Write a story about Rosey Palms and Win this Pencil Drawing

Write a story about Rosey Palms and Win the Drawing on the Right
The contest closes Monday May 10th, 2011

Rosey Palms 14"x11"  
oil and mixed media on 
masonite panel

Rosey Palms

Purchase this painting $220
Click on pictures to enlarge


The story you write should be a "Flash Fiction" which is a complete story in one thousand or fewer words.  Please post the story in the comment section, you will have to provide your name and an email address in order to be qualified to win or you can e-mail me at kmencher@ohlone.edu with your info.  There is a problem with how many characters can post (only about 4,000) so if you cannot post it.  E-mail it to me at kmencher@ohlone.edu

Entries for this contest may be used in a future show.  

Renovated Reputations is the result of an internet blogging project in which paintings and assemblages based on vintage and antique vernacular photography are the inspiration for short fiction.

The impetus for this project is based in a solo show of paintings in I am having at ArtHaus Gallery in San Francisco in April through June 25th 2011. 

The show is called
Renovated Reputations: Paintings and Fiction inspired by Vintage Portrait Photographs.
at ArtHaus 411 Brannan Street  San Francisco, CA  94107

Download the draft of Tabloid Newspaper catalog as a PDF.
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This came in by email:
Rosey Palms by D Bellenghi

Rosey was a serious person. She was serious about everything she engaged in. Her mother often said, “She is wound too tight  just like her father. The child doesn't know how to relax." Rosey was driven. Driven about her college courses and her grades. The need for extra money caused her to apply for several jobs. The one job she was least interested in, was for a palm reader.

    Rosey arrived at the address on East Raven Street early. No matter, Madam Luna seated her with no questions.

    "Your left hand, Child" Madam Luna said as if this was done in all job interviews. She studied Rosey's hand for several minutes, and then looked up. "When can you start?" she asked. A surprised Rosey just managed to say,"Tomorrow,if you like." What she was getting herself into, she wondered.

        As days passed, Rosey and Madam Luna assumed their respective roles as teacher and student. As Rosey overheard bits and pieces of the reading conversations, questions arose. The answers always led to more questions. She eagerly borrowed books on palmistry from Madam Luna to study over and over again. An unimaginable world had opened to her and she was on a mission to learn every detail about it. She could be seen on campus carrying stacks of palmistry books or in the student center explaining hand charts to friends. Her friends jokingly nicknamed her Rosey Palms. At first this irritated her but with further thought, she decided she might use the name professionally one day.

      One Monday Rosey arrived at Madam Luna’s to find the house eerily quiet. The cat did not greet Rosey. There were no candles burning in the reading room and she could smell no incense.

    "Madam Luna I 'm here” Rosey called out. "I'm here Madam Luna." Still she heard nothing. "Madam Luna are you here?" Rosey stood perfectly still. There. Was that a sound from the bedroom. Yes, a faint voice.

    Madam Luna lay in her bed, the cat guarding on the foot of the bed. The cat meowed at Rosey as if telling her to help her mistress. Madam Luna was clenching her bedcovers tightly under her chin. Her face was covered with sweat that wet curls of hair and pulled them into limp lines matted to her face. Her skin color was a grayish-green. "Food poisoning," she answered to the unasked question. “Shouldn’t  have eaten.....up all night throwing up....can't get warm. Get medicines on bathroom sink...." Rosey gave Madam Luna a dose of the medicine, cleaned her face with a wet cold wash cloth and added a blanket to the bed. When Rosey inquired about calling a doctor, the strength of Madam Luna’s, “No, just cancel my appointments" surprised her.  She went off to find the appointment book.

    Just as Rosey opened the appointment book, the buzzer blasted through the quiet causing Rosey to jump in spite of herself. She backed away from the front door into the reading room as a wonderfully terrifying idea flashed in her head. She could do the reading in place of Madam Luna. Madam Luna had been coaching her for months. She was positive she could do it. She called to the person at the door, “Please come in and wait in the hall. My last reading ran long" and with that, she pulled close the heavy drapes separating the rooms and began setting the stage. Candles, incense and Madam Luna's head scarf and shawl. Next she ushered in her client.

