Inspiration Monday: Pick it up
(200 – 500 words)
Dust rolled across the field where the carnival was set up for the week. Madame Mystère stared out through the canvas flap to the Ferris wheel being set up. Absent mindedly, she shuffled the cards. She was thinking about the young girl she’d read for last week.
She’d read the tarot cards for many young girls, but none ever had this effect. She didn’t believe in the cards herself — much. This was a temporary stint to pay off the farm. Her husband had left a mountain of debt. Temporary. Truth be told, the debt had been paid, but she rather liked this life — not that she’d tell anyone that. It was a relief to be someone other than Harriett Kennamer. Her father had been abusive — when he was around. He had big plans for them. Yes, one day they were gonna be rich. Said he loved his little girl though. Mother didn’t love him, not really. She wanted to be in the pictures. She had big plans too. Getting pregnant wasn’t one of them, and she’d reminded Harriett of it regularly. Mother was attractive. She’d give her that. And the men were not scarce. After the uncles’ visits, Mother usually had meat, and sometimes cheese, on the table. Harriett never complained; she loved cheese. Sometime after Harriett turned fourteen, Father stopped coming home.
Angerona. Damn. Angerona Peregrino. She had the saddest eyes Harriett had ever seen. Her demeanor hinted at sophistication, but she was dressed in a shabby poorly patched dress, her shoes were worn nearly through, and she wore a tarnished silver bracelet. Angerona Peregrino. Wasn’t that a name that made you think of the high and mighty living in some grand city?
The girl had come hesitatingly into Madame Mystère’s tent. She sought answers. Harriett could tell. She had the girl shuffle the cards and place them face down on the little table. She asked her name, and told her to focus on her question. The girl nodded and stared forlornly at the cards as Harriett laid them out.
The first card confirmed to Harriett that this girl, at one point, was used to the finer things but she was running. No argument from the girl there. The second card told of decisions that the girl needed to make. She blamed herself for something someone else had done. She needed to set things right. She needed to close a frightful chapter of her life and move on.
Harriet reached for the third card.
“No! I don’t want to see it.”
“Pick it up.”
Harriett turned it over for her. It was the Death card. Harriett knew. The card didn’t necessarily take on the literal meaning, but…
The girl ran from the tent.
As the Ferris wheel rolled to life, it came to her. That son of a rich bitch! Her own father. The evil seed was planted. Angerona was going home!
The preceding story was a a little heavy, so just for fun, I wrote one a bit lighter — a somewhat humorous take on a serious situation. This one uses the another of the Inspiration Monday prompts ailing mind.
Fuzzy slippers and lemon meringue pie
Grandma looked down at her fuzzy blue slippers and giggled.
“I guess you’re wondering why I’m wearing these ratty things.” She looked at Deanna with a twinkle in her eye.
“Well, no, I hadn’t really thought about it.” Deanna answered.
“Well, they took my good shoes.”
“Who took them?”
“They did. They took one of ’em out to the school in Lucianville.”
“Oh?” Oh dear. What was coming next?
“They rented it out.”
“I see.” Grandma was losing it. Deanna wanted to laugh, but didn’t dare. It really wasn’t funny.
“They hid the other one. I can’t find it anywhere.”
“Do you want me to look for it?”
“Are you out of your ailing mind? It ain’t here! I looked out in the barn and behind the outhouse this morning. That’s where they usually hide my things.”
The nurse poked her head in around the door. “Are you ready for lunch yet, Isobel?”
“No. I’m not terribly hungry. When are they going to bring my shoes back?”
“Pretty soon, I think.” The nurse looked at Deanna. “She’s been having a bad morning,” she said quietly.
Deanna just nodded. Ain’t that the truth. She’d been pretty good the last month or so.
Grandma looked at her quizzically and asked, “So why are you here? You usually don’t come on Mondays.”
It was Thursday.
Deanna shrugged. “Just thought I’d pop in. I wanted to see how you were. I brought you some of your favorite chocolates.”
“Where’s Deanna? She usually comes on Sunday, but she wasn’t here yesterday. I was really looking forward to the lemon meringue pie she said she’d bring.”
Grandma hated lemon meringue pie — always had.