The work day was over and the light on my monitor dimmed then flickered out

Traffic warnings had already been issued so getting home would require a different route

Having driven this detour before I knew it wasn’t a speed shot but at least the traffic moved

Better than a bumper to bumper standstill and the music stream rhythm had my mood improved

Suddenly two cars ahead, a SUV rear ended an ancient Buick with no tag or tail lights

The SUV owner was shaking his finger while the Buick owner was yelling,“he knew his rights.”

With no place to turn around I pulled into a lot advertising Madam Janine Psychic and Future Seer

With a good forty five minutes to kill before traffic cleared I parked behind a large cedar.

The entrance was partially obscured as I went up the stairs I noticed a candle in the window sill

Entering the room I realized all the cash I had were four twenties and a hundred dollar bill

An old woman appeared and motioned to an old yellow sofa, “ We reserve that one for our guests.”

It’s sixty dollars for the reading. We take Visa and Master Card but not American Express.”

Bony fingers snatched the bills I held out and they disappeared under a faded and torn sweater

Uneasiness was creeping in but the smell of something vaguely familiar made me feel better

You may enter,” said a voice through the beaded curtain separating the adjoining room

Pushing the beads aside, I saw Madam Janine gazing at me dressed in her gypsy costume

Her head scarf pulled low to her eye brows and a flamboyant shawl wrapped around her shoulders

Two cats were asleep on the mantle, in the fireplace the embers from a fire still smolders.

Motioning to sit in a wooden chair beside her, she set a deck of cards on a place mat of felt

I realized that my future was to be told by how the cards were dealt

How may I assist you in your travels through life?” asked Madam Janine.

I can help you with your current problems and those in the future now unseen.”

Madam, I’m not interested in the past, just what’s on the horizon for the next couple of years.”

“You see my broker has been all over the board and I’m asking for help to quell my fiscal fears.”

Nimble fingers dealt one card and then three all face down next to the first card

Staring at the cards her request to contact the spiritual world caught me off guard

Taking my hands she rolled her eyes skyward and chanted, “Mader Scad Hogits.”

The chant didn’t bother me but the spark generated by taking my hands scared me out of my wits

The chant had at once sounded both eerie and like something I’d heard before

Though I couldn’t place the verse, I had a gnawing feeling that was hard to ignore

Flipping the first card it revealed a character labeled The Fool facing away from me

A reversal of The Fool,” stated Janine. “Not a good sign for investments or salary.”

With no explanation she flipped the second card and up came the unsmiling Queen of Swords

Not reversed but according to Janine only if you agreed with the queen would you gain monetary rewards

The third card was flipped to reveal the Ten of Swords, not a good card at all in terms of money

The fact this card symbolized no achievement, only failure and misfortune was not funny.

Staring at he cards, I was sure of the hocus pocus but it seemed the cards were trying to transform

Perhaps the incense smoke was causing a dizziness but the card figures were beginning to deform

I looked again at the cards and the figures morphed into national politicians and then instantly blurred

Mader Scad Hogits,” loudly chanted Janine. “A better reading I would have preferred.”

I’ve asked again this last card show a way to better your investment expectation.”

When the fourth and final card revealed the Seven of Wands, I noticed Janine’s jubilation.

This card succeeds when being attacked from all sides and constantly regains control”

“So by the years end your investments will be good and financial hardship will not take its toll”

Thanking Madam Janine while walking out the door, I noticed that familiar smell

Are you having bacon tonight?” I asked as the recognizable aroma in my brain began to jell

Why no sweetie, “ stuttered Janine as I started down the stairs

Glancing in her car window I saw on the console a yellow pin that someone in uniform wears

Suddenly it all became clear, the whole Madam Janine charade much to my chagrin

The Mader Scad Hogits, the bacon smell, sweetie and the uniform pin

Madam Janine was Louise who worked in a Waffle House and read Tarot cards when time permits

Whether it’s fortunes told or eggs and hash browns, whatever the client asks for is what he gets

The mysterious chant meant two eggs scrambled hold the grits. I left the parking lot and turned to the right

My investments were safe as stated by Janine and I had a good laugh as I drove into the night.