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Fortune Teller by Rob Queen
SUMMARY: A fortune teller with a history of 100% accurate predictions finds one to fall a little flat. Her curiosity about the incident leads her to reasons far beyond her expectations.
If you were told this would be your last day alive, what would you do? Bill Jaimas went into a shock brought on by an aneurysm that stilled his heart within a manner of seconds. Margarie Quails ever had a skeptical nature and ignored her fateful prophecy and insisted upon flying High Air flight 302. You may have heard about High Air flight 302; it was the one which crashed on I-43, killing nearly two hundred people, Marjorie included. Then there was Hildebrand Grey, who merely accepted his news and after telling his wife that this would be his last night and, eager for an entire night's worth of sex, overdosed on Viagra. Shaneq Mugalli kept this news to herself but her silence did not elongate her life as her house exploded when her brother, experimenting with a gasoline/ milk combination to get himself drunk, vomited into the fireplace.
In my experience, a prophecy, once given, will hold a person to their fate come hell or high water. At least that was what I always thought.
Maximus Rilborn, Max to his friends, survived his allocated time with a smile on his face and a quiet shrug of his shoulders. He then walked from my booth without a backward glance. I was left dumbfounded. I had seen the deaths of thousands before him, felt the cold, clammy grave in the touch of countless that had walked into my life. None could ever escape death, for it was the one certainty in life. It was the diametric opposite of existence and my ability to see it was infallible. I was swimming with my sister at 5 years of age when I saw my mother's father slip on a bar of soap and break his neck. Mother came out of the house half an hour later telling Chloe and I that he had been hurt. She tried to cover up his passing, little realizing I was plenty old enough to know what death was. I did not realize the exact nature of my visions until much later but I knew it was unique.
Over the years I made a point of meeting people simply to see what would become of them. All I had to do was speak to them and I could see their deaths. At first, I could not say exactly what the day or date of death will be, but I over time that joined every other element of the moment: how, where, the weather, the smells and sounds. I normally tell people about their inevitable deaths, but whether or not I do is immaterial. No, grandda did not need me telling him that his time had come, nor did many of the people who pass me on the street. I alert people of their fates as a means to encourage them to live as well as they can before their lives end. It was a service I performed flawlessly, until Max Rilborn.
I say his name with spite because he evaded his fate. I know not how, but he did. The heart attack he had the day I met him did not occur; instead it he had a mild case of indigestion and continued with his life as if nothing happened. I read the obituaries in the days to follow to see if there was any sign of him, and found nothing. Curious about this, I checked the coroner's block, only to discover that none by the name or matching the description of Max Rilborn had appeared recently.