Mom used to see a psychic when I was young. Dad thought she was nuts. To tell the truth, so did I, yet here I am, twenty-three years later, knocking on her door. I’m covered in day-old sweat. Scratches cover most areas of my skin that are showing; bruises continue to form on most of the areas of my body that are not showing. The lump on my forehead, I’m confident, will be noticed by her. She will ask, and I will avoid giving her the answer. I am here to ask her questions, not the other way around. I never considered, though, that she may know the answer as soon as she sees me. If she is truly psychic, she will know…everything. I should leave, but before I can turn to walk away, she is at the door.
“Danny,” she says with a smile. She is a short woman, no taller than five feet. Thin, and dressed in layers of decorated cloth from head to ankle. On her head, strands of gray hairs are pushing their way out from under the drapes. The piercing in her nose does not surprise me. I should have known Mom would only go to a true Gypsy. “Your mother spoke quite well of you, dear. Come in, have a seat.”
As I entered her small home, she gestured ahead to a small table with a crystal ball placed perfectly in the middle. I took my seat, peering into the ball hoping to catch a glimpse.
“Let me look at you, dear.” She grabs my hand and my heart begins to race. Is she going to know? Can she read my mind? What exactly do psychics know? “Oh yes, you look just like her. I’m so sorry she’s gone.”
“Thank you,” I respond without making eye contact. I should just leave right now.
“Cards, crystal ball, or palm reading? Which do you prefer, Dear?”
My hands are covered in sweat. Definitely not a palm reading. “Cards, I guess.”
“Great choice,” her eye gets lost in her wrinkles as she winks at me. She reaches behind the chair she is sitting in and pulls out a black cloth, which she opens to reveal Tarot cards. After a slight shuffle, I cut the deck and then she deals. She turns the cards over slowly as if not to give away any secrets before she is ready. She then explains to me that the cards are merely a tool she uses to pull messages from the spirits that come to her in visions.
Card one. “You are in danger.”
Card two. “Someone is seeking justice against you.”
She stops before turning card three. She places the cards on the table, along with both of her hands and slowly looks up at me. Oh God, she knows. “Why are you here, dear?” she asks.
“I…I’m in trouble,” I say.
She nods her head. “And?”
I look at her mouth and then her ear as I speak, “and I’m hoping you may see a way that I can get out of it.” My gaze finally finds safety and rests on the cards. I know the minute I show her my eyes, my soul, she will know.
There is silence. Silence, and I feel her unwavering gaze peering at my soul that refuses to peer back. I start to back my chair up in an effort to leave.
“Stay,” she says firmly. “I will look.” She hovers her hands over the clear ball and begins to hum. Her hum falls silent. “Who is Brian? Is that your brother?”
I sit quietly. I want to answer. I was asked a question and the correct thing to do is answer, but I don’t. If I do, she will know.
“Yes, I see him. Your brother did this to you,” she says as her eyes take in my scratches and bumps. My eyes divert back to the ground. “Why would your…” I look up at her as she looks back to the globe. I want to push it off the table. I lift my hand to slide it off but see her head slowly rising up. The stare that was once on the globe is now peering down at me as she stands up from her chair. I am now looking directly into her eyes, if only out of pure fear of what is going to come out of her mouth next. “How could you?” she growls in a deep whisper.
I jump up from my chair and stumble towards the door that slams shut before I get to it. There is no one at the door that could have shut it. Only me and the gypsy are in the room. I turn to look back at her to see her eyes have turned gray. Her head is tilted back so she can look down her nose at me even though I am two feet taller. Her eyes tell me she knows everything, has seen everything. “Your mother was a wonderful woman. I watched you kill her,” she continued to growl. I turn back to the door and try to get out, but the nob won’t turn. “I will set you free…to your death. Take your fortune with you,” she says while holding out a piece of paper. “Take it!” she demands.
I grab the paper and am then able to open the door. I run from the house to the street that is unusually vacant for a weekend at noon. I run a few houses down before looking back at hers. She is nowhere to be seen. I continue to walk down the middle of the street while opening the paper she handed me. There are two words: Look up. I look up and see nothing, but I do hear a noise to my left. As I start to look left, I see a car in my peripheral vision coming fast at me. There is no pain. Only blackness and then nothing.
Written by Sheryl Marasi (pen name)
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