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Fantasy Inspirational Fiction

The boy hid discreetly under a wooden table as he watched the woman’s foot intently, awaiting the signal.

The tent was dimly lit by a single candle placed upon the centre table, and a cool breeze entered through a small opening in the roof. The room itself was decorated with crystals and carpets, the calming aroma of spices filling the air. 

The client sat extremely still, his palm open in the hands of the woman as she traced gentle patterns upon it with her own finger, muttering words in an ancient language. 

Suddenly, she tapped her foot twice on the ground, and the boy under the table immediately loosened the window shutters, letting light and wind flicker rapidly into the tent. He heard the client audibly gasp, and smirked as he repositioned himself, awaiting the next signal. 

After the wind had calmed down, the woman muttered a few more words before closing her eyes. The client was visibly nervous and his hand began to tremble, but he dared not say a word. The silence that overtook the tent was almost haunting, and the woman subtly blew out the candle. 

The boy under the table took this as his sign to knock firmly on a piece of wood three times, before banging a small gong. The sound resonated throughout the tent and soon, the candle was re-lit. 

After a few more seconds of tracing patterns on the client’s palm, the woman took a deep breath, opened her eyes, and began to speak. 

“I see trouble in your soul.” She breathed out, staring into the client’s eyes.

The boy gasped in amazement, as he did every time, listening very attentively. 

Something seemed to snap in the client as he quickly began to ramble. “Yes, my wife and I-”  

The woman raised a hand to silence him and proceeded, twitching her lips. “You seem to be in a dark place right now.”

The client nodded affirmatively as the woman closed her eyes once more and brought a hand to her temple. A brief silence overtook the tent once more.

“I see hope!” She exclaimed suddenly, making the boy’s heart jump in surprise. “Hope for your future!” She smiled, squeezing the client’s hands between her own. 

“You will find joy, peace, and rest,” she assured “for if you wish it, it shall come true.” 

The boy continued to watch as the client exchanged a few optimistic words with the woman. Despite having been in his grandmother’s presence for weeks, he remained amazed at how she could be so confident in her predictions. They had left their home in Spain to tour America alongside a small circus, and the old woman had decided to bring her youngest grandson along with her. Diego had always heard his older siblings speak of the wonderful things Abuela could do and of her wisdom, but he had never truly understood the extent of her knowledge until he had witnessed her greatness for himself.       

After the client had left the tent, the boy came out from his hiding spot excitedly and swept some of the dirt off his clothes. 

His grandmother smiled at him. “You did a good job, as always, Diego.”

He grinned proudly and sat on the now-vacant chair in front of the woman. 

“The Americains always love their special effects.” She laughed, stuffing a few bills into her handbag and rearranging some loose strands of grey hair.  

There was a comfortable silence as Diego found himself in a deep reflection, anxiously wondering if the time was right to ask his question. 

“What is on your mind, Nieto?” Wondered the frail woman after noticing his contemplative state. 

The boy hesitated, wringing his hands apprehensively before finally asking : “Abuela, when can you reveal my future?”

The woman shook her head, placing a delicate hand on her grandson’s knee. 

“Diego, I knew this question was inevitable. I knew you would be curious. I just wasn’t sure when it would come up.” She pursed her lips, letting out a barely audible sigh before continuing. “I suppose you are now old enough to know the truth.” 

The boy smiled proudly at the maturity his grandmother saw in him, despite his young age of twelve. 

There was a brief silence as the woman took a deep breath, seemingly searching for the right words. 

“Diego, it is impossible to predict the future.” She finally explained, watching carefully for the boy’s reaction. 

First he frowned, and then contemplated the information briefly.

“But Abuela, you did it just now! You told the man his future!”

The woman shook her head slowly. “I merely told the man that he would be met with good fortune. And he shall, if he wishes so, for attitude shapes each and every situation. Even a person in the most unfortunate circumstances can find joy, if only he searches for it.”

Diego was shocked. “So you tell lies?”

“No, I wouldn’t put it like that -” She began. 

Mamá says to never lie!” He frowned, cutting her off as he crossed his arms. 

The woman took another deep breath. 

“Diego, when people come to me, I can often tell that they are in a bad place. My job is to give them hope; to tell them that soon, it will get better. After all, isn’t that what everybody wants to hear?”

The boy pondered the words for an instant. 

“Fate can not be changed. If it is written, then what is the point of revealing such information to a person? So they can dwell on it, and worry or fear?” The woman shook her head. “Life was meant to be lived in the present; day by day, moment by moment. As humans, it is not the future that should matter, but rather the journey we take to get there. My job is to put people’s minds at ease so that they don’t go searching for fate themselves.”

Diego began to understand, but remained unconvinced. 

Abuela, what is fate?” Wondered the child. 

The woman smiled and reflected for a moment. “Fate, Diego, is something that you can not control. It is an inevitable outcome to life that only Dios knows.”

“Then what is the purpose of life if you cannot change your fate?” Wondered Diego as he began to grasp onto the sense of the word. 

His grandmother chuckled. “That is precisely why it would be wrong to reveal somebody’s fate,” she explained, “because then, there would be no purpose to life! As I said, hijo, it is not the final outcome that matters, but rather the connections you make, the places you visit, the lessons you learn, but most importantly, the attitude you hold.” 

The boy now understood the wisdom his grandmother held. 

“Everything happens for a reason, Diego, so if these people were meant to consult me, then so be it. Maybe they needed a bit of encouragement on their journey through life.” She chuckled, pinching the child’s cheek lightly.

“Well, if we are meant to live in the present, then at this moment, can I go buy a snack from the vendor?” Asked Diego.

“You are a very clever boy!” Laughed the woman as she pulled a couple of coins out of her handbag, passing them to her grandson. 

Gracias!” He replied excitedly, jumping up from his chair and making his way towards the exit of the tent. 

“Just be careful of the bird!” The woman suddenly exclaimed. 

Diego instinctively halted and turned as a sparrow swooped down towards him, barely missing his head. 

The boy’s heart was racing in shock. “But how-?”

The woman smiled at him before opening a book.

Though countless new questions began to flood his head, the child knew that his grandmother still had many secrets and wisdom to share. However, at that moment, he was hungry, and so he decided to leave the discussion for another day.  

July 01, 2022 14:00

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1 comment

Madison Marvin
00:31 Sep 02, 2022

Hi Elliot, Interesting story, I liked how at first, it appears that the grandmother is a fraud, using her grandson to make special effects and sounds in order to trick her customers. But then she offers that sound bit of advice, and you think, maybe she's a fraud but at least she's giving people hope. And then in the end, when she predicts the bird, you question if she really does have the ability to see the future. Good job!

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