Gypsy Rose – #atozchallenge
“Come in,” Casandra said to the woman at the tent’s opening. “Please have a seat.”
The woman entered the tent and hesitated before settling down on a large green pillow. She stared at Cassandra for a long moment. Her eyes wide with fear.
“Are… are you Gypsy Rose?” the woman asked.
Cassandra smiled and nodded her head. “I am. You are here for a reading?”
The woman’s eyes darted around the interior of the tent, soaking in the beaded curtains, the candles and incense burning nearby. “I received this in the mail,” the woman replied and handed a postcard to Cassandra.
Cassandra took the postcard. It was hers. She’d mailed it the last time she’d traveled here.
“Just an invitation,” Cassandra assured the woman. “But I am glad you came. Shall we begin?”
The woman slowly nodded her head, crossed her legs and settled into the pillow. “What do you need me to do?”
Cassandra shuffled her cards. “Just close your eyes and think of a question you’d like to ask the cards.”
The woman did as she was told. While her eyes were closed, Cassandra dealt three cards from the deck and laid them out in a row.
“Have you thought of your question?”
“Yes. Do you want to know…”
“No. Keep it to yourself,” Cassandra said and flipped the first card. “This first card represents your past. Queen of Cups. I see…” Cassandra whispered.
“You were a very strong-willed woman in the past. Very certain of yourself. Knowledgeable in your chosen field.”
The woman bowed her head and nodded. Cassandra flipped the second card.
“This represents your current situation. The Tower. Chaos, destruction, turmoil. You’ve experienced a great loss in your life. The loss of a child, perhaps? But there is hope. You have your faith.”
Again the woman nodded, but kept her head bowed. Cassandra flipped over the last card.
“And this one represents your future. Nine of Swords. Another loved one will be struck down. You will experience mental anguish, sleepless nights, agony and pain.”
The woman raised her head and blinked at Cassandra. Her eyes filled with tears. “Does it say who?” she inquired.
Cassandra drew another card from the deck and placed it over the Nine of Swords. The Lovers.
“A romantic interest. Husband, lover, or new romantic acquaintance.”
The woman wept. “Please, no! Not my husband! He is all I have left in the world!”
“Then you must warn him,” Cassandra whispered. She turned over another card. Five of Pentacles. “It will be over a financial hardship. He will lose everything and the two of you will be destitute. He won’t be able to handle this final loss. It will be too great a burden for him.”
“But… we are wealthy. My husband has made sound investments.”
Cassandra reached across the table and grasped the woman’s hand. She rolled her eyes in the back of her head. Hummed. Then opened her eyes wide. “Tell him not to invest in the Holcomb stock.”
The woman jerked her hand back and jumped up off of the pillow. “What will happen?” the woman begged.
“It’s a pyramid scheme. Millions will be lost. Millions… If he does not listen, get rid of the pistol he keeps in his desk drawer.”
The woman clasped her hands over her mouth, let out a sob and ran from the tent. Cassandra sighed as she picked up the cards and placed them back in the deck. She grew weary of fortunetelling. She’d foretold of murders, rapes, suicides. Financial calamities. Terrorist threats. If only she could reveal her true identity, but who would believe her. A time-traveling cop here to save humanity. And yet, they believed in a gypsy and a deck of cards. She shook her head and laughed in disbelief.
Cassandra reached over and grabbed her bag, removed a stack of postcards and thumbed through them. She hadn’t been able to save her parents. They hadn’t believed she was who she said she was when she came back to warn them. Time and time again, they’d refused and went on to the Opera. Cassandra closed her eyes. She witnessed the whole scene over again. They’d been gunned down as they left the Opera House. Murdered for a measly thirty dollars. She opened her eyes and placed the postcards on the table. She’d stopped coming back for them, but she’d saved so many others. The tent flap opened and a man peered inside.
“Come in,” Cassandra said with a feigned smile. “Are you here to have your cards read?”
©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.
The Prompt via Mandy Wallace: Cassandra, a time traveling police officer, pretends to read her customers’ futures through Tarot cards because it’s the only way to convince them of the truth.
Each day for the A to Z Challenge I will be writing a 500-1000 word Science Fiction story. I hope you will enjoy them.