“Liv, darling!” My newest client, Maisy Astaire, twirls as she enters the room. Her outfit probably costs more than a new car. Especially if adding in the jewelry. Why would anyone get that blinged out to visit a psychic? I don’t know. But she’s paying, so I’m happy.
“Come on in, Maisy. I poured you a cup of tea.”
“Ah, you know me so well. Thank you, darling. Now, what’s this rumor that you’re looking for a roommate?” Her garments flow around her as she settles into her seat.
“Yes. This wonderful house comes with a large yearly tax bill. I’d hate to lose the home if I come up short on funds. But that’s nothing to trouble yourself with. Please, tell me what I can do for you today.”
“Well, the most terrible thing happened this weekend. My cat, Sir Butterball the Third, was outside.”
Please don’t be a dead cat story. I hate stories where cats die.
“And he got it in his head to chase a bird. A finch, I think. I wasn’t near enough to see. Well, he chased the bird from the bath, then to the feeder, and then even got up on the roof. Naturally, I was beside myself. I don’t have to tell you, dear. You have two cats.”
“The next thing I know, Sir Butterball the Third is in the neighbor’s yard. Well, of course, I had to go over there to get him. He’s a cat, for Pete's sake. I can’t just leave him to wonder. Never know what trouble he would get into. So I went to my neighbor’s yard. Just for the cat, of course.”
“Of course.” Does she think I’m going to call her out on a trespassing charge? Honestly, I don’t care.
“Well, there’s my neighbor, on a lounge chair. So I called out to her and let her know my cat was in the yard and I was only there to retrieve him. As I got closer, I said it again. Figured she didn’t hear me. She hadn’t waved or acknowledged me. Then I spotted Sir Butterball the Third. He was sitting beside Grace, licking her fingers. But she wasn’t petting him. I figured she must have been napping.”
I nod again. “Sure.”
“That’s when I noticed she was naked. Can you imagine? In this weather! So I rushed over and shook her. And that’s when I realized her eyes weren’t closed, they were gone. Picked clean by the birds, I think. So I picked up my cat, ran home, and called the police. But, would you believe, they won’t tell me what happened! Not one word. They questioned me for hours. Went over it twice now, but won’t tell me what happened.”
“You found your neighbor dead, and naked, in her backyard?”
Maisy sips her tea. “All because my cat chased a bird.”
It takes a lot to floor me. The supernatural has desensitized me to most of the darkness in this world. But, somehow, this nearly knocks the wind from me. “That’s quite incredible.”
“Yes. Now then, dear, I’d like you to reach out to Grace and asked her what happened. The police won’t tell me. So, straight to the source.”
Just another mundane Monday with Maisy.
*** 545 words