© 2018 Rebecca Wralstad. All Rights Reserved. Time-stamped by Beta Readers.
Tarot Stories are comprised of three cards I do as a special inspiration pull. I then craft the cards into the characters and/or events of a short story. See if you can guess the Tarot cards before you scroll to the end of the story!
High Priestess Happy Hour
She tipped the glass before the bartender could pour. Too many drinks, too many wishes missed, she couldn’t stomach another sip. The breaking stemware sparked a flash of blue in the bottles behind the bar, her synesthesia winking sharply.
The bartender went for a rag and she squinted where the fading flash touched a curve of clear glass. If it was going to happen again at least she wasn’t alone. She’d been wrong about the drinking, it hadn’t blurred out the odd trick of her eyes, and she still couldn’t face the wide darkened windows of her attic apartment again.
This was different, she hoped. Just a trick of the light.
She stared into the bottle and the inverted image showed the framed vintage ad behind her. The bar’s icon, a blue-shrouded seated nun, was gloriously upended and looked more like the boastful queen stuck in a starry throne than a studious devotee.
She thought about her own lack of spiritual discipline as she clung to the bar stool. When the room stopped it’s slow spin her sight changed.
Her shifting eyes found the same bottle but now the blue folded into curtains that gave way to a door. She reached for the brass door knob. It was cool, cold enough to sting her fingertips, and she pulled back from the vision to see blood on the bar like a red flag. The small cut sobered her and she clutched a cocktail napkin. At least she didn’t have turquoise blood or something weird like that. No one had to know what she saw.
The bar had filled up since she sat down and now it was crowded with comparisons to distract her. The man with the Mercedes keys made more money. The woman wearing pearls had better taste in wine. The slouching man in the gray suit dedicated long hours to his career. Who was she?
The word ‘clairvoyant’ made her cringe. That’s why she’d spent all day looking up that other fancy word, synesthesia, but the colorful little glints of sound were not what made her want to drink to blackout. Maybe she was just lonely. She should get another drink, meet someone, and not worry about when or where she went to bed and what little flashes she saw along the way. She could face her apartment again in full sun and forget that what she saw there might be something else altogether.
Indecision made her hands erratic, like flies over the broken wine glass. The bartender swept up the shards into a trash bin and took her waving to mean she did not want another drink.
What did she want? The secret hope for a super-power, the longing for a special talent, had always been there but now it had soured.
The man next to her held out a plastic sword stuck with garnishes.
“For me?” She muttered.
His head was turned away, concentrating on clearer voices, but the sweet offering was obvious. She steadied her hand, cleared her throat, and took the cherry on top.
“Thanks,” she said. “You read my mind.”