Fortune Teller

The astrologer gave me a wicked smile as he called me closer. Even the poorly painted palm that advertised his presence seemed sinister.

His office was tucked away in a narrow lane with many houses bearing down on the road, but I saw no people. Inside it was painted red and the only light came from a dirty, shut window. He gave me a rusted coin box while he prepared his cowrie shells.

He smiled when I dropped a whole heap of coins but gasped when he looked at how his shells fell. I looked at him hopefully but he only said “I don’t like looking at my own future.” and returned my coins with a grimace.

Bat tree

On the old banyan
Are bats still waiting

For a waning moon

And the insect buzz

Around street lights

To consume the night.

In the mirror hall

The mirror house was from those movies they told you not to watch, where frightened victims leave clouded mirrors while a man with a knife follows.

I remember the night outside, thick with mist and the moon dropping low like a spider ready to snatch it’s prey. I hear their shouts trying to find me. Their flashlights reveal armies of fellow pursuers all bouncing off the corners, all on their own quests.

 

I put my hand against the mirror. Its deceitful icy cold gave way to warmth. Mine.

Time has taken a thousand moons hence, but the mirrors cradle my sleepwalking soul, my happy silhouette, ever elusive across the glassy cold.