"Psychic Hotline. Don't do it. You'll regret it if you do."
The man on the phone stammered, "But I didn't even tell you my name."
"Your name is Bobby Hinton. You live in Kansas City."
There was a brief pause. "Do you have caller ID or something?"
"No sir. You've reached the psychic hotline."
"I get it," the man said, suddenly sure of himself. "All my information comes up when I give you my credit card number."
"No sir. You've reached the psychic hotline. And if I were you, I'd stay away from spicey foods. Have a nice day."
There was an audible click as the operator transferred another caller.
"Psychic hotline. Buy the house. You'll sell it in two years, but you'll make a profit. Oh, by the way, your wife is cheating on you."
"What?!?" the caller exclaimed.
"Sorry," the psychic answered. "I was reading one of my co-workers' thoughts. Quit your job, Bill. You've only got three months to live. And take that cruise."
"But I was calling about my dog... And how did you know my name?"
"This is the psychic hotline. We're psychics; we know everything. Could you hold please?"
Brenda pulled off the telephone headset, knowing Bill would still be there when she picked it u again. Being a psychic wasn't all it was cut out to be. She closed her eyes, remote-viewing her boss. Maybe she could take the rest of the day off. Why was he in the storage closet? Yuck. He was going at it with his secretary again. Uh-oh, here comes Billy.
"Good. Don't do it."
"Thanks. And the..."
"Shouldn't be a problem. Just get it in writing."
"Catch ya later!"
The joy of co-workers. Brenda picked up the headset and closed her eyes.
There was a long pause. "Yes?"
"Your dog needs therapy. He thinks he's a cat. My brother is a pet psychiatrist in the Bay Area. I know he can help."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. And Bill?"
"Go to the Bahamas. You'll get diarrhea if you go to Mexico. I've seen it. It isn't pretty.
-- Graelan Wintertide, Summer Solstice 1997