-- The Tower
The night air was warm against Susan’s skin as she trotted down the lane back to her home. The dead tree’s that made up the majority of the
forest along these roads creaked as she walked their shapes completely invisible to her eyes. She clutched her pocket protectively; this part of the
woods wasn’t only creepy, it was dangerous.
When she first began learning real magick, she quickly realized that those woods were something else. Violence and evil intent began to radiate from
every direction in that place. Susan didn’t kid herself though. She knew what she did was evil; all the same, she knew how untrustworthy she was, so
she always kept as far away from other witches and evil entities as she could.
A few scattered phrases found their way into Susan’s ears on the wind. She tilted her head sideways, trying to catch a few more words.
“Demon…. You thought that you could….Effin’…… We’ve got you…… You can’t escape……”
Susan formed the Sign of Levitation with her hands, shot into the air and followed the noise into the forest. She heard the tree’s creak and groan
as she flew past them, their wooden limbs cracking from the breeze she created as she flew past.
She came upon a small clearing, and saw a sight that sent her blood cold. The clearing was lit by a bonfire, its flames dancing into the sky as an
evil jester lay, bound with ropes by the fire. A small group of teens surrounded Daemon, their clothes torn and ragged. One of the teens in the group
walked towards the fire, and the dull glint of a large, grey revolver flashed into Susan’s eyes.
The shot rang through the empty forest like a cannon blast, as the blood poured from Daemon’s stomach wound.
Susan was swallowed up with sadness. She felt her heart drop in her chest, down into an abyss it had only visited when her grandma had disappeared.
Tears began to flow freely from her eyes, but then she felt a fire start in her stomach that built up to full her entire body. Her fury burned with
the heat of ten thousand bonfires, and she felt herself cast the cards before she stopped to think.
With a flick of her wrist, she pulled the golden box out of her deck and cast 9 cards, 3 for each of the teens still alive around that fire. The
cards floated in the air in front of her, and shone with their own brilliance. All of the cards for the teens were the same.
She spoke, her words magnified by hate and flowing with fury. She cast fear and hesitation into her words, so they couldn’t escape while she
“You have cast your die and chosen your fates. The cards have seen your actions, and now cast judgment upon you.” The group stared at her, caught
up in the magick of her words. They watched her blankly as she glided down to the ground and read their cards.
The first card flipped into the air and turned so that it could be seen. On it, a happy lad pranced down a pathway, a dog at his heels. The far side
of the path was rocky, and suddenly dropped off into a cliff.
“The first card is The Fool. You started this day ignorant of your fate, driven by the running puppy of your emotions.”
The golden card disappeared, its magic being used up, and another, fresh card rose from the deck to take its place. A proud, brick tower rose on this
card, with the top being blasted off by a meteor and several people toppling from its windows, either tossed by the blast or leaping from the windows
in order to escape a fiery death.
“The next card is The Tower. It signifies your eventual failure and downfall, the twist of fate that has brought you to see your own end.”
The card vanished once more, and a third one replaced it. A figure mostly hidden in shadow stood just out of view on this card. Bone hands reached out
of the shade and grasped a long, ornate scythe.
“Your last card is fittingly, Death. I think you’re smart enough to grasp that one by yourself.”
The final card vanished and a strange silence set in as Susan stood, waiting for the magick to do its work. Suddenly coming to his sense first, the
teen with the gun started to try to run, but the gun slipped from his hands, bounced off the ground and misfired. The shot ricocheted off a nearby
tree and struck one of the other teens in the back of the head, blowing the front of his forehead out over the girl still standing next to him.
Panicked out of her paralysis, the blood-soaked girl turned to run, but her foot tripped on a rock and she fell face first into the bonfire.
The screams echoing behind her, Susan took off again, and tracked the one left through the forest. The boy ran as fast as he could, trying to outrun
her shadowy figure as best he could. Glancing back to look for her, his foot caught on a rock, and with sickening cracks and thuds, he rolled into the
rock studded ground, and by the time friction slowed him to a stop, his head was bleeding profusely and was just as broken as a majority of his other
The three disposed of, Susan turned flew slowly back to the bonfire. It wasn’t hard, as the fire reached quite high, and the light it cast cascaded
through the trees at her. Hovering silently in the clearing, she noticed something that was very wrong.
