The woman in front of me did not look like a psychic. We’ll call her Susan since I don’t have her permission to use her real name, but trust me, her real one is just as prosaic.
She was several inches shorter than my own five foot five, and neither fat nor thin. Her straight, white-blond hair and lined face were far more reminiscent of someone’s sweet elder aunt than a medium. I thought at first that she might be a sort of guide, leading me to the tarot reader I had made my appointment with, but nope. She was the psychic I had come to see.
The room she led me into was moderately mystical. It was perhaps five by eight with a curtained window at the back. There were candles to my left on a five-level, chrome plated shelving unit. The laptop on the bottom shelf struck a slightly discordant note, but appropriately ethereal music issued from it. All chimes and strings, no voices.
A small, round table took up most of the floor space. It was covered with a dark cloth; the dim lighting concealed its actual color, but my mind has since filled in the blank with the adjective, “black”. On the table was an assortment of crystals and stones, one of them a golf ball sized orb, transparent as water, with a swirl of solidity curving through one side like a foamy wave on a tiny ocean.
The table also held a glass cylinder and a small, battery-powered timer like you might find in your sister’s kitchen. All this left precious little room for the actual reading, but I decided to reserve judgment.
On top of the cylinder lay a deck of tarot cards, and here, my expectations were met. The rich colors and arcane figures were exactly as I remembered from my last reading, some three decades before. The symbolic presence of the cards was not at all diminished by their worn edges and corners. The deck was clearly well-used but had no center creases or tears that might have indicated abuse or neglect. She didn’t keep the deck in an embroidered velvet bag as my first reader had done, but I forgave her.
We spoke. She asked my birth date and used it to do some indecipherable math on a dry erase board with a pink marker. She told me that 2018 would be a year of building up. Apparently, 2017 had been a year of tearing down.
I couldn’t argue with her there.
She then laid out the cards in a snaking curve over the empty half of the table and requested that I select five cards at random. I did. She gathered up the rest of the deck and put it to one side, then laid out the five cards I had chosen in a rough oval. The reading that followed was interesting both for what it told me, and what it did not.
She mentioned my daughters and opined, correctly, that they were both strong and smart – good daughters. And that they had a close relationship. She mentioned my sister, who is also strong and smart, and far away. She mentioned my other sister, the one who chose me to be her sister when she could have had pretty much anyone, and described her as an old soul, one who was creative and good. I couldn’t disagree with any of it, and didn’t try.
Then, knowing nothing more than his birth date, she described my husband. His leadership abilities, his energy, his intensity, all down to a T, without a single error or misstep. She said our marriage would last. Which is good, since we decided long ago that divorce is not an option.
Now, you might say that she got her information reflectively, watching my face for cues and using social norms and commonly held desires to correctly guess much of what she told me.
Maybe she did.
But if she hasn’t met my husband (and I don’t believe she has), that part strikes me as otherworldly and wonderfully inexplicable.
Many of the things she told me might have applied to nearly anyone, but she didn’t ply the usual clichés. She didn’t say any of us would meet a handsome stranger or fall victim to terrifying misfortune. She didn’t say I would get rich (though she did mention money coming and going, which was interestingly accurate in an unusual way), or that some devastating tragedy would befall any of us.
She told me that this would be a year of abundance, both for me and for my daughters. I really hope she’s right.
Meanwhile, I will be adding much of this experience into a scene in my current WIP. I can’t wait to see how it turns out, but Susan probably already knows.
By C.L. Roman
C.L. (aka Cheri) Roman, writes fantasy and sci-fi with a paranormal edge. You can find her at http://www.clroman.com and on Facebook. Cheri and her ever-patient husband live in the not-so-wilds of Northeast Florida with Jack E. Boy, the super Chihuahua, and Pye, the invisible cat.