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Chapter 5: HijINKS

The city was lively with the loud noises and the different smells in the air, especially in the early afternoon. I jogged down the sidewalk towards home as the sun beat down on my back, looking at my watch I realized my endurance has improved. A lot of small shops began popping up as I crossed the street into my neighbor, there was this one building with an eye in the center of its palm and a girl standing outside the place.

“Always move forward - never back”, said the girl.

I stopped and turned, she had chocolate skin, black braids, dark brown eyes and tiny diamond earrings. Her clothes were checkered shirt and shorts, along with red boots. Even though she looked goth, I had to admit she was beautiful.

"What does that mean?” I asked.

"If your curious enough follow me”, she gestured.

Now that I got a closer look the shop wasn’t your regular building, it was blue with a black roof and right under the palm with the eye it had the word psychic in cosmic letters. When I walked inside there was a lot of furniture and old objects, strange stuff inside jars, wind chimes, pictures, a mini water fountain, candles, a small bamboo plant, and another person.

“Try not to touch anything”, the girl picked up a box. "We also live here, upstairs to be exact and Grandma would have a fit."

“Who’s he?” The guy had black dreads, dark brown eyes, tiny diamond earrings and many tattoos. Probably the reason why I didn’t realize sooner.

“My twin brother”, she shuffled the cards. “I’m Bianca and this is Vincenzo.”

“What you said”, I looked away. ”It didn’t sould like nonsense.”

“Left behind”, Bianca sat behind a round table. ”If you idle for too long you might lose yourself.”

The place had a type of strange charm to it, like it knows all your unkempt secrets. I took an empty seat across from Bianca as she spread out 8 colorful cards before me. The design on the back of the cards were kind of dope, pastel grey mountains, pastel red sky, pastel orange sun and pastel blue clouds.

“I’ll be doing a tarot reading”, Bianca held up 3 fingers. You will choose 3 cards and those cards will represent your present, future and past.”

I reached out my hand over the cards. This one, that one and this one.” The 3 cards were taken while the rest discarded, she flipped each one over to reveal a picture and a name.

"The fool", Bianca mused. "Number 0 in the deck”.

"That doesn’t sound good”, I leaned in my seat.

"Trust me - Its not as bad as it sounds”, said Bianca. “The Fool represents new beginnings, not knowing what to expect or being inexperienced.”

I watched as she revealed the second card. “The Hermit.”

"Number 14", Bianca crossed her legs. “The Hermit represents soul-searching, being alone and introspection.”

"How long have you been telling fortunes?” I took off my glasses and wiped off the foggy perspiration.

“A year and a half”, Bianca turned the last card. “Our Grandma is the best and its number 29. The Tower represents adversity or an unforseen catastrophe.”

Feeling timid I hesitated. “I’m amazed how accurate you are, so can you tell me which is my past, present and future?”

“Unfortunately”, Bianca rested her chin on her hand. ”Thats something you must figure out.”

When I noticed the time I got to my feet and fished out my wallet. “How much do I owe you?”

Bianca smiled and put her finger to her lips. “Its on the house.”

Thats when I noticed Vincenzo walking towards me, he was holding a piece of paper. When I unfolded it it had my cards and fortune written down.

"Thanks man”, I started to walk away but was curious. ”Whats your hobby?”

Vincenzo pointed to his face. “I wanna be a tattoo artist.”

"He’s alright”, Bianca crossed her arms. “I let him give me 3 tiny tattoos, didn’t want him to botch it up.”

After I left I went to my job, the building blended in perfectly with the city, maybe it had something to do with the graffiti. The repair shop was noisy and the air smelled of rotten eggs, after putting on my jumpsuit Mr. Kade called for me. I was introduced to Nyle, another employee, he showed me to a faded GMC, there was chipped patches all over the car but the real eyesore was the hood.

"It needs a paint job”, Nyle took out a spray gun and tested it on some plaster paper. “The yellow button is to turn it on while the red button is to turn it off.”

When Nyle left I examined the car, it looked like someone was using it for target practice. Going over to the workspace I strapped on protective gear as I went over to the storage compartment where the cylinder holding the red liquid was. The nosel felt light as I pulled it towards the car, I tilted it to better spray up and down the hood. After a while another car rolled up, a young kid jumped out and was pacing.

I took off my goggles. “Can I help you?”

The kid looked frantic as he approached. “Can you fix a dent?”

I watched him closely. “Let me take a look.”

We approached the car, it was nice. A blue sports car with spinning rims and tinted windows. From the way this 16 year old kid was fidgeting, the car was too nice to belong to him.

“Is this your car?” I noticed a giant dent on the side.

“No”, he said weakly. “Its my parents.”

“Call them”, I informed. “It will cost.”

“I have 100 bucks”, he fumbled for his wallet.

“That pocket change wont be enough”, I crouched down feeling a bit bad for the kid. “But I’ll repair it for no charge.”

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