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Snow (standard:humor, 1316 words)
Author: kendall thomasAdded: Nov 10 2002Views/Reads: 2466/1393Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Tale of irony.


By Twisted Wabbit 

Freddy was a born loser, and that was probably the reason he decided to
go into the fortune teller's shop.  For he certainly wasn't very 
superstitious.  Just curious.  Hopeful perhaps. 

He had passed the place many times on his daily walks and hardly noticed
it.  It didn't stand out at you like such a place should have.  There 
should have been bold, glaring letters painted on the darkened, plate 
glass window; signs of the zodiac, mystic runes and symbols to lure one 
in; bold, upper cased words like DESTINY ! FATE ! YOUR FUTURE 
FORECASTED !  with  large exclamation points.  There should have been a 
pyramid with the evil eye of some malign god peering out at the 
passerby -- something to get one's attention, something to draw one in, 
but there was none of that.  Nothing glaring or sensational.  Nothing 
carnivalistic about the facade of the mundane, little shop . 

It was a plain, rather nondescript sort of place.  Stated simply on the
door, next to the window were the words  “Madame Zengra -- Fortunes 
told” in flaking, gild lettering.  Much like what you would expect to 
find on the door to a doctor's office or an attorney's who had come 
upon hard times. 

The neighborhood about was shabby; the best years had passed it by.  
Such genteel  lettering seemed out of sorts with these vulgar 
surroundings.   The understated advertisement of the proprietor's 
talents couldn't compete with the raw, bold commercial claims of 
neighboring businesses:  the gaudy, flashing, neon signs over bars and 
strip joints and gated pawn shops; the rundown grocery store with its 
dozens of sales signs; the drug store with its discount claims; the 
five and dime with it extravagant promise of reduced prices; the flop 
houses with their seedy “by the day or week”.   Even the abandoned, 
hollow buildings were still trying to compete with faded lettering 
echoing merchandise long since vanished. 

At any rate, whatever it was that made Freddy decide to go inside the
fortune teller's shop that day it changed the rest of his life. 

Madam Zengra didn't look anything like the stereotypical soothsayer.  No
gypsy getup.  No head wrap; no large, gold hoop ear rings; or finger 
rings; or gold necklaces; or garish gown -- or anything. 

Nor did the place resemble his notion of a fortune teller's shop.  There
was no round table with crystal ball; no beaded doorways; or smoky 
incense wafting from human skulls;  or any other outré adornments at 
all about the place. 

The woman who greeted him was small and  rotund with a round, pleasant
face dressed in an ordinary fashion.  The living room she conducted him 
to was conventionally furnished, well kept and cozy.  Freddy felt that 
he must have entered the wrong door, somehow -- even though that would 
have been impossible since there had been only one. 

She invited him to sit in an overstuffed armchair, where a white cat
lounged unmindfully on the top of the backrest, while she fiddled about 
in a small open kitchen fixing him a cup of coffee.  And when he sipped 
it, he noticed that she had got it just right--with cream and 
sugar--even though he hadn't mentioned how he liked it. 

She had made herself plain tea--nothing exotic, Lipton's, with the tab
hanging from the string into the chipped saucer.  She sat down across 
from him on a green, slightly peeling, vinyl sofa and smiled sweetly at 

“Snow,” she said quietly, breaking the silence of the room, filled only
with the ticking of an antique clock above the fireplace mantle.  Then 
she took a sip of her tea, holding the cup handle daintily between her 
thumb and forefinger leaving her little finger arched upward like a 
question mark. 

“Excuse me,” Freddy said after a moment, not really certain she had
spoken or whether he had read her thoughts, so soft was her voice. 

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