TAROCCHI DELL’OLIMPO: 4 of Pentacles

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Theseus

Kevin groped in the dark. I’m Theseus, he thought, I must kill the Minotaur before another girl dies.

He walked further into the labyrinth, opening doors and windows, only to find more rooms and hallways, each one different.

He stopped and looked around. He was in a room decorated in pink, all pink, the furniture was white and the bed had a canopy. This was a little girl’s room. The air in it was stifling and the bright pink made his eyes hurt. There was something about that room that disturbed him. Something had happened here, someone had died, but the memory was silk, and it slipped from his fingers when he tried to hold it. It was one long pink silk.

At the end of the room there was another door, white, with a brass handle. That was the bathroom, he thought. He turned the handle and walked through.

Now the room was blue with white curtains that rustled in the wind. Did that mean there was an open window? He rushed towards the curtains and slid them back with such a thrust that the rod almost slipped from the wall. There was a window, but it was latched. Kevin tried to open it, and at first it wouldn’t budge, but then, it suddenly gave way with such force that he almost fell out into the darkness.

Strange, he thought, I could’ve sworn there was sunlight coming in. He took a deep breath. It occurred to him that he wasn’t scared, or worried, or hungry or thirsty. He didn’t feel anything, just a strange sense of floating in a heavy silence. Like the city feels just before a snowstorm; silent and hovering, almost as if gravity had weakened its pull and was about to let go.

He retraced his steps out of the little girl’s room and entered a hall. This was a different hall than the one from where he’d come in, even though he’d walked through the same door. First, he’d been in a narrow, white hallway, with no windows, but this hall was vast. The walls rose up, and the light of the lamps that hung at intervals along the wall did not reach the ceiling. The wallpaper was brown with a rhomboid pattern and the carpet here was red. The red startled him, it looked almost like a river of blood and Kevin hurried to get out of that hall; he quickened his pace, then ran, his bare feet thudding on the blood-colored carpet. The hall was endless, and for the first time, Kevin was afraid.

Something was chasing him, he knew; a ghost. This hall was haunted, perhaps this whole house that was his and wasn’t his, too. He didn’t belong in this house and the ghost wanted him. Who are you? He thought, what do you want? But the ghost only let its presence be felt, never showing itself. So Kevin ran, fear growing with each stride, desperation wafting out of him with each pant.

“I know you’re here!” he yelled, and the house echoed his voice, “Show yourself!”

Suddenly, he tripped and fell into pink light. He was back in the pink room, only this time, there was a little girl in white pajamas. She was in the fetal position on the bed, her arms covering her head and she whimpered. Her pajamas were speckled with red spots that appeared out of nowhere, like raindrops from inside out.

Kevin got up and a belt materialized, it came down on the little girl. An arm appeared as the belt was pulled up and when it whipped down again, the whole figure formed.

The man was his father, and as Kevin looked closer at the little girl, he recognized his sister.

“Stop!” he yelled, but the man didn’t, and Kevin knew what came next. He knew this would lead to a small coffin in the ground, but this time he might change the ending. Maybe this time, he would kill the Minotaur.

He lunged at the man and the whipping belt hit him on the head. He screamed in pain and the room with the man vanished.

Kevin opened his eyes and found himself on the floor of his bedroom, his illustrated book of Greek mythology next to his head. He sat up and tried to support himself on the bed, but the blue rumpled sheets that hung over the frame only slipped, covering his Superman-pajamaed legs, and his teddy bear tumbled down. He fell back on the floor. His head hurt and he felt a new bump on his forehead where he’d collided with the nightstand.

Kevin put the teddy bear against his chest, curled himself up with his hands over his head, much like his sister had done, and wept on his beloved book when he remembered he had failed to kill the minotaur yet again.

 

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