SBR 1.9: Evergreen

If you stare into the void for long enough, eventually, the void stares back. I mean, who can blame it? If someone was staring at you and they didn’t glance away when you caught them, you’d stare back too, right? What else is it supposed to do? Leave? It’s the void, not a regular commuter. Be more considerate. Don’t stare into the void. It’s very uncouth. Welcome back to the Spirit Box Radio Advice and Community Segment.

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Hello, faithful listeners! It’s still me, your temporary host, Sam Enfield, standing in for the illustrious Madame Marie during her now considerably extended absence from the show. It’s particularly upsetting today, as many as you know, because it’s actually Madame Marie’s birthday. Thank you so much to all of you who have sent in birthday cards. I mean, I presume they are birthday cards! They feel like birthday cards and they are marked out for Madame Marie specifically as opposed to the precise coded name we tell everyone sending things in to the PO Box to use on a regular basis, so I think it’s a fairly safe assumption! I haven’t opened any of them, because that’s not my place in the slightest! I have, however, organised them in to a neat little pile with the gifts I’ve purchased for her. When she gets home from wherever she’s gone to, I’m sure she’ll be absolutely delighted to open them!

I won’t tell you what I’ve got for Madame Marie in case she does happen to be listening in to the show today! That would be disastrous. As Madame Marie says, it’s terrible luck to tell people what you’ve bought them for their birthday live on the radio.

The one thing I have opened was the beautiful bouquet sent in by Spirit Box Radio’s favourite florists, the Hatfield Karpos! Thank you again, Oliver, who I presume works there. The bouquet from Christmas is still going strong, and it’s so lovely to have another of your beautiful constructed floral creations to enjoy! Again, I’d implore you to get in touch, if only so I can purchase more bouquets from you as they are absolutely exquisite. I’m a little disappointed that you didn’t include an info card with these flowers as I don’t recognise many of them and I’d love to know more about them, as I said at Christmas. Oh well. Perhaps you don’t listen to the show! Never mind. On the off chance you do, though, please do get in touch with me, Mr Oliver. It seems like, maybe, just possibly you might know something about Madame Marie? I don’t mean to be presumptuous, Mr Oliver, but it’s just, this last card in this last bouquet in particular, which said ‘in loving memory’, I just want to know, if there is something that you, maybe might know. I don’t know.

Anyway. A good few of you, faithful listeners, flocked to the forums after last week’s episode to tell me that I never signed off at the end of the show! It’s weird because I distinctly remember I read those two, three paragraphs of the book we were sent in by faithful listener, Tara, which were about the rabbit running across the field, and then I did a few more New Year’s tarot readings, and I distinctly remember cutting off at about the half an hour mark to write an email response to one of the readings I did as it was a little bit too much. I’m very sorry for ducking out faithful listeners! I’ll do better in future.

More pressing, it seems, was that once the discussion about the lack of sign of started, many of you pointed out that there have been a few strange things going on over the past few weeks since I started standing in for Madame Marie. I want to reassure you that I’m sure these kinds of shenanigans went on when Madame Marie was still hosting the show, but she likely was able to handle it with a little bit more decorum than I’m capable of right now!

A couple of you have also expressed how ‘sweet’ you think it is that my ‘dad’ apparently sent me a gift this Christmas, which I opened live on air. It was a rose, if you recall rightly! I’d like to do a little course correction on that one, because, actually, it wasn’t sweet or nice or good, but in fact very odd. More of you on the forums were focused on the weirdness of the box’ spontaneous appearance on the recording room desk than you were on the perceived niceness of the act which I find a little reassuring.

I just want to clear something up. Whether or not Madame Marie is my mother is entirely irrelevant to the situation, I can however reassure you that I do not have what you might call a ‘dad’. I mean I presume I have some kind of biological father figure somewhere out there but I’ve never met him, and he has certainly never given me a spontaneously appearing Christmas rose before.

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In short, no I don’t think it’s a good thing. But I’m putting it out of my mind. I have more important things to do, like sorting everything that comes into the Spirit Box Radio PO Box, and, right now, presenting to you an Augury Forecast!

If you were born on a Tuesday, try to avoid excessively salty foods this month. You are more prone to osmosis than usual.

The next six weeks are a good time to indulge in something you’ve been denying yourself, due to the precise positioning of several large doves were spotted in the garden of Geraldine and Aurelia Banks, in Merseyside, on the morning of tenth of June, nineteen ninety. One of them was on the back of a bench. Auspicious.

Do NOT wear red socks on Friday. Just don’t. Please. I’m begging you.

If Michael has seven bags of oats, and I only have nine, but Mindy has six gallons of milk, does anybody actually like ReadyBrek?

The toast will land butter side down. Do not drop the toast.

If you have the letter ‘n’, for nauseas, in your middle name, the ring pull will come off the next tin you try to open.

Your number may be up this month, if your number is three thousand eight hundred and seventy two, through to four thousand two hundred and eight six.

So concludes the Augury Forecast!

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As promised, I’ve been swotting up this week on tarot reading and other psychic skills! Some of you have been really helpful on the forums, so thank you for that. It’s so amazing to have such a chatty and vibrant community behind me whenever I need you. Thank you so much, faithful listeners!

I thought that today, I’d try a two card tarot reading for you! It’s the first one I’m ever attempting – I haven’t even done a dry run in private. How exciting is that?!

