Flash Fiction – For My New Book

Diary of Clair Greyson.

The Oracle Society. I’ve grown up in it; I have to remind myself that the majority of people won’t have heard anything about them. My parents belonged to the Society as well, so it’s been entirely normal for as long as I can remember. I also knew from a young age not to mention what they did to anyone outside the family, not if I didn’t want to get laughed at. My friends thought they were tailors; I liked the word, even before I knew what it actually meant.

My mum was psychic, and my dad was a Prophet. Real ones, not like the people you see on TV; those frauds couldn’t see the future. They couldn’t even find their way out of a wet paper bag without asking for help.

They’re both dead now, my mum and dad, but I’ve carried on the tradition. I was promoted to the Council of Elders fifteen years ago when I was in my twenties; the youngest in … oh, I don’t know, a long time. My mum and dad got to see that, though; they were so proud. My husband – not so much. That was one of the reasons we got divorced in the end. He went off in a massive sulk and created his own society, trying to prove how great he is. I think, at the last count, they had a couple of thousand members. We have three hundred thousand.

Lydia, one of my daughters, is a spy for the Oracles. She’s the head of the intelligence-gathering department, and I’m so proud of her. Kay, my other daughter, is definitely not involved. She doesn’t want anything to do with the Society; I sometimes wonder if she wants anything to do with her family, either. She works for the Home Secretary, though; that’s pretty impressive.

I’m writing all this down because I hope my descendents will read it and understand what their family did once, before everything changed. If the prophecy is true, then everything’s going to change soon, and I don’t want to risk things being forgotten.

The Society is made up of all the people in the world with powers; genuine powers. Mystics, soothsayers, weather controllers, prophets, psychics – all the people that organised religion want to destroy because it doesn’t fit in with their teachings. Even before we were formally organised, our predecessors fought hard to keep the traditions alive. Then came along one man who convinced our founders to formalise our alliances.

Jesus. Or Joshua, if you want to be precise about the translation. He was the son of Mary and Joseph, but he told everyone he was the son of the local deity; at the time, that’s all he was – a local god for the local tribes, and who didn’t hit the big-time until much later.

During Jesus’ three decades on Earth, he shared his views with anyone who would listen, and they shared it to thousands more. His teachings became the basis for an entire religion, which refused to tolerate the mysticism and beliefs that had existed well before it.

But all the mystics who were the latest generation of people with powers were determined to not go down without a fight. Nine such mystics met in Jerusalem shortly after Jesus died; three Shamen, two Seers, a Prophet, two Spirit Walkers, and a Weather Controller. Their entire way of life was being threatened, and so they decided – in the shadow of the Temple of Sinai – to fight back.

So we became, in part, a training ground for mystics, to keep alive the ancient arts and pass them onto the next generation in whatever way we can. We also set up an intelligence-gathering arm; many of our members led double lives outside the Society, mingling in circles that teach us new things all the time. Our spies soon learnt about the ancient war between heaven and hell, being played out right here on Earth as a proxy for Judgement Day. Until then, I suppose they had to get their kicks somehow, and we’ve decided that it’s our job to stop them. We’ve got pretty good at it over the centuries; we have spies who can detect a disguised angel or demon a mile away, and agents who can deflect a fight which would destroy a city block and blame it on a gas explosion.

Life spans being what they were two thousand years ago, all the founders died depressingly early, but the Society itself lived on. It was too strong not too … as were their spirits, which lived on by travelling on to the next realms via Charon’s ferries.

The Elders – as, despite my strong objections, we’re still called – are all encouraged to keep diaries, to act as a reference guide for future generations. I know I appreciated it when I began looking back over the people who held the role before me.

I also write all my prophecies in this diary. Not because I have to – the Society take care of all of that at our Archive in the British Library – but because the Archive records only the facts of the prophecy. There’s more to it than that; there’s the emotions behind it. I feel so much when I have a prophecy.

My fellow elders think it’s a good idea to record my thoughts and feelings, because we can try and see patterns between the sensations. They love patterns.

No-one knows where the prophecies come from, and my colleagues … my friends … think that maybe what I’m feeling will one day give us a clue as to who’s giving them to me. The elders are particularly keen about the end of times prophecy I had a few days ago. A prophet hasn’t had one of those for a long time; the last one was three days before the atom bombs fell on two Japanese cities.

So far, we don’t know when or where my prophecy will come true, but I’m convinced I know one thing; that the propecy was about my two daughters. They will either destroy or save the world – and one will have to sacrifice the other in order to do it. How do I know it’s my daughters in the prophecy rather than another set of twins? I just do; I felt it the moment I had the prophecy, deep in my bones, but the Society don’t look at anything like that. They just want the factual information; it’s down to me to interpret the emotions behind it. One day I will … and maybe I could stop the prophecy from coming true. My daughters are too precious.

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