I’m participating in the Fortune Teller Blog Hop today, which means you get 16 free short stories. The idea was for everyone to write a story where one of our characters met a fortune teller of some sort. Well, the story I wrote takes place in the Dark Ascension world (Before the Ascension) and features two of the characters from the series. It was so much fun writing this short, and I hope everyone has fun reading it, as well as the other stories on the blog hop.
Mallory: The Smallest Witch
Bryce brushed his shaggy hair out of his eyes and stared at the decrepit house before him. He had almost missed the handmade sign that leaned against one of the weatherworn posts framing the front porch. The sign read, “Psychic,” but he wasn’t convinced anyone actually lived there. He wiped his sweating palms on dingy, ripped jeans and sighed. The need to find out if his plan was on the right track outweighed the uneasiness radiating from the boarded up house. With hesitant steps, Bryce ascended the steps toward the front door.
In his peripheral vision, he saw the curtains shift behind the grimy window next to him. Before his knuckles reached the door, it swung open. A scrawny young woman with wild, short hair and flushed cheeks stood before him. She had dark shadows under her eyes and wore tiny cutoffs and a spaghetti strapped top that didn’t fit her right. Bryce hesitated. This was not what he had expected the psychic to look like.
“Are you Jimmy?” she asked. Her voice drawled apathetically.
“No, I’m here for Mallory.” When the woman only stared past him, he added, “Are you the psychic?”
Her head perked up. “Oh, right. Mallory. Yeah, she’s here.”
They stared at each other in awkward silence until the woman walked away into the house. Bryce followed behind her and shut the door.
“I didn’t get your name,” he said as he studied the rotting wall next to the staircase.
“I know,” she answered and disappeared around the corner out of the foyer.
Unsure if he should follow, Bryce stopped at the bottom of the stairs before the entry way. He was half-tempted to leave, but his gut insisted he stay. After a few minutes, the woman led a small child by the shoulders. The girl couldn’t have been older than ten or so, and she was dressed with an over-sized sun hat wrapped in purple gauze and wore several layers of clothes made to looked like a robe. Her distant, blue eyes penetrated Bryce, but at the same time, they seemed to look past him.
The girl blinked slowly at him. “Yes.”
He addressed the older woman. “She’s the psychic?”
“Best one you’ll ever meet. Fifty bucks for a sitting.”
“Whatever, lady,” he huffed and turned to leave.
Behind him, the woman snapped at Mallory. “Go on. Give him a sample.”
“If Fiona knew what you were trying to do, she wouldn’t be very happy,” the child said.
Bryce paused in mid-stride. “What did you say?”
“Fifty bucks,” the woman demanded.
With a huff, he pushed two twenties and a ten into her hand. After she shuffled through it to count them, the woman led Mallory through an entry way to the left of the foyer. The room was bare except for a few plastic crates and a coffee table in the center. Even if the child was really a psychic, Bryce thought the building seemed more like a drug house than an actual home. The woman sat Mallory down on one of the crates and motioned for him to sit opposite of her.
“You’ve got twenty minutes,” she said.
Bryce looked directly into Mallory’s eyes. “How do you know about my wife?”
“I’m not sure. I just know things.” She rarely blinked.
“Do you know why I’m here, then?”
“Yes,” she said. “You want to know about your special plan.”
“Will it work?”
Mallory hesitated. “Doesn’t it bother you that Fiona wouldn’t want you to go through with it?”
Bryce pulled his stare away from her. He had already known his wife wouldn’t be happy about it, but thought she would warm up to the idea if she knew it would work.
“Listen, I just want to know if it will work,” he said.
“That kind of power is dangerous.”
He slammed his hand on the table. “Just tell me if it’s going to work!”
Mallory paused for a very long time. If it wasn’t for her hollow eyes and wise demeanor, Bryce might have thought she was about to lie. In that moment, he almost felt sorry for her. The woman caring for her was whoring her ability out to strangers, and who knows what else she was allowing.
“The summoning will be a success,” Mallory finally said.
“It’ll cure me?”
“I can’t see that,” she said.
“But the summoning works?”
“Then I’m sure I’ll be cured.”
Mallory didn’t respond.
“Is there anything else you can tell me?”
“Don’t keep it from Fiona.”
“Why? She’d try to stop me.” Bryce stood up.
“If you say so.”
“Thanks.” When he left and passed the gaunt woman, who stood at the entrance of the foyer, he said, “Best fifty bucks I’ve ever spent.”
“They all say that,” she said with a lopsided smirk.
Once Bryce left the woman shuffled to Mallory and sat down. “Why did you lie to him?”
“Fine, why did you conveniently avoid the most important part?”
“He didn’t ask me if his summoning spell would end the world.”
“I wish you’d never told me about that,” the woman said.
“You’ll forget about it when Jimmy brings your ‘medicine.’” Mallory couldn’t see her mother, but she imagined a look of reverie on her sunken face.
If you would like to read all of the stories in this blog hop, please check them out in the links below!
Also, I’d like to thank everyone for reading and have fun.