The small pool of blood was where it had been when she had left, so was the crackling bonfire. Daemon’s body was missing
Landing with a soft thud, she collapsed on the ground and stared quietly into the fire as it cracked and burned its way through the night. Tears
stained Susan’s face as she lay there, immersed in silent, unending pain. Suddenly a chilly wind stirred up and the nearby fire shrunk back from
it. The warmth of the fire seemed as a distant memory as the wind slipped through the tiny holes in her clothing and smothered her skin.
Susan jumped and looked in all directions, her thoughts and magick senses keen to search for the source of the noise. The sun had long since set and
the clouds had already drifted away. All that was left was the fire and the surrounding trees that creaked and stretched in the wind. Her mind’s eye
saw him before her real eyes did.
Out of the darkness in front of her walked a man, dressed in a 3 piece suit, and a crimson satin tie. He walked with a cane, but not because he
needed to, but rather because he wanted to. His hair was black with a few wandering gray hairs. His eyes were hidden in the shadows because he walked
with his head tilted down.
“S-stop right there!” Susan yelled, the tears still on her face and in her voice. The man kept walking, as if he hadn’t heard the slightest
sound. Still deeply involved with looking at his feet, the man didn’t look up as he kept walking, he just walked.
“Don’t come any closer or I’ll have to hurt you!” Susan shouted in a panic. Still the man trudged on, either deaf or pretending to be.
Raising her hand, she turned it towards the fire. The flames flowed from their source and smothered her hand in their warm embrace. Turning her hand
to point at the man, the flames leapt from her and shot towards their target.
At the last moment, the flame split into two and arched their way around the man in a circle of fire, which fell to the ground around his feet, which
apparently caused him to stop and look up.
His eyes seemed to be black in the firelight, a black that flickered with a fire all their own. Looking back down at his feet again, his eyes seemed
the relish the light and heat of the fire.
“Ah…. fire. It’s been ascribed to me in the past, but never used against me before. Honestly, I think I prefer cold over fire, but I suppose
both have their uses.” His voice seemed an almost frozen perfection of sound; it didn’t echo or bounce off of any of the trees around them. It
simply slid into ones ear, like an ice cube sliding down your back unexpectedly.
“Who… Who are you?” Susan asked, her voice slightly subdued by the change in atmosphere.
“I believe you already know the answer to that question, young lady.” The tarot cards began to stir in her pocket. Slowly, one golden sliver of a
card rose into the air in front of her, and slowly twisted around for her to see what it read.
The greedy smile spread from ear to ear on the creature’s face, its diamond eyes bright with a rebellious glare. Its skin was horribly wrinkled and
mutilated almost beyond recognition of skin, while its nose was gone entirely, leaving an open nasal cavity in it’s place. Its outstretched hand was
open and shown to hold thousands of people, all of them horrible cut and disfigured. Looking at it now, the skin seemed to take on a reddish tint,
while she could almost hear the howls and screams of pain from the people in its grasp.
Susan’s eyes widened and her mouth opened as the realization set in. She remained silent but her lips mouthed her thoughts.
“A penny for the smart lady! I’m not exactly fond of that likeness, but I suspect this little get-up here doesn’t exactly scream the Prince of
Darkness. I guess so long as I look like one, I should probably act like a seasoned business man, don’t you think?”, Satan responded, a cold kind
of mirth finding it’s way into his speech.
“Now, let’s see here. You’ve used the Veritas Carta deck 4 times already, not counting what you just saw. For a normal person I cut the limit
at 3 uses, but since you were already allied to me, you got an extra use out of it. UNfortunately for you, the payment for using the deck all the way
up isn’t cheap.”
“Payment?” Susan had finally found her voice again. The fire crackled indignantly as Satan stopped pacing and turned to face her again.
“Yes, payment. Did you really think that THAT kind of power would just be handed out because you already gave me your soul? You, my girl, have not
done your homework at all.”
“Well, what is the payment, my Master?” Responded Susan, who bowed as she spoke. She was composed enough to realize that she had long since given
this being her allegiance.
(Continued in next post... again)