NOTE: If you haven’t read parts 1-6, please do so before reading part 7.
Breaking Ground: Wed, April 4th, 1917
Albert Vassar watched Ann Cairney’s silhouette lay shadows across the ground, as she stood on the large rock surveying the thick forest before her. Her face showed no emotion while her senses melded with the unusual combination of cedar, pine, ash, and bamboo trees. He knew better to interrupt her, especially after these past few years. She had taught him so much about a world he never would have believed existed. A world hidden deep within the murky waters of man’s faith, and driven by exhilaration, resourcefulness, and his purpose.
After several minutes of nervous patience, Ann broke her contemplation and spoke.
“Are you certain this place brings your heart joy?” she asked, as her deep Scottish accent, and intense eyes, directed him for an answer.
Ann was sixty-six but still had much of the darkness flowing from her long, greying hair. Her eyes, stark blue, with a dark grey rings around the cornea, made her stare as driven as a hawk, well experienced in hunting. She stood tall with wide shoulders, and a back as straight as the towering pines that now surrounded her. Her clothing was a mix between a Scottish shirt and jacket, with American wool pants. The outfit was made for one purpose. Exploration.
“Yes,” Albert responded, making a solid effort to smother the shaking cords within his breath. “with all my heart this place brings me joy.”
Ann slowly stepped off the rock and walked towards her student. She then reached deep into her left pant pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper.
“It’s time you read this then.” she said, handing him the old parchment.
As Albert’s hands took the paper, the wind picked up making the bamboos creak as if bending to its power. Unfolding the piece of paper, his eyes widened as he scanned the page.
“Is this what I think it is?” he asked, already knowing the answer.
“Yes.” Ann replied.
“I can’t believe I’m seeing this, after all the stories you’ve shared. And it’s in his own handwriting…. I don’t have the words.”
Albert’s hands fell to his sides, almost dropping the paper with them. Years of faith and trust in the mysterious woman before him, were all coming together in a single moment. The stories of Jack Fletcher, his travels to Australia in search for an island that didn’t exist. He, was the man who found Tessera. And, it was all wrapped up in a single letter written to his dead wife.
“So this is the infamous letter Fletcher wrote to his wife. I can’t believe it.” he continued in awe.
“Yes.” Ann replied with a nod. “So you understand then?”
Albert’s mind did its best to wrap around the possibilities of the world he was just given. A world so few knew, and even less, knew how to experience. A world that Jack Fletcher himself, found within the uttering of a single metaphor.
Without the water there are no islands.
The letter was written to his deceased wife, sharing the secrets that lay within the mind, and beyond the heart. One of those secrets, the secret of immortality, was the one thing Ann shared that Albert always wanted to believe in. Then, the irrefutable proof of Tessera, entrusted to Ann, then to his friend John Easton during their Alaskan expedition, and now, to him. As tears of gratitude welled up in his eyes, he lifted his head from the letter and thanked Ann. But there was much work to do. If this place was to be the fourth Tessera, his Tessera, he needed to learn more about the responsibility bequeathed to him.
“How do I…” he began to say, before Ann interrupted.
“Albert, if this is the location you’ve chosen, then the answers will come. There’s no need to worry about that. What you need to know now, is how important it is that you set the wheels in motion for all who come after you. This will be sacred ground, not just a place you call home. Do you understand?”
Albert looked over his surroundings. The first thing that stuck out, which made it so important for his choosing of this location (outside of the odd combination of trees), were the massive rocks hidden in the thick foliage that had been resting here for centuries. Rocks that were carried, somehow, up the steep ravine, then carefully placed forming the perfect spot for a garden. He didn’t know this location’s history, but he knew it was meant to be.
Beyond the trees towards the ravine, he had already begun the work for the tunnel that would be hidden from view. Hidden under the gazebo he would later build. And, within this gazebo, would be a door, hidden beneath a rug that would lead the way to this very spot. In his mind, it was already all planned out. All he needed now, was Ann’s blessing and guidance in order to make it all a reality.
“Yes. I am ready.” he said with deep humility and honor.
“Good then.” Ann replied. “If we’re going to make this work, we need to get a few things in order. Did you bring what I asked?”
As she finished her question, she noticed Albert had already pulled something from his satchel. It was the collar of his son Michael’s beloved dog Major. He already knew the truth of what he and Ann were about to do.
They were about to build the fourth door to Tessera.
Hunter returned from his car and handed Rebecca’s second painting to Dr. Vassar. The two then walked down the hall towards the kitchen. Ahead on the right was an atrium with a maple tree protruding through the opening in the roof. Surrounding the tree were small walkways resting above a fern-covered pond, filled with Japanese coy.
