This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
The Lord of the Minutes
©Sophie Boursat 2008-2016
- Come in. First floor. .
It is a building from the seventeenth in the south district of Paris: Porte d’ Orléans. Behind the heavy door stands a smiling face.
- Hello my name is Stephanie. Come in. Linda will see you shortly.
She is a little brunette,obviously boyish. I am in that place because yesterday, in the middle of a shining afternoon, my phone had ring. First summer days in year 2001, a voice out of the blue was suddenly asking:
- You are psychic, is not it?
I suspend a second and hear myself answering :
- Yes I am
- Are you still looking for work?
- For sure
-Do you practice black magic?
- Certainly not!
- Good! We don’t want to work with black magicians.. Could you come tomorrow morning?
And here i am. I had totally forgotten than a year before, already desperately seeking for a job, I had apply to some strange proposition . And a job, anyway, I am always looking for one….
- An hot woman able to use a computer, that’s all what we need. You are going to do a test and if it is ok, you start tomorrow. Good by!
Linda, boots on her desk, was a thick blond and a fast speaker. Obviously she enjoys being the boss of the place.
Stéphanie takes me to a cabin, a tiny place with a computer, a telephone and hardly enough space to park my legs. A strange man with no age and long blond hairs has arrived. He is the experienced psychic who drives the survey. The telephone rings.
I handle my 22 cards borrowed to a friend this morning and articulate a shy « Allo? »
- Allo, this is Annie, Will I see Paul Saturday night?
- What’s your birthdate?
OK, she will see him. The conversation had being quit short.
I turn to the psychic.
-Will it be ok?
- Of course it is OK. I can see it. I am a psychic….
If he says so. And that’s how it started all….
« Hello, my name is Olivia. I am an experienced psychic and am willing to answer all your questions. With my help you will resolve all your problems »
I had recorded that message few times . Here the people call and then wait in lines. They record their names and cities and wait listening to the others consultations and when their time has come, they ask: « Olivia, what can you see upon me?’
Any one can call whom’s problem you must connect at once. They call because they are willing to converse, to complain or confess.On rush hours, voices break in and questions flow. Often it starts with:” Olivia, what do you see about me? ”
- Oh Lala! It does not look that great by now! …..
So trust built, fluid goes through and intereaction goes well. Often the first five minutes are set to show that you really see, then you help to articulate the question and understand the problem and the last ten minutes you finally answer. Often the solutions are pragmatic, real solutions for real problems, and we, the psychics, are here to say : « Trust your self, you can do it!!! »
And as days go on, i speak with all parts of France, but also to Belgium, to Switzerland and even Luxembourg and to the overseas islands, from Guyane or even Martinique. This job is like working on a radio but without music or any advertisement and I love it.
I work 27 hours a week, often on evenings and on week-ends, for minimum range and extra fees and quickly I discover that the psychics are a very small part of the benefit in this business, because the main part of the business in here, on the other side of the space, is the sex in conversations.
« The psychics, it is just because we love the people », says Linda.
« Hello, my name is Olivia, your name and birthdate please »
This sentence, dozen by dozen, dozen of names,dozen of birthdates. I have now a Rider-waite and a note book and color pens to write them down… To write them, it helps me to concentrate…
I am a worker in a conversation factory and i discovered now all the shapes of this juicy business. All your desires, all your wishes will be answered and charged as minutes on your telephone bills. Here is a univers of phones, servers, wires and statistics. Here are the entertainers on one side and supervisors on the others. Entertaining are the girls, the gays, the teens and ourselves the psychics and the supervisors are named Stephanie, Jean-Claude, Romaric, and others. And upon all is Linda and over her is the big Boss…..
She has a big office, Linda…
Most of the time, the psychics you’re able to meet on line, are people hurt by the hard life healing their wounds while helping others. It is true that often people are mostly grateful and give us their thanks, but it’s certain as well that as a psychic on the telephone you are able to rejoice from a perfect anonymity and that from this shadow, you’r able to storm your advices for hours, and what you say, you trust, astonishing yourself by the steadiness of your arguments. It is a fact, you see. How and why, those facts, you just ignore. It sometime stays below all understandings. The first time clients called me back to report that facts were confirming predictions, I felt myself a messager.
A psychic is a drop of hope in the valley of tears. A little worker from the spiritual world. I found my place in a strange factory.
And that is. The people calls us because they are worried more often they feel bored. With us they are the stars, cultivating their hopes and swallowing defeats. They turn their pages and know more than often that they should make that decision. So often they feel powerless, but through our words, they feed themselves with optimiste and suddenly through us they can see their futures, and trust there will be one.
Unfortunately as well, often they take advices with few of us, and often we disagree with each others and it rises some big confusions. So i tell them: « Sorry, I won’t say it another way. »
In every future exist speculative datas and always I remind :
- You better keep your own free will.!
I work for a big trade which sells sin air by telephone. Psychic consultations, teens chat, gay chat, sex on line. The sex hot line is departed in different services:
Innocent girls for responsible men
Married and bored women
Submissive women for Alpha men
Alpha women for submissive men…..
Between the sex department and us , teens and psychics, throne a fake plant in a plastic pot and Linda’s spacious office. I have just realized that from her office, Linda is able to watch me….
I discover all bites by bites, day by day, while going to the bathroom or to the coffee machine. Here it speaks, it wines, it groans and it breathes loudly. Here it is teeth for teeth, hears for hears, words for words and minutes by minutes, and all is sweating so hard than even the chairs won’t walk out in one piece.
I slowly collect some informations. The girls often say the same thing. That is not only that men hang up in front of your nose as soon as they have came without any thank you or even good-by, but that in-between they had manage to make you feel worse than food poisoning, whitewashing your ego with chosen vocabulary including generally superlatives as Sluts or Bitch and even worse. Of course you self had became ecstatic while listening to the description of their appendices, a true living god whose omnipresence is able to spark the fire and light in all females, the most bestial hysteria. Later on the girls will get their revenge as the revenge will be the bill they’ll receive, so they keep it steady and they make their minutes…
Calling as well are sad men crying, so they listen and they confort, able to rock as mothers do. They are human beings after all. And because women they are and know the life so well, often they prove so tender.
Exist as well the arabic speaking spécial line. It's even whispered that some calls had made many thousands; calls coming straight from Saudi Arabia and all over Middle-East. But nobody is supposed to speak about those because it is the only line charging on credit cards….
I feel lucky as I rejoice from a far better consideration. Our revelations are so often drunk as messianic water.
Once on later afternoon, Linda drops to me a confidence:
- You know, I am so generous that each morning, my girlfriend pull all the change out of my pocket to stop me from giving coins to all the musicians in the subway….
So prevented by such a tender act, she was restrained to waste the couple’s money. And this was the prove thereof that her governance of this office was a kind and careful management. Saying that, she was smiling, but as I was remaining silent, the conversation was now dropping. Somehow, between Linda and I, something was not getting along.
This is a fact, here all supervisors, men and women, are gays as Linda. The supervisors push and train boys and girls. With the new ones, they drive a rude non stop training exercising those ones to stick to their roles and play the hard way.
" Keep the rythmes, So come now! Not to fast, slow down, keep it there, finish now. Repeat. Again!…."
But many times, tensions rising, the training turns to dramatic in the sex departments. Some newcomers cry, others shout or a fist flights and a fight starts. The to sensitive ones just leave slamming the heavy door, but when if you have come into an argument and still are in the trial period, then, no way, between a boy, a girl and a supervisor, as Linda says: " There is not even to think about the choice."
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