A New Day in an Old Life

Written in response to: Set your story in an oracle or a fortune teller’s parlor.... view prompt

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Historical Fiction Mystery Romance

Chapter 3       A New Day in an Old Life                  


The following day Lara was feeling more confident with the idea of exploring their old new world. Last night when they were lying in bed, trying to avoid that poky spring in their mattress, Lara had brought up a story that happened after their divorce in 2017. She shared with Daryl that she had been so heartbroken that she went to a fortune teller’s parlor on Main Street. “We used to laugh at that place with the neon sign when we were married,” Daryl interjected.

“I was lost and feeling hopeless,” Lara continued. The shop was in the parlor of that old Victorian house. A woman who was about my age or perhaps she was older, gestured for me to sit as I entered at my appointment time. She had me place my hands around a glass ball. “I think they call those crystal balls,” Daryl added, trying to let her know he was actively listening. Lara side smiled at his effort to help her story. “Yes, I held my hands around the crystal ball for about five minutes as she made small talk with me. Then she looked deep into the ball as she spoke of my future. She told me I would be with you again, but not in the future, which made no sense to me at the time. I thought she meant in heaven after we were both dead. She went on to say many things most of which made little sense to me and did truly little to comfort me. I left there thinking we have no control over our lives and my sad attempts to try and control it left me feeling even more exhausted. And yet it was still remarkably interesting. “Did you know, she helped the Syracuse Police solve that murder case from 1999? She did! Isn’t that wild?”  

“Well, she got that right. We are together again, and it is not the future,” Daryl said as he rolled closer to his wife, so their noses were touching. “This is exciting, isn’t it?” he whispered. She smiled and kissed him. 

“Let’s walk into town tomorrow,” Lara said. They could see from their hillside property that they were close to a town. “That fortune teller told me I would be an author one day. Can you imagine, me an author?”

“I imagine you can do anything,” Daryl said, as he kissed her good night. 

The next morning the rooster crowed, and Lara’s eyes shot open. Daryl was already out of bed and stoking fires. What a good farm-boy she thought to herself. Daryl had always been a hard worker. Growing up on a farm in Upstate New York would instill that in you. Daryl and Lara had been neighbors growing up, but neighbors in the country did not always mean you knew of each other. In their case they had not met until they were fourteen. Lara who had spent her time at the State Fair on rides and games, which had never allowed her to bump into Daryl who spent his time in the barns and arenas showing his prize cows. She smiled at the memories that flooded her mind as she pulled on her house coat. 

Downstairs, breakfast was waiting for her on the table. Joy filled her heart, and she was unable to contain the broad smile that spread across her face. She slid up next to her husband and kissed him on the cheek. “Thank you.”

“An author needs her strength,” he said, and he grabbed her around the waist and pulled her hard into him. This was going to be a good day.  

Once the barn and house chores were all completed, Lara looked at Daryl and said, “Okay, John are you ready to head into town?” 

“Why yes, Ann, I am,” he responded. “Let’s do this!” he added for good measure. 

Part way into town on their walk, Lara whispered, “I miss my Nikes.”

“You got that right, me too.” Daryl responded.

Lara looked up at the blue sky and fluffy white clouds. “It looks the same as 2018 in New York. Just think our ancestors walked to town gazing at this same sky.”

The bell sounded on the shop door as they entered together. Good morning, Mr., and Mrs. Frost,” the shopkeeper greeted them. Not looking at each other, they both nodded and said good morning. Frost? Lara searched her mind and realized that surname was familiar because it was in Daryl’s family line. John and Ann Frost, she repeated in her mind. Good to know. “Will you be using your credit today?” the shopkeeper queried. “Not today,” Lara said. Unsure if they really had credit, she did not want to get into a subject she didn’t know anything about. They were just there to look around and hear the news. They wondered if anything strange had happened in the last week or so. 

“Charlemagne, who had nine wives, was several times divorced…” they overheard a man saying. “I read it in The Pall Mall Budget,” he continued. Daryl placed the Surrey Mirror newspaper on the counter, along with ball twine. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a few shillings. 

“Where to next?” Lara questioned when they stepped outside of the general store. 

“Let’s walk and see if there is a haberdashery!” Daryl said excitedly. 

“It’s funny to me that I have not already written a book, living with you for sixteen years.”’ I once had someone tell me “…that story has been over told,” and yet it was my story that has never been told. It made me think about how many people are in the world and each person is their own story. Among those people are writers and story tellers who have additionally hundreds of stories more to tell. Statistically “the same story,” is going to be told over and over again.


“Let’s get you some writing supplies too,” Daryl added. “I think that fortune teller back home was right, you will be an author.”


“Let’s get you some roasted nuts. Those smell good and I could use a snack too.” When Daryl returned, with a bag of roasted nuts from the street vendor to Lara who was looking in a shop window, he hugged her and said, “I do not think you will ever run out of writing material. I don’t know why we are here, but I’m having a good time.”  

June 29, 2022 16:36

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