The Final Outcome—Elaine Bonow

The Final Outcome

            “Yes, this is Miss Mina’s The Psychic Reader. How can I help you?”

“I want to make an appointment. You see I’ve never done this before, I mean, call a psychic. What should I do?”

“Oh honey that’s fine. I’ll take care of you. What’s your name? I’m already getting some vibes from you. What is your birthday?”

John gave her the details she needed and planned to go directly to her house. “Damn,” John said to himself. “I never thought I’d need the advice of a fortune teller but I am at the end of my rope with this situation looming and there is no one I can trust at this juncture.”

The psychic’s place of business was on an ordinary street only distinguishable by a neon eye in the window next to the front door. He knocked quietly on the door and heard soft footsteps approaching.

“Hi John, come on in,” Miss Mina said as she welcomed him into her neat house. The table lamps emitted a soft yellow glow. She led him into the living room.

“Here, just sit here in this chair. Don’t look so nervous. I’m not going to hurt you. What I want you to do is to relax. I made some chamomile tea. It’s pure and organic.”

“Thanks, I sure am worried. I mean at thirty years old I thought I’d have my life together by now but everything has been so ha…”

“Shhh, I’ve already got a good idea about you and your destiny. Have you ever had a tarot reading before? No, of course not. You are so young. I know, I know, to you being thirty years old is over the hill but just remember when you were eighteen and you thought the world was a fun and exciting place. It is hard to believe that so much has happened to you since then. Enough talk, let’s get down to business.”

John drank his tea. She had added lemon and honey and it tasted delicious.

“Put both of your feet flat on the floor and relax your shoulders. Breathe deep and close your eyes. I want you to feel like roots are growing from your legs into the ground connecting you to the earth. Breathe in and out.”

Miss Mina didn’t look like he expected, a fortuneteller wrapped in colorful shawls and scarves peering into a crystal ball. She was a short woman of an age and ethnicity he couldn’t figure out. She had a kind face and a sweet smile. The tea must have been working. In the few minutes that had passed he felt relaxed and confident that he was doing the right thing.

“Now John I want you to tell me a little about yourself.”

“Miss Mina there’s nothing exciting to tell. My life was on track until the past few weeks. There has been a lot of secrecy at my work and I’m not sure if I am going to survive. After I graduated from college I was, thank goodness, able to snag a great job in a new company. No one had a business plan like we did.”

“ Yes, I see that now. Close your eyes and concentrate on your problem. Ask a question that you want answered. Think about this carefully and be as specific as you can.”

Miss Mina watched him. He wasn’t very remarkable to look at and she was beginning to see a lot of young men like John. It didn’t take much divining to figure out what he needed in his life. He was a smart kid who had some great potential but needed the confidence to trust in life.

“Open your eyes now John,” as she fanned her tarot deck before him. “Pick out ten cards. Take your time.” As he did Miss Mina placed the cards into a Celtic Cross. “The first card you picked represents you John. We’ll find out about your present state of affairs and go on through the past and future of your question until we reach the final outcome.”

John was half listening. He was thinking about those years ago when he was just a teenager. Life was his oyster. Everyone, his family, his fiends thought he had the most brilliant future ahead of him. He was talented, smart and funny, He knew where he was headed and that was up the ladder of success. He finished his undergraduate studies in two and a half years and his graduate studies by the time he was twenty-two.

“Two of Wands.” Miss Mina said aloud bringing him back to the present. “It seems like you are in the midst of forming a partnership that you might be worried about. You must have strength and vision in order to succeed. But the King of Cups presents you with an obstacle or an advantage. A man, an advisor seems cold and distant.”

“Yes, yes,” John nods. “That must be my boss Thomas Browne. He has been so mysterious so secretive lately and until now has been my biggest ally. He recruited me right out of school. He’s been hinting that he was going to instigate some changes.”

