Madame Yotta

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The finale...Dr Shamsudeen is off chasing bigger fish so a seance is held to bid him adieu.


Dear Dr Shamsudeen,

It's me, Mary Celeste, Yotta's sister.

We had a seance last night and I am still unsure how to relay the contents to you. Perhaps a transcript would be best:

The night opened with six of us sitting around a plain wooden table. In the middle if the table was an upturned glass tumbler, around the edge was a circle of 26 cards representing the letters of the alphabet.

Five of the people present place their finger on the tumbler while the sixth acted as moderator and scribe, recording any messages.

We all sat in quiet for a while, reflecting on the parallel planes that mimic our world. The moderator started the night off:

Moderator: Madame Yotta! Can you hear us?
Tumbler: (Nothing)
Moderator: (More insistent) Madame Yotta! Can you hear us?
Tumbler: (The tumbler still did not move but appeared to be humming slightly.)
Moderator: (Shouting now) MADAME YOTTA! CAN YOU HEAR US?
Tumbler: The glass moved! It trembled slightly and then moved to a succession of letters: P-L-E-A-S-E
Moderator: PLEASE WHAT, MADAME YOTTA?
Tumbler: D-O-N-T
Moderator: PLEASE DON'T WHAT, MADAME YOTTA?
Tumbler: S-H-O-U-T
Moderator: (a bit abashed) Oh, terribly sorry. Where are you?
Tumbler: I-A-M-H-E-R-E
Moderator: iamhere? Ah! I am here! Great! Uh...where is 'here'?
Tumbler:I-A-M-E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E-A-N-D-N-O-W-H-E-R-E
Moderator: I don't suppose you could put in spaces, could you?
Tumbler: N-O
Moderator: Okay. We will try simple questions. Are you dead?
Tumbler: N-O
Moderator:Then you are alive!
Tumbler: N-O
Moderator:What do you think I am, a fool?
Tumbler: (No movement but it seemed to be under a lot of internal stress.)
Moderator: If you are not dead and not alive, what are you?
Tumbler: I-N-E-V-E-R-W-A-S
Moderator: Never was dead? Never was alive? Which?
Tumbler: B-O-T-H
Moderator: So...what were you?
Tumbler: L-I-K-E-T-H-E-B-A-N-K
Moderator: You were like the bank? Which bank?
Tumbler: A-L-L-S-T-A-T-E-S
Moderator: Allstates? I have never heard of it.
Tumbler: E-X-A-C-T-L-Y
Moderator: How were you like the Allstates Bank?
Tumbler: I-T-A-L-S-O-N-E-V-E-R-W-A-S
Moderator: Okay. You are like a bank that never was. What else are you like?
Tumbler: T-H-E-M-O-N-E-Y
Moderator: You like money?
Tumbler: N-O-N-O-N-O
Moderator: What then?
Tumbler: I-A-M-L-I-K-E-T-H-E-M-O-N-E-Y
Moderator: What was the money?
Tumbler: N-O-T-W-A-S-W-A-S-N-T
Moderator: Okay, what wasn't the money?
Tumbler:R-E-A-L
Moderator: I see! I see! Your didn't really like the money!
Tumbler: G-R-R-R
Moderator:Don't growl at me, glass! What are you saying? You are like a bank and like the money?
Tumbler:Y-E-S
Moderator:And what are you that makes you like the bank and like the money?
Tumbler:I-M-A-G-I-N-A-R-Y
Moderator: Imaginary? You are not here?
Tumbler: N-O
Moderator:You are not real?
Tumbler: N-O
Moderator: Were you ever real?
Tumbler: Y-E-S
Moderator: Good! Where was that?
Tumbler: H-I-S-M-I-N-D
Moderator: You were real in someone's mind?
Tumbler: Y-E-S
Moderator: Who was this person?
Tumbler: S-H-A-M-
Moderator: He was a sham? Who was this sham?
Tumbler: -S-U-D-E-E-N
Moderator: Sudeen? Do you mean sudden?
Tumbler: N-O
Moderator: Sham-sudeen? Is this a person?
Tumbler: M-A-Y-B-E
Moderator: So you were real in an imaginary person's mind. Wonderful!
Tumbler: U-P-Y-O-U-R-B-U-M
Moderator: Madame! Unseemly language does not help!
Tumbler: Y-E-S-I-T-D-O-E-S
Moderator: So let me see if I understand. You were real in this Sham-sudeen person's mind but you don't think they were real?
Tumbler: Y-E-S
Moderator: Who are they if they are not real?
Tumbler: M-I-D-D-L-E-M-A-N-A-G-E-M-E-N-T
Moderator: Middle management? Where?
Tumbler: N-I-G-E-R-I-A
(At this point I had to say something)
Mary Celeste: Sir! Sir! I know a Shamsudeen! He is a King in Nigeria.
Moderator: Do they have Kings there?
Tumbler: N-O
Mary Celeste: Yes. I have been speaking to him. He wants to know where you are.
Tumbler:H-A-H-A-H-A-H-A-H-A
Mary Celeste: Yotta! That is not nice.
Tumbler: H-E-W-A-S
Moderator: He was what? Imaginary? Not nice?
Tumbler: B-O-T-H
Mary Celeste: I am going to write to him tonight. What should I say to him?
Tumbler: G-O-O-D-B-Y-E
Mary Celeste: Is that all?
Tumbler: I-T-I-S-E-N-O-U-G-H
At this point the tumbler glowed slightly and then collapsed to become a small pile of fine white sand.

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Good night Dr Shamsudeen Usman, erstwhile conman.

Thank you. It has been fun.

Yotta & Mary.


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