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A Strange Clairvoyance

October 31st, 1925

“Thank you for asking me to accompany you,” said Adrian as he escorted Leslie through Pleasure Beach.

“The pleasure is all mine Detective Powell,” replied Leslie coolly.

Gently gripping the arm of the detective, Leslie quietly huffed to herself as she recalled the events that led her to ask Adrian to accompany her to Blackpool.

“Miss Leslie!” exclaimed Ernest’s voice through the phone, “I would be honoured to be given permission to accompany you to Blackpool, but unfortunately I will have to decline your invite.”

“Oh,” said Leslie with a hint of sadness. “That’s perfectly fine Ernest. There’s always another chance for us to attend socials together. I apologise for asking on a whim.”

“You have nothing to apologise for Miss Leslie!” said Ernest, “I was actually truly happy that you wanted to be in my company. And as you said, there’s always a next time.”

“Thank you, Ernest,” replied Leslie. “Well, I mustn’t take up any more of your time. So I’ll say goodbye for now and maybe we can have another stroll through Hyde Park when I return from Blackpool.”

“Goodbye for now Miss Leslie,” came Ernest’s voice.

“Is something going on in your mind, Miss Beckford?” asked Adrian.

“Oh!” exclaimed Leslie, “It’s nothing Detective Powell.”

“Are you not satisfied with my company?” he suddenly asked.

“Huh?” said Leslie, slightly surprised.

“Your emotions and body language speak for themselves,” explained the detective. “The tonality of your voice when I thanked you for inviting me, and the way you gripped my arm. You were hoping that someone else other than myself could accompany you. Am I correct, Miss Beckford?”

Leslie bit her lip and nodded in embarrassment. As expected of a detective. She quietly thought to herself.

“With that said,” continued the detective. “Please call me Adrian from now onwards. If you would allow me to call you Leslie.”

“Why?” asked Leslie, “Why the sudden formality? I’ve only met you several times, though under tense circumstances.”

“I wish to know you more Leslie,” replied Adrian. “And I do not care what the others think about you.”

Leslie flushed slightly when she heard this. This was the second time she had been told by someone other than her family and Ernest Gravetye, that they did not care about the gossips circulating around her. Though, she was still cautious of Adrian, since he could have ulterior motives of suddenly wanting to become acquainted with her.

“That was quite the ride!” Leslie exclaimed as she and Adrian left the Big Dipper.

“I would very much prefer the Flying Machines,” sighed Adrian as he wiped his forehead.

“I never expected that you wouldn’t be able to handle the big dips and sudden turns,” teased Leslie.

“I have my preferences,” scoffed Adrian.

It was not long until Leslie spotted a hut labelled Gypsy Petulengro. Through tea parties she had reluctantly accepted invitations to lately, some of the ladies had been gushing about their previous or recent summer holidays to Blackpool. Some of them had visited the Gypsy Petulengro at Pleasure Beach while they were there and had their fortunes read.

“Can we have a look in there?” Leslie asked Adrian.

“Clairvoyance and fortune-telling?” he questioned, “Do you seriously believe in these things?”

“Whether I believe it or not, I’d like to at least try having my fortune read,” said Leslie as she hurried towards the hut.

Adrian was left with no choice but to follow Leslie inside. There, they were greeted by the fortune teller, Miss Petulengro. The dimmed atmosphere inside the hut felt a bit eerie, but Adrian’s presence made Leslie feel at ease.

“Greetings Sir, and Miss,” said the fortune teller. “Welcome to Gypsy Petulengro. Who would like to have their future read first?”

“I would like to have my future read,” said Leslie as she took a seat in front of Miss Petulengro.

“How would you like your future read?” asked Miss Petulengro, “Tarot, or palm?”

“The tarot please,” replied Leslie who was glancing at the price list. To have one or two palms read was very expensive in her eyes.

“That will be twenty pounds,” said the fortune teller.

Just as Leslie reached into her purse to take out her wallet, Adrian intercepted by slamming down a twenty pound note in front of the fortune teller.

“Adrian!” Leslie quietly exclaimed in surprise.

“What a considerate young gentleman,” said Miss Petulengro. “Now, let us begin.”

Adrian and Leslie watched as Miss Pentulengro skilfully shuffle the tarot cards. She then divided the cards into three equal stacks, then reassembled them in a random order. Miss Petulengro then pulled out five cards facing downwards, and laid them out in front of Leslie. Taking the first card on the left, the fortune teller flipped it over.

The detective’s eyes widened in shock when he saw the image on the first tarot card. It was a person holding a sack and about to walk off the edge of the cliff. Beneath the image, the text read The Fool, and the card was facing upright.

“You are a beautiful young woman,” Miss Petulengro told Leslie. “However, you have yet to overcome some doubts and uncertainties.”

“What do you mean?” asked Leslie.

“People are judging you because of who you are,” explained the fortune teller. “But fear not, the journey you have already embarked since you were introduced to society will help you shape your character.”

How did she know I had my debut this year? Leslie quietly wondered to herself as Miss Petulengro flipped over the next card. The second card showed a woman holding open a lion’s jaw, but the card the positioned upside down. The text read, Strength.

“Someone who you were once close to betrayed your trust,” said Miss Petulengro. “It must have stemmed from their own self-doubt and insecurities. Though, use this as your first stepping stone in gaining confidence to re-harness your inner strength.”

Flipping over the third card, it was an angel holding two cups with water flowing in between them. It was labelled as Temperance. Just like the Strength, the card had also been positioned upside down.

“Someone whom you were once promised to only used you for their own benefits,” continued the fortune teller. “They must have lost themselves because of their wealth which resulted in them making many reckless decisions. However, it is important to remember that humans can never be perfect. And most importantly, make sure your personal desires are reasonable.”

The fourth card revealed The Chariot. The card was positioned upside down, and it showed a person driving a chariot that was being pulled by two sphinxes.

“There is someone who is watching out for you,” Miss Petulengro told Leslie. “But be warned, you are their motivation to bring justice in a criminal way. However, learn how to take charge of your situation, but rein it in so it doesn’t hinder your way of moving forward.”

The fifth and final card showed The Stars. It was an image was a woman holding two cups with water pouring out of them, and above her head was a sky filled with stars. The card was upright.

“You think you have found the man who is the one for you,” said Miss Petulengro. “But, your heart will gradually divert to another.”

Leslie was unable to respond to the readings she had just heard. Someone I was once close to, and someone who only used me for their own benefit. She quietly pondered in her mind. Why did it sound so familiar? Though, what Leslie was most baffled by was her love life. Who were the said men?

Her thoughts were interrupted when Adrian cleared his throat. It was his signal for them to leave. Leslie quickly thanked Miss Petulengro for reading her future as she followed Adrian out of the hut. Taking the detective’s arm once again, Leslie noticed Adrian had gone quiet. His expression looked as though he was mulling over the tarot readings.

“Adrian?” asked Leslie as she peered as his face, “Is something wrong? I thought you didn’t believe in fortune-telling and clairvoyance.”

“Thanks to you, I think I’ve just found the answer to a puzzle I’ve been trying to figure out!” he replied enthusiastically.

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