A Stranger and a Witch

Written in response to: Set your story in a roadside diner.... view prompt

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Fantasy Adventure Mystery

It was a Tuesday afternoon when the door of the diner opened and a stranger walked in. Strangers were nothing remarkable especially considering it was a roadside diner, there were dozens of truck drivers and travellers stopping by for a cup of coffee or a bite to eat but this stranger was different, and everyone noticed right away. The stranger was a man in his late twenties to early thirties, tall, pale and wearing a perfectly tailored grey suit accompanied by an expensive-looking watch and shoes polished to perfection. He stood tall looking around for a second before he sat down in one of the free cushioned booths and started looking over the menu. If he realized that all of the usual customers were looking at him then he didn’t pay any attention to the stares he was getting. He simply dragged his soft brown-eyed gaze over the worn-out menu card and hummed softly under his breath. The usuals were whispering and throwing not so sneaky glances at the man.

“he’s definitely not from here” bob the truck driver whispered to Mark the Sheriff who scratched his patchy beard self-consciously looking at the strangers perfectly maintained overgrown five o’clock shadow. Mark nodded and was about to reply when the usual waitress by the name of Sage walked up to them with a smile and a fresh pot of coffee.

“Refill?” she asked and both men looked up at her feeling a little bit more comfortable. Saige had this air of safety and security about her, her soft smile and kind eyes could calm down even the worst of nervous breakdowns, all of the customers would die for her and kill anyone who made that smile disappear for more than 30 seconds.

“Yes, thank you,” said Mark briefly nodding at the waitress as she refilled their cups. She was about to walk to another table but Bob stopped her.

“Saige, do you know who that man is?” He asked, the girl looked over her shoulder at the man who was still gazing at the menu. Her heart skipped a bit at the sight of him but she quickly regained her composure.

“I’m afraid I don’t know Bobby” she replied looking back at the regulars “but I probably should go get his order” both men murmured in agreement but before she turned to leave again Mark spoke again.

“Watch out sunshine, she’s not from here and we don’t want him getting any ideas”

“I’m sure I’ll be okay” Saige chuckled and begun making her way to the stranger’s booth, she put away the pot of coffee and took out her pen and pad. Taking a deep breath, she stopped her steps next to the table and smiled. “What can I get you, Sir?” The man took his eyes away from the menu and looked at Saige who felt a strange sense of calm and familiarity when their eyes met. The man smiled softly.

“I’ll have some black coffee and the original breakfast plate,” he said, his voice dragged like velvet across soft skin and a chill run-down Saige’s spine. She quickly wrote down the order keeping up her usual happy go lucky tone and expression.

“Will that be all?” she asked but the man paused as she felt his eyes travel across her tattooed arms and land on the floral pentagram shape on her forearm.

“I hope It’s not too forward of me but are you by any chance a practising witch?” the man asked and the question caught Saige completely off guard. Of course, having a pentagram tattooed in such a visible spot was bound to attract attention but no one ever said anything to her about it much less ever asked if she was a witch.

“I-“ she paused unsure of how to answer, to tell the truth, and risk getting laughed at or to lie and go about her day as usual. Something about the man told her she could be honest so she decided to take the risk “I am actually, I’ve been practising for 6 years now” she replied as confidently as she could. The man smiled even wider.

“What type of witch?” he continued. ‘This is going to be interesting’ Saige thought to herself but answered.

“Eclectic Pagan”

“What are your deities?” the man continued asking and for some reason, she continued answering.

“Hades, Persephone, Demeter and Freya so far but I’m always open to new ones”

“Fantastic!” the man said. By that point in the conversation, Saige was thoroughly confused but intrigued at the same time, this man didn’t look like a witch much less like a person who would be even remotely interested in witchcraft. “What’s your speciality?”

“Divination, mostly tarot” she replied.

“Do you have your deck on you?”

“I do actually,” Saige said and this only made the situation that much more bizarre. She didn’t usually carry the deck with her but this morning when she got ready for work something told her to take the deck with her.

“Could you go get my order and come back with your deck as well? I’m interested in a reading if you don’t mind darling” the man said as another chill run down Saige’s spine. She paused for a minute wondering if it was a good idea, the man could be simply making fun of her but against her better judgement, she agreed. Walking back to the kitchens to place the order her hands felt cold which was usually a sign that something was about to go down, she was a good witch, she knew her own cues and she couldn’t agree more. Walking to her locker to get the tarot deck out she wondered if she was in danger if she should do a protection chant before she went back out again. ‘It wouldn’t hurt’ she thought and mumbled a quick spell before gathering the man's order walking back to his table. As she placed his order before him she could have sworn that he looked at her differently and mumbled something that sounded like “Smart witch”

“Excuse me?” she asked and he just shook his head smiling.

“I didn’t say anything” he replied and gestured to the couch in front of him. “Please take a seat” Saige obeyed clutching the worn-out deck in her hands. As soon as she sat down she started shuffling, the stranger didn’t start eating he simply looked at her and her hands as she skilfully cut and shuffled the cards. Taking a deep breath, she looked at the man.

“What would you like to know?” She asked and the man grinned.

“I would like you to guess who I am,” he said and Saige froze, this was a very unusual request, she usually dealt with questions regarding love and money, never once was she asked to guess the person's identity. She was getting more and more worried; the man clearly knew something that she didn’t and tested her abilities. She was a solitary witch; she didn’t like working with a coven so she hoped he wasn’t some kind of high priest trying to recruit her. Against her better judgement she stopped shuffling, knocked on the deck three times as per usual and looking the man straight in the eyes she started searching for the cards silently asking the spirits for an answer. She felt the first card fly out, then the second and she paused at the third putting away the rest of the cards to the side. She looked down, all of the cards were turned over face down, Saige gently flipped them all over trying not to gasp as each with the card the answer to the question became more and more absurd but somehow made sense at the same time. The Emperor, The Death and The Devil. All upright stared at her from the table, she swallowed nervously and looked at the man with a suspicious gaze. The man was smirking even wider, evidently pleased with her show of skill.

“How can I help you, Lord Lucifer?” Saige asked gathering the cards back into the deck. She was calmer now that she knew who she was dealing with but that didn’t change the fact that she was extremely nervous as well, never before has she meet a deity in a human form. Lucifer giggled delighted and clasped his hands together.

“Ah smart little witch,” he said, “Your skills are excellent!” Saige chuckled at the sudden praise.

“Thank you” she replied

“You are correct little fox I would very much appreciate your help,” he said a little bit more serious.

“I’m listening” Saige replied

“I can’t tell you now but” he started taking a piece of paper out of his suit pocket and placing it on a table, it had an address and an hour written down “Here, I need you to show up there tonight. I will be waiting and then I’ll explain everything.” Saige didn’t recognize the address but nodded, nevertheless. She was about to ask but the cook yelled for her to get back to work.

“I’m sorry I have to get back to work,” she said to Lucifer as she got up “But I’ll be there tonight” Lucifer nodded smiling, Saige was about to leave when she felt a cold hand grab her wrist, she turned to the devil himself stunned at the sudden physical contact.  

“Saige darling” he started letting go of her wrist, he nodded at him to continue “wear something nice, we’re going to a party” As she walked back to the kitchen she sighed. This was going to be a long night. 

September 07, 2021 08:00

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