• Published 14th Oct 2020
  • 3,940 Views, 53 Comments

The Mystery Mystic Machine - Some Leech



Anon's no stranger to finding odd and unique treasures in the local junkyard, but he would never have expected to find a prize quite like this...

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Tarot Terror

Strolling down the block, on his way to work, something odd caught Anon’s eye - several somethings, in fact. For starters, the gate to the junkyard was ajar - secondly, and more troublingly, he spied a brightly colored foal scampering inside. It wasn’t like he cared about young ponies browsing the yard, but having them wander about unattended was neither safe nor responsible.

Cursing under his breath, he rushed down the sidewalk and towards the dump’s entryway. Even if the tyke wasn’t up to anything too troubling, he couldn’t have kids running around without supervision. Reaching the opening and peering inside, a curious sight awaited him; several little ponies stood gathered around the fortune telling mare, with each clamoring to seek her sage wisdom.

“I see…” she muttered, gazing into her crystal ball. “Your cutie mark will coincide with the stars aligning and hold a portent of your future.”

The group of colts and fillies, all five of them, all oooo'd and aaaah’d at the boilerplate prediction, too naïve or gullible to know they’d been duped. As amusing and harmless as the scene was, the man had little choice but to intervene - after all, it was a school day. Stepping inside, he loudly cleared his throat and drew their attention.

“What are you all doing and how did you get in here?” Anon asked, his eyes sweeping over the small assembly.

“Mistress Fortuna let us in! We weren’t doing nothing - just getting our fortunes read!” one of the fillies asserted, turning to face him.

Uh-huh,” he grunted, leering over at the animatronic pony. “Even if she let you in, you kids can’t be in here without your parents. If you really want to waste your bits on her, come back after school..”

“Fear not, little ones, I shall be here after your studies,” Fortuna intoned, shooing the pint-sized assembly away.

Reluctantly, grumbling to themselves and shooting the man a mixture of sullen and petulant looks, the group disbanded. Wandering out the gate and towards the bus stop, each obediently filed out of the yard. As the last foal passed Anon by, he swung the gate closed and stomped over to his newfound and somewhat ramshackle companion.

“No, seriously, how did they get in?” he inquired. Mechanized unicorn or not, there was no way she would have been able to pick the lock on the entrance - moreover, as far as he could tell, she was completely immobile.

“If it is the truth you seek,” she began, returning the orb beneath her turban, “perhaps the cards may give you an answer.”

After her divinary sphere was neatly stowed away, she reached behind herself. Anon watched, as she produced a deck of cards seemingly from nowhere; he had no clue where the darn things came from, considering there was only a sturdy piece of wood backing behind her. Curious as to where and how she’d hidden the items, he tilted his head to the side.

“Where did you -”

“Ah ah,” she tutted, chuckling to herself. “Reading the tarot costs one bit.”

“I swear, once I take a screwdriver to you, I’m getting these bits back,” he griped. Patting his pants, in the hopes of finding some loose change, he was rewarded with a telltale jingle from within his pocket. Fishing out a coin, he fed the machine and awaited her answer.

Her horn and eyes went alight, as she set the cards in the empty area before herself. While Anon hadn’t been sure what to expect, he most certainly couldn’t have predicted hearing a soft electrical hum from within her cabinet. As the noise grew louder, so too did his anxiety with the situation. It had been bad enough to discover that her horn was somehow functional, through arcane means or clever science, so the ominous sound did little to quell his nerves.

Waving her hooves over the deck, she closed her eyes. “Let us consult the spirits.”

Before he could ask what in the hell she was on about, a spark leapt from the protrusion on her crown. Seeing the tiny flare fizzle out midair, he started, although it was only an omen for what was to come. Yet more of the dazzling lights jumped from her horn, as she began to sway back and forth.

“I...is this - Oh fuck!” he croaked, when a bolt of lightning arched towards him.

Throwing himself to the ground and covering his head, sorcerous bolts and embers cascaded from the infernal machine. If he’d ever had any doubt about whether or not she was a defective unit, he swiftly got his answer. Rolling, only just dodging one of the many projectiles erupting from the contraption, he sprinted for cover.

As the cards started to levitate, hovering before her face, she threw her forelegs wide. “Yes! I can see it now!”

“For fuck’s sake, I take it back! You can keep the bit! Just stop doing whatever you’re doing!!!” Anon pleaded, shielding himself with the plastic lid of a trash can.

He thanked his lucky stars, when the commotion finally seemed to start dying down. Peeking out from behind his makeshift buckler, taking note of the damage, he winced. Portions of the earth were singed, the contents of a nearby dumpster was moldering, and he was covered in dirt and dust. It was a less than ideal beginning for the day, although he found himself fortunate that the catastrophe hadn’t occurred when the foals had been around. With his improvised buckler at the ready, he cautiously approached her.

Almost serenely, she arrayed five cards in front of the deck. Anon wasn’t sure what was more startling - the fact that she seemed so peaceful after the tumultuous display or that she was completely unharmed. Not a single scorch mark on her wooden frame or new blemish on or about her person could be seen, only deepening the mystery of her construction.

Incredulously eyeing her from top to bottom, he swallowed hard. “How are you not on fire?”

“Asbestos,” she peacefully responded, dismissively batting a hoof at him. “Now come and bear witness to your great, unfathomable truth.”

Still more than a little leery about the faulty machine, yet interested about her dubious claim, he edged nearer. Coming to within arms reach of her, electricity crackled around her horn. The sight was enough to send him scrambling, although she opened her mouth and held up a hoof to calm him.

“Your fate,” she whispered, “seems grim indeed.”

As a single card magically floated into the air and turned towards him, Anon’s jaw went slack. Unlike a standard tarot, composed of iconography or a painted image, only two words were painted on the paper. ‘UR GAY’ lay plastered on the bit of card-stock, leaving him speechless. In utter disbelief, confused beyond reasoning, he looked to her face for answers.

Her somber expression shifted to a sly grin, as she returned the less than clairvoyant message back to the deck. “I’m sorry Anon,” she mused, a note of barely concealed mirth in her tinny voice, “the cards don’t lie…”

“I...I…” he sputtered, unable to find his voice. It was only after she’d brought the deck behind herself, concealing them from whatever mysterious compartment she’d fetched them from, did he regain the slightest bit of composure. “Are you fucking kidding me?”

Straightening up and facing him, with her hooves daintily placed together, she winked up at him. The spontaneous blink could have been a mechanical malfunction, although his gut told him that it was a calculated and remarkably cheeky move. With everything back as it should be, save for the growing inferno of scrap cardboard in the dumpster near his tollbooth, she smiled.

“If you want,” she chuckled, gazing in his direction, “we can try again…”