    Rosey's heart pounded so loudly she could hardly think. There was a sinking feeling deep in the pit of her stomach. She pushed on, “May I see your left hand?" using the most serious voice she could find, she recounted the elderly woman's past.

    "Oh, my" the woman gasped, "It’s all true."

    "Of course," replied Rosey. "Now, your right hand. Let's look into the future." Rosey did not have to embellish what she saw. One fact was obvious; the woman would come into a huge sum of money. Upon telling this fact, the woman became extremely excited. "Oh, my stars! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!" her voice becoming more shrill with each word. She jumped up and hurried out leaving the door ajar not hearing Rosey's protests. The woman had not paid. A rookie mistake, Rosey thought. No wonder. Madam Luna had her collect fees before the readings. After closing the door, Rosey noticed the painting on the far wall had fallen to the floor. How strange, she thought, as she noticed the nail still firm in the wall. Her thoughts returned to whether Madam Luna would approve of what she had done.

    Several days later, Rosey and Madam Luna were preparing for the first reading since her illness. The front door slammed so loudly that they both looked up in wonderment. In rushed the woman Rosey had read for. She was flushed as if she had a fever. She opened her purse and pulled out several hundred dollars bills shoving them into Rosey's hands.

    “Silly me," she giggled," I forgot to pay you and if not for you, I would've never bought the lottery ticket." Rosey could feel Madam Luna's gaze upon her. As quickly as the whirlwind of this woman had blown in, she was gone. Rosey shifted uneasily as she looked at the money in her hands. Just as Madam Luna started to speak there was a loud crash. The painting had fallen again, this time breaking the glass.

    "It's the second time it's fallen." Rosey explained.

    "Was that woman here when it fell the first time?" Madam Luna asked fear in her eyes.


    "It means death. Hurry, Rosey you must warn her!"

    Rosey rushed out to see a small crowd was gathering down the block. In the street lay the dead woman, her purse still clutched in her hand. Rosey couldn’t believe she missed the signs. Rosey raised her hands to cover her face when she saw they were blood red.


This came in by e-mail:
DESTINY by Laura Strickland

Palm readers are charlatans.  I’ve found that out the hard way.  They always tell me good things, exciting things: I’m going to meet a tall, dark stranger or sail around the world, or inherit a million bucks.  But they lie.  I’ve concluded my fortune – my destiny – is to be a dog’s body, a gofer, a drudge, the person who stays late to finish the paperwork, fetches coffee for clients, and never has time for a social life of her own.  The truth is, not everybody’s destined for a thrilling future.

I work in an office for two insurance salesmen.  Sounds innocuous, right?  Wrong.  They’re both unhappy men – unhappy in their professional as well as personal lives.  Do you have any idea what it’s like working for unhappy men?  Mr. C. lives on antacids and swears all the time.  He says stress has him tied up in knots.  His wife spends more money than he can make, so in turn he takes on more clients than he can service, and none of the earnings go back into the business.  God knows, none of it goes in my pay packet.   

Mr. W., on the other hand, is a letch.  His wife left him years ago and now he drools over most anything female, as well as (I suspect) young boys.  Distasteful as this is to me, and repelled as I am by his pudgy hands and sweaty neck, I think the most disturbing thing is that he’s never hit on me.  Not once.  I know I’m a mouse, and not the kind of woman to turn a man’s head, but you think I’d warrant some reaction from a lump like Mr. W.

Together they’ve run down what, with some TLC, could be a nice little business.  I’ve been coming in early these last three weeks to try and get caught up on paperwork.  I thought if I got to work before the phone started ringing and I had to run dumb errands, buying foolish gifts for Mr. W.’s latest and trotting out endless cups of coffee, I might be able to leave work at five instead of staying till seven-thirty or eight.  Last evening, just when I began to see daylight, Mr. C. dropped another stack of files on my desk and asked me to sort through them ASAP and send out sales fliers to everyone who hasn’t been contacted in the last six months.  Then he left. 

