Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Misguidance

"Okay, I paid the twenty bucks. What do the cards say?"

-from The Writer's Book of Matches


  1. "They say the same thing I told you five minutes ago. It's forty bucks."

  2. You're in a Hallmark Premier store. If you want the goods, you've gotta cough up the cash. So far you've reached the 'Badly Drawn Fart Joke' category. I don't think that really screams Mother's Day. Do you?

  3. The Fortune Teller sat and stared at the carefully placed Tarot cards:

    Three vertical, one to either side of the middle card and four lined up vertically again, to the right.

    The Queen of Cups and Queen of Swords (both right side up) and Knight of Pentacles (also right side up.) The World and the Moon (yes! right side up) and then, Wheel of Fortune and Hanged Man (oh uh – upside down!) – with, finally, the Hermit (upside down) and the Lovers, (ah...right side up.)

    She scratched her chin and made a slight, “Hmmmm” sound.


    “You’re going to meet someone...“ she started.

    I slumped in my chair. Duh. Aren’t we all? Still...

    “ ...and this person might be significant.”

    “Significant? In what way?” I asked.

    “You’ll see. You have a very bright aura.” The Fortune Teller began putting away the cards.

    “That’s it? Twenty bucks and all you can say is that I have a bright aura? And that I might meet someone significant? Can’t you do better than that? Come on! There should be something more for twenty bucks.”

    She thought for a moment. Then she said, “Nope. That’s all I’m getting. But maybe...”

    “Maybe what?” I asked. I was getting really irritated.

    Just then, a man walked into the small storefront.

    “Rosalee – at it again?” The man shook his head, which, I noted, was full of reddish-brown curly hair. He wasn’t bad on the eyes, either.

    Rosalee looked down at the table.

    “I’m sorry, ma’am,” said the man to me, “but my sister – well, you know.”

    I blinked. “I know? What do I know?”

    “Look, I’m sorry for all this. She should know better. But maybe I can make it up to you. Would you like to go out for a bite tonight? I’d – uh – I’d be pleased to take you out.”

    I thought about it. He was kind of cute, after all. And, um, Rosalee the Fortune Teller did say something about meeting a new person – and a significant one at that, didn’t she?

    “Okay,” I replied. I took out a piece of paper and wrote down my name, phone number and address. He took the paper with a smile, and stuck it in his wallet.

    “Great, Beth! I’ll see you tonight, about eight-ish – okay?”

    I nodded and left the Fortune Teller’s shop, feeling a bit bubbly. In anticipation.

    “Nice job, Raj,” said Rosalee, “but I was doing fine. If you’d a waited just a few more minutes, I might have gotten another twenty from her. Seriously. I think she might have been convinced...” Rosalee packed away her charms and cards in a small box. Then, she pulled down some scarves and stuffed them in the same box, too.

    “Not a problem, Little Sister,” said Raj, “since we should probably manage a bit more than then before I’m done later.”

    He took out the small slip of paper with a name, address and phone number on it, flicked it with his forefinger and winked.

  4. LOL! Very good RJ! Nice to see everyone coming back to it around here.

  5. "I've passed this place a million times since I moved to the city," Charlene said, stopping in front of a small storefront window in Greenwich Village, "and I've never seen any evidence of Zara."

    The gold lettering across the top spelled out Zara Vladovich Psychic Interpretations.

    "Me either," Jasmine mused as she pressed her face closer to peer inside. "Oh look! There she is!" Jasmine jumped away feeling like she'd been caught peeking in someone's bedroom window.

    Zara beckoned the girls inside with a crook of her finger and a wide toothy smile.

    Charlene and Jasmine looked at each other and shrugged.

    "Why not?" asked Charlene

    "Sure, it's only 20 bucks, what have we got to lose?" Jasmine was game for anything.

    The door whooshed open with a jingle of bells and the girls were welcomed by the scent of lavender and orange blossom.

    Zara motioned for them to sit on the purple velvet chairs across the round table from her.

    "Who goes first?" Zara asked in a husky voice that sounded to be of a much older person.

    "Me," said Charlene,"but don't you want the money first?"

    "That's fine," Zara waved her hand casually.

    Each girl dug out a twenty dollar bill and placed it in front of Zara. She reached for a metal cash box under the table tossed, the two bills in and shoved it back under her feet.

    Charlene was wriggling in her chair, eager to begin as Zara played with the cards. Charlene touched the deck when asked to and watched wide-eyed as colorful images were laid out on the table in a precise pattern.

    Zara looked thoughtfully at the display. She shook her head and frowned.

    "I'm afraid the cards are not cooperating today my dear." Zara looked up at both girls apologetically. "When that happens, there is nothing I can do but return your money."

    And with that, she went through the process of retrieving the box, digging out two twenties and handing them back to Charlene and Jasmine.

    Disappointed, the girls left but promised to return another day.

    "Wow, that's a bummer," Charlene sighed.

    "Yea, but at least she was honest about it. She could have made up some crap and kept our money." Jasmine said.

    Zara walked to the back room of the shop carrying her metal money box. She opened it up and removed the tray on top. She noticed that she was getting low on counterfeit bills. Time to place another order.

  6. "You are a senstive person, but not too much so. When people have a problem they sometimes run to you if they think of it. In your future I see a great deal of possibilty, though perhaps a chance of failure if you're not cautious. You're going to fall in love with a short, but tall in character man, and live sort of happily ever after."

    "That it. Give me back my twenty bucks, you hag!"

  7. Brilliant stuff, folks! It has been a minute, but it looks like we've got some good writers on the boards.

  8. Deb - excellent!

    Emily - I think I may have visited someone once like the ambiguous 'teller' in your story.

    B - Too right!

  9. Glad to see the comments filling back up! Great stuff!