Calls from the Afterlife
It really wasnt what he had expected. The floor was concrete and his chair was
the sort of cheesy seventies art deco piece usually associated with government
offices. Nothing about his surroundings seemed remotely glamorous. He had
expected to have someone sit him down and brush makeup on him or something, but
instead he just sat in the cluttered backstage area, trying to control his
nerves and waiting for the producer to come and get him. Waiting was the worst
He couldnt sit down for long; his natural tendency to pace took over. He
strode around the area in slow, deliberate steps, examining the various bits of
show business equipment. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of a
full-length mirror, leaning up against a wall. Without hesitation, he walked
over towards it, eager for reassurance that he was still presentable.
For the occasion, he had chosen somewhat more subdued clothes than he was used
to: dress pants, an off-white shirt with the top button undone and a
smart-looking new jacket. All of it had been altered to fit his slim build and
broad shoulders. An inordinate amount of time had been spent that morning in
properly arranging his hair, especially considering how short it was. But it all
came together to project the desired image: that of an intelligent, confident,
How did I get myself into this? he asked himself. It was a pointless
question to which he already knew the answer. It had all begun with a phone
call, just two days ago
* * *
Tuesday, two days before
The shrill ring of the cordless phone yanked Jim out of the book he had been
reading and into the here-and-now. With a stifled groan, he sat up and took the
phone from the end table. He held the ringing phone in his hand and yawned,
before pressing the talk button.
Hello? he said wearily.
The voice on the other end seemed to be talking to someone, but Jim couldnt
make out what was being said. After a few more seconds, the voice clearly said,
Hello. Jim repeated.
Im calling for Jim Sayles. the voice stated.
Youve got him.
I have a few questions for you. Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
Paranormal experience? Who is this?
Oh, Im sorry. the voice said without a hint of apology, Im Martin Holland.
Call me Marty.
Okay, Marty. Do I know you?
Probably not. Im the producer of the TV show Paranormal Universe, and your
name was mentioned in a newspaper article I read. The article suggested you were
quite a skeptic, so I thought Id call and find out what you think about
Oh, I dont know if I qualify for the title of skeptic. I dont know
anything about psychics.
So you think they really can talk to dead people?
Well, I wouldnt necessarily say that. I mean, Ive always thought that a
power like that would be so easy to test. If a psychic can talk to dead people,
a scientist could just teach people a special code-word before they die, and
when they do, ask the psychic what the code-word is. The fact that nobodys ever
tried this kind of
Youll do. Marty interjected, So do you want to be on the show?
Be on the show? You mean that Paranormal World show you mentioned before?
Paranormal Universe. Yeah, we need a skeptical kind of guy to be the
counterpoint for a debate episode were doing.
Is this a joke?
No, Im serious! Well pay you.
But why me?
The Amazing Randi couldnt make it.
No, Im just kidding. But seriously, youre a local guy so the studio isnt
far. Youre not a celebrity so we can pay you next to nothing. Ahhhh, Im
kidding again. Pay no attention to me. Really though, our show isnt nationally
syndicated or anything, but Im sure an up-and-comer like your self could use a
little bit of exposure. Am I right?
Ive never really thought
And I thought that maybe a hip, twenty-something like yourself might do better
on camera than the other guy.
What other guy?
The guy whos our usual skeptic on these debate episodes, Dr. Jenkis. Thats
why Im calling you. I want to give someone new a shot.
So what would I actually be debating about? Jim still thought it might be a
joke, but decided to play along anyway.
You know, the usual stuff. Are psychics real? Can they talk to dead people?
And who would I be debating against?
Our psychic guest that night would be the Lady Andromeda.
So whens the show?
Ah, yes, right, about that, well, you know how show biz can be. Sometimes
things move pretty fast and thats just the way things work. Im sure its
nothing you cant handle, but you realize that sometimes
Just give me a date.
Thats two days away!
Its not as if you have to build the set. Just show up and well have a
friendly little debate. You wont even notice the cameras. Were hardly more
than public access, really. Itll be fun.
Just the thought of staring into a TV camera caused Jims stomach to twist into
knots. Millions would be watching his every move. If something went wrong, it
could conceivably be the most humiliating experience of his life. Sure. Why
not? he croaked.