God, I’m tired.  I haven’t slept right in weeks.  My hair needs to be cut and my rent is overdue. I have a recurring toothache but can’t afford to go to the dentist.  Most of the time, I feel like my brain is going to explode.

On my way to work this morning, I passed that storefront in the middle of the block – the one that used to be the Faith House of God Church.  The place has been empty for months so I was surprised to see the posters.  One of them showed a woman in a turban, musing over a crystal ball.  One showed a man levitating above a bed of nails.  The other depicted varying shapes of human hands and the meanings of the lines in their palms.  Despite myself, I paused.  I shifted my tote bag and thermos in order to scrutinize my own, small hand.  Tiny wasn’t listed on the poster so I dubbed mine the hand of an intellectual.

And a fat lot of good that knowledge did me.  Sure, I might be intelligent, but that only gave me the innate ability to appreciate the varied and excruciating deficiencies of my life.

A small card mounted beneath the third poster read, “Free Sample Reading – Please Walk In”.  I’ll never know what made me go.  Inside, the place was decorated in shabby Gypsy.  A woman with alert, dark eyes sat at a small table in the middle of the room. 

“Welcome,” she said.  “Sit.  You look harried and unhappy.  Lay down your burden a while.”

“I don’t believe in all this nonsense,” I said even as I sank into the chair across from her.  “I’ve never, ever had a good reading.”

She smiled.  “And yet, you are here.”

“Well,” I shrugged diffidently, “the sign said ‘free’.  It is free, isn’t it?  I’ve no money to waste on absurdities.”

“Let me see your palm.”

I deposited the tote and thermos on the floor and laid my hand, palm up, on the table.  She reached out and seized it; my skin tingled.

“I know, I know,” I said, suddenly ridiculously nervous, “you’re going to tell me I have a rosy future. I’m going to meet a dark stranger …”

She shot me another intense look.  “You have a desperate longing to speak your mind, but never feel free to do so.  The words become stuck in your throat.”

Well, now – she might be on to something.

“Frustration fills you,” she went on.  “You sleep, eat and gag on it.  Lack of appreciation poisons you.  Your palm is not rosy; it is blackened – the hand of a murderer.”

I stood up so fast the chair tipped over.  We stared at each other for ten heartbeats, twenty.  I gasped, “Why would you say such a thing to me?”

She shrugged.  “Yours is the palm of a killer,” she said, “a killer who acts either out of frustration, or out of intelligence. That choice alone is yours.”

I fled as if the devil himself chased me, but before I’d gone a dozen steps, I slowed.  I know where Mr. C. keeps the key to the safe that holds all the business documents. Should both my employers tragically die, well, who wouldn’t believe Mr. W had left me his interest in the company in exchange for favors?  Maybe it’s impossible to fight destiny, be it that of murderer or dog’s body.  All I know is, I have poisons to research – and coffee to make.

This came in by e-mail:
"The Fortune-Teller of Poplar Street" by Marlin Bressi

"Such a peculiar little girl," her grandmother would say whenever Rosey would go outside to play. While other neighborhood children would jump rope, play hide and seek, or sell lemonade from a stand on the sidewalk, Rosy Palm would wrap herself in her grandmother's paisley shawl, put on her shower cap and tell fortunes by reading the palms of those who strolled down the quaint tree-lined thoroughfare of Poplar Street.

Rosey's fascination with palmistry developed as a result of her own misfortunes at a young age. When she was only three years old, she had yanked the tail of Mr. Stanley's ornery German Shepherd, Samson, who responded by snapping his fangs at the girl's fingers. Rosy was left with a jagged pink scar which ran down the side of her palm.