As the two continued on, Dr. Vassar stopped and reached towards the wall, revealing a hidden door in the panelling. As the wall swung open, he led himself and Hunter down the narrow staircase. Once at the bottom, Hunter’s face seemed to bloom, as he got a good look at the room full of beautiful objects, artifacts, and paintings, covering the walls. There was even a small statue of Pan, with what appeared to be a large blue diamond resting within its center.
“That can’t be real right?” he asked, half joking.
Dr. Vassar responded with the kind of smile that could only be read as; “If you only knew…”
“Here, follow me. I want to show you something.” Dr. Vassar said, as he set the painting down on the left of the cylinder shaped wall.
As the two walked towards the back of the room, Hunter noticed another door hiding in the darkness. The moment he made it out, he felt the chill of familiarity breach his skin causing him to stop in his tracks.
“Do you know what Ostium means?” Dr. Vassar asked, snapping Hunter’s awareness back to him.
“No.” he replied, now looking at the word etched upon the door.
“It means doorway.” Dr. Vassar replied. “In biology it means something a bit different. But for all intents and purposes, it means doorway.
After explaining the word, he shared that many years ago, a woman named Ann Cairney, showed his grandfather secrets of what he called Tessera. One of those secrets, was that through the understanding of a single metaphor, one could enter Tessera and experience its perspectives. But what was more interesting, is that there were also hidden bridges into Tessera. Ones not only found through physical and non-physical environments, but also between people.
“I think I see where this is going.” Hunter said. “Is this where you tell me Rebecca opened a bridge for me into Tessera?”
“No Hunter,” Dr. Vassar replied, as he turned around and looked at Hunter.
“I’m saying you opened a door for her. And now, she’s opened that same door for you.”
Hunter could feel pressure in his head as the events of over twenty years rushed through his mind. Meeting Rebecca, finding the painting in her house, the trip to the gallery. And…
Dr. Vassar smiled as he watched Hunter pull the pieces together.
“I knew.” Hunter said, eyes wide, mouth open.
“You knew what the woman behind her in the painting said.” Dr. Vassar continued.
“Yeah, for some reason I was right. Maybe a lucky guess who knows. But how does that bring me here?” he asked.
Dr. Vassar turned Hunter’s attention away from the door and back towards the center of the room. As the two walked closer towards the large cylinder wall in the center, Hunter noticed a small plaque hanging towards the right. It had what appeared to be a paintbrush resting upon its arms.
“I don’t understand.” Hunter said.
“It’s a paintbrush.” Dr. Vassar replied. “The same one a woman gave to Rebecca at her father’s funeral. And, it’s because of you it found its true purpose here.”
“You see Hunter, this room wasn’t always at the underneath the house. In fact, the house came later. The room itself used to have walls made of dirt, with no electricity. It was nothing more than a hidden room beneath the Earth. The door with the Latin word Ostium written upon it, is actually the door to a tunnel that weaves through the ground, then lands just below a gazebo resting on the edge of the ravine.”
Dr. Vassar walked over towards a shelf across the room and picked up an old leather dog collar.
“Many years ago my father, Michael Vassar, lost his dog during a cougar attack behind his childhood home. The cougar could have killed my father if it wasn’t for that dog. The dog, Major, meant the world to my father. This gave time for my grandfather, Albert, to dispatch the cougar while it was wrestling with Major. But it was too late for Major as his wounds were too deep to save him. That all took place back in 1916. As you can imagine, my father was devastated by his loss.”
“So how is this room connected to all of that?” Hunter asked.
“It’s not the room, Per Se, but the objects within it. This collar for example, is the one piece that started it all.”
“Started what exactly?”
“The collar was the first object that started the path of what my grandfather called Etheric Empathy. My grandfather taught my father, after learning from Ann, that all good things remembered about his beloved dog, could be bore with a kind of etheric energy into his collar. Like a totem for his physical incarnation if you will. And, the more energy my father expressed into the collar, even after Major’s death, the greater the energy would seep out etherically. This could allow others to experience a connection through their own similarities, whether it be with a person who passed on, or a pet. The resulting effect, is a new perspective achieved through that connection. Furthermore, the sole act of charging an object owned by someone, or something you love, is an incredible asset to the healing process. In short, it allows one not only to heal, but also to program a state of energy that is immortally connected to that person, pet, etc.”
“So what you’re saying is that every object in this room has been charged, etherically, with energy from its owner?” Hunter asked.
“This is exactly what I’m saying, yes. But it’s much more scientific than it sounds. You see, when we place intention upon anything in this world, it reverberates throughout the ethers. This is the nature of cause and effect. This, is the basis of Etheric Evolution.”
