Chapter 12

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Before turning in for the night at her condo, Zandra revisits a ritual she's avoided for some time now. Dusting off an old VHS tape, she queues up the footage of Nella Jones on her enormous television. The grainy footage makes for an unusual contradiction for such a high definition screen.

Jones repeats the psychic tap dance on the screen as she has countless times before. James Randi, a noted skeptic, invites Jones onto the stage of his television program. Before her are several everyday objects, which may or may not have been involved in a murder. To prove her purported powers, Jones must identify the murder weapon by psychic impression only.

Of no surprise to Zandra, Jones chooses incorrectly. But unlike the repeated viewings of years past, Zandra doesn't use Jones as a reminder to cover her ass. No, she focuses on someone else this time.

James Randi. The challenger. The accuser. The prosecutor. The satan.

Zandra watches Jones's reaction to Randi's revelation about the incorrect item. Jones dresses the miss in the sort of wishy-washy bullshit Zandra spent decades honing.

She should've been more careful. She shouldn't have walked into that test in the first place. Someone else had the control.

Zandra glances at the freezer in her stainless steel kitchen. Thinks of the severed digits inside.

I know the feeling.

Zandra rewinds the tape and watches the segment again. Notes how sure Randi seems of himself. How he comes out of the experience unscathed.

I can't be Nella Jones forever.

The thought will have to wait for tomorrow. Zandra slips off to sleep on the couch.

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