*Consulting Fate

images-3Merry awoke just as the first red bursts of dawn streaked through the shutters and across her white bedspread. It reminded her of blood splatter and she watched the gory hue turn to a bruise of blue and purple and finally the pure, clean brightness of a new day, disappearing into the covers. She felt a shift in the universe and tears pricked her eyes.

After dressing in her work attire of a flowing teal-blue caftan and matching head scarf, Merry exhaled deeply on the threshold of her sunroom. The crystals sparkled in the early morning sun rays and the scent of sage from last nights smudging ritual still lingered. There was no need to consult fate. The Ouija Board, Tarot cards and tea leaves would all revel the same truth: her mother was dead.

Her eyes scanned the room, zeroing in on a tiny black and white photo in a silver frame on her desk. She was eight years old and dressed as a witch for Halloween. Her parents stood on either side, her father in a Dracula costume and her mother wearing her usual flowing blouse and skirt but with a scowl instead of the ethereal smile that usually lit up her face.

She recalled her mother’s displeasure when her father had brought home the costumes for the family to wear to the annual neighborhood trick or treat party.

“Oh, Mommy, why were you so mad? You know he was making a joke. I knew even then that we were special. I don’t know why you wanted to hide it from me.”

“You refused to wear your witch costume out of principal, I know now. But I just thought it was great fun and so out of character for my squared away Air Force father. I didn’t find it offensive then and I still don’t.”

Merry turned away from the sunroom. This was where she conducted her business and the reason why her mother disowned her. Her father had died in a demilitarized zone in Kuwait when she was 16 and she had grieved deeply. In her attempt to reach him on the other side, she found that she had a talent for talking to the dead. Although not him, as he had crossed over and was at peace.

In hindsight, becoming an intuitive for hire may not have been the best idea. But she couldn’t decide on another career path and future-telling, as she called it, came easily. She knew her sessions brought joy and closure to many. Except her mother, who was adamantly opposed and went so far as to warn her that their coven would disown her. And as High Priestess, she would have to abide by their decision.

Merry felt the energy shift when the coven met, as she always did, no matter where she was. And when they voted her release, she was hit with a huge sense of loss and deep grief. Phone calls and texts went unanswered and when she made the six hour drive to her mother’s home after a month of no contact, the artist studio was empty and no forwarding address had been left with the landlord.

She missed her mother’s physical presence but had followed her energy daily for the past two years. The frequency had begun to waver lately and she knew her time was close at hand. Today was the day. She was no longer of this realm and she would never talk to her in this world again.


Written for the To Live & Write in Alameda June 2019 “Flash Lit” Challenge #3. We had three days to write a poem or short story (of 500 words or less) or create a piece of art to the theme “Consulting Fate” and post the link in our group. 

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