I have been planning on doing this for a few weeks now, and what better occasion than on Reader appreciation day. Over the last three months, as many of you know, I have been participating in the Fictionista Daily Witfits, though not always daily. I have missed several days, and not always because I didn't have ideas. So I am going back over the prompts I missed and seeing what I come up with. It won't be every day, but when my mind needs a little jarring. :)
Thanks again everyone. Love you all to pieces. xo
Creative Original or Derivative Fiction: Derivative
Disclaimer: All copyrighted, trademarked items, or recognizable characters, plots, etc. mentioned herein belong to their respective owners. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without their express written authorization.
Prompt: Imagined Images You are visiting the neighborhood carnival with friends and decide to have your fortune told. As you walk in, the gypsy stops, stares at you and says, "I've been waiting." What happens next?
Places like this reminded me of the carefree times of childhood. The whistles and bells, the laughter and music. I hadn't come to the carnival since my dad died sic years ago. We used to come every fall since I was old enough to walk, a time for just me and him.
So now, there were just too many memories here for me to relax and enjoy myself. I was only here now because Alice was so insistent, complaining that I never left the house any more than absolutely necessary, and rarely for anything fun. I dated on occasion, but it was never anything truly lucrative, and I always ended up where I started; on my couch, curled up with my cat and watching a movie.
"Ooh, Bella! Fortune telling!" Alice squealed, squeezing my arm in her grasp.
"No Alice. Honestly, you are quite enough for me, thanks," I replied, shaking my head and continued to walk. Alice had a creepy way of 'just knowing' things, actually saving me on more than one occasion from disastrous scenarios. Rarely were her 'feelings' wrong and we all learned to simply trust her instincts.
So far, she'd only had misses when it came to one thing; my love life.
"Come on, please," Alice begged and tugged on my arm. "You won't regret it, I promise."
"Really, I'm more of a 'take life as it comes at you' kind of person," I said, attempting to move forward again.
"Never stopped you from listening to me before," she replied in a sing-song voice, pulling me toward the tent.
"Fine, what could it hurt," I groaned as I reluctantly followed, finding it easier to simply give Alice her way.
A strong scent of candle wax and incense assaulted me as she moved the curtain aside, tugging me along behind her into the dim space, despite the brilliant daylight just outside.
A woman stood in front of us at a small round table, collecting what I assumed were tarot cards into a neat pile. She had every appearance of the gypsies you saw in the movies; the multiple layers of dress, the scarf wrapped around the top of her head and draping down over her shoulder, and the long dangling earrings with feathers and beads at the end.
Her hands suddenly stopped their movements and her entire body stilled as if it had been frozen in place. Her eyes slowly rose to meet mine, not acknowledging the other occupant of the room at all. Suddenly her face softened and a gentle smile graced her lips. "I've been waiting."
I glanced over at Alice nervously as the woman gracefully lowered herself into her chair at the table. When all my friend could manage was a small shrug, I looked back to the gypsy, whose smile remained in place.
"Please, sit," she said and it was only then that I noticed the strange accent with which she spoke, that I could not place. "You can't know how long I've waited for you. I knew you would come. He told me, you see."
"Who? What, God?" I asked, my nervousness around this woman increasing by the second, more so now that she seemed like some sort of religious fanatic.
However, she let out a breathy laugh and shook her head. "No, dear. Some say God has long forsaken me. A man, Isabella."
I took a sharp intake of breath at the sound of my name falling from this stranger's lips, rendering me positively speechless.
"He haunts my visions and my dreams, but never his face. Only the melodic sound of his voice. He calls to me, telling me I must find you. For you see, he is also looking for you."
My brow furrowed and my hands fidgeted nervously in my lap.
"So where is he? This man who's looking for Bella?" Alice asked curiously, leaning forward on the table and staring in fascination.
"He is out there," the woman replied simply, turning her gaze to Alice and tilting her head slightly. "Have you not seen this, Alice?"
Alice stiffened and looked taken aback for the first time, and lowering her eyes.
The woman reached across the table and rested her hand atop Alice's folded ones, causing her to jump at the contact as if she'd been struck. "You have the gift, my dear Alice. My question is, why does she not know of him?"
Alice shook her head vehemently, raising her eyes abruptly. "No, I only get these little feelings, nothing is ever certain."
