The full-moon beams shined through the skylight as I entered her room. She decorated the ebony wood walls with picture frames of ancient drawings, symbols, and photos of her ancestry. The surge of energy from the Myrtlewood floor shot from my bare feet to my head and cleared my mind. For once, in nineteen years, I could step back into deeper thoughts.

In the middle of the room, the tarot reader sat in a chair made of African Blackwood. Her long hair reached to the small of her back and donned black and white feathers and beads. Her sleeveless maxi dress was a yin and yang of brown and green, the colors of Mother Earth. Around her neck dangled a diamond Sun-Cross and her Amethyst Pentacles encircled her wrists. When she smiled, her pearl-white teeth brighten the moonlit room.

Her slender fingers swept across the white cotton tablecloth. Cards shot from her hands and formed a fan of sixty-nine tarot cards face down. As I glanced at this marvel, I noticed it was the Daemon Tarot by Ariana OsborneWhere did she hide them? Where did they come from? Her arms are too small to conceal a deck of cards.

Her brown eyes met mine. Her lips turned up, and her right hand floated in the air, below her chin level, and motioned me to come to her. I sauntered to her, and the other African Blackwood chair scooted back. How did she do that? I glanced at it and back at her. She nodded her head, and I slid into the chair and scooted it forward.

She tilted her head to the left. “Welcome to my home, Sophia,” her voice, was angelic. She placed her right hand over her heart and tilted her head to the right. “My name is Luna, and I will guide you tonight.”

How did she know my name? I nodded to her, and her smile grew.

Her fingers fluttered over the cards. “What would you like to know?”

My fingers intertwined themselves, and my right heel tapped the floor. Luna leaned over the table, her hand touched my skin like a feather, and her fingers grasped my twitching hands. “No need to worry, my dear.” The scent of lavender rose from her and engulfed the room. Her hand was silky smooth. She leaned back, placed both hands over the cards, and closed her eyes. “Pick three cards, Sophia.”

My right hand reached out, and the nervousness stopped. It was still, and my foot ceased to shake. My thoughts deepened, my back straight, and my head held high. I took my index finger, Oh, what does the Daemon Tarot bring? The past, present, and future, and slid three cards out of the fan spread.

Luna scooped up the rest of the cards. The three left behind; she slid to the middle of the table. Her delicate fingers turned each over from left to right. There before I was my past, what is happening now, and what will happen. When? Only time will tell.

Luna outstretched her arms, and her eyes fixated on the cards. “Oh, kind Sophia. The past, I see, is Orobas, the Great Prince of Hell, and he is upright. It is he who never lies, for true answers he seeks from all things, from the past, the present, and for things to come.”

I glanced at the card and at her. Her eyes, her arms, and her body did not move. “What does he say?”

My breath quickened, my eyes closed, and I gripped the tablecloth as a deep voice echoed in my ears. “You too, seek the truth in others, and yourself. Never change.” My eyes snapped open, and I gazed upon Luna. A smirk formed on her young face.

Her red lips parted. “I am the same as you. Truth is all I seek, from my spirits to animals…” she pointed at me, “to humans.”

I lowered my head and glanced at my hands. “I trust animals before I trust humans.”

The tarot reader’s head inched back as her eyes targeted something on the skylight. I followed her movements and saw a Great Horned Owl looking upon us. His eyes met mine, and a deep connection with wisdom and intuitive knowledge surged its way into my mind.

I glanced back at Luna, who was back in the position she started on. “Oh, kind Sophia. The present I see, it is Ronove, the Marquis and Great Earl of Hell, and, he too is upright. He may look like a monster, but don’t let that fool you. His words can charm any human he encounters.”

My head shook. Does this mean my words will flow from my mind to paper? Will I no longer be an outcast in my family? The rest of my body followed, along with my voice. “What… does… he… say?”

Like Orobas, Ronove voice soothed into my ears. I closed my eyes, and my body relaxed. My soul listened. “You do not know, for they do not speak, but your words flow and connect too many. There is no need for me; in time, more words will appear and reach many. Don’t let fear stop you.”

A tear formed as I fluttered my eyes open. I saw Luna, her head tilted with a slight grin, and tapped her right temple. “Remember these wise words from Orobas and Ronove, for they gave you the answers to what is to come.”

I glanced down at the card last card and then up at Luna. She, who was, once more in her starting position. “Oh, kind, Sophia. The future, I see…” She paused; her smile turned to a frown; her bright eyes dimmed. “It is Beyrevra. Everyone fears him, from spirits to animals…” She looked deep into my eyes, “and humans.”

I clutched my hands. My breathing increased, and my heart tripled in beats. I tilted my head to the side, and my forehead crinkled. “And what does he say?”

As I sat there, no voice came to me as it did with the others. My eyes darted the room, looking for something, a sign. Then it happened. Luna’s room shook. I swear to you, a 7.9 earthquake hit. Everything flew off the walls. Picture frames broke, spreading glass over the floor. A sound of nails across a chalkboard penetrated my mind, then a low growl laugh. I placed my hands over my ears and glanced around the room. On the wall, behind where Luna sat were words scratched in. I KNOW WHAT YOU FEAR, AND THAT FEAR WILL OVERTAKE YOU, THAT I WILL MAKE SURE OF.

I closed my eyes, place my hands over them, and screamed. I felt Luna’s warm embrace and her angelic voice whisper in my ear. “Beyrevra gave you a warning. Orobas and Ronove gave you the power to win.”

Her lavender scent faded, and a new fragrance overwhelmed me. It was the odor of the forest. I spread my fingers and peeked out. Luna’s small trailer vanished. The stars twinkled, and the forest breeze carried the songs of the crickets and frogs. The moonbeams lit the way to my car. I turned a three-sixty, trying to figure out where she went. When I arrived, her silver bullet trailer was here, with white lights encircling it. How could it have vanished?

I stared at the site where her trailer once appeared and walked backward to my car. I dug the keys from my jeans pocket and clicked the unlock button. I opened the door and slid into the seat, closed it, and started the engine. Full Circle by Loreena McKennitt pounded from my speakers. I drove home with the song on repeat.

When I entered my one-room apartment in the low-income house high-rise, I found my oil diffuser on with the scent of sandalwood floating in the air. Who turned that on? I strolled to my computer and woke it up from its slumber. Luna’s words repeated in my mind, Beyrevra gave you a warning, and Orobas and Ronove gave you the power to win. I scratched my head. Could of Luna, Ororbas, or Ronove turned on my diffuser? Or, did I leave it on? I got up and checked; I set it for six hours, and chances are, I left it on.

My fear is, all this time in school for communication, creative writing, and editing, I will fail. My family is waiting for me to fail at another adventure. My fear, I will never heal from my depression, stop picking at my arms, and live a normal life. My fear, to be alone in this world of over a billion people and locked in this one-window tomb. All enough to say goodbye, to run into those woods and hide. That is what Beyrevra wants. But Orobas and Ronove, say otherwise. They want me to fight. To write. I have an audience, and like me, they could be afraid to say they like my work.

I must not let Beyrevra get to me. I will not let him win; I will not let fear win. I will use what I learned to conquer my fears instead of beating myself up over them.

I walked to my bed and lay down and found myself safe in my blanket sanctuary. My eyes were on the verge of closing when a cranky voice echoed in my ears. “I will wait. Time, I have. You may have won this battle, but not the war.”

A smile grew on my face. There are always going to be battles to fight, but they will come fewer as the years pass by. As for the war, it’s never-ending. For we all must fight to live, and that is one war worth fighting for.

Published by T.L. Hicks

Tracie Hicks is a Speculative Fiction. You can read her work at Coffee House Writers, where she is an editor. Tracie has an Associate of Arts degree in Communications from UoPX. Bachelor and Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing (focused on fiction and screenwriting) from SNHU. She wrapped up her education with an MFA in Creative Writing from SNHU. She is working on two books and one short story collection. You can read her work at

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