Once upon this one time,
… there was a quaint little city with a Main Street that was very popular with tourists. It had something for everyone.
Visitors could enjoy rare foods, peruse used book stores filled with rare finds, find amazing craft supplies, learn the history of engines at a local museum, be entertained by buskers on the street, and explore artisan shops of all kinds behind every door.
The little street was the perfect place to get lost on for a day because there was something for everyone and the area was incredibly safe.
Yet the little town had a secret: None of the stores were technically for tourists.
Each and every store existed to serve the locals who moved into the flow of Main Street whenever there was something they needed.
There was one shop, however, all tourists adored that all the locals never set foot in unless invited.
Located between the tattoo parlor, Soul Ink, and popular gift shop, Flowers, Petals, Wings & More, was a mystical shop called Peeps & Mutters. Tourists visited the front end of the store to explore earthy jewelry, symbolic decorations, oracle decks, and other woo-woo items that caught their attention.
Peeps & Mutters was more famous for the back half of their store, however, where “readers” of all types told visitors their fortunes and were famous for their uncannily accurate predictions.
There was always a line of curious tourists at Peeps & Mutters.
Yet their reputation was the very reason the locals did their best to never visit the shop until an invitation came that could not be ignored—which always happened, eventually. There was no avoiding it. Yet many locals believed such days could be delayed if the psychics at Peeps & Mutters forgot you existed.
Thus, it was common practice for tourists to lurk, linger, and browse the shop while locals passed by on the other side of the street hoping to avoid catching any reader’s awareness or eye.
This paranoid and superstitious behavior often made Moira laugh.
Moira was known to be one of the most-accurate readers at Peeps & Mutters but she was also one of the least-requested.
Her specialty was detecting imbalanced dharma and karma, and few tourists really wanted to pay to hear about that. They were on vacation and much more interested in hearing about love, fun, and fortune.
Which was fine by Moira. Her lack of tourist traffic kept her open and free to serve the locals.
In this way, Moira was as busy as any other reader at Peeps & Mutters—the main difference being that no one sitting across from Moira really wanted to be sitting across from her.
Sitting across from Moira meant an aspect of her client’s life was about to come back into balance. And few people proactively sought out such balance.
Whenever possible, most people preferred to stay on the benefiting side of an established imbalance and let others carry the heavy counterbalance of a lopsided load.
It was simply human nature.
Yet existence was a pendulum that swung side-to-side, forever seeking rest in the middle. This meant avoidance only worked for so long. And Moira knew this, which was why she never hesitated to call in a local as soon as they came up in a reading.
Locals like Bucky, who currently sat across from her with a face scrunched in annoyance and arms folded into a pout.
“Your timing is terrible,” he grumped. “I could be zip lining over the Amazon right now.”
“You can do that anytime,” Moira replied as she pulled Bucky’s red envelope from her private drawer and pulled out the two cards inside. One card was Bucky’s; the other was not.
“Ha!” he replied. “Says you! Have you seen how quickly they are burning those trees down?”
Moira grew still for a moment—eyes growing distant for a beat before nodding. “I do. Along with the reckoning. But that is not why I asked you here today.”
“Great!” Bucky pouted with an eye roll. “What is it this time?”
“You have a newbie,” Moira said, handing the second card over to Bucky. “Find her and fill her in with all the information on this card before she finds you. This will bring balance to your karma with her and leave both of you free to take different roads.”
Bucky grabbed the card and looked at it—scanning the information before flipping the card over to glance at the blank black. Then he glared at Moira.
“What, no name? Not even a city or a date?” he balked. “I’m just supposed to find some blonde who drives off the road on some random rainy night?”
Moira shrugged. “It’s noted that she only speaks English. That should help narrow things down.”
Bucky groaned, throwing his head back in his seat as he momentarily sulked like a toddler. “Man, so you’re saying that now I also have to cancel my trip to the North Pole to help an American social media influencer? Your prophecies literally ruin everything!”
“In the short term, perhaps,” Moira replied, pulling a red string from her pile and motioning for Bucky to hold out his hand to her. “But in the long term, you all will thank me. Now hold out your hand.”
With great reluctance, Bucky conceded—holding his left hand out toward her so she could tie the red string to his pinky as Moira gave him the instructions she gave everyone.
“This string will connect you to the karmic partner whose card you now hold,” she said as she wove the string into a ring. “There are many types of karma partners with infinite karmic loads that stand in need of reckoning. This string will draw you to this female—both in waking and in dreams. Follow your instincts. Listen to your heart and let nonsense guide you. This is how you will find your person and resolve your karma before it comes and finds you. Never remove this ring or you will lose your connection with both the soul and the location where you are destined to meet. You will know the foretold day has come to meet her when the string falls off on its own. On that day, follow the nonsense until it guides you to her, share all the information on the card, and your karmic duty will be paid in full.”
“I know, I know,” Bucky groaned. “It’s not my first rodeo, remember?”
“I remember,” Moira replied with a smile as she finished tying off the ring and leaned back in her chair. “But I also know how much you like to forget so you’re always going to get the full speech from me.”
Bucky’s glare turned more playful as she spoke—his eyes dipping a bit as he gave her a once-over. “I’d like to forget how hot you are, that’s for sure. It’s a bit of a torture that you’re such a pleasure to look at, yet such a pain to talk to.”
Moira let out a little sigh as she leaned back in her seat. “We’re done here, Bucky. Goodbye.”
“What?” he said, lips pursed slightly as he leaned in to make up the distance she’d put between them. “I’m in town … you’re in town. Why not make a night of it? We could go to the tavern and win some coins. No one would ever expect us working together. Wuddoya say?”
“Ugh. Come on, killjoy. Why not?” He leaned in even further, wiggling his eyebrows. “I’ll throw in some free nookie.”
“C’mon,” he said like a used car salesman. “This is one-time offer. You snooze, you lose.”
“All the more reason to refuse,” Moira replied with goodbye wave. “Off you go now. Good luck finding your karma buddy, Bucky. Hope things work out for you.”
“You’re missing out.”
“Next!” Moira called out with a snap of her fingers, unable to hide a smirk when Bucky disappeared from the chair in the space of a blink, and her next appointment poked his head in.
“Me?” the guy said with the shaky optimism of a newbie who had heard horror stories but was still hoping for the best.
Moira nodded. “Yes, Yukon. Welcome. My name is Moira. It’s nice to meet you. Please, take a seat.”
Then Moira took the next red envelope out of her desk while Yukon did as instructed.