'The Fortune Teller ' by Vikki Gemmell

If my truth wasn’t selective, would visitors still lay coins in hands which shuffle between despair and inevitability? When pictures form in the air, giving me clues to their fate, I want to catch the pain and disappointments and lock them in a box.

A woman arrives, seeking reassurance from the cards, her son trailing behind. As I fan the deck I try not to stare at the boy, his face whiter than the cloth on my table. The death number is balancing above his head, flashing fifteen. Charcoal stains the curves of the digit five, ash sprinkling across his shoulders, the reaper already laying the foundations for his bed. I resist the urge to ask his age.

The mother sits forward in her chair, tapping her foot in time with the clock on the mantle.

He is watching my hands. Our eyes meet and a flicker of knowing passes between us.

I reveal symbols of hope for the mother, telling her of stars aligning, stories she wants to hear. Her sigh of relief curls in the air, the tension from her body melting into the chair as she smiles goodbye.

The boy turns to whisper thank you and my fingers caress Death. He always remains unturned in my deck.

Comments

  1. This is so good. Beautifully told.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Denise. Glad you enjoyed it:)

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  2. Wow Vikki, this is fantastic! I love the language and it's so atmospheric.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Elizabeth, and for taking the time to leave a comment x

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