Despite the pampering showered upon her as the daughter of the West Coast’s largest and most successful newspaper publishing magnate, Balthazar Garden, Evangeline managed to remain a quiet and thoughtful little girl. Bookish in the extreme, she spent countless afternoons in the vast mansion her father built, roaming the halls and poking in nooks until she found the perfect place to curl up with her latest book, which she would devour in a single sitting. Although she preferred books to people, she had the most unnerving habit of grasping family and strangers alike by the hand, looking smack into their eyes, and telling them things about themselves that there was no possible way for her to know. Although this was gently discouraged by a parade of governesses, Evangeline’s odd capabilities persisted and were the subject of much superstition among the staff. A near- fatal fever when she was a teenager only served to intensify her unusual talents and Evangeline’s focus shifted dramatically from reading to writing. While this development was much to the delight of Evangeline’s father, others in the household where taken aback to find the most intimate details of their private lives woven into intricate gothic plots. “From somewheres she gots de gypsy blood!” muttered the ancient Romanian cook, crossing herself and tossing a handful of salt over her shoulder. It’s fair to say that most were relieved when Balthazar secured Evangeline’s early admission to college and that is how she found herself in Berkeley, one of a very, very few young ladies in attendance and a good bit younger than her peers.
Desperately lonely and a bit forlorn, Evangeline tucked herself into the dark corners of cafes all over San Francisco and scribbled in her tattered notebooks until one day when an exotic woman sent over a plate of pastry and a cappuccino and settled herself in the rickety chair across from Evangeline. She grasped the girl’s pale hand, looked into her gentle eyes, and for once Evangeline knew exactly what she wanted to do. She rented herself a charming little flat, got herself an owl she named Zindelo and began her career as a first rate fortune teller. She was never lonely again, and the novels she published under a pen name made her a fortune to equal her father’s.
This original artwork and story are copyright Ramona Szczerba 2008. Copyright to this material is in no way transferable with the sale of this item. The buyer is not entitled to any reproduction rights – neither image nor story can be reproduced without my express written permission. Thanks!