The poster was curled at the edges. Psychic Sue had felt drawn to the village of Boxstead when arranging her tour of the country. Any press was good press and despite the papers calling her a fraud and a money-grubbing old hag – she still managed to attract sell-out crowds. She half-suspected that it was because these villages were so devoid of any excitement and activity that anything could pull people out. She could juggle pineapples and still fill the village halls.
Her 66-reg blue BMW arrived in the afternoon, where her assistant started pulling out the show’s decor. A red velvet curtain, a stand to hang it from, a crystal ball, some stuffed birds of prey, lighting equipment for dramatic effect, and some spirit-invoking crystals. While he prepared the set, she set about the village.
The pub was built between the village green and the church. Heavy lumbersome oak trees hung over the fringes of the green. The pub had dark tudor beams and a thatched roof. There were some strong forboding energy in the building – generations of unresolved differences lingered like the fog rolling across the parish.
The building gave her the heebie jeebies as she entered.
“Pick your poison…” said the baldheaded landlord. He was wearing a red jumper and brown trousers.
She shook her head and said – “just a lime and soda, please”
“No – I find the alcohol addles me brain and I can’t work.”
“Oh, you must be Psychic Sue.”
“Oh… that’s me. Psychic Sue, watch out or I’ll put a curse on you. Now chop chop with my drink”
The landlord snarled and hurriedly prepared the lady’s beverage.
“Fanks love” she said, smiled half heartedly and took a seat in the corner by the fire.
She read a biography of the late great Michael “The Oracle” Schmiechel – one of her heroes as she grew up in a two-up-two-down on the banks of the Mersey. She’d spent so many bleak years as a child and had been determined to break out. Now she was a very succesful showwoman and wanted everyone to know about it. The hours passed and the silver disk of sun disappeared over the horizon.
Her assistant joined her for a dinner of beef and parsnips in the pub – before escorting her back to the village hall.
The gaggle of old Southern ladies had assembled in the cheap plastic seats and were gossiping about the upcoming fete and Edith’s funeral. A few had managed to drag their husbands along. The few men in the audience looked very skeptical, but Sue had astonished those types before.
A gentle ethereal music was passing over the room. Then Sue kicked her assistant to turn up the music, so that the crowd would quieten down.
“Right – calm down, calm down.”
“Welcome to my night of clairvoyance. I’m gonna take some of youz lot tonight and give you a reading from the other side. So… any volunteers?”
A lady in the front row edged her hand up from her pearls self-consciously.
“You’ll do, love. Come on up and tell us yer name?”
“Right Carol, sit there nice and tight and let the spirit be bright.”
Psychic Sue was closing her eyes and tapping her temples. A blast of energy shot from her spine and she was suddenly floating through the realm of the afterlife. She focused on the energetic outline of the woman in front of her.”
She shivered and it came to her with a lump in her throat. She pulled a face.
“He’s pink. Very pink. Like when you’ve two weeks in Mallorca”
“And he’s got yellow spots.”
“And oh god,” she wobbled in her seat. “He’s got big googley eyes.”
She brought herself back to the room terrified.
“Can you help me Carol?”
Carol was looking down at the floor a little ashamed. He was gone now, she was lonely, she really didn’t want to say to much in front of the women here. But this Liverpudlian lady seemed to be coaxing the truth out of her, whether Carol liked it or not. She blushed.
“Well, it’s my Husband.”
“It didn’t look like a person, Carol. It was like an alien.”
Carol clutched her pearls, still looking at the floor. “He had a…” she inhaled “fetish”. She shook after saying such a dirty word.
“A fetish for what Carol? Trust me I’ve seen a lot in my time…” said Sue
She couldn’t believe she was saying this, in front of all these people, she didn’t want to, but this woman was very persuasive.
“I can tell it’s bothering you love. Get it out.”
Carol looked to the heavens and the words stuttered out. “He liked” she exhaled. “He liked dressing up as Mr Blobby”
The hall went into uproar, they always knew there was something strange about John when he’d been in the village. They were in hoots of laughter. Carol felt terribly ashamed to start with but couldn’t conceal a giggle.
Carol stared upwards “The things we do for love”
“Oh I see. Let me see if he has a message for you.” Sue jolted back in her seat.
“He wants you to know he loves ya. And that you will always be his Mrs Blobby.”
Carol laughed and cried and burst into a fit of hysterics before returning to her seat.
“Ok there you go sweet pea. Who’s next?”