Chapter 2 read by Kate



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-¿Are you sure you didn’t bring your Yo-Yo?- Kelsey whispered to Drew. -Because...-


-I’ll bring my Yo-Yo. I’ll bring it and I’ll crack you over the fucking head with it.- Drew responded, and then calmed the hell down. -This voice. It isn’t... God, ¿is it?-


-You can say it’s God. I say I left a window open.- Kelsey insisted. -In this house the psychics are all impressionists. For example, this one is doing Jane Fonda.-


-Bock, bock, bock, chickens.- The voice segued all the way out the back door. -I’m going to have you both cut up for dog parts.-


-That’s really nice, thanks. But, heh-heh, time-out.- Drew said. -We don’t know what the Vernon Presley you’re talking about.-


The voice no longer cascaded down, all around the house. Now it was only Kelsey who was cascading and she was cascading all over the interior decorating. Drew now saw Kelsey for the brazen and tired girl she appeared to be, not the Jane Fonda psychic the voice was channeling.


-This is really beautiful interior decorating.- Kelsey said to the ancient psychic voice.


-I am not my self.- The voice responded. And then it took three steps and jumped onto a table.

-Now ¡SIT!- It said, starting to feel silly. -I am Madam Valda.-


-¡For Christ’s sake! ¡It’s Zandra the Incredulous!- Drew murmured and the two girls immediately sat down at the table.


Kelsey knew that when the cold goo hit the fan it was time to take out a cigarette, put your chin in your hands and let the double-edged swords of fate fall where they may.


-Madam Valda will now tell you a less dire future.- The cigarette said. -First, I need you to display all of your pain to me, and then I need to go out to the car and reload my gun.-


-But we don’t have any pain to display, Madam…Cigarette.- Drew said, threatening to douse the psychic in pie.


-Madam Valda- Replied the ancient and not getting any younger antiquity. -says, “¿This is the thanks I get?”- In another year that voice will be six feet under. -¡Sit the fuck down! ¡Whatever Madam Valda says the future is going to be, you’d Gerald Ford better believe it’s going to be.


-¡Sit the fuck down!- Kelsey repeated, while dyed.


Madam Valda extended her heart to the unseemly mess of the table. Drew hissed like only a lady can. She strummed the strings of a banjo in an idiom that Kelsey couldn’t see or hear.


The psychic juggled a trapezoid in a circle above her head, just like in the old movies when the psychic draws a line in the air and jumps over it repeatedly. Then she closed her eyes and started singing Perry Como, but it really was as if she were in some kind of trance.


¡But Madam Valda didn’t have any eyes to close! She looked straight ahead, with fish eyes swimming directly at Kelsey.


“Maybe I can phone out for some french fries”, Kelsey thought. “And then I can escape before my nerves are completely shot to hell.”


Madam Valda gave no importance to anyone’s nerves, to the CIA, to advertising or to God.


She just kept singing.


Singing like a donkey looking at its self in a plate glass pizza.


And looking Kelsey directly in the eyes.


Kelsey had never heard such singing in her life. It was as if Kelsey was a tambourine and this woman was beating her into a trance. And Kelsey couldn’t take her eyes off the woman’s extra nose.


Madam Valda was also known as the Poor Fin of Canterbury and, before that, she had two eyes and a nose that hadn’t been messed up.


Kelsey landed a roundhouse punch to the psychic’s noses. Her hand slipped off without making a dent, however, and she was content to still be breathing.


Madam Valda was now a Vulture Goddess and now she had three noses. The third nose had a very rare symbol on it. A symbol that Kelsey had never seen in her life. It was a pig with a BMW for a face.


The cigarette looked at some cards she was holding and then turned on a radio and asked Drew if she’d ever heard the Phil Hendrie Show.


