“Talisman, schmalisman!” she exclaimed.
Sailing into a hard-landing on the floor they went, the entire lot.
A crimson rabbit’s foot from her childhood.
A silver 4-leaf clover off the charm bracelet — a 15th-birthday present from her mother.
A pearly-white rock from a river’s shore during a walk.
Even the wallet-sized picture of Lakshimi, Hindu goddess of good fortune and wealth that she carried from slot machine to slot machine at the casino.
Heaved to the ground they all in a raging anguished “All crap! All bullshit! None of this crap works!”
She turned, glancing at the talismans lying near her feet. The smile of Lakshimi’s radiant face caught her eye. Remorse and guilt surged in Mandy.
Against her better judgement, she retrieved the photo that’d she herself had printed off the Internet with such care a year ago. The picture’s edges were softly worn from many times of being pocketed in her blue jeans or caressed during slot spins.
“Talisman, schmalisman!” she chuckled. “Like the sound of that. I’ll hafta write about that.”
She left the trio of Lucky Charms — or Not-So-Lucky Charms, they’d never brought her much in the way of wealthy gaming or jackpots — on the faux-wood floor. Retrieved only the picture. Brushed Lakshimi’s gentle face with her thumb, then kissed it.
“I wonder if this is how apostles felt after dissing Jesus.”
Respectfully she set the 2X3 glossy print to a place of esteem: against a jar of flowers on the dresser.
“I can’t stop gambling,” she thought, gazing at the revered goddess.
“Or maybe I just don’t wanna. Or I’m not ready.”
Lakshimi’s beautiful smile didn’t waver.
“But if only,” she whispered to the saintly goddess, “if only you’d deliver me a jackpot, I’d stop. Just that, then no more gambling.”
The room was silent apart from the hum of the air purifier.
Mandy turned to go, then the weirdest thing.
“Wealth, abundance, good fortune are all around you. In life. In your breath.”
A voice?! Nah, the wind of the air purifier? Probably?
An alarmed Mandy zeroed in on the picture. Lakshimi’s smile — still as ever. It hadn’t cracked, wavered or shifted even a smidge.
“The talisman talks” — is all a spooked Mandy could mutter as she exited.
Only after she’d left her apartment did Lakshimi crack that smile frozen upon the photograph. A smile from ear to ear that positively glowed like Light itself.
Fact is: The talisman of wealth, abundance and good fortune doesn’t just talk but she shines.
And neither dime nor dollar was inserted into a slot game or spent in any fashion for that bliss, for the wealth that is wisdom, that is serenity.
daily prompt: talisman