Tricia Drammeh put her heart and soul into this post, and it’s one of the shorter writers’ posts I think I’ve ever seen!
I thought it was important enough, inspirational enough, to share with my readers, whatever they’re about to embark upon personally.
Thanks, Tricia! Sent and received on a day when I r-e-a-l-l-y needed it! Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. Force yourself to watch the video. It’s worth it.
Linda Taylor, Author Weblog 16 August 2013
Excerpt from WIP: “The Second Chance Man” (working title)
– Second in the series starting with “The Second Story Man”
Welcome to my humble blog!
If you prefer to just read the actual Fortune-Teller scene, please skip the set-up and jump to the second set of asterisks centered between the scenes. The Fortune Teller, Immortalia, is based on an excellent psychic I used in Connecticut years ago – with a little poetic license and embellishment, of course! Hope you enjoy it.
“A psychic reading is not just about career opportunities, good fortune or meeting tall, dark strangers. It is a sacred portal to manifesting your true destiny.” ― Anthon St. Maarten
Thank God for Mondays! Grandma Mary’s Treasures was closed, like all good antiques shops, so Morrigan puttered about while Gage and Ralphie put the last items on their wish list. To say the weekend had been upsetting was not an overstatement. Morrigan was dialing the number before Gage’s car cleared the driveway.
“Tiffany! I need a couple of your hours outside of teaching next week.”
“Oh oh, now you’re asking too much! What’s going on?”
“Do you have the name of a good fortune-teller? You know, like a psychic? Just say yes or no.”
Tiffany hesitated for a little too long. “Yes. I got her name from …”
“Stop! Don’t say anymore. Don’t say he or she or a name or a friend’s name … nothing!”
“Morr – what’s going on? Are you feeling OK? Is Gage there? Let me talk to Gage.”
“Gage isn’t here. No one is. I can’t talk here.”
“You’re acting crazy again. You’re my best friend in the world. I’ve trusted you with my kids. But you need vitamins or supplements or a blood test. Maybe it’s your blood pressure. That would make sense. Are you at your own house?”
“As God is my witness, on the head of my precious son Ryder, this is not me talking. It’s Gage. I can’t talk about it here, but I’ll tell you Monday. Just please set up the psychic as soon as possible. I do need it for my sanity. OK? Trust me, OK?” She disconnected, taking a long, deep breath.
Tiffany shook her head. Morr had formerly second thoughts about Gage once before. Maybe the same problem showed up again. But Tiffany had no doubts about Gage’s love for Morrigan or Ryder. So she called the psychic to make the appointment for Thursday right after school. Then she lined up a babysitter at her house. Ryder could come home with her kids on the bus unless Gage made other plans.
* * *
Monday morning, before the students arrived, Tiffany rushed into Morrigan’s classroom to get the story.
Morrigan gave her a hug. “Remember Ugly Guy?”
“How can I forget him? Between your description and Ryder’s nightmares, not to mention that photo of him dragging you across the lawn …” Tiffany shuddered.
“Well, he called Gage to his bedside just before he died. Ralphie went too, although Ugly Guy wasn’t too happy about that. He still insists he’s Gage’s birth father, not Chase. Then he told some cockamamie story about a hidden treasure. He claims Chase walked away with it when Ugly Guy went to the Big House. No one ever heard another word about it.”
“Morrigan O’Malley, you sound like a thug. What’s all this have to do with you and a fortune-teller?”
“God, Tiffy, don’t you see? This could be my life from now on if I stay with Gage. And what about Ryder? Would you want your kids exposed to this kind of nonsense?”
“My kids will eventually be exposed to whatever your kids get exposed to. I look at it as learning opportunities. Gage is a good man. Trust me now, Morr. Give yourself some time to think about this before you go off running wild.”
“There’s more, Tiff.” Several kids came running into the classroom, stopping their chatter when they saw the two teachers conversing.
“OK, Morrigan. We’ll go to the psychic. But promise you’ll talk to me before you do anything rash that you might regret. Promise?”
“Promise and thank you. I’m so lucky to have you as a friend.” She nodded toward the kids. “Little pitchers …”
“Have big ears! Talk to you later.”
* * *
Tiffany knocked gently on the door. Nothing. Knocked a little harder. Morrigan pushed Tiffany out of her way and hit the doorbell steadily.
“O.K. Morr. You don’t have to lay on it!”
The door opened a crack. They waited for it to swing open, but it didn’t. The women looked at each other. Tiffany knocked on the door again to push it open.
“Hello! Is anyone here?” No answer.
