Eric McFarlane would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Seline and the Seance

By Eric McFarlane All Rights Reserved ©


Seline and the Seance

It was Senga’s idea. “D’you fancy going to a séance, Seline?” she said.

She’d seen it in the paper, just below the ad for the new carpet shampoo - Madam Pommefrit will perform a guided séance on Tuesday night, it said. Donation requested.

Senga’s my best friend and she’s like that, impulsive. She just gets an idea into her head and its got to come out somewhere. She has too much in there I reckon. I remember the lady who took the cookery class we went to last year said that Senga was fairly clever and she should have known; she was a teacher cookery lady after all. In fact I found out later she was a lecturer so that proves it, doesn’t it? About Senga I mean. She’s always telling me to do this or do that and not do other things what I want to do but I don’t mind, she’s not bossy, it’s just her impulsivosity coming out. Anyway I said that yes I would like to go to a séance, and what was a séance anyway, and would there be snacks? So she told me all about séances and it seems it’s about people contacting their relatives and friends who’ve gone over to the other side so that they can ask them questions about what its like over there and whether they’re happy or not and even who’s going to win at the gee-gee's. Fantastic I thought, I can ask about Mam.

I miss Mam such a lot since she left us. It happened so suddenly, one minute she was sitting in her chair by the fire stuffing her pipe with shag and the next there she was - gone. It’s not been the same since. All the family miss her especially Uncle Bill. Mam told me he wasn’t my real uncle but I always call him that just the same for respectfulness. When I was littler he used to come round Friday nights for his ‘little bit of cheddar’ although I don’t know where he found it ‘cos I like cheddar and I couldn’t find any in the fridge. I said he should try some of Tesco's brie for a change but he just looked at me kind of funny and asked what I was doing Sunday.

The séance thing was at 7pm so Senga and I had an early dinner then she had a quick drag on one of her big black cigars, “Just to settle me innards like” she said, and we got the bus in good time.

I was sure it would be in some fancy hall but it turned out to be in a block of flats off the high street. It was up two flights of stairs and there was a big man holding a box at the door. “Donations, ladies,” he said and rattled his box under Senga’s nose. I could have warned him that it was a bad idea. Senga does not like having boxes rattled under her nose as the Salvation Army gentleman would tell you, if he could. And in addition to the rattling with the box he sounded very rude.

Senga pulled herself up and looked him in the eye, or she would have done if he hadn’t been ten feet tall, but she did stare up his nostrils very fiercely. She told me about them later, “It was like a bloody jungle in there,” she said.

Anyway the man stared down at her and she said, “What?”

“I said donations, darling,” he said, and rattled his boxy again.

“I understood that this was a free event,” she said all posh like. She can go very posh when she wants.

He stared at her down his nose and bent over a bit like he didn’t believe she was really there. “It is free, that’s why I’m looking for donations, dear.”

“So these donations are voluntary then, son?”

“Yeah, voluntary, right.”

“Good, well me and my friend here choose not to volunteer.”

He made a growling noise in his throat but right that minute a couple appeared at the top of the stairs, the man dropped a tenner into the box and the big guy smiled at them. Senga grabbed my arm and pushed me through the door behind the couple as they went in.

It wasn’t a very big room and it was almost dark with the curtains drawn. There were about twenty chairs and at the front a small table. There were three or four people there already and Senga and I sat at the back.

It was almost sixteen and a half minutes later when a lady appeared at the table. I say appeared but I wasn’t actually looking when she did on account off I was listening to one of Senga’s long stories about her dentures so I can’t be sure that she didn’t just walk in through a door but all of a sudden, there she was.

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I am Madame Pommefrit your guide for our journey tonight. I say journey....”

“You’re late.” I called over to her.

She looked up. “What? Excuse me?” she said.

“I said you’re late.” I was just worried that she might not realise she was late and maybe run over her time or something and not be back home to read her kids their bedtime stories.

“Unfortunately, my dear, the traffic was heavy and even I cannot...”

“You can always wake them up. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind. For their Mum and all.”

She stared at me for a long time and then shut her eyes for a longer time still. When she opened them she didn’t look at me but made a kind of wavy gesture with her hands.

“Waking them up. That is exactly what we shall attempt to do tonight. It is a difficult path but the spirits are willing if we are. We all have someone we wish to contact, someone dear to us who has passed over to the other side. That question we never asked is forever there in our hearts and tonight you may ask it. Tonight you will ask it.”

Then she spread her arms out and brought her hands in close to her head. “It is time,” she said, and her voice went all low and whispery.

