Psychic for Hire
Being a psychic undoubtedly had it's perks. For one, Adrian could make a quick buck with a talent that for him, came as easy as breathing. He felt a little guilty, charging for his services, but if he didn't, it would look mighty suspicious, he reasons. Guy with the ability to tell the future correctly all the time, and he was doing it for free? Get the stakes and the pitchforks, something wasn't right.
It also helped that most people thought it a sham. With how many fortune tellers just gave a vague indication of the future that could apply to anyone and having an uncanny ability to read people without any supernatural powers whatsoever, it was a given most wouldn't believe he could actually predict the future. And Adrian preferred it that way. He'd take jaded adults over mobs with pitchforks any day.
His frequent customers however, were teenagers, and that's who showed up at his door today. A skeptical teenage girl, trailing a giggling brunette and a red head (more of a fire red, than any natural hair color) who looked about ready to jump out of her skin. The one part he despised about fortune telling, was when they came in groups. And teenagers usually always did.
The blonde, the skeptical one, turned her nose up at the place, as if she couldn't believe she'd actually been dragged there.
The brunette was saying how "at night, there's more magic around", giggling all the while. "Why else do you think ghosts come out at night?" She was right, but Adrian wasn't going to bother confirming that for her. Especially since her annoying giggle was getting on his nerves, and her eyes scanning his figure wasn't gaining her any favors.
"So who's going first?" He'd guess the brunette, but it wouldn't hurt to ask.
He was right and the brunette raised her hand eagerly. "That would be me!"
He motioned for the brunette to follow him to the table, the rest to take a seat on the couch. The red head obliged, nervously sitting on the edge, and the blonde (he noticed now, it was also a fake color, as her eyebrows were black) leaned against the wall, smacking her gum. He noticed her rolling her eyes at his décor, and part of him was almost offended, if not for the fact he'd purposefully picked tacky things to fill the room for the shits and giggles. Purple curtains with stars and moons on them held no practical purpose and were fairly ugly, the shelf she was standing next to, filled with Wicca and magic books, half of which didn't even work. The rest was his supernatural genre book collection. If he were in her shoes, he'd be scoffing at it, too.
The brunette was eyeing the crystal ball at the center of the table. No one ever believed he could tell the future with it, so he never used it, but he kept it all the same. It was quite pretty, shinning silver and reflecting whatever lighting Adrian has for the room.
"Shouldn't you have a cloak or something?" The blonde girl asked, the sound of her smacking her gum heard clearly throughout the quiet room.
He raised an eyebrow at the girl. "I'm reading your future, not luring you into a dark alley."
The blonde scoffed, but didn't continue.
"So, palm reading or cards?"
The brunette giggled for the millionth time and it took all his willpower not to roll his eyes. "Palm reading."
Adrian made sure to keep a lamp under the table, in case of palm reading. He needed good lighting, so he'd set it on the table, making sure to move the crystal ball out of the way. He'd already broken a few in recklessness.
"Are you at all familiar with palm reading?"
The girl shook her head.
"Quick tutorial then. Your dominant hand, whichever that may be, shows potential and what could be – not always what will be. The other, shows what you've accumulated through your life. So which hand do you want me to read?" He'd been doing this for so long, he basically had his whole speech memorized.
The brunette gave her right hand. The giggle fits she'd been in had ended, and she seemed completely enraptured by what Adrian has said. Her blonde companion smacked her gum, as if in indignation, but said nothing. The other girl who completed the trio, the unnaturally colored red head, had been silent since walking in, but was staring at Adrian in the same way the brunette was.
He sets her palm up, peering at her heart-line. Palm reading was easy, and not always insightful. He always wondered why people actually wanted their palm read.
"Your heart line is curved up, meaning you freely express emotions and feelings."
"Oohhh, that is so true!" the brunette said in a high pitched tone.
"Psht, like you couldn't tell that from the beginning."
Adrian would have given the blonde another sarcastic retort, but the quiet red head shushed her before he could. He sighed, and went on to read her life-line.
"It breaks in the middle here, indicating a change in lifestyle."
"It's because I'm a lesbian!"
The fake blonde chocked on her gum at that, and started making sputtering noises, trying to dislodge it from her throat.
"Excuse us." The red head intoned meekly, leading her friend out the door.
If he never had to deal with another group of teenagers, it would be too soon.
After he was the done, the trio were a bit more subdued, except for the brunette, who, still very full of energy, told him she would be back, happy with her fortune. The trio left silently and a bit tense, no doubt because their friend had just come out of the closet at a fortune telling.
It still wasn't the worst experience he'd ever had.
No, that spot was reserved.
About an hour or so after the three teenagers had left, and he hoped the girls promise was false, and she indeed was not coming back, especially not so soon, Adrian received another knock on the door. It left an electrical sting when he touched the knob, but paid it no mind as he opened the door and was met with a ball of nerves and energy in the body of a taller brown haired man. He felt as though he recognized him, possibly having seeing him at his college, but he wasn't sure, and he didn't care to ask.
