Questions

There is a girl, scarcely older than a child, with sapphire eyes as bright as the stars and gossamer hair the colour of rich honey. She looks, in every way, the innocent and yet, cross her palm with silver and she will tell your fortune.

She’s not like the other mystics. She holds no stock in the reading of runes. To her, the moon and sun have no deeper purpose than to illuminate the sky and she knows little of the orbits of planets. Music is her method and the music speaks to her.

To those who know her, she is the Oracle of the Arcade and that’s exactly where you’ll find her — should she want you to. Huddled over those glowing machines, she dispenses wisdom to those whom the gods choose to assist. If it isn’t your time then your pleas will fall on deaf ears but if you’re favoured, you will be permitted three questions. What you ask is your choice alone; she could not and would not offer you guidance. Not a single word will be heard to pass her strawberry-coloured lips.

You won’t be given long to decide on your questions; time is money, as the poets say, and gods have little enough patience.

She will press the device into your hand, place the headphones over your ears – pink in colour and still warm from her flesh. The voice will speak to you then, the voice of the gods, and your faith will be tested; you’ll be remiss in believing it a recording.

The voice will guide you and instruct you to meditate on the questions, fix them in the forefront of your mind.

When you are ready, the Oracle will begin her prophesy.

She will reach into your hand. Her fingers will move smoothly over the device operating the flat dial with a gentle caress; first to the left, then to the right.

In your thoughts, the questions will burn — eager for release, eager still for satiation by the answer. They will fill your head, chasing away everything save the faint clicking in the headphones.

The Oracle will smile at you then; a smile that will reach up to those sapphire orbs. She knows what you’re feeling and she knows how it will end.

She will take your finger and, with it, press play.

Music will fill your ears, touch your soul. It will pour from that polished grey device, funnelled direct from the gods through those headphones. The small, tarnished and cracked square will glow with an ethereal light flashing with a single word: shuffle.

Her magic is in the music. The music holds the answers.

S is for Soothsayer

sooth’sayer (noun)

  1. someone who foretells, a diviner or prognosticator
  2. A truth-teller (obsolete)

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