Short Story Saturday: Melody Wiles

Short Story Saturday: Photo by Wyron A on Unsplash
Photo by Wyron A on Unsplash

Hello everyone! As part of Short Story Saturday, I have posted another short story, this one entitled Melody Wiles. To me, this feels more like the first chapter of something bigger than a full story so maybe something bigger will be made from this in the future. Regardless, Please enjoy.

In all my years, with all my experience, I have never quite met anyone like Melody Wiles. Her bright eyes, wide smile with cute dimples on an innocent face coupled with her sweet voice belied her true nature.

Contrary to popular thought, the fortune-telling and mind-reading enterprise doesn’t lend itself to a lot of strange clientele. Most of the strange ones are the ones doing the readings, though I’d like to think of myself as one of the more normal ones. I’ll leave it to others to determine the veracity of that statement. Clients are typically like the young man that I did a reading for before I met Melody. He was quiet and unassuming. All he wanted to know was whether a potential relationship with a woman he just met would pan out. My prediction was vague enough that it was uncommitted, but at the same time, said what he wanted to hear.

Melody stood at the doorway as the young man left. He apologized after he nearly bumped into her. She responded with a scornful look. Then the young woman sauntered in and plopped down into the chair in front of me. She slouched as she fingered the crystal balls and other fortune-telling paraphernalia on my desk. Her head faced the ground. Somehow I could tell that her heart wasn’t in this reading. Call it a psychic premonition.

“May I help you?” I asked.

She turned up her nose and scoffed. “Just do the reading.”

“What’s your name?”

“The sign outside says you do mind-reading and fortune-telling. Why don’t you tell me?”

“I could but it’s more polite to ask and it builds rapport.”

“Fine. It’s Melody. Melody Wiles. I’m sure now you’ll say you knew that all along.”

I rubbed my temples. “I sense that you are troubled.”

“People don’t come to psychics when life’s treating them well.”

“I see that you have difficulty with relationships.”

“Everybody does. I haven’t met anyone who said relationships are easy. Even the most happily married couples say it can get rough.”

I rubbed my temples further. “I see you are unimpressed with my abilities.”

“Maybe you missed your calling as a detective.”

“What if I were to tell you that I was able to accurately read that the previous young man works at the Northwest Logging Company and bowled multiple times during the week?”

“The guy probably walked in with muddy boots and had sap on his jeans or something like that. Maybe he forgot he was wearing his company’s shirt or jacket.”

“I assure you he wasn’t.”

“Okay, fine. Noticed you didn’t argue with the muddy boots and sap. But anyway, then you probably figured out he’s not driving hundreds of miles to see a fortune teller. So it’s safe to assume he lives in the Puget Sound Area. The nearest logging companies are the American Forest Lands and the Northwest Logging Company. You went with the one in Tacoma.”

“And the bowling?”

“Probably the way he grabbed his right arm or maybe he moved it around awkwardly. At his age and this time of year, you really have two options, softball or bowling. I’m sure he got excited when he heard you say the word ‘bowling’, amongst like a hundred sports you probably mentioned, which gave it away.”

I smiled. “It sounds like you have this entire racket figured out, then. So why have you come here today?”

Melody leaned forward and rested an elbow against my desk. A wry smile crept onto her cerise lips. “Because I want in.”

I stared incredulously. “Why? It’s not like I make a whole lot of money doing this.”

“That’s because you think too small. I have an idea that could get us a whole lot of cash.”

I leaned back and rubbed my chin. “I must admit that I’m intrigued. What do you have in mind?”

Her azure eyes seemed to sparkle. “Well, first, I need to be the one giving the readings.”

“How come?”

She leaned back and shrugged. “People tend to trust psychics more when they are female.”

“Then why do you need me?”

Melody gestured around my office. “I can’t afford a place like this on a barista’s salary.”

“Why should I help you?”

