Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sister Sandy (Blogophilia 36.7)

I stopped by the bar at 3 A. M.
To seek solace in a bottle or possibly a friend
I woke up with a headache like my head against a board
Twice as cloudy as I'd been the night before
I went in seeking clarity.

Jeremy really didn’t like this song, but he was too distracted to turn the radio off. Streetlights stretching out forever in front of his eyes as he headed into the city, why he was coming back here? Smoky dives along Memorial, with their faded PBR and Miller High Life signs beckoned him to stop for solace and possibly a friend. Yeah, a friend that would scream about bombs until he had to make her stop. Like he did with Mother.  That was not a risk he could take.

He couldn’t stop anyway.  A quiet voice was urging him on, one that needed to be heard. He knew whose voice it was. It was going to say bullshit. But there would be validation of his thoughts and the comfort in the crap, and some clarification in exactly how to proceed. So he followed the grey stone road to Oz.

Broken down buildings and smelly addicts on ramshackle bicycles lined the sidewalks along this road whose heyday was far in the past. But there were signs of life here and there. Gentrification in the form of trendy restaurants, a warehouse converted into lofts for bearded young professionals. Lives that he had never experienced and would never experience, he was far too damaged to function in their world. It didn’t matter to him though. This was his own little television show and they were inconsequential images in the background. 

He drove past the used tire store and on toward the old bungalow. The one with the sign with the outline of a hand lit in fabulous salmon and purple neon:

Sister Sandy
Psychic Readings
Spiritual Counseling

He couldn’t remember the first time he had come here, maybe a week or two after he was released from the hospital. Gentle and open, Sister Sandy was the first person to show anything but hatred towards him and he appreciated that. He also appreciated her ability to read his mind.

The door chime rang softly as he opened the chipped wood door. A soft voice floated to his ears.

“Be with you in a minute. Please have a seat at the table.”

The table was centered on the back wall of the anteroom. There were doorways with black beaded curtains on each side of the table and a framed zodiac chart on the wall between them.  Bookshelves lined the right hand wall, with titles like “Druids of the Modern World” and “Automating Your Charts.  On the table there was a crystal sphere and a laptop. The ball was for decoration. Sandy was a woman of the modern age. The dove gray walls had been freshened recently. The smell of latex reminded him of the orange and blue trolls wanting to invade his space and thoughts. 

“Focus, Jeremy…” He muttered under his breath.

A cloud of gardenia under laid with copper tinge enveloped him as the psychic emerged from the doorway on the right. Jeremy felt warmth at her presence. Petite and bird like, she wore a pale blue sleeveless blouse and a pair of white draw string pants. Blond hair with the long bangs framed almond eyes and ruby beak. Her movements were also very bird like, flitting from one perch to another and then finally grasping the back of her chair.

“Jeremy! How good to see you!  Sit and let’s catch up.” 

Grabbing his hand, she led him to the metal chair at the table and gently pressed him into it.  She then stepped over to the book case, where a small teapot was simmering on a hot plate.  Pulling two large mugs off their hooks, she continued.

“So, what kind of mischief have you gotten yourself into?  You usually don’t come unless you have some devious and evil plan in that twisted brain.”

She knew him too well.

“I don’t really need to know, Sugar. We’ll get to it soon enough.  You need quiet. Here.” Handing him one of the freshly poured mugs, she settled into the high backed chair. The chamomile had an immediate effect.  The stress lines at his eyes and mouth melted into smudges.

In the silence, he began to focus on a framed photograph of Bran Castle standing on a shelf above the hot plate. It had been taken on vacation some years ago, while her husband was still alive. She said that it reminded her of a much happier time and place, when she did readings for fun and not for a living.

 Propped next to the photo was an etching of Vlad Tepes, The Impaler. The rumors of him drinking the blood of his enemies as they hung from their stakes always thrilled Jeremy. It was the ultimate insult to the deceased.  The life essences sucked away while they watched. He wished he could be close enough to the Pigs to be able to do that. But that was impractical. Revenge in his case would have to be handled remotely.

