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A Love Long Ago
The seer was widely known, for she was good at what she did. In her small tent at the Cirque de la Gaulle, you could have your fortune told for a mere fifty bucks. Hey, good readings weren’t cheap.
Lady Rosmera wasn’t like the faux gypsies at the carnivals and psychic hotlines. She didn’t tell people what they wanted to hear, she spoke only of truth. If that meant telling someone they would be beaten to death in a Seven-Eleven parking lot, so be it. A warning can change the future, she always thought, when such a reading came at hand, and the person in question might escape the unpleasant situation. She had a true gift, and it was not wasted.
Candles flicker here and there, the sweet scent of incense drifting up through the small opening at the top of the tent.
A man, or rather, a boy enters through the gaudy purple tent flaps at the entrance. He is at that awkward age between a boy and man, and his long, lanky brown hair hangs in his eyes. He has one of those faces, the ones that seem so familiar at a glance, but are strangers. He is wearing a zipped up and fading black leather jacket and dark-wash jeans. The dirt and dust of travel seem to cling to every fiber of his being, as if the rough road had always been the one he traversed. His wide eyes are nearly black, and very troubled.
He looks a rather sorry case, but he has the money to pay the fee. It doesn’t much matter to Lady Rosmera where the money came from, or how such a sorry looking soul could have gotten a hold of it. After all, she had a gift, and she would help all those that could pay for her services.
The boy pulls the cushion up to the small table in the center of the tent and places his hands, palm down, on the embroidered purple tablecloth. Lady Rosmera places her hands atop his and images immediately begin to flicker before her eyes. They are sepia toned, as if from age.
‘The boy sits across from a young girl, just a boy himself. They are holding hands. “You have a gift, Rosmera,” he says a slow reckless grin spreading across his face.’
Rosmera’s eyes flashes open, but she doesn’t see anything, she is still lost in the images. The boy sits placidly before her.
‘The same boy and girl from before, several years older walk arm and arm along the beach, the tide lapping up around their ankles. “Want to go for a swim?” the boy asks, putting his arm around the girls waist.
“But Luke, I didn’t bring my swimsuit!” she says.
“Your loss then!” he says, diving into the frothy waves. The girl laughs, and watches him swim farther away from shore.
Out of nowhere a slinking grey fin pokes out of the water, weaving through the waves, almost as grey as itself. The boy doesn’t see. The girl stands at the shore and calls out a warning, but anything she might have said was stolen away by the sound of waves and salty wind.
The water turns pink, then red. The girl collapses on the shore and sobs hysterically, her shoulders shaking…’
Lady Rosmera comes away from her vision, a tear sliding down her cheek. “There is no future. All I can see is the past.”
“Then it’s time to let go,” the boy says and begins to fade away.
“Wait! Luke!” But he is already gone, nothing but a memory of a love long ago.