1. fortune tellers are shady people

(Jade POV)

"Ah, hello, hello my dearest. So you would like to know what the future has in store for you, yes?"

I stared back at the woman who had just spoken. She was short and round with dark skin and beady, black eyes. Her hair was hidden, wrapped up by a scarf the same shade of purple as the rest of her outfit, and she had on large golden earrings, rings, and bracelets that jingled when she walked. My eyes wandered past her head and to a sign hanging on the wall behind her: Madame Esmeralda, Psychic Reader. I stared at it for a while, once again asking myself why I had agreed to come here.

When I looked back at her, I noticed that the smile she'd been giving me since the moment I walked in had faded. Her eyes were now narrowed in a suspicious glare, and I realized it was probably because I still hadn't answered her. I cleared my throat and ran a hand through my hair, deciding to say something before she tried to kick me out.

"Uh, yeah, I guess that's why I'm here. I mean, I wouldn't come to a psychic if I didn't want to know it. But I didn't really even want to come here at all, actually. I mean, it wasn't really my idea to do this…" I stopped my rambling when I realized that she'd moved her large body to a small table in the center of the room and was motioning for me to sit in one of the two chairs beside it.

I walked over hesitantly and plopped myself on the chair opposite hers, unsure of what she was going to do next. She stared at me for a moment, that creepy smile of hers returning to her face, and I inched my chair away from the table, worried that maybe all of the fumes in this place had begun to get to her. Well, they were beginning to get to me…

I heard her clear her throat and snapped back into reality, realizing she was talking to me.

"Please, darling, lay out your hands for me." I reluctantly obeyed, taking them out my pockets and laying them on the table before me. She studied my hands carefully, tracing a finger along all the lines of my palm and sometimes leaning in closer to get a better look. This lasted for about a minute, and when she finally finished she leaned back in her chair and frowned, making little clicking noises with her tongue.

I quickly retrieved my hands from her, feeling a bit flustered, and demanded, "Well? What do they mean?"

She only gave me an annoyed look before bending down and picking up a crystal ball (which looked suspiciously plastic) from the floor.

"Shush child," she finally answered, "You must concentrate with me now. Close your eyes and clear your mind."

I inwardly groaned but obeyed her anyway. I closed my eyes, but I'm not exactly sure how well I cleared my mind. It kept wandering to other things such as how it stupid idea it had been to come here and how delicious a steamy vanilla latte from the coffee shop across the street would taste right now. With my mind in other places, I can honestly say I wasn't quite prepared for it when I felt the table beginning to shake.

My eyes shot open, and, to my surprise, the table appeared to be moving on its own. Not only this, but the (plastic) crystal ball was flashing red which I determined was not a good sign. I just stared at it with my mouth hanging open like a fish for a moment before I realized that the fortune teller had begun to do some kind of chant.

After determining that she was trying to sell my soul to the devil himself, I decided it was about time I leave. I could easily make a run for it if I wanted to, and in the state she was in right now, I doubted she would notice. I slowly stood from my chair, prepared to bolt for the door, but to my dismay, she spoke before I could make another move.

"Ah, yes, I think I'm getting something."

I sighed and decided to just give up and go through with the whole process. Once I was back in my seat, she opened her eyes and started to run her hands over the ball as I sat there, looking dumb, and not really knowing what to say.

"It has been spoken…" she closed her eyes again, "A journey…" she paused now, still with her eyes closed, "Complications, ah, yes and dangers as well…nearly impossible to avoid… strange people and strange events will arise. Friendships will be tested. Beware the one who looks no harm…Be careful young one… for the future holds much… for you…" A few seconds later, she opened her eyes, the table stopped moving, and the crystal ball returned to normal.

For a moment, I contemplated asking her if all the fortunes she gave to people were that vague and stupid, but I decided that this was an instance where it would probably be best for me to hold my tongue. So instead I simply stared at her. She stared back at me, and for a long moment neither of us said a word.

