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A Friendly Little Parlour Game

[Ed. Note. While the
following was done in RP mode, the tarot readings were done live and are
real! Make of that what you will…]

Lady Moldylocks fidgeted with the bodice of her red gown and
adjusted herself in the overstuffed chair.
The conversation of her guests in the library of the Essex Hotel was
beginning to wane, and she had been trying unsuccessfully throughout the evening
to convince Hyde to let her read a Tarot card spread for him.

“Hyde, really, the cards are just in fun. You can ask a simple yes or no question, or I
can do a spread with the past, present and future.
Come on,” she said to him with a
slight smile. “Fine!,” he relented, as
Samantha clapped with delight and Cyan, Steadman and the others perked up.

Lady Moldylocks opened the box, emptied the stack of cards
into her hands and began to shuffle. “Ready?”
she asked Hyde. “Just get it over with,”
he grumbled, looking unusually wary.

She pulled the first card and announced, “First card is a
Queen of Cups, reversed. This is the
present card. What’s happening now. This card represents bitterness and
perversion. Actually… it’s more like ‘happiness
turned bitter’ if you want to be precise.”

“I can’t imagine why anyone would see Mr. Hyde as bitter,”
Steadman commented as Lady M reached for the second card and placed it on the table. “This next one is the Past card, Eight of
Wands. Hmmm. This is for violence, aggression, domestic
disputes, arguments, fights and so on.
It can be in your recent past or your distant past.” She glanced at Hyde as he shifted
uncomfortably in his chair.

“Any violence in your past, Hyde?” someone asked teasingly,
and the room twittered quietly. Hyde
grumbled and said, “Just pull the next card for Pete’s sake.”

The third card was Future prediction, and it was a powerful
major arcana, The Emperor. Lady M.
explained this card represented indecisiveness, immaturity, poor strength, “…and
split personalities. How very interesting!” she said, feigning

Hyde’s jaw dropped and he seemed to be in shock, a nuance
which did not go unnoticed by Lady M.
She smiled inwardly, enjoying the entertaining turn of events. She quickly pulled the two remaining cards – a
four of swords representing unrest, activity renewal, restlessness for the
Reason Behind the Question, and The Potential Within the Situation card,
another major arcana card called The Temperance, for patience, fusion,
influence, confidence. “See? It all ends on a high note, Hyde. There
is hope for you yet!”  

Her attempt at a little joke fell flat in the
crowded room, as each person watched Hyde carefully, pondering the cards’
meanings. No one seemed surprised by
the reading. No one.

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  1. Lady Moldylocks Lady Moldylocks January 28, 2016

    Lady Moldylocks retired to her rooms after the last of the guests left. She poured herself a cup of hot tea and settled into her chaise lounge in front of the large bedroom’s fireplace.  What an interesting evening, she thought, as she stared into the crackling fire.   Hyde’s reading was spot on, almost disturbingly so.  “He really is one of the most intriguing characters I’ve ever met,” she whispered to herself aloud.  I shall have to check in with him tomorrow and see how he is.  He was quite upset after his reading.

    She whistled, and three of her white hounds came into the room.  The last one nuzzled the double doors shut, and they settled around her chair.  

    Why on earth did the Three of Swords came up in response to the question about the Avariel expedition?, she wondered. How odd.  I really should have taken more time explaining that card.  While loss and betrayal are certainly the most common interpretations, the cards are always so much more complex.  If I pulled that card for a question regarding a journey, then isn’t the message being revealed more about the other, more emotional or spiritual aspects of that journey?   One can set out to travel for a specific reason but it isn’t until they arrive at their destination, that they realize there was an entirely different purpose for the trip?   

    I’m over-thinking it, Moldy told herself.  She sipped the last of the tea, and snuggled down further into the silk pillows, closing her eyes peacefully. 



  2. Nyanka Jinx Nyanka Jinx January 28, 2016

    Lady Moldylocks reshuffled the cards, asking for another volunteer for her parlor trick. This time, she found a willing participant in little Cyan, who eagerly requested to have his future read, in the same manner as Mr. Hyde’s.

    Not that Hyde himself paid much attention to that boy’s reading; his mind was too preoccupied with the acute accuracy of his own reading. Although he tried to keep a straight face, there was, for a time, an inescapable sense of paranoia and dread. How was it that a random dealing of cards could reveal so much of what he was trying to hide. Certainly, the way he presented himself as Hyde made the reading less surprising to the other guests, but he wondered if anyone in the room had dared to analyse the cards, to discover the horrible secrets of his fragmented soul. And what if Jekyll was the one to have his fortune read? Would the cards have been any different?

    All those thoughts and inward discussions made time seem to warp. He was so lost in thought that what Moldylocks asked, after she had finished reading the fortune of some gentleman who clearly seemed to be albino, had startled him back to reality in spite of the content of her words.

    “Anyone else?”  She said, looking about the room, “I don’t mean to monopolize the evening…”

    Hyde took one look at the albino, seeing him smile with merriment. Lucky bastard, must have gotten a better outcome than him…

    Hyde suddenly remembered that tarot cards could also be used to answer questions. Maybe Cyan or the albino asked something specific, most likely not. In any case, Hyde could think of a good question to ask as Moldylocks kindly poured him another glass of bourbon.

    “You remember I mentioned the search party in the North?”

    Moldylocks nodded, while the other guests started murmuring amongst themselves.

    Hyde continued, “Maybe you could ask the cards what happens to Beryl, Wright, and all them?”

    “Ooh- Interesting idea!” Moldylocks mused as she started to shuffle the cards again, “That would have to come from me, then.”

    She set the stack of cards next to the mat and… Hesitated, holding her fingers above the deck. She frowned, “Er… I’m not sure how to phrase the question, actually.”

    “Just ask it ‘Will the expedition team come home safely?’”

    “Okay,” Moldylocks decided to make it a ‘one-card spread,’ as she called it, and drew a single card from the stack.

    Her face fell when she turned it over.

    “Oh my… The Three of Swords…”

    Everyone in the room started to murmur at the sight of the card, which depicted three swords piercing a heart against a stormy sky. “Confusion…” Moldylocks explained, “Disorganization… Loss…”

    “Heartbreak!” The strange man sitting in the chair next to Hyde blurted out. Serin Moonbough was his name, an eccentric undertaker who seemed to have a penchant for disrupting everything he could. Hyde never liked Moonbough, for the record, but he did his best to ignore him for the time being.

    “Tell me that’s reversed…” He mumbled, leaning back in his chair and massaging his temples, “Or at least not like my reading…”

    “Well, this is what I know,” Moldylocks continued on, trying to decipher the result as best as she could. “The heart, as you might imagine, represents beauty and love. Swords in the Tarot represent intellect… logic… and the power to arm the physical body. The rain and clouds in the card represent a grim moment in time… Each thing on a Tarot card has a meaning; It’s all about symbolism.”

    Moldylocks shrugged, “Anyway, the card usually represents rejection of some sort. Betrayal, heartbreak, loneliness. You get the picture.”

    “Not all loss is bad,” the albino added, “One may lose an attachment that was holding them back from better things they were unable to see.. They may grieve, but eventually will find it was for the better.”

    “Well said, Leban…” Moldylocks put the cards back in the box and shut the lid. “Like the Death card.  It doesn’t mean physical death but a change… Loss of the old to make way for the new.”

    Hyde considered this as he gulped down the last drop of bourbon in his glass…

    “Let’s hope you’re right…”

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