As you already know, I’m running TO random ideas in 2022. I’m vowing to let myself log all sorts of randomness in the hopes that one day they will become fully formed ideas. I’m letting the idea journal overflow again. It’s already working in the way I’d hoped, not only adding words but also in building my confidence and giving me a few ideas that may work for characters in projects I was hoping to draft in 2022.
The other day I took a look at the poetry falls prompt again. I’ve looked at it almost every day in 2022 and I haven’t written a single poem yet. But this particular day the prompt spoke to me in a different way. It’s the second time this year I’ve turned what is supposed to be a poetry prompt into a random scene. Again, I have no use for this scene right now. It doesn’t fit any stories I’m working on and the characters don’t feel like characters I’ve used/met yet. So, for now, this goes right here.
As always, be kind … none of this is edited.
Taste of Tomorrow
The sign outside the small booth says FREE READINGS in large black letters. But that’s not what grabs my attention. My eyes snag on the smaller letters underneath. The ones in blue that read Get a Taste of Tomorrow.
Deep down I know that fortune tellers are fake. If you were to ask me if I believe in them, I’d tell you no. But there’s still a part of me that wonders. What if there are a few of them in the world who are real? Sure, there’s a lot of charlatans. But what if there’s just one. What if it’s this one, sitting in a booth at the local fair ready to give me a little taste?
Ok, it’s a long shot. I know that. At least, my rational self knows that. That’s the reason why I’m sitting here on the other side of the little fair at a table set up for people buying from the food trucks. I’m not over there in her line. I’m just here, at the fair, and I happen to be glancing that way. Because I don’t believe, necessarily, but I can look. What’s the harm in looking?
Right now there are three people waiting outside her booth and one sitting down with her at a table. The lady sitting at the table has her arms crossed, like she absolutely isn’t open to whatever is happening in that booth. I peg her right away as a hard core skeptic, willing to sit here and listen to your craft merely to prove that you are a fraud.
The three people standing outside the booth seem to be together. They’re leaning in toward each other frequently as if they are whispering to not disturb whatever reading they’re watching. I get the impression one of them is a believer, or maybe an almost believer like me. The other two seem to be trying to convince that person either to get a reading or give it up and walk away. It’s hard to tell which side of the argument they fall on from this far away. But I’m intrigued.
I decide, even though I’m alone, I’ll pretend I’m not. I’ll pretend they’re trying to convince me. If the girl they’re talking to sits down for a free reading, I’ll head that way myself. If she walks away with them, maybe laughing or shrugging, I’ll do the same.
That decided, I watch the trio with renewed interest. Afterall, these are not strangers anymore. These are my imaginary friends, trying to talk me into whatever they feel strongly about with regards to fortune tellers. They may be holding my fate in their hands. I take a sip of the sad little iced latte I bought from a food truck that really should stick to Mexican food and stop dabbling in coffee and keep watching.
One of them is pointing at the reading happening now. Is he nodding? He seems like he’s nodding. Is that a good sign? Are they trying to convince me to get a reading? Be more clear, friend, I’m not quite getting it.
The other one shakes his head and crosses his arms. Interesting. We may have a devil and angel on your shoulder situation happening here. One trying to convince me to go for it and one trying to convince me it would be a waste of time. Which way will I choose? Which way am I already leaning subconsciously?
At the table the girl with her arms crossed stands up. She shakes her head, gives a little laugh, and then offers her hand for a handshake. The fortune teller, although I’m still not sure if that’s what you should call her, shakes the hand. They exchange smiles before the customer hands her some bills from her wallet and walks off. I assume this might be a tip. But do you tip someone you don’t believe in for wasting your time? Perhaps I was wrong about this lady being a skeptic.
No matter, she’s not my concern.
I turn my attention back to the trio. The gesticulating is really heating up now. I watch hands fly and heads move. I try to figure out which way it’s going to go. The fortune teller waves her hand in a sort of “come on in, it’s safe here” gesture. Then the hand of the boy who pointed goes to the lower back of the girl and I imagine he applies a gentle push in that direction.
I stand up off the bench at the same time she takes her first step toward the booth. I guess they convinced us, we’re going in.