This is a Chain story passed between @kd-neeley and @zakludick. Each writer authors a post based on the events of previous episodes and carries on the story.
There is very little collusion between the writers as it is challenging to discover and develop a story by attuning the writing to the partner's plot, style and presentation.
Last Time on Tarot Tales
The Fool loses sight of Prashanta. He comes across three dark figures in the woods and hides, eavesdropping. The Magician, The Chariot, and The Hermit are meeting secretly, but something is not right. This is not The Hermit that The Fool met with earlier, nor The Chariot he knows. There is something dark and evil about these characters. Then The Hermit says that after scrying the other side of the veil she knows that the other Hermit has given The Fool the book.
Where is The Fool? Is this a dream? Where is Prashanta? What do these characters want with the book?
It is now @KD-Neeley's turn to add a link to the story in Page 7 of Tarot Tales.
Silence stilled the dark forest and The Fool became aware of his beating heart. Where was Prashanta?
“WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!”
Everyone jumped at the sound of the large dog barking, and a shot of thunder rolled across the sky. The Fool forced himself to remain still and listened. The Magician began chanting. What was he doing?
The Fool shot to his feet and cried, “Prashanta come!”
The dog obeyed just in time, and the red beam missed.
Within seconds a downpour drenched them all. The Fool bolted for the road with Prashanta at his side. Running through the rain down the muddy path, he saw a Tower in the distance and picked up speed. The Chariot loomed behind him and Prashanta ran up to the Tower’s door and pushed it open. The Fool followed her in, slamming the door. He found the lock just in time and barred the door as The Chariot banged against it. They were trapped in The Tower, but they were safe.
The storm drummed against The Tower drowning the voices outside. The Fool knew the trio that chased him needed to get out of the rain. They’d probably take shelter nearby and wait for him to exit, and that wouldn’t happen so long as it stormed. He began ascending the winding steps with Prashanta following behind him. He stopped at the first window and looked outside. His view was a blurred flood of rain so they continued their ascension.
The top of The Tower held a wonderful surprise. There was a bed and chamberpot, and a small kitchen. Someone must live here. That didn’t stop him from making himself right at home. Prashanta shook off the water as The Fool undressed and dried off with a towel. He laid his clothes out to dry. He collapsed on the bed and Prashanta joined him. They curled up and went to sleep.
The rain continued all through the night and into the morning. The Fool got up and dressed then looked through the cupboards for food. There were nuts, beef jerky, and dried fruit. He shared the jerky with Prashanta. As they ate, the storm outside grew worse.
Thunder deafened The Fool and Prashanta began barking. A blinding crash set the room ablaze, throwing them against the wall. He got up groaning, eyes wide at the flames that blocked the stairway. They had to escape the burning Tower. The Fool grabbed his pack and lifted Prashanta, wild in his arms. He held her tight as he stepped out the large window and soared down into the flood below.
The Fool and his dog struggled to swim in the pelting rain. The current knocked him into a felled tree and he clung to it.
She fought to get to him, embracing a branch with her paws. The Tower crashed down behind them leaving survival to the mercy of the waves. Muddy water enveloped his head and pushed them in the direction of chaos. The tree they held onto crashed against the forest and the pressure pushed at their backs. The Fool struggled to get toward Prashanta. When he reached her he put his arms under her front legs and embraced her against the tree. They stayed this way for hours, holding on.
Stay awake. Don’t let go. Don’t give up. Prashanta’s head leaned under his chin. The water helped with the weight of her. Time inched by.
At last the rain subsided. The sun came out and began to warm them.
“You still with me girl?”
Prashanta whined a little, they’d be alright. The Fool strained his neck to look around. He let out a deep breath at what he saw, “Over here!” he cried out. The silhouette of someone in a boat moved in response. “Over here!” He saw them paddling nearer.
“Ahoy!” he stopped the little boat behind The Fool, “Climb in.”
The Fool’s arms rattled in the water, shaking, “Come on girl,”
“Oh, you’ve got a friend there,” said the lad as he reached over the boat to help grab the dog. After much effort, The Fool and Prashanta were laying in the boat with the young man who rescued them.
“I’m Malick,” he held The Fool’s hand.
“Beg your pardon?”
“I’m The Fool. This here is Prashanta.” The Fool laid back shivering. The boat rustled in the water as Prashanta shook off.
“The flood took my farm. Looks like it nearly took the two of you.”
“Thanks for the rescue,” tears of joy filled The Fool’s eyes, “I can’t believe our luck.”
“I’m happy to help.” Malick began to paddle. “Did you see that tower come down?”
“We were in it.”
“Oh! Christ, you are lucky mate!”
They laughed together. The Fool began taking off his wet clothes and ringing them out, feeling the warm sun on his skin. Malick whistled a tune.
Page 7 completed!
Now the torch is passed on to @zakludick to add in Page 8 of the story!
Tarot Tales - Page 1 by @KD-Neeley
Tarot Tales - Page 2 by @zakludick
Tarot Tales - Page 3 by @KD-Neeley
Tarot Tales - Page 4 by @zakludick
Tarot Tales - Page 5 by @KD-Neeley
Tarot Tales - Page 6 by @zakludick