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Missing Madam Z

Memoir of Cate Morelli, in regards to the disappearance of Madam Z

Chapter 1

Missing Madam Z: Chapter 1

When I woke up that morning, all I could think about was having a cup of coffee and a hot bath.

It was a bleak Tuesday in New York in November, a grey-washed day like any other. Or so I thought. I soaked in my chipped, remnant claw-foot tub, its hot steam swirling and co-mingling with the aura-cleansing smoke of the sandalwood incense burning nearby. I sipped my freshly brewed coffee and as my body relaxed, my thoughts turned to the day’s tasks ahead. The mental list that I created was short and succinct. Stop at the post office to pick up a package. Drop off some books at the library. Buy a new set of strings for my lute, and, most importantly, go to my regular appointment in the East Village with Madam Z, at 2PM.

I had started having sessions with Madam Z about six months earlier, and since then my life seemed to take on more dimension…more meaning…more…intrigue. What had just seemed like routine or random occurrences to me before had begun to take on a more abstract, almost luminous quality, as I sought to find meaning in even the most mundane events and encounters. Madam didn’t believe in chance and she didn’t believe in living with one’s eyes closed to what she often referred to as the “spiritual destiny of the individual and of mankind.” Her first task, she said, with any new “client,” was to get them to open up to the fact that their lives had what she called “cosmic purpose”. The crux of her creed was simple, yet incomprehensible to many: Your life is yours to hold and shape and re-create over and over again, in the image of that which feeds and educates your inner soul. Those who grasp this principle and all its myriad implications, and consciously co-create with the “holy spirit” who surrounds them, will find through their earnest efforts, the secrets of Life and the Universe. Madam Z saw her role as part sage and part guide… but the real cosmic navigation was up to the individual seeker.

My reason for seeking her out initially did not seem particularly monumental at the time, but it was perplexing. The idea came to me to look for a “medium” of some kind after I had been seized by a series of seemingly incomprehensible dreams. Dreams where I often felt myself to be bound to a chair and blindfolded, with the sound of the most pristine lute music filling the air around me. Since I had never been one to have reoccurring dreams, when this one came several times in the same month, I became bewildered.

Missing Madam Z

Each time I had the dream it seemed as if another “clue” was revealed as to my whereabouts and circumstances. In one installment, I heard the sound of someone tapping a foot in-time to the music, and from then on, whenever I had the dream, I sensed another’s presence in the room where I was seated and bound. Within a short time it occurred to me that the music I heard was being performed “live” presumably by this other person. Another time during the dream, the pungent smell of violin rosin mingled with pipe tobacco smoke was overwhelming. One time I heard the sound of children playing above me, the sounds of their shrieks and what seemed like a ball hitting the floor-boards above, threatening to drown out the music, which then stopped abruptly before I awoke, bemused and disappointed. A few days after the last time I had the dream, while walking down E. 12th street, in the heart of the colourful East Village, the cradle of New York’s creative scene, where the intoxicating flavour of bohemia can still be savoured, I suddenly stumbled upon a beautiful 19th century brownstone townhouse. A discreet sign with an arrow pointing to the basement flat below the street simply read “Psychic Readings by Madam Z”. Surprised and excited, I walked down the few steps leading to the flat and knocked eagerly on the bright purple door. A youngish woman of about 30 or so, dressed in a maid’s outfit soon answered the door, and when I told her that I wanted to have a reading she looked in the diary sitting on a nearby table, asked me my name, and told me to come back the next day, which was a Tuesday, at 2PM. I came back the next day, and I have been seeing Madam Z on Tuesday afternoons, ever since.

Missing Madam Z

I have learned so much about myself and my inner workings since that first encounter with the Madam. For the first month, we concentrated almost exclusively on my astrological chart and on deciphering the meaning of the series of dreams that I mentioned earlier.

Missing Madam Z

Before I go on, I should probably tell you, Dear Reader, a little about Madam Z, the woman, teacher, mentor and sage. The first thing one notices about her are her startling violet eyes, which seem to penetrate the very core of your being when she first turns her gaze upon you. Next, you sense the solidity of her personal presence, even though her frame is slight and she is petite in stature. Her longish red hair is usually piled in soft waves above her head and held in place with an ivory and ebony barrette. Often, she wears a long skirt, with a vintage sweater set of some kind over it…almost always in black. Her overall appearance is as 19th century as the house in which she lives and works. Although she speaks in heavily accented English, it is hard to discern where, exactly, her accent is from. If one inquires about it, Madam’s usual answer is, “Does the past actually matter? Don’t we only really have the moment that we’re in?”

Missing Madam Z

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The online novel, "Missing Madam Z", is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people or real places are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events, places or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

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