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Monday, October 31, 2011

The Fortune Teller and Writer's Block

I have been tweeting a little bit about my serious case of writer's block.  I can usually come up with several ideas for short stories and flash fiction but for the last three weeks, nothing.  NOTHING!!!  So, here is what I am going to do.  Below is what I had hoped would be a fun flash fiction story.  What I propose is you read it and give me suggestions on the ending.  If I use your idea, I'll gift you a copy of one of my books (your choice).  Or you can feel free to just leave a comment on the story, or writer's block in general.
Thanks for playing!

The Fortune Teller

“C'mon, it'll be fun,” Beth said, tugging her best friend, Audreys' arm.
“A fortune teller? Really?” Audrey said.
“Sure. I did it last year and everything she said came true.”
“First, no one can see the future. They use your responses to figure you out. Second, even if she was really good it's unlikely to be the same woman. This is the carnival. They probably pick up whoever they can along the way. In fact they probably just rotate out the jobs. She gave you a fortune one day, then was working the ring toss game the next.”
“No. The lady selling tickets heard me telling Robert I wanted to go to the fortune teller and she said their lady is the real thing. She's been with them ten years. When people find out she's coming they line up to see her.”
“Whatever,” Audrey smiled.
“Well, we're going. You need some fortune telling.”
“It sure couldn't hurt,” Audrey said. Her business was failing and she had some big decisions to make. Not that she would listen to a stranger, but still, it could take her mind off her troubles for a little while.
To Audrey's surprise there was actually a line to see the fortune teller. She had no desire to wait, considering it was hot and crowded but Beth bought them some soda's and let her use her smart phone to play on the internet so she agreed. It's not as if she had anything better to do anyway.
Thirty minutes later they entered the fortune tellers tent. It was really small and dark, with just a little round table surrounded by three chairs. The only light came from a round clear ball on the center of the table. The ball wasn't in any holder and Audrey wondered what kept it from rolling off the table.
Sitting in the chair opposite the entrance was a small woman dressed in a black caftan dress. Her hair was black and long with streaks of gray, but it was her eyes that kept Audrey from moving forward. They were black and cold and seemed to pierce through Audrey.
“Don't worry,” the fortune teller said, smiling.
Beth took Audrey's hand and pulled her to the empty seats.
“It's your fortune you want told then,” the woman said to Audrey. It wasn't a question. She laid her right hand on the table, palm up, and indicated Audrey should take a hold. Beth nudged her and she grasped hands with the woman.
“Ah,” she said looking into the crystal ball. “You're business is failing and you are thinking of closing it.”
Audrey pulled her hand back. “ could you know that?”
“It's what you paid for, isn't it? For me to see things.”
“But, it's impossible!” She looked at Beth. “You told her. You came here earlier and told her.”
“I didn't!” Beth said.
“My dear, I have people waiting. Do you want your fortune read or not. It doesn't matter if you believe it.”
Audrey looked at the woman, then back at Beth.
“C'mon Audrey. It's harmless.”
Audrey reached out and took the woman's hand again.
“You need to keep your business going,” she continued, looking back into the crystal ball. “If you can just hang on a few more months, everything will turn around.”
Audrey thought of the big contract she had been waiting on. She was sure it had fallen through and they had gone with someone else but what if...
“And, oh, how nice. You will meet the love of your life in the next twenty four hours.”
This time Audrey smiled as she pulled her hand back and stood up.
“Thanks anyway miss, but now I know you're a fraud.”
“Oh, and why is that?”
“Because I am already married.”


  1. I think Audrey should find out she is expecting, that way the love of her life could be her baby :)

  2. I was toying with that idea myself - thanks for the comment and the affirmation that a baby isn't a bad idea:)

  3. try adding this to the end.

    "Dear, you do not need to have my powers to realize that love and marriage seldom walk on the same path. You and I both know love is what you seek. Acceptance is what you desire."

    Audrey moved to sit again, her hand extended toward the fortune teller. "Will he love me as I want to be loved?"

    The fortune teller took the young trembling hand in her old wrinkled one and said, "That answer may come with a price you can not afford." She looked up at Audrey and smiled an all-knowing smile.

  4. Babies are overdone. The personal story is this: MC and hubby are growing apart, taking each other for granted.

    But when she returns to her business, she sees hubby doing something she hadn't noticed before. Through the course of the novel or story, she falls in love with this new aspect of her old love.

  5. nice scott - I think mine leads to yours somehow

  6. What great ideas, both of you. Really love the falling in love with hubby again. Ed - just beautifully put. You are a better writer than I:)

  7. I like ScottTheWriter's ending as well. It is plausible. A baby isn't a bad suggestion either but I agree with the consensus.

  8. I really like the 'falling more in love with the husband' suggestion. I'm not a writer, just a reader, and I thank you for sharing your work :)

  9. Thanks again everyone. I'm going to leave this up another week, then pick a winner!

  10. How about, she gets home and her husband has upped sticks and left her.

  11. Well, I'm not sure where the story should go exactly, but the next line could be something like this:

    "So you believe that your husband is the love of your life?"

    Perhaps her husband is ultimately the source of her business problems, and finding the TRUE love of her life would help her fix them. She wouldn't be the first person to be held back by the influence of her significant other.

  12. I accept that if what the fortune teller has said is true then hubby may have decided to leave her.The next day she could have a customer at her business who intrigues her and she decided to hold on for a month or so to see if she gets the contract. It could turn out that the customer was working for the firm offering the contract and was assessing her suitability. He also offers a shoulder when her husband leaves. Having met this stranger she may not yet know he'll be the love of her life.She buys a puppy for company and may believe that this is all the love she'll get.

  13. As you have said, 'no man knows the future'. So the fortune teller is either a fake, demonised or a wayward Christian. The fake can be like Derren Brown using psychology and mind tricks to suggest things. The demonised one sees what the devil is trying make happen depending how deeply she gets into the 'other side'. The wayward Christian still hears from God but assumes it is a supernatural gift from somewhere else. If her husband dies in an accident then the new love of her life may be the fireman who tries to save him.

  14. Wow, so many great comments! I really appreciate this everyone. Will be picking a winner today.

  15. In the spirit of the holidays I am giving everyone a copy of one of my books. I tried to contact all of you but I know I had trouble with a couple. So please, if you didn't hear from me via DM on twitter, send me an email at so I can get you a copy!