"Cross my palm with silver or gold, and learn what wonders your future may hold! Caress my neck with jewels fine, and I shall utter the name in which love might be thine. For a long happy life, come to me. I will help you to avoid trouble and strife." sang a beautiful girl, whose hair was as sleek and black as a Raven's feather.
Chalisa was a gypsy by birth and training. Her grandmother had told her she had the Gift, and carefully trained her for fifteen years. But now, most of her people were in lands thousands of miles away.
"Why was I so determined to go to university? I could have had a good life back home... Here I don't have anyone who cares about me. I would starve if I didn't tell fortunes in this park between classes!" she thought bitterly as she took a short break to moisten her throat.
As she began to sing, an elderly man who looked like he might have once been an athlete strolled by. She smiled, and motioned for him to come closer. Her stunning blue eyes were a surprising contrast to the rest of her features. This usually guaranteed a customer, if she could make eye contact.
"Hello kind Sir, I sense that you have a question for me. Is it something about a loved one? A son, perhaps?" Chalisa asked, letting the words flow out of her on their own. Grandmother had always warned her not to force it, or try to guide. The Gift could not be controlled, any more than paint on a canvas could be wiped up and placed on another part of the painting. It would choose who to help, and in what manner.
"Why yes, how could you have known? I was thinking about his future as I was walking." he replied, genuinely surprised.
"Oh... Oh my!" she exclaimed, suddenly aware of the situation.
"What?" the gentleman asked curiously, reaching for his wallet. He pulled out a rather large roll of cash, and began to sort through it.
"I'm so sorry, Sir. I didn't realize that you were ill. There's no charge." she said, even as she hungrily looked at what would be enough money to pay her tuition for the entire semester.
"Don't be ridiculous. I don't have any silver, gold, or jewels on me at the moment, but I suspect you could use this just as well?" he asked, smiling as he displayed a significant part of the cash. The rest had disappeared into his wallet, but what was left made her knees weak.
Speechless, all Chalisa could do was nod. Composing herself, she said "Shall we go sit by the fountain? I know you are worried but don't, your son has a bright future ahead."
The man nodded, and soon they were sitting by the fountain, cooled by the refreshing mist. She was facing him, staring intently into his amber eyes.
"Before you are gone, he will find his life partner. She will be a comfort, and help him through the transition. I sense he lives with you at the moment, and has passions but no clear direction?" she asked, but it was only for confirmation. She already knew it to be true.
"Yes. And I must say, you have a rare gift, young lady. Several in fact. You are a lovely singer, and have a good heart. Those are just as important as your knowledge of the future, never overlook them." he said kindly.
"Grandmother always said that the Gift is a form of art. She also said that other things can be just as important." Chalisa said, smiling.
"I think I would enjoy meeting her." he replied, smiling.
" I know you would! And soon you - " she suddenly stopped mid-sentence, and clapped her hand over her mouth. Her bright blue eyes looked like they might escape from her head.
The elderly man was grinning from ear to ear. He pulled out his wallet again, and counted out several more bills.
This time, Chalisa didn't even notice. She had never had a vision about herself or a family member before today. It was a truly beautiful scene too, with the promise of a wonderful future. But then she began to panic, and sob.
"What's wrong, Miss?" asked the older gentleman, concerned.
"It's beautiful... But I never saw his face! I'll never be able to find him in this huge city." she sobbed, inconsolable.
"And what would Grandmother say?" he asked, already knowing the answer.
"She would tell me to trust the Gift..." sniffled Chalisa, as it dawned on her. If her client had asked for a face, she would have told them the same thing. Trust the Gift.
"Good. Then it's settled." he smiled, and after putting what was now most of the roll of money in her hand, he strolled away. But now he was whistling, and had a spring to his step.
One fine summer day, Chalisa had decided to go to the annual Summer Food festival. There was a good crowd, but nobody was stopping. And her Gift wasn't choosing anyone. "Maybe I should just go back to the park..." she thought glumly.
"Excuse me, Miss? Do you know where the strawberry pie stand is? That's the only reason I'm here, actually." a young man asked, interrupting her thoughts.
"I'm sorry, I - " she started to reply, when suddenly she knew exactly where it was. "But why would it choose such a small thing? Before it was always about love, or destiny, or life and death..." she mused.
"That's alright, I'll find it somehow!" grinned the handsome young man with the blondest hair she had ever seen. She gasped. It was him!
"Actually I think I do know where it is! Let's try over here." she replied, suddenly very happy with the choices her Gift made.
Four months later, the scene from Chalisa's first and only vision of herself came true. But incredibly, that was only part of the good fortune. Grandmother, a healer as well as a gifted fortune teller, was able to cure Chalisa's father in-law completely. Six months later, the two elders were also united in marriage.
Cover image made in Canva using their gallery and my fractal artwork
Design in gold and white over crystal ball, and heart at bottom are my own fractal art.