* * *
The stage was set. Jim sat nervously on the left branch of a boomerang-shaped
table. The host was standing at the front of the stage, chatting with a few
people in the studio audience. It was a small studio, which could probably fit
only a hundred audience members, and tonight it was packed. He hoped he could
give them a good show.
Just then, the Lady Andromeda appeared on the other end of the stage. She was
middle aged, yet graceful, and she projected an air of confidence. Her costume
was an elaborate affair; her bright red hair was mostly tucked under a
complicated cloth head-wrap. It was just the sort of thing that a stereotypical
fortune-teller would wear, but at the same time, the outfit worked well. She was
definitely dressed in her best.
The host finished his conversation and walked back up towards his seat, stopping
to courteously pull the chair out for Lady Andromeda. Jim noticed that the
cameras all had little red lights that blinked intermittently, and wondered if
that meant they were rolling. The three of them sat silently, each preparing
themselves for the spotlight. Marty, the producer, called out the minutes as
they ticked down. Soon it was time. The lights over the audience dimmed, and
their voices hushed. Five, four, three
Welcome to Paranormal Universe. Im William Atkins, and we have a very
special night for you tonight. Joining us is the Lady Andromeda, world famous
psychic and medium. Her new show, Afterlife, will be premiering early next
year, and her new book Eternal Secrets is in stores now. She will be facing
off against Jim Sayles, a skeptic from right here in California. I would like to
begin tonight by asking you, Andromeda, about the message that you preach. Could
you tell us a bit about it?
Certainly, Will. she answered, with a disarming smile, I want everyone in
the world to know that death is not the end. When we die, its only a transition
to a new phase of our existence. Theres nothing more liberating than being
freed from your fear of dying. Even a skeptic like yourself must admit that its
at least possible, right?
Sure, anythings possible, he replied readily. But when he heard some
murmuring in the audience, he decided he should clarify his position: But even
a believer like yourself must admit that its at least possible that youre only
deluding yourself into thinking youre psychic, right?
Ive been a psychic for more than twenty years. How could any psychic stay in
business that long if there werent some real powers involved? You think people
would just keep coming back to a psychic who couldnt tell them anything?
I think we can all agree that people go to psychics because they need to.
People who are grieving for a lost loved one are very vulnerable. They need to
believe that the spirit of their loved one lives on, and theyll keep coming
back to anyone who tells them what they want to hear, psychic or
So do you actually believe that every single one of the thousands of psychics
in this country are frauds?
No one has ever done a completely controlled scientific experiment proving
that psychic abilities exist. Why not? Maybe all their psychic revelations are
just comforting fairy tales. Dont you want to know for certain?
You bring up an interesting point. Not to say I agree with you at all, but
still, maybe there are a few psychics out there who just make up their
predictions. Im sure such an operation would never become more than a little
one-room agency, but still. Is the crime of a fake psychic really so bad that
you would have us ban all psychics?
In fact, the host interjected, Ill ask you an even broader question. Whats
wrong with fake psychics at all? I mean, sure, they make up a few stories, but
the grieving family comes away feeling much better, thinking that their family
is still alive somewhere. Whats the problem with that?
A fake psychic isnt just making up a little story in some kind of mutual role
play to make someone feel better. Its a lie, a con. Some psychics charge
hundreds of dollars an hour just to lie to people. And as if that werent
enough, ask yourself this: how do you think this sort of thing affects the
grieving process? Maybe they feel a bit better for a while, but what they really
need is to get on with their lives, not feel that their loved one is still
watching over their shoulder.
But maybe a last bit of communication could help the grieving process. It
could give them a chance to say goodbye that they may not have otherwise had.
On the other hand, it could also lead them into something more dangerous. What
if a fake psychics client got cancer and decided to forego medical treatment,
and be healed by the psychic instead? That person could die needlessly for want
of proper medical treatment, and those happy stories would be partly to blame.
And how many people do you really think are going to go and join a suicide
cult because of their fondness for psychics? Andromeda asked doubtfully.
Any number is too many.
Alright, so weve done the fake psychic thing to death. But thats not really
what were here for. This debate is about whether psychics are real or not. How
about I do a reading, and then well see what you think.
Excellent idea. William agreed, Afterwards, Jim, youll have to tell us all
how it was done.