“The King of Swords includes your ideas in this scheme.” Miss Mina talked on and on about the cards and what they represented—pentacles, wands, burdens and challenges, swords, new beginnings. The Death card appeared but she assured me that it signified change and rebirth.

I nodded like I understood what she was talking about even though everything she said became a run on sentence. Finally she finished with a big statement, “Money justly earned through your own sweat and labor will be rewarding beyond mere face value.”

That was something I could understand. It was now dark and raining hard outside the warm house, which lulled me and quieted my thoughts. After I thanked Miss Mina. She gave a short copy of the important points of my reading promising to send me a complete reading in the cards next week.

I remember the day so clearly because everything she told me that day had a way of steering me through the next three decades of my life. Just as she predicted my boss Thomas, had a new business plan based on my ideas. We built a new business. His domineering personality and dedication to working with me his trusted and talented sidekick, built the wildly successful company I am running today.

I thought about this episode in my life, because I am ready to retire and hand the reins over to the younger, smarter generation coming up. I decided to drive by Miss Mina’s house these thirty years later remembering how a scared thirty year old was desperately seeking an answer to his future on that fateful day.

I found the house easily. It looked exactly the same with the neon eye in the window next to the front door, lit just like it was so long ago. I parked my car, walked up to the door and knocked. I heard someone walking up to the door.

“Hello John, I was expecting you,” she said with a smile that had not changed at all. “Come on in. I’ll make you a cup of chamomile tea.”

For you curious readers here is the complete transcript of John Miller’s tarot reading.

Here is your Tarot reading

Current Influences

Your present position. This card reveals influences, and shows the general direction of the reading.

Two of Wands

The II of Wands suggests the formation of partnerships in your immediate future, or the success of already existing joint ventures. You will likely find yourself in a position to reap the rewards of these partnerships, in the form of financial gain or promotion. One the same count, the rewards indicated are those fairly due to you, so this is better news for those in equitable partnerships than those who seek to profit at the expense of others. The presence of this card may also point to underlying insecurity or worry on your part. These feelings may be justified or not, based on the rest of the spread.

Key interpretations:

Achievement, Anxiety, Gain, Goals, Partnership

In this position, the card reveals:

Your success can only be achieved through strength and clear vision.


Immediate Influences. This card reveals the nature of the obstacles immediately before you.

King of Cups

The King of Cups is the worldly and calm projection of authority. Find him in your spread is most likely a reference to someone else who will aid you in achieving your goals. This person may seem unconcerned, even distant, but their motivations are pure. Whatever advice they give will be important to you and should be considered in your own deliberations. If it does refer to you, personally, it shows an inner strength and tightly disciplined control of emotions.

Key interpretations:

Compassionate, Good advice / Helpful ,Integrity, Mature, Authoritative Man, Spouse

In this position, the card reveals:

A powerful new friend or counsel will arrive on the scene to give you advice.

Past Foundations

Recent influences or events in the past from which your current situation has arisen.

King of Swords

The King of Swords represents the professional aspects of authority. Often associated with those in legal or business careers, he most likely represents someone who will aid you in one of these fields. This person may be assertive, or even seek to dominate you in their confidence that they know how best to aid you. While they may be friendly, their primary motivation is unlikely to be emotional.

Key interpretations:

A Mature, authoritative man Assertive Authority Government / Legal Leadership

In this position, the card reveals:

Your strong intellect has given you a collection of good ideas.

Past Events

Reveals a recent influence or event which is coming to an end.

Eight of Cups

The VIII suggests that there is stability and security in your life, but at a personal cost. You are probably unfulfilled by your current life. Depending on the rest of your spread, it may be a strong push for you to move on, and find the courage to strike out in a new direction. You will have to look closely at your work, your relationship, and your own beliefs to identify the source of your ennui, and then decide if you are willing to set aside some of your life’s stability in order to find happiness. Key interpretations: Abandonment Avoiding Changes in lifestyle Leaving / Going Personal development

In this position, the card reveals:

You have been unsure of what direction to take, though you know in your heart you seek change. Remember that when you do not know where you are going, one path is as good as the next.

