My Fate Lies in the Weather Forecast
I’m not surprised everyone’s staring at me – I’d stare too if I saw a man walking down the street wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and flip-flops in this downpour.
“Your fate lies in the daily weather forecast, Mr Narrows.”
The doctors won’t run any more tests; there are no more specialists who can help me.
My flip-flops slap the wet pavement as I stroll down the high-street. Stopping in front of a shop window filled with dream catchers and framed with purple velvet curtains, I imagine they smell musty. A face with a third eye in the middle of its forehead has been painted directly onto the window and was beginning to flake. The shop looked tatty; a waste of my time, but what else can I do?
There’s a jingle, and a woman with a red bandana and dangly earrings stands in the doorway. She smirks, leaning against the door-frame.
“You must be the guy who dresses inappropriately for the weather.” Her voice is husky, as if she’d smoked cigarettes since birth.
“And you’re the psychic?”
She looks me up and down. “You could say that.”
She disappears back into her shop, so I follow her.
Incense tickles my nose, the smell making my skin scratchy. The shop is filled with various objects, stones and crystals, symbols and bric-a-bracs. She leads me into a backroom where a round table is standing in the middle of the room. A candle burns in the middle.
“Sit down,” she says as she takes a seat herself, removing a deck of tarot cards from her pocket.
I sit opposite her and she shuffles the cards.
“I – How’s this going to help?”
She stares at me, still shuffling the cards, and doesn’t say anything.
She lays them out on the table. “You either want my help or you don’t.”
My legs feel cold from the rain, my shorts sticking to my thigh. The psychic takes one of the cards and turns it over. I stand up, the chair scraping across the floor, slicing the silence.
“Death?” My voice wobbles.
“Sit down,” she half-shouts, half-laughs, “it doesn’t mean what you think.”
Tentative, I sit back down. “What does it mean then?”
“Something is going to come to an end.” She glances up at me over the frame of her glasses. “Not your life.”
“My affliction?” I ask, hopeful.
She shakes her head. “No, not that, but something that will lead you to its eventual end.” She turns another card over, then another, and another. She sighs.
“What?” I lean over, looking at the bright pictures on the cards that mean nothing to me. “What’s wrong?”
She stands and wraps her shawl tighter around herself. “I cannot help you. The doctors are right; your destiny lies in the weather forecast.”
Deflated, I head back into the rain.
“Scott,” the psychic calls after me. She’s standing in the doorway once more, smirking again. “It’s not a curse, but a gift – embrace it.”
Santino Prinzi is the Flash Fiction Editor of Firefly Magazine, and helps with National Flash Fiction Day in the UK. He was a recipient of the TSS Young Writers Award for January 2016, and was awarded the 2014/15 Bath Spa University Flash Fiction Prize. His debut fiction collection, Dots, and other flashes of perception, will be published by The Nottingham Review Press in September 2016. His flash fiction and prose poetry has been published, or are forthcoming, in various places, as well as being longlisted, shortlisted, or placed in competitions. You can find out more on his website: https://tinoprinzi.wordpress.com