“Zelda, can you help me convict Jack Slattery? He killed his wife Maisy and he’s about to get away with it.”

“What should I do?”

“Channel Maisy at the seance tonight, have her frighten Jack.”

“Inspector, I don’t really have any psychic powers.”

“People flock to you!”

“I can’t think why. I just listen and tell them what they already know.”

Inspector Tate smiled at the lovely lady who haunted his dreams. She underestimated her power. She was the best listener he’d ever met, giving comfort and understanding to the bereaved, lonely and confused. She really cared about each person at her gatherings, probably even Jack Slattery. The man had taken to attending Zelda’s seances, playing the part of the grieving husband to perfection.

“You’ll be great. Just pretend to be Maisy and let the rest unfold.”

That evening, Zelda looked around the table and saw Jack, the Inspector, and three plainclothes policeman, in addition to her regulars. She gave each regular a moment or two, but then suddenly her voice and countenance changed.

“You didn’t have to kill me, Jack.” The Inspector snapped to attention. Zelda-as-Maisy continued.

“I knew all about your Lucy. I planned to help her graduate from mistress to wife. A hefty divorce settlement would have set the two of you up nicely, and I felt sure she could succeed where I had failed – turning you into a decent human being. But your nasty impulses ruined everything. You came at me with that horrible knife, made it look like a robbery gone wrong, then buried the evidence.”

She turned to the Inspector. “Look in that soft marshy spot just beyond the weeping willow.”

By that time, Jack was terrified, begging Maisy for forgiveness, being handcuffed and led away.

The Inspector couldn’t resist giving Zelda a hug.

“You were magnificent! That bit about the knife buried beside the weeping willow – pure imaginative genius!”

“That wasn’t me.” Zelda was disoriented, in shock.

“Zelda’s one in a million, Inspector. We spirits always enjoy helping her.” Maisy spoke from the mists.

“One in a billion,” the Inspector whispered, totally smitten.

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4 months ago

Although this may be a well-used story line (fake medium helps solve police case), this writer handles it a bit differently, eliciting a “laugh out loud” from the reader during the last twist of the story. Quite enjoyable.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
5 months ago

Fun story, Julie. Are we going to be seeing more of Zelda and the Inspector? Sounds like they can solve plenty of mysteries together!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
5 months ago

I love Zelda and the Inspector. I am looking forward for more mysteries they can solve together. Love it.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Julie Harris
4 months ago

You’re welcome, Julie. Yes. Who knows.

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
5 months ago

Wow! And Zelda didn’t even know herself how much of a real medium she was… And for the spirit to reveal herself to the inspector was just soooo good!

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
5 months ago

Great story, Julie! And I loved the name Jack Slattery. No description required, I could picture him perfectly! Zelda and the Inspector make the ideal team with a little help from the departed, of course!

Emily O'Leary
Emily O'Leary(@emily-oleary)
5 months ago

I really enjoyed this Julie — cosy mystery vibes! I’m glad Maisy got to say her piece, and I hope Zelda is able to help solve more cases for her inspector!

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
4 months ago

Julie, what a fabulous combination of murder, romance and the supernatural. I would love to know where you get your ideas to write.

4 months ago

Good story, Julie. Unique take on the Scary prompt – using a seance to get a murderer to confess! Lots of fun, with a hint of romance and a few spirits thrown in for good measure. Great writing.

Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
4 months ago

A lovely story, Julie. Sometimes we don’t know how much of the supernatural we possess. I love to come back and read this story again.

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