Monday, 14 November 2016

Do you Believe? - Short Story

Do you believe?

I’ve always been a cynical person. Ghosts, angels, hypnotherapists I don’t believe in any of it so when a friend suggested a trip to a Tarot reader my first thought was what a load of rubbish, she’s certainly a fake followed swiftly by it might be a laugh.

My friend Samantha was organising a long overdue girls night out and had found out about a local restaurant offering tarot readings for £10. We’d decided to eat, see the tarot reader, and then head into town for some drinks and dancing.

The following week we arrived at the restaurant and were served swiftly. Samantha and Ellie had visited tarot readers before and were happily discussing what she may reveal as we ate and I listened smiling. “This isn’t really your thing is it?” Ellie piped up whilst swiping one of my onion rings.

“Well I just think most of these people just use generalisations or experiences most people will have had and embellish them based on your responses.” I said taking a sip of my drink. “It’s probably quite easy to fake if you have someone willing to divulge a lot of information.”

“Well some probably do but my mum has seen this lady about 5 times and swears by her. She told her about meeting Frank and buying that place in Devon.” Ellie continued,

“Yeah but she just said the coast not specifically Devon.” I said shrugging,

“And that’s loads of people’s dreams for retirement.” Sharon joined in grinning.

“Oh shut up you two.” Ellie said playfully throwing a chip, “I can’t wait for my go.”

After we’d eaten we moved to a small waiting area and were given a ticket to await our turn with Penny the Psychic. I grinned as I looked at the name on the ticket. Even the name sounded a little fake.

Ellie went in first and came out beaming with a sparkle in her eye. “Well?” I said smiling as she sat down next to me.

“She was amazing. Her prediction is that I’ll be engaged soon and she reckons a baby will be born in the family.”

“Well that’s a bit vague and has Rob actually mentioned getting married?” Sharon asked,

“Well no but I had a feeling it was on the cards. We are going to Bath in a few weeks just the two of us so you never know. We are staying in a really nice hotel so maybe a bit of ring shopping might be on the cards,” Ellie replied beaming. “And my sister has mentioned being broody again.” Ellie continued whilst gazing at her ring finger obviously already visualising the sparkling diamond.

Sharon was called up next and came out saying she thought she was credible but wouldn’t be holding her breath. Samantha was next and looked just as thrilled as Ellie when she re-emerged saying Penny had given her very good vibes about her forthcoming promotion. It was my turn next and I vowed not to reveal anything. Penny could work hard for her money.

“Hello Lauren.” She said smiling whilst consulting her list and I took a seat. “Not really your cup of tea is it?” She continued frowning slightly. “It isn’t for everyone but I always advise to have an open mind.” I shrugged non committedly and she began turning the cards. She began making the general observations I’d assumed and I gave a few half-hearted responses. “Do you live on a flood plain Lauren?” She said looking more animated,

“No. I actually live at the top of a hill so pretty safe from flooding.” I replied smiling,

“Do you have a pond of stream nearby?”

“Not that I know of. Both of my immediate neighbours don’t have anything watery in their gardens.” I shrugged,

“That’s strange. There’s definitely water involved.” She said certainly and turned another card. No further revelations came and I thanked her for her time and left the room.

“So what did she say?” Ellie said excitedly before I’d even closed the door.

“Not much. The usual stuff. You are a little restless at work, happy at home, strong friendships which she’d probably guessed from me being here with you guys. She asked if I lived on a flood plain though which was a little odd.”

“You live on a hill.” Sharon laughed, “Oh well was a good experience. Now come on girls I need a drink. Let’s get going.”

We had a brilliant evening and I forgot all about the tarot reading until a few weeks later when I got an excited phone call from Ellie. “He proposed!” She screeched down the phone. “Penny was right. We went for an amazing meal and he got down on one knee. He gave me a haribo ring as he said he wanted me to be able to choose my own. We are going shopping tomorrow. I’m so excited.” I was thrilled for Ellie who said she’d send me a picture of the chosen ring tomorrow. I hung up smiling and began to wonder for the first time ever if psychics did indeed have a gift.

Over the next few weeks Ellie excitedly told us about her wedding plans. To my utter surprise a date had already been set and they were looking at venues. I’d offered to babysit so Ellie could visit a couple of venues with her older sister Sophie. Sophie had a gorgeous little boy called Ethan who had just turned 4 and luckily for me thought coming to my house was a mini adventure. We made crispy cakes and carrot cakes which were Ellie’s favourite and the only thing I could successfully bake. We watched Toy Story whilst I did the voiceover of some of the characters and made a den out of blankets. I was taking a 5 minute breathier whilst Ethan entertained himself in the den when I was suddenly aware of the sound of running water and dashed upstairs. The sink was overflowing. The tap was on full flow and a flannel had blocked the plug hole. Ethan had obviously washed his hands but forgot the tap. I hastily turned the tap off whilst throwing two towels on the floor to soak up the growing puddle of water. Ethan appeared silently behind me. “Sorry Lauren.” He said looking glum.

“Don’t worry darling. It’s only a bit of water.” I said grabbing a third towel. “Good job I heard it though else we would have had a swimming pool.” I laughed ruffling his hair. He visibly relaxed and I smiled straightening up. The doorbell rang and we both jumped laughing. “I bet that will be your mum.” I said bounding down the stairs.

Ellie and Sophie excitedly babbled about their day and Sophie thanked me for having Ethan. “Any problems?” She said as they were leaving.

“No he’s been as good as gold.” I replied,

“But I forgot the tap.” Ethan said looking at the floor,

“Oh don’t worry about that.” I said giving him a hug.

“What happened?” Sophie asked as she gathered Ethan’s bag and coat. I filled them in on the minor accident and Ellie began to laugh.

“The flood warning.” She said now grinning.

“What?” I replied confused.

“Psychic Penny.  She asked you about flood plains. Maybe she meant a flood in your house not outside?” Ellie explained.

“Oh!” I said surprised. Ellie hugged me and winked nudging Sophie.

“I have news too.” She said beaming. “I’m pregnant had my 12 week scan yesterday. Had no idea. It’s a very happy surprise.” I congratulated her and we had a group hug. As they finally left Ellie squeezed my hand.

“Maybe Penny wasn’t a fake after all. Fancy going again?”

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