It is Friday night, and the opening of the Hidden Oaks Harvest festival. At the western edge of the fair next to Galway Forest, sits a small purple tent with gold stripes and gold tassels around the opening. The sign outside says:
Gaze into the Mirror of Destiny
and know your future
"Hello? Are you open yet? I am here for the free reading. It is free, right? The sign at the front said so."
"Yes it is free. Come inside. The Mirror is waiting for you", a voice says.
"Do not like it. Not one bit", Matilda mutters and walks out of the enclosure.
Matilda approaches, lifts the curtain to one side and sees a large oval mirror with a gold ornamental frame. In the mirror she only sees herself.
Matilda looks at the book in her lap. The pages are completely blank. Strange woman, she thinks to herself.
Right by the entrance sits a lady in black, holding an open book in her lap. Green velvet curtains run the length of the tent dividing it in two. Matilda approaches the woman.
It does not take long before the first curious person enters.
The 78 year old Matilda Jenkins pushes her head through the opening of the tent. Her hands clasp the handles of the silver handbag in front of her.
"It is free? Completely free? No hidden fees or anything?"
"Yes Matilda. It is free".
"How do you know my name?"
"The book told me."
"So how does this work?", she asks.
"Go inside and close the curtains. Then look into the mirror and wait. When the mirror recognises who you are, it will show you your possible futures. The closer the events are to the present the clearer they will appear. "
"Possible futures? I thought this was the Mirror of Destiny. Should not destiny be set?"
"No. Destiny is the point where your circumstances and your actions coincide. You cannot change the circumstance, but you are always in control of your actions, and it is ultimately your choices that decide your destiny."
Matilda does not quite understand that bit, but thinks it does not really matter. After all, this is probably nothing serious, just a bit of fun. And free! So why argue? She steps inside and closes the curtains as instructed.
Within seconds images start to appear. The first image is of a check. Matilda rubs her eyes. She could swear that she saw an impossibly large sum printed on it, along with her name. She looks again and the number is still there: 273 million dollars! And yes, her name is written on the check. Another image appears next to it. A newspaper article from the Hidden Oaks Tribune with a picture of her smiling and holding the check. The words 'Local woman wins big!' are written above the picture, and below: "It pays to play', Matilda Jenkins says, who just won a massive $273 million lottery prize." Matilda laughs. She never plays the lottery. It is a waste of money. Obviously the mirror is not to be taken seriously.
A third image appears. The image is fuzzy and she can barely make out what appears to be the front end of a red truck, covered in blood. Next to it another cloudy image appears, of a hole in the ground and a coffin being lowered into it. Surrounding the hole are three people. One is most likely the priest but the other two she does not recognise. The images in the mirror disappear and again all she can see is her own reflection. There is no way that this could be real. She never plays the lottery, and when she is out walking she stays away from the major roads. The lottery win was a fun gag, but the last two images had upset Matilda. What if someone came in after her and was shown the same set of images? What if that person took it seriously?
"And what is your name?", she asks, "And who are you?"
"My name is Corinne, and I am the Guardian of the Mirror of Destiny."
"Right. Right...So where is the mirror? Can I take a look?"
"Of course. It is right behind the green curtains."