Today, we visit a fortune teller, thanks to my novella, Gothic Cavalcade. In this excerpt, the main character, Althea has arrived at the Masquerade Carnivale, and is being shown around by the mysterious Byron and Mother. Mother then whisks her away to see the carnival's resident gypsy.
An Excerpt from Gothic Cavalcade
“It is not a large carnival, as you can see,” Mother’s soft voice chimed in Althea’s ear, “but we are a close group and we take care of each other. Soon, it will feel like home.”
Althea frowned. Odd, but she did feel strangely comfortable here, as if she belonged. She gazed out at the multi-coloured array of tents and caravans, at the dazzling stripes and spangles decorating their world, and at the sound of laughter and affection. Life thrived around her with shouts and chatter, barking dogs, and tethered horses munching hay. To her right the jugglers tossed bright orange balls high into the air, to the left she gawked as jesters with painted faces strutted about on stilts. Althea softly giggled. She wanted to lose herself in the gaiety and the colours, and submerge everything in the ornate vibrancy of her surroundings.
“It’s so beautiful here. So uncomplicated and spirited. I think I could be happy here.” She cast a quick glance at Mother. “If you still want me to stay?”
“Of course we do, child.”
“It’s a wonderful place, Althea.” Byron threaded his fingers through hers and squeezed her hand. “I’m glad you’re going to join us.”
“We are all pleased.” Mother put her arm around Althea’s shoulders and gently pulled her away from Byron. “But I am afraid I must steal her away for a moment. There is somewhere special I want to take our Althea.” Mother stepped between the pair. “You will excuse us, Byron?”
“Yes, Mother.” Byron tilted his head with a grin. “I’ll find you later, Althea.”
Althea found herself being ushered along, winding between caravans and rehearsing performers until they entered into a violet coloured tent, dyed with images of silver moons and festooned with miniature golden bells.
Pale light from an oil lamp lit the dim interior. It was a delicate and inviting place, the furniture adorned with amethyst silks and plush velvet cushions of mauve, embroidered in gold.
“This is Drusilla, our gypsy fortune teller.” Mother introduced Althea to a dark-haired, dark eyed beauty seated behind a round wooden table with a crystal ball sitting atop it.
“Hello.” Drusilla replied softly, ducking her head and avoiding Althea’s eyes.
“You must forgive Drusilla, she’s a bit shy.”
“That’s understandable.” Althea smiled and tried to make conversation. “Can you really tell someone’s fortune, Miss Drusilla?”
The girl looked up. “Oh, yes. I can see a person’s fate.”
“In this?” Althea touched the cold glass of the crystal ball.
Drusilla giggled. “Oh no. That’s simply for display. Sit down, I’ll show you what I do.” She waved her hand at the chair opposite her and Althea sunk into its purple softness. Drusilla reached out and grasped her hand, turning it palm up. Drusilla lightly traced her finger over Althea’s skin, making her shiver.
“You have a troubled life, tragedy and pain fill you. You are afraid and you blame yourself for making a terrible choice in years past. That choice has cost you something.” Drusilla paused and Althea caught her gaze, staring into her deep violet eyes. She felt ensnared for a moment, as if she had fallen into a cavernous pool and might drown. Then Drusilla broke their connection and continued her reading.
“I see safety ahead, and resolution." Drusilla paused again and frowned. “But not without conflict. Something is coming, something unfinished...” She abruptly stopped talking and let go of Althea’s hand.
“Is there a difficulty, Drusilla?" Mother’s voice broke the strain in the air.
“No, no, it’s simply, well, events will be bumpy for you, Althea." She smiled, attempting a half-hearted grin.
Althea felt a quiver of dread, but tried to laugh it away. “I’m used to bumpy.”
“But it will all work out in the end, won’t it Drusilla?" Mother asked softly. “It will all be agreeable when it is done?”
“Yes, Mother. All will conclude as it should.”
Althea looked at them both, confused, but Mother gave her no time to question Drusilla. Mother pulled her to her feet and shepherded her out of the tent.
“I think it is time we found Byron again. Don’t you agree, Althea?”
Althea smiled at the thought and let herself be led away; all uncertainties were lost by her desire to see Byron once more.
The Masquerade Carnivale is coming to call...
A woman escaping her wretched past stumbles into the strange world of a supernatural carnival. Does her fate lie there, or with the captive life she left behind?
The Masquerade Carnivale is beckoning... will she answer?
This Fortune Teller Blog Hop was organized by Kayla Curry.
Kayla Curry (Host)
S. M. Boyce
A. F. Stewart
Tami Von Zalez
Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba