Penny Dreadful: The Fortune Teller

She didn’t have to wait long for a new customer today.

She felt it at the palm of her hands when she shuffled her deck of tarot cards. So just as she had predicted, the customer from last week entered her booth, her hand clutching another young woman’s arm. Our fortune teller smiled at the sight of this; the young woman was positively beautiful, skin glowing with life and blood.

“Welcome back,” she said, channelling all her magic to the sound of her voice. The young woman relaxed immediately, her eyes widening in fascination. Our fortune teller lit the candles next to her deck of cards.

She might have some fun with the girl before she drained some of her life force.

The young woman took the seat opposite, her auburn hair flowing down in curls. She was nervous, she was biting her nails and picking the skin off her fingers.

“Leave us,” the fortune teller ordered the old customer, who diligently obliged. Once she was alone with the woman, she flashed a kind smile.

“So what’s your name, my dear?” she said.

“Cassandra,” the young woman nervously whispered.

“Now what seems to be the problem?” she mustered all her energy to make Cassandra relax.

“I’ve been having these strange nightmares, I see fire, and disease, and death. I’m all alone. Oh God, help me! I’m afraid!” Cassandra’s voice rose in pitch exponentially.

“Relax, relax.” The fortune teller’s soothing voice filled the booth. “Don’t worry, I’m here to help. Now…” she coughed as she offered her hands. “Take my hands.”

The young woman reached out tentatively, and the fortune teller stifled a moan. Oh, she hadn’t felt such a vibrant soul in decades—so bright, so strong, so powerful…

“Close your eyes, my dear,” the fortune teller said soothingly, “and relax”, and Cassandra did, eyes closing and head drooping forward.

The fortune teller sighed, and smiled, and began to draw the power, pulling the brightness and the power into herself. And then Cassandra grip turned hard and strong and unyielding, and her eyes flew open, and with a voice like a steel trap, uttered one word.

“Stop.”

The girl’s skin was rapidly losing its beautiful, youthful texture, becoming ashen and cracked. The fortune teller still gripped Cassandra’s fragile fingers, draining every last spark. Cassandra’s now corpse-like form clattered to the floor.

Nonchalantly, our fortune teller flipped over the top card. Death. There was something pleasing about the skeletal figure.

“It was never going to end well, my dear,” she mocked the girl’s body.

“It’s unwise to mock the dead, sister. Even you should know that.”

Our fortune teller turned to face her older sister, half entering from the curtains.

Her face still held a certain glow, more from a good moisturiser than from a healthy diet of souls.

“What’s got your knickers in a twist? Feed on another coma patient this morning?”

It was irritating to watch her sister attempt morals.

“Let her go, sister,” her sister states calmly, “I don’t want to hurt you.” She laughed manically, like her sister would dare.

“I drew from the cards to decide her fate. I’m just a tool in the hands of a higher power.” She keeps an eye on the girl who had gained some color back. “There’s enough to share.”

“I made a vow that I will keep, sister, don’t make me hurt you.” Her sister takes a step into the room and the girl goes limp. “Stop now sister.”

“I can’t, I haven’t felt power like this in so long.”

“Don’t kill her then. Enslave her, let her replenish her power and come back.”

“Death has its place in life. She gets her power from somewhere, I will that find that.”

 

By Eugenia Lo (& MK, CM, H, JL, Z)

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