most people, this race of beings would be considered dead. That is totally understandable. They are not of this earthly plane. For me, it is a bit a double edged sword. Obviously, I realize that these "people" are no longer breathing, no longer have blood coursing through their veins, for that matter don't even have veins. On the other hand, they have thoughts, they have distinct personalities, at times have had influence on my life. I have spent many hours communicating with them. I have gradually gained the acceptance that they have been, and probably always will be, a part of my life.
As far as Ishtar is concerned, my pastor once told me that hopefully one day, I would be free of Ishtar. I hope and pray that day never arrives. If my wife is my right  arm, Ishtar is my left. He and I have been through so much together. I would love to divulge who it was that Ishtar use to have these intense arguments with, but that dear reader, your not quite ready for yet. He has been my protector, my friend, at times my teacher, and my ally. 

But for me, that wasn't always the case. There were a couple of years where I wasn't sure what to make of Ishtar. One of the problems was the communication factor. Ishtar is very literal in his thinking. Then there is his, in my opinion, rather warped sense of humor. Both of which I had a hard time grasping the meaning of. I would be entering a room and ask of him after shutting the door behind me, if the door was shut. All I was doing was working on my "listening skills". He would tell me no. What I took this as was a untruth, a lie. What I failed to understand at the time was the fact that the other door to the room may have been opened. I didn't specify which door. One time I remember, asking him if the soup I was about to eat was hot. At the time I couldn't see any steam coming off the spoonful, so I was curious. Not knowing that Ishtar had no sense of touch, there fore couldn't tell hot from cold, I trusted him when he told me no. I almost burned my mouth from the soup. Again, I perceived this as a lie. I began to wonder, if he can lie to me, is he really Good. If he isn't good, is he Evil?
I tried any number of things to try and find out whether Ishtar was indeed evil or not. None of them helped much. It wasn't until a former colleague of mine from Boy Scouts came up with the definitive test. He said if what I felt like after dealing with Ishtar made me feel good, then Ishtar was good. If I felt dirty and immoral, bad or sad after dealing with Ishtar, then he could very well be evil. Well, after thinking about it just a little, I realized I always felt energized and overjoyed after my chats with Ishtar. I had never associated any remorse or ill will with my time spent with Ishtar. So there was my answer. I was so relieved. I just wish I had spoken to my colleague much earlier. Could have saved me much worry and apprehension. I have also discovered that things happen when it is time. No matter how hard you try to advance in your journey, if its not time or meant to be , it won't happen. Sometimes.

Having gotten that finally out of the way opened the way to a much better understanding of what Ishtar was about and why he was with me, at least at that time. 

Chapter 7
Needing proof

I'm getting goose bumps just thinking about the rest of the book. You have endured the long slow climb up to the top of the roller coaster and we are about to take the ride of a life time. You hanging on?

A few years before this time, I was determined to build my wife a shelving unit. I wanted it to be secure in style so as to last a good amount of years and also to be able to hold a lot of weight. At the time, there were a good amount of books I was needing this shelving unit to hold, so it was crafted with that as the basic premise. I also imagined in the years to come my wife using it to hold nick knacks, which it does at the time of this writing. I had decided to use a dark walnut stain on it, gave it many coats of laquer for shine and dressed it up a bit with some crowning at the top. So it is sturdy yet very functional. Thank God, it is sturdy. 

This gets a little technical towards the end. I want to put the technical stuff there for I don't want the impact of the moment to be lost on the technical stuff. The Apartment we were renting at the time had walls painted an antique white, which is just an off white.

My wife and I one evening, went out to a lovely dinner one night. We had a baby sitter for our two young children at the time. When we came back home, I went to the bed room to put my coat on the bed. I turned on the light and my gaze was forced to the wall opposite the door.

