Sunday, January 18, 2015

Two of Cups

Today's muse: Sarah Selecky's Daily Writing Prompts

The prompt: Write a scene about tarot cards and a fishing rod.

* * *

Two of Cups

The sun had not yet reached the horizon when he walked across the dock. Each morning, for the last three months, Jerry Walker had followed the same path: tackle box in one hand, fishing pole in the other. A thermos of strong, black coffee tucked under his left arm.

He opened the thermos, took a few gulps. After baiting his hook, he swung back, cast out his line. The high pitched squeal of the line as it released was comforting and heartbreaking.

Fiona had liked fishing.

Jesus. When would he stop thinking about her?

He’d never met a girl who would even think about touching worms, let alone bait her own hook. Fiona was almost perfect. She never understood football, but he could overlook that. His parents liked her. His friends liked her. She was a goddess in bed.

Jerry reeled in his empty line, cast out once more.

But when that fucking gypsy woman had flipped over that card, it had changed everything.

Fiona had stood up, sent her chair tipping back. “The Six of Swords?”

The old woman squinted through thick glasses. “Yes. You are leaving on a journey.”

“No I’m not.”

“But you need to, child.”

He remembered Fiona seemed panicked at the time, denied it a little too much. And then she left. Left him alone. He lived on nothing but Jack Daniels and bourbon for weeks. Played her favorite song over and over. Stopped counting the days.

It had been ninety-one days, eighteen hours and—he glanced at his watch—twelve minutes.

But he wasn’t counting.

And he wasn’t going to catch anything today. Jerry reeled in his line, packed up his tackle box, picked up his thermos. Back at the cottage, he put away his gear, rinsed out his thermos. It wasn’t quite ten o’clock yet, but he poured three fingers of scotch and dropped into a chair at the kitchen table.

He fingered the card he kept in his pocket. He didn’t believe, but why take the chance? He pulled it out, stared at the lovers gazing at one another, each holding a golden chalice. He ran his thumb up and down the female, pure and innocent in her white gown.

As was his habit, Jerry sent a quiet prayer to the Goddess—because, hell, you never know—before slipping the Two of Cups back into his breast pocket. Closest to his heart.

Closest to Fiona.

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