“Every morning man. I’m telling you, you’re gonna want something serene,” my friend said.
“Yeah–okay,” I said, “but I just don’t want something over-played.”
It was a warm afternoon downtown. A good friend and I were perusing the sidewalk to check out the new classic movie cinema and asking each other where we’d like to wake up tomorrow morning if given the choice.
“As clique as it sounds, I’d want a beachfront property,” he said.
“Really?! That’s so clique it hurts, man.”
“Yeah, but I mean like open windowed, breeze rolling in, sun shining in your fa—-“
A loud screeching sound ensued, but we were too late. If I had been the one walking closer to the street, or even a foot or so more to the right, I would have gotten hit, too.
My friend was flipped when a deep purple Ford Fairlane swept his legs out from under him, juggled him for a moment, and left him drop like a stone onto the pavement, tumbling for a second before resting still in front of me. I didn’t say much at the time; I’d never seen a dead body and had thought it was like a dream for a moment.
It wasn’t until a thin little old woman dressed in heavy layers of gypsy clothing came shuffling out, cursing under her breath, and started trying to carry him away that I realized, ‘this might actually be happening.’
She looked up at me, undoubtedly seeing the tears beginning to well in my eyes. “Come come now,” she shrieked, speaking with urgency and tact, “tis’ nothin’ but spilt milk.”
“Spit—-spill huh, wait a second, get off him,” I yelled through blurry vision. “He needs help, call a doctor!”
“Pffft,” she snorted, “You Americans, a doctor can’t save him, boy, but perhaps I know someone who can,” she said, curling a finger at herself. “Besides, I can’t afford another insurance claim on my policy, now help me get his body—help me get him into the trunk,” she said.
I was at a pause for a moment, but considering we were battling inter dimensional pizza demons just last week, my only thought was that this couldn’t possibly go wrong.
“Fine,” I said.
I got him loaded in the back after arguing that the trunk wasn’t the best place for him, and then we were off. For an elderly woman, her foot must’ve been the weight of a cinder block.
We were speeding through traffic, dipping and weaving until we pulled by the storefront of a palm reading shop. We pulled into the ally on the side. I popped out and the old gypsy was in a close second, urging at the door ahead.
I got him inside and laid him down on a table. The room we were in now was so odd that it sent chills up my spine. Where the windows had once been to let light in, they were now covered in cutouts of runes in all different color, showing strange hues and mixtures of light. The walls were decorated with very old posters (Look Into the Misty Eyes of the Beyond and Casey’s Cactus oil, two for five cents). Candles lined the walls in a descending choir, tallest in the back.
“Now what,” I asked,
“Now, I’ll do the incantation and you’ll sit quietly and watch, boy. See how that works,” she sneered.
I stood back and watched as she began whispering words that sounded completely made up.
“Kodogig creelinia, opa schimney vie. Opa schimney vie. OPA SHIMNEY VIE,” she shouted.
“Oh, forgot the jade —heheh, sorry,” she said through an apologetic grin. “OPA SHIMNEY VIE,” she repeated.
My friend’s body began jerking. The internal popping and snapping of bones could be heard as he became less and less contorted, until finally, he stopped moving altogether. I looked to her, then to him, and back to her.
“Did it work,” I asked
“Arggghhhhh!” My friend sat bolt up and began yelling in whispers that took all of his breath with each saying. “What the fu–. What the fu–. What the fu–. Wha–.” His head dropped back onto the table.
He was out cold, but alive.
“He’s fixed,” the gypsy said smiling like a mad woman, holding her hands above her head and jingling the jewelry on her wrists. “Now,” she said pointing at the door, “Outta my shop, boy.”
“Gladly,” I said.
In the cozy chairs of his study, we sat musing the rest of that evening about what we were discussing before was hit by the gypsy.
“I’ve changed my mind,” he said.
“Oh,” I said, perking my ear.
“Yeah, I just want to wake up tomorrow morning,” he said.