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Tarot: The Fool

Pele's little sister was a badass healer. Her name was Hi'iaka. I'm reading a Hawai'ian myths and legends book we brought back from our trip. I just had to say that, because it's awesome.

Meanwhile, here is the latest tarot picture, and a story.

Two figures have just jumped off a cliff in the indigo light of evening. One is a dark-haired woman with her shoulders marked with red clay or blood and her arms stretched wide, bearing up the wings of the other figure, who is half raven and half wolf. The wolf head is twisted around and biting the leg of the woman. The raven head is cutting in its beak the thread that holds the sun in the sky. It has swallowed a little piece of the sun, which is glowing in it and the wolf's stomach.
Photoshop and MotionComputing tablet


You see why I have so little investment in this world? he said. The magic is a step away for me.
Heya, kin. You're invited.
I know your teeth are right there. You've been here before. Come with me. Where would you like to go?



They crouched together on a ridge, looking out over the tops of trees. She stood and stepped into the wind.
It was some time before now.
Listen, he said. It is too quiet.
I hear the wind, she answered. What should I be hearing?
The sounds of the woods settling into night. Crickets.
It's too far below,
she said. There are just rocks up here.
Do you want to go higher?

She nodded assent, and they climbed. The wind was quieter, so close to the cliff, and the rock was cold beneath their bare hands and toes. Good to climb, the kind of good they would feel in sore muscles tomorrow. He drew strength from the smell of the wood, the rock and the trees. She was high enough now to feel alone. The stone underneath them was dark, almost black.
Can we lie here and look at the sky? he asked.
Reluctantly she stopped.
Where is the moon, kin? he said.
I can't see it. Just stars.
Good.
Confused, she turned to face him.
Too much light would be too easy. This is just enough light to mark me.
Mark you? No - you are the one who should mark me.
Very well,
he said. Let's climb a little higher.
They came to a ledge, off to the right of the slope. Space for both of them. A good place, with a long stretch of rock beneath them, and the open sky.
I haven't marked you before, he said. Are you ready?
Yes.
Then tell me what you see.

There was silence. The occasional rattle of a pebble. His dark silhouette beside her, no details, but radiating warmth and the smell of him.
Then I will mark you with fire and earth, he said. Do you know the signs?
She shook her head.
He held her right arm and slashed a jagged lightning bolt onto the side of her right bicep. She took a breath. He grabbed her left arm then and carved another jagged line, the crest of a mountain. Blood dripped down her skin. He pressed his lips to it.
She stood very still.
Feel the mountain beneath your feet, kin. This is why you are barefoot. Can you feel it?
She nodded.
This is yours now. What will you do? He waited with his hands at his sides.
Jump. Fly with me, kin.
With you. Yes.
And the wind carried them both up, lifting them out from the rocks and high over the trees.
Finally, he breathed. His face lit with joy.
No more dusk - it was full dark now. Or was it? The sky kept changing. No matter, there was still the wind on their faces, rushing past.
What do you see, kin? he asked. Hunt with me.
She saw the edge of a forest, a river, all lit by starlight. The other mountains spread around them. There was the smell of water, sharp even up here. Animals far below them were tiny sparks of light.
This is not what we want. We want fire. Which way?
She asked, More fire than the lightning that's already in the air?
Yes. What say you now, kin? Shall we steal the sun?
You know I can't turn that down. And why must I be named?

He laughed. No name, kin, but to steal the sun you need a form. I am raven.
I have a form,
she said. It is indistinct.
Good. Take whatever form you require.
She sensed black, and deep purple, and flashes of lightning. What do you see?
He answered, I see the sun peeking over the horizon. It's time.
Then we have our heading. She shot forward, a blur through the air, and he followed.
He used his beak to break the bond of the sun to the sky.
She dove into it, so that she could seize hold of it.
We have it!
Then let's fly!
Give me a bit to swallow so that I may have fire too.

