MLMM Sunday Writing Prompt — The Fortune Teller


For this week’s Sunday Writing Prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie we are asked to try our hand at fortune telling. I chose to write what I desperately hope to be a fictional fortune told to my narrator by an animé fortune teller. This prediction of a nightmarish, yet actually possible, worst case scenario is based upon reading this article in The Independent.

“Our future is at stake,” I said. “I need to know what’s going to happen.”

“Sit,” she said. “My stones will show the path.” She tossed the stones on the board. Her brow furrowed. “I’m afraid you’re not going to like this,” she said.

I let out a defeated sigh. “Tell me what you see.”

“Trump will lose the election,” she said.

“That is great news!” I exclaimed.

“But he will remain as president,” she said.

“How is that possible?” I asked, deflated.

“He will cheat and he will lie,” she said. “The Republicans will aggressively pursue a policy of voter suppression in all of the states that they control, which will cause the election to be much closer than anyone thought it could be, but Biden will still win the popular vote and seemingly the Electoral College vote.”

“Seemingly?” I said. “What do you mean by that?”

“Biden will beat Trump in the swing states of Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, but not by significant margins,” she predicted. “Trump will claim that the vote was rigged, will blame mail-in ballots, and Chinese election interference for the loss. Then he will invoke emergency powers to launch a Justice Department investigation into alleged election hacking in the swing states.”

“He won’t get away with it though, will he?” I asked.

She looked at me with a very sad expression. “The investigation that Trump demanded and that Bill Barr will lead is intended to tick down the clock toward December 14, the deadline when each state’s Electoral College electors must be appointed. All four swing states have Republican control of both their upper and lower houses of their state legislatures. Those state legislatures will refuse to allow any Electoral College slate to be certified until Trump’s ‘national security’ investigation is complete.”

“Can they do that?” I asked.

“Theoretically,” she said, “they can and they will. The Democrats will naturally sue in order to certify the appointment of the Biden slate of electors, arguing that Trump has manufactured a national security emergency in order to create FUD, or fear, uncertainty, and doubt. The matter will ultimately wind up at the Supreme Court, where the conservative justices will rule that the December 14 Electoral College deadline must be met and that the president’s national security powers legally authorize him to investigate potential foreign country intrusion into the national election.”

“Yikes,” I said. “Then what happens?”

“If no Electoral College slate can be certified by any state by December 14,the Electoral College must meet anyway and cast its votes. Without the electors from those four states being represented, neither Biden nor Trump will have sufficient votes to get an Electoral College majority.”

“But then it would be up to the House of Representatives, which has a clear Democratic majority, to vote for who wins,” I said.

“The way it would work, according to the Constitution,” she explained, “is that the vote in the House is by state delegation, where each delegation casts one vote as determined by the majority of the representatives in that state. Currently, there are 26 states that have a majority Republican delegation. Only 23 states have a majority Democratic delegation. There is one state, Pennsylvania, that has an evenly split delegation. Even if the Democrats were to pick up seats in Pennsylvania and hold all their 2018 House gains, the Republicans would have a 26 to 24 delegation majority. Thus, Trump would lose the popular vote and not win the Electoral College vote, but would retain the presidency.”

“Oh my God,” I said. “Now I wish I’d never asked.”

Sunday Photo Fiction — Shelter From the Storm

Fortune teller tentGeorge stepped inside the makeshift tent and took a seat opposite the old woman. In a heavy Eastern European accent, she said, “I see you have some secrets that you have been zealously guarding. But don’t worry, I won’t divulge them to anyone.”

“Good, because if you did, I’d have to kill you,” George said, a broad smile on his face. The woman was not amused.

“I have a proposal for you,” she said. “Stop trying to be funny and I’ll continue telling you what’s in store for you. I see a date on a calendar. There’s going to be a big event coming up next week.”

“Yes, that’s when my girl and I are getting married,” George said excitedly. “Tell me, are we going to have a long and happy marriage?”

Just as he asked the question, the skies darkened, the winds picked up, and it started to sleet. The curtains of the structure they were sitting in started flapping wildly in the wind and both George and the woman stood up and began to run out of the tent, looking for shelter from the storm.

