It’s in the Cards

I often wish I did, some days I pretend I do, and other days I deny that I don’t have ESP.

As a wife, I play one card: “I know exactly what you’re thinking.”

As a mother, I toss out another: “Careful, I have eyes in the back of my head.”

As a writer, I long for the reveal of one more card: “Will I or won’t I publish that book?”

Welcome to Wednesday’s word from Wordsmith.org:

vatic. adjective: Of or related to a prophet or a prophecy: prophetic.

In late December, I posted my writer’s vision for 2010. Today, I offer a flash fiction piece on how my biggest dream might unfold (were I younger and single and living in a bigger city. But, still…).

***

Marcie looked at her watch.

“8:30. Dammit. I’ll be late.”

She still had one eye to lather with mascara, but her lashes would have to wait. She grabbed her bag and ran out the door. Running down the stairs, she barely let her feet touch the steps to make up for the two minutes she lost during her post-shower dry heaves. When she grabbed onto the railing and rounded the stairwell corner at the mid-floor landing, her bag swung in an arc out to her side. The stack of papers inside slid into perfect alignment from the force of gravity during her turn.

She did a test run yesterday, so she knew the exact route to this morning’s meeting.
Out the door.
Left.
Three blocks and left again.
Jaywalk (that street’s never busy).
Right.
Open the door, find the table in the back corner, take the chair that faces towards the front window.
Sit. Breathe. Ready.

She made it just in time. Marcie put her bag on the floor and pulled out her papers. Then, the air shifted.

In slow motion, the door opened. A boot, of perfect height and solid sole, blazed the trail of a woman who wore a brown, suede coat that brought out her eyes and complemented her salt and pepper hair. She carried a briefcase in one hand and her cell phone in the other.

The barista smiled. “Morning! What’s on the docket today, Ms. All-my-hopes-and-dreams-ride-on-this-moment?”

Did he just say that? Marcie looked around to see if anyone else heard him.

“Same as usual,” she said. Skim milk cafe latte with a splash of vanilla syrup. Just a splash.

Marcie shuffled her papers and tried to look inconspicuous.

Her eyes honed in on the title page, ” The Queen of Hearts by Marcie Moore.” Her brain interpreted the sounds in the coffee shop: espresso machine, metal cup tapping counter, footsteps.

“You must be Marcie.” There she stood, boots, coat, eyes.

“Oh. Yes. That was fast.”

Ms. Shepherd cocked her head.ย  Then, she took her seat. Her briefcase fell against the chair leg, and she unbuttoned her coat. But, she didn’t take it off. Marcie watched Ms. Shepherd’s eyes move back and forth – right, left, right – puzzled.

The mascara.

“Oh. I must look ridiculous. Pink eye.” Marcie raised her eyebrows and pointed to her right eye. “I’m getting over it, but I couldn’t wear any make up today.” Marcie grinned and shrugged her shoulders. “But I’m not contagious,” she insisted.

“I see.”

They sat in a moment of awkward silence.

Ms. Shepherd sipped her latte. “So. I got your query.”

“Yes.”

“It was good.”

“Yes.”

“I liked the synopsis.”

“Yes.”

“You summarized, well, the character’s conflicts, resolutions, change.”

“Thanks.”

“But.”

“Yes.”

“The plot.”

Shit.

“It needs a face lift.”

“Right.”

“Tighten it up.”

“Tighten it up,” Marcie repeated and nodded in complete agreement.

“I’ll give you a month.”

“Yes.”

Ms. Shepherd stood up, sipped her latte, and looked Marcie straight in the eye.”I like this story.” She winked. “And, your style.” Then, she turned and walked out.

Yes.

Marcie hugged her manuscript. She left the cafe and ran the course back home in five minutes flat. She jumped three steps at a time. Her key slid into the lock, her hand opened the door, and she tossed her bag on couch before she stepped inside.

She placed her manuscript on the kitchen table. Her coat fell to the floor; her hands hit the air.

“YES!”

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8 responses to “It’s in the Cards

  1. Well written and interesting–I hope your dream comes true.

  2. That’s a fun story! I’m sure your class will move you one step (maybe 3!) closer to fulfilling the prophecy.

  3. Dream it. Write it. Claim it.

  4. You’re on your way!

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