The Two Seeings

Other submissions by WordSmith-Jacqueline:
If you want to read their other submissions, please click the links.
In the Family Way (Historical Fiction, Writing Award 2023)
The Scottish Witchfinder (Historical Fiction, Book Award 2023)
Slaves of Men and Gods (Young Adult, Book Award 2023)
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Award Category
Golden Writer
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Logline or Premise
Morag MacAulay, a woman who seems to be cursed wherever she goes and by whoever she meets, explores her past lives in 4thBCE, 15th C and 20th C, and a mysterious gift that allows a guiding (but sometimes deeply interfering) voice into her mind. Will her bizarre dreams and the many ghosts of her past ever make sense?
First 10 Pages


“We consider bibles and religions divine-I do not say they are not divine,

I say they have all grown out of all of you, and may grow out of you still.

It is not they who give the life; it is you who give the life.

Leaves are no more shed from the trees, or trees from the earth

than they are shed (from) you.”

Walt Whitman

Speaking Woman Whispers

I am Speaking Woman and I am with you always.

This account chronicles the effects of a task of helping to awareness, of giving an individual's consciousness encouragement to continue evolving, and who was ready to be reminded there was important work for them to undertake for the benefit of humanity. For such a one, like each of us, has gathered both negativity and positivity in the evolution of our consciousness; but in order to advance further spiritually we must, in full awareness, remember what has come before to move forward in the present.

Look well to your dreams, your visions and those Chronicles passed on to you from others, for it is the nature of Divinity to speak through those who have ears to listen, eyes to see and the courage to speak.

Morag MacAulay was such a Volunteer. She has returned willingly many times in an attempt to enhance both her own and others redemption and evolution. Come with me now. Learn how each life seemed a consequence of others where she sleepwalked through time, unaware of how her actions could affect the lives of many innocent people.

DÉJÀ VU-- France-1981

Morag could feel her feet throbbing as she dragged one in front of the other. Her shoulders felt raw from the chafing as the rucksack’s weight bounced at every step.

“Can we stop soon?” she asked, hearing the whining tone in her own voice. Gareth beside her, his face pale and drawn and in no great humour responded with a contemptuous look before replying with exasperated weariness,

“Where are we going to stop, there’s nothing here?”

She couldn’t argue with this. Looking down the quiet country road ahead there was nothing but fields on either side, empty of any visible signs of habitation or people.

It was a warm dry afternoon, the hot sun making them sweat in the jackets and jumpers they’d yet to remove. The hoped for happiness of a trip together without their usual family entourage of respective brothers and sisters had been fast evaporating over the last few days on the train journey through north and central France. The final destination on their tickets was Chateauxroux, but having impulsively jumped off the train at an in-between stop with no obvious town or village, they hadn’t much of a clue where they were.

They trudged miserably on for another few hundred yards before coming round a bend in the dust-laden road, sighting a building coming up on the right hand side.

“Look!” Morag exclaimed, pointing out the obvious. Gareth ignored her enthusiasm but both were walking faster with anticipation in their steps. Morag felt a welcome relief at the prospect of somewhere to sit down and rest for a while.

Reaching the building Morag began to feel breathless from a sudden tightness in her chest, then dizziness overcame her. She stumbled under the force of her sense of déjà vu. Time seemed to slow down. It was as if the moment was expanding. Underneath that a strange fear and excitement was taking hold of her.

“I need to go in there!” she cried. Gareth looked back at Morag sharply on hearing the urgency in her voice.

“Hold on a minute, what for? It doesn’t look like there’s anyone home. You can’t just barge in to someone’s garden. What if they’ve got a guard dog?”

“Yes, but I have to see. Let’s knock the door. The gate’s open and if there was a guard dog it’d be after us by now.” Striding up to the front door, not waiting for Gareth’s approval for a change, her determined knock was greeted with silence. No dog; no people. Morag stood for a few moments waiting in expectation, unsure why her breathing was still feeling inexplicably erratic, before shaking her head to clear her confusion. Then she felt small, a way she often felt in Gareth’s company, as he did his ‘I told you so’ voice,

“There’s no-one here. Let’s look around the back.”

The grey brick cottage looming over her looked inhabited. There were lace curtains hanging at the windows with no sign of peeling paint on their frames. The thick wooden door overshadowed a garden in full bloom. There was yellow jasmine and red flowering geraniums with bees buzzing happily amongst their petals. It all seemed well looked after but Morag sensed an ominous stillness in the shade below the cottage eaves that bordered on creepy.

“Don’t you think this place feels a bit strange?”

“Naw, maybe they’ve just gone shopping or are out in the fields somewhere.” Gareth abruptly dismissed her doubt, continuing around the side of the house leaving Morag standing there unsure whether to follow.

