1964-02-01 - Call Him Jack
Summary: Amanda and Takumi meet at the circus.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
amanda takumi 

The Circus has been around for several weeks by this point, having come across the ocean from England prior to Christmas. Normally they'd be moving on, but the sheer size of the population in this corner of the country, combined with the ease of getting to where they set up, means that they've had great nights every night since - well, it was a bit slow around Christmas, but that was okay and understandable. The shows haven't quite started yet, though the crowds have begun moving through the grounds. Despite the weather, it's a few degrees warmer in the grounds. Perhaps the heaters set up to keep the animals warm have something to do with that. Perhaps it's the location. Who knows?

Amanda Sefton, like the other performers, is all ready to go. Because tonight is a 'work night', it means she has to be dressed up. And dressing up to be a fortune teller involves dressing in the most hideously stereotypical garb imaginable. Amanda loathes it. Well… the layered skirts aren't bad. The rest? The kerchief in her hair? The hoop earrings? Awful. But for some reason, gaje (non-Romany/Gypsies) expect the look from fortune tellers. Ah well. At least it's only for work. She stands just outside her covered wagon, waiting patiently. Greeting people with a warm smile and the usual patter to try to convince them to come inside.

Takumi stands out in the crowd almost as much as the costumed performers do. There just aren't a lot of Asians in the crowd. He seems to be enjoying himself, though even though the friends he was supposed to meet here ditched him at the last moment. He stops at one of the carnival games that is set up, watching a child tiy to knock down a stack of milk bottles to no avail. When the child starts to sniffle and turn away, Takumi steps up and puts his quarter down, "Give me one ball?" He picks up the baseball handed to him, tosses it up lightly and says out loud, "Just need one good toss… and all the bottles down. No big deal, right?" The carnie beyond the counter answers, "Sure, sure". And then Takumi throws. It doesn't look like a particularly strong throw, but his ame is dead center, and the bottles practically leap out of the way, spinning away from the stack. The carnie hands over a prize, which Takumi immediately hands to the sniffling child that had been trying for it.

Conveniently enough, Amanda's vardo is right across from that game, as both the game booth and her vardo mark the end of one type of attraction and the beginning of the circus' 'arcade'. "That was very generous," she offers in greeting, beaming a smile in Takumi's direction. Her English is nearly flawless, though she possesses an accent of some kind. Vaguely German, particularly with the way she pronounces vowels, but even that's not quite right… "I hope you've been enjoying the evening so far."

Takumi :shrugs, but gives Amanda a bright smile. His own accent is fairly standard American, with a hint of Brooklyn in it. (though not overpowerinlgy so). "I hate seeing a kid cry. And I knew I could get it." He shrugs and smiles again. "And I'm enjoying t sjust fine, looking forward to the show. My friends kind of ditched me, last minute."

Kids crying isn't exactly on Amanda's favourite list, so she nods understandingly, though she frowns when she learns Takumi's friends ditched him. "That's hardly fun," she murmurs. "How can I help brighten your evening, then?" There's no sense in insisting on a reading, because she doesn't feel it would be right, demanding such a thing. It feels like demanding money.

Takumi's eyes flash as he bites his tongue on an impulse answer. He ssmiles impishly then, "Well, having a pretty girl want to improve my evening pretty much makes my evening, from where I'm standing." He steps over towards her booth, and looks around at the signage, "So.. fortune teller, huh? My grandfateher used to do a bit of that. Though I'm sure it's a little different in Japan."

One could almost accuse Amanda's reaction of being practiced, that near-perfect way she blushes and looks down at the ground for a long moment or three. "Mmhmm," she finally says, choosing (or avoiding?) commenting on the compliment. "I think you are correct." With a gesture of her hand, she holds out a deck of cards, wrapped in silk. Legerdemain, no doubt? Maybe? "I use cards. What did your grandfather use?"

Takumi answers, "Sticks, marked with kanji. He tried to teach me, but I was neverf particularly good with them. Looking for an excuse to keep talking to Amanda, he glances over t the sign, then fisheds the appropriate amount of money from hsis pocket. "I'm curious to see what your cards tell you about me. Lets' see what the cards have to say…" And then Takumi gets an odd look as his face as his poor choice of words has the deck talking to him."

Though Amanda has no idea what kanji is, the context at least gives her enough of an idea. Well, that and the fact that it's for fortune telling. The sticks would have to be marked with something that the teller could interpret. She smiles and gestures into her vardo. The door is ope

n, revealing a table covered in a nice, deep blue tablecloth. Further back a curtain provides some kind of division for privacy's sake. "Come sit down," she offers. The interior of the wagon is even woman than the outdoors. She must have something inside to keep everything comfortable. "Are you just looking for a general reading, or did you have a question in mind?"

Takumi's eyebrow raiases, seemingly surprised by something. But he moves into the wagon and takes the offered seat. Leaning back a little in his chair, he answers her, "JUst a general reading, I think. Can't think of anything particular to ask about right now."

"Easy enough," Amanda says with a nod. She sits down at the table across from Takumi, sitting in a chair that allows her to see the door just behind her guest. She then carefully unwraps the cards, placing them at the centre of the table. "Would you care to shuffle or cut the deck?"

Takumi picks up the deck for a few moments, "Sure, I'll shuffle them." He takes a few moments mixing the cards, then sets htem back in the center where she had them. THen he leans back to watch what she does next.

