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edited by pazed!

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"Mother, you are needed," spoke a quiet voice.

The woman looked up from the book she was reading and looked closely at her daughter's face. Her eyes were glassy and unfocused, her face was relaxed and without a note of emotion. A sigh escaped her lips as she marked her place in her book, and closed it. She had been expecting this, but had been praying it would not come. Her daughter had arrived this evening, unannounced, a 'spur of the moment' thing, just wanted to come home from school for the weekend. Funny thing was it was the first weekend of the new term at the University of Florida, and she had never done that before. Her daughter loved the first weekend, with all her friends and things to do, and this was her senior year. No way she'd want to miss that.

Her daughter turned and walked down the hall, to a room seldom used in the home. Entering and turning on the light the young woman navigated the room with ease. First to a cabinet, from which she removed an ebony box, next she moved to a small altar where she placed the box and began to light the incense kept there. After a few moments she opened the box and began a chant over its contents. Removing something from the box she moved to the far side of the dark wood table in the middle of the room, to an ornate chair with a beautiful cloak of crystal and silver draped on it. Sitting she finally motioned for her mother to enter and take the seat across from her.

"Mother the time has come." Slowly her hand moved and placed an oversized deck of cards on the table; slowly her mother began to lift small stacks of cards from the deck and started placing them on the table occasionally stopping and re-stacking them in a single deck. Shuffling them while not doing the very old cards any damage. With a final cut her daughter said "Stop." The young woman picks up the deck and holding it in her left hand she looks evenly at the table and begins to chant again.

"The Tower, an old life burned away, a new one will come forth."

"The King of Cups, fortune favors the prepared but not all preparations can be trusted."

"The Knight of Wands, nature may guide to the future."

"The Wheel of Fortune, life is in flux the soul of an innocent is on the battlefield placed there by fate, it may be tipped in any direction or it may find another path."

"Five of Swords, arrogance unbridled led astray"

"Queen of Swords, protection of the realm and service to them."

"Page of Swords, a life of balance is best."

"The Moon, vigilance is the first hallmark of wisdom; do not be diverted from your goals."

"Two of Pentacles, burdens must be shared or all may be lost."

"Five of Cups, pray for the beginning"

"Mother, this is the reading. You must find him, your first. Go back to the beginning and move forward. He once brought destruction, now it is time for him to become more. Go to him, but you may not stay. Deliver the reading, start the transition, and return home to your daughter." With that the young woman picks up the cards, stands and returns them to the box and the box to the cupboard.

Pausing at the door, "I know you love him, but his path is not here."

"I know but there is no other for me."


The sea smelt different here, not as much of the smell of human life bled over and what there was blown off into the ocean by the sea breeze. After a thankfully uneventful flight and boat ride she arrived on an island she never thought she would see again. Renting a small motorbike she went back to the beginning. The house she remembered was gone, that kind of surprised her, it was a beautiful home even if it held nightmares for her. The new home could be seen from the gates facing the street along with the placard stating the address, at least that was the same. According to the people in town it was called Fortunada and only the couple that were caretakers had been seen there since it had been completed.

It was beautiful, large windows, vaulted ceilings and exposed dark woods. Truly beautiful. She pulled into the drive and leaned over the small speaker box and pressed the 'call' button.


"um.. My name is Solitaire, and.." a loud buzz was heard and the gears to the gates started to grind and swing the gates open.

"Please, pull up mistress."

"Mistress... what?" But she did as told.

As Solitaire approached the front door two people came rushing to the door to meet her, both trying to put on the last pieces of what looked to be uniforms.

"Good afternoon mistress, we were not told of your arrival, Marta will prepare a room for you and..."

"Please, stop a moment. Why are you calling me mistress?"

"Master James said to give you all courtesy if you chose to return, but he did not know if you would."

"James... He owns this?"

"Yes, of course. He comes here when he can, but that's not often."

"I need to find him, can you get in touch with him?"

"Yes, of course but not till tomorrow, it's already evening in England."