The visions. I’d had them all my life. They’re tricky to read, like tarot cards. Vague sometimes, like dreams. When I was a kid, I would tell my mom, and she had this way of pretending it was normal while still keeping it secret. By the time I became aware that my ability was unique, I knew how to hide it. I started to teach myself how to control it, and soon enough, how to use it.
I snapped awake at the sound of subdued screaming music spilling from the headphones of the teen who had just settled down on the seat next to me. I glanced over at her, and she flicked her gaze in my direction, as if daring me to say something. But I was preoccupied by the feeling that something was wrong. I shook off the disorientation and saw that I was several stops away from where I needed to be. As the subway train rolled to a stop, I leapt out of my seat and navigated my way to the doors. I was late to work, and on a day after I may have burned one bridge too many.
It figures, she thought.
One of the containers was full of sand. A kind of pretty black glittery sand. And not the crispy savory steamy dumplings that Alora had dreamt of since leaving work that evening with the smallest of coffee stains on her collar.
The First Tale
The lady was born with fingernails the color of blood. She was an otherwise beautiful child. Her cheeks were full and soft. Her eyes were warm brown, and they glittered when she laughed, and that was often. Even as a baby, she had glossy auburn hair. She was an otherwise bright child. Even-tempered, quick-witted, keen of thought, and wise of action.