The scar fascinated the young girl, as well as the lines which zig-zagged across her palm, like highways on a flesh-colored road map. While other children were interested in games and toys, Rosey became fascinated with the human hand. She would spend entire afternoons at the town library reading about fingerprints, fingernails, and any other subject related to the hand. Her favorite, however, was palm-reading.
Rosey's grandmother was dismayed about the girl's interest in fortune-telling. "If your mother and father were still alive, they would surely not find such behavior appropriate for a young girl," Rosey's grandmother would say. Nonetheless, she allowed the girl to read palms and tell fortunes, as long as she stayed within sight of the house.
On this particular mid-summer afternoon, Rosey had taken her grandmother's folding card table and set up a fortune-telling booth on the sidewalk in front of her grandmother's house. Even though her grandmother had gone downtown to buy groceries, Rosey didn't think she would object to her borrowing the table. The passersby were more than happy to give Rosey a quarter for a palm reading, since they had a soft spot in their hearts for the little girl who had, at such a tender age, endured so much hardship.
Before long, a woman came down the street. Her natural beauty was well-concealed behind horn-rimmed glasses, and she was fashionably dressed in a floral dress and white gloves. Rosey immediately liked the woman, and hoped that she could talk her into a palm reading.
"Beautiful afternoon, isn't it?" the woman smiled as she neared Rosey and her makeshift fortune-telling booth.
"Yes, ma'am," the young girl replied. "My name is Rosey Palms, and I can tell you your fortune for a quarter."
The woman with the glasses chuckled. "That's a tempting offer, young lady. Unfortunately, I don't have much time. I'm waiting for my bus, and before it arrives I wanted to see the house where I grew up."
"You grew up on Poplar Street?" asked Rosey.
"Yes. Right there," the woman replied, pointing to a white house with cheerfully-painted red shutters.
"That's my house!" exclaimed Rosey, her mouth agape in astonishment. "I live here with my grandmother. We moved here last year, after. . .  after, my parents passed away."
The woman in glasses gave Rosey a sympathetic stare. "I'm sorry to hear that, my dear," she said. "It must be terribly difficult for you."
"I suppose," replied Rosey. "But I make the best of it. So, you must have been the one who lived in this house before me and Grandma?"
The woman didn't hear the question; she was gazing vacantly at the house, which caused her expression to change into one of sadness. Rosey asked her what was wrong.
"Nothing is wrong, dear," she said. "I'm just remembering things. Things that happened long ago, yet are as fresh in my mind as if they just happened today."
Her statement, along with the hint of sadness in her voice, aroused Rosey's curiosity. "What kind of things? Did something bad happen to you when you lived in my house?"
"Something very bad, unfortunately," the woman replied.  She took a moment to compose herself, and then told the young fortune-teller her story. "I was playing outside, and a man came up to me and said he was from the water company, and that he needed to come into the house and check on the water pipes in the basement. There was no one else home, so I let him inside." She paused. "He did some awful things to me." The woman's voice cracked as she recalled the horrendous experience.
"What kind of things?"
The woman in glasses shook her head, and told Rosey that she was too young to understand, and that she didn't want to frighten the young girl with her story.
"Don't be afraid, though. They caught the man and he went to jail for a very long time. I only wish I could have done things differently, and perhaps it wouldn't have happened the way it did. But I was young and naive, and didn't know any better."
"What did the man look like?" asked Rosey. She was deeply interested in hearing the rest of the woman's story. She had read many books about crime in the library, in the books about fingerprints and how they can be used to catch criminals.
"He was a tall man, in a gray suit and a black fedora. He. . ."
"What's wrong?"
The woman took off her glove in order to glance at her watch. "Nothing, dear. I just realized that my bus will be here soon and I must leave. It was very nice meeting you, Rosey," she said, extending her ungloved hand to the girl for a handshake.
Rosey shook her hand, noticing the pink jagged scar on the woman's palm. Rosey watched the woman disappear around the corner, and was still grasping the strangeness of the event when she turned around and saw a man walking toward her. He was wearing a gray suit and a black fedora. 

