Welcome to Galactic Confessionary – where for a small fee you can unload all your secrets, judgment not included in the price.
Magnus read the sign on the door with ambivalence, he didn’t know what he was doing, he hated places like this, but then who else could he talk to about something this…he searched for the right word – delicate. Yes the situation was delicate. On his home planet of Ganzar, he would be detained for the knowledge he held, but here on Hoxcer, a planet that courted it lawlessness he was fine. He could share this secret that had been haunting him for weeks and could very well haunt him forever.
Magnus stepped into the booth.
“Welcome,” an appealing feminine sounding voice said in the universal language, “please feel free to begin whenever you are ready, you have purchased thirty minutes, it starts now.”
Magnus nodded, even though he knew she couldn’t see.
He took a deep breath and nothing came out, he was a little surprised to find himself nervous, he knew that the Galactic confessionary was played on the radio waves, and despite his disguise and paying in jewels that were untraceable he hesitated.
“Don’t worry,” the voice said softly, “there is no judgment here but the one you pay for.” It was said almost kindly that he almost believed her.
“Sure.” Magnus said slowly.
Then as if suddenly made conscious of the time he began speaking.
“My wife, my ex,” he shook his head, “she’s not my ex she’s my late wife, my late wife.” He took a deep breath.
“My wife was having an affair, I suspected, strongly suspected, so I had her followed, nothing, I put bugs around the house, still nothing, I took leave from work, and I still couldn’t catch her, she was good, very careful.” He said with a small smile, even in death he was still drawn to her ingenuity and cunning.
“Two solid weeks and nothing. I had to go back to work, going half-crazy thinking there was something wrong with me, I was too paranoid, too mistrusting but I’m a –” he stopped mid-sentence, almost revealing what plane he was from, he took a deep breath, “basically, my instincts are never wrong.”
“Never?” The voice said in surprise.
Magnus started at the voice, so altered from the cool indifference she had previously spoken with before.
“Never.” Magnus said with confidence, and he waited a moment trying to edge closer to the partition to see the face that belonged to the voice, but a kind of haze had been put on her so she seemed to shift and move.
“So, as I was saying, my instincts are never wrong, I knew she was cheating I just didn’t know how. Last week, I was on my way to a friend in another galaxy but I’d forgotten my compass, I went back, and I witnessed her murder. Or rather her death. The distinction is very important because on my home planet; murder is punishable by murder the only exceptions are proven cases of self-defence, sanctioned revenge and proven cases of genuine accidents.” Magnus paused.
“Her lover, a Santarian, a true teleporter, hence why I never caught her, is to be murdered for her death, because he was found with her. He pleads innocent, no one believes him because no one was there, except me. I saw the whole thing, and he is right, it was an accident. She tripped and fell he didn’t push her. And a better man than me would come forward as a witness.”
“But you’re not a better man.” The voice said.
“No judgment.” He said calmly.
“Sorry, do go on.”
Magnus gave her a look.
“The Earthlings call it karma, who am I to get in the way of it.”
“If it was truly karmic justice, then you would not have witnessed it, providing him with a means to escape his sentence of certain death.” The voice said gently.
“Well you’re just full of judgment aren’t you?” Magnus said with a small smile.
“My apologies, if you want I can charge you extra.” It was said coolly, but Magnus could almost detect a smile.
“Then tell me what to do.”
“I don’t need to because you already know.”
Magnus nodded and made to leave, just as she whispered.
“Goodbye, Ganzarian.” She paused and switched to Gandour. “For a race that is thought of as the proudest in the galaxy you seem almost decent.”
“Coming from you, who I suspect is an Angel or at least a half-breed; that might be the nicest compliment I’ve ever had.” Magnus said before he walked out.