David sat on a soft-cushioned chair, across the narrow table from the fortune-teller. A decorative candle in the shape of a pear was placed in a shallow bowl between them. She wasn't a real fortune-teller, but that was her task tonight at the annual charity get-together sponsored by David's firm.
"What a beauty she is, done up in that gypsy gear," thought David.
"The candle burns bright for your future," murmured the attractive secretary from the purchasing department. "Lean closer and look into the candle flame. It's very bright, and it reflects your thoughts from the lens in your eyes."
"A real beauty and yes, it's in the eyes." David suddenly realised that he had spoken his thought out loud and blushed visibly.
She smiled a little and leaned forward. "Now you must inhale the aroma of the candle's incense. It will make your mind clear, and let you share my vision of your future."
As David lent forward, eyes fixed on hers, he inhaled deeply and set fire to the hairs in his nose.
"Yeow!" screeched David as he leapt backward, upsetting the table and sending candle wax flying.
"What's happened, is everything all right?" called out a colleague standing nearby.
"I'm covered with hot wax," moaned the fortune-teller.
"I'm dreadfully sorry," said David, as he picked up the fallen candle and set it back in its place on the table, at the same time rubbing furiously at his scorched nostrils.
"Darling, what has this stupid buffoon done to you?" demanded a large man in a clown suit. "If you have hurt my fiancé I'll break you in half."
David recognized the production manager behind his large red nose and paste-on ears. He had a reputation for being a bully in the manufacturing operation, was both disliked and feared, and David was no match for him physically.
"Oh, stop it with the hero act! I'm NOT your fiancé. Get over it!"
David was both surprised and delighted at her response to the clown's words. "Look, it was simply an accident, entirely my fault, and I'll gladly pay for any damage I've done to your clothing."
The clowns stomped off, obviously unhappy with the rebuff.
"Oh, I'm all right, but what about you? You burned yourself and that was all my fault. What can I do to make up for the pain I've caused?"
"Just be the most important part of my future," said David, as she reached out for her hand.
© reserved Fredric C 'Mickey' Benefiel