Melody sat straight. “Don’t you want to make more money? I’m talking like ten times more. Besides, you wouldn’t want word getting around that you’re scamming people, would you?”

I shrugged. “I suppose I can’t have you spreading rumors.” I leaned forward so we could shake hands and entered a partnership. I’ll never forget the smile on her face when we did, or the softness of her hand. The scent of the lotion she used still lingers in my mind.

We completely renovated from there. The sign above my door now read “Madame Melody”. Rather than continuing what I was doing before, every session with her doing cold readings and rainbow ruses to gain the client’s trust. Frankly, standard psychic fare.

Meanwhile, I hid in a fake wall and took notes while also doing rudimentary research into the client’s social media account with my cell phone. My efforts partly aided by a small peephole almost imperceptible to the naked eye allowed me to witness the proceedings. It also had other applications. Indeed, at some point during the reading, Melody would give me a signal, a gesture with the fingers, or a certain placement of an object, whatever we agreed to before the proceeding began. When she did, I would finish writing and push the notebook through a hidden slot to a nearby shelf.

Melody would swiftly but surreptitiously retrieve it. Her favorite tactic was to lie and say it was there before the reading had commenced the night before after she had connected to the supernatural realm. It helped to my chagrin that I apparently have effeminate handwriting. My mother insisted I take calligraphy classes from a young age.

Not often, but sometimes the notebook wasn’t enough to sway our client. Often they insist that Melody answer at least one question. When this occurred, I typically found the answer through the client’s social media page. Naturally, I’d then text my comely blonde friend what I discovered. Such messages were retrieved clandestinely thanks to the smartwatch she taped to the bottom of her table. She’d sneak a peek at it when the client was distracted often by a noise I’d make by ratting the wall, an activity most often blamed on a fictional cat. Then, she’d “read the client’s mind” by regurgitating the message.

Melody got the idea from watching the YouTube clips of a television show whose premise was British people performing scams ostensibly teaching people how to avoid them. That is, except for the idea of gleaning information from the client’s social media pages and texting it to her smartwatch. Those were fully her ideas. Regardless, her scheme, and it really was her scheme, relied on the show’s relative lack of popularity worldwide, as two to three hundred thousand views per video certainly sounds like a lot but compared to the population of the world or even the United States, this was hardly a drop in the bucket.

It also required a sort of optimism bias on the part of the client. As the gentleman in the video said, the client not expecting a “magic trick” so they will be less on guard toward the reading being a ruse, to fool people. In other words, she thought since clients want to believe they will. To her credit, she was absolutely correct.

You will not find me arguing against the idea that I am a conman, unless you are a police officer or one of my marks. In which case, I will vehemently deny it with the fury of a thousand burning suns. Yet, as self-deluded as this notion might be, I like to consider myself a “noble con artist” in that even I limit how much I’m willing to fleece an innocent person. As such, one of my conditions for helping Melody was that we would limit the amount of damage we’d inflict. No more than one hundred dollars a session and no more than one visit per week. She was not happy with these demands but at the same time, she needed my office. That is why Melody reluctantly acquiesced to my terms.

The first few weeks into our partnership proved to be quite profitable even with my conditions strictly enforced. I made sure of that. As loathe as I am to admit it, we were making far more than I ever did when I was working alone. True, “Madame Melody” had difficulty acquiring clientele at first. However, word quickly got around that there was a fortune teller who had direct access to the spirit realm proved by the fact she could accurately read one’s mind.

Moreover, she was a cute and tall blonde woman to boot. The fact that she dressed more as a harem girl than a traditional fortune teller certainly helped in that regard. It didn’t matter if her attire made sense. She looked foreign and exotic and that was enough. Upon learning all of this, then, people, especially men, started visiting in droves.

Some of my previous customers did wonder where I had disappeared. Melody made up some tale about me moving to eastern Washington to take care of a sick relative. We lost a couple of my old customers because of my sudden absence which I appreciated. It was a great compliment. The majority, though, decided to stay with the beautiful lass and as you might have inferred, we had enough new customers to more than make up for what little we lost. Our enterprise was going so well that it nearly got to the point that we’d have to start taking appointments to accommodate our clientele.

