“Go on, Den,” the petite blond girl at Denny’s side said to him, as they walked past a window advertising clairvoyance, tarot and fortune-telling, “it’s our first gig, like, ever; and the old woman might give us an idea how it’s going to go for us.”
“Don’t you get it, Pix?” Denny replied, “These people just guess, and charge a load of money for it. They’re clever about it, I’ll give you that; they … I’ll tell you what, let’s give it a go.”
“Really. I guarantee, she’ll look at us, guess that we’re a couple and make some lucky guesses that could apply to anyone; like the horoscopes in the newspapers do. People believe them because they want to. They see how closely it applies to them because it’s so general it can apply to anyone.”
“Don’t care,” Pixie said, “let’s just do it.”
The pair passed through the heavy curtain and saw an elderly woman in gaudy dress seated at a table on which was a crystal ball almost a foot in diameter. Opposite her were two chairs.
“Welcome, my dears,” the old crone said, “take a seat, why don’t you. What can Clairvoyant Clara do for you this evening?”
“Isn’t it obvious, old woman?” Denny asked, “You’re supposed to see the future; didn’t you foresee us coming in?”
“Watch your tone, young man,” Clara said, “the last man to call me ‘old woman’ croaked.”
“You mean you killed him?” Pixie asked.
“Goodness me, no,” Clara replied, “I’m not the killing type. No, I turned him into a frog.”
“So you’re a witch, too?” Denny asked.
“The ancient practices manifest themselves and their power in a million different ways, young man. There are more ways to kill a cat than drowning it in milk, and more ways to punish rudeness than a slap across the face. And there are more practitioners of the old arts than you would suppose; so my advice to you is to be careful whom you insult, whom you malign and whom you disparage. And that’s all I have to say on that subject. Now, let me ask you again. What can Clairvoyant Clara do for you this evening?”
Pixie placed her hand on Denny’s thigh to tell him that she wanted to conduct this particular transaction. Denny took the hint and remained silent.
“We have, like, an important gig coming up soon—“
“Yes,” Clara breathed, “musicians you are, isn’t it?”
“Yes, we are, Clara. How cold you tell?”
“Clara knows things,” she said.
“Clara looked at what we are wearing and the stickers on your rucksack. It’s obvious,” Denny whispered.
“Obvious, is it?” Clara almost screamed, “Is it obvious from your clothes that your Uncle George died last month? That he was run over by a drunk in a Rolls Royce? Is it? Is it?”
“How did you know that?”
Clara became much calmer, having reclaimed her position of power. “Clara knows things,” she said.
“What do you see?” Pixie asked.
Clara gazed into her crystal ball and immediately started to frown. “It’s not good,” she said quietly.
“Tell us. What do you see, old w… Clara?” Denny asked, the slight tremble in his voice betraying his nervous state.
“I see the two of you in an empty field,” she said. “You, Denny, are playing a keyboard instrument, and Pixie has a wind instrument of some sort; maybe a recorder or perhaps a tin whistle.”
“Oh my God,” Pixie exclaimed, “she even knows what instruments we play.”
“Shaddup,” Denny urged, “don’t break her concentration.”
“O.M.G. Hard man Denny is a believer.”
“I said shaddup.”
“When you two love-birds have finished,” Clara said.
“We’re not lovers,” Denny objected, “we just perform together… musically.”
“Not yet, you’re not,” Clara said, “not yet. But Clara sees things; Clara knows things.”
Clara continued gazing into her ball, occasionally tutting but mostly silently. Suddenly, she gasped.
“What is it?” Pixie asked.
“You chose the wrong field to practice in,” she said.
“Because I’ve just seen one of those DeLorean mobility scooters shoot straight past you and wreck your equipment!”
I wrote this in response to Kreative Kue 60, issued on this site earlier this week. Feel free to join in; just follow the link.