Friday, October 5, 2012


"Why do you want that?"

She looked at him. She had simply looked at him, and he had turned his gaze away and done as she bid. But that was long ago, before a more charismatic noble had risen.

Oh, how the mighty do fall.
Winna owns a small fortune-telling shop. Most of the locals believe that what she does works. It fails just often enough that she never quite become known beyond the locals. She knows better.

There are a great many things Winna uses to tell the future. There's a bowl of water, which, when lit, shows the future in its flames. She never tells anyone, but it lights on its own; she has no control over it. It is the only piece in her workshop that is always accurate.

There are others, of varying accuracy. Save for the burning bowl, based entirely on the grace of Lady Luck, their accuracy is directly proportional to the sacrifice required. A drop of her blood on a piece of special parchment makes a snapshot from a possibility; a slice of her flesh burned on a crystal will show an image for as long as the flesh remains lit. The larger the flame, the larger the image, though accelerants mean less time to the prophecy.

And then...there's the one she doesn't tell anyone about. Not just doesn't describe, like Winna's bowl, but hides in a locked box in an unobtrusive cabinet in her back room. She goes there now, settles on the ground, and holds the box carefully. However good the box's padding, she does not want to drop this.

"Hair as black as ebony, lips as red as blood, skin as white as snow," she murmurs, lips barely moving.

Winna opens the box, touches they yet-beating heart, and sees the future.

She ignores the screams. They're from the past.

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