April 30th, 2008 06:59 EST
Russian Superstar Reluctantly Needs a Ghost Hunter
The paparazzi have too much freedom in this day and age. They can dive over the speeding limit, they can block ambulances and it is all justifiable for the sake of catching something scandalous on camera. Many people love the entertainment news, and we have our freedom of the press, but how far is too far? That is what we are still debating.
One thing that is for sure is that the entertainment industry in the United States is setting a bad example for other countries around the world. That is why I am in Russia right now. Recently a big star, the Russian equivalent of Marilyn Monroe more accurately, and a close acquaintance of mine was involved in the biggest scandal of her life, my only wish is to be supportive.
Every entertainment news show in the country was playing that video over and over again. “The lovely and talented screen goddess, Elena Brolsma, is directly responsible for killing a British businessman” they all say. The video shows Elena’s car driving down a busy road in Moscow, paparazzi at all angles in their cars and flashing lights going off at every second. The chase scene carries on until a man jumps in front of Elena’s speeding car and hits him.
All of the cruel things the news casters said about Elena made me feel sick and so I changed the channel. I found a paranormal investigation program, something as far from entertainment news as what was on at that late hour. The program was in Russian and so I was not able to understand everything with my limited language abilities.
The host of the show played a video clip, I watched, but then I forgot what I am watching because all I saw was the same thing from all the other channels, Elena driving through Moscow with the ‘stalkerrazzi’ in other cars and even more of them running up and down the sidewalk. This time the image froze through the clip and zoomed up close to Elena in her car. The image remained there for a while and the show’s host was making commentary that was talking too fast for me to understand. Next it the clip was playing again but this time frame by frame.
I watched and saw in the passenger seat, another woman suddenly appeared, then disappeared, and reappeared and it kept on repeating like that until the clip ended. Images of ghosts are never clear enough to get a good look at them and this one was no different, but I could see that she did have very human looking characteristics. Her eyes and hair were dark in contrast with everything else about her.
This was even more ridiculous than the other channel, so I changed it back. They were still replaying the clip while making commentary and debating the future of Elena’s career. In Russia Elena was known for being multitalented being involved in everything. One of her goals was to branch out and become better known in western countries, that dream was coming true. She landed a major movie role in an upcoming American action movie and she already was popular for singing the theme song to America’s biggest comedy TV show, “The Rome and Tokyo Show”.
This was all just an honest mistake, it did end in one of the worst possible ways, but they were taking this all too far.
It was getting late and I was supposed to wake up early, I turned off the television in the guest room I was in and tried to fall asleep, but I had too much on my mind. I was thinking about the possibility of Elena loosing her credibility, and the possibility of a court case.
While thinking about everything I heard a sound. It sounded like someone crying, and it was coming from the other side of the wall, that was Elena’s room. I got out of bed and left the guest room and made my way toward Elena’s room, I opened the door only ever so slightly and peered inside. Although it was dark I was still able to see that Elena was fast asleep. Maybe I was just tired and imagining things, I went back to bed.
The next morning I woke up, crawled out of bed and looked out the window, the first thing that caught my eye was the crowed of stalkers, all waiting to catch more scandals on camera. I stopped looking and decided to see if Elena was awake yet. Went into her bedroom and looked for her, but she wasn’t there. Her room did smell nice, like roses. The room was nothing like that the night before so I assumed that Elena must have done it this morning. I looked down and the floor was covered in white rose petals. ‘Nice touch’ I was thinking.
I next checked downstairs for Elena, and there she was sitting at the table in her kitchen drinking some tea.
“Dobroye utro.”(good morning) I said.
“Dobroye utro.” she replied in an almost monotone. She must have been tired.
Something behind her caught my attention, more of the white rose petals; they were also in her hair.
“Hey, what’s with all these rose petals?” I asked.
Elena did not understand. “What petals?” she asked.
I pointed them out to her and she said she did not know anything about them. She brushed the ones out of her hair and they fell to the floor, she picked them up and threw them away. There was a moment of silence until I broke the silence, “What time are you going to meet with your lawyer?” I asked. Elena was going to be charged for homicide.
