TITLE: The Thoughtmaker
GENRE: YA Steampunk
Jessamine swung one arm above her head, trying to make the awkward sleeve of her oversized trench coat slide down to her elbow, while holding a crystal ball in the other.
The man in front of her, bright goggles atop his head and a top hat clenched in his fists, peered eagerly at it as she fluttered her slender fingers in the air. She could tell he was desperate and that made everything easier.
Reading people’s minds was effortless enough, but only after they opened up. The more they listened to what she said, the deeper into their minds she could crawl.
“ Harumke pilious veriphone stati,” she tomed in a serious voice. It was her own created language. At first, it had been gibberish, meant to provide atmosphere for her customers. But after twelve years of performing the same ritual since she was five, she had come to make the words mean something. Harumke pilious veriphone stati was one of the most familiar phrases she uttered, and it meant “You are a stuffy goat head.”
She closed her eyes, and saw pictures of a woman, dressed in blue silk, her hair rolled up in a turban. The man’s mind was opening to her. She wiggled her pinky underneath the crystal ball to flick a switch on its belly. She felt the movement of a spring inside the golden base as it began to uncoil, swirling a tiny gyroscope to disturb the confetti inside.