She looked out her window and saw her 3:00 pull in the driveway. Her skin began to prickle. Charlie looked intently at the young woman walking towards her front door. She thought it odd, that her initial reaction to her, was fear.
Charlie and Olivia sat across from each other, making small talk, while Charlie tried to absorb the messages from the other side.
Charlie was startled by a familiar face, now in the room.
Robert, it should be understood by now that I cannot have you around when I am doing private readings.
Charlie pressed record and started the session.
“Olivia, I’m feeling a throbbing pain in my head, did you have a family member die traumatically, perhaps a blow to the head?”
Olivia began to instantly weep. “Yes. I was told my father died in a motor vehicle accident.”
Charlie looked at her, in to her, and saw a heart-aching, unexplainable familiarity, that caused her to look away. She took a drink of her water and tried to re-focus.
Charlie was struggling to channel anyone. Robert was still there and seemed to have denied anyone else access.
Charlie and Robert managed to touch base every so often. He was killed in a motorcycle accident, many years ago. Charlie was left a widow at 21. She was so broken by the loss, she couldn’t bring herself to keep the baby they were suppose to raise together. She was void of a connection with the unborn child and gave her up.
Olivia’s sniffles and tale about longing to connect with her birth family, snapped Charlie out of her reminiscent day dream.
Charlie apologized to Olivia for the distraction and confessed there was someone imposing on her session. Charlie continued to send a clear message to Robert, that he was not welcome here right now.
“Olivia, what does the number 21 mean to you?”
“Well, I’m not sure other than my mom was 21 when she gave me up for adoption.”
Charlie was startled by Robert, suddenly inches from her, telling her to ask a question that completely confused her. She asked anyway.
“Olivia, how old are you?”
Charlie thought about the daughter she never got to know, who would be Olivia’s age now.
Charlie began to feel a shift in her stomach, almost like she was being kicked from the inside.
“Olivia, forgive my straight-forwardness but is there any chance you are pregnant?”
“No, that’s not possible.”
“That’s odd because I keep getting my sign for pregnant. Perhaps this is a maternal message. Is your mother alive?”
“I don’t know if she is or not actually. Like I said, she gave me up for adoption. Do you think it’s her?”
“No, I am getting the feeling that your father is present though.”
What Charlie couldn’t figure out is why she could only feel the presence of Olivia’s father and not see him. All she could see was Robert, who for some reason, refused to leave this session.
“Now Olivia, is it your grandmother that has passed? I’m sensing an older female that…”
Charlie was cut off by her own mother entering the room. All she said was, “It’s time.”
“Older female? Well, I suppose that could be a grandmother.”
Charlie was so confused. Why was her mother and Robert hijacking this reading and what the hell is it time for?
“Olivia, I’ll be honest, I’m having difficulties connecting with your loved ones. I apologize but my own deceased family is being uncharacteristically rude. Do you have any one in particular you are trying to connect with. Maybe if we seek out the individual, everyone else will step back.”
“Wow, does this happen often?”
“No. Actually, it’s never happened before.”
Charlie closed her eyes, breathed deep and asked, “Do you have a name?”
“I’m sorry, you said Robert?”
“Yes. All I know about my father is that his name was Robert.”
Charlie opened her eyes. Her heart – its pieces, once scattered – finally intact. She looked past Olivia at Robert. His youthful eyes, confirming her sudden revelation.
She began to cry.
“Olivia, how old did you say you are?”
“I’m 23. Is my father coming through? Did he tell you something bad? Why are you crying?” Olivia, visibly shaken, was now crying too.
“Olivia, your father has actually brought me a gift. I hope you see it that way too.”
“I don’t understand. What could he have possibly brought to you?”
“You. He brought me you Olivia.”
This fictional story was inspired by my own visit to a medium, a little over a year ago. It was confirming, shocking and intense. I hope to write that story some day too.
I used a lot of dialogue in this one and would appreciate any feedback on whether or not the story flowed, and if you were able to follow along easily. Suggestions? Thoughts? Did you like it?
Have you ever been to a medium?? I would love to hear about it.
35 thoughts on “A Happy Medium.”
Loved it 🙂 it flowed. Really good dialogue and really good story
I’m so glad you liked it. And thanks for the feedback.
I have never been to a medium but loved this story. Out of all your fictional pieces this is my favorite 🙂
Thanks, April. I’m so glad you read it and told me that. My experience with a medium was amazing. I want to go back.
I REALLY loved this! I am kind of obsessed with mediums ever since I lost my father suddenly to a massive coronary and wasn’t able to say good goodbye. I guess I am searching for closure. I thought the dialogue worked quite organically and you implemented it well. I am not sure at what point you would like your reader to have the twist dawn on them but I knew fairly early because you had Olivia say her father died in a motor vehicle accident and then you repeated similar info (motorcycle accident) from the medium’s POV a few sentences later. If you wanted to keep the realization from the reader longer, I might omit one of those so we don’t make the connection. But it’s up to you because it was really interesting for me to play it out to the end this way as well.
You can Just edit these links out if you find it inappropriate but I wanted to share two of my medium posts with you. I think you might get a few laughs out of the first one
and the second one is in my page that doesn’t get shared thru the reader. It’s my more serious short fiction that I call “Fast Food Fiction” lol. Just scroll down the following link to a story called, “Mixed Messages.”