“I think she is going to be here very soon. In the meantime you may help yourself to some tea and just make yourself comfortable.”
I grabbed myself a cup of tea and sat down in Elena’s living room and watched television. The same paranormal show that was on last night was on again, a rerun showing where I left off at last night and then I saw the continuation. After that they cut to a still image of Elena’s house and they did close ups again. In the window of Elena’s bedroom and I noticed it before they pointed it out, the same woman that they showed in Elena’s passenger seat. It was the same face and the same pose staring out the window. The previous still image of the woman was flashed on the screen to show how similar they looked.
In general I did not know what to make of it all. The fact was that Elena could be in trouble for killing someone but these paranormal investigators were forming an outrageous hypothesis, yet all in all the media should just give Elena some space or be supportive so that she can get through this difficult time without all of the negative media attention.
I heard a sudden sound that made me drop everything I was doing, it was the doorbell and shortly after I heard Elena’s feet walk across the floor to go and answer it. I kept watching, they showed more pictures of Elena. The next one they showed was from just a few days back, when Elena came to pick me up from the airport in Moscow. This image showed me carrying my luggage and following Elena out through the paparazzi, but right next to Elena was someone else, someone who I did not remember from that day. That photo was overlapped with the previous one of Elena’s house, the ghostly outline of the woman in the window matched up perfectly with this mysterious member of Elena’s entourage.
This time she was much clearer, like a real person. She had dark eyes and long wavy hair. She was dressed in fine white silk and lace that seemed to flow all around her. I was not buying any of this, I was actually there, I was in that picture too and I did not remember anything like that. These paranormal investigators are much more desperate for ratings than the entertainment news companies. I turned the TV off and sighed.
At that moment I heard somebody whispering something but I could not tell for sure what it was. I shrugged it off and let myself believe it was my imagination, until I heard it again, louder, “I just wanted him to live happily,” it said in a sad tone. Could it have been Elena crying? I went to go look for her.
I went back to the kitchen, I saw Elena sitting at the table with another woman, the lawyer perhaps. Elena looked more emotionally distressed than usual, and the lawyer was looking directly at her with a menacing look on her face.
“You deserve the same you heartless bitch!” she said to Elena.
Elena was in tears and saying things in Russian that I could not understand. Partway through all of this the lawyer shivered and twitched for a few seconds, “Prostitye.”(sorry) she said. She ran off and out the front door of Elena’s house. She slammed the door on the way out. I turned back to look at Elena, she was trying to stand up but her legs were shaking beneath her and they eventually gave out and she fell to the floor.
I was quick to try to help her back up, but before I did she squirmed on the floor for a little bit and coughed violently with thrashing around all over equally violently. She coughed up a few drops of blood that splattered on the floor, along with something else. There were small solid objects that were a dark shade of green with a sharp point on one end. I looked like thorns, from roses.
I did not know what to do, this seemed so unnatural and Elena seemed to be leaving consciousness. I ran up to the guest room hoping that Elena did not get worse while I was gone. I went through my bags and found my cell phone and my bilingual dictionary. I ran back downstairs while looking up the words I needed and I went on to call for an ambulance.
“Izvinitye, mne interesno skoraya pomoshch!” I said into the phone. I was keeping my fingers crossed wanting them to understand me and my fractured Russian.
I was now back with Elena, she seemed was not still not saying anything, just laying there twitching. After a while of that her body went limp other than one arm that quickly reached out and grabbed a hold of me and everything went dark.
When I woke up a man was shaking me, he was speaking broken English.
“Hey, you okay?” he asked.
“You were not conscious. Sometimes it happens from emotion.” he said.
I looked around I was still in Elena’s kitchen. This man was in uniform, he must have been here for Elena. I saw more doctors putting her on a stretcher and carrying her out, she was red all over and hyperventilating.
“You come to the hospital.” The man requested of me.
“Okay.” I said.
I followed him out of the house and into a crowed of people.
“Good God, are you shitting me?” I said with annoyance when I saw them.
