In Flames

In Flames Read Online Free PDF Page A

Book: In Flames Read Online Free PDF
Author: Richard Hilary Weber
I’m not married.”
    “Your character then, that’s what it means. Remember, God is all loving and you are His perfect reflection. You have power to save lives. Maybe a hero someday. Nothing but truth here, señor, may I keep reading, tell you everything no matter what the spirits whisper?”
    An uncertain fascination remained and I nodded, a willing captive to her performance. For entertainment value, Sister Emma was worth whatever Ferg was paying her for the evening. She held my hand closer to her eyes and I reflected on exactly how a spirit reader must find it as important as a spy to gather intelligence before picking out precisely the right data. How hard it must be, identifying facts, waiting for the heart of a matter to come slipping out, how difficult the search through so many details to disinter true human character and all its motives. Sister Emma was a first-class forensics expert, she might as well as have been frisking me as she studied my palm and listened to murmuring spirits. If she sniffed around long enough, would she discover my greatest secrets, strongest desires, the essence of my character, all the fears and obsessions I worked hard at controlling and shaping and concealing in my strange new home. Would she probe into three a.m. dreams and disinter feelings best left buried? How much of myself, and no more, would I have to reveal now if I wanted her answer to my absurd question. “And what does it say about the future—”
    “No, señor, I’m sorry, I can’t tell you the future, not specifically. It’s illegal, no more forecasting, not since Americans rewrite our laws. Next thing you know, if it keeps up like this, I’ll have to read feet. They change everything here; it’s like New York now. And I’ve already said too much, I could lose my cabaret license to entertain. I can only recommend, you see, suggest, maybe advise, and pray, of course. Now here I can tell”—she studied my palm more intently—“you’re a man of imagination and intelligence…hardworking, creative…quite sensitive, passionate, a very aware person. Yes, señor, it’s all right here on your hand, nearly everything about you. You want big changes in your life, and you want—here I can’t tell exactly what you want, but I suppose it’s something very attractive.” And then she slipped in the cliché as smoothly as a thermometer. “Of course you’ve already made one woman here very happy, señor, that much I can see.”
    Made one woman here very happy
…A worn-out cliché, for sure, but no less startling, and while I tried to pull back my hand Sister Emma gripped it more tightly, and we were in a tug-of-war. “You’ve already tasted some fulfillment in San Iñigo, señor, so keep on searching. Remember, God is all loving and you’re His perfect reflection, just be patient and build on what you have. Now maybe we ought to take a look at your past.”
    “I know my past. What’s next, what happens when she—” I stopped abruptly and it was as if I’d turned off a radio, the unexpected silence unnerving. The old woman had me hooked, I didn’t want to bring the reading to a halt regardless of how foolish I felt or how much I dreaded what she might say next (even inaccuracies about evil or passion can be as costly as truth). I tugged my hand again and it slipped free. I felt awkward sitting there, holding my own hand. Some Saint Paddy’s party this was turning out to be. “Sister, how much do I owe you—”
    “No, señor, it’s on the house, part of the celebration for the saint. Señor Ferguson pays me and I can’t accept tips. Only one more thing I must advise you, watch out for the evil eye here,
mal de ojo
. It’s the worst thing in this country, almost impossible to defend yourself against evil eye. But if you come to my office in town, I can make you protection with beads thousands of years old from ancient Egypt. Only a small charge compared to their true value. And I’ll say all the best
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