This came in by e-mail:
By Anthony Adrian Pino
She had a sweet face and I always enjoyed her company. It was her hands, though, that told the story. They seemed like dancers---an accompanying suite of ballerinas. They would dance as she spoke. Once, as she was gesticulating, I realized that she’d inscribed her hands with mysterious lines. At first I thought they were palm reading prompts, but later, in an anatomy lesson, she let out the word “physiognomy” in one of our discussions. Later, I learned that she wasn’t paying tuition, that she was a close friend of the instructor, and that she’d been divorced and became homeless after that. She maintained her dignity through all this, but not her children, who were put into adoption. She began to sleep in a car filled with magazines, books, a few cats and an empty bird cage. Eventually her car was impounded and auctioned off, along with her books, to pay parking violations and towing fees. A policeman in Palo Alto was suspended for being “too soft” on her.
No one knows what happened to the cats.
Quite a history, but it was just getting started. She was doing well in a group campsite on the San Francisquito Creek bed with all her other friends until the visit of George W. Bush to the local university. The city determined that the creek had to be cleaned up before the visit, and everyone was evicted.  Another relocation.
 Someone gave Rosey a BART ticket. She went into the City, slept in doorways and set up shop on Market Street as a “therapeutic plam reader.” [That’s right, “plam reader”---that’s what the sign said.]  In spite of the crude sign, she did quite well, and had a women’s executive following. She raised enough cash to put a deposit on a tiny studio in the Sunset District, thanks to an admirer, and became settled for a while. She loved beauty and art and bought a few pieces.  She would visit Ocean Beach along with her ballerinas. She found that they loved the seagulls, and as the gulls swirled around in the evening sky, she would extend her hands, and her dancers would frolic with the big white birds. Rosey was last seen flaying her arms and gesticulating wildly. She was dancing---beautifully, I’m told--- among the big rocks on the beach. It was sunset, a deep, rosy time of day.  

This came in by e-mail:


I was her assistant. Rosie’s assistant. Only her name wasn’t Rosie. That was just a stage name. Behind the curtain she was just Alice. She had a different voice, too, when she wasn’t being Rosie. A flat voice and everything said as if she was reading from a book with hard words, said slow and halting. But when she was Rosie there was a fluency to her talking and a music and a poetry, rising and falling like a song can be.

When I say I was her assistant, I just made her cups of tea and got the newspaper and opened up at the start of the day and closed at the end. I put out the signs, too, the ones that said what Rosie did and how much she charged. And I stood at the door encouraging them in, the punters. It got so as I could spot the interest in a face even when someone was trying to hide it, and Rosie did pretty well from the ones I brought in.

She was the real star though. She did me for free one day and I damn near believed what she said. It was the lighting being dim and the trick of the crystal ball going all smokey and the strange music played just on the edge of hearing and Rosie’s voice all soft and singing when she said what was and what would be. She said I’d be rich one day and there’d be a man in my life and his name was Edward and he was the one. Twenty years I have been pricking my ears at the sound of the name Edward, even after marrying Tom. It’s all hokum.

I asked her one day. I said to her, ‘How come you do this?’ She said it was what her mother did before her and her grandmother before that and they was all called Rosie: Rosie Outlook, and Rosie Days, and now Rosie Palms. I thought Rosie Palms as a name didn’t have what the others had but I didn’t say anything. She said how at first she thought she could do what her mother and grandmother couldn’t. She said she thought she could really see, in the crystal, or the palms of punters, or in the turned over cards. She told of futures she had divined and how they’d come true or close to truth. But she didn’t know how she’d got so near. She thought there were maybe spirits who whispered in her ear and maybe that was how it all was. Then she laughed and said it was all hokum.

One day she was turning cards, doing herself, casting her own fortune. I said I thought that wasn’t allowed. She shrugged and said it was just for fun, all of it was just for fun, and there was more show to it than anything. She dressed in gypsy shawls and hundreds of bangles around her wrists so the waving of her hands in the air was like the small jangle of bells. And she wore a wig of rat-tailed black, and each tail caught in a rag of ribbon. Looking like that and her voice all altered, that was what the punters paid for. That was what she said.

I watched the cards she was laying down and they were mostly diamonds and I said that she was worth a lot of money, and that’s what I saw in the cards. She laughed and called me a proper little apprentice. Then I told her not to turn over the next card. I had a feeling. I said it was important and I couldn’t explain why, but I said not to the turn the card. And it did, it felt important, to me. ‘Walk away from it,’ I told her. But she laughed again and ignored my plea. It was the darkest card of all. It was the death card, the Ace of spades.

