Stacking the Tarot Deck

The Psychic’s shop was a riotously painted storefront in downtown Rochester. Motifs from the Rider Waite tarot deck – the prince of cups, the man in the mirror from the three of wands, the hierophant in a chair that had been knocked over – were painted meticulously ten feet high. Tara went in on a whim more than anything else. The inside was dimly lit but elegant, and an hold man with two fingers on his right hand greeted her warmly by name.

“How did you know my name?” she asked.

The man just grinned at her. He drew her to a mahogany table that had an enormous deck of cards on it. “What do you wish to know?” he asked her.

“I want to know what my love life looks like in the future,” Tara said.

The man nodded and shuffled the deck of cards. He had her cut the deck, then take one card (without looking at what it was) and press it to her heart. He took the heart card and flipped it over. It was the lovers. He regarded it in silence for a moment before humming to himself. He drew the next card. It was also the lovers.

“Is this a trick deck?” asked Tara.

The man frowned. “There are two copies of some cards in there. But I’ve never drawn two of the same card in a row before.”

He drew again. The lovers again. She grabbed the deck and flipped it over. Every card was the lovers.

“What does this mean?” she asked.

The man hesitated. “I don’t know,” he said, “but it’s probably a good thing.”

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Written on 9/27/15 at the Ontario Beach Park Pier for a woman who was there alone

Stacking the Tarot Deck