Jim nodded gravely, and began mentally reviewing the lessons that he had
learned the day before
* * *
Wednesday, the day before the show
To Jim, every hallway in the University looked exactly the same. It was as
though the whole place was built of nothing but concrete cinder blocks, painted
beige. He was walking along a hallway on the third floor of Knudsen Hall, a
building with its architecture straight out of the sixties.
According to the faculty directory, room 313 of this building was the office of
Robert E. Jenkis, Ph.D. Jenkis was the name that the shows producer had
mentioned as being a previous debater on Paranormal Universe, and Jim hoped he
could answer a few questions. Normally, Jim would have called and made an
appointment, but the show was tomorrow and there was no time, so he decided to
just stop by after work. Room 313 was right at the end of the hallway.
The door was closed, so Jim knocked lightly on the frame. From inside, a
muffled Come in could be heard. Jim opened the door and peered inside. An old
man sat in front of a computer in the cluttered office. All of his hair,
including his bushy eyebrows, was silvery-gray. Wearing a white lab-coat and
worn brown pants, he gave the impression of a stereotypical mad scientist. But
he smiled nonetheless, and his eyes revealed the life within.
Im Jim Sayles, Jim said.
Robert Jenkis. What can I do for you? Robert asked expectantly.
Im here about a television show called Paranormal Universe
Oh, no! Ive already told you, Im not doing it. Youre coming here doesnt
change a thing.
You may as well scratch me off your list. Theres nothing you can say to
change my mind.
I dont know what youre talking about. I got a call yesterday from a guy
named Marty something-or-other, who wanted me to be on his show and I hoped you
Oh, I see! Im so sorry. I thought you were here to try and convincewell,
never mind that. So youre theyre next target, eh?
Target? They just want me to be the skeptical side in a debate about psychics.
The show is tomorrow, so I havent had much time to look into it.
Thats intentional, I think. It keeps you from doing enough research to be
effective. You see, they want you to lose the debate. Everything is stacked
against you from the start.
They told me that they wanted me on the show because I would be good on
They want you on the show because Ive already refused. Being booed off the
stage once is more than enough for me.
It didnt go well?
I didnt stand a chance. So youre actually going to do it?
Why not? I cant believe everything is as hopeless as you make it sound. Maybe
I can put out a few well reasoned arguments, win a few points, and itll come
out a draw.
I was once like you: so young, so idealistic, so nave.
Maybe you could help me. Give me the information that they wont expect me to
have. Give me a head-start.
Youre crazy, you know that? Robert smiled and shook his head, but Jim stared
back, undeterred. Alright, fine. Where should I begin? What dont you know?
Jim thought for a moment and said, Well, for starters, how do they do it?
Psychics, I mean. How do they make their predictions? Whats their trick? Hidden
microphones or something?
Oh, brother, Robert said, rolling his eyes. You really are starting from
square one. Okay, where to begin? I suppose I should start by telling you that a
sophisticated apparatus like hidden microphones is rarely necessary. Most of the
time, everything a psychic needs to know, is revealed by the person being read.
And why would someone reveal this information?
They dont do it intentionally. So called psychics are expert at reading
expression and intonation. They ask provocative but vague questions and watch
the response carefully. Years of experience teach them the subtle responses that
reveal when theyre right or wrong. So they take the initial responses and
continue to make educated guesses based on the person theyre reading and common
sense. Do you understand?
Jim nodded enthusiastically and stared at Dr. Jenkis for a few moments, before
letting his eyes slip down to the floor and ruefully shaking his head. No, I
dont get it, he admitted.
Robert Jenkis smiled charitably and continued, Okay, Ill try to put it
another way. The psychic will start out with something vague. The victim would
then fit this guess to something real in his or her own life. For example, a
psychic could say You or someone you know has recently moved. If a family
member, friend, co-worker, boss or even their accountants boyfriends
pet-sitter had moved any time in the last five years, then the prediction is
So they cant be wrong.
Exactly. That statement could even be interpreted to suggest a change in
career, a vacation, or any other change in that persons life. So if the victim
then reveals that its her brother who bought a new house, the psychic could
make a few more educated guesses. If the brother had bought a house, it would be
reasonable to assume hes in a committed relationship, because single people
rarely buy houses for themselves. If the psychic sees from the victims
expression that this isnt correct, then before anything is said, the psychic
can double-back and quickly suggest something else.
But would people really fall for this stuff?
