This is a short story based on a larger idea I’m currently working on that may evolve into a series.
Figures it would start raining tonight. A full three weeks of near perfect weather and the one time, I venture out of my usual routine of going home after work to watch a few movies, the climate decides not to cooperate.
Maybe its a sign?
At least I was able to get a ride. The short trip through the narrow streets downtown was peaceful with the heavy downpour only enhancing the intensity of the lights as they reflected off of the puddles and rain slick cars. We soon arrived and the driver sped off without saying so much as a “Have a good day.” Almost splashing water on my dress as he disappeared into the night.
In front of me was the place my coworker told me about. Madam Circe’s Fortunes. A typical city fortune teller who was operating just above a popular bar called “The Dead Rabbit”.
For a detective, I’m surprised he would believe in such a think as fortune telling or even anything to do with the occult. Most of us don’t really talk about things like at our desks. With all the cases that pop up, ones that deal with “rituals” gone wrong or dumb teenagers creating a cult-ish group after seeing too many horror films. Obviously the real life world of fortune telling is far more tame then the movies make it out to be. Mostly its just a deck of tarot cards or seeing into a bowl of water. Nothing as dramatic as the films.
The bar was pretty busy this evening with its usual crowd of employees hoping to loosen up after a long week of work and hype college students looking they just walked out of a goth-punk band. Its a rather…eccentric place but one that I visited with my coworker before, hence the recommendation.
Myself and him came here after another long day and he went upstairs to see the fortune teller after being told by the bartender she was legit and in all his time working there, she was never wrong.
Intrigued, he left me to my gin and tonic before coming down laughing at all the things she told him. “Oh this lady said my fiancé was cheating on me and I’ll catch them very soon, within a fortnight.” We laughed it off and finished two more rounds of drinks before stumbling home.
Then…that’s exactly what happened. A week later, he comes into the office looking like he was hit by a truck. She was cheating on him with a man she met online. They have been keeping it under wraps for about a year with her saying she was going to business trips every few weeks when in fact she was going to visit him at his house in the next state over. The guy was married to boot as well. It was a mess of drama and all that came with it.
Since then he has been going to the teller every other month or so. Every single thin she told him came true according to my coworker. He told me nonstop I had to see her. Finally he broke me down and I agreed to go. No joke he called her up and booked me a session. He even paid for it. So with that, here I am. Alone on a rainy evening about to meet a fortune teller as the highlight of my Friday night.
…I seriously need friends.
After pushing past some of the crowd that had spilled over into the sidewalk, I managed to get myself to the bar itself. The same man we saw months prior was there as if he was waiting for me.
“Miss Tully is waiting for you upstairs. Last door on the right.”
The man didn’t even bother looking up from making a round of drinks as he told me where to go. Looking behind me I saw the staircase my coworker went up before.
By this point the music in the bar was blasting and I could smell patrons smoking cigarettes outside in great numbers as well as the subtle smell of weed in the air. I’m off duty so it hardly concerns me with what a bunch of college students do to unwind. Upstairs was a hallway with many doors on either side and the passage was illumined by pink neon lights. As I walked down the door near me burst open and two people giggling like idiots came barreling out and walked down the stairs, smiling and blushing as they went.
I can’t even remember the last time I had a relationship with someone else, let along a romantic one. Life has always been about the next case which suited me just fine. I wonder if that’s why my coworker pushed me so hard to see this fortune teller. Maybe to push me to try new things and be more…human I guess. As if my life needs to be fixed by anyone, let alone some quack who is pretty good at pulling info out of her clients to give them her predictions.
I stopped as I reached the final door…this is stupid why am I here.
Its late, I have work tomorrow. I don’t have time to piss away on nonsense.
Then suddenly the door opened before me. I looked inside the room lit by soft glowing candles and smelled of sage and sandalwood.
Inside was an elderly woman with long black hair sitting at a small round table with her hands enclosed on top of the deck of cards. I had so many images in my head of what she would look like, maybe someone from those early 20th century horror films with women who have piercing white eyes and who looked like she could have been 80 years old at the very least. Instead she looked like just a normal person you would pass on the street. Her hair was neat, her eyes glowing with life and maybe a little mischief with a long toothy smile as she nodded her head at the chair on my side of the table.
