Norma Feherty didn’t believe that anyone was truly clairvoyant. People could be extremely intuitive, or observant. They could be experts at misdirection or mental sleight of hand, but no one had vatic visions.
That was, she didn’t believe until she met Madam Weronika Nagy. She wasn’t one of those trailer psyches who asked open-ended questions. She made proclamations and Nostradamus prophecies. As exact as the necromancer’s augury may turn out to be, Norma remained guarded, even if still a little frighten Weronkia could see the secrets she didn’t want to confess.
Sitting at her kitchen table, sipping from a tall glass of diet, caffeine-free soda, Norma nervously watched while Weronika scribbled in a spiral notebook. The resulting doodles meant nothing to Norma, but the necromancer seemed intent on finishing her chartomancy before speaking.
There weren’t any ambiguous inquiries about someone with a J name who had passed, or who had a breathing problem. During their initial interview, Weronika spoke of Norma’s great-uncle James, the one who died in 1945 during the WWII Vienna Offensive 20 years before she was born. Brother to Norma’s grandmother Jessie, who still believes Norma’s daughter Jessica is a namesake. The breathing ailment was the gaping chest wound James sustained when he was shot trench fighting on the Austrian front.
These stories were well-known in Norma’s family, and she suspected her sister, Paula, had revealed these bits of genealogical history during her reading a few weeks prior. It was Paula’s idea to seek Weronika’s help.
Norma was having horrible nightmares, dreams that had her waking up sobbing and tangled in her sheets, drenched in sweat. The problem was that she couldn’t remember what the dreams were about, only that she woke up paralyzed with unbearable sadness.
Norma’s skepticism was heightened when Weronika began her seemingly random scribbling. Pages and pages of indecipherable drawings and illegible writing. Weronika had a far-away stare while she murmured incoherently, and Norma was grateful her sister was paying for this farce of a mystical reading.
“You will find him atop his tower of Babel,” Weronika spoke without her ubiquitous European accent, her voice hollow and detached. “Proselytizing to the weak and sinful masses, preaching truth to the lawless. You will find Andrew in a square inside a circle.”
At the mention of the man’s name, Norma’s heart lurched. A flash of a fragment of a dream surged through her brain. Gone in an instant, it left her wondering if it was a real memory or just a reaction to Weronika’s strange portent. The familiar feeling of despair was her only hint that the augury could be true.
“I don’t know anyone named Andrew,” Norma whispered so as not to break the spell Weronika was under.
“Yes, you do.” The necromancer looked up from her notebook, her pupils dilated until only her onyx irises were visible. “He is the exiled king, and you are the champion who will save him.”