You stretch out the hand you write with, but the gypsy frowns and quickly shakes her head. You hesitantly extend your opposite arm. She smiles, nods in two quick movements and gathers your hand in her cold ones, before leaning over it and peering so closely that you’re slightly worried her nose will be in your hand any second.
A minute more of staring and she suddenly jolts upwards, jerking slightly.
“Are you-?” you start, but she’s back to normal before you can complete the sentence.
“Just the necessary actions for palm-reading,” she explains in her croakety voice.
She is still clutching your palm, and her hands seem to grow colder. It may be a trick, some strange phenomenon your eyes are playing, but the room seems to, at the same time, grow darker too. You notice that the old woman’s eyes are closed and she is mouthing words.
“What did you see?” Your voice smashes a silence that seems artificial.
But it works. The old lady sinks back into the present time and the tent is back to its vibrant, glowing life.
“Would you like me to tell you what I saw during your palm-reading?”
“Yes, please.” You draw back your still-outstretched hands and fold them into your lap, waiting.
“Are you sure?” The lady is sounding like she has all day…whereas you certainly do not.
“I said yes, didn’t I?” you snap, unintentionally savagely.
The gypsy casts her eyes up to the tent ceiling, before looking straight back into your eager ones across the table. Whilst yours are bright, hers are cool grey, like the sky after a summer storm. They weren’t like that beforehand, were they?
“I’ll need your hand back, so I can show you,” she finally replies.