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Madysma the Fortune Teller

     There once was a fortune teller in the kingdom of Kapono, a grandeur land lined with cobblestone walkways. She lived alone in her shop in the middle of a bustling street. It looked old fashioned, built with wood paneling, and had a purple banner that billowed in the wind. The simple words of “Fortune Teller” were written on it in gold embroidered letters. On the small window of the door to the shop was a sign that could be flipped over. The first side, the one that was currently showing, read, “Please enter, one at a time”. The other side read, “Fortune telling in progress. Please wait outside”. As you walked in, the bell on the door jingled, and a few steps away, you were greeted by heavy black curtains. There was such an excessive amount that they draped along the floor and bunched up on the sides. They opened up into a dimly lit room with candles lining the wooden shelves. The only things that were on these shelves were six different sized crystal balls — small ones, medium ones, and large ones. They were all transparent, but had a mist-like fog that swirled around in them, changing colors every so often. Near the back of the shop, Madysma, the fortune teller, had her table set up, with a chair in front and a chair behind. The only thing that existed on the table was a pitch black cloth with golden designs weaved around the edges. Behind the table was the door to her living quarters, which was a very modest setup. Madysma was a very peculiar lady — she was very nice, very charming… but something always seemed a little off. No one could ever put their finger on it… but knew something was indeed not right. Her youthful caramel skin glowed in the poorly lit shop. She always wore loose-fitting dresses and a black bandana that covered most of her flowing shoulder-length dreadlocks, but not all of them. Although soothing, her green eyes forever had a mischievous twinkle in them.

Many people came into her shop, curious about what their fortunes held. Madysma would greet them sitting down, in her chair, and after brief hellos, they would ask how much it costs, to which she would reply, “To see your future and your fate, ten dollars is all it takes.” People thought it was a great deal, and usually said, “Why not?” Whenever that was the case, she would take the money and slip it into the pocket of her dress. Then she had the person sit down in the chair in front of the table, would gracefully get up and move to the front of the shop, swiftly push through the curtains, flip the sign to “Fortune telling in progress. Please wait outside”, and return to the dimly lit room. She would tell her customer that she had to pick just the right crystal ball for them, or else it wouldn’t work. Madysma would pace alongside the shelves, carefully looking at her precious swirling specimens. Eventually, she would decide on one with a peaceful, “Ahh,” and would return to her chair. The crystal ball was gently placed in the center of the black cloth, with the mist within them swirling arrhythmically.


First, Madysma would intently look in the eyes of the person, as if she were trying to obtain their entire life story by doing so, and then would gaze into the depths of the crystal ball. Her customer always followed suit. She then close her eyes and would start to move her hands in a circular motion over the middle of the table, and the mist inside followed her motions, rotating faster and faster, creating a whirlwind of colors. All of a sudden, the mist would seem to seep through the borders of the ball it was in and would begin to swirl around the room. Like it did in the crystal ball, the colorful fog began to fill the the shop, swirling faster and faster. Despite the force that was built up, nothing in the shop was moved out of place. After a few moments of colorful whooshes that flew throughout the shop, Madysma would open her eyes and look up to see an empty chair sitting in front of her as the mist seeped back into the crystal ball. Every time this happened, part of her former youth would return. With a smile and a twinkle in her green eyes, she would gracefully get up, return the crystal ball back to its proper place, swiftly push through the black curtains, flip the sign to “Please enter, one at a time”, and return to her chair in the dimly lit shop.

One day, two young girls, Selene and Lylah, came upon the shop. They quizzically looked at the purple banner flowing in the wind, and upon reading what it said, became excitedly intrigued. Pushing the door open, the bell jingled, and right before Selene was about to push through the black curtains, Lylah stopped her. “Wait, the sign said one at a time. I’ll wait outside. You can go,” Lylah said, holding the door. Selene paused. “You sure you don’t wanna go first? I don’t mind." “No no, go!” Lylah told her, with a friendly smile on her face. “Alright, I’ll go then.” Selene pushed through the black curtain, heading into the shop. Lylah started to head outside, but within mid-step, decided to hang out in the area in front of the curtain instead. She let go of the door, which swung shut with a jingle, and cautiously peeked through the curtains. Madysma sat in her chair, waiting, and brief hellos were exchanged. Madysma then said, “You are alone, correct? I thought I heard someone else with you.” Lylah’s eyes flashed with fear. She wasn’t sure why she was so scared, but she was. “Yes, my friend went outside and is waiting for me there,” Selene responded. “Wonderful,” Madysma exclaimed, in a soothing voice. Selene then asked Madysma how much it cost. As always, she responded, “To see your future and your fate, ten dollars is all it takes.” The money was given, which was pocketed in her dress, and Madysma beckoned Selene to sit down, which she did. Madysma gracefully got up and starting moving to the front of the shop, towards the curtain. In a panic, Lylah pushed herself to the very edge of the wall and hid herself in the safety of the heavy black curtains, holding her breath. Madysma swiftly pushed through the curtains, not noticing Lylah, flipped the sign to “Fortune telling in progress. Please wait outside”, and returned to the dimly lit room. With a quiet sigh of relief, Lylah positioned herself in an inconspicuous position where she could see what was happening. Sticking to routine, Madysma told Selene that she had to pick just the right crystal ball for her, or it wouldn’t work. She paced alongside the shelves, looking intently at all of the crystal balls, one by one. She ended up picking one of the larger ones that at the moment had a blue mist swirling around in it and let out a gentle “Ahh” and returned to her chair. Madysma carefully placed it in the middle of the black cloth. She looked up into Selene’s eyes with a soft intensity for a few moments, and then looked down at her crystal ball. Selene followed her gaze. Madysma closed her eyes, and with steady circular movements, began to move her hands in circular motions above the middle of the table, and the ever-color-changing mist followed her motions. It began to rotate faster and faster. As it did so, it began to seep out from the crystal ball into the room. Lylah looked on in complete astonishment as the shop starting filling up with colorful fog. It swirled all around the room, going faster and faster. Lylah thought it odd that the wind gusts that were being created didn’t knock anything over — that it didn’t even billow the curtains one bit. When the entire room was filled, Lylah couldn’t believe what happened. Selene completely disappeared right in front of her.