“I see you are looking at Vlad.”

Setting the cup down, she powered the laptop, a pale shade of moonlight from the reflected in the small face.

“Yes.” Closing his eyes, he could feel Sarah’s spirit come forward, an angel sitting on his right shoulder to watch the proceedings.

“You do realize he wasn’t the only occupant of that place?” Sandy pressed a few keys to bring up the application she wanted.

“Yes. But he was the most important.”

“Why do you say that?” Touching a few more keys, he could hear the mechanical sound of a card deal.

Jeremy seemed to be lost in thought.

“Everything he did was final. There were never loose ends.”

“And you are worried about some loose ends, maybe from Sarah’s death?”

The angel on Jeremy’s shoulder blushed. She knew the answer and yet, did not speak.

“There are always loose ends. I have come to accept that.” Jeremy took a small sip of the tea and looked at his lap. “Even when I die, there will be loose ends for someone else to handle. Of course, it won’t matter to me. I will be dust.”

“Yes. That is true. But your Karma will remain to settle, maybe in your next life.”

Jeremy put his mug down and looked straight at the psychic.

“What other life? Sarah and Mother are gone. There is no one else in the family alive. There is no other life to infect. The ends should be allowed to wither.”  And with that, the Angel disappeared off his shoulder.

Picking up the mug again, he continued.

“I am working on a project at my apartment. It is a self improvement course designed to rid myself of toxic influences in my life”

The Psychic grinned. “Let’s get started, then.”

Sandy turned the screen to the side so they both could see.  A simple three card spread this time. Touching a key, the first card popped into the left hand position.  

“The first card is Nine of Swords Reversed.  The card is sometimes referred to as The Nightmare. The first card in this spread always represents the past. You have a lot of pain and misery in your past as we have discussed before. It is interesting the card was dealt in reverse. It could signify healing of the wound. It could also mean there is someone in your sphere that you distrust for some reason.   Let’s draw the next card.”

The key was touched again.

“The second card is the Eight of Wands. It is upright. The second card represents the present. This card is portending change and it is coming rapidly. Maybe even too fast for you to immediately handle. This could be an opportunity whose window has opened but is now rapidly closing. You may instinctively know this, but you may not be completely prepared to act. In combination with the first card, it would be unwise to act without a complete analysis of the situation.  So, what does the future have?

Sandy touched the key for the final time. They looked at each other with apprehension when the card took its place.  She licked her lips, took a breath and began to speak.

“The final card is Death.  It is upright. The final card represents the future. In this instance it likely doesn’t mean your physical death. Rather it means the end of a cycle. In combination with the other two cards, it may mean you are about to resolve a major conflict in your life, for ill or good.  This is always a two edged sword, however. You may want the resolution to be one thing and the fates will capriciously deliver the opposite. The fates don’t care a lot of times. I swear they think we exist for their amusement. With what we have here, you may think you are on the road to enlightenment, when in fact you are on the road to perdition.”

Silence enveloped the room.  There was a lot to digest. 

Finally, Sandy spoke.

“I hoped I helped, Sweetheart. It’s twenty five dollars.”

Jeremy slowly rose, trembling.  He pulled the money out of his pocket and placed it on the table.

“Yes, Ma’am.  I think you have.”


Lyrics: (c)1989, Emily Sailors. Currently held by Universal Music, division of EMI.

Written for Blogophilia, where we get our write on.

Topic (Sphere):  submitted by Michael Todd.

Picture: submitted by Christine Wichman.

Pic guesses: Readings (in blog), Psychic (in blog), Clarity (in blog), in the cards, future is ours, fates (in blog), paths.


  1. Oh! Sandy is good at what she does! This segment played perfectly into the whole story! Nicely done

    8 points Earthling! :)


    1. Thank you. I have to admit was a little bit at a loss when I read the prompts, then I jotted down the line about the smoky dives and it went from there.

  2. another wonderful segment, perfect for this topic and photo