The cards looked worn down from years of use with the edges looking fayed and the printed images losing the vibrant colors they once had.
“Please take a seat Vicky.”
I haven’t told her my name but I assumed my big mouth coworker already told her who I was in one of their sessions.
“I see you remember my name from Tom.” I sit down at the table ready to get this over with.
Her eyes lit up as she seemed to assess me for a few moments. Quickly she began shuffling the cards and spread them out before me in one long swipe on the table.
“Pick three cards and think on your question.”
I know this type of fortune telling, pick random cards while meditating on what you want to know. Then the teller will try and pick your brain to figure out what it is so they can tailor the telling to you. But still, might as well entertain the idea.
I guess if anything….what is my future? Seems like a simple enough question.
I pick the cards and hand them back to the teller. She lays them out in a row.
“The cards are read from starting from your left. It begins with what will happen immediately regarding your question. Who or what will play a major regarding your question. Finally, what does it all mean. The main points to take from this reading basically.”
She flips over the first card.
“Work, you’re consumed by nothing else but work. You excel at it and will continue to do so. But there is a challenge ahead.”
She pauses for a moment, seemingly puzzled.
“Death plays a major part in your life. More death seems imminent. regarding your work. Its practically your main purpose in life, to avenge the dead. Very soon it will be the only thing that matters.”
I roll my eyes, that’s a nothing answer. Of course I have challenging cases and I’m surrounded by clients who want revenge for their murdered loved ones or those who were swindled by low-lives. I deal with some of the worst of the worst in that category. Especially one group of thieves, which has started to gain ground again within the main city. Our informer alerted me a new upstart has taken over as the previous head was facing serious medical issues and was “retired”. New guy is causing quite a stir I’ll give him that, the last few heists we confirmed are working for him. Even more troubling is word is getting out he’s now doing more then just a few bank jobs.
“The young man whom is your enemy is a force unlike we have seen in a long time with and has his hands in more the just theft.”
…did I just hear her correctly. How did she know about that??!
I stood up almost slamming my hands on the table.
“Did Tom tell you about our cases?! He can’t give that kind of information to just anyone!”
I was going to kill that dumbass when I had the chance.
The woman didn’t even flinch.
“I can assure you, I know nothing about the inner workings at your job but we cannot be sure if this is related but guessing by your reaction I guess that is the case.” She smiles that same toothy grin.
She’s good, managed to bait me into her tactics, getting me to unknowing give info. I sit down, still pretty pissed off and thinking of ways to make Tom’s life a living hell when I get back into the office.
She flips over the second card.
“There is a woman…she is…lost…but not destined to be left in shadows. A client? I cannot tell if she is a friend or an enemy but she will play a large role in the future ahead…but she does still meet a terrible fate…” She frowns and looked rather sad.
“Her past is one of great misfortune. Poor girls like her end up in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Maybe she is just enough lost soul now that I’m looking at it. Another face that means nothing in the grand scheme of things. But she’s appearing so strongly in the cards…”
Final card is next.
She takes a long moment staring at the final card. Then she looks at the other two then back at the third.
“A great purpose but a swift death so soon…” She looked like she was having some inner conflict like she didn’t even understand what she was saying.
After sitting awkwardly I was getting annoyed, I just wanted to go home. “Soooo, what’s the whole point? What’s the future?”
She looks at her cards a few more times until she finally looks up at me.
“You’re death is soon and certain but with a great purpose on the other side.”
I’m done, this was such a complete waste of time and money.
“If that’s it, I’m going to go. Thank you for your time.”
As I stand she grabs my arm. “Vicky, please sit down. The cards are saying death is close by and but its not the end there is so much I’m seeing that I have to tel-.”
“I said I’m done! Good Night!” I shouted as I rushed out the door and down the stairs. The bar was in full swing with people and drinks galore. I ran outside where the rain is pouring down in massive sheets of water. You could barely see anything.
Stupid, Stupid…this whole night was a waste of time. When I get back in on Monday, I swear I’m going to chew Tom out like you won’t believe. A goddamn night wasted at a dumb con artist and…..
Though I guess that doesn’t matter when I looked up after running into the road, a truck was barreling down the street at breakneck speeds. Clearly out of control. The lights blinding me in those last few moments…
…Maybe the rain was a bad sign after all.