But once outside of the tent, a powerful gust of wind lifted up the heavy, wooden chalkboard that advertised “Readings,” and it came crashing down hard upon George’s head, killing him instantly.

The woman looked down on George’s body and said, “The event I saw on your calendar wasn’t your wedding, George. It was your funeral.”

Written for Donna McNicol’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Photo credit: Wendy Van Hove. Also for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (zealous), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (divulge), The Daily Spur (kill), Word of the Day Challenge (proposal), Ragtag Daily Prompt (calendar), and Daily Addictions (sleet).

The Quest — A Multi-Prompt Tale

11d6c3ff-1c24-4dc1-9ea0-251f1622f5dc.jpegWanna start a cult?” her best friend asked her. Sara was looking for an answer to a question she didn’t even realize she had. All she knew was that something was missing from her life, something she couldn’t quite put her finger on. So when a friend of hers suggested that she start a cult with others who also had unanswered questions, she readily agreed. However, she soon discovered that the answer she was seeking was unlike any answers the other cult members were trying to find.

Sara left the cult and shared her experience with a different friend who suggested that Sara seek her answer at the church. So Sara decided to give it a try and she went to talk with her friend’s priest.FFA3EB75-516D-4E66-8AA7-4D7389B4BBEF Unfortunately, the rigid formality of the place suffocated her.

Frustrated, Sara began to look elsewhere for her answer. Yet another friend told her about her amazing guru, suggesting that he might help Sara find the answer she was seeking. And so Sara went to visit the guru.DE81941B-C1F2-4079-9426-2506FE951F60Sadly, her experience with him was also disappointing. She felt no closer to her answer than she had before her quest began.

Desperate to find her answer, she sought out a fortune teller she found on Craigslist. The woman asked Sara what answer she was hoping to find. Sara said, “Whatever is missing.”45BD981B-52A6-429B-972C-B631D4F3C4A9The fortune teller simply said, “Look inside your soul, my dear girl. It’s there alone where you will find the answer to your quest.”

(250 words)

Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday prompt. Also for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write Prompt, and for Kristian’s 50 Word Thursday prompt.

The Powers of the Parchment

D9738714-A671-4FA6-87E3-40456C31B280“Wait,” Sarah said. She moved over to her dresser, opened a small velvet box, removed what appeared to be a gold necklace with a small charm hanging from it, and placed it around her neck.

“What’s that?” Hal asked as she climbed in bed.

“You know that fertility expert I’ve been consulting with?” Sarah asked.

“You mean that Gypsy fortune teller?”

“Stop, she’s not a fortune teller,” Sarah said. “She just has her ways.”

“Right,” Hal said sarcastically. “So did she give you that necklace?”

“Yes, she made it specifically for me, for us,” Sarah explained. “It has a small parchment inside the amulet. She said it will help us get pregnant.”

“And you believe that?”

“Yes,” Sarah said. “She said it’s based upon a well-known medieval physician, Gilbertus, who believed using a talisman would ensure conception of a child. The talisman she made for me has written words, some uninterpretable, some biblical, on a parchment inside the amulate. She said to hang it around my neck during intercourse.”

“Well, babe, I don’t know if that necklace has any magical powers,” Hal said, “but I say let’s put it through its paces.”

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “talisman.”

FFfAW — The Visitor


As the visitor waited for his daughter to pick him up at the airport, he received the text from her telling him that she’s running late. She suggested that he cross the street and busy himself at the bazaar until she arrived.

Despite the flow of cars, he managed to make his way to the parking lot that was now hosting the monthly bazaar.

There were many tents, some with food, others with touristy tchotchkes for sale. But he was drawn to the tent with the sign that said “Fortunes Told.”

He pushed aside the beads hanging across the opening of the tent, walked across a plush oriental rug, and sat down in a comfortable chair. A woman in colorful, flowing garb walked out from behind an opaque screen, sat down across from him, and motioned for him to place his hands into hers, which he did.

The fortune teller closed her eyes, leaving the visitor waiting in suspense for her to speak.

“Your ride is here,” she finally said. “That will be $25.”

(174 words)

Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge from Priceless Joy. Image credit: Dorothy.