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  • By Jesse Austin


You are a psychic medium.

Do you have feelings? When you read people and they are suffering, do you suffer?

Well, yes and no. You do suffer in the moment with your client’s travails. Your chest hurts if the departed mother died from her heart. But those sensations and sensibilities don’t last.

When the client walks out of your office, your mind is divinely erased, and your prime needs will be lunch, dark chocolate and the score of the latest SF Giants game.

Are you a monster? Nah, just a person with a gift of seeing and hearing stuff about others, some of them dead, but certainly not gone.

You have adjusted, you are used to it. If your cat hurts her paw you certainly cry ‘for reals.’ “Oh, kitty I love you ... what happened? Squeaky kitty, if your paw doesn’t get better we will have to go to the vet.”

But when a plane crashes into the ocean, killing all on board, you will lose the signal of the departed dark- haired husband if you allow yourself to be overwhelmed by his lonely widow’s anguish.

“He is showing me a cake,” you tell the woman in your office, “Something about a birthday.”

“Sunday,” the widow sobs, “Last Sunday was my birthday.”

Anyway, you are able to tune in and tune out all at once. You have learned to trust your inner universe. It is half fun being a psychic medium. As long as you always keep on hand a good supply of chocolate.

Recently you were face to face with a cop who had strangled his wife. It wasn’t your job to make sure justice was done. But you did note the odd way your guides had managed to throw it all in your lap. It made you laugh to yourself as you faced the sinister barrel of the cop’s pistol.

It all started way out in left field, as a missing person case. You were visiting your married friends, Bob and Hector in West Linn, Oregon, a posh community near Portland. The three of you had just finished breakfast when something jumped in your imagination.

“The police are coming up the drive,” you said.

Neither of your friends questioned your intuitive hit that the police were motoring up the long driveway.

As your friends moved towards the front door, you drifted into the ‘blue room,’ a large sitting room just off the dining room. You were being flooded with images. Almost staggering under the intensity, you lowered yourself into a chair near the large window.

Images flashed through your imagination. A small boy in white shorts was being chased in the dark near a river by three much bigger boys. You could hear mean laughter and feel the boy’s terrified breathing.

Suddenly the frightened boy slipped and tumbled down the bank into the brown water. You had the vivid sensation of going under, gulping and thrashing.

So, yes, you do suffer and feel the panic and profound sorrows of others.

You claw at the arms of the stuffed chair, heaving yourself to your feet. You breathe a moment, attempting to calm yourself.

Outside of your friend’s house you see the patrol car you anticipated come to a halt at the end of the drive. You turn away, feeling your imagination jump once more into drastic action.

Suddenly you are with the boy again, being swept down river. You watch the boy fighting and coughing in the brown water. Finally he slams into a massive concrete bridge abutment.

Miraculously the plucky child manages to pull himself out of the water and up onto the large flat base of the abutment. But, poor thing, he is stuck far below the giant bridge, shaking and barely conscious in the darkness.

You are a little shaky yourself, but happy for the boy.

“What bridge is it?” you puzzle out loud.

Apparently your guides love you, and the little boy too. Suddenly a dollar bill flashes in your imagination. After a moment you make the connection, George Washington is on the dollar bill. And there are any number of bridges that cross the Willamette River in the Portland area, including the mighty Washington Bridge.

Your friends call to you from the front door entryway. You take a deep breath, close your eyes and give thanks. Then you gather your thoughts as you walk through the house.

Your friend Bob, ever the good host, introduces you to officers Hooper and Clingington.

It is, in a sense a social situation. You make your hellos, as the cops looking stiff under their psychological shells, return your greeting. Neither of them smiles. You get the vibe that they are not pleased to be talking to you—mister all things psychic.

“Mrs. Alice Nunley sent us,” Hooper, the older cop, says, his eyes watchful. “Mrs Nunely said she has been a client of yours.”

You turn your gaze on officer Hooper. He is Hispanic, maybe 50, with a bit of gray hair and a wide, trim body. You are shorter than either of the uniformed officers. You are in your seventies, balding, and dressed in jeans and an untucked shirt. You listen and wait.

“Mrs Nunley’s youngster has been missing since last night,” Hooper continues, setting his jaw. “Ah, Mrs Nunely thinks you might be able to help in locating her child.”

“Was the missing child a boy, about six or seven years old?” you ask in a brisk tone. Officer Hooper gives a curt nod, the crinkles around his eyes going bright. “The boy has brown hair,” you continue, recalling the images you had been shown earlier. “He was wearing shorts, white tennis shoes, and he was out looking for his dog.”

“How did you know that?” The tall cop, Clingington, grunts.

What’s this? You feel officer Clingington’s dark, restive energy, as if he is being swallowed by enormous depression. Anger, agony and mayhem dance in his eyes behind his sunglasses.

For the moment you bathe yourself in a white light, ignoring the tall man’s desperation.

The older cop clears his throat, betraying a sliver of anxiety. “Do you know the boy’s whereabouts?”

“He fell into the Willamette, but he is alive,” you announce, hoping you are interpreting your guides accurately. “The boy is holding onto a piling under the Washington Bridge.”

