The woman stared at the sign in the window.
“Come on Chelsea,” her friend coaxed, “let’s just see what she says.”
Chelsea bit her lower lip, a habit she developed after Bill, her husband… She hated to finish that sentence.
“I’m not sure Babette.” Chelsea responded to her friend. “I’m kind of skeptical.”
Babette did her best to persuade her despondent friend. “If you so wish, I will go first.”
“I don’t know.” Chelsea muttered.
“How about this?” Babette encouraged her friend. “I will pay for both of us. You have nothing to lose.”
“Oh, ok.” Chelsea responded.
“Perfect!” Babette exclaimed as she grabbed the moon shaped brass knocker, hitting the metal against the wooden door.
A stout woman in her 60’s opened the door. “Welcome.”
Her smile revealed a missing lower incisor. “What can I do for you two lovely women today?”
As she moved her hand to her hip the bangles on her wrist jangled and brushed the sash that was tied around her waist; the bells on the hem created a little tinkle sound. When she moved her head, a matching blue scarf created a harmony of delicate bells.
Babette jumped in. “We would like a reading. I mean, we each want one.”
“Spectacular!” The woman said. “I am Madam Jewel.”
She held the door open wider. “Please come in. I just smudged.”
Chelsea turned to Babette with a disapproving look and flared her nostrils.
Babette slipped her arm around Chelsea’s elbow encouraging her to enter. She leaned in and whispered. “Let’s just consider this another adventure.”
Chelsea rolled her eyes. “Like the time we went on that carnival ride and I ended up nauseous, with a migraine?”
Babette smiled. “Oh yeah, but this is different.”
“Ladies, my fee is $35 per reading. I prefer cash but do accept Visa and PayPal.”
Babette reached into her purse and pulled out a wad of bills. “Cash.” She said as she counted out the money and placed it in Jewel’s hands.
Madam Jewel pressed the bills to her forehead, then to her chest. “Blessings my child.”
Chelsea began to groan so Babette gave her a little kick in the shin to quiet her.
“Ladies,” Madam Jewel instructed, “you can sit here.” She pointed to the seat in front of her at the round table. “And what is your name?”
“Chelsea.” She said sitting down.
Jewel turned to Babette. “You may sit here.” She pointed to a seat to her right. “Your name?”
Babette sat down. “Babette.”
“Wonderful!” The woman replied. “Energies are pulling me to you Chelsea. I shall read you first.”
Madam Jewel shuffled her Tarot cards then laid them down one by one revealing the Overview, Challenge and Outcome. Next to the third card she rested a charm.
Jewel began to read.
“Your husband,” Madam Jewel began, “is on an extended trip.”
Chelsea bit her lower lip, tears welled up in her eyes.
She hated that sentence, about her husband Bill; and his untimely death.