“So, let me get this straight,” Doug leaned in closer and stared intently at the strange looking woman with the ratty crow’s feather poking out from her mess of greying hair, “you can tell my future, just by looking at that do-hickey?”.
“It is my gift,” the woman smiled revealing an overcrowded mouth of what looked like teeth that had been filed to a point. Doug visibly shuddered at the wicked grin. “Ok lady, I’ll bite. How much?” Doug normally wouldn’t have been caught dead talking to what he considered a scam artist, but he was desperately in need of advice. At this point he would try anything. “Fifty dollars, flat rate,” the woman said in a guttural hiss.
Doug put on a show of protest, but they both knew he would fork over the dough. Counting the wrinkled ten and two twenties, the shark-toothed woman tucked the cash into her brassiere and beckoned Doug to follow her to the back of her booth. Directing him to an orange plush armchair that he all but sank into, the woman sat down in the chair across from his and clicked on the flatscreen that was hanging on the wall to Doug’s left. She quickly muted the television as The Weather Channel came into picture.
“OK, Mr. Belvin, I want you to think of the pressing matter that has brought you here today. I want you to close your eyes and focus on this, and nothing else,” the woman hissed through her fanged incisors.
“No problem there,” Doug mumbled indignantly.
“Silence! Please, Mr. Belvin, concentrate!” the woman spat her command at Doug. A few minutes passed before she spoke again, “Now, open your eyes and look at the screen. I will now reveal to you what I see”.
She stared at the screen a few more moments, Doug assumed for dramatic effect, and turning towards him she said, “The answer to your question is this: You should move forward on the decision that originally brought you hear today. Within a short time of finalizing that decision you will come to greatly regret it, but take heed! Do not renege on your original agreement! Wait three days and then call the number you were given in the coffee shop. This is the decision that will set the tone for the rest of your life. Abide by what I have told you today, and you will be a happy man,” the woman folded her arms and leaned back into her chair. A light sweat had broken out on her forehead and she looked a bit peaked.
“That’s it?” Doug said in apparent confusion, looking first at the Doppler image on the screen and then at the ‘seer’. The woman sat stone-faced and stared straight ahead. Doug gave a huff of frustration and heaved himself out of the butt-sucking chair. Looking over his shoulder at the seemingly catatonic woman on his way out, Doug wondered briefly if he should check to make sure the hag was still breathing. Just as he decided to act on that impulse the woman began snoring, confirming to Doug that she was indeed still among the living.
Walking out of the woman’s darkened booth, Doug was immediately engulfed by the cacophony and smells of the flea market. The dramatic difference between the medium’s velvety, incense-drenched recesses and the flea market’s swarming heat and humanity almost knocked Doug off his feet and it took him a second to readjust to the bustling around him. Soon though, he was continuing on towards his original purpose for coming to the flea market that day and arrived at the antique furniture booth he had phone earlier about a 19th century writing desk he hoped to purchase. After about an hour of assessing the piece and haggling over its price, Doug was the happy owner of a very unique and quite beautiful writing desk. Tying it down in the back of his truck, Doug hummed contentedly to himself as he pulled out of the dirt parking lot and headed home. Not ten minutes into his half an hour drive, the cloudless blue sky suddenly darkened and it began to pour… and then hail. “Damn weatherman! I thought it was supposed to be clear all weekend!” Doug yelled angrily as he saw the chunks of ice bounce off of his prized piece in the bed of his truck.
Pulling off of the road, Doug saw a coffee shop with covered parking about 500 yards away. Parking his truck in one of the spaces, Doug turned off the engine and walked around to his truck bed to assess the damage. Most of the desk had been spared any real harm and Doug was just about to sigh in relief when he saw a large gash pinged out of the right corner or the writing surface. “Daggum! I say, DAGGUM!!!” Doug bellowed as he ran his palm over the scarred wood. “Well, this is gonna cost me a pretty penny,” he grumbled. Inspecting the imperfection a minute more, Doug decided to grab a cup ‘a joe while he waited out the worst of the storm.
Throwing up his collar and pulling down the bill of his cap, Doug made a dash to the front of the place and rushed inside. Ordering a black coffee, Doug grabbed a newspaper and found a table near the window so he could keep an eye on the storm. After about twenty minutes the storm seemed to be pushing off to the east and Doug thought it safe to continue on his way. Downing the last gulp of coffee, Doug stood up and tucked the paper under his arm. Moving towards the door, Doug heard a soft, musical voice say, “Excuse me sir, I believe you dropped this”. Doug turned to face the most beautiful woman he had ever seen looking back at him expectantly. He then noticed her outstretched arm offering a slip of paper she believed to be his. “Uh, thanks,” Doug said taking the piece of paper from her hand without looking away from her warm hazel eyes. Feeling a bit awkward, he quickly snapped out of it, or tried and giving the lovely woman a lopsided grin he made his way back to his truck.
Doug frowned at the writing desk and shook his head. Over the last three days Doug had tried everything he could think of to repair the blemish on its surface and had failed miserably. “That’s it. I taking this sucker back,” he said to himself. “Now where is that receipt?” He wondered as he subconsciously patted each of his pockets. “Oh right,” he said as he noticed his jacket hanging on the back of the dining room chair, “I must have left it in my jacket pocket”. Rummaging through his pockets, Doug felt a crumpled piece of paper and pulled it out. It was the slip of paper from the coffee shop beauty. He hadn’t been able to stop thinking about her, and was mentally kicking himself for not asking her for her number. Unfolding the paper, Doug’s eyes grew wide in amazement as he read:
His mind immediately drifted to the words of the psychic he had doubted. Awestruck, Doug smiled as he began to realize that if the words that crazy lady continued to manifest as she predicted they would, he held in his hand the phone number of his future wife.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: It is officially that time of the year where I stalk every radar site, station etc. about twenty times a day. I’m not quite sure why I do this, I mean it’s Florida, it’s the summer… it’s GOING to rain. But for whatever reason I need to know every fifteen minutes if the green blob over my house (or office) is going to turn into a yellow blob or even a red and (gasp!) pinkish purpley blob (I secretly long for the pinkish purple blob, I am super fascinated by inclement weather). It’s a small obsession I have and I make no apologies. So while watching the weather blob today on my computer screen, I let my mind kinda wander… always interesting when that happens. And what it wandered to was the notion of a Doppler radar being about to predict more than a little precipitation… what if it could predict THE FUTURE (cue dramatic music)!
TWO: I was also inspired by one of my friend’s FACEBOOK statuses expressing his frustration with our recent influx of summer storms in the area and how the wet conditions put a damper (get it!) on his plans to purchase and bring home furniture when neither of his vehicles possess a roof (truck & motorcycle). So Dallas, if you happen to read this, thanks for the inspiration and I’ll be watching the radar for a few rays of sunshine for ya tomorrow.
Love & Squirrels.