“Seet, seet,” said the psychic so the girl sat. She gazed into the ball.

“Vat do you see?” asked the psychic.

The girl saw shag carpet. She saw the Ukrainian woman’s overgrown acrylics tapping the mildewed tablecloth. She saw a concrete wall adorned with totems to conflicting ideologies—prayer flags, crucifix, portrait of Ganesh—and the reflection of the neon sign outside: WHAT DOES Y UR FUTURE H LD? FORTUNE T LLER $10.95.

“I don’t see anything,” said the girl.

“No, ees s’good. Look harder,” said the psychic so the girl looked harder at the ball, into the crystal stratus.

“I see myself,” said the girl, squinting. “And I’m married to a handsome man. He has a lucrative career in finance and we have a child. A little girl. She’s retained our best features and will be a model.”

“Vat else,” asked the psychic.

“We have a house,” said the girl. “With lots of land yet in close proximity to the city. It has bay windows and a wrap-around porch and blue toile wallpaper and a smart speaker that sends us targeted advertisements for beautiful linens. We have a healthy relationship with Capitalism. There are stables outside with two horses and a foal. We have an apartment in the city as well. It overlooks the park. It’s in the best school district. We have an eco-friendly car. We travel in the summers to places with translucent waters. Our daughter gets to see the world. She speaks three languages.”

“Vat else,” asked the psychic, hitting a vape pen. The girl leaned in closer to the ball.

“My husband is a good man,” said the girl, “but it appears that once a month, he binds me hand and foot and administers ritualistic punishments to my feet, abdomen, and inner thighs that consist of drizzling organic honey onto my skin and releasing malnourished fire ants which he otherwise keeps in a vile. We must attribute the subsequent welts to eczema and late-onset acne when friends and coworkers inquire. My husband thinks the ritual will bring us good fortune. He’s not wrong so far.”

“Vat else,” asked the psychic, filing a nail.

“My daughter attends the best private school in the city where the children harvest vegetables and play wood instruments. Unfortunately, she inherits her father’s penchant for torture and executes the class hamster with a shiv she fastens out of popsicle sticks. The teacher sees the lack of remorse in her young eyes and wants to have her put away, sent to a facility for adolescent psychopaths run on government funding, so my husband and I pull her out of school and leave town. Our eco-friendly car cannot travel long distances, so we abandon it roadside and continue on foot. Our house in the country has been seized and foreclosed upon when it comes to light that my husband committed a litany of financial crimes to afford it and our many Caribbean and Polynesian recesses. So we head west. Due to rising sea levels and shifting plates, the coasts have become inhospitable and their only inhabitants are escaped convicts and political exiles living in abject poverty. Hollywood boulevard is a third-world country. The streets are buckled and the walk of fame is illegible. The gift shops were looted and the Chinese theater burned. We sleep in the pews of a Catholic Church whose altar has been tagged with spray paint to read THERE IS NO GOD. There’s no electricity nor running water. We enroll our daughter in a local public school where there are no class pets to kill. The kids learn to operate firearms. My husband continues to chastise my feet, abdomen and inner thighs, although there is no more honey since there are no more bees. They committed mass suicide. They abandoned their queen. So my husband makes due with water from the blackened Pacific.”

“Vat else,” asked the psychic, stifling a yawn.

“Our daughter joins a Satanic cult, shaves her head, starts a countercultural podcast. She marries a man like her father. Starvation and manual labor does wonders for my figure. I need no Peloton. I look like Emrata. We find an old newspaper and read about pedophilic government cabals. We read that Florida is underwater. We do the crossword and watch as the disintegrating o-zone ripples like heat on pavement. Like television static.” The girl looked up from the ball.

“Zat vill be $10.95,” said the psychic.