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PR Isfeld

The Audrey Jessup Short Story Prize judges liked my "Intuition"
The Audrey Jessup Short Story Prize judges liked my “Intuition”

“I’d like to have money. And I’d like to be a good writer. These two can come together, and I hope they will, but if that’s too adorable, I’d rather have money.”

–Dorothy Parker.

Whoo hoo! Last week I attended the awards dinner for Capital Crime Writers, and learned that my 3500-word short story, “Intuition,” won the second prize in the Audrey Jessup Short Story Contest. It’s very nice to get a little encouragement these days, when the path to publication of Captives seems particularly slow.

Plus, I had a lot of fun writing this tale of a tarot card reader whose intuition can be a double-edged sword, for her and for those around her.

Here’s how it opens:

  1. The Moon: illusion

The customer across from you seems both nervous and eager. He’s never had a tarot card reading before, he says, rounding his shoulders even further under his black sweater with its white ribbed neck. You suspect that’s not all he’s never done, even though he must be close to thirty and there’s nothing wrong with his looks. He needs to ease up on the cheap body spray if he ever does hope to get laid though.

The guy probably had a picture in his mind of what a tarot reader would look like, and you, in your black leather jacket with your freckles and your cherry pink lip balm, must disappoint him. The trendy coffee shop won’t do much to help his fantasy either, and for a moment you miss the old occult bookstore where you used to work, the one with the elderly owner who claimed to come from twelve generations of witches. Too bad none of them had a spell for Covid protection.

This sucker tells you that knowing you know things about him makes him a little anxious, but then most things do.

“I thought you’d look more witchy,” he says, blushing and lowering his gaze. His chuckle makes you relax a little. Even though you drew the Moon card in your own reading this morning–a warning that things are not as they seem–you know you have what this fellow needs.

You thank the Elementals for their gift of intuition. Without it, this witch got nothing. […]


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