Here's a short story cranked out today...

DOUBLE, DOUBLE, TOIL, AND… YOU KNOW THE REST

Three of them at "Oracles Den", a novelty, which made me feel uneasily like MacBeth. And here I thought they just left off the possessive apostrophe.

“Welcome,” said the ugly one with the mole.

“To,” said the one-eyed ugly one.

“Your,” said the last ugly one, the one with the hunched back.

“Futures,” they all said in unison.

Theresa, my girlfriend, stood there, mouth agape but smiling at the women (?). I couldn’t help but chuckle. I whispered under my breath to Theresa, “just don’t ask me to kill a king…” She responded by elbowing me in the side.

“Hello, ladies.” Theresa has always been fascinated with fortune readers. Last year at the carnival we stopped into no less than 10 different tents, each with the same archetypal psychics: flowing sleeves on patchwork dresses, stringy hair, wild eyes, voluptuous lips, missing teeth. I, on the other hand, couldn’t wait to scoot on out of here.

They motioned for us to sit down; I took Theresa’s lead. We sat on purple and black poufs, which were hard to keep balance on. Theresa, always graceful, was able to maintain her posture. The one with the mole crooked her lips, One-eye burned some sage, and Quasimodo sat in the chair in front of us.

Hunched-back started, “I am Eliza-Bethany, the lady to my right [One-eye] is Madame Szagrada, and the pretty one,” she sniggered, “is Lady Zalast.”

Theresa introduced us. “I’m Theresa and this is Wally.” She leaned in and cupped her hand to her mouth, dropping her voice to a whisper. “It’s short for Walter.” I let ‘ugh’ escape from my lips, met with another elbow to the ribs.

Zalast joined Eliza at the table, and Szagrada soon sat thereafter. They joined arms and spoke again in unison, which was more creepy this time, less novelty, “We know all, see all, touch and feel all. What is your question?”

Theresa leaned in, putting her elbows on the table, a habit which adored me to her. “I want to know,” she leaned in my direction, “the identity of the succubus who will, in five days’ time, devour my soul and attach herself like a parasite to Wally.”

“Or probably just-” I stopped myself short. What did Theresa say?

The three ladies leaned toward their crystal ball, and the air in the tent began to spark. Literally. There were little lightning bolts jumping around.

“Uh, ‘Reese? What’s going on?” I gripped the pouf. “Am I missing something?”

Szagrada started humming, her left hand swirling over the crystal sphere; Zalast mirrored her on the other side. Eliza-Bethany opened her mouth, but what came out wasn’t her voice. Her lips did not mouth when she asked, “who is seeking counsel of the Triad?”

“Ahem, ‘Reese, I think it’s time to go,” and I stood. Theresa turned to me quickly, and I froze. Literally.

She freaking froze me with a spell or something. Her eyes turned blue, but not just any blue. There was no white left, and the blue was like the blue crest of the blue jay but solid and pure. They smoked from the edges, these tendril-wisps wrapping around her head, shrouding her face.

“You will go nowhere, Walter,” she announced, in a voice that was a collection of thousands of voices. she turned back to the three ladies and spoke. “I am Amphora, the Vessel of Gurung. I have been selected to uphold the Covenant of Wel. Grant unto me your wisdom, Triad, so that I may keep the Covenant pure.”

I couldn’t tell if my eyes were playing tricks on me, but hey, my girlfriend froze me with her sorcerer eyes, so it wouldn’t have been too far-fetched. The ladies in front of me began to merge into one glowing being.

“Your request has been granted, young Amphora.” They had conjoined completely now into one brilliant specter of light. The crystal ball on the desk shook then shattered, and an image formed from the smoke within. It swirled into a tornado, but there was no wind. Inside, lightning tore through it, scorching the tablecloth. Theresa waved her hands in front of her and blew into the raging storm.

“Timor,” she muttered. She regained her balance on the pouf and dropped her hands into her lap. The look on her face terrified my being. After what felt like an eternity, she softened and focused on the singular, pulsating light. “Triad, I thank you for this privilege. My desire has been fulfilled. May the gods bless you.” When she finished, the tornado shrunk back into the rapidly reforming crystal ball. The three women unmerged, and I felt my fingers unfreeze.

I flung myself onto the pouf, anxious, scared shitless, and sweating. “What the hell, ‘Reese?” Her appearance had recovered back to the woman I knew and fell in love with. “You’re a fucking witch?”

“Sorceress, if you want to be technical.” The Triad guffawed. In unison.

“So that. THAT. Was real?”

“As real as you want it to be.” She replied, a coy smile on the edges of her lips.

I searched the air around me for the right words, struggling to find any at all. “What… do we… do now?” I sputtered.

“Get to work. Timor doesn’t like to fight.” She got up, dropped a twenty in the psychics’ bowl, bowed, grabbed my arm, and took off. “And I know just where to go to get what we need.

My girlfriend was a sorceress. I had to ask, partly because I think my brain was still frozen. “Can you, umm, shoot fire out of your fingertips?”

She held out her hand, snapped, and a small flame burned quick. “Of course,” she said. “Can’t you?”

-JR Simmang

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