As two hours of study came to an end, Lisa knew enough to say with certainty that it was going to take a lot more than two hours just to get the basics. Now that she wasn’t afraid of the cards and had some experience with them, it took her only ten minutes to recite the order of the Major Arcana forwards and backwards. The Fool gave her a bit of trouble at first until she found that some decks place the Fool in different starting positions, including being between Judgement and the World.
When the alarm sounded, Lisa silenced it, looked at her notes, then reset it. The girl child spoke “ahem” in that irritating and loud way that children do when they are trying to be properly adult when doing improper adult things like interrupting someone. Lisa put the phone down on the table and indulged the girl child with her full attention.
“Remember I said that flowers are like people? Well, do you know what flowers and people need?”
Lisa shook her head to be polite.
“Water! Go get something to drink before you start the timer again!”
Lisa thought that was the best study aid ever and did just that.
Continue reading “Sounding The Current: Chapter 20 – Heresy”
Lisa’s cellphone began to ring just as she got comfortable under the covers. She was upset at herself and the Fortune card for not making sure it was on silent before her executive decision to take a nap. By the time the ringing sequence had ended, Lisa was wide awake but too spiteful to get out of the bed. When the phone began ringing immediately again, she got up with intention of silencing it.
Seeing Marla’s name on the screen confused Lisa. It’s Monday, after all. Today would have been spent working a full shift at the restaurant, not a half shift at the mall. Lisa swiped to answer it. “Hello? Marla?”
“Oh, Lisa! You’re okay! Are you okay? Have you talked to anyone from corporate since I last saw you?” Marla’s panic threatened to infect Lisa.
“I have orders to terminate your employment immediately and if I don’t by the end of tonight’s shift, I’m terminated too!”
Continue reading “Sounding The Current: Chapter 19 – Convergence”
The semi rural landscape was partitioned into tracts of vineyards with the occasional manufactured rustic manor accompanied by the occasional winery serving as a monument to the family proudly displaying how they accomplish tax evasion. Though both women were hungry, it would be a while before they found an eatery that was open to the public.
“You haven’t called me that in years.” Jean spoke quietly as she continued driving back to lesser modernity, as if by speaking at her normal volume she would shatter the moment. “I’ll be honest, Lisa, these recent changes of yours is scaring me, but at the same time, I like where they seem to be taking you.”
Lisa leaned her head against the window. “To be honest, Jeannie, you haven’t been here for years. You’ve been my handler, my enabler, my excuse not to try harder, but you haven’t been my sister for a while.” She glanced across to Jean before looking down at her wringing hands. “But, if these changes mean I get my sister back, I like where they’re taking me too.”
Continue reading “Sounding The Current: Chapter 18 – Pathwork”
Lisa woke shortly after dawn. To her surprise, she was completely refreshed and absent of any nightmares, dream visitations, and visions. She lazed in bed a while, laughing at herself for how deeply and diligently she studied the night before. She hadn’t looked that hard for scraps of information since the time she was given a second chance for a take-home final.
Inspecting the reflections of the past only brought the duties of the present into vivid focus. Reluctantly, Lisa got out of bed to begin the morning’s usual proceedings. The sleep had done her good as she was able to think further on all she had learned during her late night studies.
Remembering there was no creamer available this morning, Lisa made her coffee at a lighter strength than usual. She gave a silent nod of acknowledgement to Fortune as the coffee brewed. Lisa would be pushing her luck walking into Aunt Helen’s house already on edge from too strong coffee, after all.
Jean had not told her when she was to report to the house to meet with the lawyers and sign the papers declaring her innocence of the fire’s start. She also had not advised her how to present herself. But Lisa knew better. This was Aunt Fucking Helen’s personal abode. If Lisa didn’t dress as a congressional intern, then she might as well not bother. So it was without complaint that she dressed in the same tailored and conservative clothes that she was supposed to have taken the interview in a week ago.
Continue reading “Sounding The Current: Chapter 17 – The Lioness’s Den”
Lisa immediately recapped the spoiled creamer and placed the container in the kitchen trash can. She stood with the initial resolve to take the trash out in the morning, but recalled what the judge had just said about preparation and lack of preparation.
It was rotten luck that the creamer had gone off, but it would be downright negligent not to take the container out before it warmed up and burst. The sound of the noticeably expanding container settling in the trash can was enough to emphasize the importance of taking care of immediate matters immediately.
As Lisa took out the trash, she noted that the sun had already set and night was quickly smothering all familiarity and friendliess from the streets. The thickening chill reminded her of the Moon card and she shivered and hurried to get back into her warm apartment.