She reluctantly trudged after him round the back hoping for nothing more now than a place to rest. On coming round the corner of the cottage, the feeling of excitement jumping in her belly coupled with a ripple of fear returned as she saw an orchard a few yards away. Morag could smell fruity sweetness and decay, an alcoholic odour of overripe fruit drifting from the direction of the fence separating the orchard from the back yard. Some trees were laden with pink apples or still-green pears, while those already fallen were surrounded by insects enjoying the feast. The scene felt so familiar that she almost remembered the last time she was here. She shook her head again realising that that wasn’t possible. This was her first trip to France ever, though it was a place she’d wanted to visit as long as she could remember.

Morag thought she must just be tired and hungry and her aching muscles weren’t helping much either. She didn’t dare mention anymore of her weird thoughts or feelings to Gareth. He’d been so snappy the last few days. As if he regretted coming at all. She’d had enough dismissal for one day. Morag continued gazing at the neatly-lined trees, lost in a frightening sense of familiarity until she heard Gareth’s tone of irritation behind her,

“It’ll just have to be a seat on the grass, there isn’t anywhere else.” He watched her quizzically then as she wandered past him, her eyes no longer registering his presence.

Morag struggled out of her rucksack hearing the dry grass crackling when the heavy bag hit the ground. She wandered over to find a tree to rest against, glad to be free of the weight on her back. Rotating her shoulders a few times to ease out some of the tension, she settled under the shading branches, her water bottle in hand.

“Hey, look at this. It looks so old. Isn’t it wonderful?” She felt her eyes water and a quiver close her throat as she put out her hand, stroking the ancient trunk, looking up through its thick branches laden with apples. Her brow crumpled in confusion as she let out an exhausted breath. Rather than trying to figure it out Morag lay down to enjoy the rest. That was when Gareth shouted her over.

“Yeah, but this is much better. Come and see this!” He motioned to her with a wave before disappearing from sight.

She harrumphed, pulling herself back up and followed his voice. He’d found a Nissan hut sitting close to the side of the house about seven feet high and eight wide of corrugated metal sheets with large doors that he'd discovered were unlocked. On opening the metal doors all they could see were mounds of loose, but not old, clothing and electrical items like lamps and toasters. There were also two bicycles in great condition. Gareth wondered aloud if they should take the bikes,

“What do you think? Should we, could we? It’d save walking and humphing the gear?”

“We might not be able to take them on the bus or the train though. Then what would we do with them?” Morag wasn't much of a cyclist at any time never mind in a new place, so was relieved when Gareth shrugged.

“Okay, just a thought.”

The clothing wasn’t packed in bags but piled into the hut in no order. And there were boxes of books, photographs and sketches.

Do you remember?

“What was that? Did you hear that voice Gareth?” Morag swung round to see where the voice had come from but there was no-one there.

“What voice? You’re imagining things.” He snapped, but nevertheless, looked over his shoulder towards the house just in case someone had returned or been there all the time and he somehow hadn’t noticed. Gareth seemed to feel a sense of menace in the atmosphere now.

“Really? You think so?” Morag reluctantly agreed that it must have been her imagination but was sure she’d heard an old women’s voice whispering urgently. Her heart lurched then at the sound of shifting movement from the hut. She stepped back, landing on Gareth's foot.

“Ouch! Watch what you're doing.”

“Sorry, but something moved in there. Didn't you hear it? Did you see anything?”

Morag was slowly craning her neck to look back into the darker reaches of the hut for the cause of the noise while Gareth hopped around behind her. The sliding sound came again but this time she saw that it was boxes nearer the back moving forward and emptying onto the piles of clothes. Black and white photos tumbled from one of the boxes.

There were images of several men lined up against a wall, others fallen at their feet. Morag gasped on noticing the fear on the faces of the standing men and the bullet wounds of the prone bodies. The boxes moved again and the images disappeared as heaps of papers and more photos of burned out cars and blackened ruined buildings cascaded down to bury the startling view she’d glimpsed. She turned abruptly and went to quickly shoulder her rucksack. Feeling a cold sweat erupt and a tremble shudder through her body, Morag became anxious to leave the place.

“Let’s go Gareth. I think we’ve seen enough. We need to find a campsite or hostel where we can stay for the night.”

Gareth had been rummaging at the other side of the hut and looked up, surprised at the fear in Morag’s voice. He did feel nervous now too, the feeling of being watched without knowing who by or how it was happening made him uncomfortable and he unusually acquiesced. After picking some fruit, they moved on.

The day didn’t get much better. As it turned out, they weren’t close to any camping sites. The rain began before they got much farther down the road, making them hurry to find somewhere to pitch the tent before dark but the night seemed to race ahead of them. After some cursing, with jackets and sleeping bags piled over them to keep in small warmth and the relentless rain out, they huddled under a tree with the densest branches they could find. They spent the night shivering, getting little sleep and were still more irritable by daylight.

