Curio had thought about buying some form of transport. He did not like having to rely on buses and trains. They restricted him somewhat in how far he was willing to travel. At £20 per reading, he had made, since the publication of his article, £140. Together with his jobseeker’s allowance, he knew that even a good bicycle would be expensive. As for a car or motorbike, they were still distant, but he was hopeful they would come. He was stood next to a wall, bordering the car-park of a leisure centre, counting through some of his money. He had just come from a private reading at a client’s house. It went quite well, he thought, as had most of the others. Only one had wanted their money back. ‘A reading is a reading, and if you’re not happy with what I say, then I cannot help that’ Curio had said. The person had accused him of being a fraud, and had enlisted the help of his wife who had been upstairs, watching a hospital programme. She had sided with Curio. He left them arguing, and still £20 better off. He was pleased with the other readings, as they proved to him that he was developing his abilities and becoming a more competent psychic. He knew that nothing beat experience. Practising for a certain task or skill was all very well in preparation, but unless you experienced what you practised for, then proficiency would come a lot faster. Curio ‘knew’ he had psychic abilities, and nothing would convince him otherwise. Lack of success simply meant he was still not fully versed in its art. With practise, he was sure he would be able to access the spirit world easier, and find whoever the client required, communicate with them and convey the information. In his mind’s eye, a blurred image of the person would emerge, would relay information to give to their loved ones, and tell them things that Curio could not possibly know, according to the client. He guessed that the image, with practise, would become clearer. The money certainly helped to confirm that people also thought that he had ability. The prestige received certainly helped his own convictions, helped to reinforce his knowledge that he was a unique individual with a gift. He had never had doubts, so had never had misgivings to reinforce. Curio believed and spoke his own truth.
The next entry in his newly acquired diary read: ‘Kimberley Elaneor-11:00am. 39 Roseacre street’. The house was situated across the road. It was a bungalow, mostly painted white. Somebody had had the bright idea to paint the roof tiles white. There was a small, neatly kept garden, fronted by a white gate and white wall. That was the place, he thought. He was soon ringing the bell, and it was soon opened. A woman wearing an orange linen mix dress answered. She looked to be around Curio’s age, and if Curio had not been so preoccupied with his own agendas and certainties, he would have found her attractive.
“Curio Enchantment?” she said. He nodded authoritively.
“Yes, you wanted a reading?”.
“Come in,” she said, stepping back to allow him in, then closed the door. The hall was gloomy, helped by the fact that the wallpaper was dark green. The only light came in through a small panel in the door, and the window above the doorframe. They both had net curtains. Curio took off his coat and hung it up.
“Through there,” she said, pointing to the lounge. He walked in and saw that the curtains were closed, and drapes were across the furniture. A coal fire smouldered, and two candles burned on the mantle-piece, creating a sombre, pleasant ambience. There was a footstool before the fireplace upon a pseudo sheep-skin rug. Kimberley followed him in. Curio simply stood there, looking around.
“Nice place” he said.
“Yes, I thought it would help create an atmosphere, beneficial to the session”, she said. “I understand you do healing as well”. Curio nodded.
“Yes, I’m afraid a healing costs more. Altogether it’ll be fifty pounds”. Kimberley nodded. She walked through into the backroom and disappeared through another door, returning moments later with the money. He slid the notes into his wallet.
“So what’s the problem?” he asked.
“Well I’ve been feeling rather depressed lately. Ever since my husband left me, I’ve been taking anti-depressants, but I want to get off them. I’m a great advocate of natural therapies. All ailments can be cured naturally. We don’t need pills”. Curio nodded in agreement.
“Absolutely,” he said. “If you’d like to sit there,” He pointed to the footstool. Kimberley sat, facing the fire. He looked at her hair and slender figure, standing directly behind her.
“If you could just give me a minute,” he said. “I need to see and feel for your aura”. Curio placed his hands palm downwards around three inches above her shoulders. He concentrated, staring at her. Eventually, he perceived a slight glow on her outline, and his hands detected sensations.
