Welcome to the October Frights Blog Hop!
We go a little bit mystical and magical for today’s ethereal post…
“A coin, sir, a small token for your fortune?” The small gypsy woman held out her hand.
The man gaped, bewildered. Garish red, gold, and purple emblazoned their hues on his eyeballs. Vivid chroma assaulted him, from her gilt beaded, violet shawl, to the crimson and mauve tent that fluttered in the wind behind her. He would have sworn it had not been there a moment past.
“Would the gentleman care to have his fortune told?” She wiggled her fingers attached to her still outstretched palm. “Only a penny.”
“I—I would love that.” The man clapped a hand atop his mouth, shocked at his words. He thought fortunetelling mere hokum. Yet, he dug in his pockets for a penny. Oddly, he found none.
“I seem to be without coin. Peculiar. I know I had some when I left this morning.”
The gypsy smiled. “No matter. I accept other forms of payment. Come.” She beckoned and the man followed her into the tent.
The small interior held only a small, round table and two wooden chairs. The gypsy settled into a chair, and pulled a small metal trinket box from her skirts. She plunked the box on the table and waved a hand carelessly at the perch opposite her.
“Have a seat, sir.”
The man sat, and blinked at the woman from across the table.
“I am Esma. Your name, good sir?”
“I am—I am…” The man’s body shook, his mind a jumbled blur. “I don’t seem to recall.”
“Ah. It happens. Do not fret, sir. All will be revealed soon.” Esma smiled, but the man did not feel reassured. He felt afraid.
“If you would let me see you palm, please.” He dutifully held out his hand, face up. “Yes. It is as I feared. Such a sad tragedy. So quick. Your sort often have disarranged memories when it is sudden and unexpected.”
“My sort? What do you mean, my sort?” The man bristled, sensing insult.
“Why, the wandering dead of course. Ghosts, spirits, shades of the former living. Those that haven’t the wisdom or the will to move from this life to the next. Such lost souls.” She shook her head, then smiled. “But such a boon to me. I collect lost souls, you see.”
She lifted the lid of her box.
Inside swirled a tiny vortex, infinitesimal in form and eternal in shadow. It held scream and silence, rage and calm. Voices cried, voices sang, and all called to him. He reached out his hand, dangling his fingers over the timeless eddy in a box.
“That’s right, touch it. Add your essence to the collective. Join all those adrift souls.”
The man lowered his finger, caressing the edge of the box’s heart. It felt cold, and then—
Smiling at the now empty chair, the gypsy closed the lid of the box.
© A. F. Stewart 2015 All Rights Reserved
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