“What’s going on?” Morrigan said, walking into the room. “Oh.”
The room was a floor-to-ceiling, four-walled shrine to Religion, from the Mezuzah house blessing on the door frame to the statues of the saints. A Chanukah menorah perched next to a full votive candle stand with a kneeler, like the Catholic churches used to have. Morrigan spotted no less than 20 different crosses, crucifixes and rosaries. Tiffany walked over to admire a beautiful devotional honoring Buddha, with floating candles and burning incense.
Neither of them noticed the mysterious figure watching from the kitchen doorway, studying a stone perched on a small tray just beyond her reach. All the windows and curtains were closed. Once Morrigan pushed the front door closed, it was obvious the lighting came only from the small candle flames. The effect was beautiful and soothing and mystifying, almost alive.
Tiffany stepped closer to the kitchen. “Oh! Sorry, I didn’t see you standing there.”
“No worries. Hand me that stone in the tray, please dear. You must be Tiffany.”
“Why yes! How did you know?”
The older woman laughed. “My name is Immortalia. I am your host this afternoon.”
“Good name for a fortune-teller. Bet you’ve been around the block a few times!”
The two women laughed at the joke, but Morrigan was in no mood for this. She had come with a purpose and wanted to get on with it. “If you two are finished with your stand-up routine, I’d like to ask some questions.”
“Yeah, like, what’s the matter? Couldn’t you settle on one religion?” Tiffany waved her hands at the assortment of relics in the room. Again she and the older woman laughed together.
“No worries no hurries, dear. Come into the kitchen. Are you being read together or separately?” Immortalia carefully carried the stone she had been studying to Morrigan. “Bring that into the kitchen and place it on the table, if you don’t mind.”
“I’d like to sit in on Morrigan’s reading if it won’t interfere. That way I can take notes for her. Is that allowed? We have no secrets.”
Immortalia looked up at Morrigan, who nodded her approval. “I don’t mind if you don’t, dear. If we go down a road that makes you uncomfortable, signal me and she will be removed.”
Tiffany couldn’t help but give a little shiver at the way she said ‘removed’. Morrigan gripped her hand. “Don’t worry, Tiff. I won’t have you eliminated. I’m the one with the problem.”
“No worries. Everything is as it should be.”
“Does that mean I don’t have any problems?”
“No, it means everything is as it should be. You are not here by accident. You are here because you need my sight. You were sent. You passed the test.”
Again, Morrigan and Tiffany exchanged a glance. “What test?” they both asked.
“The Stone, I call it. It is an unusual crystal, older than the Christ child. No one knows who found it originally, or how it came to this country. But it’s been passed on, generation after generation, among those with the sight. The rumor is it was once touched to the Christ. I have seen that crystal turn nearly translucent, with cloud-like images inside. I have also seen it darker than the darkest night, and weigh more than twice its weight. For most visitors, it remains as it is. Incognito, or unremarkable. It simply looks like an attractive stone that someone would use for decoration. But it has the capability to fill with the lightness of angels, or the evil of demons. In my occupation, I must know whom I’ve invited into my home.”
“But I hardly touched it,” Tiffany said.
“Your breath did, dear, when you admired it, and when you handed it to me. It is very sensitive. Shall we get to work, or have I worried or frightened you?”
Morrigan sat down at the table. “I’m ready, and not leaving until I hear what you have to say” Tiffany sat at her side, pulling out a small pad and pen.
“All righty then. I’m on the clock!” Immortalia set about preparing her workstation at the kitchen table. She lit several candles, pulled out some small stones, and shuffled a deck of cards. “You don’t have to tell me anything, if you lack trust. I will ask you some questions. If you do not want to answer them, just shake your head no. Do not make any other sound until you’re ready to answer.” Morrigan nodded.
“Are you dealing with evil?”
“I don’t know … maybe.”
“Are the participants human or demon?”
“Dear God, human I hope!”
“Have you met all involved?”
“No! Good question. I forgot to say there are possibly others I don’t know about.”
The last thing Immortalia did was light a sage smudge stick to cleanse the air, and closed all openings into the kitchen. Both Morrigan and Tiffany had purchased their own sticks several years ago on a trip to visit a psychic in Atlantic City. They tried to follow her ritual, but she was too fast and soft-spoken as she made her way through the room. She had recited the blessing so many times she just rattled it off like a favorite prayer. Finally she sat.
“Thank you for being honest. It will change my interpretations. Here, shuffle these cards again, then cut them and slide the separate decks in front of me. Now put what was on the bottom on the top. Good. Now take the runes – those little stones – and toss them in front of you. Good.”