She scooped some in one fist and tossed it out. He snapped it up.
Thank you, kin.
Fly with me, raven!
she said.
Not for long. He gasped. I am changing. It is burning me.
Where to? You are outside the light, you can see.
North. North and west. We will be safe there.

She veered around mid-flight. Safe? Safe from what?
We have stolen the sun. Someone will come looking.
We will never hide it.
No,
he said. What will you do when they come, then? In the north we can hold the sun for many days before it must be night.
I still have teeth,
she said.
Against the whole of the world, kin? You are brave.
I have done it before.
Then we will stay here, until we have purpose. No point in stealing the sun with no goal. What is our goal?
What made you say we didn't have one?
I don't know it,
he said. I am only a thief.
You are more than a thief. You fly with me.
Where to, then, and why? I have never had a purpose in my life.
Then we need to land until you find it. You can not borrow mine forever.
No!
he said. I will not leave the sky.
Then let us find it up here.

He cursed out loud as his body grew heavy and fell.
She dove, grabbed him, wrapped her arms around him. His form was changing under her hands.
He cursed again. Leave me, kin!
No!
Let me go!
He was wolf now. Let me go!
Up here? If I let you go, you would die.
So be it.
He bit her, again, again, tearing into her flesh.
She fought back, twisting out of the way. Kin you will kill us both!
It is my nature!
He snapped at her again.
Bleeding, she pulled him around, trying to keep his head out of reach. But he was changing again. Head of a wolf, body of a man. Bleeding light from many wounds. Cursing.
She wrapped her legs around his torso, her arms holding his.
No! I will drag you down. Let go!
I have the sun to draw power from.
Please let go.
Why?
I don't want -
Why not?
I.... Don't let go.

She held him tight.
What am I? He was changing again.
I see a man. A naked man.
Oh shit. I don't.
What do you see?
I see a reflection. It can't be. Because I have words. I shouldn't have words. The wolf took them. I - have - words?

She continued to hold him tight. What do you hear? she asked.
A bird.
What do you smell?
Clay.
What kind of clay?
I don't know. It is red.
He hesitated. The feathers were drifting away. I am afraid.
Then let us land, so that we might catch them.
You have no wings, how will you land?
I have the sun. The sun will carry us down.
I am afraid of the ground too. Should I touch it, should I go back to being wolf? It is who I am.

She waited.
The air is cool in my lungs.
I only feel the heat,
she answered.
Cool and heat together. Where are we?
North. North and west.
Where is the mountain?
Beneath us.
Where is the sky?
Above.
Then we are not north and west,
he said. We are above and below. Where is the sun?
All around us.
Her voice faltered. Should I put it back?
No.

So she waited.
He asked, Is this my fate? What should I do?
You marked me with earth and fire,
she answered.
Earth and fire. This is my fate. Then I will earn it. Will you come with me?
What do you mean, earn it?
Learn it. Learn who I am.
I will come,
she said.

 

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
hyperion_swan
Nov. 2nd, 2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
Ooooh. That tarot illustration is lovely :O The composition of everything just seems so clean and fluid, and it's interesting to see the story that goes with it.
pyraxis
Nov. 5th, 2012 12:49 am (UTC)
Thanks. Yeah I was really working on the composition, trying to incorporate the things the concept artist gave me in his critique. Still haven't quite got the hang of changing the perspective, but at least I got some of it.
jimnightmare
Nov. 2nd, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
Whoa. Powerful writing and picture.
pyraxis
Nov. 5th, 2012 12:50 am (UTC)
*is glad it came through*
angiedub
Nov. 13th, 2012 06:32 am (UTC)
Yes! The story made the picture make sense. The changing. The fear and the ecstasy together.
pyraxis
Nov. 13th, 2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
You understood it. *smiles*
angiedub
Nov. 15th, 2012 06:08 am (UTC)
I've seen small children when they see an adult they love crying not be able to tell the difference between a grimace and a smile. Our faces are pretty mobile, but I think extreme emotion makes the face do the same thing, it turns up. Like in the Queen song where he sings about pain and pleasure.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )