The air within my private chamber hung cloying and heavy with the incense. The unmistakable scents of frankincense and myrrh mixed with the heady sweetness of opium. It had served its purpose of helping me to bridge the distance between the realm of the Seen to that of the Unseen. The shallowness of my pulse, and from what I could see, that of the querent across from me kept us both from sweating in the nearly airless chamber. The man had been most insistant to avail himself of the art that many within France alleged as mine. And surely even though the answers I would provide to him was worth the price that my servant had extracted from him, I would have provided the answers he sought without charging any more than the herbs that I requested that now burned on a nearby brazier.
I smiled as I turned over the colourful, well-worn cards in the spread that I had designed myself in an order and pattern that no one other than me knew the meaning of. The Knight of Swords, crossed by the High Priestess, crowned by the Magician, surrounded on all sides by swords – the ten, the nine, the seven…. Blades within the small, self-contained universes, mapped out his current position as being one of dangerous terrain.
My pulse thundered in my ears and my own voice sounded far away even to myself. “He approaches, you, my friend.” I looked up at Marius before I turned over the next card that lay beneath my fingertips. The Roman’s face was expressionless, his eyes dilated from the potent clouds of incense smoke. He only gave me a slight nod.
Flipping over the next card, the Thunderstruck Tower, I continued. “You will not be able to go back the way you came,” I said as if studying a battle plan, “But -” I turned over three more cards, fingering the edges of of each one to see the Four of Rods, the Six of Swords and the Sun, “If you leave before sunrise tomorrow, you can elude him.” I let myself relax at last. According to what I had seen within the cards, my friend would escape, but there was one thing more that I had not revealed. His hand that tightened upon my wrist indicated that he had seen it, too.
“There is more,” he said flatly.
“Oui,” I nodded, inwardly wishing that I could have omitted what I now had to reveal from his reading. But this was, afterall, why I had been paid. “You and I will not see one another for quite some time,” I said softly, attempting to pull my wrist free. He held fast, his fingers rolling the sensitive bones beneath my skin painfully. “He will come after you, and whether we like it or not, the War will come,” I said.
Muse: Fanny Fae / Faelyn
Fandom: Original Character / Folklore / Mythology
Word Count: 478
OOC: Special thanks to a_roman_w_power and his amazing creatrix for allowing my muse to kidnap him; if only for a few moments! 😉