The Gypsy’s Table

A flash fiction story by Brian Robinson.

Some people like to know what the future holds.

Much to Troy’s annoyance, Anna stopped abruptly outside the antique shop. Her gaze locked onto a table displayed in the window. It had a deep blue velvet top over three bobbin-turned and ebonised legs.

    “Let’s go inside,” Anna suggested. Troy knew better than to resist.

    “The shop manager nudged his assistant and said, “I think we’ve sold the gypsy’s table.”

    Anna was wearing a bright paisley top over a long flowery skirt. Her long black curls drooped forward as she leaned over to smooth her hand on the velvet top. “I see what you mean,” the assistant whispered.

    “How much is the table?” Anna asked.

    “Two hundred and fifty pounds madam.”

    “Does it come with a crystal ball?” Troy joked.

    “Funny you should ask, but it does as it happens. I’ve got it in my office,” said the manager.

    “You should have displayed it on the table,” Troy said. “It would’ve looked better.”

    “Yes, you’re right, but we were worried it might act as a magnifying glass and start a fire.”

“Does it have any history?” Anna asked.

“No idea,” the manager said. “We bought it at auction.”

    “We’ll take it,” Anna said without consulting Troy

When they got home Anna couldn’t wait to try her new table out. “I’ll be the fortune teller: you can be my client.”

    “Come on then, tell me what you see,” Troy said. “Don’t keep me in suspense.”

    “Yes, I really can see something. It’s you! You’re in a garden, playing with two children. It’s a lovely sunny day, you’re teasing them, they’re laughing. There’s a woman there, but wait, it’s not me.”

    “Are you sure?”

    “Yes, I look nothing like her. She’s much shorter and blond. I would never dye my hair blonde. You know that.”

    Troy could see the disappointment in Anna’s face. “Right, you’ve had your go. Now it’s my turn.”

    “What can you see?” Anna asked.

    “Nothing! I can’t see anything.” Troy said. He was going to say it looks like you haven’t got a future, but thought better of it.

    For the next two weeks or so, Anna delighted her friends with the readings from her crystal ball. This was her to a tee. However, this soon came to an abrupt end.

    Troy found his wife lying dead on their lounge floor. She had been sitting at the gypsy’s table. The crystal ball was sat in the middle as usual, and opposite was a globe of the world. She must have been looking into the ball when she suddenly pushed back on her chair. She toppled over backwards and broke her neck as she landed. A look of horror was frozen on her face.

Sometimes it’s better not to know what the future holds.

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