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Fiction Suspense

Ensuing Fortune

Here we were at PPF (past, present, future) revelations. Okay, it was basically just another fortune teller’s parlor. Why and how did we end up here, you ask? Well...

It was our night out. There are four of us. We’re all nurses, working at the same hospital. Once a month we enjoy one evening of freedom from our husbands, kids, responsibilities. We meet at a designated restaurant or diner, have a meal prepared by someone other than us, then whatever stirs our interest will be next on the agenda.

I’m Freida. I’m middle-aged, blonde, not ugly, married, with two children, one dog, two cats. Then there’s Linda, who’s in her thirties, married, brunette, very pretty, with one child and one cat. I can’t forget Samantha. She’s in her fifties, married, attractive, with two children, one grandbaby, and two dogs.

This, my friends, is a true tale, so the woman of paramount importance is Sheila. She’s middle-aged, married, redheaded, attractive, with three children, two dogs, three cats, and five chickens.

Often, the four of us would catch a movie or a performance at the local playhouse. Basically, we all lived in “Hicksville,” USA. Boring! Boring! Boring! This evening Linda suggested we travel to an adjacent town that was, as we described it, “up the mountain.” Linda had heard about a fortune teller there that was supposedly “trés extraordinaire.” We all agreed this might be a “hoot,” finished our meals, climbed into our cars, and let Linda lead the way. We arrived at the fortune teller’s parlor about 7:00 p.m. It was actually an addition to a two-story home with a circular porch. At the top of six wooden stairs, on a large porch pillar, a sign read:

PPF REVELATIONS. MADAME ROSELYN,

PSYCHIC FORTUNE TELLER IN RESIDENCE.

There was a gigantic ornate door with a stained-glass panel bearing a vibrant rose with light emanating from it.

“All so very mystical,” Linda mused.

We chuckled, and when Samantha knocked on the gateway to our fortunes, a melodic voice said, “Come on in; your future awaits.”

Maybe I’ll wait in the car, I thought, taking a few steps back; but Linda grabbed my hand and dragged me inside.

We expected to see a woman with a colorful scarf around her head, a flamboyant skirt, a ballooning silk blouse of many colors, wearing large gold earrings. We thought there would be incense burning, velvet curtains, and a round wooden table with a prominent crystal ball in the center.

To our surprise, we encountered an attractive young woman in a conservative blouse and blue jeans. Her tawny hair was fixed in a long braid that rested on her derriere. She stood in a waiting room that resembled a doctor’s office. She pleasantly smiled at us. “What are you seeking?”

We responded in unison, “We’re curious about our futures.”

“I can see them now,” she intoned.

There was a closed door behind her. I assumed she’d lead us in there, and that’s where the “hyped up” parlor would be.

“Just a paltry twenty dollars will provide the information you seek,” Roselyn pronounced.

What the heck, I thought. We’ve paid a lot more for entertainment during our outings.

We delved into our purses, and each of us handed her a twenty-dollar bill.

I wonder if she has a change machine handy, I thought, just in case.

“Who wants to go first?” she asked.

Since it was Linda’s “fault” we were here, the three of us stepped back, making her the obvious first “victim.”

We selected seats in the waiting area and awaited Linda’s return.

Approximately fifteen minutes later the door opened, and she stepped out. Peering within, I perceived that the interior parlor was a blue 8x10 room with celestial stars painted on the walls and ceiling. There was a round wooden table about four feet in diameter in the center. (At least the table was as I imagined, sans the crystal ball.) Two comfy, padded, green-upholstered chairs were strategically placed at the table.

Madame Roselyn appeared in the doorway, ready for her next target, and Samantha followed her into the starry chamber to be enlightened.

Sixteen minutes later, Samantha emerged, and I decided to get it over with. I then entered the parlor and took my seat, whereupon Madame asked me to place my hands on the table, close my eyes, and clear my mind. I was very nervous, so it was no easy task to empty my thoughts, but I did the best I could.

Roselyn took my hands in hers and began telling me details of my past. She was “spot on,” and I was understandably shocked.

She may just be the real deal, I thought.

She proceeded to tell me about my present situation, and was remarkably accurate again. Apprehension swelled inside me as I knew my future was about to be revealed. She informed me that my husband was, and always had, been faithful. I had actually wondered about that at times. She revealed my children would attend college and be gainfully employed. They would both marry and be quite content and provide me with four adorable grandchildren. They would locate geographically close to me, and we would visit often. I was relieved, happy, and fulfilled to hear this, and exited the interior room with an exuberant smile on my face.

At last Sheila joined Madame Roselyn, whilst Linda, Samantha, and I discussed what had been foretold to us. It was all similar in nature but with specific details relevant to each of our personal lives.

To our astonishment, Sheila was back in less than five minutes. She was noticeably unnerved and was pale as a ghost.

“I’m very sorry,” Roselyn conveyed, sealing herself in the inner chamber.

Sheila clutched a twenty-dollar bill. We all chuckled and asked if she got a freebie.

“No!” Sheila exclaimed. “She refused to tell me anything!”

We all knew how odd this was, but tried to allay her fear.

I attempted to interject humor. “Oh Sheila, you’ll probably be the first woman President, and she didn’t want your head to swell.”

Sheila did not laugh or crack a smile.

We exited the establishment, hurried to our respective cars, and drove away.

Except Sheila. She had told us to go home, saying she planned to go back inside and force Madame Roselyn to “come clean.”

I later learned from Sheila’s husband that Sheila did indeed force Madame Roselyn to reveal what she’d seen in her future. Roselyn saw nothing at all, and said she’d never experienced that. She was afraid it had meant that Sheila had no future, and she had not wanted to alarm her. But Sheila had persisted, and Madame finally relented and divulged what she’d seen (or had not seen).

Sheila was extremely unnerved, and called her husband. He laughed and said she was silly to put stock in a fortune teller’s “load of crap.” He’d been duly concerned for Sheila, though: She had a heart defect, and he hadn’t wanted Sheila to stress over the situation. He had suggested that she not drive down the mountain, but instead locate a motel and wait until morning to drive home, since it was her day off work anyway. Sheila agreed, and spent a restless night in a nearby motel.

The next morning, she called her husband with a startling revelation: On the morning news she learned that a tractor trailer jackknifed on the road she would have taken. It had lost control, caused a six-car pile-up, and eight people were dead at the scene.

Incredibly, it was the exact time Sheila would have been in that location! She rejoiced, “It’s a miracle! I was spared!”

 Her husband was gleeful and told her he’d impatiently wait for her return so he could smother her with kisses.

Sheila eagerly left the motel, climbed in her car—she suddenly felt nauseous—and dialed her husband. She was able to say, “I love you one last time.”

Sheila passed away as a result of a heart attack. Her husband surmised it was from the stress generated from the “fortune.”

Fate is written in The Book of Life—you can’t change or escape it.

July 02, 2022 03:47

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