by Michael Gillan Maxwell
I’ve brought the things she asked for. Traveling with a live chicken on a city bus is an experience I hope never to repeat. Snake Eyes takes the bottle of rum, the cigars and the chicken into the back room. I feel sorry for the chicken, but I’ve got to get some answers.
Snake Eyes is the name of a reader down on Calle Ocho. She does business in a ramshackle storefront called La Casa de Santos. She reads palms and the tarot, but she’s no ordinary fortune teller. She’s a an espiritista and I’ve got questions for the spirits. Her Grandmother’s a full fledged iyalorisha. She’s behind a curtain in the back room where the altar is, but I’ve never met her.
Snake Eyes turns over the first two cards, the King of Cups and the 2 of Swords. She mutters something in Spanish. I ask her what it means. “So far, so good,” she says. I hear the chicken shrieking in the back as Snake Eyes turns over the next card. The curtain slides open and her Grandmother appears. There’s blood on her hands. She looks right through me and then says to Snake Eyes: “He’s the one. Bring him back here. It’s time.”
Michael Gillan Maxwell is a teller of tales, singer of songs and part-time shaman. He’s prone to random outbursts, spontaneous combustion and breaking into song without any warning.