[Story] Spirit Awakening – Chapter 1: Awakening

smoke signals
I decided to start writing creatively again. I’ll be doing so in chapters. I’ve started with a short story that was inspired, but NOT directly taken from one of my best friends from Elementary. I’ve always wanted to write about Hmong culture and Shamanism, as my paternal family line had many shamans, and so I thought that highlighting a #HmodernHmong woman’s journey into discovering and awakening to these spirits would be an interesting twist.


Table of Contents

  1. Chapter 1 – Awakening
  2. Chapter 2 – Lucid (Anna)
  3. Chapter 3 – Coming Soon

Chapter 1 – Awakening

I’ve been laying here in bed for what seems like forever, but I know how long. I’ve counted. Two days, four hours, six minutes, 53 seconds. 54. 55. Wrapped with this agonizing pain in my gut or what used to be there. And I just keep looking at the peaks and valleys that trace the lines of my palms.

Seven minutes and five seconds.



This line here is your life line. This line that runs down from your fingers and across your upper palm, that’s your love line. And this line on my palm, the one that is cut in half, fractured into a million pieces–that is my family line.

42 seconds.



I had gone to a fortune teller just four days back. I was just too excited to go and get my future read. I had heard of this one in particular because my friends all raved about him. And quite honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect. Maybe I was a little anxious even.

But I went anyway because, I don’t know–morbid curiosity? Maybe because I knew that it was fake. Perhaps I did it because I just wanted someone to look me deep into my eyes, to create an artificial connection, to create a paper mache future that I could take with me to throw away at a later time.

Whatever it was, I just wanted to finally bite the bullet and go. And I know now that I regret going.

But Lia really insisted that I go and so I went.

Just Lia, her mother and I. It was a 2-for-1 deal! Her mother needed some spirits to be shooed away, Lia wanted to know if things were ever going to get serious with her boyfriend, and I just thought I’d go and watch the pretty hocus-pocus act. Fifty percent off for your first reading!

When we got to the place, I stayed outside of the shop at first. The storefront was a fabric shop and in the back room was a small room with a window that was covered and a dim light. The door would set off a chime every time someone came in or out DING-DONG-DING-DONG.

Lia’s mom came out of the shop first, with a white string on her wrist and a stalk of bamboo leaves that she was to use in each room of her house to ward the spirit away.

Lia then came out, a sparkle in her eye–Zong will ask her to marry within the next 6 months.

And then it was my turn to go in.

I walked through the shop door, a loud DING-DONG rung out as the rolls of fabric ate the sound. This room had interesting acoustics, muting the high treble noises, while the thudding bass from the next door shops vibrated the ground.

A wafting of dense air came from the back room as the smell of incense crept through the shop.

I closed the door behind me as the fortune teller took his spectacles and laid them down next to him in a small leather case.

His voice sounded a little hoarse, like a wispy breeze, as he called my name, “Lee. Come. Sit down.”

I obliged, a little fidgety, a little anxious.

He looked down at his table: a bull horn, halved; and boiled egg, and a red candle.

Before I could say anything he started, “I know that you have come because you are worried. There will be something that you will lose very soon.

“Something that has brought you much joy.”

He took my hand into his cold, calloused hand. He turned it over palm up and watched the lines.

“And it is already too late.”

The rest of the meeting was a blur. All I could think about was what he might have meant until later that night.

I was at the dinner table with my boyfriend when I had a sudden urge to go to the bathroom with the worst stomach ache I had ever felt.

And there in my panties were what looked like a tiny speckled, bloody grain of rice.

I had lost my first baby the night after I had told my friends that we were expecting.

Two days, four hours, ten minutes, 31 seconds. 32. 33.

Continue Reading: Chapter 2: Lucid (Anna)



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