Val is the oracle, a psychic medium connected to a gate separating the living world from the afterlife. She’s balancing a new life in the Bay Area after suffering a career-ending incident as a consultant to the Boston police department, but it’s not all wine and roses.
This uncredited photo inspired our Val (really, if you’re her, please let us know so we can credit), we gave her lots of flaws and strong opinions.
Now that you’re the oracle, what’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
(She tips her head to the side and gives us a little bit of a side-eye.) Is this a trick question?
We’re not trying to trick you. People might empathize with your struggle.
It’s not really a struggle. (She stares at something just above our heads. We check but there’s nothing there.) I think the biggest challenge is finding time to do the things I want to do instead of the things other people want me to do.
Is working for the Agency a challenge? After all, it’s considered the boogeyman for psychics everywhere.
(ignores us) Hey, which one of you had an uncle? 70-something, well-rounded, balding. He says you need to get in touch with your aunt.
Um… Uncle George? Nice try. He hated my aunt and never told her where he kept his money before he died. And she doesn’t much like me either after I brought home that snake.
Well, he’s laughing so you tell me. He says it’s payback. Also he says you need to be writing instead of interviewing me.
Yeah, right. I don’t think we needed a psychic to tell us that. Let’s get back on track. If you could do anything else, what would you be doing?
(Val sighs and makes a shooing motion presumably to Uncle George) I’d help people find closure, help families realize their loved one isn’t suffering any more, that sort of thing. (She turns at a commotion behind her and shakes her head as Madelyn Ferrel, her mother, settles beside her.)
(Madelyn) Have you told them about Samantha Petrovski’s lunch invitation?
(Val) No, and it’s not really something we should be talking about.
(Madelyn) My daughter is too modest for her own good. Samantha comes from one of the Elite psychic families, you know. Nothing too good for the first oracle of our generation. Our family was like them once… before the Sundering, you know. You might want to look it up. (To Val) You could be a bit better at promoting yourself.
(Val stands) Okay, we’re done. I’ve got work to do.
(Madelyn’s face brightens) Absolutely! She’s working very hard with the Agency director and have you seen him? If I were younger…
(Val) Let’s go. (To us.) Uncle George says the money your aunt wants is under the ottoman.
(Madelyn leans toward us as she leaves) That’s Ferrel with two Rs. Make sure you get it right….
And I guess that’s all. An oracle’s work is never done. (Weird thing: there really was money under the ottoman, a whopping $18.57 with a note to my aunt: “Here’s what’s left, my dear. Oops. Don’t get too carried away, haha. “)