In this series, I will take the Word of the Day from Dictionary.com and craft a short piece of creative writing around it. My goal is to embrace the meaning of the word in some unique way, all the while trying out different styles, rhythms and characterizations. It is as much an exercise in creativity as it is an exploration of grammar. Enjoy!
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By Alex Seise
Marta spread the wrinkled map over the worn oak table. One of the legs was a hair shorter than the rest, making the entire set-up wobble slightly.
“In geomancy, you need only two things. A map, and a purpose,” said the woman as she flattened out creases in the parchment. The young man looked at the vast ink markings outlining the whole continent from sea to sea. “Here’s the map. Now tell me: what’s your purpose?”
“Love,” he replied. The old woman smiled; his face remained stoic.
“Clichéd, but not impossible. New or lost?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Are you looking for a new love, something fancy and fresh and full of potential, or one you know quite well but have already lost? It’s impor…”
“Lost,” he answered, quickly. “I know she’s still out there. I just don’t know where.”
“Ah,” said Marta. “You’ve come to the right place. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, quietly. Place your right hand in mine, and hover your left over the map. Think of her face, think of the way sunlight glistened when it caught her eye. Think of how she made your heart yodel when she was near. When the singing returns, stop your hand and there, wherever you are on the map,” she continued, thudding her pointer finger against the wooden tabletop three times, “That’s where she’ll be.”
“And you’re sure this works?”
“Ha! They don’t call me Madame Marta, the Mystic of Utica for nothing,” she said, smiling again.
He placed his hand in hers and closed his eyes, gently. The faint sound of waves crashing at the shore filled his head, and he knew just where he had to start his search.