Need To Know

Entry by: Seaside Scribbler

25th May 2018
I've never done anything like this.

I'm shitting myself, if you want to know. But I don't think I've got a choice, have I? I've been trying to think of another way but there isn't one.

I found the card in the lobby of the cop shop after they'd interviewed me. God knows what they were doing there, a pile of cards for a medium. But it was just what I needed.

'The Curtain' is on Church Street, which seems pretty ironic to me. Churches and mediums don't get on that well, do they? I dunno. Not my bag, either of them. But here I am, outside a medium's front door. Looks ordinary enough, chipped blue paint, door knocker, letterbox. I decide I'll do a little test - if she's psychic or whatever, she'll know I'm here, right?

I stand there for five minuted before deciding to leave - she's never opened the door so she must be crap. Just as I'm turning away, though, the door opens.

'You not coming in, Steve?' says a voice from inside somewhere.

Now I'm shitting myself even more. I never told her my name, see.

'Come on. I won't bite.'

A face appears, a white face with shitloads of make-up. Hair's all over the place. Like a crazy birds nest. She's short, with necklaces pulling her down even more. I can't tell how old she is. Somewhere between thirty and fifty?

I swallow, and walk back to the door. She disappears ahead of me down a dingy corridor and I, against my better mind, follow. I shut the door behind me. She leads me into a room off to the left and holds the door open, indicating a chair with her other hand.

'Sit down,' she says.

We sit either side of a small round table, with a - yes, honestly - crystal ball in the middle. I almost laugh.

'Tell me why you're here,' the woman says.

'Um,' I begin. I've forgotten, for a moment, which version of the story I need to tell.

'My gran,' I say, and feel shit all over again. She shouldn't have died. But... She was old.

'Your gran?' prompts the woman.

'My gran died. And she, er, had some money, and I need to know where to find it.' I could kick myself so hard. How bad does that sound?

'Right. What was her name?'

'Mary. Mary Knight.'

The woman takes my right hand and holds it in hers. She shuts her eyes for a moment, then opens them and they flutter a bit, almost in time with the flapping of my heart. Feels like it wants to fly right out of my chest.

'There's a Mary here. Mary says... that can't be right. Was your grandmother - murdered?'

Oh, fuck. She knows.

'No!' I say. 'No, no not at all. She fell and slipped in the bathroom and hit her head and was left there because we didn't all go and see her until it was too late.' I'm aware I might be babbling.

The woman's gaze is piercing. She looks straight through me.

'She knows you had something to do with it. She's not stupid, she says. You and those no-good friends of yours. The drug friends.'

'It wasn't me,' I say.

The woman appears to be listening to the air in the room.

I feel my arms prickle into goosebumps. I want out of here, but my hand's still caught in hers and it's like steel.

'Your grandmother says she knows it wasn't you, she knows you'd never hurt her. But she knows you told them there was money in the house. And that's how she ended up dead, wasn't it? Your "friends" went to find it. You've got some nerve, coming here. But here's the thing, your grandmother is very forgiving, and she would actually like you to have the money.'


'Yes, I thought that too. Crazy woman. She says you have to look under the patio. But when you find it, you've got to use it to do good.'

I nod. Yes. I'll tell her anything at all. I don't care, I just want the money. She looks nuts, anyway. Half not here.

'She wants you to give half of it to charity. Said that's what it was for, she just didn't get around to doing it.'

I nod. 'Anything she wants. Can you tell her I'm sorry?' And I am. I never meant for any of this to happen. And she'll never know if I don't give it away, will she?

'And you need to give me the names of these friends of yours. No, don't worry, they'll never know it came from you.'

'Um.' I think. Telling them would be my death sentence. But then, once I've got the money I'm outta here. Gone. On a lane. They'll never find me. So I give her the names.

I give her double her usual fee, too, when I leave. I walk out of that front door, and leg it to my gran's, where I get a spade from her shed and begin the job of lifting the patio.


'Absolutely disgusting,' I say down the phone, seconds later. 'Honestly, I've never felt such bad vibes off of someone. Can you believe he sold out on his own grandmother? Beggars bloody belief.' I hang up. That's one half of the job done.

The names are slightly harder, but I've got contacts. I track down the pub they go to, call and lo and behold, they're all there. My lucky day. I tell them, via their 'leader', Steve squealed. Like a little pig. Squealed them all in. The leader swears a lot, drops the phone and there's the sound of running feet in my ear. I hang up the phone. That's the other half done.

Only then do I take off my wig and raise some of the necklaces over my head. They bloody weigh me down. I chuck the wig and the jewellery into the bin. I won't be seeing Steve again and I doubt he'll have time to tell anyone about what I look like, but still. Don't take unnecessary risks.

I ring the police back to confirm I've got the little shites. Hopefully it'll work like this: Steve starts digging. The 'friends' turn up. The police catch them all. I've done what I can. Let's hope they don't stuff it up, be nice to get scum like that off the streets.

I ruffle in my drawer of everything for the next batch of cards.

What do you need to know, from the other side?
Come to Mystic Mags to find out...

There's a new phone number for a new SIM card. I'll drop these off at the courthouse and pubs, later. I know where to go, where the scum hang out. I follow the cases and if the police and I agree, we make sure the right people find me. It works fine.

There's just one bit the police don't know; the real reason I gave up police work all those years ago.

'Mary? Are you here...? About this money...'