The rosy hues of dawn gradually transformed into shades of blue. The sun began to illuminate the cerulean sky that was flecked with white clouds. Eliza Corlanke took a look around the mystical St. Kateri Tekakwitha University campus as she began to set up and decorate her booth for the fall festival. She was studying for a masters in business administration at St. Kateri’s school of business and was grateful for the relaxing day. Rays of the sunrise created the sensation of luminescent leaves on the trees that graced the sidewalks. Brilliant shades of red, orange, gold, and brown nourished the campus in a warm morning glow. Playful stone angels peered down at her from the top of the buildings. Despite their empty gazes, they seemed to frolic with the cardinals and blue jays that made their homes here in Stonington, Maine. The squirrels, long-time residents of St. Kateri, were unfazed by all of the vendors setting up their booths as they gathered acorns and nuts from the forest and chattered amongst themselves.
Unlike St. Kateri’s comfortable furry residents, Eliza recently moved into town from Los Angeles, California, upon learning that her grandmother recently passed away and decided to study at St. Kateri’s, her grandmother’s alma mater. Snug in her favorite studded black leather jacket, she gently placed her pink hair behind her ears as she began to unpack the box filled with bold colored scarves, shimmering shawls, and spunky little ornaments that she crocheted throughout the year. After she folded the scarves onto the display tables, she began to hang up her jewelry on her metal racks. Her delicate facial features hid a resolve to overcome many challenges, an unconventional, resourceful mindset, and behind her tough demeanor was a heart of gold. Eliza’s shop was popular in the conservative town Stonington, Maine where the winters were below freezing. Many of her creations attracted many families and tourists to shop for gifts and souvenirs. The elderly stopped by after their morning walks with their dogs and bought some crocheted doilies for their paperweights and bookmarks for their friends. Teenagers stopped by after school and began to set new trends with her jewelry. She hung her ornaments on the wooden right side plank of her booth and suddenly observed her neighbors in the booth next to hers.
A man and woman were dressed in vermilion velvet robes that reached their feet. Their waists were cinched with braided golden ropes. The tassels dangled from their belts as they took out decorations for their booth. The woman’s long jet black hair swayed with the gentle morning breeze. Her stoic expression was difficult to read as she took out various crystals. She spoke a few words to the man next to her and the man surprisingly let out a hearty laugh. Her fingers combed through his tousled ginger-colored hair, and he pulled his forehead towards hers as they share an inside joke. “So, it looks like she DOES have a sense of humor!”, Eliza thought. Suddenly aware that someone was watching, the woman looked up and her green eyes locked with Eliza’s. Like a deer in headlights, Eliza dropped her crocheted fox ornament, and stopped in her tracks. Alert by his partner’s change in expression, the man looked up as well, but immediately relaxed as he was bemused by Eliza’s gawking face. He gave Eliza a friendly wave that snapped Eliza out of the locked gaze.
The man walked over to Eliza’s booth and introduced himself, “Hello there! I’m Ciaran and this is my wife, Aileen!” His warm handshake energized Eliza’s cold hands on a cool autumn day, and his sapphire blue eyes gazed at her with curiosity. Aileen resumed her stoic expression but gave a curt wave nevertheless and followed her husband towards Eliza’s booth. Eliza was just as fascinated by this couple. Eager to continue breaking the ice in the conversation, Eliza invited Ciaran and Aileen around to display table, “Welcome to my shop, the Crimson Passerine!”
Aileen suddenly inquisitive after peering at Eliza’s eclectic collection of crystal jewelry, asked Eliza the origins of the name of her shop. Eliza paused to recollect her adventures in Peru. Eliza laughed, “Well, I was hiking with a tour group in the Andean cloud forests of Peru five summers ago. I took my binoculars out to get a closer look of this bright crimson bird that looked like it had a large mullet, and asked the tour guide if he knew what the name of this bird was. Smiling at the prime opportunity, the tour guide loudly told everyone in our group, “Everyone, Eliza has just witnessed our national bird from the passerine family, the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock!” Embarrassed, I imagine my face turned into the color of my hair here as the adults in our group chuckled aloud while the teenagers and children roared with laughter. Captivated by the sight of that bird and my experiences in Peru, I decided to name my shop the Crimson Passerine to symbolize the bright new horizons I was exploring in my craft. Pardon my moment of inappropriateness, but for some reason, I think naming my shop The Crimson Cock-of-the-Rock would have been misleading and attract another sort of clientele that will be looking for products I DON’T have. “
Intently listening to Eliza’s story, Ciaran failed to suppress his laughter, gave his wife a flirtatious look, poked at his wife’s shoulder, and nudged her. Aileen’s stoicism melted away as she slowly smiled, “Well, Eliza! That’s quite a unique story you have behind the origins of the name of your business. Tell you what, for your entertaining story, why don’t I give you a complimentary fortune before the crowds arrive for the festival?”
Eliza was slightly puzzled and joked, “I take it you’re not going to give me a million dollar inheritance anytime soon.” Ciaran laughed again and explained, “No, my wife’s day job as a business/forecast analyst, a type of economics specialist, can be quite stressful. So, she likes to be a fortune teller on our days off and occasionally we will create a booth for fortune telling at a variety of events like this festival here. She really relishes the time to relax at venues like this. ” Eliza was somewhat relieved that Ciaran mentioned this fact of Aileen’s life. They suddenly felt more down-to-earth and approachable. Aileen beckoned Eliza to come on over to her and Ciaran’s booth.
As she pulled back the dark curtains, Eliza was momentarily transfixed by the contrasting décor. She took a seat on a soft floral chintz chair. The table separating Aileen and Eliza was covered in a blue and white chevron pattern tablecloth. On top of the table were two golden lamps on either side and a crystal ball in the center. “Okay Eliza, I sense that you’re feeling apprehensive, but I want you to take a deep breath and relax. It’s not like I’m going to prognosticate how you’re going to die or anything like that.” Ciaran stood behind his wife massaging her shoulders as they waited for two whole minutes. Eliza wished the tension in her own shoulders will disappear.
All of the sudden, Aileen’s green eyes became blank and the crystal ball featured a burning bridge, and she spoke in a monotone voice, “SHE REMEMBERS BRIDGES, BURNS THEM TO THE GROUND. RESURRECT THOSE BRIDGES WITH AN ANCIENT GLANCE. ALL THE STONES THAT ARE THROWN ARE BUILDING UP A WALL. THE BITTER TASTE IS CUMBERSOME.” Eliza looked at Ciaran who glanced at Aileen surprised by this uncharacteristic deadpan voice. Aileen regained consciousness and said, “Eliza, there’s a relationship in your life that you need to mend. There’s a way you can critique an aspect of this relationship without being completely hostile. If all goes well, this individual will soon become your business partner.”
“I’d like to believe we could reconcile the past
Resurrect those bridges with an ancient glance
But my old stone face can’t seem to bring her down
She remembers bridges, burns them to the ground”
-Lyrics from Seven Mary Three’s song Cumbersome
Seven Mary Three’s Song | Cumbersome
In response to Maniac Monday’s 3 way prompt:
In response to the daily prompt: cerulean
In response to the daily prompt: prognosticate https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/08/28/your-daily-word-prompt-prognosticate-august-28th-2018/
In response to the daily prompt: illuminate