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Rod M. Santos

April 2009

I Foretold You So

Knowing it would come to this, she produced two dark kerchiefs. She bound one tightly around Straven’s eyes, and the other around her own. Artwork © 2009, R.W. Ware
Knowing it would come to this, she produced two dark kerchiefs. She bound one tightly around Straven’s eyes, and the other around her own.

Artwork © 2009, R.W. Ware

When Straven, Prophet of Peekh, chanced upon Asha, Oracle of the Hyperopic Temple, even the gods raised their eyebrows at the romance that followed. Now one might think the two greatest seers of the realm could have predicted their own heartbreaks, but their potent foresight proved useless against a time-tested truth.

Love is blind.

The courtship was brief, particularly given that Asha’s first words were “I do.” Their first major argument happened soon after they were wed. While preparing a chicken dinner, Asha accidentally read its entrails and foresaw that Straven was going to flirt with a tavern wench a few years hence. She said nothing but her manner was icy all throughout dinner. Straven was confused until he’d finished his tea. The leaves told him what Asha had foreseen and why she was angry.

From his grimace, she knew that he knew. She wouldn’t look at him, but when she went to take a sip of her soup, the watery broth rippled before her eyes. She saw a vision of what his argument would be — that she shouldn’t be angry for something he hadn’t even done, and now would never do. She dropped the bowl, which shattered thunderously upon the floor.

Straven was about to speak, when Asha cut him off with a hand gesture. He read her palm and knew what she was going to say — it didn’t matter whether it happened in the real timeline or an alternate one. Infidelity was infidelity.

Asha looked away. How had it gone so wrong? They were supposed to be young and in love. She left the table and stared out the window... into the night sky. The stars, just a random scattering of sparkles to the average person, formed a pattern in her mind. She predicted Straven’s intended claim that he didn’t love any tavern wench — especially one he’d never met. He would say that he only loved one woman, the one he’d married. She heard him rise from the dinner table.

Alas, in doing so he spilled his dinner plate, and the chicken bones upon it rolled onto the ground. In the casting, he saw that his words would not comfort her and that they would be sleeping that night back to back.

For a long while, they stared at each other, Asha with tears in her eyes, Straven with an expression of anguish. One thing they both knew for certain. They would be skipping dessert.

And so it went. A thousand little signs pervaded their lives, and the inevitable portent would come, revealing possible marital disharmony. The last straw happened when they invited their neighbors — Mr. and Mrs. Tonk — for cards. They partnered off, husbands versus wives, in a simple game of Catch the Jester; it soon degenerated into cartomancy and numerology. The neighbors were clueless to the growing tension until Straven revealed his winning hand, and Asha shouted, “I want a divorce!”

She ran from the room, and a miserable Straven looked at the befuddled neighbors.

“A sore loser if ever I’ve met one,” Mr. Tonk muttered.

Later that night, Straven came to Asha, as she knew he would. The couple held each other tightly and for a moment the spark of hope lit their hearts.

Straven stroked her hair. “Perhaps, we’ve put too much faith in our gifts, those same talents that never warned us of the troubles we now endure.”

Asha nodded. “And perhaps we’ve come to trust them too much, to think all we foresee is unavoidable.”

Straven knelt before her. “I suspect you already know what I’m going to say, but I must say it anyway. There’s only one way to save our marriage, even though it will mean a major change. Do we have the courage to fight for our love?”

Asha’s eyes lit up, and she nodded. Knowing it would come to this, she produced two dark kerchiefs. She bound one tightly around Straven’s eyes, and the other around her own.

Straven’s sigh was as joyful as a sigh could be. “May we forever live happily, in blindness and uncertainty, free of divinations and auguries.”

As one, the couple smiled, moved closer to kiss... and bonked their heads.

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About the Author

Rod M. Santos

The eyes of Rod M. Santos

Rod M. Santos was born in Manila, raised in the Bronx, and is currently lost in Yonkers. Like many people, his lifelong dream is to train squirrels in the ways of the Force. He claims to work in human resources for a non-profit company, but when pressed for details, he quickly changes the subject.

His writing fluctuates between dark and lighthearted fantasy, with occasional stops throughout the speculative continuum. Published stories can be found at The Town Drunk and Dragons, Knights and Angels, as well as the anthology Philippine Speculative Fiction, Vol. 3. He has a story forthcoming in Cinema Spec: Tales of Hollywood and Fantasy, an anthology to be released later this year. He is a proud member of the Liberty Hall writing forum.

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