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The room smells of wood smoke and incense; the scent’s so buried in the room, in the carpet and the draperies that even when Chiela isn’t burning it, the scent’s still there, strong and heady. She’s had clients who don’t like it, claimed it gave them headaches, but it’s never bothered Chiela. Then, again, she also couldn’t smell it the one time she caught her and Terasu’s oven on fire, so it could just be her. She’s got an embroidered tablecloth spread out beneath the trappings of her profession: knuckle bones and polished gemstones and the dream cards she consults in lieu of the Tarot - that’s not her speciality. Then again her true specialty doesn’t require any of the trappings of Old-World-loving psychic; she doesn’t need to cast bones to know the future, doesn’t have to consult the cards to know a person’s mind and their path, doesn’t need the crystal ball or tea leaves to penetrate the veil of time. She does that on her own, simply through the Sight. She can’t communicate with ghosts, but she can read your mind and tell you what you want to hear from them, which is just as good, if not better, than what they’ve actually got to say. And all she needs to do to see the future is close her eyes and reach out to find the fragments that are waiting for her. She can’t See terribly much, just enough to make for a neat parlor trick and to make separating clients from their money that much easier. She’s careful to not let too many people think it’s real, instead impressing on them that it’s all smoke and mirrors. When people know she’s really got the Gift they’re either weirded out by it - in the wow-I-think-I’ll-go-find-someone-else-to-talk-to sense - or over-fascinated by it - in the tell-me-what-I’m-thinking-now-oh-and-now-oh-and-now sense - both of which are annoying and frustrating in their own ways.

There’s a tinkling chime from the front of the shop, which Chiela can’t see past the curtain’s cordoning off her little corner - she’s not the only fortuneteller in town, but they do tend to stick together, kind of like hairdressers. Only they’ve each got their own specialties which, hey, is also kind of like hairdressers, only this is palmistry and astragolomancy not - well, whatever it is hairdresser specialize in. Crew cuts? Probably not that.

Neveah - whose name isn’t the result of poor parenting but is, instead, the result of poor later in life choices - pulls aside the curtain and pops her head inside to say, “Somebody’s here to see you. She doesn’t have an appointment, though,” like that honestly matters to Chiela.

She shrugs and says, “Let her in,” then nearly laughs when that someone turns out to be Terasu.

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