A night in late August ensured we never got there.

As cliché as it is to say, it was a night not unlike any other. It was cool as summer was nearing an end but still nice and pleasant. We were nearing closing time when a late arrival whom we never met suddenly entered. I whispered from my hiding place that we should turn him away. I’d like to say that it was a premonition, especially in retrospect. In truth, I was just tired and wanted to go home. Melody quickly dismissed that feable notion. She wasn’t one to turn down the chance to do one last reading and make a little more cash.

“Good evening. The spirits foretold you’d arrive.” I involuntarily rolled my eyes as I remained hidden behind the fake wall. Melody always said that to a new client. It had grown old. I peered through the peephole to get a better look at the next victim.

Something was askance.

I sensed that there was something wrong with the man. It wasn’t his large and wide build or his rather large gut. It wasn’t his attire that consisted of a trucker’s hat, a large black coat that had the name of his company written on the back, blue jeans, and black boots. It wasn’t his scraggly beard that appeared unwashed. It wasn’t even the odd stench, smelling as if he had not bathed in days.

He was in pain. Great pain. The man needed to be forgiven.

Melody continued her routine oblivious to the man’s emotional turmoil. “Please take a seat, Mister-”

“Joe,” the man said as he sat in front of her, “Joe Robinson.”

Melody leaned back in her seat. She placed her right fingertips atop her head. “Ah, yes, of course. My ability to read is sometimes anemic when I first meet someone. But like relationships, it grows stronger the more time I spend with a person.”

“Oh, right, of course.” Joe’s eyes darted everywhere but the woman in front of him.

“I sense there is pain in your life, Joe. Either with you or someone you love or know very well.”

Joe whimpered. “Oh yeah, you could say that. You can definitely say that. A truer statement has never been said, that’s for sure, that’s for sure.”

I tried to communicate with Melody telepathically to leave the man alone. “Come on, Melody, don’t do this to the man.” Melody unsurprisingly did not hear my thoughts. “I see a woman with… something… related to her… and… you…?”

Joe rose suddenly and slammed his fists upon the table. The young woman reflexively jumped in place before landing hard back down upon the thinly cushioned seat onto her round derriere. With wide eyes and mouth gaped, Melody listened as the man screamed and tears streamed down his face.

“Her name was Angel! She’s dead! She’s dead because of me!” He reached inside his coat and pulled out a pistol. In response, my flaxen-haired companion shrieked for help at the top of her lungs. “I should have protected her. I should have been there for her. I should have been with her tonight! Instead, instead of-” His voice drifted as he inched closer to Melody.

She turned in my direction. Fire burned in her eyes as she shouted, “For the love of God, help me already! This maniac’s going to kill me!”

I opened the door of the fake wall fiercely. Several items fell from the shelf and crashed to the floor. Joe turned and pointed his gun at me. The look in his eyes and the way his right hand shook told me he did so out of surprise. He had no desire to shoot.

“No, he won’t, Melody. The last thing on his mind is taking a life other than his own.”

To which, the beautiful woman glared. “What the hell are you talking about? You heard what the crazy man said!” She gestured at the man with both hands. “He killed his wife!”

“He didn’t kill his wife, Melody.” I looked into Joe’s eyes. “You mustn’t blame yourself, Joe. Her death wasn’t your fault.”

Joe paused. “I took a life tonight.”

“You made a mistake but you aren’t a bad man. You aren’t a violent man. Despite the guilt you feel right now, you’re not a murderer. You’re still a good man.”

Joe’s hand trembled more violently as I said these words. His lips quivered and his tears flowed in even greater waves swiftly down his cheeks. Suddenly, the gun slipped from his hand. Melody ducked under the table while I crouched and covered my head, though looking back on it now I’m not sure what I thought that would accomplish.

