Following on from my blog Anyone Fancy Some Jelly? written on 24th May, I thought I’d share a short story on a similar theme from my collection Life, which will be free to download from June 18th – 22nd.

The inspiration for this story came from a real-life alcoholic medium that I remember from years ago.  Her predictions were alarming. I’ve no idea what happened to her as she disappeared from the radar a long time ago, but the memory gave me the idea for the story below:

MEDIUM, by Stevie Turner

Copyright Stevie Turner 2016

All rights reserved

Always, always that sea of hopeful faces.  If only Gerald wouldn’t book my clairvoyance evenings so far in advance.  So many people are now depending on me to come up with the goods; Gerald is for a start because I pay his salary, but also the many poor souls who have lost loved ones.  I cannot look them in the eyes anymore.  How can I disappoint everybody and tell them I’ve lost the gift?  I don’t know if I’m burnt out and have temporarily mislaid it, so to speak, or if the spirit world is done with me and the whole shebang has gone for good.

So you see, dear people, I have to pretend.  It’s quite easy really, with the help of a bottle of wine.  There’s the young grieving couple on the front row who have obviously had a stillbirth or a cot death.  There’s the recently widowed seventy-something lady behind them constantly twisting her wedding ring around and around on her finger, and there’s the forty something woman (it’s usually always a woman) who has just lost an adult son or daughter.  If you dodge actual names and just come up with initials to start with, you can usually fabricate a good story with the help of the person involved.

A liberal amount of sherry in the Green Room isn’t helping tonight.  I close my eyes and ask my spirit guide, Lone Horse, to step into my aura.  He must be out living it up on the prairie that’s all I can say, because all I sense is Gerald in the room, who comes over and taps me on the shoulder.

“Five minutes to show time.”

I sigh and stand up, slightly worse for wear.  I smooth back my thinning grey hair, dig my feet further into my sandals, fluff out my kimono, and follow Gerald to the side of the stage.  He walks up to the microphone, and my heart begins to race.

“Ladies and gentlemen; please give a warm welcome to ……Mystical Marion!”

The applause is deafening, and for a moment I bask in the adulation.  Then I remember the stark truth and hope against hope I can make up some good stories tonight.

“Thank you!” I smile benignly and look above the heads towards the clock on the back wall.  One hour and a half before I can run away. “How many people have seen me before?”

A show of hands and a few nodding heads.  I’m surprised they came back again.

“For those of you who haven’t seen me work before, I can assure you there is nothing to be scared or nervous about.  All I do is communicate with your loved ones who have passed over into the spirit world.  You’ll find they are in spirit as they were when they were alive.  If you had a crotchety old relative, then I’m afraid they’ll still be the same.”

There’s an underlying excitement to the silence in the hall, and I sense an impatience for the show to begin.  Laying on the dramatics, I close my eyes, take a few deep breaths, and hold onto the microphone stand to counteract the effects of the alcohol coursing through my veins.

“I’m getting an ‘A’…..Ann, Anna….”  I fish around frantically. “Can anybody take that?”

I peep out from under my eyelids.  A middle-aged woman towards the back, already in tears, has raised her hand.

“My daughter was called Annabel” Her voice shakes with emotion.

I smile at her sympathetically.

“Yes, I can see an aura above you.  Your daughter is with us in this room tonight.  She is standing behind you and brings you much love.”

“How did she die?”  The woman sniffs into a tissue. “We never found out.”

I baulk at her question and my blood runs cold.  I close my eyes and call out mentally to Lone Horse, with no response.”

“I see trees; some sort of forest.”  I hate myself but cannot stop. “Does that make any sense?”

“Yes.”  The woman nods furiously and I heave a silent sigh of relief. “She was found in Jolly’s Wood.

A murmur of wonderment flies around the room at my prowess.  I’m now at liberty to let my imagination run away.

“She says she was attacked; strangled.” I hope for the best. “But she’s at peace now.”

“Thank you so much.”  The woman has tears running down her face. “I’m so grateful.”

Silence pervades the room; each person hoping I’ll come to them.  I don’t want to go to anybody if truth be told, but feel reluctant to be the cause of disappointment.

“I can see an elderly man.  He says he’s got a message for Betty or Beattie.  I’m getting the B letter…..”  I scan the room. “Can anybody take it?”

“I’m Bessie.”  An old lady’s quavering voice pipes up. “Have you got my Albert there?”

I pause for effect and look up to the ceiling.

“Yes, he brings you a red rose and says he loves you very much.”

“Huh!” The old lady grunts. “Why did he carry on with that trollop then?”

A titter permeates the room.

“He says he’s sorry for treating you so badly.”  I press blindly on. “He asks for your forgiveness.”

“I wanted to hear from my Teddy.”  The old lady shakes her head. “Not that old bugger.”

The room erupts in laughter.  The evening is going well after all my initial fears.  I get into my stride.

“I can only pass on messages from those whom I can see or sense.  I have a feeling that Albert’s guilt is causing him to have a rocky ride in the afterlife.”

“Well, so he should.” Bessie sighs. “Tell him to piss off.”

“I’ll leave you now Bessie.” I smile agreeably at her. “Bless you.”

As I look up towards the back of the room I receive a shock which is cushioned only slightly by the sherry. Lone Horse stands in the doorway in full warrior’s regalia, arms crossed, and legs slightly apart.

“Marion; Lone Horse will not help if you speak lies under the influence of fire water.”  His thoughts permeate my brain. “What are you doing to yourself?”

The sight of him standing there causes me to stare transfixed.  People turn around, mystified as to what is holding my attention.  I tune into his energy, apologise, and send out calming thoughts.  Lone Horse, all six feet seven inches of him, walks down the middle aisle and climbs up onto the stage.

“I accept your apology.” He stands beside me. “There will be no more fire water.”

“No, no.” I mistakenly say out loud. “I place myself entirely in your hands.”

The audience is growing restless, and I’m sure they must wonder if I’ve gone stark staring mad.  Lone Horse singles out a thirty-something man in the front row, and I see his twin brother lying dead in the road, the wheels of a motorbike still whirring around.

“I have your twin brother Steven with me.” I catch my breath and speak to the man. “He says he was going too fast on his bike and skidded into a wall.”

The man begins to cry, and I feel like howling with him.  I displeased Lone Horse and he wanted to teach me a lesson.  However, at the end of the day I am grateful to still have the gift, but from now on I am determined there will be no more fire water; the consequences are just too alarming.