A Visit to the Psychic
And her 9 cats
(A Lucas Winslow Story — Episode 9)
Lucas and Phoebe had been friends for around thirty years. They first met in the ‘Metaphysical Spirituality’ section of a bookstore. It was cliche but it was perfect.
Phoebe was a psychic. Back when she first met Lucas she was working for one of those national psychic hotlines. She grew to dislike it (not the clients but the corporate structure) and soon gave it up.
Not once in the thirty years Lucas had known her had he ever asked her for a psychic reading. They were friends and he felt that would be crossing the line of their friendship. Actually, not once in his entire life had Lucas ever gotten a psychic reading from anyone. Why do that when you can do it yourself, right?
Over those thirty years Lucas and Phoebe had countless conversations, many of which involved metaphysical spirituality. At first most of the conversations were in person but the friendship evolved into a phone relationship when Phoebe divorced her second husband, sold the house and moved to northern California. A few years later she moved back to her home state of Iowa where she got married a third time, got divorced a third time then moved back to Taos County.
While Lucas had visited Phoebe in Iowa he had not seen her in the seven years since then. While she was back in the Enchanted Land, Lucas was off elsewhere in that flat, flat, flat land. One of the benefits of now being back in the land of cactus was once again being close to Phoebe.
It was a long drive through stunningly beautiful vistas that Lucas undertook to visit his friend. The trip was a slow crescendo of excitation that peaked as he knocked on her door.
He knocked again. And then again.
Finally, Phoebe answered her door, “Quick, get in before a cat gets out.”
As Lucas stepped quickly into the house he was greeted by the smell of… CAT.
With the door closed Phoebe turned and hugged Lucas, “It is so good to see you again. I just knew we would both end up back here in the magical land. Once this land takes hold of your soul you are forever being pulled back here. Welcome home, Lucas.”
“That’s exactly how I feel; like I’m coming home.” Lucas disengaged from the hug and straightened up. He had to bend down to hug her for she was short plus she probably did not weigh more than a hundred pounds. She was a small skinny person but there was also a bigness about her.
“Well come on in. Let’s go sit at the kitchen table and talk.”
That is when Lucas noticed that Phoebe was walking with a cane, “Nice cane.”
Phoebe smiled, “Thanks.” She held it up for him to inspect, “It was carved by a very old woodworker guy from Taos Pueblo. See all the little carvings of animal faces. Perfect for me, right? It was made from a piece of spruce that came from a tree that was struck by lightning. How cool is that?”
“Oh that is definitely cool,” Lucas handed the cane back to Phoebe and they continued to the kitchen. Looking around the house Lucas saw a lot of cats!
“So Phoebe, you’re still at nine cats, right?”
“Yup, still nine. No one has died and I haven’t taken in any new kittens since I took in Mira last year. I can remember clear as day back when I had twenty-two cats… plus six dogs. I just couldn’t do that now. Nine cats and no dogs is a much more comfortable number. Please have a seat.”
Lucas pulled out a chair and sat at the kitchen table.
“Would you like a cup of coffee? I know you’re not a coffee drinker but it’s a fresh pot and it’s good stuff. It’s from Costa Rica.”
“Costa Rica, huh? Okay, sure I’ll have a cup. It’ll be my third cup of coffee this year.”
“Gosh, you are so weird. Who doesn’t drink coffee? Personally, I drink between twenty-five and thirty-five cups of coffee a day. It is officially my drug, my one vice, and I can’t even imagine going a day without it,” she placed a cup of coffee on the table in front of Lucas then she turned to pour herself a cup.”
“Holy smokes, I can’t imagine drinking that much coffee. I’m surprised you’re not bouncing off the walls.”
“Oh, I bounce,” Phoebe sat down at the table with her coffee cup then promptly lit a cigarette.
“What were we talking about before the coffee?”
“Oh yeah. See Anastasia over there? The white cat. She is twenty-two and a half years old! She’s the oldest of my girls. The way I figure it, when all my cats have finally died off then it will be time for me to go, too. My job is to out-live all my cats. Eventually I’ll go from nine to zero.”
“Wait a minute. Didn’t you just get a new kitten last year?”
Phoebe smiled as she blew smoke out of her nose, “Now you know my secret. As long as I’ve got cats I’ll still be here so if I take in a new kitten every few years I can live forever.”
Lucas laughed uproariously. They both did.
After a sip of coffee and a deep drag on her cigarette Phoebe continued, “You know what? Next month in April I will be turning eighty-one years old! Eighty-one with a cane! My grandchildren all call me the Kitty Grandma. And now they have all had kids who call me the Kitty Great-grandma! I’m a great-grandmother… with a cane!”
They both laughed again.
“I may be about to turn eighty-one but you know what? I feel like a kid! I’ve always felt like a kid all my life.”
“Perhaps that is your real longevity secret.”
“Sure. That and the cats. Even after the stroke I had last year I still feel like a kid. I don’t know how to be any other way.”
“You seem to have most of your mobility back.”
“The doctor says ninety-five percent. Doctors!” she snorted, “I’m still a little sore and wonky first thing in the morning but then I loosen up and feel perfectly normal until late afternoon when I get tired. And sometimes my left arm kind of freaks out. Once I had a bit of an epileptic fit just trying to put on a t-shirt. But seriously, I am just about fully recovered. It won’t be long before I throw that cane in the trash. Well, okay, I won’t throw it in the garbage. It’s a work of art. Maybe I’ll hang it on the wall or something. But I’m close to being done with it.”
Lucas took a sip of coffee and recoiled. Boy was it strong!
Phoebe continued, “One sad thing about my stroke is that I don’t think I’ll get much gardening done this year. Can you picture it? Gardening with a cane?”