A silent pang of horror shot through Lylah as she watched the fog slowly started to seep back into the crystal ball. After all of it was gone, she saw Madysma open her eyes, smile, get up, return the crystal ball to its home on the shelf, and walk once again towards the curtains. It took an enormous amount of strength for Lylah to snap out of her terror to quickly move to her hiding spot against the wall behind bunches of curtains. Once again, Madysma pushed through the curtains, flipped the sign to “Please enter, one at a time”, and returned to her chair in the dimly lit shop. Lylah stood there for a moment, still in complete shock and in total confusion as to what to do. She decided it would be best to figure it out outside of the shop, far far away from it. She stealthily moved to the door, quickly opened it, and ran away as fast as she could.


Lylah told Selene's parents, her own family, and her friends what had happened, but no one believed

her — no one believed that a magical fortune teller made Selene disappear into thin air. They all thought it was just her wild sense of imagination, and figured Selene just ran away. They accredited it to the staleness of the town, a notion backed up by the many people who had supposedly just gotten up and left town in the past. Since it was clear she would be alone in her efforts, Lylah began to plan how she might get her friend back.

The next day, Lylah went to the fortune teller’s shop. The purple banner rippled in the light breeze, with the golden letters looking much more ominous than the day before. The sign on the door currently was on the “Please enter, one at a time” side. Lylah took a deep breath, prepared herself, and opened the door. The bell jingled as she did. It swung shut as she pushed through the black curtains and stepped in the dimly lit shop. She saw Madysma calmly sitting in her chair, in the same position she was in the previous day when Selene had walked in. Lylah tried to steady her nerves the best she could to keep her voice from wavering. Brief hellos were exchanged, and Lylah asked how much it would cost. Madysma replied, “To see your future and your fate, ten dollars is all it takes.” She took the money that Lylah gave her and slipped it in her dress pocket, then beckoned her to sit down in the chair in front of the table. Madysma then gracefully got up from her own chair and moved to the front of the shop, swiftly pushed through the black curtains, flipped the sign to “Fortune telling in progress. Please wait outside”, and returned to the room. Just like before, she vocalized that she had to pick just the right crystal ball or it wouldn’t work. Lylah couldn’t hide the shiver that ran up her spine. Madysma looked intently at the six crystal balls on the shelves for a few moments until she let out a satisfied “Ahh” and selected one of the smaller ones that had a green mist swirling around. She returned back to her chair and set it in the middle of the black cloth. Madysma stared into Lylah’s eyes with that soft intensity she always had, and then turned her gaze to the crystal ball. Lylah followed suit. Madysma closed her eyes and slowly started moving her hands over the middle of the cloth.


Unlike Selene, Lylah didn’t just sit there and wait for her fortune to be told. Instead, she brought her hand up and pushed the crystal ball off of the table with all of her might. It flew threw the air and landed on the floor with a crash. Madysma opened her eyes in horror as white and black mist began to float up from the shattered pieces, beginning to fill the room. As it did so, a middle-aged man suddenly appeared in the shop. At first he seemed confused, but after a second, he realized where he was and how he had gotten there. The man turned to Madysma with terror plastered all over his face, and then bolted through the curtains and out the door. Right after that, two more people, a young boy and an older woman, appeared in the shop as well. They had a similar reaction to the first prisoner — after they went through the same cycle of emotions, they too ran as fast as they could out of the fortune teller’s shop. As they ran out, Madysma’s vibrant youthful glow began to fade as time started to catch up to her.


Lylah, picking up on how the fortune teller’s crystal balls worked, quickly got up and raced to the shelves where the other ones were. “Stop!” Madysma shouted, stunned. Lylah grabbed the other small crystal ball and threw it on the ground. More people appeared in the shop in the midst of the white and black mist that further filled the room. Like the first group, they all ran out of the shop, not wanting to be imprisoned for a second time. Madysma let out a scream. “Stop it, child!”


This time when she spoke, her voice was older, more mature. Lylah, heart racing, dashed to the remaining four crystal balls and knocked them all to the ground, and the shop was filled with the sounds of shattering glass. There was now so much white and black mist floating around that it was hard to see. Groups after groups of people kept appearing and running out of the shop. The last person to appear was none other than Selene. Lylah rushed over, gave her a quick hug, then quickly grabbed her hand and pulled Selene through the black curtains and through the door. Madysma let out another scream, shriller this time, and as the door swung shut, bell jingling, the fortune teller was reduced to a pile of ash.

- Fin -

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