It landed with several loud thumps against the floor. No shots were fired from the collision.

Melody nervously peaked from underneath the table such that only her eyes were exposed while I picked up the weapon and examined it carefully. Not only was the safety still on but the weapon was empty. Joe had removed the ammunition before he arrived. The man stared at me for a moment and then at Melody. She was only just beginning to show more of her head. I stumbled to find the right words to say. Then, with a swift turn on the heels of his boots, more deftly than I figured a man his size would be able to muster, Joe fled out the door.

Melody plopped into her chair and threw off her veil. She let out a heavy sigh. “I’m glad that’s over.”

“Come on!” I urged with a hand motion. “We have to go after him.”

“What?” the young woman screamed. She leaped to her feet. “Are you serious?”

I did not respond. Instead, I started running which caused Melody to utter, “You’re crazier than he is.” She sighed but dashed after me, an action I am still grateful for. We rushed outside in time to see Joe’s blue pickup recklessly turn down a nearby crossroad. I rushed to my green four-door sedan parked right outside our office.

“Are you coming?” I asked my dumbfounded companion.

“What’s the point?” she asked. “Haven’t we lost the trail?”

“I know where he’s headed.”

She put her hands on her hips. “How on earth could you possibly know that?”

I shook my head. “I can’t explain it. You’re just going to have to trust me. Are you with me or aren’t you?”

Melody looked toward the sky as if she was hoping for divine guidance. Her eyes narrowed and focused on me. “All right. I’ll go with you but you have some explaining to do.”

I nodded and told her that we were headed to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. We went inside my vehicle. I turned the ignition and we were on our way.

Melody played with her phone as I drove while peppering me with questions. “How do you know where he’s going? How do you know he didn’t kill his wife?”

I thought for a moment. “I saw it all on his social media page.”

Melody shoved her phone in my face. “I knew you were going to say that, so I looked him up!”

I brusquely shoved her hand aside. “Don’t do that! I’m trying to drive!”

She scowled. “Rude! His social media page makes no mention of killing his wife or anything like that. In fact, his last post was over six months ago.”

“Are you sure you have the right Joe Robinson? It’s a fairly common name.”

“Do you think I’m an idiot or something? Don’t answer. I know there are like fifty thousand Joe Robinsons. But this is the Joe Robinson with that stupid scraggly beard of his, see?”

She shoved the phone under my nose once again which elicited another shove. “Stop doing that!”

“Stop pushing my hand! I just wanted to prove I found the right Joe Robinson! And you can only see that if you look at the picture!”

Melody tried to show me once more.

“All right, all right, I believe you have the right Joe! What’s your point?”

“My point is you couldn’t have found it on his social media page! He never mentioned it! So I’ll ask again, how the hell did you know all that stuff?”

I fumbled for an answer. “He and I are friends.”

“Oh, are you? So you didn’t think to mention it earlier?”

“Slipped my mind.”

Out of my periphery, I saw Melody play with the phone some more. “Funny. You’re not on his ‘friends’ list.”

“I don’t use social media. Considering what we do for a living, I think it’s obvious why.”

I could just see her shrug. “Okay, fair enough. Still, he sure didn’t seem to know you though.”

“Well, I-”

She interrupted. “But even if the two of you really are best buddies, which I doubt, I got the impression all of this happened recently, like really recently. You were at the office all night. How did you find out any of this?”

I paused to think. “I didn’t. I was just making statements that generally sided with the man because of his emotional state. When a madman brandishes a gun, I tend to think that the best course of action is to take his side. I just happened upon some words that resonated with him.” Yeah, I admit I didn’t think particularly well.

Melody vehemently shook her head. “Bullshit. You’re hiding something. Tell me.”

I heaved a sigh. “I apologize. Things are a little crazy right now. My heart and mind are both racing. I didn’t want to admit, with your life on the line, I made some assumptions and took wild guesses instead of thinking things through logically while making rational decisions.”