Yes, you wouldnt believe it. If you watch a psychic, youll notice that they
hardly ever say anything spectacular. If theyre really talking to someones
dead father, then why doesnt the psychic just reveal, His phone number was
this. His address was that. He had the name Bertha tattooed on his butt. Why
bother with all the vague mystical stuff? People believe so strongly that they
always manage to find some tiny sliver of truth buried in horribly inaccurate
From what youve been telling me, its going to be easy to poke holes through
this psychics predictions.
Thats true, but it wont help you. Never underestimate how powerfully people
will latch on to a belief. No amount of evidence is going to shake some peoples
Jim took a moment to muster his courage, before asking the question that had
been bothering him for some time: What happened on the last debate episode?
Robert winced and sighed. I knew you would ask eventually. I dont believe
that I could adequately describe the events, so instead Ill give you this
tape. Robert stood up from his chair and plucked a videotape from the top
shelf. They gave me this after the show. Ive never felt any urge to torment
myself by watching it, but I think it might help you. I dont even know why I
kept it. I cant throw anything away, I guess. He reluctantly handed the tape
to Jim. Be sure to smash it, burn it, and throw it in sulfuric acid when youre
Thank-you. Maybe I should call the psychic that Ill be debating as well
Robert chuckled heartily and said, Sure! If you think you can afford it. After
all, she charges $200 per hour.
* * *
The show went to a three-minute commercial. Jim was rather surprised when
Andromeda stood up and strode gracefully towards the audience. She stood
silently for a moment, looking from person to person, before closing her eyes
and lifting her hands up to touch her temples. In a low, mysterious tone, she
stated, Im receiving something. I see a name beginning with the letter
M. The Lady Andromeda then opened her eyes and let her hands fall to her
sides. Jim wondered if she realized that she wasnt on the air; the host didnt
seem surprised, and watched her intently. Several members of the audience had
their hands raised. Andromeda pointed at one of them and said, You sir, you are
the one. Will you come up to the stage?
The man nervously stood up from his chair and began working his way to the
aisle. He looked about fifty-five, with a slim build and brown hair just turning
gray. His brown dress pants and Arnold Palmer sweater made him look like a
grandfather, which he probably was. As he walked up to the psychic, he nervously
began, I want to know about my grandmother Maria. Thats why Im here.
All right, come up to the stage with me, dear. We need to put a microphone on
you. she said. Two chairs had been quickly placed in front of the debate table,
and a stagehand waited with a clip-on microphone. As the two of them sat down,
the stagehand clipped the microphone onto the shirt of the volunteer and set the
battery-pack on his lap. William stood up and moved over to one of the cameras.
When the commercial had ended, he said, Welcome back to Paranormal Universe.
Joining us now is a volunteer from the audience, who will receive a reading from
the Lady Andromeda. The cameras all shifted to face her.
Now then, Andromeda began, youre grandmother Maria has passed over to the
Yes, two years ago. the man added, looking down at the ground.
I get the feeling that her death was very sudden, that nobody really expected
Yes, thats it exactly. She had been in the hospital for two years at that
point, and when the day finally came For a moment, the volunteer looked like
he was about to cry.
The cause of death was something in the chest area.
Thats right, she died of a heart attack.
Of course. I can see her face. Sheshe was an older woman, but still lovely in
her own way. I see that she had an angular face, and fairly high cheekbones. Her
hair was gray, cut short.
She had bright eyes. I think theyre brown eyes. Her jawline was very
straight. Regal, thats the word that occurs to me when I look at her.
Right now, shes trying to tell me about her hobby. Lady Andromeda appeared
to listen for a few seconds. She was especially fond of it while she was in the
hospital. It was one of those handcrafts, like macram. You know?
Yes, she did a lot of knitting to pass the time when she was sick. At this,
the host gasped. The man continued, Please tell me, is she okay?
Andromeda smiled kindly, and took the mans hand in her own. Shes fine. She
watches down on you from heaven every day. And she wants me to tell you that she
loves you very much. At this point, most of the audience applauded, and a few
shouted cheers. Andromeda and the audience member stood up and returned to their
That was a pretty impressive performance. the host commended.
Was it? Jim asked.
Now this is just ridiculous! I said right off the bat that his grandmother
Maria had passed over, how do you explain that?
