Wednesday, November 1, 2023

An eerie feeling of déjà vu

Arriving at the black iron double gates with the words Parkopoulos Estate engraved on a cast bronze arch above them, Evelyn stopped the car next to the intercom, opened the window, and was getting to press the button on the device. All of a sudden, the gates opened, leaving her hand in mid-air. They have been monitoring the gates and saw me coming.

Evelyn put the car in gear and drove through the gates. She followed a paved, private road shaded by rows of majestic eucalyptus and cypress trees on both sides. The trees created a breathtaking canopy over the alley while thick foliage and flowering shrubbery in all shades hugged its edges. White, pink, and red oleander bushes were scattered among the trees, creating a spectacular sight that looked as if it belonged on a painter’s canvas. Farther back, beautiful pine and olive trees reached all the way down to the shimmering emerald waters of the Ionian Sea.

Evelyn was mesmerized by the amazing countryside of Lefkada in all its glory. Following the road, she reached a creek that ran through the thick woods of the estate. A single-arched, carved stone bridge connected the two sides.

She stopped the car on the bridge, leaned her head back, and breathed in tranquility from the beauty surrounding her. “What an enchanting place!” she exclaimed out loud. Closing her eyes, Evelyn tuned into the sound of water cascading through the lush forest…

However, the tranquility only glistened in her consciousness for a few moments. It soon drifted away to be replaced by apprehension and thoughts of her upcoming meeting with her grandfather.

Her eyes flew open.

I need to get going.

But before she had a chance to put the car in gear, the air around her seemed to quiver. Her surroundings seemed vaguely familiar, and Evelyn felt as if floating on a boat that had slipped its moorings and was sliding out into uncharted seas…

I’ve been here before!

Shivering, she shook her head vehemently, trying to break the spell and shake off an eerie feeling of déjà vu. But her feet started picking up a strange and wonderful vibration that coursed all the way up her legs.

Evelyn gasped as the relaxing sound of cascading water turned into a whooshing sound that became louder and louder, and a mist swirled above the creek.

A jumble of images drifted through her mind, like old photographs but vibrating with life. A scene appeared, hazy and blurry at first, and then came into clearer view.

Thunderstruck, Evelyn envisioned Lena in her white dress crossing the bridge—not the carved stone one but a picturesque wooden bridge. A young man was waiting for her on the other side.

Evelyn’s eyes were transfixed on the apparition, taken aback by the revelation that—no matter how crazy that sounded—the girl was her and the man was Anthony

How could this be possible? she wondered. But even though the man was younger, shorter, and with lighter hair than the enticing author, Evelyn was entirely lucid about that key point. It was Anthony.

Suddenly, the whooshing sound faded into the background. The world around her came to a surreal standstill, and Evelyn could see, hear, and feel the scene unfolding before her mind’s eyes…

Anthony waved at the girl, and she sprinted toward him. He enveloped her in his arms and pulled her close. The girl buried her face in his neck and drank in his scent.

“How long can you stay?” he asked. But his voice wasn’t as manly as Anthony’s, and it had a heavy Greek accent.

“Not long,” Lena replied and glanced over her shoulder. “It’s getting dark soon, and I have to get back,” she added. Her voice was colored with the same heavy Greek accent. It sounded so foreign to Evelyn and yet so familiar.

He wrapped his arms around her tighter and kissed her. “I wish we never had to part again,” he purred into her ear. “You’re my life…”

Suddenly, the scene became blurry and vanished into thin air.

Evelyn was back on the carved stone bridge, a nostalgic feeling washing over her.

Don’t let your imagination run wild! Focus on the upcoming meeting!

Drawing strength from her determination, Evelyn put the car in gear and followed the winding alley until a breathtaking Greek Revival mansion came into clear view.

Stopping, she let her eyes wander over the magnificent residence. Along the white façade were eight Doric columns, neat black shutters, a carved wood double door, and a second-floor balcony. The driveway circled around a marble fountain with a mermaid resting in the center. The branches of two perennial eucalyptus trees—standing on each side of the mansion as faithful knights—covered half the front lawn.

Quite impressive, considering that it has weathered the storms of almost eight decades, Evelyn thought. She’d done some checking and found out that the Parkopoulos Mansion was built about eighty years ago by her great-grandfather, Nikos Parkopoulos, about a mile from where the old family house used to be.

A little farther to her right, she noticed a gazebo smothered in jasmine and red bougainvillea. Rows of carved clay pots filled with gardenias, hydrangeas, and geraniums hugged the small path’s edges leading from the mansion to the gazebo.

Evelyn drew a deep breath. The gardenias’ seductive aroma and the alluring sea breeze invaded her senses. Impulsively, she leaned back against the headrest and closed her eyes.

Is the old house still standing? At that thought, her eyes flew open, and she glanced at a small dirt path to her left. Somehow, she knew that was the way to the old house.

Evelyn gasped. How could I possibly know that, she wondered, and even though it was late June, she felt a distinct chill in the air.

What’s wrong with me? Questions and doubts bombarded her mind, but one thing was crystal clear:

Her visit to the Parkopoulos estate was a grave mistake…

 End of excerpt

My dear friends and readers, I hope you have enjoyed the above excerpt from reincarnation romance Echoes of the Past—my second novel in the Flames of Destiny Collection.

To find out what happened to Evelyn, click here to start reading Echoes of the Past on Amazon for free.

If you’re interested in finding out what inspired me to write Echoes of the Past, click here to read the relevant post on my blog.

As mentioned in previous blog posts, I entertain some doubts about reincarnation. But whether true or not, it remains a captivating subject. After all, so many of us love stories about vampires, werewolves, and witches. That doesn’t mean that we necessarily believe in those things. But we still enjoy reading about them—I know I do.

Best wishes,

Angel Sefer

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