The fortune-teller.

The fortune-teller.

A Chapter by Katherine Van Hook

The fortune-teller waves me over without looking away from her cards. “Come, come,” she says, and the gems on her green nails catch the lamplight. I sigh at the sight of those God-awful nails. Maybe she’s a real fortune-teller, and the nails are just for show, something her boss makes her wear to seem authentic. Do fortune-tellers even have bosses? Is there some sort of agency they all work out of, like the one my brother’s tutor came from? I’m staring at the tapestries on the wall when she glances over, “I don’t have all day, child..” Then her eyes lock on mine and she freezes, one hand in mid-air.

            Have you ever locked your eyes on some random spot on the wall when you’re really tired, and you just can’t make yourself look away from it? Or when someone with a debilitating facial deformity sits across from you on the train and every atom in you yells to look left, right, down, anywhere else, because he doesn’t deserve to be stared at, but you can’t tear your eyes from him? That’s how she stares at me. Every line in her face burns into the back of my eyes as I wait for it to be over, because I can’t turn and run. I feel sick and faint and glued to the spot of cheap carpet I am standing on. My feet sting in my sneakers. My head pounds.

            She points a shaky finger at the opening in the tent curtains. “I am closed go.” It is one sentence the way she says it.

            “I have money. The fair’s not done for an hour,” I squeak.

            “But- “

            “Go right now or I will call the police!” she hisses. Who is this creep? I think. But something in her eyes makes me think again. She’s afraid. I turn around and run.


© 2011 Katherine Van Hook

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Added on April 21, 2011
Last Updated on April 21, 2011


Katherine Van Hook
Katherine Van Hook


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