I HEAR VOICES - NEW RELEASE - AVAILABLE NOW!
I hear voices and see dead people. No, I’m not nuts. I’m psychic. It’s a family thing. I worked for a psychic hotline called Picas Moon. My specialty was Tarot Card readings. For only $3.99 a minute, you got to chat with me, a real live, genuine, authentic, certified psychic. I even had a nice little certificate hanging on the wall of my cubicle that stated that fact. Want to know the future, need to connect with the spirit world or find the love of your life?
Give me your Visa or Master Card numbers and I was yours for as long as you needed me or until your money ran out. It was a nice gig.
Until Madam Celeste called me into her office on Christmas Eve and instead of getting that nice bonus check I was expecting, I was laid off. Me? I was the only genuine psychic she had. The rest were delusional quacks, flat out liars and phony, no talent hacks. Okay, the delusional quacks were Madam Celeste’s daughters, and of course, they kept their jobs. Family is family no matter how incredibly awful their advice was. I foresaw a lawsuit in their immediate future.
Since I’m an authentic psychic I should have seen it coming, right? It doesn’t work that way. I can’t predict my future. My life is basically a crap shoot just like everyone else’s and sometimes you roll snake eyes.
On Christmas morning, I got hit with more bad news. My Aunt Sophie, another authentic psychic, had tracked me down and offered me my old job back. The one where I did séances that scammed grieving relatives out of their hard earned money. I hated every minute of it.
The only reason I stayed as long as I did was to protect my grandmother from Uncle Dante, the devil incarnate, who locked her in the basement and threatened to kill her if I didn’t do the séances. But it was Aunt Sophie, his older sister that scared the piss out of me. She dabbled in the black arts and was known to have summoned a demon or two. When Granny Annabel died, I made my escape and never looked back.
What was Aunt Sophie’s ultimatum? If I wasn’t back at the family compound in Seattle by New Year’s Day, she would turn my life into a living hell. She could and she did. My family members are not the nicest people in the world. In fact, most of them are scam artists, thieves or worse.
After Aunt Sophie put the word out, finding another psychic gig was nigh-on impossible. Because of the sucky economy, I couldn’t even get a job at a local burger joint. Trying to get the State of Arizona to fork over unemployment benefits was even harder. The minute I mentioned I was a psychic it was over.
Out of desperation to prove to the clerk that I really was a genuine psychic I blurted out, “Your boyfriend, Mark, is cheating on you with your best friend, Martha.” The poor thing burst into tears and fled her window.
The nice security guard escorted me to a tiny waiting room and promised a supervisor would speak to me shortly. Was that shorthand for the police were coming? I hoped not.
Bored out of my mind, I flipped through an old Arizona Highways magazine and an article about Montezuma’s gold caught my attention. Gold! I could really use some of that Aztec gold about now.
Seems back in the early fifteenth century Cortez overran the great Aztec empire. To keep the greedy bastard from taking all his loot, Montezuma packed up his gold and with a small army guarding it, sent it north into what is now the canyon country of southern Utah. There, so the legend tells, his king’s treasure is still hidden.
The story got even more interesting. In 1921, Freddy Crystal, an Indiana Jones type, showed up in Kanab, Utah and convinced the town folk that he had a four centuries old map that would lead them to the long-lost treasure. He must have given one hell of a speech to get those hard working farmers to dig for gold, because gold fever hit with a vengeance.
Kanab’s elected mayor and city council were the first all petticoat government of that time. The women decided it was plain foolishness to share the treasure with the outside world and fines were levied for even uttering the word “treasure.” The ladies organized the treasure hunt like generals commanding an army. Each morning Kanab would empty and each night the deserted streets would fill up again.
Since the town was the most inaccessible city in the United States, it was easy to keep their secret. This went on for two years and lucky for me, they never found the treasure.
I gasped as a series of images flashed across my mind. An emerald eye set in a large gold amulet. Flickering torches revealed stucco warriors and a map etched into a stone. A dark malevolence guarded an eerily lit cavern filled with baskets of gold.
The visions were abruptly replaced by the image of a large, heavily muscled man with dark hair and silver eyes that seemed to glow with an inner fire. His Hollywood good looks were marred by a scar across his right cheek. Somehow I knew he was an obnoxious, know-it- all prick, who would stop at nothing to achieve his goals.
If he thought he could keep me from finding the gold, he was sadly mistaken. My eyes snapped open when Granny Annabel stated calmly, “He’s the one.”
I glared at her gypsy-like apparition. Granny always reminded me of an Italian Betty White. She refused to pass over until I accepted my destiny and found a strong man to protect me. Don’t get me wrong. I love her and most of her advice is dead on the money but I didn’t need help finding a man nor did I want to become a demon slayer. “Sure he is. Just like the cop, the bouncer and Madame Celeste’s bodyguard were.”
“Beware of the Serpent,” she intoned and vanished.
Beware of the Serpent? What kind of mystical crap was that? I glanced down at the magazine and gold fever sank its claws into me. Okay, the fact that I was about to be evicted from my apartment, my car repossessed and the only thing in my refrigerator was some moldy cheese had a little to do with it. I mean finding the gold had to be easier than prying a check out of the state’s unemployment office. Right?
Zelda Dragos, psychic treasure hunter, had a nice ring to it. Maybe I should get some business cards made up.