Continue reading “Sounding The Current: Chapter 16 – Disclosure”
Lisa caught up on her different social media accounts as she walked home. It was almost one week to the hour since she had demanded that Rebecca teach her tarot, and the intervening week felt more like years than days. She scrolled past posts celebrating drunken actions that landed the actor in the hospital, jail, or both. Past announcements of breakups, screeds of evil exes, announcements of complete reconciliation, and proof that their relationship cycle was about to start again.
The memes about her life weren’t funny anymore as the speculative scuttlebutt shifted to guessing whose couch she was going to crash on any given day to who was likely her murderer and where was her body hidden since she had not been seen at any bars, clubs, or “smoking events” in the past few days by the people she would usually be bumming something off of.
Lisa realized that prior to receiving the tarot cards from Rebecca, this was her normal life. And now that she was one week after receiving the cards, she realized her life was changing in unexpected but necessary ways. It would be very easy to blame the cards for this havoc, to throw them away, and to go back to her old habits, she understood. But Rebecca had reminded her that tarot was a tool. Lisa was making the decision to change her life and walking out those changes, herself.
Continue reading “Sounding The Current: Chapter 15 – A Suffered Fool”
Lisa had walked no further than the first crosswalk from her apartment building when she thought of Ricardo’s bullshit. Did he really think she was stupid and naive enough to fall for it? The more she thought about what he tried to do, the more furious she became. That Ricardo threatened to tattle to Aunt Helen about their recreational activities only infuriated her further.
Lisa crossed another street and with it, another personal boundary. Why was she pretending that no one knew about her activities both on and off work. There was a Tumblr blog dedicated to mocking her and at least two Twitter accounts haunting her and her family.
She stopped beside the next building to message Jean about the conversation. “Ricardo tried to blackmail me into signing something about the restaurant and insurance papers. Told him to fuck off. If he comes back to you or anyone else saying anything, I didn’t sign shit and I’m not signing shit.”
Continue reading “Sounding The Current: Chapter 14 – A Drink Served Cold”
Lisa had no idea when she went to bed. She knew what time she woke up. Though the rising sun does not shine into her window, the tennis match of light rays between her building and the building across the street illuminated her room enough to convince her body that it was time to get out of bed.
Her body’s refusal to go back to sleep prompted Lisa to greet the gentle morning with harsh expletives as Sundays were the one day of the week that she had no employment obligation to meet. She sat up, rubbed her face, and poked herself in the eye. Instead of continuing with the usual stream of unpleasant and vindictive blasphemies against everything that existed, Lisa was reminded of the vision of the eyeless girl that claimed the Death card was her card.
As she started to get out of bed, she was also reminded that the child had not only touched the card, but had turned the card over. “She was here? She was here! Oh shit, Death was in the room with me!” Instead of going to the bathroom, Lisa went to the table. The cards were still as she had left them last night, with the Death card resting face up on the decorated deck. She was now unsure if the card had ever been moved at all.
Continue reading “Sounding The Current: Chapter 13 – Airing Things Out”
Lisa had planned on going straight home after work as part of her new “living moderately” initiative. The use of the Sun card’s theme during the Moon card’s ordeal taught Lisa that she could pull the theme of the card into her life. So she used the Temperance card to tap into some much needed adult moderation. As her rideshare pulled into the drop off area for the club, she realized that her mistake was depending on the card to determine how far to take that power instead of making the decision and drawing the boundary for herself.
How ironic then, Lisa thought, that the card that she was depending on to straighten out her life would smother it instead.
Exiting the car, she tipped the driver just one dollar as she paid for the trip in the app, but gave the driver five dollars in cash with a silent nod of thanks. The driver waved and pulled away as soon as she closed the door. Lisa stood in line to enter the club, which must not have been very busy as the only delay was the bouncers diligently checking IDs and bags as patrons came in.
Continue reading “Sounding The Current: Chapter 12 – Bloom”
Lisa took the next top card and carried it with her as she silenced the alarm on her phone. She turned back to face the table but remained in place. The lighting was just right to better appreciate the card in her hand.
“XIV” “TEMPERANCE” A pool partially hidden behind green… something… was fed from a waterfall that looked more like drapes in the background. Seven small somethings were connected to a center chalice by either pebbles or pearls. From the center chalice, multiple overlapping forms rose looking like what you get when you mix soap bubbles, ooze, and those weird forms that happen when you’re trying to mix cornstarch with cold water.
She knew she was holding paper and ink, but between the “conversation” she just had with Jean and the sensual forms on the card, the Temperance card felt alive to Lisa in some way. As if the more she held and focused on the card, the more the forms seemed to move in her sight.