“Oh, dear God! That is so sad. Here I am finally, finally, finally in a position again where I can garden and you are moving past it. Well, rest assured I will bring you some bounty from my garden this summer.”
“Of course, I might still have to grow tomatoes. That is what makes summer what it is; it’s perfectly ripe tomatoes straight from the garden. How can I not grow tomatoes? That would be insane!”
An ardent tomato-lover, Lucas laughed.
“But enough about me. What about you, Lucas? You finally own your own home for the first time in your life. You’ve got twenty-two acres. You have an orchard. It’s like all your dreams are coming true.”
“To be honest, I have to say that I am tingling with excitement. It really is like a dream coming true. I have the urge to pinch myself periodically just to make sure that I’m not asleep and dreaming.”
“I’m so happy for you. Really. This is what you’ve been wanting for decades.”
“It is! It totally is. Seriously, I could spend the rest of my life on that property.”
“It’s so good to hear you gush about something. Back when you were on the very flat, flat plains I thought you were very lost. You are radiating a whole different vibration now that you’re back in God’s Country.”
After a smoky pause Phoebe continued, “On the phone you were telling me about some stone circle. Have you found out anything more about that?”
Lucas took a deep breath and then a deep sip of coffee, “Yes, and that is what I really need to talk to you about. I learned that there is not only that ancient stone circle on my property but there are at least two more in the little canyon to the west of my property. Apparently, there is also a spring and at least one petroglyph. And… according to locals, there is also a curse in that canyon.”
Phoebe’s expressions did not change. She was waiting for more.
“Phoebe, I went down to that first circle in the canyon and I stood in it and I saw someone! I saw a person standing right before me but then she disappeared into thin air. She was a Native American woman, dressed in blankets, her black hair swimming around in the air. She was crying! It was like she just could not stop crying. The sorrow coming off of her was too much to take. I had to move away.”
“She was a mother, right?”
“She was a mother. That is the impression I am getting. She is a mother and she is in mourning. It is about something or someone she lost. She is in such deep mourning that she leaves an imprint of her sorrow on a certain place.”
“She lost something or someone that was so close to her that she lost her connection to reality… whatever that is. She got so lost in her loss that she permanently imprinted her sorrow on the skein of time and space. That sorrow — a negative energy — created a vortex of negative energy which morphed into a portal into hidden pasts and unlimited possibilities. This reveals to her the ongoing story line.”
“She is mourning. The woman you saw. She is mourning.”
“Yes, exactly. That is what I felt. She suffered a great loss in her mind. She wanted to build something new but she was stuck.”
“We all create portals and vortexes with our deposits of energy. We build a long, crooked road to where we are going. What we are creating is portals to where we are going. We must clear those deposits of energy in order to proceed to where ever the hell we are going.”
“Every single hurdle or obstacle in our path was placed there by us. Think about that.”
“Why would I place so many obstacles before myself?”
“Obviously, because you want to have fun.”
“What fun is life if you didn’t have to try to figure it out as you go? How much fun would it be if it was easy? How boring would it be if you simply had to follow the advice of some pop-psychology self-help article on the internet? Seriously, if you are not challenged then how the fuck are you going to grow?”
Lucas was utterly silenced. His thinking went into utter disarray.
That is when a cat abruptly jumped into Lucas’ lap, startling him.
“That’s little Mira. She’s a real lap-cat. She’s the youngest of all my kitties but she thinks she’s the boss. Do you notice anything weird about her?”
Lucas petted the cat’s head with his fingers, “Yeah, her eyes. They’re… uh… they’re really big — almost out of proportion to her head. And they’re almost… I don’t know… askew somehow?”
“Yes, she has mesmerizing eyes. That’s why I call her Mira, which is Spanish for ‘look.’ She is always looking at everything, as if in total amazement at the world. There is a lot of light behind those big eyes.”
Another cat, a black one, suddenly jumped up onto the kitchen table. It walked over towards Lucas and sat down. It proceeded to stare at him.
“That’s Guinevere. She’s checking out your vibes.”
“Yes, well, anyway… So you think this crying woman is tied to this circle, this portal. Is the intense sorrow energy always going to be there?”
“It’s all energy, right? What transforms energy? Unconditional love. The energy within portals can be transformed.”
“I’m going on a long hike tomorrow into that canyon. I’m wondering if all the circles have that sad sorrow energy. I sure would love it if you came to see my new place. I can come up and drive you down there. The hike down the canyon might be too much for you but you could still get a good read on the land and maybe some of the ancient energy.”
“I can drive myself. They didn’t take my driver’s license away. I drive into town for groceries every week. I have no problems driving. Of course, you’ll have to draw me a little map. I don’t have that fancy modern direction-finder app thingie in my old truck. But yeah, I’d love to visit.”
Mira tugged at Lucas’ hand for more petting. Lucas obliged as he looked at Guinevere who was staring at him.
“Lucas, I think you’re going to have to deal with this mourning woman. I think there is a bigger story involved beyond just that crying woman. You’re into stories. I can’t wait to hear what you find out.”
“Yeah, I feel like I’m being sucked into something.”
Copyright by White Feather. All Rights Reserved. This is a work of fiction.
Complete White Feather Archive
Previous Lucas Winslow Stories:
Episode One: The Silent Teacher
Episode Two: A Place To Live and Die
Episode Three: The First Time Steve Showed Up
Episode Four: The Lay of the Land
Episode Five: Lunch at the Rattlesnake Diner
Episode Six: The Day the Park Benches Arrived
Episode Seven: The Day the Solar Panels Arrived
Episode Eight: The Mystery of the Crying Woman