Sunday 9 July 2017


It was one of those jobs that didn't quite fit in with my CV, but was somehow part of the journey. A stint in a shop that sold alternative books, remedies, crystals, salt ionisers.....

The Crystal Gazer

Mildred Moody opened the shop door slowly, hoping to avoid the tomb-creak that usually ensued. She dodged the chimes that somebody insisted on hanging at eye level just inside the doorway. A glance at the notice board told her that somebody had rearranged it again. First of the month, every month, some insistent body reorganised the business cards. Mildred would now have to scour through row upon row of them in search of her own, just in case somebody had decided to shred her this month.

She closed her right eye and screwed up her left one. That way she could make out, eventually, the gold rimmed edges of her own business card, almost obliterated by a brash rainbow offering of Indian Head Massage, Reiki and cellular healing.

“I left yours up, Miss Moody,”  chirped a voice from behind the cash register- Tara, the owner’s teenage daughter, headphones in situ, painting her nails black, tuned to Spin 103, while Terry Oldfield poured tranquillity around the shop floor.

“You should move those chimes,” grunted the little woman in the second-hand Mac and down-at- heel Clarks Springers and clutching a Tesco bag-for-life.

“Magda says the sound of chimes breaks up stagnant energy, Miss Moody.”

“Your mother may be right, but somebody will lose an eye!”

That said Mildred turned towards a shelf arrayed with precious stones and crystals. Glittering amber, carnelian and obsidian winked at her from glass bowls. A particular amethyst caught her eye. In its polished face she could just about make out what might be the head of a hyena God. Anubis weighing hearts at the time of the passing over. Anubis trapped in a crystal time frame!

Mildred felt for the coin in her coat pocket. Her fingers swept the expanse of pocket lining until they encountered an unexpected gap in the seam. Without moving her head Mildred looked sideways at the girl behind the counter. Tara was talking with animation on her mobile.

“Bored - speechless. Two customers- all day. Weirdos! Quess who’s here again?” The voice dropped. “Yeh, the loop. She’s seeing visions, in stones! Says they talk to her. Yeh, I know!”

Mildred’s fingers crooked and burrowed deeper into her coat lining. Just as she reached the edge of a coin the chimes rang out and Mildred lost contact. A young man in a business suit and pink tie blustered in.

The amethyst was winking furiously at her. She turned her back to the counter and reached for the stone. The business suit was checking out the CDs.

Temple of the Forest? It sounds relaxing, but is there any water sound in it? I hate the sound of water.”

“No idea,” the girl replied.

“Perhaps I could hear a track or two?” the suit persisted.

Mildred heard Tara’s sigh.

“Call you back in a sec,” she said to her friend on the mobile.

“Are these ionisers any use?” he queried.

The business suit was going to be a problem.

“I’ll find you a leaflet.” Tara vacated her perch behind the cash register.

This was Mildred’s chance. With a deft move she bagged the amethyst.
High heels clip clopped behind her.

“Can you put that stone back on the shelf, Miss Moody!”

“I can’t, as a matter of fact. It’s probably stuck in the hem of my coat. Besides it was  an experiment in energy transfer…..”

“I’ve heard it all now!”

“If you attune yourself to the crystal it can be moved along any axis, Tara.”

“Well then, I’d be grateful if you would attune it back to the shelf.”

“Attunement uses up a lot of energy, my dear, and, for the moment, I’m zapped.”

The girl’s painted nails tapped with menace on her hip bones.

“She’ll pay you next time,” came a voice, apparently from Mildred’s pocket.

The tapping stopped. The business suit dropped the salt crystal ioniser that rained orange splinters onto the shop floor.

“You heard Anubis! I’ll pay you next time.” And Mildred, negotiating her Clark Springers through the salt crystal shards, headed for the door. Chimes rang out as the door creaked to a close.

The high heels headed for the notice board, and the black painted nails prised out a gold rimmed business card that read:

Mildred Moody
Ventriloquist and Crystal Gazer
Fortune Teller and Soothsayer.

Holding the card ceremoniously between painted thumb and forefinger, Tara picked her stiletto steps through the glittering glass strewn across the shop floor. At the back of the shop she opened a door and leaned over a toilet bowl. The nails released their prey and the card fluttered into a swirl of flushed foam.

“It’s called Bull shit, Miss Moody!”

No comments:

Post a Comment