Written for one of those big flat fishes – Halibut/Helluvit… Something like that

Daniel and Mora were still newlyweds, but their first anniversary was coming soon, and Daniel was freaking out just a little bit.

Mora was the only wife Daniel had ever had, and he had never needed to buy an anniversary present before. Did anniversaries not have things with which they were associated? He dimly recalled that fifty years was a golden anniversary, or maybe it was a diamond? What would the first anniversary be? Perhaps dust or sand, maybe. What kind of present could you buy made out of those things? How would he know?

Then it hit him! He could visit a psychic, and have him, or her, tell him exactly what Mora wanted for her anniversary. Daniel dug out the phone book, and much to his surprise there were a lot of psychics in town from which to choose. He determined that it should be a lady psychic because even if she had no psychic powers, she was still a woman, and any woman would better know what another wanted on her anniversary. Better than he would anyways.

He called Madame Mystic first because he liked the easy way her name rolled off his tongue. As luck would have it, Madame Mystic had an answering service. They answered the phone, “Good afternoon, you’ve reached the parlour of Madame Mystic, Love Psychic. May we help you?”

Daniel was impressed and said, “I’d like to make an appointment to meet with Madame Mystic. My anniversary is approaching and I’d like to consult with her on the perfect gift for my wife, Mora.”

“I sense that this is only your first or second anniversary. Am I correct?”

“Wow,” Daniel said, “Yes, yes, it’s our first anniversary. When can I get in to see Madame Mystic?”

He listened to the sound of papers rustling on the other end and finally heard, “You’re in luck. She just had a cancellation. Can you be here by two, this afternoon with your American Express Card? And, can you bring something personal that belongs to your wife?”


It was five minutes before two when the bell tinkled from the top of the door as Daniel pushed his way into Madame Mystic’s Parlour. The room smelled of Sandalwood incense and Patchouli. The lights were low and it was quiet. He stood just inside the door with his hat in hand, unsure of what he should do or where he should stand. Should he shout out? Maybe Madame Mystic was in the back room doing some psychic stuff.

There was a glass sales counter/display cabinet and a batik tapestry slung over a door to the back of the Parlour. Daniel cleared his throat. He felt a cool breeze from the back that fluttered the batik. Into the room swept a large woman clad in blue silks. A gold maangtika with red stones hung in the centre of her forehead, and Daniel thought Mora might like a maangtika. He quickly discarded that idea though. Mora taught pre-schoolers. She had no opportunities to wear a maangtika.

The woman offered Daniel her hand, “My name is Mystic.” she said with a faint unplaceable accent, “You must be Daniel, and you are looking for advice on a gift.”

“Yes, ma’am, for my wife; it’s our first anniversary and I need to get her something special. Something to show her how much she means to me, how much I appreciate and love her. Her name is Mora.”

Involuntarily, she shuddered at the mention of Mora’s name. “Come and sit, Daniel. Would you like a cup of tea?” she steered him through a beaded curtain into a shallow alcove.

“No thank you, Madame Mystic,” Daniel said as he perched on a hard wooden straight-backed chair positioned next to a small round table. The chair was extremely uncomfortable. Daniel had the sense that it was a little shorter than a normal chair, but he dismissed this notion as a product of his overactive imagination and unfamiliarity with a psychic’s equipment. Placed in the centre of the table on a wooden stand was a glass orb about the size of his fist. His eyes grew wide as he stared at the orb.

“Is that a ‘Crystal Ball’” he asked.

“It is,” Madame Mystic replied, “but we won’t need it today. Were you advised to bring something of your wife’s?”

Daniel nodded his head and reached into the pocket of his jacket to remove a pair of wadded-up, and immodest lace panties that he had taken from Mora’s dresser drawer. He handed them to Madame Mystic.  She gasped when she took them. Immediately she dropped them to the tabletop.

 “Shit,” she said and she turned her attention back to Daniel. She studied him carefully with her eyes narrowed. Her accent disappeared and she asked, “These belong to your wife?”

Concerned by her reaction, Daniel could only nod his head.

 “These,” Mystic paused and breathed deeply a few times. She continued, “Have you been reading about the string of murders in Cabbage-town? The cops are calling the murder ‘The Blunt Force Killer’?

Daniel nodded his head.

“These panties belong to the Blunt Force Killer,” she said softly.

“That’s impossible,” Daniel almost shouted, “These are Mora’s Panties, They can’t belong to Mora and The Blunt Force Killer. Unless… oh, shit.”

 Madam Mystic handed the panties back to Daniel, “Perhaps you’d best go now.”

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