I saw Elena being loaded into the back of the ambulance and I was told to get in the passenger seat. The man climbed into the ambulance before I did, sitting between me and the driver. We all sat still until the ambulance started to move, when it did the man made what seemed like small talk with the driver in Russian, then he turned to me.
“What happened?” he asked me.
I tried to recall it all, “She just collapsed and couched up blood.” I said.
The man turned to the driver and interpreted what I said to him.
“You were also unconscious. Probably from fear.” he said.
The hospital was closer than I expected, we got there almost right away. Or it could have been me imagining it all because things seemed to be happening too fast for me to keep up with.
“Stay.” The man demanded of me. I waited as he and the driver left the ambulance. In the rearview mirror I was blinded by the flashes of white light from paparazzi cameras. I unrolled the window and suck my head out; the action was unfolding before my eyes. People were shouting loudly but I could not catch a single glimpse of Elena. I was hopeful that they already took her away; I wanted to get her out of this as soon as possible. I looked directly down at the ground, there were rose petals and thorns scattered as far as I could see.
I was startled by the sound of the driver’s seat door opening.
“Hey!” called a voice.
I turned around and saw that man again.
“Get out,” he said.
I did as he told me to. Outside of the ambulance there were still many people with camera’s taking pictures. I decided it would be best for me to ignore them. I did not answer any questions they were trying to ask me and I did all I could to avoid even looking at them.
I went through the entrance which thankfully nobody else was allowed through. After that I went through the building to the waiting room but as soon as I got there I saw a big mob of paparazzi stampeding through the front entrance. I rolled my eyes out of annoyance and noticed a sign on the wall. It may have been in Russian but even I could understand it. It translated to ‘No Pictures’. I looked back at the desk and saw the people sitting there watching the situation as if entertained by it, allowing the reckless behavior in a hospital.
The big mob went to me right away. The cameras were rolling looking directly at me. I ran back through the way I came where technically I was not supposed to be, but hopefully I would still be safe.
When I arrived in the back parking lot for authorized personnel only another ambulance pulled in. I saw people unloading a stretcher. The person on it looked somewhat familiar and was laying in white rose petals and thorns. After a while I remembered where I saw the victim from, Elena’s house earlier in the morning, the lawyer.
She was coughing up blood and more thorns and looked like she was on the verge of death. They rushed her away fast and I was all alone, or so I thought. In the distance I saw another person. It looked like a woman in an elaborate white wedding dress. She looked dazzling and almost out of place in this hospital parking lot. My eyes were fixated on her.
She must have noticed me staring at her because she later turned in my direction. I heard her whisper something,
“I just…wanted him…to live…happily,” the same phrase that I heard in Elena’s house.
I walked toward her as if drawn in by her, up lose she looked even more spectacular than ever, lacking in any possible flaws.
“What is your name?” I asked her.
“My name is…Marina Lush,” she said.
I heard more sounds from behind me, shouting. I turned behind me and saw the paparazzi rapidly approaching while flashing their blinding lights.
“You people aren’t allowed back here!” I shouted at them.
“Neither are you,” said a paparazzo with a heavy Russian accent.
I looked back at Marina; she was walking in the opposite direction, leaving me with the multitude.
I made a dash back again through the back door of the hospital all the way around to the front waiting room and asked the woman at the front desk to make the people go away. At first it took a while to get by the language boundary but eventually she enforced the ‘no cameras’ rule. I sat there and waited to get news about Elena.
Many hours later an English speaking doctor came out and told me that Elena would be fine but she needed time to recover. He also said that Elena was not ready for visitors and so I should just stay and wait a little longer for that. He left me alone again. I watched him walk through a hallway leading to the various patients.
I looked at my wristwatch and saw that technically visiting hours were not yet over with. I really had to see Elena. I could not trust people to be around her, especially if they were not treating her like the living individual she was. I knew I just had to go at least to check up on her.
I snuck through the doorway and wandered through the hall for a while until I realized that I did not know which room Elena was in as nobody told me. At first I thought about giving up on finding Elena until I overheard two doctors talking and I heard Elena’s name. I saw the speaker pointing and the other one laughed.
I was trilled to having some clue as to where Elena was, but I was hurt to people laughing about the hard time Elena was going through. Nevertheless I followed where the doctor was pointing, directly at another door down the hall.
