I was desperate. I needed someone to believe me, someone who would be able to understand what I was going through and who could explain to me what was going on. Yes, most mediums are quacks, but maybe out of a thousand of them one may be closer to the truth than others, or so I thought. I remember my mother going to one of them and having her read her palm or look into tea leaves. It didn’t seem to help my mother much though.
As soon as the apparition had left I took out the newspaper and located the address of that woman. I stormed out of my apartment, took the bus and arrived in the downtown area in no time. Her office was located in the basement of a clothing store, very ordinary it seemed to me. I knocked at the door. The door opened very slowly and cautiously.
“Yes, who is it?” the woman asked. I could not see her face as the door was barely open.
“Madame Belle, is that you?” I asked cautiously.
“And who wants to know, who are you?” she asked defensively. I thought that it was a strange reaction on her part. After all, she needed customers and if not, why advertise in the papers?
“My name is Walter Horn. Can I see you now?” I asked in a small voice, pleading for an interview with her.
“It is very early young man and I am sure that you don’t have an appointment. Isn’t that so?”
“It’s true that I don’t have an appointment, but I must see you. I am being pursued by something that belongs to me.” I did not want to be too specific for now.
“I only do readings and tea leaves. Nothing more. If something is after you well go to the police.” she exclaimed loudly.
“I will pay you double your normal rate.” I had to entice her.
“My rate for a reading is 50 dollars per hour. Will you double it then?”
“Yes and I’ll pay you before the reading begins to show that I am serious.” That clinched it. Slowly the chain went off the door and the door opened wide. I advanced in the semi-darkness of the room and a woman appeared. She was old, perhaps 70 or 80, and very wrinkled. She touched a switch and suddenly light illuminated her office.
“Now give me the money and sit down at the table.” she ordered me in a loud voice. I surmised that she was probably slightly deaf.
“Here it is, 100 dollars, as I said. Now can we talk?” I asked.
“Of course, and about what? Don’t you want a reading?”
“Yes, but first let me explain why I am here.” I took a deep breath and tried to recall all that had happened to me. I told her about the murders and about the black smoke pursuing me and taunting me and how I believed that it was my shadow that was involved in those murders. Her expression went from surprise to disbelief and then to horror. I finally asked her point-blank.
“So, can you help me? Have you had a client like me before with such a problem?” I examined her face anxiously for signs.
“No, I must say that your story is unique. And you told me that the priest that you consulted thought that the devil was pursuing you and was responsible for those murders?”
“Yes, this is what he told me but frankly, I can’t believe that.”
“And why not, it seems like a perfectly possible explanation to me.” she said loudly.
“The explanation was too simple. He simply applied what he thought about spirits visiting people in his religion and applied them to me. I am telling you that it was my shadow, who separated from me and it is that shadow that is killing people.” I replied.
The medium looked at me and threw up her hands in the air. “What can I do for you, call a séance and ask for help from the spirits? Or maybe entice your shadow to come here and communicate through me?”
“Yes,” I said. “That would be the right thing to do. Lets have a séance and call my spirit or another spirit and entice my shadow to come here, that could put an end to it, don’t you think?”
“Well, if you say so, I am willing to try this out. But of course I cannot guarantee the results and there is no refund of your money if it does not work, understood?” She looked at me sternly, as if I needed a reminder that I had already paid and it was final.
“Okay let’s do it.” I replied.