Madison knocked on the door.

“Maddie, this is literally a dorm room,” said Briley.

She looked sideways at the very ornate Cajun-flavored door decorations. Dark doilies, red lace, and a name plate that read “Madame Smith.” The built-in dorm name tag, for one Kayla Smith, had been crossed out with a dry-erase marker.

“You said you wanted a Tarot reading, so I got you a Tarot reading,” Madison said. “It’e even free.”

“Enter!” a voice said from within. Ignoring Briley’s trepidation, Madison opened the door and led them inside.

The interior of the room was decorated in a very New Orleans French Quarter style, with dark lights, knickknacks, and drapes. The furniture that came with a Schneider Hall dorm room was all pushed aside or repurposed, from the bed that was lofted and hung with Spanish moss to the armchair that had been covered with damask cloth.

“I am Madame Smith, and you have come to see what the cards have to say.”

Briley squinted. ‘Madame Smith’ was a girl her own age, a sophomore at the most, wearing a fortune teller costume that was somewhere between Halloween and Comic-Con. She was blue-eyed, with wisps of blond hair peeking out from beneath a shawl, and the teeth she bared were InvisAlign™ perfect.

“Uh, yeah,” Briley said, stepping in. “I have a problem and I need a tarot reading to tell me what to do.”

“Sit,” Smith ordered, gesturing to a folding chair that was draped in black.

Madison nudged Briley violently; the latter reluctantly sat, forcing the dark fabric on it to bunch up and partially slide off.

“Now then,” Smith said, laying both hands on an overturned trash can in front of her, covered with that looked like a repurposed bedsheet. “Let us see what the cards have to say about your fate.”

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