I found the door and slowly turned the knob and opened it. I looked inside but did not see anything. I listened and I head what sounded like someone’s conversation. Two people speaking in English, a man and a woman. Their accents sounded like they were from the United Kingdom.
“Will you marry me?”
“Yes, of course I would,”
It sounded kind of odd to be proposing in a hospital so I was about to just leave and continue one my search but I head something else. Someone was couching loudly and uncontrollably. I swung the door open all the way and looked inside. I saw Elena in the hospital bed sleeping and a doctor hovering over her holding a knife and pointing it directly at her.
“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!?” I shouted, running in toward Elena.
The doctor looked at me and I held still. He turned the knife away from Elena and slowly walked toward me while looking me directly in the eye. He then tuned the knife on himself and stabbed himself all over until he fell to the floor now stained with blood.
I did not want to leave Elena all alone again, but I had to leave and tell someone about this. I stormed out the door and went back to the front desk and explained what happened. They were concerned but more than that they were more upset about me sneaking into Elena’s room when I was told not to. With that they kicked me out of the hospital.
The next morning Elena was out of the hospital. The two of us were at her house. She was sleeping while I was watching the entertainment news that I loathed so much. The whole show seemed to be dedicated to Elena. First her hitting the British businessman with her car, next it moved on to her court case which was postponed because of the death of her lawyer who died in a hospital also after jumping into traffic. There was also prominent footage of me in the paparazzi videos when Elena’s own hospitalization was bought up. Elena had something stuck in her throat and rumors were circulating that it was suicide attempt. Still on the note of suicide the suicide of a doctor in Elena’s hospital room was also an issue in the whole story.
I watched the video clips play on screen while listening to the commentary and only understanding a few things. I saw me in a video in the hospital and me again outside the backdoor. They were talking about me and questioning if it was safe for Elena to be around me. I was grateful that they did not know my name yet, but I was not sure how long that would last. The doctor who committed suicide and the lawyer who died in the same hospital were already popular web searches on some of the Russian search engines.
I was watching more clips of Elena on the screen and I noticed something strange. In the ambulance video I saw Elena getting loaded onto the ambulance and inside the back of the ambulance I saw a woman, a woman who looked very much like the woman from the photos on the paranormal show the other day. A woman dressed in white just like Marina Lush, the woman from the hospital.
Right then I remembered that the paranormal show was on at the same time as the entertainment news on another channel. I picked up the remote and clicked the channel change a few times until I found the right channel and I began to watch and sure enough they were also talking about Russia’s current favorite person, Elena Brolsma. They showed the same video clip on the other channel but they drew attention to the woman in the back. More and more videos and still images of the woman were shown one after another.
I turned the television off and ran to the guestroom and found my bags. I brought one back and pulled out my laptop computer and hooked up the internet and did a web search. I entered in ‘Marina Lush’ and waited to see what came up. Most of the stuff that came up was unrelated to people in general other than one that came up which was an obituary. I read through it, it said that she was engaged to be married and all the plans were made but she got sick and died after getting her dress picked out, her favorite flowers were white roses. She was engaged to a man by the name of Kidder Sledd. I did a search for his name next and the first things that came up said he was on a business trip in Russia where he was killed in an automobile accident by Russian superstar Elena Brolsma.
In my mind more and more stuff was making sense and yet it was still difficult to believe in something paranormal. While I was still on my computer I searched for the paranormal program and found their official website. It was in Russian but up at the top of page was the language option and I found an English translation. I saw a place to click on called ‘contact us’. I sent them the urls for the websites I found and hoped that it would get to them. I also told them who I was and a little bit of the strange things I have been exposed to. The website said that have people online all the time reading new messages so there was hope.
Elena walked into the room right then. She said that she needed to go the courthouse. I went along with her even though I was not able to go inside.
At the courthouse there were more paparazzi and stalkers but Elena had a bodyguard with her today who went inside with her. I was waiting outside on the sidewalk and got my picture taken a few times but thankfully nobody was trying to ask any questions, or so I thought. Someone from within the crowed was trying to get my attention.