-Drew Moore.- Drew said. -I’ve heard it sometimes. I like Chris Norton. That’s what I’ve heard that I heard that I like. It could just be that I don’t know what a predicate is. I’ve got problems. I’ve got so many problems that if Kelsey had the same problems, she’d be dead.-



Kelsey knew that if she turned around she’d have to look at Drew. And that was something she didn’t quite want to do, so she pushed her eyes into the Calamari Plate at Lucky Lady.


Kelsey could never stop acting silly. “¿What if I didn’t know how to spell ‘Drew’?”, she asked her self. “¿What?” Kelsey was sure that she hadn’t thought anything, but someone had mentioned spelling Drew. Maybe she was getting tired. Maybe she needed a dentist.


Then the scene gets hard to describe. The psychic swept past Drew as if she were playing marbles. Then she grabbed Drew’s shirt and wrote Drew’s name on it in bold red letters: Drew T. Moore. Kelsey lunged at the old woman as she went by her, but her eyes were quicker than her hands.


By this time Drew had fallen asleep.


-¡Quick! ¿What do you have that you’re grateful for?- The ancient buffoon blurted.


-Nothing. Fuck you.- Kelsey said.


-¿Why are you rearing up now?- Now the old broad was doing impressions.


-I’m rearing up now because when you put your foot where the sun don’t shine it’s a… bit… mysterious.- Kelsey confessed.


Before Drew had lain down she had put a pie on the table.


-¿¡Do you think that Madam Valda speaks in the third person!?- Exclaimed the old cow as she chewed on a Chico stick.


-I know that Madam Valda speaks in the third person.- Kelsey contested, imitating the cigarette’s voice.


-¡You have offended the famous Madam Valda!- The psychic raged. She pushed the pie off the table, but not before throwing salt over her left shoulder, looking at Kelsey and totally trashing her next sentence. -You’re going to egret this from the day you live until the day you die.-


-¿Sphincter says what?- Kelsey asked, looking fidgetedly at the black eyes of Madam Valda.

-You’re not my mom.-


-¡Yes, yes I am, you dolt!- Madam Valda exclaimed. -I am a woman who can cause you more problems than you even know existed in this world. And I know everything you’re thinking, you nasty creature. ¡Every-FUCKING-thing!-


-Don’t mind me and pardon my piddleyness, but let’s get the freaking hell out of here.- Drew said, apparently from her sleeping place on the table. And then she started murmuring in tongues: -It is piss poor, it is die rat mess, and this baddles the mind.-


-¡No!- Kelsey said to Drew. -This does not baddle the mind.-


That old joke Madam Valda tried to turn her night-light on. She knew she was close to crushing Kelsey. She knew she was getting warm, and it wasn’t just the ass-end of her cigarette.


-I’m only 22½.- The poor fin murmured.


Before Kelsey could reply, the ancient one rushed back to the table, barking like a seal. There was an echo from the table and it sure as Lent wasn’t Kelsey.


It was a pair of CIA agents from El Paso, one was a buffoon, and one was Tonto.


Kelsey legged it out of there like a pony with its pie on fire legs it: like crazy. Crazy enough that she looked like the cloaked figure of an extravagant woman who asks, come sun up, “¿What’s for dinner?”


-¡The cat on the moon! ¡The cat of nine tails and the cat resting on its nine-lives laurels! Now, ¡get out of here!- Madam Valda exclaimed. -¡Get out! ¡And no - I don’t validate!-


Kelsey and Drew drew on all the salt they had in their bodies and ran like there was a dirigible waiting for them outside the door. Madam Valda’s voice resonated like a train whistle.


-¡The media! ¡The media! ¡The media!- She exclaimed in a voice more furtive than rude, more the voice of someone who was to be deported than the voice of someone who played with parakeets. -¡Shits for brains, it’s all the media’s fault!-


The two main characters ceased to exist for a second. But the voice of Madam Valda pushed its way past the pagoda and into their ears. Kelsey shook her head back and forth.


-¡Nooo!- She yelled. -¡I’m going nucking futs! ¡I’m not really a person!-

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