Then I decided it would be best for me to end this moment of awkwardness and get out of this place. I stood up, grabbed my purse and backed away to the door, explaining hurriedly, "Look I've got to be going. I'm, uh, sort of meeting my friends somewhere and yeah, um, this whole thing has kinda freaked me out so I'm going now, bye!"

As I opened the door to escape, I heard her yell after me, "Hey, you didn't pay! Get back here or I'll call the cops!"

I hastily reached into my bag and grabbed a couple bills, throwing them in at her. That stupid reading couldn't have been worth much, I thought.

Then I rushed out, slammed the door shut behind me which caused the bells on the inside to jingle, I'm sure, and splashed my way across the street in the pouring rain. Quite frankly, all I wanted was to get to the coffee shop where my friends were waiting, forget all about that stupid reading, and buy that vanilla latte I was suddenly craving again.

"So? Come on, tell us what happened? What did she say?" I watched Arellie tap her perfectly manicured nails along the table, her blue eyes wide with excitement as she anxiously waited for me to give her the desired news.

Sighing, I sipped my drink and looked out the window at the rain slapping the sidewalks. Just an hour ago it had been bright and sunny and there wasn't a cloud present in the sky. Now though, the temperature had dropped, the rain had begun, and I felt the hairs on my arms stand up as a shiver made its way through my body. Even in chilly weather like this, the stupid restaurant owners insisted on keeping the air conditioning turned on. I made a mental note to complain about this later. Usually, any complaints earned you a free cup of coffee.

"Jade? Hello, answer me today will you?" I quickly turned my attention back to Arellie who was waving her hand in front of me, bringing me back from my thoughts. I shrugged.

"I don't see why it's such a big deal, Are. I mean the lady probably lied anyway… she was kind of shady, what with that crystal ball and that creepy accent…"

"But that's not the point!" She said, her normally high-pitched voice rising an octave. I saw a couple of people in the shop turn to stare us, hoping that by shooting us a nasty glare we'd catch their silent messages of "shut the hell up". Most of the people here came for a quick cup of coffee and then just lounged around with their laptops or curled up on one of the couches to read. It was more of a place to relax and not to socialize. We seemed to be the only ones talking, and I knew if we got any louder we'd be receiving looks of death from everyone around us.

Arellie must have realized this too because she placed her elbows on the table and leaned forward, saying quieter, "The point is that both me and Peyton got the same fortunes. So if you got the same one as us then this could be a sign!"

"Honestly, Arellie, would you just give it a rest!" We both looked over to Peyton who had stopped sipping her tea to join in on our conversation. Her dark eyes were narrowed, her lips pressed firmly together in a frown, and based on the glare she shot Arellie I could already tell she wasn't in the best mood.

"Oh Pey, come on," Arellie said sweetly, clearly not wanting to upset Peyton any further, "This could be a sign of our futures and what lies ahead for all of us!" Arellie's eyes were full of hope, and she gave Peyton what I assumed she thought was a persuasive look. But Peyton was quick to shut her down.

"No. All it is, is a sign that we all got scammed by some "psychic" who's too lazy to make up different fortunes for people." She paused and then added smugly, "Even you couldn't be that gullible, Arellie."

It was Arellie's turn to glare at Peyton. She may have been sweet, but she never let anyone get by with insulting her, especially when that person was Peyton.

"Fine, Peyton. If you want to sit there acting like you're so much better than everyone else, then be my guest. But I was having a conversation with Jade and I would really appreciate it if you didn't butt in."

I bit my lip, looking back at Peyton who was still glaring daggers at Arellie and clutching her cup so hard I feared it would break. She opened her mouth to speak, but I interrupted her, realizing that this was where I came in.

"Hey, hey guys, calm down. No need to cause a scene." I said and chuckled half-heartedly, hoping they would listen. Unfortunately, neither of them seemed to have heard a word I said.