“Izvinitye!”(Excuse me) it said.
I looked to that direction and saw a recognizable group of people, the people from the paranormal show that I have been watching recently.
“Izvinitye, Vy govarite po-angliskiy?”(Excuse me, do you understand English?) I asked.
“Me, I can do English,” said a woman.
“Can I help you?” I asked.
“Do you know Elena?”
“Did you send a letter to our show?”
“Yes!” I said. I was starting to become excited. They actually did read the message I sent them.
“It might not be safe for you to be around her, or anyone.”
“But what I am supposed to do? I am staying at her home until people leave her alone and I can’t take her to the United States either, she still has some professional work to do here in Russia.”
“You should not take her anywhere! Do not let her have any contact with anyone.”
“Why go that far?”
“Remember what happened to the lawyer and the doctor? Elena did something that upset a spirit.”
That was what I did not want to hear or believe, but it seemed to be the only thing that made complete sense. “I’m not sure about that.” I said.
“Marina’s only wish after she died was that her fiancé have a long and happy life without her but his true emotions got the best of him and he jumped into traffic but Marina’s ghost seems to be holding Elena responsible for it and is taking it out on her and those around her.”
“Like I said, I can’t leave Elena. Is there any thing else I could do?”
“Help the ghosts rest in peace.”
The crowed grew loud and I looked to see what was so exciting and it was Elena, she was coming out of the courthouse.
“We will see you soon,” the woman and she and the other paranormal investigators went on their way and Elena and I went on our way.
Later that same night Elena was already sleeping and I was up pondering the recent events. I was in the guest room looking at my passport and debating if I should pack up and cut my visit short or not. Suddenly I heard a knocking on the window. I opened the window and the English speaking lady from the paranormal program and another woman crawled into the room.
“What the hell are you doing here?” I asked, more so shouting.
“Be quite! Don’t wake Elena,” said the paranormal lady, next she pointed out the other woman, “By the way this is my good friend and she is a famous ghost hunter.”
“Nice to meet you.” said the ghost hunter.
“Yes, very much so,” I said really dreading this. “What are you doing here anyway?”
“We’re going to put the spirits to rest,” said the ghost hunter, who I just then realized spoke perfect English. She pulled some sticks out of her pocket and one of them became luminous on the tip. It was a match. The flame of the match touched another stick which created a thin stream of smoke that carried an exotic aroma around the room. It was incense.
“Now what is that for?”
“It’s an old ritual from the far east that I have been looking into,” said the ghost hunter, “It lures spirits and carries them away to the afterlife.”
“Marina and Kidder, if you are there please show yourselves,” said the paranormal investigator.
I inhaled the sent of the incense and it made me cough. I coughed up a single thorn and I felt myself get dizzy. The room spun and the incense smoke swirled around me too. At that moment I saw Elena enter the room through the door as if in a trance and she went unconscious right there on the spot.
I felt a force from behind me pull be backwards and I fell on my back. I felt another force land on top of me and it pressed me down into the ground. I turned my head to Elena’s direction and saw Marina kneeling next to her. I was not going to let anyone do anything to harm Elena.
With all my effort I was able to lift myself up and I threw myself into that direction while I was light headed and I lost consciousness.
I woke up in bed of the guest room. My head kind of hurt for a little bit. Suddenly I remembered Elena; I wanted to see if she woke up yet and to see if she was okay. I left the guest room and entered the hallway and the first thing that I saw was Elena walking gracefully through like the superstar she was.
“Good morning,” she said to me.
I was surprised to see her glowing this much. “Good morning. Are you feeling okay?”
She nodded, “I suddenly feel confident, and nothing is going to stop me from succeeding. I will go to court tell the truth and that will be good enough.”
I smiled, I was happy to hear that. I gave her a hug and she went downstairs and I went back into the guest room.
On my pillow I saw something that I did not notice, it was a piece of paper with something written on it. I read it,
“Keep her out of trouble for the rest of your visit and she will be just fine. The media really does not know everything.
PS: The spirits can now rest in piece.
Sincerely, The Reluctant Ghost Hunter”