They wandered back along the long empty road in the direction they came, heading for the train station. They needed to get back to Paris that afternoon for the connecting bus to Calais later in the evening. Coming upon the house again Morag felt the tremors of fear strengthen, this time locking the image and sensations inside, which as she came to realise, would haunt her long after returning home.

Glasgow- 1991-The Medium

In the study I sat reflecting on my life to date while looking at a wood-framed leaf skeleton depicting an Asian woman carrying baskets. It was propped up between Chinese hand-carved candles at each side; both of which were cracked long ago by the careless throwing of a ball in a child’s game. The weight the young woman bore seemed somehow symbolic of the drudgery I felt as if I carried now. The image had drawn me from across the street the day I discovered it several weeks ago, sitting lopsidedly in a junk shop window.

The leaf had seemed to jump out at me and I’d managed to haggle with the shopkeeper and buy it for less than he was asking. I could ill afford any money, but felt the leaf held some deeper significance for me and decided whatever sacrifices were needed would be worth it. Life went on as usual as I tried with difficulty to stay positive for the kids.

“Drink, Mummy, drink?” whined my twenty-month old daughter, Paula. A blonde blue-eyed, cute and curly-haired child with the face of an angel.

“No. Leave me alone!” I barked, not wanting to wake up to yet another day of fetching and carrying, cleaning and cooking. Pulling the covers back over my head, I forced myself back into sleep again, feeling petulant and put-upon; hating my lot. The accompanying guilt was made worse by the knowledge of conscious decisions to bring my children into the world.

After continued cajoling and whining from my daughter, I finally give in to her demand. Resentfully, I dragged myself out of bed. Taking the bottle from her hand I made for the kitchen and half-filled it with milk and boiled water. I needed to keep enough milk for tea and cornflakes, among other things. A reality I also resented. Hoarding not wasting; always worrying if there would be enough. The list went on every day.

The baby was smiling now as I brought her back the bottle. I warmed to her cuteness,

“Here you are darling,” I murmured, snuggling close under the warm covers with her, feeling guilty for my bad temper. “I’m sorry, baby. Mummy’s very grumpy this morning, isn’t she?” Paula nodded, her curls bouncing and her lip petted. “I’m a mummy Bear; grrr….who’s been eating my porridge?” I growled softly in her ear and tickled her till the petted lip spread into a smile and she chuckled.

These days I often felt like this. Most mornings I woke with a heavy head from too much sleep, troublesome dreams and discontent. Every morning analysing and pinpointing how I felt. I’m very good at that: analysing, working things out, making plans.

I loved my children dearly but they’re only a part of my life. I’ve always recognised this. Not a ‘live for my children’ mother. But the children were often able to bring me back to the present, helping by reflecting back to me both my best and worst self.

With my first child I was content. There was little else I wanted to do that having only one child could prevent. Besides Jane had been at day nursery, which provided the space I felt we both needed. At that time some of my plans were dreamt up. Hatched with great optimism but since then torn down with even greater disappointment.

For a few years life had been philosophical, full of friends and fun though not without some measure of heartache too. But now, there seemed to be only isolation; much of it self-imposed. That and my two children. My faith and positivity in life was gradually becoming chipped and tarnished. I was almost getting lost in the daily grind of the children’s emotional needs, physical dependency and the slip into poverty. Now, on the inside I often felt empty and indifferent. And on the outside I had an edge; a cynicism and defensiveness with both strangers and people who were once friends. I had developed an air of aloofness that was born not of superiority but insecurity.

We had lived in our four-apartment ground floor flat for five and a half years now, a place I felt at least a little secure. It was ideal for the girls in many ways with front and back gardens to choose from, but being overgrown were of limited use.

Inside the house there were six rooms, three to either side of the long narrow hall. A small rather cramped bathroom to the right at the front door, a newly painted ample kitchen; the concrete floor still bare and carpet-less. Further up the hall at the top, the largest room in the house was given over to the two children.

There was a heap of toys in one corner: bike, scooter, doll’s pram in another, with storybooks piled high on a shelf above. Against one wall were two single beds, given to the family by friends when the baby no longer slept in a cot. On the walls around the room were paintings done by my eldest daughter Jane, now a bright six-year- old with penetrating blue-eyes. These pictures were favoured more for the memories they held for me rather than the children. At the bottom of the hallway, on the other side, was my bedroom. The most interesting item there was the white metal, three shelved bookcase containing books that I considered precious.

I was presently engrossed in some research for a renewed interest in one of the oldest world philosophies, Buddhism and its origins. My interest had begun in my late teens and flowered at the same time as my first pregnancy with Jane, when I’d learned to meditate. The Buddhist culture and its system had once again begun to fascinate me amid the occasionally unbearable gloom of the days. A need to change something in my life had provided the impetus to go deeper. I felt the truth of the Buddhist assertion that everything is impermanent and holding on to the wish for it not to be so causes that dissatisfaction; that discontent I felt now and somehow always had.