Sunday, September 22, 2019

Psychic Spouses



The other day I had the good fortune to meet up with my old friend, Jerry. He and first met about five years ago when I started facilitating a writer’s workshop. He was intrigued with the idea of putting some of his ideas and stories together. Jerry always delivered great work with the group. I have no doubt his efforts will be in print soon.

While catching up over a quick meal, we got to talking about wives and families. I mentioned that at times my darling wife will start a conversation in the middle. She doesn’t say, ‘did you hear about Betty?’ but jumps in as if I already know not only who she is talking about, but what the latest situation may be.

Jerry’s eyes went wide. ‘My wife does the same thing!’ 

We compared notes and came to the conclusion. Our spouses think we are psychic, so we automatically known what they are thinking about. If that were the case, we’re both grateful that it doesn’t work the other way, or we could be in deep trouble.

Perhaps a little more research is in order. But the concept could be worth looking into for a story.  You just never know where those ideas come from. 

Hey, if I am a psychic spouse, does that mean some of these thoughts were originally my wife’s?


While he may not have psychic powers, Jefferson Chene does have the ability to unravel the knots in a twisted murder investigation.  Here’s an excerpt from “Your Turn to Die”.

In this scene on the first day of the investigation, Chene and Detective Donna Spears are going to interview the victim’s widow.




Donna and I drove to the Grosse Pointe Park address for Morrissey. The house was a miniature castle, probably built in the late thirties. It was three stories high, with a gabled roof and lots of leaded glass windows. The block was tree-lined, with oaks and maples towering beyond the rooflines. We parked at the curb and studied the dwelling for a moment before exiting the car.

“Check out the garage, boss. I’d swear that’s a classic Camaro ragtop in there. Right next to the Jaguar.”

The two-car garage was separate from the house, set back toward the rear of the lot, at least fifty yards from the street. “How old are Morrissey's kids?”

Donna checked her notebook. “Dale, a boy, is sixteen. Janice is fourteen.”

“All they need is Scruffy the dog to complete the All-American family portrait.” 

As I spoke the side door of the house banged open and a gangly boy stepped out and turned toward the garage. Behind him bounced a large, furry dog.

“I didn’t know you were psychic,” Donna said as she opened her door.

We went up the front steps and knocked discreetly. I was expecting a relative or maybe a neighbor to respond. But I recognized the woman framed in the doorway from the publicity photos I’d studied a few hours ago.

“Mrs. Morrissey, I’m Sergeant Chene and this is Detective Spears with the Michigan State Police. We're part of the team conducting the investigation into your husband's death. I know this is difficult, but if we could ask you some questions---”

She frowned in annoyance. “I was expecting someone hours ago. The governor assured me this was being taken care of. I also spoke with a man named Cantrell. I don’t appreciate being kept waiting.”

“My apologies.” I didn’t think it was necessary to explain where we’d been.

She fluttered a hand at me. “Come in.”

Mrs. Morrissey ushered us into a formal living room and gestured toward a pair of stiff upholstered chairs. I pocketed my sunglasses inside the sport coat I had slipped on when getting out of the car. Donna tucked hers into the V neck of her blouse. When we approached the house, she had switched on the digital recorder tucked into her jacket pocket. This was Donna’s first interview with a victim’s family. I wanted to see how well she’d follow my lead and what observations she made. 

As the widow settled herself onto one end of the sofa, I let my eyes sweep over the room. There was a plush area rug by the sofa in a soft rose color. Beyond the rug hardwood floors gleamed with multiple layers of wax. Pale gray marble surrounded the fireplace hearth and the two columns that supported the mantel. The plaster walls had been recently painted an eggshell white, then touched up with a sponge to set an unusual pattern, accenting the color of the carpet. Other than the sofa and two upholstered chairs, there was only a teak coffee table, strategically placed in the center of the room.

Above the mantel was a family portrait, probably done in this very room by a professional photographer. The parents were on the couch, flanked by the two kids. Both children favored his wife. According to the details I’d reviewed earlier, Colleen Morrissey was thirty-eight, the high school sweetheart of the victim. She had worked with him during the early years, slaving together to get the business up and running. Morrissey had named the company Vagabond Enterprises. Once it began to flourish, she stayed home to raise the kids. While Donna made some comforting comments to put the widow at ease, I took a good look at her.

Colleen was about five four and if she weighed more than a hundred and ten pounds, I'm the greatest detective since Holmes. Auburn hair with some blonde highlights fell to her shoulders, curling gently behind her ears. Her green eyes were bloodshot and puffy. She was wearing skinny jeans and a sleeveless white silk blouse that was so sheer, it left little to the imagination. I could see the pattern of a lacy bra that scooped up her breasts and put them on display. Her feet were in expensive sandals, little more than ornate straps of leather around the heel and across top of her foot. The toes were exposed, with bright red polish on the nails.

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Music this week comes from Norah Jones.



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