A Hearts Plea

Cheap velvet, golden glittering sequins, hollow wood, p.v.a glue, blotchy paint, three walls and glass. The idea of freedom was a grim prospect. No one came in and no one went out, that was the unspoken rule. ­­A light layer of dust covered me whilst I waited, seated down in a chair. Every five minutes I was given the chance to advertise my skills,

‘Let Mistress Leona tell your fortune! Only a dollar ninety-nine! Watch as I reveal your hidden future with a wise glance into my crystal ball!’

Vibrant, mystical colours shone from all four glass corners, reflecting off my glittering ensemble and crystal ball. My prey was easy enough to scope out. There were two kinds. The first was small and dimpled, they called them children. Children who would drag their parents, plead with bleary eyes and possess a large vocal range. Then there was the second kind, the silent ones. The outcast of humanity. Those of whom screamed an aura of insecurity and endless pleas in their hearts. They ventured forward inserting a dollar ninety-nine in my slot. I could predict in a glance my prey. What I could not predict was what one might do with such knowledge, which I bestowed upon paying customers.

Late one night at the carnival fair, I clocked in. A dirty white sheet that covered me from view was unsheathed. I could now assess the nightly sky. At six, swarms of people ventured out of their homes and into the carnival they came, they always did.

‘Mummy, mummy, let’s try that one! Please. Please. Please!’ pronounced the young boy as he stretched out every syllable in his pleas. The mother’s face scrunched in response to his whines, as she contemplated his wilful request. She brought her dainty hand to her temple relieving an ache only a mother could understand.

‘Jim you may, but, only if Henry joins you,’ behind her skirt revealed a little blonde haired toddler. Jim’s demeanour suddenly slouched with disdain at the thought of sharing this moment with his younger sibling. Unhappily yanking at Henry’s hand, the boys hurried to stand before me. Revealing a dollar ninety-nine and inserting it into my slot, I came “alive” and welcomed my generous customers.

Gazing at my crystal ball the light revealed their future. Dark, iridescent, light fell upon the crystal, forming a black skull. I understood it as a representation of death in the family.

‘Death comes upon your doorstep, generous in despairs and shock. Be warned for it happens in threes, three must always die. Tread careful for if thee intervenes thee replace thine. Beware thee mortal soul. Beware of my warning! Beware…’ Sheepishly the boys glanced at their mother, her displeasure was evident as she stormed off with her boys.  Neither of which were satisfied, least of all Jim.

The evening carried on typically with, thankfully, far lighter fortunes told.

Feet stomped through gravel, horses carried along trailers of merchandise, music from the carousel echoed throughout the evening. Which was finally at an end. Mr Jerry unveiled my space, using his special key he emptied behind my slot. The coin clanking into his bag.

Those boys never returned, neither them nor their mother. I rested dreaming of my escape, but to be stolen, that I hadn’t predicted. But that itself is a tale for another time my dears. Beware of threes, always the threes. 



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