Immortalia carefully dealt cards from the deck in a pattern known only to her. Then she stood opposite Morrigan to study the runes. She sat again, looking at and patting the cards, but not moving them. She looked at Tiffany.
“Get ready,” she said to Tiffany. She grabbed Morrigan’s right hand in her left hand, and a marker in her right, and immediately began writing letters and symbols on Morrigan’s hand, flipping the hand to trace a line on the palm then flipping back to write some more. When the hand looked like it could hold no more, she grabbed Morrigan’s left hand, but just to look. Then she started speaking, but not in her own voice.
“You had a very short, very bad marriage and will have a very long, very happy marriage in your life. You have a child, and will have more. An upcoming trial will cleanse G’s past life and bring him peace and happiness. M sent him to you, and you to me. She is happy and at peace and they are very proud of all of you. She continues to bless you.
“There is another G who has passed and has been your G’s nemesis in life and beyond. He has left a trail for others to follow. Be forewarned – they will follow the trail. They are inept but could be dangerous. I can’t see who might make it through your protection at this point. You must stand by G, especially through this period. He knows what he’s doing and truly loves you and R. You will have regrets if you don’t, but will never know if you don’t try.
“There is an M, young and still with us, and J, older, both working for you separately behind the scenes. You already know them. Trust them to do what must be done with G. Do not jump to any conclusions as you are prone to do.”
At this point, Immortalia shook her head, first slowly, seemingly saying no, then more and more quickly, as if fighting someone off. When she spoke this time, it was in a different voice, frightening, but not totally unknown to Morrigan.
“Well, good evening Missus. So good to see you again.”
Morrigan’s eyes filled with tears as she pulled herself as far away from the hated voice as she could, the only voice that ever called her ‘Missus.’
“Yes, it is I, Banks, my dear. I still remember that delicious barbecue dinner we shared. I warned my boy but he wouldn’t listen. Now he’s bringing more misery into your life. Tell him to do what’s right. It’s his heritage, or you will be the loser in the end.”
The voice seemed to choke, as Immortalia started coughing and throwing herself back and forth from the chair back to the table edge, finally slumping sideways over the chair’s arm.
Tiffany moved first, jumping to the sink to find a piece of cloth that she wet with cold water and placed on Immortalia’s face. She held the woman’s head, brushing her hair back with the damp cloth until she came out of the trance. When Immortalia spoke again, it was in her own voice.
“Oh my good grace, that was a trial. I’ll just take a bit of a break if you don’t mind, Tiffany. That took a lot out of me. I hate it when they are so insistent on coming through themselves.”
“It’s better if we give you time to rest now. Morrigan needs to get home to rest herself.”
Both women looked at Morrigan. She sat as if hypnotized — pale, shallow breath and a glaze of perspiration on her face as if she had been working physically and in pain. She seemed to have no recognition of her surroundings.
“I’ll help you get her to the car,” Immortalia said. “She’s in worse shape than I am.”
* * *
Be sure to read all the great chapters posted by our other Fortune Teller Blog Hop participants!
http://www.kaylacurry.com/blog Kayla Curry (Host)
http://alyssaauch.blogspot.com/ Alyssa Auch
http://www.smboyce.com/boyce-blog/ S. M. Boyce
http://www.nrwick.com/ N.R. Wick
http://stevevernonstoryteller.wordpress.com/ Steve Vernon
http://afstewartblog.blogspot.ca/A. F. Stewart
http://thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com/ Tami Von Zalez
http://www.quanietalkswriting.com/ Quanie Miller
http://mymotherstuttered.blogspot.com/ Ellen Harger
http://writtenbydeb.blogspot.com/ Deborah Nam-Krane
http://www.erin-cawood.blogspot.com/ Erin Cawood
http://danielle-claude.blogspot.co.uk/ Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
http://www.wendyely.blogspot.com/ Wendy Ely
http://www.laure-reminick.com/category/journal/ Laure Reminick
http://jennifermcconnel.wordpress.com/ Jen McConnel
WebLog.2013.Fortune Teller Blog Hop:
http://kaylacurry.com is sponsoring a new Blog Hop on September 16, 2013 and I’m going to participate in my first! So please mark your calendars and stop by here so I feel the love (and get some feedback).
Participants will write an original chapter describing one of their characters from one of their books going to see a fortune-teller. I have the perfect place for it in my WIP “The Second Chance Man” (working title).
If you’re ready to go psychic with your writing, click on the icon below to sign-up. If you’re just curious, or want to try on some new writers, read away! I don’t think anyone will mind.