Stepping out of the bar fumbling for my keys, overhearing the laughter and cheer going on inside filled my heart with blissful joy until the door slammed shut and abandon me into the dark, chilly night. Usually, I was not a drinker. Kara, my recently graduated friend, would not take no for an answer in celebration of our hopeful success in the future now that we were finished with college. It also helped that she knew the bar wouldn’t ID us.
I giggled after a few steps, taking in the city lights and how oddly quiet it was at one thirty in the morning. Grandma’s apartment was only six blocks away, a cozy two-bedroom place filled with love, books, and a ridiculous number of cookies. The snow fell around my body, making the city covered in white beauty. Usually each business, besides the bars would be closed now, leaving only myself in the deserted city as I walked, softly humming to my drunken self in the glory of being alone.
The illuminated open sign caught my attention, my head turning to the left and right to recognize how utterly alone I was. First thought; tattoo shop, but the cards in the window flashes as if to laugh at my guess. I had never seen this fortune telling shop in the two years I had lived here, and my curiosity was growing to see what was offered here. Would it be anything like home?
Walking closer, I noted the slightly open door that beckoned me in, compared to the abandoned street, becoming entirely more creepily in the realization that I was alone. I couldn’t help but feel like I’d been here before, as if in a dream and without giving myself a chance to weigh out the negatives versus the positives of entering a stranger’s domain in a neighborhood I rarely visited, I swiftly entered, being as bold as to remove my jacket in the foyer and shut the door behind me.
The room next to it was dimly lit, resembling all the classic fortune telling looks.
“What a joke,” I mumbled to myself, picking up a magic eight ball. It looked just like the one I had as a child, the one my mom would always ask the questions to for me since I was too scared to do it myself.
“Hello, child.” I jumped, looking back at a figure in the hallway. She stepped forward, revealing her dark black hair and intense blue eyes. “Have you come for Madam Jewels to tell your fortune?”
Drunkenly, I laughed, putting down the ball. “More likely, I’ve come here to help your business and yourself stay afloat with the money I will present to you at the end of the bogus thing you tell me about my future.”
She stared blankly at me, her eyes looking past me, giving me the creeps.
I gulped. “That’s my way of saying yes… ma’am.”
She smiled, walking towards the table. “Well, why didn’t you just say so? Please, sit, while I get everything ready. First, let me get you some tea to go along with the reading.” She exited the room before I could object.
Taking another look around, noting the picture she had of herself hanging near the left-hand side of the wall. With squinted eyes, I tried to look closer. She couldn’t be much older than twenty-five if she was even that old. Her hands portrayed youth, while her face displayed troubled eyes as she looked at the cards before her.
“Drink.” She ordered from my right, making my second jump far more embarrassing than the first. In the way she walked, she was the essence of stealth and calm, though it would seem the floorboards should have creaked. I looked down at the tea tag, noting that it was only green tea.
“What type of fortune are you looking for my dear?” Her tone was sweet, underlying her desire to know what she was to be looking for. “Perhaps the dream of success, roadblocks ahead, or contact with a loved one that has passed on?”
Snorting at her act, “first, what is your name?”
“Why, I’m Madam Jewels. I go by no other name whilst in this room. Now, tell me your desire.” Her eyes fixed on mine, and I couldn’t look away from her gaze, amazed at how blue her eyes shown in contrast to the black hair that hung to her ribcage.
“I guess I’d like to know whatever you can provide. I’m not picky.” I replied, sighing. My drunken state was quickly disappearing the more I drank the tea she brought me.
Her smile was understanding as she places the cards in front of us. “Well, since we do not have much time.” She flipped over the first card, a woman on a cliff presented to us. “This is your past, showing that you have lost in your life. Someone dear to your heart. That time in your life was very gloomy.”
I gulped. I knew she was taking a wild guess, probably from the angel wing on my necklace. I nodded for her to proceed with my present. She flipped it over, revealing Knight of Pentacles reversed. I felt my jaw tense, my eyes suddenly growing heavy.
“You show a lack of responsibility as if you are meant to be doing something else with your life, but squander it.” She looked up curiously, and that’s when it hit me.
“Elizabeth?” I asked, noting her jawline. She grinned. I began to panic, looking down at my tea. “You drugged me?”
Standing up too fast for my head to handle, my body wobbling away from her now outstretched arms. “Stay calm, Rose. No harm will come to you.”
“How dare you.” I glared, attempting to step backward again. My knees buckled beneath me, my legs and the rest of my body smashing down to the hardwood floor. “Where is he?” I demanded.
She remained where she stood, calm as ever. “He’s not here. It’s only me and Eugene who were sent to retrieve you.”
“Eugene?” I asked, panic overcoming me again. She nodded, sympathy shining in her eyes. I heard footsteps from the kitchen.
“Did someone say my name?” He asked, making an entrance. My vision blurred, looking at him for the first time in years, anger bursting forth as I recognized the situation I was in.
My body was shutting down. “Get my dog, grab my clothes, tell… grand….ma.” The world went dark.