Copyright © Kate Kelsen 2020. All Rights Reserved
Mrs. Martin came into the living room and placed a plate of biscuits down on the coffee table. She poured tea into two cups, passing one to Omid. They watched the television screen intently. On the studio stage Jasem stood with the host Georgina: her make-up was bright, her hair was big and her shoulder pads were huge.
‘We have a special treat for you here now. Medium Jasem Bahar; thank-you for joining us, Jasem.’
‘Thank-you so much for having me,’ Jasem replied. ‘I appreciate it.’
‘So what is it like to connect with dead people?’
‘It’s incredible. The spirit world are looking for someone to bring messages through, and to say ‘I’m still here. Don’t think of me as dead.’ It helps people find closure.’
‘And when you are able to connect with someone, you must see it in their face right away.’
‘Every experience is different. It’s pretty intense, but it’s amazing for all involved.’
‘Tell me, Jasem, how did you first find out that you had this ability?’
‘I saw spirits as a child. My mother was the first, actually.’
‘What do you say to people that say when you pass away, that’s it?’
‘I say it’s up to you to come to your own conclusions in your own way. I don’t force my beliefs on anybody, but something like this today is a good opportunity to witness what happens.’
‘Stay with us, after the break Jasem is going to do a live reading with our studio audience.’
When the commercial break ended, Georgina smiled her gleaming white teeth as the camera zoomed in on her and Jasem again.
‘Well, we’re back with medium Jasem Bahar, who has had us fascinated all morning with the world of ghosts and the unknown. And we’re going to hand it over to you, Jasem, to work with our studio audience now. Take it away, and see what you can see!’
‘Okay, I’m going to start with this lady right here.’ Jasem pointed to a woman seated in the front row. ‘I have a mother figure coming through very strongly around you, with the name either ‘Mary’ or ‘Margaret’. She’s having a hard time moving and walking and getting things done. Do you understand that?’
‘Well, she was on medication but didn’t have any pain,’ said the woman.
‘Okay, so medication. I’m feeling this very much. Is there arthritis? A bone problem? Also something with the back? Can I see that she sits with a pillow behind her back? No? That doesn’t make sense to you? What about trouble with legs?’
The woman shook her head again, smiling awkwardly.
‘Okay, who has trouble with legs, then?’ Jasem persisted.
‘My father’s had two hip replacements,’ the woman replied.
‘So he can’t walk as well as he used to?’
The woman laughed.
‘No, he walks very well.’
‘Okay, okay.’ Jasem took a deep breath. ‘Right. Was your mother buried?’
‘U-huh, because she’s talking about being buried and awake, or a funeral rather. She knows about it. She was very surprised by it all. Is it Kathy or Katherine?’
Jasem stumbled over the names as he said them. The woman shook her head. Mrs. Martin noticed the awkward grimace on Georgina’s face as she watched Jasem from a couch on the studio stage.
‘My cousin has just had surgery.’
The statement came from an old woman sitting next to the first woman in the front row.
‘Okay, let’s talk about her. I’m hearing about someone Catholic. Who’s Catholic?’
‘We all are.’
‘Okay, so she’s talking about a mass that was held, an image of Mother Mary…’
‘Well, with Catholics there is usually imagery of Mary around.’
The first woman piped up again.
‘My mother’s name was Mary and died when I was six. It was 1950.’
Mrs. Martin breathed in relief at the connection.
‘Do you or did you play music?’ Jasem persisted.
‘No,’ the first woman said.
‘Okay, who did play music? Who was going to play piano?’ Jasem quickly turned his attention to another member of the audience a few rows back. ‘I want to talk to this lady. Your husband’s passed over? Or your father?’
‘Yes,’ the woman nodded.
‘Something about cars with him? Buying a car?’
‘No,’ the woman flatly replied.
‘Okay, who had a heart problem?’
‘Probably my mother.’
‘Okay. She’s passed over as well?’
The woman nodded.
‘A heart condition?’
‘Because she tells me she was going to get an operation. Something before that, okay? So, I don’t know whether you knew that she could get that.’
The woman huffed impatiently. Jasem started rubbing his throat.
‘I was also getting the name ‘Therese’ or ‘Terry’ in this area, okay? Was there a divorce with you?’
‘I’ve never been married.’
‘I’m not surprised.’
Georgina gasped behind Jasem.
‘Because she’s telling me that you need to love yourself more. Because you don’t. There is also something about the car, with your father. I don’t know what that means, but I’m putting it out there.’
Georgina stepped forward, standing next to Jasem again and placing her hand on his shoulder.
‘We’re almost out of time, Jasem…’
Jasem ignored her and continued pressing the woman for more information.
‘Do you have his watch or his ring?’
‘Yes and yes.’
‘I’m getting that you had a painting done, or you removed a picture of him, correct? Yes or no?’
‘I also want to tell you that he’s sitting next to you on the couch. He’s there with you. Did he smoke?’
The woman shook her head.
‘Do you smoke?’
‘Could you stop? Okay? I don’t know who Paul is, do you understand that? Who is that, please?’
‘He wants to say hello, because they were there when he died. They were around…’
‘Please thank Jasem Bahar for answering some very interesting questions this morning! It’s been very intriguing. Thank-you for joining us.’
Dropping his coat on his bed, Jasem flicked on the television set in the hotel room, and then poured a glass of whiskey from the nightstand.
‘Clairvoyant spiritual medium Jasem Bahar experienced several misses during a live taping of The Morning Show today. Jasem Bahar is a purported medium who claims to have used his psychic abilities to assist U.S. law enforcement officials in solving crimes. One such official, Gordon Blackwell of the Los Angeles DA’s office, have since denied any such co-operation happened, and stated the tips provided by Mr. Bahar were not helpful to their investigations.’
In the mirror, Jasem looked past his reflection. He rested his glass on the table and turned to face his mother.
‘Why wouldn’t they speak to me?’ Jasem snapped.
‘They only speak to you when they want to, Jasem. They are not trick monkeys.’
‘I was just humiliated on national television!’
‘I warned you already, Jasem. So did your father.’ Maryam stepped forward, placing her cold hand on Jasem’s cheek. ‘You have a gift, Jasem. It is time to start using it for the greater good, the way you were always intended to. Go to the newsstand on the corner and purchase a copy of the Business Focused International daily newspaper. Look in the Classifieds section, and you will find what you need.’
Thanks for reading! Another excerpt coming tomorrow!