Excerpt from The Hypnotist by Alyssa Devine

Madam Zu-Zu reached for the fourth card, the one representing the Immediate Future. As she turned it over they saw The Moon. "Ah yes, the realm of the unknown." She nodded. "I expected it to appear, given what we already have seen. It is a harbinger of vivid dreams and visions, the release of inner demons. Be prepared to plumb your subconscious, to face the bizarre and outlandish in ways that leave you so confused and bewildered you will become disoriented and have trouble separating fact from fiction. Be careful, however, for The Moon can lead you astray with deceptions and false ideas. What is real? What is fantasy? The path you must follow is unclear, as is the clarity of your purpose in life."

Tom and Amanda looked at each other. From the look on Tom's face, it appeared Amanda was squeezing his hand so tightly is might actually have been hurting him. But she refused to leave the table, waiting for the last and final card, one she only could have dreaded, given what she already had been told.

Now Madam Zu-Zu extended her hand to the fifth and final card, the one representing the Outcome. Slowly she turned the card on its back, revealing Death.

Amanda put her hands to her mouth and gasped.

"Be not afraid, my dear. Death can have many meanings. The card is telling me you will bring something to a close, you will go through something that cannot be avoided. It is a matter of riding your fate and accepting what is inevitable in all human endeavors. The events you are about to face are inescapable, the forces inexorable, and you will transition to a new state."

By now Amanda's entire body was trembling. It was as if someone had pronounced a death sentence upon her, giving her everything but the date of her execution. She rose and ran from the mansion with Tom in hot pursuit.

They barely spoke during the trip back to Amanda's house. Her fleeting 'I've got to run' when he dropped her off appeared to unnerve him as, in retrospect, did the entire session with Madam Zu-Zu. I wish we'd never taken a ride this afternoon, he thought as he pulled away from the curb.