For months, Mrs. Storywriter, the wife of the famous John Storywriter who won the literature Nobel prize even though English was his second language, had been nagging her husband to go with her to the séance parlor of Madame Freda. “Johnny, she’s a real gypsy, and she brings the voices of the dead from the other world. We all talk to them! Last week I talked with my mother, may she rest in peace. Johnny, for twenty dollars you can talk to your own mother who never even got to visit you in America!”
Just to keep peace at home, John agreed to go, knowing his wife would never leave him alone until he went. At the very next séance at Madam Freda’s Parlor, John sat under the colored light at the green table, holding hands with the person on each side. All were humming, “Oooom, oooom, tonka tooom.”
Madame Freda, her eyes lost in trance, was making passes over a crystal ball. “My medium…Vashtri,” she called. “Come in. Who is that with you? Who? Alma, John Storywriter’s mother? ”
Despite all his sceptiscism, John swallowed the lump in his throad hoping agains hope that the spirit of his beloved departed mother was indeed in the room. “Mama?” he muttered.
“Johnny?” a thin voice quavered.
“Yes! Yes!” cried Johnny. “This is your Johny! Mama, are you happy in the other world?”
“Johnny darling, I am in bliss. With your father together, we laugh, we sing. We gaze upon the shining face of the Lord!”
A dozen more questions did Johnny ask his mother, and each question was answered, until “So now, Johnny darling, I have to go. The angels are calling. Just one more question I can answer. Ask. Ask.”
“Mama,” sighed Johnny, “when did you learn to speak English?”