How To Get Rid Of A Palm Reader (short fiction)

imagesCAZCD37GDaily Prompt: Life Line

You’re on a long flight, and a palm reader sitting next to you insists she reads your palm. You hesitate, but agree.

“I’m a palm reader,” she said after sitting next to me on the plane. “May I read your palm?”

“Do you charge?” I said.

“No,” she said. “I’ll do it for free.”

“Do you normally charge?”

“Yes,” she said.

“Than why do you do it for free, now?”

“Just to be friendly,” she said.

“Being friendly is saying, ‘I hope you have a nice flight, Do you have friends in Philadelphia’ or ’I sure hope this plane doesn’t go down in a flaming ball of fire, don’t you?’”

“That’s depressing,” she said.

“But what if my palm is bad news or depressing? Are you not going to tell me my life may end next week if it’s in my palm?”

“We have professional ethics,” she said. “We will always tell the truth. We have the same ethics as doctors.”

“If you were a doctor would you ask if I’d like to have an examination right now for free?”

“Of course not,” she said.

“Than you don’t have the same ethics as a doctor. A doctor wouldn’t do anything without charging.”

“Okay would you feel more comfortable if I charged you?” she said.

“How much?”

“Five dollars! Five dollars! My doctor charges one twenty-five a visit. You must not be much of a palm reader to sell yourself that short.”

“Okay,” she said. “I’ll charge more.”

“More! I haven’t even seen your work and you want more already. Let me see your palm,” I said.

“Oh, I can’t do that,” she said.

“Why not?”

“I already know what it says,” she said.

“Does a doctor go to himself or another doctor?” I said. “Come on let me see your palm.”

“No!” she said.

“Come on,” I said. “Pretty please.”

“Well, okay,” she said.

I looked at her palm. “Oh, no,” I said.

“What?” She said.

“Oh, it’s nothing,” I said.

“Tell me,” she said. “I’m a palm reader. I can handle these things.”

“It’s your life line,” I said. “It ends suddenly. Like today.”

“No,” she said. “That’s my love line.”

“No it’s not,” I said. “It’s your life line.”

“How would you know?” she said.

“Let’s ask the flight attendant,” I said.

“What do they know?” she said.

“How to get us off a burning plane alive,” I said.

“But why ask her?” she said.

“When this plane crashes she’ll remember reading your palm and know immediately you’re not worth saving,” I said.

“Ma’am!” she called out to the flight attendant. “Could I have another seat?”



  1. Brilliant. Your story is great and funny. I like the idea to get rid of the palm reader. I couldn’t. I also wrote about a plane crash but my story was so predictable! I’m learning.

  2. That was enjoyable. I quite relish in that technique.
    In a similar vein, George Bowering wrote a collection of 15 short stories called “Standing on Richards” (Viking, Canada, Penguin Group, 2004 ISBN 0-670-04454-7) set in Vancouver, Canada. In the first short story, “Standing on Richards”, the subject-matter is utterly different but the dialogue contains that same, quirky, mutual interrogatory that is quite fun.

  3. That would do it, I personally would have faked being a doctor and gone…”love line you say, in my medical opinion its a line of cancer.” but that might have been going to far.

Blather away, if you like.

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