“I see pain,” she announced. “Real pain. Does that mean anything?” Lots of people murmured. “I hear noise.” More murmurs. “Do I smell smoke?” The lady in front of me let out a gasp. “Yes, smoke there is, and perhaps flames. Could that be right?”

“It’s my Ernie,” the woman screamed. “He died in a fire, last year.”

Madame Pommefrit put her hand up. “Wait... He says how are you? And how are the family?”

“Fine, fine. Tell him we’re all fine, please,” gasped the woman.

“I have my dear. Now is there anything you would like to ask... Oh wait, sorry. He has to go. He’s fading. What was that, Ernie? Oh yes. He says he will return, my dear, and you musn’t worry. He is very happy.” She lowered her head for a moment.

“Wow, that’s incredible, ain’t it Senga?” I said. “I never knew how easy it was to get in touch.”

Senga made a humphing noise which she does when the sport comes on telly. But Madame Pommefrit was talking again.

“And now for some reason I am seeing the sea, a great wide sea.”

I nudged Senga, “It’s Mam. It must be.” I jumped up and waved. “Yes, yes,” I shouted. I could see Madame whatsit’s eyes rolling in her head.

“Wonderful,” she said. “Anyone else? No? Oh well. Do I see waves?”

“Probably,” I said. “It’s the sea.”

Her eyes were shut. “Does the departed have a connection with the sea?”

“Yes you’re right,” I said. “She went on a ship. We all cried when we heard, especially Uncle Bill. He misses his cheddar.”

“A tragedy. Wait... I think... yes, she’s coming through. Ah I see now. It was a terrible loss, the ship went down so quickly.”

“Sorry?” I said

“She wants you to know she didn’t suffer.”

“Well I know she didn’t suffer.”

“One can never be sure.”

“I can so,” I said.

Madame thing was looking quite cross. “Oh really? And how can you be so sure?”

“Well I got a postcard last week.”

She seemed to sway very slightly from side to side. “A postcard? From the dead?”

“Oh she’s not dead, don’t be silly. She writes regular. Doesn’t say much, mind.”

“But you said she drowned.”

“Did not. She just left. I was down the shops and when I got back there was a little note on a piece of paper, pink it was. She said, ‘I can’t stand it no more, Seline. Strains too much, luv, no offence. I’m off somewhere hot. You’ll manage fine but you watch out for Uncle Bill now.’ So I didn’t take offence and I’ve been looking after Uncle Bill. He’s round my bit a lot. Then two weeks later we gets a postcard from Majorca or was it Mexico? I remember it began with an M. Might have been Rome or something. And it said that it was hot and she wished I weren’t there which was fine ‘cos I wasn’t.”

I stopped then because there was a bang what made me jump. Madame Pomme-pomme had just left and slammed the door.

“She is such a rude woman ,” I said to Senga. “I was just explaining.”

“So you were love, so you were.”

And you know all the way back home Senga was he-hawing fit to burst. We had to stop twice so that she could take her puffer. Well if that’s a séance you can keep it. We didn’t even get snacks.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Eric McFarlane
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Mark Morris: Just back from a week in Dublin and finished this story in 2 days - very entertaining and an easy, fun read. The plot keeps moving and the various scenarios - divorce, ex husband, job, lovers maintains interest.Hope to read part 2 soon as possible, back in Australia.Well done aiofe 👍

Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...

vailak: soo beautiful...loved their friendship..

Gina_Bel: Amazing book, with plot twists and love in it's most pure form ❤️ congrats to the author

Saffron Bloom : I've got to say this story is on my top 5 reading list. It's amazingly funny and the characters are given such personality! I love it and not just for a 'Goode' - wink wink - read but also because it helped me through some rough times with my family as well and it finally pushed me to do the thin...

Cristi C: Love the idea behind the story. I had a lot of fun reading it. Quite a bit of editing needed but overall it was a good short read. I believe the author could expand certain areas to make it mesh better. I will say Bobbie is the best character and in a way the parents too.

More Recommendations

tinaasante871: the story of the two best friends are soo sad but it didn't end well at all.... I hope there will be a continuation... I will be patiently waiting for how Faith and Lucy will stay together and be accepted by both their families...

latashashetters: I absolutely love this. Really page turner! But it definitely needs work, there's a lot of misspelled words and along with name mix ups when 2 people are conversing in the story. Other then that I love it and wish it was longer!

Ben Gauger: Kudos to Dhira Vidhea, author of Boy Who Broke In My Window, an otherwise engaging tale of love and acceptance of the quirkiest of individuals, whose overall conception of the plot is spot-on and whose writing style is impeccable and as for her writing skills they are the best I've ever seen, tho...

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.