The Fool

This is one part of a seris of short stories that I was thinking of doing. One for each card in Major Arcana of the Tarot deck.

The Fool
Darkness surrounds me. Brief flashes of light illuminate my world as the deck is shuffled with inexperienced hands. I know that eventually I’ll become one of the top three cards but I hope that it won’t be any time soon. I don’t want to see how she botches my reading by taking my definition straight from the book I know the she keeps right next to her. This owner was an amateur, she doesn’t listen to the cards when she reads, and because of that she doesn’t hear what we have to say to her.

There’s muffled curses as she lays out the cards. No respect, her mother knew how to treat us, how to listen to us. This girl just throws the cards down, rattling the people in their frames. It would be dangerous for her to throw me down for I stand at the edge of the cliff a step away from falling. And when someone in a tarot deck disappears his image is wiped away from every card in the deck.

She sighs loud enough for me to hear in my placement in the deck. She puts the cards back into the deck and then sets us down, the resulting shudder almost made me fall. I sat down heavily, my legs muscles unable to hold me up. My arms felt like lead weights after holding up my bag on the end of the stick, even the little flower felt like a hundred pounds. There was no change in the lighting and I knew that she had given up for the night, her readings incoherent.

My dog trots up to me and looks at me like I was an idiot for standing so close to the edge of the cliff. It seems like a few hours had passed but I knew it was minutes. I stood up carefully testing my strength. I was better. Dog just looked at me and trotted out of the frame. I left my bag and the flower where I had dropped them and walked out following my dog.

I stood in the hallway in front of my frame and stretched. I looked down and the hallways seemed empty and cheerless without the voices of the Major Arcane calling to each other. They all took the opportunity to leave as soon as she had set the deck down. I was walking and looking into the random frames of pictures as I walked.

All of them were different yet the same at the same time. Like The Emperor and Empress both had thrones but one was reclining and one was rigid. Around the twelfth frame I realized that no one had bothered to untie The Hanged Man from his rather uncomfortable position of hanging right upside down.

“Help someone.” He called out.

“Coming.” I called back.

“Thank the Goddess.”

I rolled my eyes at his last statement and walked into his frame. I loosened the rope binding his ankle to the post. He tumbled into a heap next to my foot. He sat up smiling like an idiot.

“Thanks Fool. You’re the only one who even bothers to untie me. It’s gets so uncomfortable if I’m left hanging there for the entire time the deck is left alone. Why do you care so much?” He said.

“Well, I believe that it comes from standing on the edge of a cliff with nothing stopping you from tumbling over the edge but the strength of your own leg,” I reply, “Makes you think about how important you are and how much you should care about others.”

He merely shrugged and stood up. He walked out of his own frame; I followed a bit slower, not wanting to actually see the other Major Arcane. They all resented my position as the highest card of the highest cards. I turned around and returned to my frame. I sat there on the cliff surveying the white nothingness past the edge of my cliff. I felt my card shift and pulled out of the deck.

I stood up quickly and got back into position calling my Dog back. He came sprinting in and he jumped up at the edge of the cliff again.

“Hey, Fool. My Mother said that you were the only card she felt as if she connected with. What am I doing wrong? Why is it every reading I do comes out jumbled and unrecognizable?” She asks me.

I sneak a peek at her and her face is a mask of pain.

“My mother was able to do this so well. She never had to use a book to tell what the cards are saying, she could just look at them and know what they mean. Why can’t I do that?” She asks me.

I can feel her heart reaching out to me, trying to understand what my card is trying to tell her.

“Listen with just more than your damned hard head girl. They will speak to you like they spoke to your mother. They will always speak, you insult them by using that damned fool book.” I whisper.

She jumps and I see it. I can’t believe that she finally heard what I had been trying to tell her for a while. I knew that now she would abandon the book and listen to her heart and then through that listen to the cards.

“Call them to attention Fool, I wish to so a reading.” She said stiffly.

I nodded to her, imperceptibly. She looked startled and I could see more question surface in her, but she didn’t ask them. She placed me back in the deck and I stepped out of the frame for a second.

“Get back to your frames, she’s going to do another reading.” I called down the hallway.

A rush of arcane members came running forward. They jumped into their frames and settled themselves into the positions that their bodies know so well. I ran down the hallway to see The Hanged Man struggling. I tied his ankle and made sure that it was secure. He nodded to me and I ran back to my frame. The hallway began crumbling, and breaking as she started to shuffle her deck.

I jumped the larger cracks and made it back to the frame numbered zero. I jumped in as it went past me. It settled myself down and picked up the stick and the flower. She stopped shuffling and then I realized that I was the fourth card down from the top. She put down the three top cards.

They began cursing her and suddenly I felt the change in her attitude. She flipped up the fourth card and I blinked at the bright light of her desk lamp. She laid me down separate from the others who still haven’t stopped cursing at her.

They stopped when they realized she wasn’t holding up a book trying to decipher the mysteries of the images. She stared at them like they were the worst things that could happen to her. I fought the urge to laugh. The cards slowly fell into line. As she tapped them like her mother did they began to say what they had to.

As smile crossed her face when she realized that she could hear what they were saying, she could finally understand the message that they were trying to get through. When she laid us down again for the night, I could hear the mumblings of the other cards but they didn’t sound angry, they sounded happy. I guess that now they understand that they have someone who will care for them in the long run.


To die will be an awfully big adventure.
Good, nice intrigue. It kept me reading, although you don't explain so much It makes you feel a little clueless and not really remember or understand it at all. My advice is to put a little more information. Otherwise, good.


Staff member
What influence you making this story? Sounds like it came from a scary story book. :p
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