‘Your palms are sweaty,’ she says.
‘I don’t like flying.’ I don’t like palm readers either, they give me the heebie-jeebies, but this little lady seems sweet, and she’s very insistent. Perhaps it will take my mind off of the fact that I’m 30,000 feet above ground in a 200 tonne metal object that could just fall out of the sky at any moment and plummet down, down…
The lady is frowning. ‘They’re getting even sweatier.’ She mutters something inaudible and produces a hanky. ‘I can’t read sweaty palms, they have to be clean and dry.’
There’s something uncanny about her. I can’t place her accent, but that’s not it. It’s something familiar and unfamiliar at once, like the people you encounter in a dream, drawn from experience and memories but pieced together in such a way as to appear new, unknown. Elephants playing ice hockey.
She dries my palm with her handkerchief and traces her fingertip over the creases there. It tickles; tingles. I become aroused.
My palm gets sweaty again and she jerks her hand away from mine. God, she knows I liked it. This is awkward. Shit, I have to sit here for the next five hours in unbearable embarrassment. I feel like a perv. But it’s not like I was coming onto her, she touched me and my body reacted, it’s out of my control.
I muster up the courage to face my shame and apologise. When I turn to her I’m met with a face filled with terror, mouth wide, aghast, eyes brimming with tears.
‘What? What is it?’ Sick dread swells in my stomach. I look down at my sweaty palm. ‘What did you see?’
‘Death,’ says the lady.
The plane lurches violently and we’re falling, falling.