Natural Glass

Jacob walked through the beaded doorway into the back room of the psychic’s shop. He had never been to a psychic before and so the thought of just walking into the back of one made him uneasy, but it’s what the sign at the front counter instructed and so he did it. It smelled like what frankincense and myrrh must smell like, metallic popery and the smell in the air after a lightning strike. Frankincense and myrrh wasn’t the type of gift that he would ever want to receive. After looking around the small circular room he sat down at one side of the table and waited.
The candles bobbed up and down to their own secret tune in the small round room while Jacob waited to be seen. From the opposite side of the room came Hester. Hester looked like she may have been anywhere from her late 60’s to early 80’s depending on whether that was liveliness or wisdom in her wrinkles. She didn’t walk so much as shimmy forward, and judging by her...movement, couldn’t have been wearing a bra; to her stomach’s misfortune.
“Hello,” croaked Jacob.
“Hello Jacob. What can Mother Hester help you with today.”
Jacob was taken aback until he followed her gaze down to his backpack which had his name stitched onto the front of it. Marcy had done it for him before her accident.
“I need to talk to someone. Someone who I can’t talk to alone. She has passed away and I need to ask her something.”
“Okay. Who is she: family, lover, or enemy?”
“She was my girlfriend. She would have been my fiancee, or well we would have moved back in together soon. We lived together years ago but she had to go away to New York for art school, she got offered an amazing scholarship.”
He paused in between his sentences unsure of how much information she needed to get this started and wanting to hold back as much as possible so she could prove whether or not she was for real.
“Do you have anything of hers that we could use to get a connection started with. The more personal the object the better. It isn’t that she doesn’t value or want to be near you it is just easier to translate a physical object and its emotional fingerprint into the ghost realm than it is to send your whole essence.”
“Yeah. That’s actually why I brought my bag. It was one of the first times she began experimenting with her sowing. That’s what she went to school for, her amazing needle work. She made a scale model of the Eiffel Tower out of fishing line once. I didn’t get the symbolism but she said it all started with this bag.”
“Place it on the table please,” she said as she exited back through the dim doorway she had come through moments before. She returned with a black egg shaped object which she sat on a gold painted stand with crafted crows feet. The egg looked like it was made of obsidian or some other natural glass.
“I thought you people used crystal balls.”
“We do, but not as often as we use other naturally forming minerals. I prefer glass from the earth. Volcanic glass is the best, it is shaded to the eye so it is easier for the third eye to see through. You will see. Place your bag on the table please.”
He had been to busy watching her to do it already. He took out his computer, a notebook with an Incubus sticker on the front, a few pens and pencils, and a wad of papers from the bottom and sat them all in a pile on the floor with the least valuable items on top.
“What’s that?” She asked looking at the notebook.
“They’re my poems. Nothing too good more like word doodles I do sometimes.”
“Set that on the table too please.”
He did it and she got up and lit some oil burners and blew out the dancing candles. The room glowed now in a deep green thanks to the smallest oil burner which was shaped like a japanese fabric lantern with a tea pot on top.
“May I?” She asked as she grabbed the backpack from across the table. She unzipped it and took the egg off its mount and placed it inside. “Pick a poem, put it inside.”
Jacob looked at the book unsure and flipped it open. Rewind time. Thats the one. He ripped it out, wadded it up and put it in the bag as well.
“So when does this start?”
She grabbed his hands before they retreated from the bag. “She says she is sorry.”
“Sorry she left like that, sorry she drove at all, especially after drinking that wine.”
“She doesn’t have anything to be sorry for. Tell her she has nothing to be sorry for.” He said forgetting his unbelief. She had mentioned the wine and the car, he hadn’t mentioned those. Right?
“No I do.” She said changing he tone. “I know I wasn’t the only one in that car now. I had thought I shouldn’t have been drinking that night. I didn’t know why of course but I just had a feeling that I needed to say ‘No thank you’ when your mom poured me a glass. ‘It was only a dinner wine,’ I thought. No reason to worry.”
“Baby please you weren’t even drunk.” Feeling anxious now.
“That’s not what I mean. We couldn’t have known but I had a little life inside of me. She was going to be a girl, she would have been our daughter Jake.”
He was stunned. The coroner had told Jake that the hospital found elevated hormones in her blood indicating that she was pregnant. She couldn’t have known.
“We’re okay,” She continued. “We’re together.”
“Who is with you?”
“Our daughter silly.”
“Really? What does she look like. Who is she. What’s her name.”
“She doesn’t ‘look’ like anything. Neither do I anymore. But she reminds me of you. She has your laugh.” “She needs a name,” she said.
“Marcy girl. I don’t know. Doesn’t she have one? What have you been calling her. How do you know she’s ours. Where are you? Are you safe? I miss you.”
“I love you too Jake,” she said in that consoling tone that she was so good at. “I’m fine and she’s fine and you know she’s ours. And I could have named her, even wanted to, but I wanted her to have something from her Daddy. Something you could find her by later if this is where you end up when you move on.”
“Call her Abbey.”
“That’s perfect Jake, I love you. See you soon, but not soon enough.”
“Baby come back. I wanted to ask you something. I-”
“She’s gone child,” replied the old tired voice of the woman who had been sitting across from him this whole time. “Time for both of you to go.”
She stood up shakily and hit a light switch from behind one of the curtains hanging on the wall. Immediately the room brightened and lost all its mystery.
Jake put his things back into his bag and tried to set the egg back onto its stand.
“Keep it,” she said while shooing him from the store.
He walked out onto the street and turned back for a little reassurance that what just happened had truly happened but the lady was gone and the florescent eye on the hand in the window was turned off.
He got into his car as “Come Together” was hitting the chorus over his speakers.


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