“Etheric Evolution?” Hunter asked, looking confused.
“Yes. Etheric, as in energy, and evolution, as in effect. It’s why Tessera is so powerful. It’s not just a world, but a collection of energies guided by purpose and intention. That intention, provides a slew of new perspectives for those willing to venture beyond the limitation of what their eyes can see.”
Dr. Vassar continued.
“Consider this. The result of the sharing of each object, whether known or unknown to anyone outside of the owner, opens the possibility for a new perspective which, as I’ve said, is what Tessera is built on. So, the act of charging a positive memory through an object of one’s own experience, is both healing and evolving to all who share its energy. Then, the act of giving one’s life in such a way leads to Etheric Evolution. This room, is therefore a collection of experiences from individuals who not only shared positive energy for their loved ones, but also did it in such a way that actually helped to evolve the human species. Lastly, this allows for a lasting impact upon the rest of the world as a whole. The result, is an imprint that others can either experience, share, or embrace as their own.”
“Wait, a minute. What you’re saying is that if someone does something positive for someone else, and the act of kindness is related to an object, then others can experience the empathy attached to that object?”
“That is exactly what I’m saying.” Dr. Vassar answered. “But it’s not just about good deeds. It’s about evolution as a whole.”
“Wait, you’re a doctor in what field exactly?” Hunter asked with a sarcastic smile.
“I’m a psychologist.” Dr. Vassar responded with a straight face. “Look, I know this is a hard pill to swallow, but when you understand the reason you’re here, you’ll see just how real these things are.”
Hunter moved his eyes away from Major’s collar and placed them back upon the paintbrush.
“Please, explain why I’m here.” he asked. “I get the whole purpose of expressing and sharing good will, but this doesn’t explain how I play a role in all of this.”
Dr. Vassar walked past Hunter, then over to the cylinder shaped wall and picked up the second painting Rebecca created. He then moved back towards the paintbrush and set the painting on the empty shelf next to it.
“Tell me, what did you notice about this painting that is different from the original?” he asked, resting his elbow on the shelf.
“It’s a duplicate of the original, but backwards.” Hunter replied.
“Is that all?” Dr. Vassar continued.
The question caused Hunter to take a closer look. Squinting his eyes, he saw nothing different. Of course, the original painting wasn’t here, so he couldn’t compare the two. All he could share, was that the woman behind the girl had changed. She was different from the woman in the first painting, and much less threatening. Other than that, he saw nothing else. The image of the school was the same. The way the lighting was the same. And, the fogged out children in the background all seemed to be the same.
“You still don’t see it do you?” Dr. Vassar pried.
“I’m not sure what I should be looking for.” Hunter offered once more. “But I’ll tell you this, the energy of the painting has completely changed. I told this to Tony when we were looking at it in the house. It no longer carried the negative energy of the original.” he replied.
“And?” Dr. Vassar said, forcing Hunter to continue on his train of thought.
“And, that’s it. I can’t see anything else but……”
Just then Hunter’s eyes found something in the painting that stole his breath mid-sentence. Something that almost stopped his heart when he laid his eyes upon it. By the look on Dr. Vassar’s face, he knew Hunter had found what Rebecca had left for him. A message, a thank you and, proof that everything Dr. Vassar had just shared, was real.
“You see it now don’t you?” Dr. Vassar asked, placing his hand on Hunter’s shoulder as if to support him from collapsing. “Tell me Hunter, what is it you’re seeing?”
Trying to compose himself, Hunter moved his head closer to the painting. Staring deep into the brush strokes left behind by its artist, he centered his focus on the blurry school door in the background. Upon the door was a single word, meaningless if you didn’t already know what it meant.
Next to the door, was a small boy. His hand was holding the door open as if allowing someone, or something, to pass.
“You know who the boy is don’t you?” Dr. Vassar asked, still smiling from ear to ear.
Hunter could only nod in response to his question as the air stole the words from his throat.
“When did she do this? How did she do this?” Hunter asked, wiping the now streaming tears with his sleeve.
“Like I said Hunter, you both did this. It wasn’t just her. It was also you. The painting is proof of that.”
“But how am here right now?”
“Those questions are easy to answer.” Dr. Vassar offered. “But first, it’s time you walked through the door yourself.”
Dr. Vassar took his arm off of Hunter’s shoulder and moved back towards the door hiding in the shadows. The same door Hunter opened for Rebecca in the second painting. He then placed his hand on its handle and turned towards Hunter.
“It’s now your time to witness the truth of the ravine.”
Part eight, the final chapter, is coming soon.