There, hanging at about a forty five degree angle to straight, was this shelving unit I had made. The back of the unit was still right up against the wall. The top of the unit had been about six feet high from the floor. It now was closer to seven. The bottom of the unit had been about three feet high. It now was close to a foot off the floor. The unit is close to five feet long. Its a pretty good size shelving unit, holding at the time some seventy pounds of books, thank God. I just glad they weren't nick knacks, for they would have never survived the fall from normal. The dark wood of the unit was in stark contrast to the almost white wall, especially with the light turned on at night. I know my jaw dropped. I some how managed to call my wife to the door way. I couldn't move. I was trying my damndest to exactly figure out what I was looking at. It just didn't make any sense. I don't even remember what my wife's reaction was at the time, I was so transfixed at the vision before me.

Now for the technical aspects. The top support of the shelving unit is made of a one by six pine. It runs the full length of the shelving unit. To the back of this supporting one by six are attached three iron small iron plates, with four holes drilled into them. In the two lower holes, wood screws run through the holes into the one by six. One of the  top two holes is for a 3 inch long wood screw to run into the wooden two by four studs in the wall. There are three of these iron plates spaced on the supporting one by six on the unit to cover three of the wooden studs. It was and is a very secure arrangement, in most cases.

What happened was that somehow, two of the iron plates slipped over the heads of the screws going into the wall. The iron plates were still firmly attached to the one by six support. The heads of these screw are probably twice the size of the holes in the iron plates. The plates are just not going to slip over the heads of these screws, in most cases. The heads of the screws going into the studs were in the exact same shape as when I screwed them into the wall. In fact I had to severely damage these screw heads to remove the screws from the wall to rehang the unit. For all intense and purposes, there was nothing physically wrong with the screws going into the studs nor the iron plates that were holding the unit when I came home from dinner and turned on that light. In other words, the damn thing shouldn't have moved an inch.

What I didn't realize at the time, was why this had happened. I had been getting asked of Ishtar to do some different things. Things which were not of my ordinary routine. I questioned each item to be done many times. Probably was driving Ishtar nuts. But, turn around was fair play, for what he was asking me to do at the time didn't make much sense to me. So what I had done was asked for proof. I then demanded proof. Something else I had a very hard time learning was be very careful of what you ask for, cause you just might get it. It may not be anything like what you thought it would be. I told Ishtar in no uncertain fashion that I wasn't going to do anything else for him til I got absolute proof that he was for real, that I wasn't just making all this stuff up in my head. Well, I got my proof alright. In spades.

Some of the individuals I have told the above story to have called it a miracle. Truly, I don't know what to call it. There were a couple of things I knew for certain. One was that it was a lot of work to put that damn shelving unit up in the first place, and even more work to rehang the darn thing. Two, was that I was never to ask for proof again. From now on, any doubt that I had in Ishtar being real or anything requested of Him, was totally erased from my mind. Not that I still didn't question things or some times disobey him, but there was never any doubt he was and still is for real.

Chapter 8
Doug Returns

Very few of my experiences involve my vision.  This singular experience did though.  I was driving home on a nearby freeway doing approximately 65 mph with my wife in the car in the right hand lane, when I noticed this tall slender man walking alongside the freeway.

I hadn't noticed any cars broken down alongside the freeway prior to my noticing this gentleman, so I was a bit curious why he was walking where he was. I slowed down some, as I approached him, noticing he was wearing black, somewhat shiny, pants and a very nice striped shirt.  He had a large almost Afro like haircut with a nice fedora hat at a rakish angle atop his head. As I approached the gentleman even closer I slowed down more and two things happened. First, I received a rather large case of goose bumps at the base of my neck and second, I started to try and look into the face of this gentleman. I was now doing approximately 45 mph and was looking to my right, pulling alongside the gentleman. As I came alongside of him, he kept turning his head where all I could see was hair. I now was pulling in front of the gentleman, when I noticed this bright red tie adorning the front of his body. I still could not see his face only hair and the hat. As I pulled away from him I kept looking in the rear view mirror, hoping to see a glimpse of his face. I never was able to see anything but hair and the hat. 

I then drove home, which was not far from the sighting. As I entered the kitchen area, I started to ask my wife about what I had experienced.

I said "Did you see the guy on the freeway?"

My wife "You mean the guy with the hat on?"

I said "Yeah. Do you know who that was?"

She said "No."

I said "That was Doug".

