Note: This entry takes place in the same alternate reality (or a very similar one) to my Snow Cabin entry. (Actually, all my flash fiction entries from here on out will likely take place in this universe seeing as I’m going to make a short story collection out of the various “Tales From the Zones”.)
This entry goes along with another short story. It's late, it's a bit of a confusing cliff hanger. But it will make sense down the road.
The smell of incense hit him full force as he pulled back the tent flap and entered the Gypsy woman’s “office”, as she had called it.
He looked about the small space, from the brightly colored scarves and beads that hung about the room, to the large table in the center and the crystal ball that resided in the center.
“I’ve been waiting for you for a long time, Frank,” she said, looking over her shoulder at him as she pulled out a large pillow for him to sit on.
It took a lot of will power for him to admit that he had been dreading this for a long time. Honestly, he didn’t even believe in any of the fortune telling mumbo-jumbo. To him, this was just an inconvenience, a trivial visit that Doctor D required all his rebels to make.
The Oracle, as the woman was called, was well known throughout the Zones. She had somehow escaped the notice of The Exterminators and stayed holed up in an abandoned amusement park.
She motioned for Frank to take a seat, which he hesitantly did, sinking into the pillow a bit as he got settled.
“Shall we look into the ball?” she prompted, wasting no time.
“Shouldn’t we get acquainted?” Frank asked, trying to avoid any fortune telling for as long as possible.
“You know who I am,” the Oracle scoffed. “And I know you. We need no introductions. Let’s do business.”
Frank opened his mouth to object, but closed it just as quickly when the woman shot him a pointed look.
“I know you don’t think this is necessary,” she smirked, her eyes now focused on the crystal ball. “But you have such a great future ahead of you.”
“I bet you tell that to everyone.”
“Perhaps. But you’re special. You thought your life ended in the city. You’re only here fighting because you are convinced one of these days the Exterminators will ghost you.”
Frank said nothing, knowing the gypsy’s words were true.
“Look into the ball,” she prompted. “Maybe you will find that your life isn’t over just yet.”
Hesitantly, Frank did as he was told. The murky fog within swirled eerily, entrancing him as he stared into the crystal ball. Though he felt it may have been a trick of the eye, the fog seemed to swirl more rapidly the longer he stared.
And then it began to disappear, morphing into the shape of two figures; two women, he realized. One was tall and thin, with a pair of glasses resting on the bridge of her nose. Her clothing was covered in dust and sand, and her eyes held a certain wisdom that was very uncommon throughout the Zones. She reminded Frank of a female version the rebel that led his small group.
However, it was the second figure that really caught his attention. She was younger than the first, likely by a year or two, but there was a ferocity about her that made her stand out. Tattoos covered her skin, which was quite exposed underneath her sleeveless midrift top.
The mist that still swirled within the ball became sand colored and the two of them drew their ray guns. Frank realized they were being attacked.
A group of Exterminators appeared vaguely in the background, and the two girls stood back to back, firing brightly colored lasers at them. The sand began to swirl as they began to spin in a hypnotic fighting style that reminded him of a dance. A few steps to the side, a few steps back, left, right, spin, cross; it never seemed to end. As he watched, unable to tear his eyes away, one word echoed through his mind.
“Destroyers,” a voice seemed to whisper. “The Children of the Gun.”
As the two spun, Frank noticed that they each had half of a dragon tattooed on them. It seemed to come to life as they spun, its eyes glowing red with fire.
A pile of carnage was now all that was left of the exterminators as the two blew to smoke from their guns.
The image began to fade and Frank looked up at the gypsy, who was smirking knowingly at him.
“What did you see?” the gypsy asked, already seeming to know the answer.
“A dragon,” Frank replied, not quite realizing that his mouth was forming words. “The Destroyer.”
Honestly, the image that he had seen in the ball was becoming quite fuzzy in his mind. It had seemed like something more than that.
“What is it?” he inquired.
‘It’ didn’t seem like quite the right word. ‘They’ seemed more fitting, though he was unsure as to why. It had only been one dragon, as far as he remembered.
“Your future,” the gypsy replied.
“But what does that have to do with me? I don’t know any dragons. Dragons don’t even exist.”
“Everything. It has everything to do with you. You will find that dragons appear in more forms than just mythical creatures.”
Frank bit his lip, trying to hold back his frustration.
“This is bullshit,” he found himself saying. “I thought you were supposed to show me my future.”
“I did,” the gypsy replied. “You’ll thank me someday.”
Shaking his head disapprovingly, Frank got up and left.
Stupid gypsy, stupid crystal ball; why couldn’t he remember what he had seen in that crystal ball?
And yet, as he walked through the abandoned theme park in which the gypsy resided, one familiar question rang through his brain.
Where are you, Destroyer?