"Hello," the other man held out his hand, and Adrian hesitantly took it. Customers did not usually greet him so formally. "You're the psychic, right? Oh gosh, please tell me I'm not mistaken..."
"No, no, you're fine. This is it. Do you... want your fortune told?" The other man did not look as though that was what he came for, making Adrian hesitate.
"Yes! Uh, no. Well, yes, but..." Adrian narrowed his eyes, and the other mans nerves seemed to sky rocket. "Yes, I would like my fortune told."
"Okay, good. That's what I do here." Adrian couldn't begin to guess why the other man was so on edge, but he wasn't going to question it. His job was as a psychic, not a therapist. He was, however, going to watch his back. The man was jittery for a reason, and Adrian was not about to let his guard down.
"Palm reading or cards?" Adrian asked as soon as they were both seated at the circular table.
"Neither. Is there another way for you to tell the future?" The other mans eyes were wide and earnest. It made Adrian feel unsettled.
"Yes, there's many ways but..." Adrian eyed the other man again, trying to see if there was something in his expression he could read. There wasn't much he could see. Reading expressions was definitely not his strong suit. "Usually, people don't come for those. Is there anything specific you have in mind?"
The nervousness was back full force. "Well, uh, I didn't have anything in mind, but..."
"There's no need to be nervous." Adrian's eyes went from being suspicious to a soft, calm expression that did wonders for the other man's nerves. "The future may be frightening, but it's nothing you should fear. It will come, whether you know of it or not."
Adrian saw the man exhale a breath, and was pleased that his speech worked. He wouldn't mention it's something he tells all his nervous customers and had used over a hundred times. It worked, and that's all that mattered.
"You're right. It's just- Let's just start. I shouldn't keep you waiting here."
Adrian nodded. "I can try," Adrian paused, to make sure he wouldn't start laughing, "looking into my crystal ball."
The other man giggled, but Adrian's serious expression didn't change. "Oh, you're serious? Okay, okay. Yes, let's do that."
Adrian moved the ball back to the center from where he'd previously placed it out of the way. The surface wasn't reflective, which seemed to surprise the other man. The crystal ball was more like a snow globe in that the inside seemed covered in what appeared to be glitter and snow, and was foggy and opaque, instead of translucent.
"What do you want to know?" Adrian asked, moving his fingers around the globes surface in a fluid manner, fingers hardly ever touching it.
"Can you..." the other man gulped, steeling himself for the rest of what he was going to say. "Tell me my name?"
The request didn't shake Adrian. Lots of people came assuming he was a mind reader instead of exactly what he advertised. A psychic. He could read the future. While it was possible he could look into a persons future and learn their name, it wasn't something he readily attempted. Being right every time would seem suspicious, and he'd rather appear like a mediocre psychic than have the men in white coats knocking at his door.
Adrian almost attempted to keep the irritation from his voice. "I look into the future. I don't read minds, I don't play guessing games with guests. Any other questions can be asked."
The other mans nerves went into overdrive once more. Adrian was quickly growing tired of it. The other man kept playing with his fingers and was staring at the table as if it held all the answers to the universe. "Okay um, can you... tell me where I'm going tomorrow?"
It was an odd request. Adrian had a feeling the other man already knew the answer, but for some reason wanted him to confirm it. Adrian sighed, and decided to indulge.
"You'll be going to the bank." The answer wasn't correct in the slightest, he hadn't even bothered to look at the crystal ball. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to close up shop. No, need to pay for such a short session, just-"
That's when it happened.
There was a weird spark in the air, and that's when the crystal ball started to levitate. Adrian froze, startled from getting up from his chair, and just stared at the levitating ball. It abruptly dropped, falling off the table and cracking, snapping Adrian out of it. He thought other things had started to move as well, but he didn't look around, eyes intent on the other man who he was sure was the perpetrator. The other man was also standing frozen in his spot, looking like a deer caught in the headlights.
"Fuck that wasn't-" The other man didn't finish his sentence, bolting for the door.
"Wait!" Adrian should have just let the man go, but he couldn't. "You're a telekinetic?"
He froze with his fingers on the door knob. He didn't turn around when he spoke. "Yes." His fingers trembled and he let go of the knob, turning to face Adrian. From what Adrian could see in the dim light, the other man was still trembling, eyes brimming with moisture. "Yes, I am. And you're psychic and-" But the man didn't finish his sentence again. He just left.
Adrian didn't feel like calling to him again.
Instead, he closed his little shop, that was actually just an extra room of his apartment, went into his kitchen, pulled out a beer from the fridge and sat on his couch, staring at the television screen, not caring what was on it.
He just wanted to forget what had just happened.
A/N: I've edited this chapter so many times. I still don't like it, but I'd rather stop fussing with it.