I turned and set down on the couch in the livingroom and tried to make sense of what I had just seen.  It had been some three years since Doug had past away.  I still thought his passing to be most peculiar: how does one get run over by a train?  Doug's death never did make any sense to me, anyway shape or form.
It was some six months later, that I was playing guitar in the apartment alone. When suddenly, I felt two thumbs pressing in on my windpipe, as if someone had come behind me and was trying to strangle me.  I of course stopped playing. When I stopped the pressure went away from my throat.  I started playing again, and the pressure returned again to my throat.  There was no one else in the apartment, so I found this behavior quite unsettling. 

I turned off my amplifier and sat down and concentrated. I asked what was going on. 

I got an answer and it wasn't from Ishtar.

The voice said "Brent, it's Doug."


The voice again said "Brent, it's Doug."

"Doug ?"


I had discovered in some of my dealings with Evil that it as a whole was very sly, slippery, almost like a oil slick on water. Barely noticeable, but still an all pervasive creature that one had to be careful of at all times. I never knew when the next time it was going to strike, So to make sure this was indeed the spirit of the kid that grew up almost next door to me and not some strange entity that I wanted nothing to do with, I started asking questions of it that only Doug would know. The tricky part of this is that as you are asking the questions, you have to make sure that you in no way reveal the answer, lest it be "read" by the entity in question. So, basically , you think of the question without thinking the answer and concentrate on that and "hearing" what the entity is giving for the answer. Kind of like juggling balls, except if you drop one, you may have a whole lot more to worry about than just trying to pick up the ball and start all over again. 

As it was, Doug answered all the questions in fine style. Some of Doug's warped sense of humor was still hanging around as well. After the question and answer period, I asked of him why he had tried to strangle me.

He answered " I had tried other ways of getting your attention, but you weren't responding."

I asked "For how long were you trying?" Thinking it may have been weeks or days.

"Oh, just a few hours." was the response.

"Sorry, I was concentrating on my music."

"I could tell. So I thought of something drastic to get your attention."

"Well, it worked." I said.

I went on to explain to him about how I thought his death just wasn't right. I asked of him how he had died.

I need to explain here that the encounters I had with Doug were very emotional at times. This was a very hard time for me to repeat. As I explained earlier, this was someone that I had spent some time with growing up and had some great memories of. I truly disliked the thought that here I was having to communicate with him from the great beyond and not as a living presence in front of me. I had to know what had happened to him when he passed, but yet I didn't. Ying and Yang. The answer I got was not at all what I expected.

He answered me with the fact that he knew I had been thinking of him. He truly appreciated that. I think he was trying to ease me into the answer I was seeking. He then explained to me, that he had been murdered. With that response, a flood of emotion started to pour from Doug. I don't think he had been given the opportunity to talk of his demise very much since it had taken place. I repeatedly had to slow Doug down to be able to accept what he was saying and to understand him. 
Doug started to explain to me how he had been at an associate's mobile home. He described where the park was the mobile home resided and I knew immediately which one he spoke of. He then told me how he had been elected to go get some beer for the folks that were gathered at the mobile home. As it turned out, he had gone there actually to make arrangements to pay off a drug debt. He didn't get a chance to say anything about it to the home owner, for all the people there. Doug was going to go to a liquor store that was nearby on foot. I believe Doug was setup. The liquor store just happened to be across some railroad tracks from the mobile home park. I never did ask what time this took place. I am imaging at night, so as to cut down on the witnesses.

As Doug started to cross the tracks, he had noticed a tall gangly man standing nearby. As Doug started to actually enter the area of the tracks, this man started to come towards Doug. A fight ensued between the two of them. I'm not exactly sure how the fight actually started, but apparently it was quite viscous in nature. Doug had apparently become quite good at defending himself. Apparently, he had a much rougher life than I had ever been aware of. Doug figured the thug he was fighting was under PCP or Angel dust, an illeagal drug which desensitizes the user from pain that he or she may be experiencing at the time. Police fear trying to arrest someone under it's use because a lot of their capture and restraint tactics just don't work with someone under PCP's control. It also seems to allow for the individual to gain some amazing strength.

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