“That’s in his neighborhood,” the tall cop in sunglasses can’t help but voice his amazement. You don’t look at him directly. His energy is like a wild animal in a cage. You are extremely wary, sensing that he is near exhaustion from grief, guilt and an overwhelming compulsion to get away from his own insides.

What is his problem, you wonder?

“He strangled his wife,” your guides tell you.

Later you go for a walk on the grassy path that leads up a rolling hill. You miss Lena, your lawyer wife, dead now almost five years. Then you see a bush with red flowers. The musky smell makes you smile.

“Hi Honey,” you whisper.

Lena gives you the impression that you will be meeting a beautiful woman later in the evening. You laugh, pleased that your darling is still teasing you about foolish nonsense. But it is true, you are lonely these days for a romantic touch.

When you return to the house, your friends are happy and excited. The police called. The youngster was found alive, but shivering and incoherent under the bridge. The tearful mother had also called, thanking you.

That night Bob and Hector turn in early; they have a workday coming up in the morning. You are scheduled to do a psychic medium presentation; it was to be filmed at a downtown Portland Hotel. But your guides warn you to stay awake.

Later, through the window in the blue room, you see the pickup halt in the driveway and cut its lights. You watch a tall man in a dark shirt start up the walk. You hurry and open the front door.

“Come in,” you say, your hand trembling slightly on the knob.

Officer Clingington, now out of uniform, grunts and tells you to turn off the porch light and to step outside.

You can feel the man’s desperate agitation. Your stomach tightens as you step out into the shadows. The pale moon is low in the sky.

“Do you know who killed my wife?” Clingington abruptly asks.

You know you have arrived at your moment of truth.

Suddenly the two of you are not alone. In your imagination flashes a vivid picture of a beautiful woman, maybe 35, wearing a print dress. She looks at you with imploring eyes.

“What are you looking at?” the off-duty officer demands. You can tell he is near the snapping point.

“A woman in a short dress with blue flowers. Her face is twisted with fear and sorrow. She is telling me she is your wife, and that you got into an argument, and in a fit of anger you put your hands around her throat and choked her to death.”

Clingington’s chin drops to his chest. Suddenly he is sobbing.

“Oh, my god,” the poor man says. “I have been pretending to be looking for who did it,” he says, “I have been searching everywhere—high and low. Everybody at the station is worried I am going crackers. They want me to take more time off. I loved Janet. We were together for thirteen years. We never had a cross word until our daughter died in a pool accident. My wife taught school, she was a good listener ... I met her when her car broke down. We both went to pieces after Leah died. I started drinking, Janet had an affair—and I, I confronted her.”

Suddenly he stopped talking and gazed at you with wild eyes.

“You know … I killed … my wife!” he whispered, his hand moving unconsciously inside his shirt.

You are not a monster. You are aware of the man’s anguish, and yes, certainly you understand that you personally may be in some danger.

“Your wife has forgiven you,” you say. “She wants you to start a girl’s horse riding club like you talked about …”

But the cop pulls a gun out and points it at your chest. He cocks the gun. You hold your breath.

Then you see a young girl standing next to the tall man. She is maybe eleven, with a sweet oval face.

“He’s my father,” she says, pointing. “It is all my fault,” she tells you.

“Your daughter is here,” you tell the distraught man.

You can see a bit of his rigid face in the moonlight. You are not sure if Clingington heard you. You yourself are in a mild trance, concentrating and attempting to pass on information. You are only distantly aware that you are about to be killed.

“Your daughter is laughing,” you finally tell the cop with the gun. “She is saying don’t call her Cinderella.”

You see the light dance for a moment in Clingington’s eyes. He suddenly seems to see you.

“I always called her that when she was late getting ready for school or was doing something bad,” he mumbled almost to himself.

Suddenly he lowers the gun.

“I loved them,” he says, crying. “I loved them both so much.”

Some weeks after you return to Northern California you hear that the cop has a website. You check it out and find he has followed his wife’s instructions and started a riding camp for troubled teens, Camp Cinderella.

Well, what about justice for this cop dude? That’s not your job, your guides told you. His daughter‘s drowning was a life challenge for both him and his wife. In some ways they both failed.

That night on the porch you hugged the cop, whispered that you would keep his secret, then went inside to sleep. His daughter walked you down the hallway holding your hand. She told you her father had suffered enough, that he and her mother had learned much, and they would learn much more, one alive on earth, and the other departed.

You fell asleep musing at the vast mystery of existence.

Then, deep in the night, you heard the gunshot. The cop shot you through the open bedroom window. You felt the fatal sting in your chest. Apparently you had miscalculated. Your psychic mediumship counseling had not been enough for saddened, scared officer Clingington to see the light for long.

But it was a dream, another reality, another path of learning. You were pleased to be both asleep and dead!

In the morning when you woke, you could hear from another part of the house, Bob and Hector making love. You didn’t feel left out, you felt blessed.

The possibilities of experience, of expansion were divinely endless.

Psychic Medium Jesse Austin can be contacted by email at

Jesse credits his wife, Rita, for the story’s artwork

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