Melody nodded and sighed before leaning her head against the window. “Fine. Whatever. If you say so. I know when I’m beaten. Can you tell me this, at least? Is heading to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge a ‘wild guess’?”

I shook my head slowly. “No. I know for sure where he’s headed. I only hope we can reach him in time.”

Melody’s head perked with my answer but she remained silent.

We arrived at the bridge. I parked my car on some dirt adjacent to the entrance. Not exactly a legal parking spot but considering the circumstances, it was hardly a concern.

“Look.” Melody pointed at Joe’s blue pickup truck that was parked not more than a dozen feet away. “Looks like you were right. But how in the hell did you guess right?”

“Come on.” I bade my ally to follow me as I ran along the pedestrian path of the bridge. She hesitated but decided to follow once more. Almost halfway across when we reached him. Melody gasped at the sight. He was on the other side of the handrail which he clutched tightly with both hands. His body was leaning toward the water. His intentions were obvious.

We moved carefully toward him. Our arms and hands were extended. Before we could reach him, he spoke. His voice compelled the two of us to pause.

“I don’t know why you people care.”

“Are you familiar with Borden Deal’s short story ‘You Can’t Just Walk on By’?”

Joe glanced over his shoulder. The one eye I saw seemed perplexed. “Who?”

“Yeah, who?” Melody echoed.

“Never mind, it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters now is you, Joe. I know what you’re thinking. And I don’t want you to go through with it.”

“What do you think I’m planning on doing? Perhaps I’m just getting a good view.” He mockingly looked around.

“If that’s the case, why not take a look from the other side of the handrail? It’s much safer here.” I took a step toward him.

He snapped. “Don’t take another step toward me or I’ll do it!”

Melody yelped. I paused immediately. “Okay, no problem. You can look from wherever you like. I know you’re going through a lot right now. I understand.”

“How?” he demanded. “How could you possibly know what I’m going through right now? How can you possibly understand? Do you know anything about me? Anything at all? How could you? You just met me.”

I cautiously took another step forward. My palms extended in a conciliatory fashion. “I know a lot more than you think. You’re a trucker. You were married to your wife Angel for three years and those were the happiest years of your life. The two of you were thinking about having kids though neither of you was quite ready to make that commitment.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Do I know you?”

I shook my head. “No, Joe, but I know you. You are a man of faith but at the same time, you’ve always believed in the paranormal, the supernatural. You know that the Bible condemns that line of thinking. It says that mind-reading and the like are sinful, assuming such things are even possible, of course. But you’ve had a fascination with the subject matter ever since you were a child. You’d never truly admit that to anyone, though. Yet, it’s impossible for you to completely shake that belief.”

He turned his head further such that I could see both of his eyes. The pair were practically saucers they were so wide. “How on earth do-?”

I continued. “That doesn’t matter right now. You came to ‘Madame Melody’ because you were searching for peace, for comfort, for confirmation that you still had a future. You didn’t want to go to the church because you didn’t want platitudes or life advice. You wanted a solid answer and having your fortune told was as close to a solid answer as you could get.”

Tears formed in his eyes. “Do I have a future still?”

I hesitated. “I don’t know.”

Melody screamed, “What?”

Joe was equally incredulous. “You don’t know?”

“At least lie to the man,” Melody scolded.

I pointed at my companion. “Joe, I cannot read the future, and neither can she.”

“Hey, now, come on, man, don’t let the cat out of the bag,” Melody softly rebuked.

“I don’t know what waits for you in the future in this life or the next. No one does. Anyone who claims otherwise is a liar.” I raised my index finger. “But I do know one thing, though. Even if I’ve learned nothing else in life, I know for certain one thing.”

There was a slight pause. “What’s that?”

“As long as you’re alive, there’s hope.”

