Perhaps it is merely a co-incidence, or my state of mind and mood, but sometimes prompts appear that cut deep, and resonate far more than seems rationale. I’m going through a dark and scary time right now, and the Wheel of Fortune tarot card holds my hopes (such as they are, I try not to hope, wish or dream) and my fears.
At first, I was going to ignore the tugging, the distant drumming and chanting. Then, to quiet my voice, I wrote a gut-punching, retching, evisceration too dark even for me. Evenly, I used the meaning, elements, alchemy of the Wheel to frame two (or is it one) stories, two (or one) waking dreams. Maybe the Wheel of Fortune tarot will become my talisman. Certainly, I need changes. I’m not sure if the Wheel or I am ready.
The dream nailed me to my sweated sheets. Vanna White, in a stylized medieval dress of dark velvet sprinkled/splashed with sequins or gems, low cut bodice loosely strung. Gothic letters, lovingly created with calligraphic strokes, embellished with gilded feather-thin gold.
A thin, miasma like cloud began to float across the marbled floor. I tried to move, to catch up the Wheel vase embellished with the symbols of the card’s meaning and power. But, the deep cloak of depression, weighting down my shoulders distracted. I fingered the eagle clasp; a piece of funky jewelry acquired on my travels. The fog thickened, knee level now, I felt the transformation as size and time shifted.
Far off, a mantra was chanted in droning tones like Gregorian monks, then rhymed like beat poets in smoky cafes, finally anthemed like Adele or Lady Gaga: ““Through all the changes that the Universe brings, I feel the centre of stability which is within me.” My eagle clasp grew with each chanted line, until, wrapped in my cloak, the whirl of the spinning winds drowned out all but soft whispered warnings . . .
She was just where I thought she would be. Sitting on the front steps, doubled over at waist, head on hands, arms across knees. She held her curved shoulder blades rigid; she trained herself to show no signs of tears. To hold them back; even here where only a passing neighbour might see. I heard the laughter of children playing in the next yard. Obvious fun on a rich mid-summer evening. Stars dancing to the rhythm of the earth, beckoning the moon to join in.
She was wearing her favourite overalls and long sleeved striped t-shirt with the low neckline. She hated short sleeves and things tight about her neck. I pulled my sleeves down further until the edges almost covered my hands. Her below shoulder length hair, thick and unpolished brown, was loosely braided. She had short bangs; she hated hair in her face. I pulled my ball cap down tighter.
I wondered what to say, how to introduce myself. She was well trained not to talk to strangers. I could do nothing to change her history; I couldn’t alter what was going to be. All I had was five minutes, five minutes to give her hope. Hope. I couldn’t lie to her like I’d lied to myself all these years. I couldn’t tell her things would turn out good or fair or right. What could I give her?
“Hi There.” She jumped, cringed and looked at me with dark circled, red puffy eyes – the same unpolished brown as her hair. “Can I sit down? It’s shady on the steps and I’ve been walking for a long time.” She skuffled over making room for the two of us of the 2nd to last step.
“You made a decision today.” I asked as a statement. She sniffled, balled her left hand into a fist and wiped her nose. I passed her a balled up kleenex. She nodded yes, and is if too tired to hold it up, she placed her head on her knees – this time sideways turned to face me.
“It’s okay to decide that,” I said. She blinked a few times, her aching mind and tired heart taking it in. “You are the only one who can choose that for you. You did something right, something good, something important.” I wanted to wish her luck, re-spin the wheel, re-deal the cards. Hold her, letting her cry against my shoulder. Allowing her the luxury of a salt stain that neednot be ripped out all traces gone. But . . .
I felt a tug on sleeve. I knew. Referees of this sort seldom get it wrong. “I have to go now. But I’m glad you let me sit on your steps.” She made one of her odd semi smiles. She awkwardly stood up – she wasn’t wearing her special shoes so her smile grimaced for a second. Just a flash. Like her smile, only a mere chimera. I reached down and hugged her. “Remember. You can be right.”
I looked back once at the stillness, as I walked towards the street corner, winds picked up around me. She was in her usual bent over huddle. Ridged shoulders, clamped down legs. No sign of emotion. No sign at all. Half-smiling, I braced my shoulders tighter. I’d forgotten about the much repaired right knee of her overalls. Just before the wheel’s wind circled me home, I reached down and rubbed my right knee. I could still feel the old scars and scabs and the bone against bone.
Flash fiction/personal expose (you choose which) full of too many words, but too tired to edit away the extensors fluff and bother. So, in all things: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Look to the Stars (Tarot Card, Writing Prompt # 154)
It’s a bit early, time wise, as I may yet contribute to Tale Weavers or Tarot Cards, but should I not – there are a couple of things I’d like to say.
I want to thank Michael, my former tale weaver team member, for all the assistance and encouragement he has given me as a prompt writer for Tale Weavers and as a writer in general. He is kind, funny, understanding, patient and an ever hopeful romantic dreamer. I didn’t want to let him down while I battle demons, so I resigned from Tale Weavers. My “Star: Biopic” was my last Tale Weaver prompt.
I also want to thank Pat aka Wild Child who will be the new Tale Weaver team mate with Michael. She did an amazing stint as the photo challenge prompster and her thought-out and thoughtful comments were a sign of her dedication to creativity in what ever form it takes. Now, she is helping with the MLMM writing prompts of the Tarot Cards, displaying the same generosity, warmth, humour, incredible grasp of words and nuance – a true wordsmith and commenter extraordinaire.
Two dynamic minds, incredible creative forces, wicked senses of humour and a deep appreciation and love of creativity and writing. They will turn Tale Weaver Thursdays (with the occasional fairy tale for good measure) into one of the most remarkable, creative days of the week. Their gift of commentary, their comradery, their incredible spark and spirit will make the prompts sing.
I’m sure Michael and Pat/Wild Child will tell you of all the exciting and innovative changes coming to Tale Weavers.
As to where I am going. A lot depends on the fates, including the Wheel of Fortune card. Maybe across the garden. Or the street. Or the cosmos. But I know I am leaving MLMM and Tale Weaver in the most incredibly creative and capable hands. Thanks Michael & Pat.
phylor (aka tale weavering); April 13, 2016, 2:35am