Welcome to the July 2019 Storytime Blog Hop!
Last time, in April, I posted 0 – The Fool, so here is the next in my series of Tarot flash fiction pieces. I will note that I am shopping II – The Priestess around, so not sure what I will have here for the next blog hop, since I don’t want to use first publication rights until I’m done shopping. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this one and the other stories in the hop!
Without further ado, I present:
I – The Magician
The first time I jump, I fall into darkness. Then I wake up. The ground is hard, but I don’t feel bruised, so I don’t know how I got there. It is dark, but off in the distance, I see a bright light. I feel the dirt below me and hear drips. I stand, shaky, and test out my legs. I feel young and alive. I walk toward the light, letting my eyes adjust, but when I exit, it is still a shock. The sun is overhead, but seems to be all around, and yet somewhat filtered by tall trees, both hardwoods and evergreens. When I turn around, the cave is gone, just the edge of a mountain rising behind me, and no door or other entrance. But I’m used to that by now, and suddenly, I want to do something.
All this time I have been following, being guided, but now it’s time for me to act, not merely react. Even though I don’t know where I am, I see a clearing in the distance and head that way. The clearing is unusual because there is a table in the middle, but no one around. On the table are various tools I have never seen before. A shining brass plate inscribed with leaves. A silver chalice filled with some kind of sparkling liquid. Along the top edge lies a curved sword. And right in front of me a golden stick with two gems, one on each end. I pick it up.
I like the heft of it in my hand. One end is blue and the other red, but as I watch, the colors swirl and change. Yes. I can do something with this. I can make something. But first, I need to stake my claim on this place, so I set it down again, and pick up the sword. With the sword, I draw a circle in the dirt around the table, and then a star. I don’t remember my name, but I know I came from the stars, so I make it my signature.
I want to create life, a plant, a tree to grow in this clearing long after I am gone. One that will greet anyone else who comes out of that cave. Back at the table, or perhaps altar is a better word, I pick up the wand with the glowing tips. I raise it to the sky, pointing the other end down toward the brass plate. I feel the sunlight hit the tip of the wand. It is warm and electric, and I almost drop it, but I’m so excited about the plant that I manage to hold on to it. It gets hotter, almost too hot. I stand firm, and as I watch, the lower gem turns bright emerald green. A stream of life bursts forth, bursting off the brass plate, blinding me. I close my eyes against the brightness, but keep my hand grasped firmly around the wand. It shudders for a moment, but then, it steadies and cools. The painful light outside my eyelids recedes into delicious coolness.
When I open my eyes, I see a tiny hawthorn sapling sitting on the brass plate. I point the wand at an area of dirt near the altar, and watch as a hole appears, just large enough for the sapling. I set the wand down, and plant the sapling in the hole, covering it with dirt. I look back at the altar. Something seems incomplete and I realize that I have used all the tools except the cup. I take a drink from the cup — pure fresh water that is somehow magical. But as I move away from the altar, the altar begins to shimmer. It is translucent; I can see the grass and dirt through it, and soon, it has disappeared. I am left holding only the cup.
I pour the rest of the water over the hawthorn. In just seconds it begins to grow, growing and spreading until it is fully grown. In the distance, I hear a dog barking, and out of the corner of my eye, I see a glint of silver from the chalice. I rest beside the hawthorn a moment, but I know I cannot stay.
It is time for the next adventure.
Want to read more? Check out the next story in the blog hop!
Evening Update by Elizabeth McCleary
Allies, by Eli Winfield
The Salem Witch Trials and What We Can Learn From Them by Amaliz Tenner, Class 4c by Katharina Gerlach
The Fairest by Nic Steven
Something About Mary by Bill Bush
Grumpy Old Harpies by Juneta Key
The Goddess of Wine by Vanessa Wells
A Melody in A Grotto by S S Prince
Tears and Toil by Barbara Lund
Coming Soon: by Karen Lynn
Home Repairs by Jason Gallagher
The Robot Accomplice by Janna Willard
I hope you enjoy the stories!