silvermaid: (sad)
Anastacia O'Keefe ([personal profile] silvermaid) wrote on May 19th, 2009 at 01:44 pm
[ profile] justprompts: a fool such as i

Image prompt from [community profile] justprompts 

February 1966

New Orleans

For awhile, all that Anastacia could think to herself was "It's loud."  It was strange, that it should be that thought, because noise had never really bothered her.  Show her a party, a loud raucous party, an earsplitting concert, she'd be there, grinning, not complaining, not caring.  Because noise meant there was life there, the pulsing vibe of society, and that was something that excited her to her core.

Or at least, it used to.

She kept pressed close to Rose as they pushed their way through crowds, their hands clasped so they wouldn't lose each other.  It was a silly gesture -- almost a childish one, but there was comfort in it.  They'd lost someone they never thought they could ; they took not letting that happen again very seriously.  It was the first time they'd really gone out since Kierce's death.  They'd chosen to throw themselves into the middle of something huge, and Mardi Gras certainly fit the bill.

"So," Rose said, and Anastacia could sense the way the enthusiasm in her voice was strained, forced, fake for the time being, until they could generate something new and real.  "What do you wanna do first?"

"I don't know," Anastacia responded, hating the hesitance in her voice.  "Why don't we just go with the flow?  Whatever we see first."

A tiny smile tugged at the corner of Rose's mouth.  "Groovy."

Anastacia nudged Rose lightly and gestured up with their joined hands towards a rickety wooden sign, featuring the palm of a hand, with an open eye set in the center of it.  "FREE TAROT READINGS" was advertised below it.   "What do you think?  Up to peeking into our futures?"

Rose's eyes scanned the sign for a moment longer than she would have before, back in the days when she had leapt at anything.  "Yeah," she finally said.  "Why not?"

They ducked inside, instantly overwhelmed by the scent of incense, and the shift in lighting.  Candles and lamp shades cast a red-orange glow over the entire place.  A hunched over woman, in a purple, fringed shawl, sat at a table, cards at the ready.  Rose stopped, and Anastacia could see the panic in her eyes as she stared at those cards.  One of them had the word 'Death' scrawled across it, and Anastacia knew immediately what Rose feared.  She squeezed her hand lightly.  Neither of them wanted to see that card come up for them any time soon.  "I'll go first," she whispered.

"Come in, dearies, come in," said the woman, her New Orleans accent thick, and perhaps exaggerated.  "Take a seat."

Anastacia obeyed, giving a brief tight smile to the reader, and then glancing back once at Rose, who had folded her arms tightly across her chest.  Maybe it was hooey, maybe it wasn't.  But both of them were nervous about what the cards would predict for them. 

"Do you have a question in mind for me, or would you like a more general reading?"

Anastacia considered for a moment, and realized she was coming up empty on things to ask.  "General, please."

In silence, the reader shuffled the cards, then systematically laid them out in a star pattern face down.  When she was done, she touched the card in the lower left.  "This card represents what you see."  She flipped it over.  "The Tower.  A change card.  You've seen a disruption to your routine, perhaps, something dramatic."  Anastacia could feel Rose tense up behind her.  It could be a loss, a change in location, job, companions."  She looked up, meeting Anastacia's probably distressed gaze.  "However, it is not all negative.  The Tower usually represents a road to spiritual enlightenment.  As a result of the change, growth is obtained.  Even freedom"

She moved to the next card, tapping it once.  "This card represents what you cannot see."

She flipped it to reveal a dignified female figure in religious apparel.  Anastacia's eyebrows drew together.  It seemed like more than coincidence.  "This is the High Priestess" the reader explained.  "A powerful female, representative of mystery.  Things yet to be revealed.  Something remains hidden from you that will in the end serve a great purpose."  Anastacia suppressed a shiver.  A part of her felt as if she'd been waiting for someone to say this out loud to her since she arrived in this world.

"The third card.  This represents what you can change."   It was the image of a woman pouring water into a lake.  The card was dominated by a star.  "Hope, healing of old scars, mentally or physically broadening oneself and one's horizons.  You are the one who has control over these things.  They will potentially lead to the growth promised by the Tower and the High Priestess."

"Fourth.  This is what you cannot change." 

Anastacia felt certain, quite suddenly, that she didn't want to know what was on the other side of that card.  Her suspicions were confirmed when it was revealed.  The Death card.  She glanced back at Rose, who was staring at her intently, nails digging into her arms now. 

"Death," the reader said, "This card is not what you may think it is at first.  It was dealt upright, and as such it has positive connotations.  It is change.  The death of one life, and the passing into a new one.  As such it represent a new beginning, though that beginning is often abrupt, and sometimes marked with pain.  You cannot alter this, the change is outside of your hands."

Anastacia heard the beads of the door clatter together.  She knew Rose was gone.  She rose sharply, looking back over her shoulder.  "I... I have to go, I'm sorry, thank you," she said, turning to leave, but the woman caught her wrist in a surprisingly strong grip.  Anastacia looked down at the hand that held her, the long nails painted blood red, then turned her face, confused, back to the reader.

"One final card," she whispered, and with her still free hand, tapped the last one.  "What you can expect."   Anastacia tugged slightly but the woman did not relax her grip.  Instead, she flipped over the card.  Unlike the others, this one was dealt upside down, so that Anastacia could clearly read the word written there.  It said simply THE FOOL.

She forgot about pulling away for a moment, instead gulping and whispering, "Wh.. what does it mean?"  She hadn't forgotten the woman's words about cards that were upright being positive, and ones that weren't...

"The reversed fool represents impulsive action that will end badly.  Foolish choices, perhaps a change in environment.  Perhaps this new journey that your other cards signify will not be a pleasant one." 

"Who is the fool?" she found herself asking.  "Whose choice?"  She already knew the answer.


The woman released her arm, and Anastacia held her gaze for a moment, before turning and pushing her way out of the place with more haste than was probably dignified.  She thought she could feel the woman's eyes burning into her back as she left, and she hurried to find Rose, and escape those eyes - and those words.

Author's Note: No, I don't know anything about tarot.  I just wanted to do the prompt, alright?  Alright.

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