Monday, May 28, 2018

Riddles in Smoke and Mirrors

Haynes picked Colleen up from her house around 3 that afternoon. They were going to Mobile for dinner and a movie. As soon as they were on their way, Colleen turned to Haynes. "Okay, I know my life has been a bit different than most. But I had something happen to me today that I am still trying to wrap my head around."

She had Haynes's attention. "Well, do tell."

Colleen told him about Vivian and Bunny asking her to brunch and how much she enjoyed it until . . .

"Until what?"

"Well, we are just sitting there enjoying our meal and suddenly this strange woman appeared. I'm not sure if she was a witch or what. She was dressed in a flowing black caftan wearing a purple gele."

"And, she came to your table?"

"Yes, but that's not the story. She had the most intense green eyes I have ever seen. When she spoke they almost glowed. She had these long craggy fingers with red nails." Colleen paused. "Haynes, she pulled out 3 tarot cards and put them in front of me, one by one."

"Well what did the cards say?"

"That was most peculiar. There were 3 cards, I don't remember the first 2, but the 3rd she called the 'card of death.' She said that there was danger and sudden changes in my path. And that there would be an end to something, but she wasn't clear what. It could have been the end of a relationship or something else. Then she said there was death in my future. Someone close to me would die 'or worse', whatever that means." She paused again, "Haynes, if Vivian and Bunny had not been with me, I would have thought I was hallucinating."

"I'm afraid you weren't."

"What are you talking about? How would you know."

Haynes took a deep breath. "If I am not mistaken that was Reeza."

"Reeza? You know who the woman was?"

"Colleen, my guess is that this morning you met Blair's older half sister."

Colleen was a little taken aback.

"Reeza was much older than Blair."

"The witch is your sister-in-law?"

"Every family has skeletons in their closet. Unfortunately, one in Blair's closet comes out from time to time to dance."

"She can't live in town, Vivian and Bunny were clueless as to who she was. Gallagher is a small town and she would be hard to forget."  

"She doesn't live in town, she lives way back in the Bayou. In her late teens she started having 'visions'. Naturally the family was concerned about her mental health, enough to send her to specialists. The doctors said physically, she was alright. They asked family to provide a complete history of her life - any major happenings in her life - illnesses, loss of close family or friends, any traumatic incidents. As it was, Reeza had almost drown in the river at a family picnic. Luckily, one of the uncles was a medic in the army. If he had not been there, no doubt she would have died."

Haynes just kept his eyes on the road. "Once she recovered, Reeza insisted she had died - had had some out-of-life experience. No one took her seriously. She was never the same after that.  She started saying she saw images, could predict the future, and speaking in strange languages. People in Mobile where the family lived, started to talk about her. Finally she disappeared. It was several years before anyone saw her."

Colleen was captivated, she had heard of people like this, but never met one.

Haynes continued, "When she showed up, she appeared on a street in town, stopped a lady. She handed her some tarot cards, told her what they foretold, and just disappeared." Haynes looked over at Colleen. "I cannot remember her prediction, but it came true."

"Have you met her in person."

Haynes sighed, "Yes. She showed up at my office one afternoon, dressed just like you described with those green eyes and long fingers. She told me I would lose Blair. I'll never forget her eyes."

"And, that was just before she died?"

"No, that was just before she was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer. She died a few months later. And you know, at Blair's burial, I could swear I saw Reeza standing in a distance in cemetery during the service."


"Yes, 'wow'. She has this reputation as a Voo Doo Priestess."

"So, I should take her prediction seriously?"

"I would, but it sounds like it was fairly cryptic."

"It was," said Colleen looking out the passenger window, trying to remember Reeza's exact words.

Haynes put his hand on her knee, "Don't obsess on this. I'm a firm believer, you cannot do anything about it."

Colleen was incensed, "So just ignore what she said. Live in fear from here on until something happens. What did she mean? Am I going to die? She turned back to Haynes, "Or you or Wells?"

Haynes pulled the car over onto the side of the road. Putting the car in park, he turned and looked Colleen in the eyes. "Honey, neither of us can do anything about it. I believe the reason she came to you is because she cares about you. In that case, you just have to have faith. Whatever happens, it is out of your control." He reached across and put his arms around her. "You have to live in the moment. I learned that after Blair died."

When Bunny got back to Ivy Lane, she was almost in a panic to find Mike. "Oh, God, you won't believe what just happened." Trying to calm her down, Mike made her sit down in a kitchen chair. Then she told him, moment by moment, about their encounter with Reeza. When she was finished, she looked at Mike, "Have you ever heard of such."

Mike just nodded. "I have. I'm pretty sure that was Reeza."

"You know her?"

"Well, not personally." Mike went on to describe what he knew about Reeza and the encounters he and the Sheriff had experienced with her."

"So, Colleen should take her seriously?"

"Yes and no. From my experience, her 'predictions' are fairly cryptic. She frustrates the Hell out of the Sheriff. He says it would help if she didn't speak in riddles with smoke and mirrors."

That made Bunny laugh. She and Mike continued to discuss the episode from that morning.

When Vivian told Terse about Reeza's visit, he found it terribly interesting. "I have heard about such encounters, but never learned her name. The few stories I heard always ended with her just disappearing. Some think it is malarkey - that the one is describing a hallucination."

"Well, I had only had 1 Mimosa and was sober enough to know what I saw was real," Vivian laughed.

She could tell Terse was thinking. "This would make one Hell of a plot for a book."

"Maybe so, but I think I would be careful doing the research."

"I don't know. Maybe she would tell me whether or not the book would be a best seller."

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