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TRUE TALES OF THE SIDE SHOW: The Fortune Teller - Trickle of Consciousness
From the lost journals of The Lady Deborah White, lauded adventurer and debunker of myths...

I will admit that it was with great effort that I overcame my general ennui when Master Sebastian insisted I visit yet another teller of fortunes. In my many years exploring the unknown, I have certainly come into contact with those phenomena which I might call supernatural. Surely, I'd not have garnered the reputation I have were such mysteries not alluring to me in some way.

The wailing spirits of Monetego Bay, for example, or the sad, possessed soul whose exorcism I recounted in my latest memoir are but two of the fascinating elements I have had the privilege to encounter. Indeed, I have a deep and enduring passion for seeking out those forces in the world which man cannot in his mundane existence fully understand.

Charlatans, however, hold little charm to me, and I have found in my experience that self-described "fortune tellers" have been nothing but. Master Sebastian is nothing if not insistent, however, and it soon became apparent that I would only alleviate myself of his nagging by seeking an audience with the object of his obsession.

My natural reticence certainly wasn't allayed upon entry into the woman's den. Festooned with gauzy fabrics and brocades, the air thick with cheap incense and the haze from burning same, it brought to mind each of the previous dozens of layabout gyspy trailers I had inspected with so much verve in my more naïve youth.

Draped in colorful fabrics and bangles, the teller of fortunes made for herself the usual entrance from behind her beaded curtain, wafting across the floor to sit lightly before yet another crystal ball (if by 'crystal' one means an oversized, polished glass bead). I was unimpressed, and did with no small effort force down the yawn which threatened to issue forth; whatever my low opinion of the woman, I would not forget my own poise.

Then it occurred that the tenor of our encounter took a most dramatic shift. Just as the woman had begun the same insultingly vague assertions about mysterious love and money lurking in the shadow of my future, the aforementioned crystal ball actually began to glow. At first I was certain the woman had rigged some basic electrics into the sphere, but to my (and, if the look on her face was to be believed, the fortune teller's own) amazement, the glowing crystal ball rose from the table to hover over the woman's head.

From the Lady's private sketchbook, a firsthand recreation of her encounter...

Transfixed, she gazed into the frenetic lights which swirled colours about the inside. Her voice took on an altogether different timbre, and she spoke as if one possessed (a phenomenon with which you may recall I have some small experience, so I know from whence I speak). I did not recognize the language, but the colored lights coalesced in the haze about us, filled the room with images.

A single seed fell to the ground, and from it two stems grew up, inextricably entwined. Their buds struggled in the shadows, but in a sudden burst of light, they bloomed: a bright daisy and a delicate violet. They reached upward, grew into an exotic beauty I might never have imagined from two such common flowers. To be sure, I found my breath taken from me as I watched, as from nowhere the air was filled with glorious music.

But then the light became harsher, and the edges of this fascinating twin bloom began to wilt from it all. It was illogical, the desperate longing the image of two plain flowers called up within me. Exotic in its simplicity, it was as if they were more. As if they were the children I had never borne, and I must in every way seek to protect them, to safeguard their glorious moment of full bloom.

And then it was over. I gasped for breath as the images faded, the crystal ball fell back to the table with a dull thud. The gypsy, I noted, seemed as drained and moved as was I by the experience. I wiped tears from my eyes, began to offer my apologies for ever having doubted her powers, as truly this display was far beyond the mere hucksterism of those who pretended at her own puissance.

To my dismay, the woman rushed me from the trailer, declared that she wanted no more of my custom. Despite my pleading for a further interview, to plumb the secrets of the powers she alone could so clearly wield, the woman ignored me. Focused intently on her tasks, she folded up her trailer in a singular hurry and left me quite literally in the cloud of dust kicked up as she pushed her horse to carry her off into the night.

Was the mysterious vision from the fortune teller a true metaphysical phenomenon? And if so, what could it mean? Find out April 24 - May 5 at The Players Theatre!

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