Goals and Destiny

Shows your desired goals and aims, and reveals the best outcome that can be achieved in your current situation.

Nine of Pentacles

The IX of Pentacles represents significant financial reward, but one borne of hard work and careful planning on your part; a just reward for prudent actions. It may also indicate that a time of hardship for you is ending and a counter-balancing time of pleasant living is at hand. On a less positive note, it also indicates a solitary individual, so you may still be searching for companionship, and lack people to with whom share your gains.

Key interpretations:

Abundance Financial security Opulence Prosperous Wealth

In this position, the card reveals:

An unexpected opportunity, if recognized as such, is going to open the door to a large income for you.


Reveals a new influence that will soon be brought to bear in your life.

Seven of Pentacles

A balanced card by nature the VII suggest you will avoid failure, but fall short of runaway success in an endeavour. Or, equally possible, that you will achieve your goals, but not in the time frame you had hoped for. You will face setbacks, and in order to succeed you will need to take care to avoid becoming too hesitant or timid. Progress may be slow or difficult, but it is possible.

Key interpretations:

Business & Trade Long-term success Occupation Perseverance Wealth

In this position, the card reveals:

A gift of money may come your way through an unexpected source.

The Querant (you)

This card reveals your negative feelings, and provides additional information about how you feel in your present environment..

Ten of Wands

If the X of Wands appears in your spread, you are likely working too hard, or taking on more burdens than you should. It can indicate both excessive workloads in pursuit of your goals, or as a result of attaining them.

Key interpretations:

Burden  Challenges Intense pressure Oppression Overcommitment

In this position, the card reveals:

You have an opportunity to purge yourself of some narrow-minded ideas that have become fixed in you.

Friends and Family

This card shows your influence on the people around you, and their influence on you. It also shows how they fit into your home, work, and surroundings.

Knight of Swords

If you or someone close to you is represented by the Knight of Swords, beware. It is symbolic of a forceful personality, one which combines zealous dedication to success with razor-sharp intellect. However, whether in the form of a companion or your own inner nature, these same attributes can give rise to a formidable enemy. When it refers instead to your circumstances, the Knight suggests you are headed for turbulent times, which can be most successfully faced with decisive action on your part.

Key interpretations:

Conflict Destruction Domineering Loss Unexpected

In this position, the card reveals:

A problem in your life will be solved through the intervention of a friend.

Hopes, Fears, and Ideals

Your inner emotions.


Death is indicative of change in your future. This change can be in almost any aspect of your life, but it will almost certainly be permanent, significant, and absolute. Death suggests a complete severance between the past and the future, and it will likely be painful. Despite the sense of loss that may accompany it, Death fills an important and natural role in life, and leads eventually to acceptance. It is a necessary part of moving forward, and you will find the changes easiest if you embrace them, rather than fight them. Expect the end of a close friendship, a job, a marriage, or even a life, but do not focus too greatly on the negative.

Key interpretations:

End New beginning Loss Dramatic change Destruction

In this position, the card reveals:

Your inner transformation will arise through the impetus of external forces.

The Final Outcome

This card reveals the final outcome to your question. It’s the product of all the other influences shown in this spread.

King of Pentacles

The King of Pentacles embodies the mature and dependable aspects of maturity. Anyone represented by this card is tied to success and status. While it may refer to your own characteristics, the Kings most often stand in for other people in your life who can aid you. You can expect this person to value prudence of intelligence, and, if it represents an event, it may be a financial windfall or promotion.

Key interpretations:

Confident Reliable Security Success Wealth

In this position, the card reveals:

Money justly earned through your own sweat and labor will be rewarding beyond mere face value


About bbcstudiowrites

This blog is me archiving the BBC Studio Writers Workshop.

Posted on March 10, 2014, in Fiction, Seattle, Short Stories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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