25 Cents Worth of Death

He had spent the last ten years in his apartment. Now many  people would say he was quite insane, and perhaps he was but he feared something so great it had taken over his life. His family brought him food. HIs friends disappeared. His career went down the toilet. All of this just because of something that he would have once laughed at in good faith- a fortune telling.

He meandered down the street looking at all of the shops in downtown New Orleans. He had recently taken a job in real-estate within the city and he took the job largely due to the fact that he loved New Orleans. It was his mauler; the culture fascinated him, the architecture was glorious. An old city but yet it was vibrant and alive with life. He stopped in front of a shop that said “fortune telling inside.”

He entered and immediately smelled incense burning and he was greeted by a friendly women.

“You are here to get your fortune read,” She said dramatically.

Kyle smiled at this and played along, “Yes, I am.”

“Come, come, you have an aura about you, we must look into it,” She said motioning him towards the back of the store.

“Show me your hand,” She said. As Kyle showed his hands he wondered why all psychics were women. Are they all women? He averted his attention back to the women as she gave out a grave gasp.

“You are not safe,” she says hysterically. “Flee, leave this city! Go to your house and lock the door. Death is coming for you.”

Kyle pulled his hand away but the women kept a strong grip. “You must listen to me,” She pleaded.

What had turned into harmless fun was now bothering Kyle. He yanked his hand from the women’s grip and headed out the door.

“Pick up the quarter on the side walk,” She screamed as he left.

Kyle did not think much of the event other than what a nut this lady had been. When you live in New Orleans you must take the crazy with the good. At least that it is what Kyle had begun to assume. Yet, as he walked down the sidewalk of the road and was about to cross he froze as the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. There was a quarter on the ground.

Kyle looked at it for a moment and then laughed at the coincidence. For mere fun and games he bent down and picked up the quarter and as he did, a car sped through a red light smashing into a vehicle right where he would have been standing.

Kyle dropped the quarter on the ground. Had he not stopped to admire this Devilish coincidence he would be dead. From down the street, the manic fortune teller yelled, “Pick up the quarters.”

Kyle dashed across the street safely, but he was sweating profusely now. He began walking towards his apartment. And his nerves were now shot. Ever so often on the pavement, he would see a quarter. He thought about the startled fortune tellers whips of wisdom and the chilling words, “Death is coming for you.”

Kyle ran inside his apartment and was about to take the elevator when he saw another quarter.

“Calm down Kyle,” He told himself. It is a mere coincidence. People entered the elevator and as it accelerated towards the top Michale bent down and picked up the quarter. He jumped when an alarm went off. The elevator and got stuck in between floor four and five.

His heart was pounding and he was becoming nauseated. Taking the stairs, he rushed four flights up and entered his apartment.

First he dead bolted the door and then put a chain on it.

“What is happening to me?” he screamed.

Even in his apartment there were quarters lying on the floor. Was this a sign? What did this mean? Where did they come from?

Kyle a real-estate broken from a small town in Kansas ran into some misfortune or perhaps good fortune with a lady who saved his life? Yet, how rewarding could life really be since  Kyle would spend his days in bed shaking and  he would do so for the next ten years until he ended the saga that was his life. He was never able to work again, but rather became a recluse that never left his apartment door again. New Orleans has ancient rituals and is an enigma in itself. Well, at least for Kyle.  No longer a real-estate agent- no longer a person- his humanity stripped from him as he would cower in bed for ten years, when he finally ended it all.

Was Kyle mad? Had he gone insane? Or is fortune telling an art and sometimes- well maybe sometimes- it is dead on.

And because Kyle took his life, one might argue, death really did come for Kyle. Or was he driven mad by mere happenstance. Whatever the case, the fortune teller was right, Death had come for Kyle.

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