The deluge stuck heavy to his back like Atlas shouldering the sky. Whatever Herculean efforts required, he had to make it to the top of the hill today. His recurring dream was unrelenting. The rumors of her century of expertise was comforting. He knew she would be waiting.
With his rain-drenched clothing clinging like milk on cornflakes, he arrived at the top of the hill to the hovel, a forlorn place. Except for the brook in the rocks, everywhere around her homestead was dry as peacock feathers in a barnyard. Undaunted by the puzzling panorama, he stepped forward. That was his first mistake.
He awoke on her plush purple chaise. His clothes were poking him in uncomfortable ways. Someone had starched and ironed his jacket, to his surprise. His present discomfort and the quandary of his dream added to his malaise.
The Seer stood, offering him tea as she reached casually for her slippers. Oddly, the tea smelled like fresh bell peppers. Gulping down the concoction in haste, he hoped his nose would ignore the taste of his eyes. But he was too late. He gasped and spat out the tea like a smiling camel at the city gate.
She sat down and said softly, “By the way Mark, ‘Happy birthday,’ I believe it is your fortieth today!” Mark, who was yet to introduce himself, or to reveal his age, passed out – his second mistake… [Related poem follows below:]
In the reverse realms of Elcora, where
Light is its own source, fire coal, where
Clouds freeze in continuous downpour,
Lives a Seer on a hill in a wooden hovel.
Villagers believe she is the first oracle.
She declines all gratuity for her work,
Interprets dreams in honor of a cook,
Who saved her life near Diana’s brook,
Serving her warm bell pepper puree,
On the night of her fortieth birthday.