"Ah, then did you not know to the day when you would meet your beloved Jasper?" she asked with a quirky smile as Alice shifted uncomfortably in her chair.
My eyes widened and shot over to Alice sharply. "Wait, did you? Is that why you were so unnaturally happy that day, even for you?"
"It was a lucky guess, Bella," Alice replied defensively, pulling her hands out from beneath the woman's touch. "No one truly knows the future. Come on, let's go."
The woman rose non-chalantly, lifting a long, slender object from the table and igniting it on one of the lit candles. She moved about the area, lighting the others scattered around and behaving as if she were alone in the room, never speaking until I reached down for my purse. "Do not think to pay me, for I did not answer a question of yours. You need to find him, it is crucial."
"But how will I know when I find him? You said you never saw his face," I asked urgently as an afterthought.
"You will know," she replied simply, a kind yet confident smile on her face. "Oh and Bella?"
I turned back to face her as Alice and I began heading for the exit when she called out to me.
"Your first child will be born within the year. A boy. Name him Caleb."
A shiver ran through my body and I grabbed Alice's arm, moving hastily with her outside, thrusting the curtain aside as we walked out.
"What the hell was all that? Talk of visions and dreams, and a mysterious man's voice? And my first child, within the year?! I don't even have a boyfriend, let alone the necessarily sex life that would be required for such a... oh my god, I'm so sorry!"
Standing in front of me was a tall, slender man, a mass of bronze hair gracing his bent head... looking at what appeared to be hot coffee now spilled down his front from my running into him in my hurry. His angular jaw was tensed and the cup fell from his hand, into the trash barrel beside him.
"You could at least watch where you walk, sometimes it... helps," he replied tersely, but his voice softened on the last word as his brilliant green eyes rose to meet mine.
We simply gazed at each other for an immeasurable time. He was, by far, the most handsome man I had ever seen, and I nearly collapsed when his long fingers rose to run through his hair. His deep, brooding eyes drew me in, and I couldn't move or speak. I was truly captivated.
A nudge on my ribs from Alice snapped me out of my ogling of this man, and my eyes fell in embarrassment. "I'm so sorry, sir. I wasn't paying attention, and I know I really should, and..."
I stared at him blankly for a moment at the sudden sound of his voice. It was deep, soft, and for lack of a better term, melodic. "Excuse me?"
"You said 'sir', my name is Edward," he replied with a crooked smile that made me weak at the knees.
Snap out of it, Bella, I scolded myself as I looked down and found his hand outstretched toward me.
"Bella," I said quickly, taking his hand, still warm from the coffee and slightly rough in texture.
A man not afraid to use his hands.
His smile widened and his eyes fell somewhat bashfully toward our joined hands, then rose back up. "Bella, it's nice to meet you."
"I really am sorry about before. It was really stupid of me to not watch where I was going. That coffee was hot and now I've ruined your clothes..."
"Does she always ramble like this?" he asked as he gazed over at Alice and they shared a laugh, and I felt my annoyance beginning to rise until his eyes met mine again. "Honestly, it's not big deal. The coffee wasn't that hot, and I was just heading over to the stage area right there, and I can change and grab another coffee before my set."
My head turned to look over my shoulder where he pointed, seeing a small stage with a stool and a microphone in the center, and a small crowd gathering around it. My gaze spun back to him in surprise, my eyes widening. "You're a musician?"
He nodded. "Yes, I certainly am, though I would be much good if my strumming hand is asleep."
My brow furrowed until his eyes motioned to our still joined hands and I gasped, pulling my hand back. "Sorry."
"Don't be," he smiled as his hand fell back to his side. "Would you... like to join me?"
My eyes rose to meet his, and I swallowed hard. I felt a rush flooding through me that I'd never felt before, and to be honest, it frightened me a little. That fortune teller had completely unnerved me and I looked over to Alice, hoping for reprieve. But a glint was present in her eyes that did not bode well for my situation.
"Go on ahead, Bella. I need to go hunt down Jasper and we can meet back at the car afterward," she grinned, subtly winking at me.
"Alice wait!" I called after her, but she merely waved behind her head as she walked away quickly. Turning back to the man after a deep breath, I slowly nodded. "Sure, that sounds great."
And as you may notice, this also may be incomplete at times, since some of them I have future plans for, be it as a full oneshot, or part of another prompt I've missed. And this would be one of them. Thanks again.