Rosie Palms was knocked down by a car when she crossed the road at the end of the pier, only her name was Alice. Just that very night it happened, after I’d shut up shop and she’d given me the key to look after and my share of the day’s takings. She never gave me the key usually, so looking back it was like she knew. She didn’t make it to the hospital. Dead on arrival they call it. And I had the key and it just seemed sort of right you know, what with Rosie not having any kin. So, there’s a Rosie still on the pier, today there is. Been there for so long I can’t count the years. Rosie Futures she is. It’s a better name, I think. And that Rosie is in the same place on the pier. Same bangles and same rat-tailed wig and my voice all up and down like I am singing. And though not rich, I do alright, and I think there’s small diamonds in all my cards now, I know there is, though I don’t ever dare check in case there’s more than just diamonds. 

This came in by email:

On the Other Hand by Patrick Nelson

        Though she studied the art of divination from the best mediums, mystics and prophets that our great country had to offer, Rosie never believed any of it. She wanted to, but ultimately she found that it was all in who could pull off the best and most convincing act. The person who could really connect on the deepest levels of hope, justice, luck-whatever brought the poor losers in. If you could make the eye contact sincere and then follow through with the commanding presence of the unknown, you had them in the palm of your hand while you read theirs.  
        All of these things, that is, until she started seeing the words in other people's hands.
        For years she studied the arts of ethereal and arcane communication with the other side in hopes of it truly being a real thing. But early on she was told how the illusion was a fake. The magician had revealed the trick, the wizard had stepped out from the curtain and Santa Clause was just a creepy guy who liked to give children toys. There was no magic in it and she was considering leaving the life and getting a real job.
        She felt bad taking people's money and lying to them with what they wanted to hear. Good or bad, God or the devil. You paid the money and you got what you wanted to hear provided you gave enough subtle information as to your desired supernatural destination.
        The ones that always amazed her were the ones that didn't seem satisfied unless she gave them the worst, blackest and bleakest news: death was coming to someone closest to you or your life line says you will not live past your sixties, crazy stuff like that. They paid her to lie to them. I guess it made their mundane safe lives feel a little more interesting to have some dreadful thing lying in their future. Or they were junkies of the clairvoyant: like someone addicted to booze, pills or spanking, they wanted more and more until that's all they wanted. They believed everything. Everything, that is until she started seeing their real future and told it to them.
        That's when they stopped believing her.  It happened very suddenly yet quietly: she was doing the regular tall dark stranger bit for Diedre, a repeat seeker who had to be at least 75, when she saw blood-red lettering scroll across the old lady's palm. It made her jump.
        "What is it Dear? You see something horrible, don't you? Is it my sister in Florida? Is she finally going to die? The wrinkled prune of a woman began to swell with excitement.
        "Um, well" she stalled. It pulsed as it scrolled past her view; tiny letters strung together in a ticker from the great beyond. This one read: she will die in six weeks in front of the television watching Mario Batali.
        Um. Ok.
She lifted the old woman's palm and looked at the top of the hand. Nothing. She flipped it back over and there it was pulsing through the woman’s circulatory system just under skin. Rosie made up some silly story about the woman taking a long trip to visit all of her loved ones.
        "Ooh, that sounds nice!" Diedre said knowingly like she knew that Rosie really was telling her to visit her sister before the old battle axe dies.
        That was the last she had seen or heard from Diedre and she seemed to forget all about the incident. About six weeks later, a huge dark-skinned black man named Cecil came to see her about his decision to buy a house. He was burly, bald and well dressed. He was also demonstratively gay. He had come to her on two separate occasions to find out what she could see about some major decisions he was about to make. She started in with the old "I am seeing a great change in your money line" line when the red blood writing appeared again. This time she was not as shocked. Despite the lighter milk chocolate color of his palms, she could clearly make out: he will lose a leg saving a baby from a truck.
        She decided to experiment with this one a bit. She asked Cecil if he could see anything in his own palm. He joked that he was paying her to do that but obliged by looking. He claimed to see nothing even though it was still visible to her. She asked him to return free of charge for the next few days and he agreed. Each day she saw the same words. She finally told him that she had seen a warning and wanted him to be extremely vigilant near traffic. He was a little irritated that she wasn't helping with his house hunting decisions, but finally acquiesced. For the next three weeks he continued to see her until one day he did not come.
        This sent her into a state of high alert. She scanned the papers and local news to find that he had been in an accident and was in the hospital. The details were not forthcoming. She managed to call around and find which hospital. She arranged to meet with him during visiting hours. She meekly entered his room with a small bouquet of flowers which he took from her. She looked him up and down as he lay in the bed seeing the sheets flatten to the mattress below his left knee. As she came back up to his gaze he was scowling at her indignantly.
        "You told me to be careful around traffic, not to beware of shit falling from the sky!" He said in a fit. "I was walking down the street ON THE SIDEWALK when some people started screaming and pointing up. I looked up to see something hurtling down at me. Everyone was scattering but I saw this poor little girl frozen to the spot in shock. I leapt across to push her to safety and the falling object slammed into my leg. A young boy on the fourteenth floor had dropped a large toy dump truck from his window which came down and crushed my leg below the knee. They operated for five hours, but couldn't save it." He was starting to breath heavily and several alarms went off on his monitors. "You said traffic! I thought you could see the future! Why couldn't you see THIS?" He raised his stump slightly and pointed to it. "Why not? Get out! Girl, I'm gonna sue your ass for malpractice! You are the worst palm reader ever! Go on! Get out!"
        Without protest, Rosie meekly left the room and hospital. She was not too worried about Cecil though she did feel sorry for his loss. She was more concerned about the vision words or whatever they were: apparently they were one to a reader and only until the thing came true. She was sure if she looked into it, Diedre would be reported to be dead.