Patiently, Amanda waits. When Takumi's finished, she accepts the cards in return, setting the pile to her left. She then draws the first card, setting it on her left / Takumi's right. The Ace of Wands. Looking up to her guest from the card, she smiles. "I'm guessing you might not be too familiar with the cards, if your family used a more traditional method," she says. "Correct me if I'm wrong. I hate to start babbling when someone already knows." She grins wide at that. "This first card represents the past. An excellent card for that, because it can represent beginnings too. It says that you were and are a new beginning for your family, and there is power and potential to use that power residing within."

Takumi :smiles at that explanation of the card. "That… makes a lot of sense, actually. My family has some very old traditions that have kind of come down to me now. But I don't know so much about this kind of thing from other parts of the world." He shakes his head, "Please, go on though."

The next card gets flipped over and placed to the right (well, Amanda's right) of the first. The Hierophant, Reversed. "But despite that inheritence, and despite, perhaps, even family, you're not necessarily following the status quo. This might just be because your family has come to America. But part of it comes down to who you are and how you see traditions. They are not bad things, but you want to forge your own way."

Takumi frowns at that card for a moment, and mutters something in Japanese. The cards seem to almost tremble in Amanda's hands for a moment. Takumi sighs, "It is hard to follow old ways when you're living in a very different place. I'm not sure they understand that."

If Amanda notices the cards trembling, she says nothing. She does offer a sympathetic smile. "I understand. It has been hard coming to the United States from Europe. But many people here are from the same place I called home, so it helps me keep in touch with the old ways. I don't want to stick rigidly to them but… they are there, in case I need help." She sighs a little. "I think parents don't understand how hard it can be when everything around you is so different from what they tell you."

Takumi leans forward and nods, "Isn't that the truth. America has been good and bad for my family. I'm not the first born here but…" he shakes his head, "I was born at a "Relocation Center". He sounds a little bitter about that. "From here, but not." He shakes his head, "But what can you do? I mean, family, right?" He offers Amanda a little smile there.

Amanda smiles faintly. "The day after I was born, my mother and I were hauled into a concentration camp," she offers quietly. Not a competition, but showing, instead, that she understands all too well. She reaches for the third card. The last card. Takumi had nothing in mind, and so Amanda selected a general spread of cards. The Hermit. "This path you've chosen for yourself? You'll stay on it. Despite everything, or because of everything else. But this path will also help you. It will help you get a handle on yourself and who you are, and understand what you can do, and how you can help. It puts you in a better position for all these things, despite the seeming isolation that it may cause."

Takumi scratches his chin, "looking at the array of hard. Then he looks up to Amanda, "You are good at this. And I can tell it's moe than just a parlor trick to you." Mainly because that's what the cards are telling him. He smiles at Amanda, "I'm Jack, by the way. At lesat, to everyone but my family. They're the only ones that call me "Takumi"

Amanda smiles. "Would you prefer Jack, then?" That's what she gathers, but sometimes, she has noticed, she misses subtle bits in English. "Amanda is my name, but I suppose you did see the sign outside." Past, present and future laid out, she does not yet remove the cards, leaving them there in case Takumi wants to take another look at the trio laid out.

Takumi smiles as he answers her, "Jack is fine." He leans over the cards for a moment, looking at them, "Wand… Heirophant, Hermit. A lone priest. I think I hear my grandfather laughing." He shakes his ehad, than looks up to Amanda, "I'm sure most people com ein with silly questions, right?"

Amanda considers the question a long moment, before shrugging a little. "I might find them silly sometimes," she admits, "but they always take them seriously. So I have to take them seriously. But… I have noticed that people in America take what I do more seriously. People are nervous. They want to know their future. In Europe it was… a parlour game. A silly thing they found amusing. They came because the cards were unusual and I'm in costume… and to be honest they couldn't read the cards themselves."

Takumi cocks his head as if listening, beyond when she stops speaking. He smiles, "It's usually love or money though. That's what they want to know." He looks at the deck for a moment, "And they're always happy when you draw the Lovers… and a little scared when you draw death. ANd they usually don't know what to make of the Devil."

Amanda taps her nose with her left forefinger briefly, laughing. "Yes, exactly! I always have to explain, they don't always mean exactly what you see on them!" She claps her hands together, so pleased that someone else seems to understand entirely. "But yes. Always love or money. People are afraid of being poor and being single, I guess."

Takumi smiles a little, "No one wants to be alone, and both of those, you feel alone." He taps the Hermit card on the table, "I know a thing or two about "alone". THen he flashes a smile and giets a wicked little cleam in his eyes. He looks at the deck adnd says a few soft words in japanese. SHee reaches for the deck, saying in English, "Sometimes the card can be pretty literal though." He cuts the deck and flips up the Magician"

"Of course," Amanda agrees. "Context is everything." She can think of several situations in which any of the cards might represent what one would immediately think. Her head tilts slightly as she considers. Was the Magician actually on top? Is it sleight of hand? …she really needs to train more in that! As she ponders, a knock comes as her door and two faces appear when they door opens.

"Hello, are you still doing readings…?"

Amanda smiles apologetically. "Duty calls, I'm afraid. Though if your friends are still not around at the end of the evening, I wouldn't mind a bit of company."

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