Author Topic: TRAGEDY joiner  (Read 190 times)


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TRAGEDY joiner
« on: October 21, 2018, 05:26:49 AM »

Cold. The thought consumed him, light footfalls disturbing the order of the foliage as he navigated the trees in silence. In truth, the temperature wasn't terrible, but the thick clouds hanging above the darkening leaves gave a sense of internal chill; one that liked to creep into the mind and bite the skin. Teo had learned these woods, though it had been many months since he'd found himself within its grasp, and so his memory of the way the land laid was hazy at best. Nothing to be concerned about, though. Of course. In the months he'd been away, the man had grown familiar with the confusion and the night.

Months. When it was put that way, so bluntly, it was simultaneously easy and difficult to recognize. The journey was one he'd undertaken willingly and in full awares of its costs, but everything afterwards had felt like years stretched out and warped into memories of green and solitude. Somehow, he'd let himself go on a little too far, and ended up in limbo, in between the known and unknown for what felt like the thousandth time in his life.

Not that he had the slightest idea of the most effective way of utilizing its contents, but he'd made sure to take well care of the little leather pouch he'd been given all that time ago. Fragrant and with a soft weight, tying it at his hip was like carrying a security blanket -- something to sit and fiddle with when the nights got a little too heavy and the trees stretched into grabbing, shadowy hands. But of all the things and bits he'd been given, precedence was given to the rose. For luck, was what he'd been told, and for all the times he took it out and held the fading petals in the dark anyone would think he believed it. If he sat with it long enough, he found one particularly suffocating evening, he could feel a spark or two of reassurance, as if the one who'd given it to him was only an arm's reach away.

He told himself he wouldn't turn to the cards again. A witch hardly seemed themselves without the tarot as their guide in such defining times, but each time his fingers itched to shuffle the worn deck, it was as if the cold of the air had found a way into his gut. He couldn't possibly turn to them once again. Ever since that day, they'd remained neatly bound into their deck, a heavier weight in his bag than they had any business being. Teo had been content (forcibly or otherwise, he wouldn't dare divulge) to just forget them, keep them in the bottom of his belongings, but at every day's end in the wilderness he felt increasingly drawn to his old practice. Old habits -- especially beloved ones -- were hard to break, he learned, when he soon sat one chilled evening in the glow of the dying sun, slipping the well-worn cards between practiced hands. It had been some time, yet it was hard to ignore the feeling they brought, much less forget altogether.

It had begun as a mere inkling; a fleeting thought in the far more powerful flow of contemplation. Teo hadn't read in what seemed like a lifetime, but right then, more than ever, he felt a stronger and stronger urge to pay closer attention to them. It wasn't a proper reading, no -- there was no space, nor any setting up or particular order in which things would go. It was in fact hardly anything at all, but, for the sake of satisfaction, he pulled a single card from the worn fan, flipping it face up.

He recalled the way the face of the High Priestess shone back at him in the sunset flush, solemnly gazing up from the upside-down position in which he held it. It shouldn't have meant anything, really, a single card pulled in the belly of the forest, miles from anything, but it somehow found footing. Disconnect. Secrets. Lack of trust in intuition. Teo couldn't have helped but list it all off as it began to form. It shouldn't have meant anything, but he'd quickly stacked the cards back up and started again through the trees -- that time with the single rose in hand.

The grit of sand in the soles of his boots was unpleasant if he chose to use such nonoffending words. As uncomfortable as it was, he didn't pause to shake them out, because if he did, even for a moment, the weariness would seep from his skin into his bones and he wouldn't be able to keep going. Finally, he had broken onto the beach, startlingly familiar even under different circumstances. He knew from experience that if he kept on, maybe a mile or so, he'd find the edges of the Badlands, the only obstacle being his own feet. It wasn't yet a matter of what he would do once he arrived -- he'd cross that bridge when he got to it, and there seemed plenty of time until then.