The place has long been abandoned. You can feel it under every crunch of dead leaves and the rustle of the birds far above in the sky.

Supposedly, it was a private island, once - a place full of magic and wonder, where the beautiful people lived their lives in splendor.

Now, it's just another place full of garbage to scavenge. Your eyes and flashlight dart from tent to tent in tandem; some having been thrown together long ago, in the glory days of the island. Others, built to house people squatting amongst the squalor - all, now empty.

A flash of worn hardwood catches your eye - something valuable perhaps. Letting yourself into the decaying tent, you nearly trip over some mud or slurry that must have fallen from a recent rain, just pooling into the tent proper.

Fortunately, the prize has been left only disfigured from weather and time - not destroyed. A tall cabinet, a head taller then you, stand as centrepiece before you: Inside is a figure whose face is aged as much from disuse as style. Swathed in a simple kerchief and dress that might have once been colourful, her hand is extended towards the glass casing.

Her face perfectly lines up with your own, expression enigmatic and unreadable. A label proclaims her as the "GREAT", which you suppose will have to do - since the rest of the advertisement label is too weather-damged to read.

Some collector'll pay loads for this, so the twenty-five cent fee seems like nothing for a little laugh. The coin falls into the figure's out-stretched hand, which slowly closes around it.

(You can just see the coin fall from in between porcelain 'fingertips' into a pile below. Some have even spilled out from under the cabinet where termites and woodrot have done their work.)


The figure stutters to life, and it must have once moved with incredible precision; carefully-carved joints giving the illusion of life, if only for a moment. The still, jerky, movements of the fortune-teller's face and her blinking-yet-dull eyes do much to dispell that illusion.


The machine spits up a ticket. Despite the fact there's only one, now, you could always put in a quarter and get more if you aren't satisfied...

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