Okay, so this question comes from Sara in Cheltenham. Sara wants me to ask the cards about her dog, Susie. She’s worried Susie is lonely following the death of her companion, a tortoise, Rocco, who was about 108 years old. I’m so sorry to hear about Rocco’s passing, Sara. I’ll consult the cards about Susie for you right now!

Okay, so first, I’ll shuffle the deck as normal, and then I’ll draw my first card, lay it on the desk in front of me, and then the second card. Okay, turning the first card over reveals its – well it’s death, appropriately! Death is of course symbollic of change, and it’s right side up here, so you can interpret this card as meaning a positive change, or at least a change with forward momentum. Maybe Rocco was suffering, before he died? I don’t know. Either way, this card means that the change is probably not going to be for the worse, even if it is sad for you both at the moment.

The second card issss the four of wands! How exciting! So a four of wands is all about change, too! It’s a card with strong associations to spring, and also friendship. So, you could interpret this two card spread as meaning that you could be making a positive change for Susie in the spring, regarding friendship and companionship, so maybe that would be a good time to bring a new pet into both of your lives.

I hope that helps, Sara!

I think that went pretty well! I think, as I’m feeling pretty confident right now, that maybe it would be a good moment to try and use the crystal ball. I’ve picked a question off the forums to ask, because a few people have been asking it and I’m not sure how to respond! Okay, according to all of the books, the way to approach the crystal ball is kind of similar to how you read tarot, except that it’s a bit more free form, so what I’m going to do is sit and face the crystal ball, and sort… address the… question…

Tam believed in ghosts. Ghosts that slam doors and steal children. Ones that haunt old houses, lamenting lovers lost amidst cobwebs bright with candlelight. They lurked in the shadows of her mind, watching whilst she slept. She wonders if that’s what she is now. Lurking.

There are certainly a lot of shadows in the world where she lives. Shadows, and something bigger, darker. Something that doesn’t make sense.

The world is full of people, but they aren’t really there. They’re the shadows; misty and vague. She can hear their voices and the thuds of their hearts like a distant army approaching downwind. There aren’t any words or meanings. They just are. She stands among them like a stone in a river bed, and they don’t notice.

The dark thing moves among them, like one of them. Tam watches. It moves like them, only she can hear every step of its feet on the ground. The shadows move through her, but the dark thing is solid. It’s a gigantic moving mass. Every time she sees it, it gets larger. She won’t go near it. If it touched her, it wouldn’t go through. She’s almost sure. If it touched her, it would know.

Tam goes here and there. The streets are streets like they’d always been before, but she doesn’t recognise them. She doesn’t know if that’s because they’re different or because she’s forgotten. It feels like there’s something important that she can’t remember, only she can’t imagine what it could be. She’s dead. She’s sure of it. She has reached the end of the line. But for some reason she can’t get off the train. If only she could remember why.

There’s a streetlamp on a corner, the only light in her world now. She’s drawn to it in the darkness, like a moth to a flame, but she can never make herself stand within reach of it. The closer she gets, the further away the streetlamp is. She can only look on from the distance, trying to peer through the fog that the light illuminates. There’s something on the other side, but it’s too blurry to make out. It might be a bus shelter. Perhaps that’s where she has to get to so she can move on, but she can’t because it’s on the other side of the streetlamp.

She has seen the shadows pass the lamp, and the dark thing. She watches, waiting for them to come back. The dark thing looms. At first she thought it was only there in the shadows, but it isn’t. It’s always there, in the corner of her eyes. When she was alive she used to lie awake in bed, holding her breath like the tiny movement of her lungs might be enough to give her away to the things she thought were watching. The dark thing doesn’t watch. It has no eyes. It has no face. She’s the one who watches. The dark thing is not afraid.

Once you are dead, you’re dead forever. Nobody told that to Tam but she knows, the same way that she knows she is alone with the lamp and the dark thing. It’s easier to accept that some things are just known when you are dead. If you’re alive, you need to know where information comes from in case it kills you. Nothing you can know or do when you’re dead can make you any deader. Once you’re dead, that’s it.

That’s why it bothers Tam that there’s something she’s forgotten. Perhaps it is a trick to how you get past the lamplight. It shouldn’t matter. Tam has nowhere else to be. She’s dead now. What business do the dead have anywhere at all? She does wish that she could be here and there in somewhere more familiar. When she remembers to want she wants to see her mother water the carnations, and watch her sister pick the kids up from school. Or at least, she’d like to see their shadows, going about their daily living business, the way the living do. Instead she’s stuck there, with the lamp and the dark thing, looping around the same streets like soap scum circling the drain, only the water level never goes down so she’s never getting close to the plug hole.

[MUSIC FADES]

… what was… the question I…

Huh.

I’m sorry, faithful listeners, I got a little distracted there! I’m actually feeling a little… out of sorts and I… Yes. Anyway. Well. This has not been as lengthy or productive as I’d have liked, haha, but oh, boy, I feel terrible now. Goodness. Crystal ball divining is clearly not my forte.

Well, faithful listeners. I am going to call it a night for now. Thank you for tuning into the Advice and Community Segment. I’ll speak with you all again next week, provided Madame Marie doesn’t come back, which she is bound to do any day now! Remember to send your questions to our email address, post them on the forums, send us a telegram, or even a good old fashioned letter to the PO Box. Goodnight, Faithful listeners. I think I’m going to… lie… down…