“There are slight dark patches here,” he said. “Your aura is multi-coloured, but there are black marks. This is your depression.” His hands then proceeded to slowly push away these marks. It was as though his hands were feeling through fog. He slowly waved these patches away, not considering that other feelings must also be affected. Or that the aura was a creation from his own mind. He saw that there were no more dark patches, and that her aura radiated like a vivid kaleidoscope. Not once was there any temptation to touch her skin.
“Ok,” he said, “All the negativity has gone”. Kimberley stood up, a beaming smile on her face. She wrapped her hands around him and kissed his cheek.
“Thank-you,” she said, “I feel much better”. Curio’s face had turned red, but the fire light made it look like a light shade of orange. She stood back.
“Ok, have you got some item of personal value that’s exclusive only to you?” said Curio, “Something you’ve had for a long time. A set of keys perhaps”
“Yes,” she said, then went and retrieved them. She gave them to him and he sat down on the footstool. He gestured to the couch. She sat opposite him, but leaned forward, watching him intently. Curio cupped the keys in his hands as though they were holding water, then delicately closed them over and brought them to his forehead. He squeezed his eyes closed and concentrated.
“You need to be careful,” he said. “Things need to be kept under control. Strength and vigour is absolutely essential if you are to gain the peace of mind you need. I see you are an optimistic woman. You take chances somewhat haphazardly and suffer the consequences. Well, do not. No risk is worth taking for the state of mind you find yourself in. Yet, you still need more confidence within yourself to achieve your goals. This month is going to be more productive. You need the love of somebody who cares for you. Loneliness frightens you, but being sociable also makes you apprehensive. You need to find your balance, and as such means you have become rather indecisive, and this has meant that it has been a factor in the trauma in your life. You need stability of mind and you will get it. A profound change will occur for you. A man will come into your life, but be careful, he will manipulate your feelings and cause emotional harm if you are not in control”. Kimberly sat there rapt, her eyes wide. Everything Curio had said, she had been nodding to.
“I’m getting….I’m getting Steven. Do you know a Steven?”
“I work with a Steven. Is he attracted to me?”
“Yes. He is soon going to declare his love, yes, love for you with a single red rose, and I see that you are going to accept. Yet vulnerability is a virtue you must halt in its tracks. Control is key. This will keep your emotions from spiralling out of control. You can be feisty and strong-minded when you want to be, however, that has been lacking of late, and you need to bring such strength of mind back. Your courtship will last seven months. After that, I see white. Snow. No, it’s confetti”. Curio slowly opened his eyes and lowered the keys. He saw Kimberley’s exited, hopeful face.
“I’m getting married!” she said, as a statement. Curio nodded. She stood up and embraced him, kissing his cheek again.
“Thanks,” she said. “You were great”. Curio smiled sheepishly.
“Well, if ever you want another reading, or what ever, just give me a call”. He made his way into the hall, retrieved his coat, slid into it, then opened the door. She saw him to the gate.
“Thanks again,” she said, “I feel great”.
“Remember, I’m only a phone call away”. He walked away, feeling better himself. Not because he was £50 better off, but because his affirmations had been enhanced by more success. He made his way home rather satisfied and content.
He stepped off the bus, and as he did, one of the people who were waiting to get on walked across to him. He was a few years younger, and wore a second or third hand jacket with unkempt jeans.
“Are you Curio?” he asked. Curio stopped. You’re not going to spoil my mood, fucko, he thought. He nodded.
“Yes, that’s right”. The man smiled and grabbed Curio’s hand to shake.
“Wow, five times in a row, Five times, you’ve got something, you’ve got a gift there, seriously”. He looked at the bus driver who was staring at him with a stern expression on his face. He got on and turned and waved at Curio. The doors hissed shut and the bus pulled away. Curio was even happier. A fan, he thought. Someone actually recognised me. He made his way to his flat with a smile on his face. Closing the door behind him, he hung up his coat and crossed to the telephone. There were eight messages. He pressed play.
“Curio….Do us a favour, lad, find our Terry. He’s been missin’ for days. Ta”. Curio shook his head at the contraption.
“Well don’t leave your number then” he said. The second message played.
“Hi, Curio Enchantment. I’m calling on behalf of a group of students…”.