Ah, you did guess the passing over part, but I would like to point out to all
those at home that she had actually spoken to him while we were on commercial.
He was the one who first mentioned his grandmother Maria.
But while we were on commercial I selected him to be read because of his
You just said that you saw the letter M. Lots of people raised their
hands and you picked one.
Andromeda seemed utterly shocked that anyone would question her astonishing
performance. Her hands were spread apart in a defensive gesture and her mouth
hung slightly open. But I even told him the exact circumstances of Marias
death! she said, seemingly exasperated.
You said that the cause of death was in the chest area. And honestly, what
else would Maria have died from? A wrist injury?
But I was right, she did die of a heart attack.
If someones going to die, they die of something in the chest or something in
the head. Those are really the only options.
How could I have described her face?
Your description was general enough to apply to pretty much any old lady. What we should do is
ask the volunteer if there were any distinguishing features that you missed. Maybe she had an
obvious birthmark or scar that could uniquely identify her. Do you want to try that?
No, the spirit has left the area.
Cant you just call the spirit back?
No. spat Lady Andromeda, offering no further explanation. Jim took her foul mood as proof of the
effectiveness of his debunking. Alright, maybe you have some arguments about those things, but
how could I know about this womans hobbies? That is something personal, unique to every
You were told that this woman had been in the hospital for two years before her sudden and
unexpected death. If she were in the hospital, it was probably because she wasnt doing very
well. If she couldnt leave her bed, then what other hobbies are available? Rugby? Video games?
All of your predictions are just educated guesses. Why dont you tell us something really
convincing about her, like her Social Security number?
Im not omnipotent. I dont know everything.
Thats the first completely true statement youve made all night.
* * *
Wednesday, the day before the show
Jim sat in his apartment, watching the Robert Jenkis tape for the third time. It was very late,
the night before the show, but Jim couldnt sleep. Nerves and a nagging sense of impending
humiliation kept him in a state of total alertness.
As he watched, it became all too clear why Dr. Jenkis had trouble keeping the audience. The good
doctor seemed a bit too obsessed with science. At every turn he would point out how this and
that didnt prove anything, and how none of this was a proper scientific study on which anyone
should base any conclusions. He seemed, on the show, to be a bit stuffy.
But the real blunder came right near the end. Jim fast-forwarded to that point and watched. Dr.
Jenkis was giving a mini-lecture to everyone on the importance of controlled conditions in an
experiment. Jim could appreciate the effort. Dr. Jenkis was merely trying to speak to the
scientific mind lurking inside each audience member. Unfortunately, some peoples scientific
minds are buried too deeply.
At one point in the video, Robert asked Andromeda, Can you read minds?
Andromeda replied, Yes, absolutely.
So Robert continued, Then maybe youre not speaking to dead people, but just reading information
out of their minds and spitting it back at them.
Reading their minds? I would never do that!
You may not even be doing it intentionally. How do you know for sure?
All Im saying is that if you havent probed youre powers scientifically, then you dont know
anything about them. I dont actually believe you can read minds either, Im just trying to show
you the need for scientific validation in another way.
Nothing will ever convince you.
If I was presented with compelling evidence, then I might be.
I can speak to the dead. I can locate lost persons. And I can read minds! She emphasized
the last sentence by leaning forward and placing both hands flat on the table.
Well then prove it! If I think up a six-digit number, can you just read it out of my head? Hmm?
Id like to see you do that! That would convince me! Robert smiled triumphantly at her and
crossed his arms.
She stared him right in the eyes, and before he knew what had hit him, she blurted out, Six -
three - two - eight - four - nine. The smile drained from Roberts face, leaving behind an
expression of blank confusion. The audience took his confusion as a sign that Andromeda had
correctly guessed the number.
But waitthats notI mean he sputtered.
Are we convinced yet? she asked caustically.
That wasnt the number. he finally managed. But even as he said it, he realized that he had
absolutely no proof.
What? Not the number? she inquired, feigning surprise.
Lets do that againexcept we should
Ah, you see? Its just like I said, nothing will convince you. Nothing at all.
But that wasnt the number! You just made it up! This remark elicited several negative responses
from the audience.
Now, now, professor. Theres no need for this sort of behavior. Accusing me of lying! How
Jim stopped playback. From that point on, the audience got pretty ugly. Dr. Jenkis just wasnt
prepared for such a trick. It seemed that being a good scientist wasnt always enough to be a
good paranormal investigator. Jim hoped to be better adapted.
