Spring, 2003
24-Hour Short Story Contest
2nd Place Winner!



She felt silly as the man with the odd accent looked down, making benign statements to her palm. Why had she allowed her sister to drag her to this psychic's convention?

She couldn't help but roll her eyes as he completed the reading with a dramatic wave of his arms. However, his final words shocked her...

by Diana Moes VandeHoef, Winnipeg, MB Canada

Raoul let go of Linda's hand with such suddenness that it fell to the wood table like a dead weight. Only a moment earlier he had been making benign statements to her palm. Now his face was slightly flushed, and the light in his dark eyes was more intense.

Linda watched as he waved his arms dramatically, and opened and closed his mouth like a fish out of water.

"You...you...," were the only words he could manage.

"What is it?" Linda calmly asked. She thought the man was a fraud who was trying to get more money. She expected him to demand an expensive price before he told her what he "saw."

But all Raoul did was cross his arms across his chest, and gaze past Linda's head for several minutes. Finally, he cleared his throat and began.

"You, Lady, will become very sick," he said with his odd accent.

Linda raised her eyebrows. "Really?" Her voice dripped with sarcasm.

"You not believe me?" Raoul looked offended. "Why you come to see me, then?"

Linda couldn't tell him the only reason she came to this psychic convention in Winnipeg was because she was visiting her sister, and her sister wanted her to go. Linda's sense of politeness wouldn't let her tell this man exactly what she thought of people who claimed they could look into another person's future.

"Of course I do," she lied. "Please continue."

The man looked skeptical, but began to speak again. "Your sickness will make you stuck in a small, cold place. There will be many people around you, but none will be able to help. Some will even laugh at you."

"Laugh at me? What do you mean?" asked Linda. She didn't believe a word of what Raoul was telling her, but she was curious to see how far he would take this tale.

Raoul pressed his lips in a tight line and shook his head.

"Ah, I know what you need," said Linda. She was pulling bills from her purse when a calloused hand grabbed the bag from her, and stuffed the money back inside.

Linda stared at Raoul in shock.

"I not need more of your money," he said with such fierceness that Linda believed him.

"Okay," she managed to say through her suddenly dry throat. "Please?ell me what type of illness I'll have?" she asked.

"You will have," Raoul paused. "You will have a sickness in your bottom."

Linda looked blankly at him. "My bottom?"

Raoul abruptly stood, and pointed to one of his bony buttock cheeks. "Yes, your bottom."

Before Linda could comment, he turned, opened the door to his cubical, and gestured for her to leave.

"But I have more questions," Linda protested. By now she was genuinely concerned and wanted more information.

"I have nothing more for you," Raoul said gruffly. "Leave now."

Linda was left with no choice but to get up and leave. As the door closed behind her, she thought she heard a muffled chuckle coming from Raoul. But she couldn't be sure. There were too many people walking around.

It didn't take long for Linda to spot her sister in the crowd. She wasn't hard to miss. Louise was a striking woman with flowing dark hair. Today she was wearing a filmy orange and yellow chiffon shirt.

"How'd it go?" Louise asked when she reached Linda. "Are you glad you took some time to get a reading before your flight back to Edmonton?" She stopped smiling when she saw the look on Linda’s face.

"Raoul told me I was going to have a sickness in my bottom," Linda said.

The women looked at each other in stunned silence. Their mother had died from colon cancer.

Louise put a hand on her sister's shoulder. "Sometimes even the best psychics make mistakes," she said without much conviction.

The two continued walking without speaking. Neither had any interest in seeing what else the convention had to offer.

Louise was the first to speak. "Your flight leaves in four hours. Do you want to wait at the airport?"

Linda nodded, and the two walked towards the parking lot.


The intestinal cramps started four-and-a-half hours later when Linda was buckled into her airplane seat, thinking about the tearful farewell she shared with her sister.

She raced down the narrow aisle, and made it to the cold little airplane bathroom just in time. Concerned about the odor she might leave behind, Linda decided it would be best if she flushed the toilet repeatedly.

After the first flush, she wished she hadn't been so considerate. The suction of the flushing toilet sealed her bottom to the seat. She wiggled, twisted, and rocked. She folded herself double, tried to force her fingers under her butt cheeks, and even tightened them in the hopes her buttock would become smaller, and miraculously slip out of the suction. Nothing helped.

"This can't be happening," she muttered. As she hung her head, a thought crossed her mind. She wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry when she realized Raoul's prediction had come true.

What Diana won:

$250 Cash Prize
Publication of winning story on the WritersWeekly.com website
1 - Freelance Income Kit Includes:
-- 1-year subscription to the Write Markets Report
-- How to Write, Publish and $ell Ebooks
-- How to Publish a Profitable Emag
-- How to Be a Syndicated Newspaper Columnist Special (includes the book; database of 6000+ newspapers; and database of 100+ syndicates)


Copyright © 1997 - 2015 WritersWeekly.com
All rights reserved.