The Oracle Takes You Back
757 words long
Once upon a time, you knew everything. What happened?
Notes from the author:
Iíve written about the use of Tarot decks as word prompt generators before, right? Indeed. Iím particularly fond of the Vertigo Tarot, with artwork by Dave McKean and text by Rachel Pollack. McKeanís designs are not as relentlessly specific as those on the Rider-Waite. Even the Major Arcana, which depict particular comic book characters, leave plenty of room for interpretation.
This is my procedure: I shuffle the deck bridge-style thrice, rotating one of the stacks each time to give the cards a chance to come up in reversed orientation. Then I cut the deck. The card this brings to the top is the card I draw.
So given all that shuffling and rotating and cutting, what business has the Seven of Pentacles to come up twice in the space of a single week? I ask you. Actually, I asked the Observation Deck what to do about it. It said ďMake a list.Ē So I did.
The Oracleís television show comes on at ten oíclock every Saturday morning on channel number Negative One. You should check it out. Itís getting popular again. I havenít watched it in years, but I remember it well.
Hereís what you can expect to see in the background of shot: Lines. Curves. Smudges. Haze. Visual static. The static always looked a little like horizontal snow to me.
Hereís what you will definitely not hear: Crickets. Children at play. Violins. Gunfire. Words spoken by the Oracle. The face on the TV cannot speak, you see. Its mouth is stoppered full shut by a variety of objects depending on the episode. But you might hear that face hum a tune, and the tune will sound tantalizingly familiar.
Some of the objects Iíve seen blocking its mouth: Gold coins engraved with the faces of long-dead Gods. Blinding light emanating from a star caught between the televised teeth. A ball gag like those sold at your favorite erotic toy store. A handkerchief tied tight in a complicated knot around the back of the head. The knot, of course, was out of the shot, but I understood its weave immediately.
Things you might see, or imagine that you see, in the shifting matrix of the background static: Patterns. Faces. Regrets. Memories. Emotions masquerading as memories. The small creepy-crawly things that youíve always known come out of the corners of your bedroom while youíre asleep....
This has been an excerpt from the Friday Fictionette for November 27, 2015. Subscribers can download the full-length fictionette (757 words) from Patreon in PDF or MP3 format depending on their pledge tier.
Friday Fictionettes are a short-short fiction subscription service powered by Patreon. Become a Patron to get a new fictionette every first through fourth Friday and access all the fictionettes of Fridays gone by.