The Fortune Seeker

The Fortune Seeker

Most nights I dream of my teeth falling out. The dream dictionary I picked up at the car boot sale tells me it means I’m going to come into some money, success and fame too, apparently, but with my overdue mortgage repayment warnings piling up I’m not so sure. I tried Google. According to Freud dreaming of tooth loss means sexual repression, which I know for a fact isn’t right: I aced that test. Another website said I’m going through a transition in my life.

When a pop-up psychic-chat flashed on my laptop I knew I’d found my shortcut to fortune, or to finding out how to grasp it. I seldom believe in fate, but the pop-up box with the cheery-faced man promising me answers filled me with confidence, and I needed to know that everything was going to work out fine. I clicked and started typing.

Hi. I’ve had these dreams lately.

I know what you dream of, Lorna; your teeth falling out. You want to know its meaning.
You’re good.

I see a yellowing mattress, peeling wallpaper. You’re in financial trouble?

You fear you’ll be judged for your appearance, which is already changing, and because you cannot the afford things you know you’ll need. Is it fortune that you seek, or happiness?

Both. Money will bring me happiness.

It’s not what I see.


An old woman holding a baby; it’s not hers but she loves it as if it were. Hot summers. Small town. I see fists and a moustache.

Dust-bitten shoes, a bindle. She left her husband of many years, ran away with the child. You were happy, and then she died. She had so much more to give.

But time has passed and you’ve been thinking of Gladys a lot these past days, of her running away. You wonder how she found the money to do what you want to do, but she had none. Did you know that? You fear you can’t follow in her footsteps, not without money. You’re running from what you’ve lost.
I haven’t lost anything.

I see rotting apples: you’re decaying from the inside, Lorna.

I closed the pop-up chat; I wasn’t going to waste any more money. I continued my search, hoping for new answers. An ancient Chinese interpretation suggested dreaming of tooth loss meant you’ve been lying; I wish I knew if my psychic would dream of losing his teeth tonight.

Santino Prinzi is the Co-Director of National Flash Fiction Day in the UK and a Senior Editor for New Flash Fiction Review. His forthcoming flash chapbook, There's Something Macrocosmic About All of This, will be published in 2018, and his debut flash fiction collection, Dots and other flashes of perception, is available from The Nottingham Review Press. His short stories, flash fiction, and prose poetry have been published or is forthcoming in various places, such as Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, Jellyfish Review, The Airgonaut, Litro Online, Bath Flash Fiction Award Vol.2, and Stories for Homes Anthology Vol.2. To find out more follow him on Twitter (@tinoprinzi) or visit his website:

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