UNFORESEEN – A BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS “EXTRA”!
The palm-leaved ceiling fan turned in a slow, rhythmic thrum, stirring the sticky summer heat. Humidity thickened the tension surrounding the dark-haired man, causing perspiration to slide along the worry lines in his face as he sat down in the straight-backed chair.
Crawling into the man’s lap, the little blonde girl watched their serene host walk around the coffee table and sit down on the floral patterned couch across from them. When the child continued to stare in awe at the crystal beads decorating her long dark braids, the woman smiled and lifted her hair, holding the ends up so the sunlight caught the crystals. Rainbow colored lights danced on the girl’s pink shirt. With a giggle of delight, she tried to catch the rainbow dots on her chest and belly.
“Invisible fireflies,” the woman whispered with a conspiratorial wink before she released her braids and began to shuffle a stack of oversized cards on the coffee table’s polished surface, her movements smooth and assured.
The little girl clapped her hands, her green eyes flicking to the man. “Are we playing Go fish, Daddy?”
“Kind of.” He kissed the back of her head, then set the five-year-old on her feet as he addressed the woman. “Things have happened…” Concern edged his words as he briefly touched the small white bandage on his daughter’s forehead. “Things I can’t explain. My sister hoped you might have insight.”
With a nod of understanding, the woman fanned out the shuffled cards face down toward him. “Take two cards.”
He took two cards and turned them face up at the woman’s request.
The man and woman exchanged glances. “Can you try once more?” he asked, tension making him sound hoarse.
She pressed her lips together, but reshuffled the cards, then held them out to him.
He stared at the cards and flexed his jaw. Sliding his gaze sideways, he spoke to the little girl, “Why don’t you pick them, sweetheart?”
“Ooh, a different game!” Squealing with excitement, she sang Eeny, meeny, miny, moe twice, one for each card she picked, and then turned them over on the table like she’d seen him do.
“Having the child choose them makes no difference,” their host said with a sigh, tapping the two cards. “They’re always the same: The Wheel of Fortune and Justice cards speak of unforeseen changes and destiny.”
After she laid down several more cards in a specific pattern, the woman’s face crinkled in concentration. A few seconds later, her deep brown gaze shifted nervously to the little girl. She’d lost interest in the game and was squatting to pet the orange tabby cat rubbing against the coffee table leg. “This doesn’t bode well for her.”
They spoke in low tones, and then the man picked up the child, gathering her little body close. She hugged his neck and patted his cheeks. “Is it time to go?”
He nodded and smiled, forcing a light tone. “Let’s go get that ice cream I promised you, Nari.”
Copyright © 2012 P.T. Michelle. All Rights Reserved.