In a Retrofitted Fotomat

by Steve Mitchell

“Come.  Sit.”  The fortune teller gestured.  “I am Madam Adameena.  What do you seek?”

The man sat.  “What an unusual name,” he said.

“It’s very common where I’m from,” she said.

“I’ve never heard it.  Where are you from?”  He asked.

“The Vaguenian mountain region.”

“Ahh, of course.  That explains it.  I thought I detected a Vague accent.”

“Enough chat, Mr. Lunchbreak,” said the fortune teller.  “What do you seek?”

“Okay.  Well, I was hoping you could tell me my future.”

“Very well.  I must consult my crystal ball.”

“It looks like a box.”

“I must consult my crystal box.” She frowned.

“It looks like cardboard.”

“I must consult my crystal-infused, cardboard box.”  She peered into the box.  “Yes.  Yes.  I see you.  You are a man with…quiet confidence, yet at times you are unsure.  You are easy going and seek harmony but are prone to stress and agitation.  Others consider you a leader but you often choose to avoid the spotlight.  You value honesty and loyalty.  You are a man with questions and with answers.  You hold fast to your sincerely held beliefs…”

“Amazing!” said the man.  “That’s exactly right!  That’s me to a tee!  What else do you see?”

“Hmmm.  It’s gone dark.  I can’t see.  Put money in the box.”

“How much money?”  The man pulled his wallet from his pocket.

“Just money, any money…to dispel the clouds.”  She shook her head.  “More money.  Yes, very good.  I’m getting something.  I see your future.”

“What is it?  What do you see?”

“Oh.  I’m afraid to say.”

“What?  Tell me!”

“I see…someone you trust will take advantage of you.”

“Someone I trust?  Who?  When?”

The fortune teller shrugged.  “It’s not possible to say for certain.  Someone you trust.  That’s all I see.”

“Is there anything I can do to stop it?” asked the man.

“Who can say?  We write our futures.  Perhaps, if you are vigilant, you can prevent this thing.”

“So I have to be vigilant?”

“Yes.”

“And that’ll keep the person from taking advantage of me?”

“Perhaps.”

The man nodded.  “Well, thank you so much.  Forewarned is forearmed, right?  How much do I owe you?”

“Fifty dollars.”

The man whistled as he pulled out fifty dollars.  “Fifty dollars!  I guess I’ll be skipping lunch this week.  But, worth every penny!”

He put his fifty dollars into the box, bid Madam Adameena goodbye, and ventured, forewarned, into the world.

—-

© Steve Mitchell 2017

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