Three Visits (Ginger Man 8M)

Charlie continued, ignoring the warnings he heard in his head from Mike. “So’s this guy, he’s like, I can’t go to the police with this information, how’m I gonna tell them I got it from dead people? Then he remembers this fortune teller, lives across town — ”

Maggie laughed, threw up her hands. “Why not?”

” — so he goes to her, says he’s got an unusual request. Fortune teller looks at him, but before he reads his palm or anything, she says, You’re not coming to me at the right time, are you? Guy’s confused a minute, but then he says, Yeah, I know what you mean, I’ll come back tomorrow.

“So the guy goes home, goes to sleep, gets up the next morning, and after work visits the fortune teller again. I came here last night, didn’t I? he says. Fortune tells says Yes, at three in the morning, I was waiting for you.

“You have a unique relationship with the spiritual world, she tells him. Many of the living can communicate with spirits, like me, but for most of us our communication is limited. Spirits can speak to us, but it is often like hearing someone whisper in the far corner of a crowded room. Spirits can also appear to us, but only for an instant, like seeing a person passing by on a speeding train. You, though — and then she points to him — both spirits have appeared to you, the nurse who was killed and policeman who has disappeared. Then the guy’s like, But how come they haven’t appeared to me again?, and she’s like, Because spirits are limited in what they can do in our world. They were only able to visit you because of your unique abilities — but even your abilities cannot overcome their limitations.

“And the sleepwalking?” Maggie was leaning forward again, attentive. “She say anything ’bout that?”

“‘Course!” Charlie almost sounded offended at the notion that Mike’s story would leave out that detail. “She says, Their spirits first noticed you when they saw you sleepwalking. That showed them you had the ability to separate the activities of your mind and body, that you could communicate with that which you could not see, that you’d be able to bridge the gap between the material and spiritual world.”

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