  1. I have said it before, but it is worth repeating: I love that you have so many pictures that you can illustrate each submission with something that just feels so right, as if you had painted it specially for the story that has been written. It also speaks to your thoughtfulness that you are doing this now. I am thrilled to see my story hanging here with pictures. Thanks.

  2. Most of the time, I’m actually a pretty tough guy to please. Just ask my students, but, I was totally and completely psyched by ALL the stories turned in for my Rosey. Besides the obvious theme of the fortune teller I think there was a common thread of something that I couldn’t anticipate and had not even imagined as I painted Mz. Palms.

    I know that I’m gushing a bit however I wish I was rich enough to publish a book for each one of these competitions and give them away to people. As I re-read each story to decide on a winner I kept finding myself surprised by how much I like them all. Reading these stories are like eating pizza, I can’t stop and I find myself looking forward to the next slice even while digesting the one before.

    The one that stood out the most for me was "The Fortune-Teller of Poplar Street" by Marlin Bressi. I think I responded to it the most because it had the same feeling as a lot of the comic books and stories that I loved the most. It really seemed like e very dark “Tales of the Unexpected” or “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” but with an even more sinister bent than I expected. So Marlin you get the drawing.

    Another notable story for its innovative and funny elements was “On the Other Hand” by Patrick Nelson. I even liked the playful double entendre that was his title. Nelson is very original and I think this one is an important read so I really suggest you do. In fact, I see bad things in your future if you don’t read all the stories.

    Sharing in some of the scariness of Bressi’s story D Bellenghi’s has a kind of “Out damn spot ending!” that I thought was powerful. It was very visual in some ways and I found myself arrested by it and in keeping with the theme of blood on someone’s hands I think you just might like what Laura Strickland’s main character is destined to do.

    The fate of a few of the Rosey characters also veered from the aggressive character of Laura Strickland’s murderess to a slightly more pessimistic but beautifully written pieces of prose by Anthony Adrian Pino and “More than Diamonds” by Dee Turbon whose writings were almost more poetry than prose. Both have a kind of Mark Helprin magical style that appealed to me.

    I predict that you’ll enjoy all the stories in this competition as much as I did.

  3. He's right. All these stories were great. ALL of them took me to different places. I love this shit. Keep it going guys!

  4. This painting is on sale for $220 on Etsy.