* * *
Look, Andromeda. The solution to this debate is perfectly simple. If I remember correctly, you
have many psychic powers: detecting disease, foretelling the future, divining information about
objects by touch, even reading minds.
Its Lady Andromeda, and yes I do.
Then can you read my mind?
Lady Andromeda was silent, searching Jims poker face for some hint about his intentions. She
appeared to be a bit suspicious about Jim, but at this point there was nothing to be done.
Yes. she stated.
It must be a terrible burden, reading minds. How could anyone else relate to you when you can
hear their every thought? Jim asked philosophically.
I dont do it all the time.
Anyway, are you reading my thoughts right now?
This question appeared to catch her off guard. She watched him solemnly, contemplating the
consequences of each answer.
Jim didnt wait for her answer, and continued, Ill think of a sentence, and you tell me what it
is, okay? Its a simple demonstration of your powers, but it should do the trick. Again, she
didnt answer, as though she could tell that he was planning something.
Go on, show him! someone called from the audience. Murmurs of agreement trickled down through
the seats. She realized that she would have to go along with it to keep the crowd.
Hesitantly, she began, Fine
Terrific! Jim interrupted, Well, then, well just get right to it, wont we? He plucked a small
piece of paper from a pocket on the inside of his jacket. Without missing a beat, he continued,
William, I was hoping that you could help us a bit in this demonstration. I need you to hold
this paper in your hand out in front of you where everyone can see it. The host dutifully took
the piece of paper and held it up.
What do you think youre doing? Andromeda asked, with a slight tremble in her voice.
Jim ignored her completely and said, Now I want you to unfold the paper and read what it says,
but dont read it out loud. William unfolded it, conscientiously keeping it hidden behind his
left hand, and read the text. Both of his eyebrows lifted, but he didnt say anything. When he
was finished, he nodded and refolded the paper, still holding it in plain view.
Finally turning his attention to Andromeda, he said, The rest is simple, Lady Andromeda, either
use your mind reading skills to read the words from my brain, or use your divining skills to
read the words from that folded paper. You choose.
Andromeda stuttered, But but I shouldnt just I mean your mind is your own
Hes given you permission, William stated, I dont think you have to worry about that. The host
leaned closer to her, smiling, and said, Lets show him what youre made of, put him in his place.
Sporadic applause and a few cheers of encouragement came from some of the die-hard fans.
Whats the hold up? Jim asked.
The Lady Andromeda sat silently, confused and trapped. Eventually, she admitted, I cant read his
mind. His mind is closed up tight, totally unable to accept new ideas.
Well then William, would you please read the correct answer from that paper? Jim inquired
The host glared at Jim, but unfolded the paper anyway and began reading: The Lady Andromeda is a
fraud, and will claim that she cant read my mind because Im somehow not enlightened enough.
Rumbling laughter burst forth from the audience. Only a sprinkling of true believers sat with
grim, angry expressions.
Wouldnt you know it? Jim announced, Im psychic! Again, the crowd lit up with chuckles and quite
a few groans.
Andromeda stood up from her chair and hissed, This is an outrage! It is your skeptical mind that
is keeping me from reading you! The negative energy from disbelief is dampening my spiritual
Really? It must be a terrible problem for someone in your profession. I would hate to have to
tell an audience, Oh, sorry, I have to stop the performance. My psychic powers just cut out;
there must be a skeptic somewhere within ten yards. The crowd laughed riotously at Jims amusing
impression; even some of the believers couldnt help but smile.
Andromeda was furious, I told you, already! I have psychic powers! This is your doing!
Wow, thats amazing! Jim exclaimed, I can nullify your power with my very presence. Perhaps I
should hire myself out to people who are afraid of psychics cursing them or reading their
private thoughts. Jim sat straight up and continued in a bold heroic voice, I received my power
when I was bitten by a radioactive tarot card reader after getting an X-ray at the dentists. My
negative energy field is so powerful, it can even thwart psychics who charge $200 per hour. Im a
superhero! I AM SKEPTOMAN!
Jim stood up and struck a valiant pose. The audience was literally rolling in the aisles. And
all that the Lady Andromeda could think to do was to curse Jim, but not in the way that one
traditionally associates with psychics.