The Reader was called in for only one reason.

Her lover, sitting silently beside her, focused intently on the last upturned card.  The Magician’s face looked back into his own, spilling secrets they all knew he wanted quietly kept.  

He took care not to let rise the remembering of that lithe little beauty- the shine of her back, the curve of her softness…

Each heard the shuffling of futures.  The final cards, spinning, went flying, all falling face-down.

She reached without trembling,  took the corner and lifted. With a quick flick of her wrist the next card went to its back: The Horseman.  As the candlelight flickered, raised sickle and foreboding spilled from its face.

Her lover’s face paled.  He was fully aware she was his immediate loss.

“Two friends

will soon travel


new roads,


She sits very still.

With one eyebrow lifted and a tilt of her head,  she exposes for a moment, oh, just one breath-measured moment, her beautiful soul.  Steady eyes, look him over, look into his own; his are so serious.  And blue, as stormy as the ocean.

Contrition unnecessary she draws her strength for the telling.  The last laid card plays her beautiful hand as the sweet card of Justice falls to the tabletop stage.

She looks again into his lost eyes and sees how his look like another’s.  Yes,  his own are more sharp, not as faded, but power and lust are familial features.   The elder quite handsome, virile, a man of age with eyes like the salty waters,  a rising storm raging for the same woman.

A balancing move is a trade for freedom and release.  No apologies needed. No one left to forgive.

Fortune’s fate now delivered in this tale of the barter,  two men’s indiscretions, first exhumed then reburied.  And she walks away from the table, less alone as she was.



Dare we ask for what we cannot promise even of our selves?

#for Reticent Mental Property, image from

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