Elinor looked shocked at her own self. “I didn’t mean to say that.”
“Well, what did you mean to say?”
“It’s just that I was a psychic. I’m not any more. I gave it up. I mean I’m suppose to give it up. There’s too much for me to deal with right now.”
“Well, perhaps we all need to turn in now anyway,” Bob said graciously. “I know, after all that hybrid strong, strong herb we need something to take the edge off. I’ll be right back.”
The Oberon’s were showing signs of being absolutely stoned. “I guess I should have warned you guys that this particular strain is guaranteed to warp your brain.” Steve was lying in his hammock, the others instilled in tableau.
“I have never ever been stoned.” Annie said sitting in full lotus in a corner of the floor. “But after this I think I will do it again.”
Aiden put on his shades and reclined on the sofa. “Elinore, I hope you will read Steve’s cards. I have an affinity for the occult.” His honest declaration regrouped the tribe. “Come on Elinor, you know we all just starting to be friends now. We’re not going to judge you harshly. We want to get to know you better.”
Penny chimed in, “it was really hard for me to confess to all you complete strangers. But now I feel trust in each and every one of you.”
“Well, I feel like a real dork. My stupid problems seem so trivial, my pot habits and me thinking that I am all that, that I hsve some special ear to god, so whatever you do is all good with me. I love you guys, I really mean it.”
Bob arrived carrying a tray laden with mugs, which smelled like hot chocolate. He knew some of them had different tolerances to milky substances he thoughtfully catered to the intolerant amongst them. He made the [i]hot chocolate with hemp milk and in honor of the stoned amongst them. There was also a heaping plate of triangular cinnamon toasts of caramelized sweet goodness.
“Oh my, this is just like what my mother made when I was a child.” Elinor was smiling now. “How did you know Bob?”
The group ate and drank the bedtime treats. There was no new talk of goals or lost illusions and soon as one human organism they tumbled off to bed and a trippy dreamland.
Bob tidied up and went outside in the cool night air. As he looked up into the black night he thought to himself, ”Oh yes my little chickens, you are now creating new lives for yourselves, making new connections, creating new friends.” He sat thinking quietly to himself until sleep itself called.
The next morning Elinor was the first one up except for Bob who was in the kitchen or the galley as he called it fixing a late breakfast. She was wearing an elaborate emerald green gown. Her boa, made out of silk ivy leaves, swirled around her neck. Her golden braids were piled atop her head. She was barefoot and carried a staff topped with a pinecone. She looked like a princess of an ancient tribe.
“Good morning Bob,” she shouted “I am ready to start the new day.”
One by one the Oberon’s emerged. As if they got the same message each was dressed in what could be called finery, an extension of their stories, of themselves. Steve dug out one of his favorite Rock and Roll outfits tight bell bottoms, ruffled shirt and loads of jewelry. Aiden had on a beautifully tailored suit, pale yellow with an equally pale blue shirt and a white fedora. Penny wore a red ruffled miniskirt and thigh high red patent leather boots.
Bob came out to announce, “Breakfast is ready children.” He never changed his outfit, loose pants and shirt obscured by his apron with his name embroidered on the bib in black cursive. “ We’re having an old fashioned southern breakfast today kids: Grits swimming in butter and cream, three different kinds of fake sausage, scrambled eggs with chives and home made biscuits with butter and honey. Strong coffee is in order after last night’s perfect pot party.”
“Miss Elinor, I thought after we eat you could tell us your story. We only have a short drive to our next camp so we won’t leave here until late afternoon.”
Elinor took the stage about noon. The blue skies had disappeared and a curtain of grey hung in the air. “I was a professional psychic in LA for many years. This is only one of many of my outfits. I won’t tell you my stage name but I was very popular with a certain clientele.
Most of the psychics out there are fakes you know, phonies but I seemed to have a gift. I didn’t let anyone know especially the other psychics. I just kept it a secret. Well, for a while I worked for this company who did parties for the high-rollers, you know the one’s that lived, as they used to say the ”Lifestyle Of The Rich And Famous.”
I got involved in a twisted plot, I won’t go into details but this one man, I just knew he was going to die. The cards never lied to me. I knew when, where and how. It is a terrible thing to see this. I knew how to turn off my gift if I needed to, but this image kept pushing through. I told him he was going to die and then nothing happened .The day and time passed and nothing. Finally he destroyed my career and ruined my reputation because he was still alive.”
The Oberon’s were silent mulling over this recitation. “But wasn’t he happy that he was still alive. I know I would be jumping for joy.” Steve said.
“See the funny thing is this. I haven’t had the gift return for the past five or six years now. It had always been with me and then, POOF, nothing, no signs, no visions, no ghosts, nada. I decided I’d better to get rid of this burden so I came on this pilgrimage to let go of those cards.”
“Do you have them with you now?” Penny asked. “I believe in the cards.”
“Last night, I promised I’d read Steve’s cards and I will do that, just to see if I am under some kind of spell. I mean when you work in this business you develop all sorts of rituals to make the magic work, even the biggest fakes, con men, magicians, circus people, gypsies have ritual. “
Elinor asked Bob to put a CD in the system. Beautifully strange music flutes, cymbals and small drums beat a rhythm. Elinor twirled the ivy boa floating around her face and neck. She beat the stick in time to the music and sang I—O—E—V—O, I—O—E—V—O, I—O—E—V—O. There was a cloth wrapped package in her left hand. She shook her head so hard forward and back, forward and back until it seemed that her head would pop right off her ivy strangled neck.
The music came to an end and Elinor, who seemed to be in a trance, sat at the table where Bob had set two candles. They could hear a soft rain outside the RV. She unwrapped the cloth and slowly shuffled the cards.
Aiden stood up suddenly and cried out. “Oh please Elinor, Steve let her read my cards. I would give anything to have her read my cards. Please guys.”
[i] Recipe #6 –Hot Chocolate and Cinnamon toast