May 17, 2021

The Psychic

46

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“The thing about psychics is that they are like the weather forecast, everyone thinks the predictions are wrong, but no one is brave enough to ignore them.”

“Brave or foolish?”

“It doesn’t much matter does it, Sal. Once I understood that principle, the rest was as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.”  

Sal chuckled and said, “so how did it go down?”

“Well, you know I have a healthy respect for the men and woman of law enforcement but, I mean, have you ever come across a more fallible group of infallible people? It wasn’t hard.”

Sal nodded and said, “Sabrina, just humor me. Start at the beginning”

#

Well, like everything else, it always starts with a crime. Some rich guy is murdered and the pressure on the cops to solve the case is immediate and intense.

Now sometimes, it is so obvious who did it that a monkey could solve the case. Other times that same monkey gets stumped. After chasing dead-ends and washed-out leads for a few days, the monkey becomes frustrated and the pressure becomes even worse. The monkey knows he has been a disappointment to his superiors, and he knows he can’t afford to embarrass them further. Eventually, the monkey gets desperate and, well, that’s just about the right time for me to throw my hat into the ring and offer the monkey some help.  After all, I’m a humanitarian, I like monkeys.

So the other day, I hear that this monkey, Detective Michael Peters, a veteran of the world’s finest, is in a fix. He’s been working on the Stanley Johnson murder case and he is coming up short. Word on the street is that Peters is going to be facing a firing squad if he doesn’t come up with something fresh. I figure that’s my specialty, helping the monkey find some fresh clues. So I took myself down to police central and asked for Peters. I had never met the man before but a monkey in need is a friend indeed, amirite?

No sooner are we introduced then he is putting me into an interrogation room to be questioned. Seems Detective Peters has got a real short temper and my telling him that he wasn’t going to solve the case without my help didn’t get me a gold star or win me a place in his fan club.

Now Peters is a dick’s dick if you catch my meaning, and it’s standard procedure for a guy like him to come down hard on someone like me. It’s predictable and stupid but he just can’t control himself. If he could, I’d be out of work and the world might be a safer place. But I’m not and it isn’t so he hauls me into the room and starts his usual cop routine.

“What do you know about Johnson’s death?” he asks me.

“A lot fucking more than you, I reckon.”

Now I should pause to say that it has been my experience that when you are dealing with a monkey who is pretending to be a lion it’s best to roar early and loudly since anything else can cause the monkey to believe they are actually a lion, but I digress. So I smiled at him politely and said, “while I certainly want to help you Officer Peters, I am afraid I don’t offer my, err, unusual services for free. Shall we agree on a rate of $250 per hour for my help?”

“Fuck you and your fee and it is Detective Peters. You don’t tell me what you know, I’m gonna send you to the tank for a few hours, see if that loosens your tongue a bit.”

Now, if you’ve ever had the misfortune of being thrown in the tank, you know that the tongue is not the only thing it loosens if you take my meaning. Of course, while I had no desire to spend a few hours wedged up among the city’s rift raft and flotsam, I did have a professional reputation to uphold and I wasn’t about to let myself be intimidated by this monkey. Fucking cops, always a badge where their heart should be.

“You aren’t going to do that Detective. We both know that you have hit a wall on this case and that putting me in the tank isn’t going to get the monkeys down in the mayor’s office off your back.”

Judging by the smoke coming out of his ears, I was pretty certain I had hit a nerve.

“You know what I think? I think you’re fishing around for a fee but don’t know fuck all about Stanley Johnson’s murder. You come waltzin down here, expecting me to buy into your psychic hocus pocus bullshit story. Far as I am concerned you’re just another two bit hustler trying to make a buck on the taxpayer’s nickel. I got your number”

“Do you then? What do you need Detective, some proof, a little taste of my ability? I’ll tell you what, I’ll give you something to help whet your appetite but not on the Johnson case. My help on that case will only come with real money.”

“So what, now you’re going to try and impress me with some bullshit lead? I think you’re wasting my time. Piss off. I got real work to do.”

His reaction wasn’t all that unusual, it having been my experience that some monkeys just need a bit of more persuading.

“What’s the matter Detective having a hard time trusting a woman since your wife left you?”

Like all monkeys, I could see the look of confusion cross his eyes before it was quickly replaced with hostility.

“That supposed to impress me? You’re going to have to do considerably better than that if you’re expecting me to buy your story of secret powers and voodoo bullshit.”

“Not voodoo, Detective. Just unusual clarity and insight into the universe around me. You want me to dig deeper, fine, give me your hand.”

“I’m not going to give you my friggin’ hand. What do you take me for?”

*********

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