Reading Tea Leaves


Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction.

“There was a silver car.   The street was wet.   Buildings dressed in red, bathed in green lights.   Your friends approached a door in purple spotlights.”  Marvin lowers his head and the voice flattens. “The vision fades.   The city is familiar to them.   But I can’t get anything else.”

Marvin hands Olivia the tattered flannel cloth.   His body lounges the arm out as if fighting the air in the room.  He sighs heavy.

“But you see them.   They were at a club. .. It was Christmas. .. There can’t be a lot of purple clubs.  Please, try again. Please, you just got to. ……. try. ..again.”  Her face looks for Marvin to sit back up.  This is the fourth try.   The pressure of reality is crashing down.   She was supposed to be there with them.

“My dear.   They were in the city you were seeking.   You know the name. You know the place.   My gazing cone can’t read your mind.”  Marvin rights himself up.   He shakes his hand to restore feeling. His eyes reach across a table for hers.  “Please, you have the answer you need.   I’m very tired.”

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