"Arellie, stop acting like a five year old. Just because some lady puts on a turban, talks in a creepy accent and uses a glow-in-the-dark crystal ball she probably bought from a dollar store doesn't mean she can predict the future!"

I think Arellie caught both of us off guard when she suddenly slammed her fists on the table, looked Peyton straight in the eyes and said, "Don't you believe in destiny?"

Peyton mimicked her action, this time causing the table to shake, and a bit of my coffee to spill from the cup, "Don't you believe in reality?"

"You guys could be a little more careful. I would actually love to get another sip of my coffee before it's all gone." I said, frowning as I looked at both of them.

They blinked, seeming to finally remember I was there. Suddenly losing the will to argue, Arellie leaned back in her chair, exasperated, while Peyton turned to me and said reasonably, "Now Jade, you're with me, right? You know that there's no way," she turned back to Arellie as she said this, "that any of this fortune teller crap could be a "sign", right?"

I looked carefully from Peyton to Arellie, knowing that I had to choose my words carefully. With Arellie being the daydreamer she was, and Peyton being the down-to-earth girl she was, sometimes it seemed I was the only thing that kept them from killing each other. I had to admit, I was with Peyton on this one. Sometimes Arellie's ideas were a bit far-fetched, and to put it bluntly, stupid. Still, Arellie was practically begging me to take her side with her eyes, and I did feel bad for how harsh Peyton could be with her sometimes...

I looked down at my coffee to avoid Peyton's gaze, "Okay, well…even if it is pretty ridiculous, she could have a point there. I mean, it's summer and really, what have we got to lose? It's not like it will hurt to at least listen to what Arellie has to say."

Out of the corner of my eyes I could see Peyton roll her eyes at me, but to my relief she didn't say anything. She only went back to her tea, deciding to ignore me and Arellie for the time being. Arellie looked rather pleased, though, and leaned forward again, saying cheerfully,

"I knew you were with me on this Jade! So what did she say?"

"Well, um," I put a finger to my chin as I tried to remember, "She said something about a journey, and meeting people. Uh, she mentioned some dangers too, but she didn't specify on them," I paused for a minute, thinking, "I think that was about it. Everything she said was pretty vague and didn't make a lot of sense. She may have mentioned something else, but I kind of rushed out of there in a hurry..." I stopped talking. Arellie had turned her attention away from me, deep in thought. She spoke between bites of her donut.

"I knew it. That's the same fortune both me and Pey got. Now to figure out what it could mean…" I watched her as she grew quiet and thoughtful. She ran her hand through straight blonde hair and the three of us were silent. A couple minutes passed and when the silence became too awkward for me, I decided to speak up. Arellie beat me to it, though.

"That's it!" She yelled suddenly, startling both me and Peyton and earning her a couple glares from the customers.

"That's what?" Peyton said, suddenly annoyed with her again.

Arellie gave both of us her classic grin, the one she always gave us when she had some kind of weird idea up her sleeve.

"I know exactly what we have to do. We're going to my house. Now!" She practically bounced out of her seat and headed for the door, waving me and Peyton on. Peyton and I looked at each other and I shrugged.

"I guess we better follow her," I said, slowly.

Peyton groaned but we both rose from our seats, and hurried out the door and into the rain. Somehow, what Arellie had in store for us, I didn't think even that fortune teller could predict.

I hope you enjoyed that! I posted this about a year ago and just got around to making the revisions to this chapter. I finally know where I want to go with this story, and I like it. It's going to be a lot different than my other stories, but it's really fun to write. I adore the characters in this, and I hope you guys will like them too! I'll get the next chapter out as soon as I can.

This story's going to be told in the point of views of the three main characters (which are Jade, Arellie and Peyton if that wasn't obvious already). The next chapter will be told in Peyton's POV, which should be interesting, hah. I welcome all types of feedback, and reviews will be returned so please review!