everywhere I went. She would
leave a trail of cards behind her
as if they were flower petals.
I would approach her, hoping
that she would slow down and
I would be able to catch up
just out of my reach. I tried
to collect the cards, but they
would start to melt,
turning to water before I could
begin to gather them.
I was able to see colours and shapes
before they faded away
but nothing more.
Another woman saw me
trying to gather the cards.
She carried a staff that
shone with a light all its own.
“The Empress is trying to
tell you something.”
I noticed that this woman
was wearing a golden
helmet with two horns that
twisted into the sky. When I
looked again, the horns were gone.
“What’s that?” I said. “What
Is she trying to tell me?”
The woman with the horns
shrugged. “Only you can know.
However, I can give you a piece
of advice. If you’re willing to listen.”
It was my turn to shrug. “Okay.
I’m listening.” I stood there,
the puddles left by the cards
forming a line of water along
the pavement. The water
looked like jewels catching the sun.
“Don’t look for what you think
your heart wants. That will lead
to disappointment. Instead,
listen to your heart. It will tell
you what it needs.”
“When?” I said. I tried to keep
the frustration out of my voice.
“When you’re willing to listen.”
She said. She bowed her head to me,
and followed the path that
the Empress had taken, using
the water to guide her.
I noticed that she had a
golden disk strapped to her back.
As she moved away from me,
I blinked again and the horns returned.
I watched her until the shadows claimed her.
I returned home to find a small package
on my front stoop surrounded
by water. I picked it up and
unwrapped it, revealing a deck of cards.
I knew this was from the Empress.
These were the cards that had
trailed behind her like flower petals.
I took the cards inside and
as I flipped through them,
I listened to what the Empress
had to say.