Welcome to My Parlour

This was written for the weekly picture prompt on The Writer’s Mess pictured below.  Meet Selina, psychic running her small shop, a hole in the wall, to get by.  It wasn’t exactly honest work, but well, what did they expect?


It had taken Selina a lot of time to get her space set up, balancing that right combination of mystery and tacky.  The fabric draped the walls, doing triple duty in ambiance, noise reduction, and hiding how shitty the small space actually was.

A single shelf of spell books, some literally just nicely covered phone books, gave the air of ancient knowledge.  The phone books were of course labelled “Do NOT Touch,” and depending on the clien,t she either told them they were fragile or dangerous.  The rest were either legit second-hand finds, or home crafts that had taken hours.  The room was lit solely by fairy lights, giving it a soft low that made the space feel more intimate.

On the table sat a single book, her “ritual” book, and her crystal ball.  She had a few tarot decks, pulling out the expensive “old” ones for the true believers.  She didn’t haul them out often, but when she did, it was because the client was the kind who visited enough to pay the rent.

Overall, it was a scam, from beginning to the end, but it paid the bills, vacations, the new car that she never brought here, less someone catch on.  Some days she almost felt guilty, but then the same old lady who paid her to contact her late husband would see her in her normal clothes at the grocery store and tell her to go back where she came from, and suddenly, the guilt was gone.

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