by Nicole Woolaston
Justin Weller was a very serious man. He didn’t believe in lucky charms or Friday the 13th, nor did he believe in fortune tellers. But when a carnival came into town, his son Jeremy and wife Gloria dragged him there anyway. Jeremy had heard about an elderly fortune teller by the name of Madame Shalzelda who was traveling with the carnival, and he wanted to ask her a question.
“Come on, Dad,” Jeremy said. “I heard she’s really good. Maybe she can tell me whether or not I should sell my car.”
“Aren’t you a little too old for this, Jeremy?” Mr. Weller asked. Jeremy only smiled.
“Oh, Justin, what harm could it do?” Mrs. Weller said. Mr. Weller sighed. His wife and son knew they had won this time.
The three of them stepped inside of Madame Shalzelda’s tent. The old woman was seated behind a table which was draped with a black cloth. To Mr. Weller’s surprise, she didn’t have a crystal ball.
“You may each ask a question,” Madame Shalzelda said. She extended her bony finger to Mrs. Weller. “You first.”
“Oh, I don’t have any questions,” Mrs. Weller said. The old woman scowled at her for a moment.
Then she looked at Jeremy.
“Oh, can you tell me if I should sell my car?” Jeremy asked. Madame Shalzelda spread all of her tarot cards out on the table in rows of three and studied them.
“Yes, you should,” Madame Shalzelda replied. Jeremy smiled at the answer. Madame Shalzelda looked at Mr. Weller. “You want to know how you’re going to die, don’t you?”
“Yes,” Mr. Weller replied as he and his wife exchanged worried glances. “But, how did you—-”
“Your son will kill you,” Madame Shalzelda said. The room fell silent.
“What did you say?” Mr. Weller asked, breaking the silence.
“That is all,” Madame Shalzelda said.
* * * *
“Justin, stop worrying!” Mrs. Weller said, three days later. “She was just trying to scare you. Besides, you don’t believe in that kind of stuff anyway.”
“But she seemed so serious, Gloria,” Mr. Weller said. “Aw, maybe you’re right.” Suddenly, Jeremy, excited and out of breath, burst into the room.
“Guess what?!” Jeremy said. “Some guy just bought that old black car of mine for eight hundred dollars! He didn’t even mind the scratch on the side!”
“Oh, that’s wonderful,” Mrs. Weller said. She looked over at her husband. His face was expressionless. One of Madame Shalzelda’s predictions had come true.
About a month later, Jeremy came down with a cold, which later turned out to be pneumonia. He passed away shortly after. Mr. Weller, on the other hand, decided he was safe now. Madame Shalzelda had told him that Jeremy would kill him. Of course, now that he was dead, he could not.
* * * *
“I think I’ll go jogging, Gloria,” Mr. Weller said. It had been three months since Jeremy’s death.
“All right,” Mrs. Weller said. “But don’t stay out too long. Its cold outside.”
Mr. Weller stepped outside of his house and looked around. It was cold but peaceful—a perfect morning to go jogging. As he stepped out into the street to cross it, a car came speeding down the street. The driver tried to stop, but he was unable to do so in time. His car struck Mr. Weller, which sent him flying into the air. He landed about twelve feet away from the car. In his last few moments, he glanced over at the car. To his horror, it was a black car with a scratch on its side.
Its Jeremy’s car, Mr. Weller thought. He took his last breath and slipped away.
Somewhere off in the distance, an elderly fortune teller was laughing.