June 2012: The Tarot
All of the artwork this month is provided by Dan Donche's Darkana Tarot deck, available now! You can pre-order a deck at DanDonche.co/store (do it before they sell out!), or you can always catch the irreverent fun at facebook.com/inappropriatetarot
June 11: Double Piss Test by David James Keaton
June 13: Misreading Evidence by Chris Lewis Carter
June 18: Five of Swords by Tone Baker
June 20: The Fool by Bryan Howie
June 25: Fragile by Devon Robbins
June 25: I Am Gypsy by Kathryn Soverane
June 27: The Tube Top Shebop Tang Yeah Woo by Nikki Guerlain
July 2: Last Stop by Grigori Black
July 4: The Tower by Chris Deal
It was there waiting for him when Lloyd left work. He rounded a van as he thought of opening a beer when he got home, of sitting down on the couch and not moving until hunger drove him out into the world. His car came into view, an envelope glowing in the golden afternoon sun beneath his windshield wiper. His stomach churned with the angry memories of parking tickets past. His perambulation slowed to a measured step at a time, Lloyd's eyes scanning for the offending security guard, but all he saw were his coworkers, amused by their own internal plans for the evening of freedom to come.
The gas station attendant set his paper aside and adjusted himself as he glanced at the clock. At two am, he wasn't expecting much in the way of traffic. His cash register was fifty miles from everything. Most of his business wound up being late night truckers in need of a caffeine fix or stupid tourists misled by their GPS. The truckers were always good for a story or two when they weren't tweaked out, but he could live without the whining couples and screaming kids. He'd sent them all on their way with an absent smile.
It had started out a fine afternoon.
Skipping through the park, jazz hands out, I was waiting for my friend to return from some business about a girl, when I spotted a squirrel and decided to skip after it. It was in no hurry, allowing me to maintain a fairly close distance. Like me, it seemed to be enjoying the first sunny day of summer.
“The Queen of Cups! I just wait for you, And it is bad. And it is wrong. And unhealthy.” She giggled and jiggled. “The Queendom in your Kingdom, is a fucking disaster, and a disgrace to the English language. And probably Spanish. And French too. It’s all Greek to you. I am the Queen of Queens, and that is not New York.” She was peeling cards off the deck, slowly moving around the room, not quite dancing but taunting, looking at him. “Four queens better, that’s a hell of a hand. You may beg to differ, and I want you to, I want you to fucking beg. Four Queens, Ace high! But not as high as we are tonight!
Our shakings hands hold each other and our breath is visible inside the car. We sit parked at the edge of the world, shoulders pressed together, so quiet that the twinkle of the stars is an ambient static. I touch her face; push aside the long strands of golden silk from her eyes.
Leaving the subway at night, I take one step before the first bum asks me for a dollar. In my coat pocket, I flip through a deck of cards and pull out a Three of Cups. I toss him a five. The next block, another person reaches out from the shadows of gray buildings and asks for a dollar.
He sees my darkened face. Backing away, he says, "Never mind, man. Just forget it."
Larry peers. He arches his fingers to erase his reflection in the window. He has seen movement in the left behind home, and wants to prove himself right.
Again, there it was. Black moving in black, in form and precise. Keeping the boy's eye until it hurt from forgetting to blink. Bit by little, the boy thinks he can see in the dark. The black is cleaning itself from his view.
Maybe we should call the radio station and request a song.
Why don’t you request a story instead?
Okay, here’s one. I’m out of jail three days and my girl starts telling me about how some asshole she works with proposed to her. This is her version. She says, "We went on this hike, which was his idea. We were actually lost for awhile, sweating and coughing when he finally got down on his knee to ask"...