“Okay, so where exactly are we going?” Robin asked, walking across the deck of the boat. “We’re in the middle of the Amazon rainforest on a rickety boat in the dark, and I have no idea what’s going on.”
She gazed towards the shore, and into the expanse of swamp and trees. She looked up at Caspian for answers. He was at the helm.
“We’re going to see the Vipress.” Caspian told her, Leo flopping back on the table he was sitting on, kicking his legs back and forth in impatience.
“Who is she exactly?” He asked in his Irish accent.
“She’s some kind of fortune teller, I think.” Caspian replied.
“Are you serious?” Robin scoffed. “If we really want to find Iris then we need something like a forensic scientist not a mysterious fortune teller from a legend.” It was in her mannerisms to have regular doubts. She didn’t believe in fortune tellers or anything of the sort.
Caspian ignored her comment, he was busy navigating along the slow current of the river. The surface was enveloped in a thick layer of fog making the setting more eerie and dangerous than it already was.
“The people in the village trust her and I think that she’s worth a try. Around here she’s very respected. She holds a lot of power,” Caspian told her.
“Oh yeah, sure, let’s go to a creepy lady on the river with a snake name and magic tricks.” Leo said sarcastically. Robin rolled her eyes and sat down. It was obvious that she refuted the idea. Caspian sighed at her stubbornness as Leo sat up.
“I wonder if she has food. I’m hungry. Oh! Maybe she can read my palm or something.”
“I think she can do more than that.” Caspian spoke grimly.
Nobody responded. The Vipress was a mysterious character. They could walk into anything when they meet her. The village trusted her completely. She was like a goddess to them. There was even a statue created out of recognition for her.
“Guys, look.” Leo pointed towards the river up ahead. Robin and Caspian looked up to see a dimly lit hut over the water. As they floated closer they noticed the gentle glow came from lit candles all around the structure.
“That’s got to be it.” Robin muttered, and Caspian nodded. “We’re going in now.”
The crew docked the boat and krept onto the wooden walkway. Despite the messy, crooked constructions everything seemed sturdy enough. Caspian led the way with Leo and Robin close behind. The light from the candles inside wooden potpourri bowls dimly illuminated their faces. The scent was calming, but not calming enough to where they weren’t on edge anymore. Caspian got annoyed when Leo started making ghost noises. Robin elbowed him in the stomach.
“Hey, that hurt.” He complained with a whine.
“Good.” She responded sharply as they rounded the corner to the open entrance they took in the sight.
Shattered pieces of glass hung from the ceiling on strings of vine. The glass twinkled in the light. The single room was overgrown with amazon vines.
“Hello, children.” A deep voice came from behind them, Robin immediately pulling a knife from her pocket. Leo screamed and grabbed a hold of Caspian’s arm.
“Really dude?” Caspian questioned blandly. Leo cleared his throat, and stood up straight. He waved to the woman who had scared them.
Her eyes weren’t visible beneath her hood. The Vipress wore a baggy tattered dress with rope for a belt and her feet were bare. She had multiple markings on her face tattooed in black ink. The woman looked to be in her late thirties. Her voice was laced with something that none of them could pick out. Her accent was thick, but they had no idea what it was.
“Are you The Vipress?” Caspian asked cautiously.
“Yes.” She replied with a chilling smile.
The Vipress swept past them and strode into her hut. She sat at a table and gestured for the others to join. Robin rolled her eyes and plopped down in a chair. She leaned back and crossed her arms. Caspian and Leo were more reluctant. After everyone was seated Vipress snapped her head to Robin. Robin didn’t even bat an eye.
“I sense doubt from you, young lady.” She noted.
Caspian and Leo shuddered at every word she spoke, the words dynamic, sinister, and almost ghostly just like the aura of The Vipress.
“I don’t believe in fortune tellers.” Robin mocked, completely discarding the respect that the Vipress held, but the fortune teller showed no emotion towards the comment.
“Perhaps you might prefer to wait outside.” She suggested.
“I’m not going anywhere.” Robin snapped in an indignant tone, causing Caspian and Leo to sweep their gaze from one girl to the other as they watched the tension grow between the two individuals.
“Robin, calm down.” Caspian warned.He didn’t want to get on The Vipresses’ bad side. It was the last thing he wanted to do.
“Yeah calm down before she turns you into a cat or something.” Leo whispered loudly.
“I understand you need help, finding someone I think,” Vipress interrupted. Caspian and Leo exchanged a look of awe. Robin, however, was not amused.
“Yes. Do you know how to help?” Caspian asked her.
“Great. How?” Leo questioned. The women returned her gaze to Robin who stared flatley at the great fortune teller.
“You do not believe I can help,”
“That’s right, I don’t.” Vipress slowly rose from her chair. She took Robin’s hand.
“Perhaps I can sway your opinion.”
In one fluid movement Vipress pulled her hood down, and leaned towards Robin stopping only inches from her face, her eyes glowing green. While Caspian and Leo just watched, Robin was horrified as a voice began to speak in your head.
“Do you believe it now?” It asked. The Vipress didn’t even open her mouth, but Robin swore that the voice belonged to her. She nodded quickly in reply to the question. Robin’s breathing was rapid, and she couldn’t control her emotions.
The voice was searching every corner of Robin’s mind, making her relive some of her worst memories. She couldn’t hear Caspian shouting her name, she only heard the Vipress taunting her. Leo separated her hand from The Vipress’s.
“That oughta do it.” He said.
Robin was thrown back into reality. She was shaking, and realized that Caspian was asking her if she was okay. Robin shook her head violently in response because her breathing was still rapid.
“What did you do to her?” Caspian yelled. The Vipress remained calm, and didn’t reply.
“You were trying to enchant her, weren’t you? You little witch.” Leo spat.
Robin’s ears were still ringing and when she looked at The Vipress across the table, her eyes were still glowing.
All doubts about The Vipress dissipated.
It was real, all of it was real.