Again, only if you have time. And again, I really loved this and think you should submit for publication to literary journals that have a genre like this!!
Thank you so very much for the feedback. I went back in forth with throwing those clues in there…I know they make the ending somewhat obvious but I was afraid without them, the reader would be left wondering where the story is going. I was hoping to hook the reader in, despite knowing how it would play out. Thoughts?
I read the first post you linked me to and I LOVED IT. I believe I even commented already…if not, shame on me. I look forward to checking out the second one and the other stories on that page!
Never apologize for linking me up to something you wrote that you think I would enjoy. I wouldn’t say that to everyone but definitely, I will to you. I don’t always catch things through the reader because I have such limited time to read and write. Like right now,..the little guy is covered in yogurt and screaming at me to get him the hell out of the high chair….oh a mommy-ing I will go.
Loved the story line. Some physical beats would slow it down a little and make it more real for your readers. What did the medium’s room look like? How did she lay down the cards or get ready for the session? How did the young girl know when she was channeling? It wasn’t clear, exactly that the grandmother was being channeled, too. Good luck! Great idea! L.
Can I ask what you mean by “physical beats”?…I really appreciate the feedback.
In a song, the rhythm keeps us on track, going forward. In a work of fiction a beat keeps us on track, too. Thus, when you ground your story by describing where it took place, using all of the senses, or when you add some ‘business’, in other words, for example, ‘she rubbed at her eyebrow’ or, ‘her foot set up a nervous chatter under the table,’ that’s a physical beat. Hope that helps a little. L.
It absolutely does. I like how you compared it to a song…music is always a good teacher for me. This piece had limited “beats” because it was originally written for a challenge with a 750 word limit (Yeah Write Speak Easy) but then I remembered they had a “family-free” zone on this challenge for a few weeks. Oops. So, perhaps now that the limitations are gone, I will go in and add a little more flavor. I really do appreciate the feedback, thanks again. ~Dawn
I am waiting for your story at the medium. 🙂
This one was simply amazing.
Thank you so much. I’ll write that one some day…it was an emotional experience for me, for sure.
Now I’m very curious to hear your story! I’ve never been to a medium or even had a tarot reading… I do feel like I had a patient once who had something shady and medium-like going on. I should write that too!
It’s feast or famine isn’t? I have too many ideas floating around right now…I am going to try to make that story a priority though. I say this in a humorous tone but…half my family is dead so I can’t imagine the chaos going on behind me during that reading. Oh to be a dead fly on the wall! lol…
I was thinking the exact same thing- I’m very curious about your experience at a medium. Can’t wait to read about it.
This was great! Though I did figure out the ending a while before you revealed it. I don’t know if you were trying to keep it suspenseful or not…
I actually wasn’t…I was hoping that even by hinting at the ending, I managed to hook readers enough to stay on board to see it through. Not sure if it was the best method in hind sight. Oh well.
It was good either way, I just wasn’t sure what your intentions were with it.
Excellent finish to a really well told story!
Thanks Mama 🙂
Well done! I liked it. I’m fascinated with mediums, though I’ve never been to one myself. I write a shit-ton of fiction involving paranormal stuff. It’s my absolute favorite. Telepathy, energy seers, psychics, empaths….you name it, I’ve written a character with that gift.
BUT, now I’m DYING to know your story!! I hope you write it, Dawn. I love a “real” medium story!
Thanks Beth 🙂 I think it’s funny that you are so fascinated with paranormal stuff but you’ve never been to a medium. Go! It will blow your mind. …I hope to try to write that story next week. We’ll see!
I liked the flow of this. I find it very distracting when people write with a bunch of ‘he said’ this and ‘she said’ that.
Thanks. Its hard to find a flow with all the ‘he said’ ‘she saids’…I just tried it without any. I’m glad it read like I meant it to. Its sometimes hard to tell with your own writing.
I just discovered the show Long Island Medium on Netflix, and I’m totally addicted. Your story read like one of those episodes, so it drew me in right away.
I look forward to reading your personal account of your session with the medium. I hope you write it soon 😉
I love that you picked up on the Long Island Medium vibe. I love me some Theresa 🙂 I do hope I can write that story soon too. It a tough one… Pinches my heart a bit.
It flowed very well – great job with the pacing! I’ve never been to a medium, and I’m sort of afraid to go because I’m scared I’ll hear something and find myself psychologically imprisoned by the information (I spend way too much time in my head, lol).
I too wish I could get an eviction notice from my own head sometimes. If you have the opportunity to see a medium…go! Its spiritual and healthy and can be confirming. Its not necessarily about closure for me any more…more like awareness that not all is gone nor is any lost.
That was powerful, no pun intended. I loved it and the dialogue was just great.
Thanks! I very much appreciate the feedback …especially on this one.
One of the challenges of writing a piece like this is deciding where and when to give the reader information. When I read the piece a second time, the relationships were clearer for me. Here’s an example of where I may have gotten off track as a reader.
In this paragraph, “Charlie and Robert managed to touch base every so often. He was killed in a motorcycle accident, many years ago. Charlie was left a widow at 21 …” I think the words “touch base” sound so causal. It minimizes what they might have meant to each other and what Robert brings to the reading.
Great advice. I see what you’re saying and really appreciate the feedback. I have such a hunger for my writing to grow and mature. Thank you so much. 🙂