There was a full house at Mama Mia's. The line was practically out the door, with students and townies chattering away about what they were going to order and how nice it was outside. Kimber, Lily and Diana had snagged the big booth near the front window and were picking apart a pizza with greasy fingers. This was a ritual; they always ordered supreme and then trading toppings. Lily hated olives, Diana wouldn't eat anything green and Kimber loathed the taste of ham. Lily was talking with her mouth full, trying to explain why green vegetables were a gift from the gods to mortal men. Diana and Kimber were rolling their eyes and mouthing the speech along with her.
"Who gets the last piece?" Kimber said, her fingers inching closer to the tray.
"Meeee." Diana started peeling the green peppers off the thick layer of cheese.
Lily and Kimber both jumped up to stop her, but she had already bitten a chunk out of the crust, the best part of the slice.
"Fine. Enjoy your pizza. I'm going to Practical Magick without you," Kimber said, climbing out of her seat and blowing a raspberry.
Lily was blocked into the booth by Diana. She tried to push passed her, but Diana wasn't bugging. Lily crawled under the table instead, trying (and failing) not to hit her head as she got out on the other side. Kimber was already out the door, walking across the street. Lily scampered after her and Diana was close behind, having finished her slice quickly and ran out behind them. It wasn't far to Practical Magick and soon the three of them were perusing the candles and incense in the one-and-only New Age shop on Main Street.
"Hello madam," Diana said, sidling up to the counter to introduce herself to the cashier.
"Can I help you girls?"
"Oh, yes you can!" Diana said with a laugh, "My lovely friend Kimber, the one by the gem candles, yes, that one. She's been having some paranormal problems. She's been, well, seeing shadows and stuff."
The cashier looked over to Kimber with greedy eyes and a wide smile. She immediately ushered the girls into the back, chattering about tarot reading and contacting the spirits and things of that nature. The back room was more of a storage locker and less of an appropriate place to have customers. Product was strewn haphazardly across shelves and piled in the corners. There was a small table in the center, covered in a red tablecloth.
"Wow, are you really going to just give us a reading?" Kimber asked.
The cashier laughed out loud. "What do you think this is, a Disney Channel original movie? It's going to cost you."
Diana glowered and reached into her wallet. She pulled out a 20 and placed it on the table. The cashier looked on in disbelief. Kimber pulled a few more bills out of her pocket and dropped them on the table. The crinkled bills added up to 36 dollars, which was apparently enough for 5 cards. The cashier had yet to introduce herself and didn't seem to be keen on explaining what kind of reading she was about to do. She was shuffling a bunch of cards around, asking people to cut the deck and otherwise focusing on her reading.
The cashier held the deck out to Kimber and asked her to cut.
"What's your name?" Lily interjected.
The cashier-slash-psychic looked at her with disdain. "My name," she said in an affected tone, "is not important. You can call me Psyche, if you need to call me anything."
Kimber looked over at Diana with anger in her eyes. She couldn't believe they had paid this woman. Psyche, whose name, Kimber thought, was probably something mundane like Jen or Mary or Elizabeth, was flipping over cards in a small cross pattern. Lily looked concerned and Diana just smiled as each card was arranged. After all the cards were placed, Psyche looked up and stared at Kimber.
"So, tell me about what you've been seeing."
Kimber looked at her incredulously. This woman wasn't even pretending to read the cards; intead, she just dived into asking questions to find out what was going on.
"No?" Kimber said, asking it as a question only because she was seriously confused.
"What do you mean no? I just want to make sure I read the cards properly."
"Isn't the point for you to just know?"
Psyche and Kimber stared each other down. Psyche was running her finger over the corner of one of the cards. Kimber had crossed her arms in front of her, frustrated.
"Fine. The cards say that something dangerous is about to happen. You are under a lot of stress and you are looking for an escape. But you need to look in the right place, or you will not find what you need. Your past, this card, is work. You've been doing a lot of studying. You present, that top card, is adventure. So, this could be a positive thing over all, I guess."
Psyche's tone sounded apathetic and impatient. The girls weren't blown away by her abilities, and she didn't seem to be trying to convince them. Kimber was standing up to leave as another woman pushed aside the curtain and entered the back room.