The Spirits Are Vague

Madge sat in the waiting room for her weekly spirit session.

The medium was running behind, as usual, some old bitty wanting to talk to her dear uncle Charles about some buried treasure or some nonsense. Yakking on about how he had been her dearest uncle, and all the lovely things they had done while her husband was away at the war, this old bitty and her uncle. Madge could hear everything; the velvet curtain separating the rooms was not as sound-proof as the medium liked to pretend.

When the old coot finally hobbled out on her cane, leaving her three dollars and fifty cents, Madge rose and made her way in. Last of the day, and ready to find out what the spirits had to tell her.

The medium squinted through her thick, coke-bottle glasses. “What are you here for today, Madge?” she asked, her voice hoarse from cigarettes.

“I want to know what the spirits have to say about my future,” Madge said. “Will I find a good man? Do I have to keep teaching these brats? Is it true what they say, that there’s a war brewing in Europe?”

“Hmm, okay, I’ll ask.” The medium held her hand over her crystal ball. She moved it around, focusing, pulling in ethereal attention, asking the questions and getting the answers. “It cannot be seen,” the medium finally said.

“What? Why not?”

“The spirits cannot see your future, it is cloudy.”

“Oh, it’s probably that damn Marconi station, gumming up the works. All these wireless signals are getting in to our brains and interfering with the spirits!”

“I do not know, madam. All I can say is that the spirits are vague.”

“Yeah, and they have been since that thing went up. I’ve already got a campaign going to have it torn down. I don’t want that thing throwing my soul out of my body and keeping my ancestors away. And do you know, it’s right behind my house? Well, I won’t stand for this. If the politicians won’t listen, I’ll tear it down myself. They won’t interrupt my ancestors, not in my backyard, no ma’am.”

“I see a bright future for you, miss, the spirits are just getting that across. A bright future indeed. That will be three fifty, please.”

Madge paid the medium and left, dreaming up ways of tearing down the antennas behind her house.


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