Four Corners Vignette #1 (2019)

Frances Duncan studied his client over steepled fingertips as he considered the request.

Young, perhaps fifteen years his junior.  Clothing comfortable, well-tailored, speaking of modest wealth, considerable but not obscene.  Shoulder length brunette, cut straight and simple.  He had not balked or started at the theatrics—the dim lights, subtle incense, fake crystal ball, the things one expected of a diviner—which indicated familiarity, or that they had not registered.

Given the man’s apparent state of distress, Frances decided on the latter.

“Mr. Havorford, I am sorry you wasted your time.  If it was a matter of finding this person, or something they’d taken or lost, that would be different.  But, divination is notoriously vague and tricky.  The future is constantly shifting.”

“If it’s a matter of money . . .”

Frances held up a hand.

“No.  It is a matter of ethics and accuracy.  History shows us a trail of ruin that sits at the feet of divination.  And history is correct on this matter, I’m afraid.”

Gods, he thought, don’t let him try . . . yes, Havorford was resorting to the puppy eyes.  And he was damn good at it too.

“Please, Mr. Duncan?  I need to know.  For my parents and my family, not for me.  You are the most reputable diviner I have found in months of looking.”

“That’s because I will only tell you the truth, if I do this.  Not simply what you want to hear.”

“That is all I ask, sir.”

Frances closed his eyes and sighed.

“Fine.  Give me two days to prepare, then return here.  Friday at seven.  Then we will see what we can see, probabilities only.”

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