It was uncomfortably hot for late October. Everything was brown, not from the changing winds of fall, but from the scorching hot heat. I don’t know who pissed off Mother Nature, but they should give her something shiny to make up for it.
“Look, he’s a lying, cheating, moron that isn’t worth the dirt he crawls on. That doesn’t mean that you drop out of society, curl up with a carton of ice cream, and become a weeping hermit Lexie. Consider this an intervention. You’re coming with me to the Halloween party tonight,” Jocelyn said dragging me down Main Street to the last costume store we hadn’t already checked in town. “Before you ask, they aren’t going to be there. I already checked. You don’t have any excuses.”
She’d found out her boyfriend was cheating on her with one of her best friends. It’s okay, she didn’t press charges and he was too humiliated too.
“That’s easy for you to say. You go through men like Batman goes through eye liner,” Lexie said.
“Hilarious, at least I’m out there trying. You’re not going to find mister right on your sofa. I have a good feeling about tonight.”
“Oh God, not another one of your feelings,” she said glad that the sun was going down so it would cool off some.
“When have I been wrong? Anyway, look it’s just down the street,” Jocelyn said readjusting her top hat. The costume shop was across the street from an empty lot.
“We have to find a sexy costume for you.”
“Maybe I could be your pimp?”
“I’m not a hooker! I’m a ring master,” trying to crack her whip and knocking off her hat.
Lexie laughed and picked up her hat. “You just wanted a costume with a whip.”
“Yeah,” she admitted unashamed.
“You could have gone as Catwoman.”
“I didn’t think of that! Do you think they’ll have that in my size here?” Jocelyn asked.
Lexie shook her head and sighed. She looked towards the shop and stopped when she saw the lot. She could have sworn it was empty a minute ago. Now, there’s a fortune teller’s caravan parked in the middle of the lot. For some reason the place gave her the creeps.
“Earth to Lexie, are you even listening to me? Oh, look a fortune teller! We have to get our fortunes told!” she squealed.
“No, let’s go find a costume,” Lexie said stepping around Jocelyn.
“No, it’s Halloween and we just so happen to stumble across a fortune teller. We have to, it’s a sign.”
Against her better judgment she followed Jocelyn to the fortune teller knowing there’s no arguing against one of her signs.
The creepy feeling intensifying with each step putting her on high alert, “I don’t think anyone’s here. We should go.”
“I am here. Lexie please come in,” the woman said pulling the curtain back for them. She was your standard fortune teller stereo type, an older woman, head scarf, noisy jewelry, and a crinkly skirt.
Jocelyn’s eyes widened in shock, “She’s the real deal!”
“Or she heard you say my name across the street,” Lexie mumbled. The fortune teller’s eyes found hers with a knowing smile.
“Jocelyn, let me see your palm first.” She studied it for a minute. “You will meet the man of your dreams on your way home tonight, but he’s not all that he seems.”
“Oh my God! See I told you I had a good feeling about tonight.” How typical for Jocelyn to buy this crap.
“Lexie,” the fortune teller said with her hand held out expectantly. She could barely contain her eye roll as she put her hand in hers. On contact she jerked her and away from a shock that went bone deep causing a tingly numbness.
With a smirk the woman said, “Jocelyn, will you please be a dear and get this old lady an ice tea?”
“Uh, sure,” she said glancing at Lexie to see if she’d be okay alone. Lexie nodded because she wanted to know what happened. That wasn’t static electricity, she was certain. “I’ll be right back. Don’t tell her fortune until I get back!”
As soon as she left Lexie turned to the woman, “What was that?”
“Your destiny I’m afraid,” she said.
Lexie raised an eyebrow. “What does that even mean?”
“This is your twenty-fifth Halloween?”
“Maybe,” she said cautiously.
“Come see me again this time and place next year. We’ll have much to discuss. Your destiny will lay its claim on you tonight.”
“Whatever, she dragged me here. I don’t believe in this crap, no offence.”
“Everything changes tonight. Don’t follow the lights,” she said grabbing her arm with more strength than she looked like she had. “Don’t follow the lights.”
“Let go of me,” she said calmly maintaining eye contact with her. Lexie could feel something was off. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but she didn’t think it was good.
“I’m back,” Jocelyn said pausing when she saw the woman grabbing Lexie. “What’s going on?”
The woman blinked a few times and turned to her. “Nothing, thank you for the tea. I’m sorry I couldn’t get a reading on you Lexie. Maybe next year?”
“I doubt it. Let’s go,” she said unnerved by that weird encounter. She took off headed towards the costume shop.
“Wait, Lex. What was that about?” she said as she caught up to her.
“Nothing, that was just a weird crazy lady who did too many drugs in the sixties spouting off whatever crap that popped into her head. Let’s go find a damn costume.”
“Wait, so you want to go to the party now?” she asked confused.
“Yeah, and I think that I know what costume to get, a fortune teller,” she joked trying to ignore the icy chill crawling up her spine foretelling the horrors that would soon unfold. Lexie opened the door for Jocelyn and glanced back at the fortune teller only to find an empty lot.
-J.L. Perry October 26, 2013