The Children of Promise

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Chapter 2

Cari’s hands still shook as she set up the table in her quaint dining room for the readings. Back in her boom days this was a normal occurrence but house calls were now a rarity. ‘What could this man possibly want?’ She thought to herself. She took glances at him as she set up. He sat rather quietly at the end of the table taking in what little scenery her house had to offer.

“Almost finished?” Tharren asked. “I have other things to attend to.”

“If you want this done right you can wait or you can kill me of find someone else.” Cari whizzed back. Although she knew it wasn’t the smartest thing to upset a man that had already threatened her life, she would not be rushed. She took her job seriously and even if it was for him she would not tarnish her reputation by being sloppy.

Grabbing her crystal ball from the top shelf of the cupboard in her kitchen she carefully rested in in the centre of the materials she had laid out. “Now, I what will it be?” She whispered gently.

“I need readings for myself but also for these people.” He replied. Reaching into the top pocket of his jacket he pulled out a small piece of parchment paper. The edges were tattered and worn and creases were everywhere; even the ink has started to fade. As she took it from him she opened it and read the names aloud.

‘ Armaro Sujima, Hiko Sujima, Shinto Sujima, Katherine Sujima nee Arnath, Degen Degal, Marken Degal, Lena Tali, Rain Tali, Uraki Suzaku, Karim Matena, Emanuel Soujourn, Maxrevus Baku, Mari Renol.’

Like a lightning bolt her haunting vision returned to her mind. She gasped slightly as flashes of war and torment blazed across her mind. “Is something wrong?” Tharren asked as he began to flash a mischievous grin. “Did you get something?”

His grin shook her back to reality. I must tell someone… but certainly not him. “Nothing clear.” She replied “But there is something there. What is your connection with...?”

“That is not your concern.” Tharren snapped back. His aura returned when she first met him. The only thing keeping her from being on the end of his blade was her gift. Deep inside she knew that she had to lie. No good would come from telling him what she saw.

“Saying that you are so reluctant to start with those names; how about you start with me and my past?” Tharren continued. The glint in his eyes changed. He hunched over the table and peered into Cari’s crystal ball. “So….”

“Is this a test?” Cari smirked. “Fine then. We’ll start with you!”

She hunched over the table slightly grasping the crystal ball with both hands. Staring deeply into the centre of the ball her pupils began to glow slightly. Slowly the glow from her eyes built up in the centre of crystal ball, expanding until the whole ball shone with a faint yellow glow.

“Conjuring your spirits?” Tharren jabbed. “What do they say?” Tharren laughed slightly until he gazed at Cari. He felt as though she was beckoning to his very being. He quickly looked away from her, the first glimpse of fear showing on his face.

Most people thought like Tharren when it came to fortune telling. It was as far from the truth as it could be. Soothsayers didn’t get second hand accounts by spirits which accompanied people on their journeys. Sayers saw time, specifically the flow of time for the person whose life was to be ‘read’. They could see everything the person saw, or if necessary they could watch lives like a movie. There were only three rules which governed their use of power: I) they cannot change ‘fixed points’ (They cannot stop someone in the future from being born. Neither can they stop someone from dying when they are supposed to.) ii) They can only see a limited portion of their own future (Cari’s limit was 6 minutes), iii) Changing history for their own gain would bring the “Evens” (Police for Soothsayers).

Finding someone’s time ‘stream’ was like looking for a water drop in a river. It took soothsayers years of training to zone in on one person’s life. Soon she found Tharren’s. “You were born on the 17th of July, 1885 to Amal and Natalie Baku. You were the first born son and inherited the curse place on your father by a witch. You were cursed with frailty and the inability to use any power you were gifted with at birth. You were unloved by your parents and your younger sister who became the pride and joy of your family. You were bullied at school until….”

Cari grimaced. Scenes of betrayal and violence flooded her brain. Tharren smiled; she was now seeing the happiest days of his life. “The witch…” Cari continued, her voice trembling in horror. “She promised… she promised to lift the curse from you if you killed your family. You… didn’t hesitate. You could finally enact what you dreamed about every day; making everyone pay for the pain you had endured. You returnedhome…and you poisoned them. Not to kill them but to make them helpless. You stood with a butcher’s knife and you cut them slowly, deliberately. Their screams fuelled your fury… your madness. They begged you for mercy…even when your father begged you to end it; you just kept cutting. You drenched everything in oil.” Tears rolled down Cari’s cheek. “You burned them. They screamed in agony while you watched the house burn. Then you found out what your power was. Many would consider it a curse but not you…. Oh no…. to you it was a blessing. You acquire the skills of anyone you kill. You revelled in your new found strength and powers but it wasn’t enough. You wanted more. You still want more.”

She looked up from her crystal ball and straight into Tharren’s eyes. The look of hatred she gave was enhanced by her irises which were still glowing. “So why won’t you kill me? Wouldn’t be easier to get the information without having to go through me?”

Tharren smiled. He liked the look of hate in Cari’s eyes. “Soothsaying is a specialist technique.” He replied. “Though I would have the skill I would have to spend years training it to get it to the level you are at. Besides, I have orders not to kill you…yet. Now that that is over, can we get to the names list that I gave you?”

Cari realised that he had done it on purpose. He wanted to intimidate her with his gruesome past; probably to ensure her compliance with his request. Instead it galvanised her resolve. Even if it meant her death by his hands she would make sure that whatever his plan was; it would not succeed. Slowly she lowered her gaze back to the centre of her crystal ball. “Sure. Let’s start with the Suijimas, shall we?”

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