The Psychic

Read the short story, and then watch the short film.

Never before did I consider visiting a psychic or a palm reader, even though I’ve seen that place in the corner maybe hundreds of times. But I never had a reason to go. I wasn’t even curious, not even if I got a free consultation.

I know I am rational and mature, but admitting it shows immaturity. Believing in spirits, ghosts, the afterlife, or the hereafter was not my thing. But after that absolute life nightmare, I considered visiting that psychic place. I’ve seen the lady many times before, parking her fancy car in her driveway. Lovely looking lady in a typical businesslike dress, not like your regular gypsy. She never wore long flowery dresses like old hippies. No, she didn’t look like a witch either. And she seemed friendly too, always with a smile on her face.

After the accident, I became a widower and an orphan father. I was left alone and turned into a zombie. I thought there was no reason to continue living. Life was utterly meaningless. Suicide was often on my mind, but life had always been a precious treasure, so I hung on, waiting for, I don’t know what—waiting for them to come back—or waiting to see if I could form another family, maybe? But to consider that would be to betray their memory. No, nothing could fix me. Nothing seemed remotely possible. My happiness was cut short without a reason or an explanation. I need to communicate with my wife, or else I can’t go on living.

I didn’t know what I was expecting when I opened the door to her office.

“Good evening. How can I help you?” she said with a friendly smile.

“I don’t know if you can. I sincerely doubt it. But I need to give it at least a try. I find it hard to imagine ghosts dancing around your desk, and I’m suspicious about your abilities to connect people from different dimensions. In my mind, I always related your profession to frauds, scams, and charlatans. I’m sorry I’m being so blunt, but I needed to get it out. As a non-believer, could I influence your talents? And are you still willing to help me?”

“Wow, at this point, you could be one of my worse clients ever. You almost stepped over the line. You were a little bit disrespectful, not just blunt. You can leave anytime if you’re unsure about what you want to do. I wouldn’t feel offended; instead, I would be pleased. I don’t need to be a psychic to sense your sarcasm. Oh, and more thing, I haven’t seen any ghosts dancing around my desk either, but I’ve seen spirits sitting on the same chair you’re sitting on.” she replied.

“I’m sorry, you’re right. I forgot that I came to ask for a favor for a moment. The words I chose were a little rough. I’m sorry. The main thing is that I wanted to be honest and clear. Can you see spirits or ghosts?”

“I can feel their presence, and I can see them sometimes. I don’t mind if you don’t believe me. That doesn’t change the fact that I can see them sometimes. But let’s change the subject. I don’t need to convince you to believe.” she said.

“Is business good?”

“Yes, lately, spirits have been running rampant and unrestrained. If you trust me, you’ll soon find out what I mean. Why do you ask if business is good?” she responded.

“Well, good psychics should always be busy.”

“Why don’t we get to the point? What brings you here?” she asked.

“I need to communicate with my wife. We were involved in a car crash. My wife and daughter died, and it was my entire fault. I don’t want to be on this earth anymore without them. My guilt is so big it’s eating my soul. You see, I was driving the car, and at the same time, I was trying to give the bottle of milk to my daughter, but I couldn’t reach it, so I removed my seat belt for a second. The vehicle went off the road, and I was ejected and passed out while the car overturned several times. I never saw them alive again. I need to ask my wife for her forgiveness. I also want to join them wherever they are.

“Do you believe in God?” she asked.

“Not really, but I used to be a believer, but things changed, and I became a materialistic cynic. Now I would feel like a hypocrite if I prayed.”

“Some things are easier to believe if you’re spiritual. The nonphysical part of a person sometimes manifests as an apparition after their death. A spirit can survive physical death or separation of body and spirit. Sometimes, when the body ceases to exist, and nothing can hold a person’s soul, character, and emotions, it wanders, seeking a body that doesn’t exist anymore. I think your family is alive and well.” she said.

“Do you mean . . .?”

“Yes, I’m sorry. You can leave now. There’s no need to open the door; you can just cross it.”

And as the man crossed the door, a couple of tears fell from the medium’s eyes.

The End

Edmundo Barraza
Lancaster, Ca. 12-27-2016

Author: Edmundo Barraza

Edmundo Barraza was born in Durango. He grew up in Torreon, Mexico. He now lives in Los Angeles, Ca. Even though he became an American Citizen in 1990, he still considers Torreon his hometown. He was seven when he saw his first movie. The screen was the exterior wall of a church at the top of a hill. A Spanish film about a baby left outside a church by his mother. He never stopped watching movies after that. He began writing short stories in 2009. His love for cinema pushed him to turn his own stories into scripts and then to film. In 2015 he shot his first short film, "The Corpse Is Alive," which won thirteen nominations at different film festivals worldwide. "Drugs And Chocolates" and "The Psychic" have also won numerous awards. Some of his favorite film directors include Luis Buñuel, Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, Sam Peckinpah, Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and many others. His favorite music includes The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd, The Clash, Temptations, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, and many others. "Playing pool, listening to rock music, and having a beer is great, but reading a book, writing a story, or watching a good film is even better. I hate guns and evil political leaders, racist people too. I love good people. Children are the most precious thing in the world. I aim to shoot a feature film based on one of my stories." Edmundo is married to Consuelo Barraza. They have a daughter and a son, Michelle Solano and Carlos Barraza.

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