Joe studied my face carefully. I could only speculate the thoughts that raced through his head. We stared wordlessly at each other for what felt like hours but I’m sure it was only a few seconds. Then, all of a sudden, without warning, he did something completely unexpected. Something that sent a shiver up my spine if only because of sheer surprise.

He laughed.

It was loud, nasally, and almost manic, but it was a laugh. It was the first time I saw the man smile.

“You two must be the worst fortune tellers in the world,” he quipped. “I mean, I don’t know how you know so much about me. I admit that it is one helluva trick. But, ‘you don’t know’ my future?’ What kind of fortune teller admits that?”

“Hey now,” Melody protested, “He’s the one that said he can’t see the future. I never made such a claim.”

“Ah, but can you see the future? Be honest, now.”

Melody crossed her arms and moved her head to the side. “No.”

Joe guffawed. “At least you’re honest. Both of you. I appreciate that.”

He climbed over the railing. Joe was now safe.

I flashed a relieved smile. “Does this mean you aren’t going to jump?”

He patted me on the shoulder. “Of course not. I couldn’t do that to you kind folk after you’ve come all the way out here to stop me. Especially when you’re clearly over your heads.”

Melody pointed out me with both hands as she scowled. “Hey, he’s the one who dominated the conversation. Had he given me a chance to speak, I’m sure I could have done a better job. He always does this to me.”

“How long have the two of you been married?”

Melody flashed her palms. “Whoa now, hey! What the hell, man? First, the two of us aren’t married. And we aren’t dating. We aren’t even friends. We’re nothing but business partners, okay? Second, I have standards and he doesn’t mean any of them. Third, ew.”

I scoffed. “Thanks.”

Joe shook his head. “Oh, I didn’t realize. Sorry.”

“It’s all right,” I said. “She’s very temperamental.”

Melody growled. “Watch it.”

I smiled and shrugged. “See what I mean?”

Relieved that the ordeal was over, the two of us walked him back to his truck. It was surreal as only moments ago we were trying to talk him off the ledge. Now, we were conversing like old friends. Deep down, though, I knew it wasn’t over. Indeed, when we reached the vehicle, it was time for the small talk and pleasantries to end.

“Are you going to be all right, Joe?” I asked.

He leaned on his pickup truck’s hood and looked toward the horizon solemnly. “Like you said, who knows what the future holds?”

“That doesn’t sound very reassuring at all, Joe,” I confessed.

“I know, but it’s the truth. I’m going to need some time to think.” He opened his driver’s side truck door and sat inside. It remained open as he started the vehicle. “So what are you going to do, now?” he asked.

“What do you mean?”

“You know an awful lot about me so I assume you know what happened tonight. Are you going to call the police?”

I shook my head. “No, they wouldn’t believe me anyway. Besides, as far as I’m concerned, it was self-defense or at least justifiable homicide. You shouldn’t be punished for that.”

Joe sniffed back another tear. “At least one of us thinks so.”

“You have my number, right?” Joe nodded to confirm. “Please text me anyway, just to make sure.” He did as I asked. “Call me whenever you need someone to talk to.”

Joe promised he would and then waved goodbye to the two of us before closing the door. Before he left, I knocked on the window.

“Remember, Joe!” I shouted. “Don’t blame yourself! What happened wasn’t your fault!”

Joe nodded though I’m not sure my words truly penetrated. He then drove off and was gone.

A dainty hand with ruby-red nails tapped my shoulder. I turned and met Melody’s heavily mascaraed eyes. “What exactly did happen, tonight?”

I scratched the back of my head. For a moment I considered not answering or feigning ignorance but decided to take the better option. “A drug addict broke into his house. Angel, Joe’s wife, caught him in the act. The addict panicked and stabbed her through the heart killing her nearly instantly.”

Melody covered her face with both hands. “Oh my God! How awful! But why did he say he killed his wife?”

“He didn’t. He blames himself. He just returned from a long stint on the road but decided to help himself to some drinks with some friends instead of going directly home. He didn’t stay with his buddies long, an hour at most. She was killed literally only a few minutes before he arrived.”

