Shades of Hemingway / Medium Exposure Part 5, The Boundary and the Death Moon

 *Author’s note:  This is part 5 of 13 parts.  To better understand the content of the story, it is suggested that you scroll back to the Prelude.


I left as inconspiculously as I could, which was difficult when from the far corner of the outside seating area I had to squeeze in, around and through all the other guest’s tables.  I wasn’t sure if Manolo had recognized me, but by his actions I surmised that he hadn’t.  After that little nod of appreciation, the Detective turned his attention to the other men and the four of them became engrossed in conversation.  Though they were only a table away I could scarcely make out a syllable.  Perhaps the blood pulsating through my ear drums drowned out any recognizable chatter, for all I knew they were discussing baseball scores.

I wandered for a bit not sure of where to go.  It was still too early to head back to my room so I walked towards Duval St.  I hadn’t gone far when I thought of the perfect place to go and while away the hours, an ideal spot to collect my thoughts and use up some time.  I’d forgotten I did have a friend to visit and when the destination dawned on me there was a bit more pep in my step.  I was surprised I hadn’t thought of it before.  With renewed purpose I made a beeline towards the public library.

It had not changed a bit since I last visited.  In fact, I half way expected to see the stack of reference books I had left on the table when my research had been cut short by the appearance of Officer Jordan.  I recalled that he had marched me outside without giving me any time to consider returning them to the appropriate shelves.  I past the familiar bulletin boards I had seen six weeks earlier thinking I might find my mug shot with the caption, “Inconsiderate Book User” below but gleefully I had escaped detection and that notoriety.  The last thing a library patron wants to do is be banned from the reference book section.

I found a magazine about Florida living and figured it a good enough excuse to sit and gather my thoughts while soaking up the air  conditioning.  But I hardly sat down and opened it to the centerfold (a golf community exclusive) when a familiar voice interrupted me.

“Hello Chris, it’s good to see you again.”

I looked up to see Papa Hemingway looking down at me, a twinkle in his expression.  Remembering our first encounter at the library he motioned with his head the way towards the men’s room.  Quietly, calmly I walked back, stepped inside and closed the door behind me.  Papa appeared on the commode again, obviously amused at the setting.  “We must stop meeting like this!”

“I never thought I’d see you again!” I said.  The fact that I was glad we were together seemed to please him.

“Oh, Chris, you needn’t think that… I’m a bad penny, you never know where I might show up.”

“Or when!  Can you believe that old timer?  I thought he would bust the door down the last time we were in here!”

“Yes, yes… well, you keep your bladder for half a century or so and see how it fills!”

“You mean ‘feels’?”

“I mean fills !” and we both laughed.  After a few moments the mood turned somber. I knew Papa wasn’t here to discuss an old man’s need to pee.  I also knew I needed his advice and help to understand what the shades required of me.

“I dreamed again last night, Papa.  I dreamt I was back at Sloppy Joe’s with Hem and he was telling me I had to expose Officer Jordan’s killer.”

“Yes, I know, Chris.  Jordan’s spirit is in a state of flux, caught between the living and the dead.  Your arrival was at an opportune time for him, a chance for him to rest in peace.”

“But doesn’t he know who did it?  Wouldn’t it be simpler just to have him appear before the authorities and tell them?”

“Simpler, yes, but not possible… that ability is sort of ‘out of bounds’ for us.”

“Why not?  He knows who did him in, doesn’t he?”

“Yes, he does.  But we are not empowered to speak about certain things.”

“Empowered?  I don’t get it, what keeps you guys from telling us anything?  Do you know what has happened in the past?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Do you know what will happen in the future?”

“To a certain extent, we have an idea… yes.”

“Then what gives?  Why can’t you give a poor mortal a little insight?  Help us pick some winning lottery numbers or something?”

“Let me ask you, Chris.  Are you familiar with the forces of gravity?”

“Well, sure.”

“Why can’t you defy it whenever you choose?”

“Because it goes against the laws of Physics.”

“Exactly.  We have laws, too.  There are certain things we are not capable of here in the spirit domain.  Don’t ask me why, that’s just the way it is… especially in this case.”

“Which case, Jordan’s?  Or mine?”


“Both?  I was only joking about there being a my case… why both?”

“The cycle is not complete… we are still in the present tense.”

I got a chill, you know the type.  One that makes you not want to know the answer to a question but you have to confirm your suspicions therefore asking the question was paramount to the understanding and thus the chills?  I swallowed my Adam’s apple and began to shake.  Papa looked at me, his face going from that of a cheerful old man to one that was grey, forlorn and foreboding.

“What sort of ‘cycle’?”

Papa cleared his throat, hesitant to speak.  He wasn’t all that forthright for being a poltergeist.  He looked up at me leaning against the bathroom door, I stared him down.


“There are certain times when death is deemed un-natural… premature.  The act of killing another human being goes against the emotional core,  the laws of nature… or God.  When it happens there begins a period when the “tear in the macrocosm”…must run it’s course.  It’s called kyklos tod mene… a cycle of the death moon”

“Death moon?”

“I’m afraid so… the ancients believed the moon influenced man’s emotions, much the way it effects tidal currents.  When the un-natural act of a murder took place, it was accredited to the ‘death moon’ and the cycle for that individual murderer began.”

“The cycle began?  When would it end, with the next moon?”

“There was always the thought that a new moon or another moon would have a reversal effect, that the killer would realize the error of his ways… his sin, thus have feelings of remorse.  But cycles don’t always follow a calender.  Jordan’s killer is still in the control of the kyklos tod mene.

“Which means?”

Papa shook his head slightly and turned away, not wanting to look me in the eyes.  “There may be another… victim.”

“Who?  Who else might be killed?”

“Out of bounds, Chris.  I can’t tell you what will happen, I can only warn you.  Robert Jordan’s killer is dangerous, and still out there.”

“I said who might be killed, Papa.  Who might be killed.  That’s just a generalization, isn’t it?  It could be so… then again, maybe not?  In the general realm of infinite possibilities… who might be killed?”

Papa faced me, the twinkle was gone.  His lips moved but I could not hear, my ears muffled by my own blood pounding in them.  But I didn’t have to hear the word, I knew it.  I knew it by the way he looked at me, the solitary word was perfectly formed with his mouth, my ears started ringing with anticipation…



One Response to “Shades of Hemingway / Medium Exposure Part 5, The Boundary and the Death Moon”

  1. Most Thrilling American Films » Blog Archive » Shades of Hemingway / Medium Exposure Part 5, The Boundary and the … Says:

    […] Shades of Hemingway / Medium Exposure Part 5, The Boundary and the …By chrisfiore5He wasn’t all that forthright for being a poltergeist. He looked up at me leaning against the bathroom door, I stared him down. “Well?” “There are certain times when death is deemed un-natural… premature. The act of killing another …advantages of mutual respect… – […]

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