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 is rescued by a stranger in a boat. He was fleeing from three sinister characters, The Magician, The Chariot, and The Hermit, with whom he had seemed to recently have had a lovely supper with.
Confused at the sudden changes he had seen in the kind old woman and that of the men whose company she had been in, The Fool had fled. Dodging spells and escaping a collapsing Tower, he finds himself near another... is he friend or is he foe?
After a while, it occurred to The Fool that he had no idea where they were going. Usually, he did not have a plan, but it seemed vitally important that he reach his home village now.
"Where are we going?" The Fool peered out at the surrounding landscape, the flood had washed through this valley and it drained out through a wide gap at the bottom. Either side of the water's edge were tall trees that would prevent them from making any kind of safe disembarkment from the little boat.
"Well, somewhere dry I hope." The man replied. Malick shielded his eyes from the sun, his red and gold hair whipping in the wind. There was an unruly stubble on the young man's jaw, not yet beard, but showing the promises that it will become one soon. "I feel as though none of this happened by mistake you know? Do you ever get that feeling?"
The Fool shrugged.
"I am sure of it! There is a reason for this flood! It happened right now! And I picked up you... and your dog." Malick took one hand off the tiller to show a clenched fist. "I am sure of it!"
"But how can you be so sure?" The Fool was petting Prashanta's head. The dog was exhausted. Usually, she would be bouncing up and down the confines of such a small deck, but the hours in the water had tired her out. All she wanted to do was rest or sleep. The Fool felt the same, and yet he was not entirely sure whether or not he trusted this new man.
"Its a burning feeling in my gut mate." Malick clenched his stomach with a free hand. "I can feel it deep down and it's the same as whats in the water flowing under my boat. It pulls us along to the destination that we are meant to be. By the High Priestess, I declare it so!"
At this, The Fool sat up straight. "You know the High Priestess?"
"Well of course mate. "I go to her Temple every week. I know that the Temple will never be harmed by the waters, even if it was submerged, it will still be where it always is."
"Can you take me there?" The Fool paused for a second. "Well now, this might be a bit of a strange question... I have met the High Priestess, but how do I put it? How is she like? The one that you go to?"
Malick threw his head back and laughed, the sound rumbling through his barrel chest. "Oh aye, I think I know more about that what you ask than even you do Fool."
The Fool waited a bit for Malick's mirth to run his course. He smiled even though he had no idea why this would be funny. Meanwhile, he heard a slight snore and saw that Prashanta had fully fallen asleep. Lunky dock.
"Well now Fool... The thing you really want to be asking me here is which one of the two High Priestesses I might be taking you to."
"There are two?"
"Well of course... everyone has two sides to them. It's just that some of us live a lot closer to our darkness than others. Some, like The Chariot, lives apart from his darkness. It conspires against him as hard as he works to be what he is. The High Priestess taught me that. The whole world has a duality to it and something more... something she was trying to teach to me that I did not quite understand."
The Fool patted the book inside his clothes. "Can you get me to the right High Priestess? The one who is... wise and good? I have not been seeing any... good folk around here in a while."
"Oh! So that's what happened to you! My Lord! Of course." Malick slapped himself on the forehead. "I thought you were a little out of place over here. You must have crossed sides." Malick gave another hearty laugh. "See? I told you that there was a reason for us to meet!"
The Fool suppressed a sigh. "Why is that?" He goaded out of the young man. This Malick did rather seem to enjoy having his feathers preened for him.
"Because I am the one who can get you back!" Malick grinned maniacally. The young man grabbed hold of the one side of the boat's tiller with both hands. "Hold on to your dog!"
The Fool did not get any more time to prepare as Malick yanked hard on the tiller to one side. Instead of turning the boat to port or starboard, the vessel started to roll. Somehow, sickeningly, The Fool stayed rooted to his seat next to the gunwale and the side of the ship dropped out under him, with he and Prashanta rising up into the air.
Malick only stood in the center of the ship and bellowed his hearty laughs and pulled and pulled on the tiller. The ship's bottom side had slipped under the water and the waterline was fast approaching. Malick disappeared under the churning froth, still turning his tiller.
The water rushed up to meet him, The Fool sat nearly upside down now on the ship. He took a deep breath as the water closed around his head.
It is now @zakludick's turn to add a link to the story in Page 8 of Tarot Tales.
Page 8 completed!
Now the torch is passed on to @KD-Neeley to add in Page 9 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
Tarot Tales - Page 7 by @KD-Neeley