“Wait a second, though. He said he took a life. So the person he killed was-”

“Yep. The drug addict. He drew his gun and fired before he had a chance to think.”

“Well, I mean, I can’t really blame him for that. I guess I also understand why you let him go and didn’t want him to kill himself.”

“The poor man blames himself for everything though none of it was his fault.”

Melody twirled her hair as if lost in thought. “But, um, shouldn’t we call the cops of something?”

“I don’t think that’s necessary,” I said firmly. “I’m sure they know by now and will catch up with him soon enough. Even if they don’t, I have a feeling Joe will eventually go to the police himself and tell them everything. What happens from there, though, your guess is as good as mine.”

“Okay, if you say so.” Melody froze for a moment. “I’m still confused, though.”

“What do you mean?”

She glared. “What do you mean, ‘what do I mean?’ How the hell do you know any of this?”

I didn’t have an answer. “Mud on his boots and sap on his pants?”

Melody rolled her eyes. “Wow, that’s so funny. Anyway, everything you just said was so damn specific. You knew how long he was married, how he wanted kids, his faith, his belief in the supernatural, what happened tonight, how he wasn’t really a murderer even though he practically told me he was, I mean, you knew everything. How the hell would you know any of this unless…?” Her voice trailed and she stammered. “Unless, unless, unless…”

“Unless what?”

She gasped and pointed at me with one hand and covered her mouth with the other. “You really can read minds! You’re a real-life, goddamn psychic!”

I shook my head and hands in vain. “No, I’m not.”

“Then tell me how you knew everything about Joe Robinson!”

My mind raced with hundreds of potential lies but none of them made any sense.  After my mind nearly exploded thinking about what to say, I chose the easiest option.

“Yes,” I answered quite exasperated, “I can read minds. I am a true psychic.”

Melody stared with an intensity I had never seen before. Quite a statement considering the woman. “So why did you lie to me about it, then?” she roared.

I sighed. “I don’t believe I ever lied. I never told you I couldn’t read minds.”

“I’m sure you did at some point, but it doesn’t matter. How do your abilities work?”

I shrugged quite earnestly and with a bit of remorse. “I’m not sure. I’ve had the ability to read minds ever since I was a child. I have to want to read thoughts for my powers to work so it’s not like I have thousands of voices echoing in my head at once. Conscious thoughts are a lot easier to get than the subconscious ones though I can get either if I concentrate long enough. It doesn’t take long for me to read either. Sometimes I didn’t even have to use the social media page as I had everything you needed after a simple glance of the client.”

“You told me you were a conman, though. Was that the con? Was it some sort of meta thing, like telling me you were a conman was the con?”

“I am a conman because I told people I can read their futures. I cannot. I only provided people with what they wanted to hear based on how they were feeling. People need comfort, so I like to think that I provided them with at least some modicum of it.”

“Why did you agree to my plan, then, if you can actually read minds?”

I smiled. “You seemed like you needed a job and had some big ideas. Who am I to deny a young lady her dreams?”

She sneered. “Yeah right, I know why. You act innocent but I know your ulterior motives, what you were really after. You can’t fool me.”

I stuttered. “I don’t know what you could possibly mean.”

“Yeah right, whatever.”

Her scornful expression then turned into exhilaration. She pumped her fists into the air. “Still, dude, that’s amazing! You really can read minds!” She hooked her arm around mine and led me to the car. “I have so many big plans. We’re gonna be so rich!”

“Aren’t you the least bit afraid that I can read everything you are thinking?”

“Not really. I say whatever’s on my mind anyway. I mean, want to know about my sex life? I’m willing to tell you if-”

“Please don’t. Don’t even think it. I’d really rather not know.”

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One thought on “Short Story Saturday: Melody Wiles

  • Very good. I really enjoyed it. It had both pathos and humor so it was well balance.
    Also, I like the new page design.

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