This story was my entry for the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction 2020 challenge. The rules were as follows:
– Length: 1000 words max.
– Genre: comedy
– Location: a jury room
– Object it must contain : a marble

“… he’s guilty.”

Jenny leaned back in her seat, her case made. Three of the five other jurors nodded their agreement.

“What about the chair?” Tina demanded.

“Coincidence,” Jenny replied, crossing her arms.

Tina was unconvinced. “It can’t be a coincidence. That chair was there for a reason.” She spread her hands magnanimously. “We are all here for a reason.”

She gave each person a long, knowing look. They couldn’t see the truth, because they only saw with their eyes. Tina was different. As an almost psychic medium, she saw with her soul.

Two weeks ago, she was in the parking lot of Spirit Foods. She always shopped there because she felt the people were on a higher spiritual plane than everyone else. They also often had chicken on discount, and that was a lot of money saved.

As she backed up her car to leave, she nearly bumped into an Indian man wearing a turban.

“Hey! HEY!” he yelled, slamming his hand onto her rear windshield. “Watch where you’re fucking going!”

She had put her hands together in the prayer position, and bowed her head at him.

“Mahalo,” she yelled, hoping to impress him with her knowledge of Sanskrit.

He shook his head and walked off.

That was her First Sign she was becoming a psychic medium.

She had read online from a reputable source, www.how-to-be-a-psychic.vip, that she needed three signs to be a psychic medium. She knew the site was exclusive, because it had .VIP at the end, and the home page said “Welcome all spirituals and the guides that brought you here” with a rainbow aura above it.

“I’m tired of this,” Jenny said. She gave Tina a hard stare. “This is a civil case, we only need five jurors to agree. We know Sergio is going to milk this for all it’s worth, because he’s unemployed and wants the cash.”

Sergio grinned. “I would like to state, for the record, that I am fully one hundred percent undecided. I have, as they say, reasonable doubt.”

Jenny rolled her eyes, then turned back to Tina. “That means you are the only one here holding us back. Give us a valid reason.”

Tina knew they wouldn’t believe her if she told them. It was the fate of all those with the gift of sight to be mistrusted by those who lived on a lower vibration.

“I know he’s innocent because my energy crystal says so.” Tina proudly brandished a small marble, lined with gold, black, and brown thread.

Jenny raised an eyebrow, and looked at her in disbelief.

“Don’t worry, this isn’t a bullshit crystal that you buy online,” Tina reassured her. “I’m not an idiot. It’s a legit crystal that I picked up at Spirit Foods.”

The three other jurors also stared at her, dumbfounded.

“I used it to do a divination, and the crystal’s wise wisdom revealed the defendant’s innocence.”

In fact, she had gone home after the day’s deliberations, unconvinced the defendant was guilty. As she thought about the case, she picked up her crystal, and its price leapt unbidden to her mind. Forty five dollars. Zero cents. No cents. In-no-cents.

He was innocent! And that was her Second Sign.

She was only one sign away now, and she had a good feeling it was going to come today.

“You saw his innocence.” Jenny was struggling to contain her rage. “With a marble.”

“Excuse me! It is a crystal!” Sergio corrected her with mock severity. Jenny threw him a withering look.

“Thank you Sergio,” Tina said. “I didn’t see his innocence. I sensed it, with my mind. But not the regular mind. The mind in my heart. My heart-mind.”

The other jurors sat quietly, trying to disguise their alarm at the high levels of stupidity Tina was emitting.

Jenny, however, did not.

“What did you see in your… heart-mind?” she said, trying hard to keep the contempt from her voice.

She failed.

“I knew you wouldn’t understand.” Tina sighed, shaking her head.

“No no,” Jenny protested. “I’m just surprised that someone else here also has the… sight.” She leaned in and lowered her voice. “I thought I was the only one.” She placed her hand over Tina’s and squeezed, hoping Tina would buy it.

“Oh my goddess! I didn’t mean to insult you,” Tina said, squeezing back.

“I’m not as… powerful,” Jenny said, choosing her words carefully. “… as you. Perhaps you could guide me in a reading?” She looked around for the right word, and settled on a glass of orange juice. “My readings are full of… pulp. And I need to make them smoother.”

Tina clapped her hands in delight. Of course! This is what she was here for. It wasn’t about finding a man guilty or innocent. It was about helping someone else achieve their full spiritual awakening. This was empathy, one of her best virtues. It confirmed that she was a really good person. “I am so glad you are beginning to believe in your higher psychic self. Let’s do another reading together.”

Jenny nodded, and picked up the marble.

“Remember to trust your heart-mind,” Tina said reverently. She hadn’t noticed Jenny’s psychic aura earlier because she had looked with her eyes. Now that she was using her soul, she could clearly feel Jenny’s colors. They were like a rainbow, similar to the one from www.how-to-be-a-psychic.vip. This was her Third Sign. “Repeat after me: I have faith in the crystal’s wise wisdom.”

Jenny gritted her teeth, then repeated the phrase.

“Now what do you see?” Tina asked.

“He… is… guilty,” Jenny said slowly, enunciating each word.

Tina’s eyes widened in surprise, then she nodded in agreement. “I see it too now!” she said, excited to be Jenny’s new best friend and mentor.

She raised her hands to let the psychic medium energy flow into her.

“I knew we were all here for a reason,” she said.

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