Hooded Reading

“What scent?” Madelyn asks confused.

I laugh. “Sister, you should know that flowers are part of my domain. Marcella can’t hide from this.”

Marcella bites her lower lip. “One did not want to burn.” She walks over to the desk and shows us the flower.

“You think it’s from him?” Madelyn asks excitedly.

“Don’t be excited,” I warn her. “We don’t know how he learned we left San Diego. We don’t know how he knows where Marcella lives and finally, we don’t know his intentions.”

Marcella laughs nervously. “Since, when you’re the oldest?”

“Since, Madelyn didn’t grasp the situation fully,” I reply. “I think all of us need to be on guard and set up protection spells around this place.”

Madelyn blushes.

“Agreed,” Marcella nods.

“We’ll do it after my readings,” I tell them and turn around to leave.

“Are you going to tell us what happened with Jupiter?” Madelyn asks.

“Nothing to tell,” I lie.

I still not to process it myself…

I leave my big sister to ponder about the pressed lonely flower in her book and my youngest sister to think about her reaction to the flower.

 I dressed myself in an outfit suited for the tarot reading. My guests liked my outfits, though I could do a reading in jeans and a ripped up shirt, the outfit made my guests feel like they are truly somewhere else; in a place where they could get ideas on what to do with their lives.

I lift the red velvet material, feeling its softness as I walk down the stairs and make my way to the tarot room. My hood covers my purple hair and green eyes. I feel the soft breath on my open shoulders. The corset sits comfortable on my hips and my necklace resonates with power.  The excitement of a reading always boils my blood.

I enter the room to see my guest looking wildly around. Uncle Rex stands by the exit.

“I didn’t know, bodyguards are needed for divination,” my guest stutters.

I look her over. She is in her mid-twenties, brown hair, brown eyes, and full lips. She looks nervous at me.

I smile. “Think of him as a bodyguard against restless spirits that will join us. Spirits love divination.”

I step towards the table and light the first candle. My routine is simple, light each of the four directions, send the winds to envelope the guest, move the earth imbedded in the chair (for an earthquake feeling) and raise the water in its basin. This is done for respect for the directions and as a theatrical performance. Guests expect to become afraid.

As I follow my routine, my guest (woman), gasps and jumps and starts to shake.

When I am done, I take my seat and watch her. “Would you like to proceed?”

“Yes,” she says weakly.

Theatricals work, her demeanor makes me feel good.

I beckon a deck from a table to the left. It has seven decks, each special in its own way. The decks are covered in black cloths and no one touches them besides my guests and me. The black cloth uncovers the dragon deck. I hand the deck to the woman.

“Feel the cards; shuffle them if you want, look at the pictures. Get to know the deck,” I tell her.

“Why?” She asks, as she looks at the top card, The World.

“The cards need to know you in order to answer your question. What is your question?” I ask.

“I’d rather not say,” the woman replies.

I nod in fake understanding. She doesn’t want to say because she believes everything is fake, including the candles that lit on their own. I do not like guests who pretend to believe. She wants to play, I’ll play.

She hands me back the cards. I shuffle them, rise to the deck to my lips and blow on it. The cards land in a “Celtic Cross Spread.” The cards are closed, she doesn’t see them, only the same dragon again and again.

I flip over the first card. “First I will explain what each card stands for and then I will tell you what each card means towards you. The first card represents your state of mind. The second card represents an obstacle or something that influences you. The third card represents your question.” I smile. “You want to know if you should move or not because of your new boyfriend who got accepted into a new job in Britain.”

Her expression is priceless.

“The fourth card represents your past events that tear your decision to move. The fifth card is a card that shows that you have choices, there is no right way. The sixth card shows a potential future path. The seventh card is all about your emotions. You are in love and yet you are afraid. The eights card represents your relationship to others. You are afraid to leave your mother. Your father has already passed, but you want to be able to visit his grave. The ninth card is about your desire for him to be Mr. Right. The last card is the ultimate outcome to your question.”

I have caught myself a rabbit. She is entranced by the cards. Now I go into detail about each card. When I tell her about her past experiences, she becomes fearful of me. She did not expect me to be right.

When I am done with the reading, the candles blow out on their own to humans. However, it was really a couple of wandering ghosts.

The woman gets up. “Thank you so much, I have an idea on what to do and now believe into divination. How much do I owe you?”

“Normally my readings last an hour, we have been here for two hours so it will be $100,” I bow my head.

“Oh, wow! I did not even look at my cell for time. Here,” she hands me $110.

“Thank you,” I smile and shift my hood. “The bodyguard will walk you out.”

As the woman follows Uncle Rex, my gaze falls on her right leg. She has a tattoo of a panther. I think back to my time with Jupiter and blush.

I wake up to the small earthquake inside the panther, who decided to be my pillow after I fell asleep. After sitting up and wiping my eyes, my gaze lands on Jupiter. He is watching me closely. I feel fear rise in my heart for between his fingers is the small bottle of my potion. I search my pockets for it, hoping I am wrong but he found me out.

“How?” I ask.

“Taz smelled the potion on you,” Jupiter replies.

I look to the panther. I hate his nose.

“Tell me,” Jupiter turns my attention back to him. “How were you planning to slip this to me?”

Tears begin to threaten my emotions. “I… don’t know.”

I hear him move about and the next second his kneeling before me. I look up at him, though I feel scared of this outcome.

“This is a high potency potion, illegal, and is ranked high on the list. I am surprised that you know how to brew this,” Jupiter says.

“I learned from a ghost,” I tell him, truthfully.

Jupiter surprises me with his laughter.

“I am not mad at you,” he rests his hand on my knee. “Fairies tend to be an untrustworthy bunch.” He then drinks the potion in one gulp. “Ask away.”

I am so surprised that I can only blink in response. He just drank it, accepting that I wanted to test to him, accepting that I did not trust him because of what he is.

“Don’t take forever now, dear,” Jupiter says. “The effects don’t last longer than five minutes.”

I swallow. “Do you want to be with me for the right reasons? Are you forced to be with me?”

He smiles. “You ask questions like a fairy would. I want to be with you because I feel like we can be good together. We can grow our love like the flowers blossom. I feel like you’re the one no matter what reasons brought us together. My mother cannot force, no one can force me to love someone whom I refuse to love.”

“Melina,” a voice brings me back from my memory.

“Why, yes, Uncle Rex?” I ask after my eyes focus.

“Last guest’s friend would like a reading. Are you up for it?” He asks me.

“Sure, right, okay,” I reply.

He gives me a look before walking out of the room.

The End

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