Monday, May 31, 2010

King of Wands

I am starting to collect tarot decks. I do not know why, but something draws me to them. This has become a new phase in my life, so I only have five different decks. It could be the artwork, the subject matter or even the colors for that matter - I just do not know.
In an earlier post, I talked about “Tarot for Writers”, but with my freelance non-fiction work, I put the cards on the back burner. I picked up the cards again just to put them all together in one location and “The Legacy of the Divine” deck had a strong pull. I shuffled and pulled one care - “King of Wands”. There something sparked; I wrote and was amazed how easy the words came. I have no title to this piece, but I wanted to share it with you. It might turn into something more, but only time will tell.

. . . . . .

The harsh acidic scent of sulfur grew stronger as I grew closer. Sweat trickled between my breasts and held my rough woolen robe to my body. Silence deep so I could only hear the faint whisper of fire. I prayed for any breeze to help cool my skin.

The room before me poured harsh firelight into the small tunnel I was walking through. This must be how birth felt. Alone and dark, then thrust out into a new world and life. That is exactly what I am doing. Soon I would no longer have to wear heavy robes or hide my face.

“Step forward Rsia.” A quiet deep voiced called. I went up to the alter alone. The alter brown marble, in the center a bowl of yellow metal and within a fire burned. The flames shot out of the pit, fingers wanting to grab and pull me in, consuming me. The horns of a fallen Minotaur stood proudly behind the flames, held aloft by golden bases. Behind the horns, behind the alter was the man who called me forward. His dark grey hair, the color of old ash, hung past his shoulders unto his deep red robe. The gold belt cinched his robe close to his body. Around his deep-set eyes, he was marked. The paint or blood formed a band across his eyes and ended by his pointed ears. His shoulders wide and straight moved little as he breathed. In his left hand, he held the power of his office. The short staff of polished wood ended in gold and was topped by a glowing orb. The light strong, but casting no shadow.

Curtains of heavy deep blue, almost black, material were marked with rearing red dragons, the symbol of the clan.

I stepped forward and knelt before the alter, the fire heating my face before I bowed my head. I knew there were others in the room, but my cowl and shadows hid them from me.

“I beg to be tested Alytaiso.” My voice sounded harsh, too deep to be in my body. My throat dry. I swallowed several times to help ease the feeling. It did no good. I was about to learn my fate. Do I die or do I live? Questions no one really wants to know, but if I am to be of the clan, I must accept my fate.

Alytaiso regarded me behind his painted mask. His jaw twitched. His breathing deepen. He appeared lost in thought. I heard the quiet shuffle of feet as those in the shadows adjusted their footing before numbness set in. The orb pulsed as Alytaiso lowered it over the flame.

“Grab it.”

The orb swirled in different colors, blue to green, red to yellow, white to black and over again. I watched the moving colors and the flame they danced over. I had witnessed this before, the one who took the test reached own and ignored the flames. The colors would swirl faster and stop on one color. It was then when the person learned their fate or caste in the clan. No one knew what the colors meant as the person left, most not being seen again. Although rumors abound about changed appearances as well as new and oftentimes better lives.

“Grab the rob, Rsia.” Alytaiso commanded again, pulling me out of my musings. My throat felt full of gravel, sweat stung the corners of my eyes and I longed to be out of my infernal robe and back into my leather training gear. Most of those who tested used their right hand, I was unique. I am left handed. Hard to fight, hard to break defenses. I swallowed hard and reached out.

The flame tickled my hand, but I felt nothing more than warmth, no intense heat. The flame grew higher engulfing my hand, wrist and the orb. My finger touched the odd coolness of the orb. My hand clenched around the orb. I held my breath. The orb swirled in a fury of ever changing colors. It felt like an eternity, watching the orb. I did not let loose of the orb.

“Death.” Alytaiso called out.

I jumped at the sound of his voice. The orb was black. I looked up at his pale green eyes. No emotion, only fact shown. Why he called out my fate, I did not know. Anger bubbled up inside me. My left hand clenched. I felt the tiny shards of glass piece my skin. The flame hissed as it drank my blood. The burning was intense; I pulled my hand away, clutching it to my robe. A deep chuckled brought my attention back to Alytaiso. A smirk ticked at the corner of his mouth.

“Arise, you are the first.”

Confusion shook me to the core as I was helped to my feet. I pulled back my hand and there were no cuts, only a rearing black dragon with its wings spread covered my palm. The mark shimmered briefly, moving before it disappeared into my palm.

This was how my life started as a Dragon Seeker.