Soraya’s heart skipped when the Tarot reader flipped the card. The answer to her question lay in front of her, plain as day.

“The Three of Swords,” the psychic mused, “you need to decide, you are at a crossroads.”

How right she was, but it wasn’t a simple decision, like what skirt to wear, it meant ripping out her heart whatever she chose. She was at an impasse. Damned if she did, damned if she didn’t.

The Tarot reader flipped the remaining cards and continued with the reading, but Soraya’s gaze remained fixed on the Three of Swords and its cruel depiction of her life. Three swords crisscrossed a heart in a rainstorm. Three wounds, three people.

Soraya wiped a tear from her eye which the psychic noticed and stopped the reading. She observed Soraya for a moment, then gathered all the cards in the spread save the Three of Swords.

“You know, don’t you?” The psychic spoke, “You hoped the cards would tell you something different, but they’ve only confirmed your suspicions.”

Soraya nodded and sniffed.

“Your life path has swerved because of a man.”

Soraya nodded again; she wanted to speak, but feared spewing a deluge of sorrow upon this stranger, so she stifled a sob.

The woman tapped her between the eyes and the woman’s fingertip on her skin startled Soraya.

“You know what to do,” she smiled, “you’ve known for a while, but now it’s complicated.”

“Yes,” Soraya squeaked, “way more complicated.”

Soraya placed her hand on her tummy and the Tarot reader smiled, her wrinkled face beaming with kindness.

“New life is always welcome but you must decide who will be in it.”

“I don’t know what to do, I only suspect, but it’s so strong, I know I’m right.”

“You are not alone, you are never alone, and if you ask, you will receive an answer.”

Soraya thanked the woman and held out a wad of bills, but the woman shook her head and declined them. Soraya’s eyes filled with tears and she opened the door. She glanced back at the woman who was still smiling at her, and left.

She sat in her car; those three swords stabbed her with every heartbeat. Overhead the sky rumbled as tears fell on the steering wheel. She put her face in her hands and sobbed.

“Please help me,” she pleaded aloud, “please guide me.” But only the tap-tap-tap of the rain on the roof answered.

Soraya switched the ignition and began the long drive home. The heavy rain poured down and she couldn’t see the road despite the windshield wipers swaying at full speed.


Myra lay naked in bed while Aaron dressed; his wedding ring glinting in the electric light. They’d had sex through the raging storm, the thunder and lightning beating outside the window, as if trying to break in and smite them. Now and again, the ember of their guilt would rekindle, but they’d douse it with more sex. As the storm abated, Myra closed her eyes, exhausted and blissful.

A pang of pain on her chest jolted her, as if someone had rammed a sword through it. Tears she couldn’t control poured down her face and her mind screamed her sister’s name, Soraya! Soraya!

In an instant, the sensation passed and Myra perceived a strange sense of loss, like something gone forever.

Myra reached for her phone and dialed Soraya’s number. Aaron’s phone rang while she waited for the call to connect. The insistent tone of the busy signal pounded in her brain.

Aaron glanced at the display and grinned the devilish grin that tickled Myra’s lust. He showed her the display with Soraya’s picture and winked.

“Hi honey, I’ll be home soon, I promise.”

A knot formed in Myra’s throat as Aaron’s face fell. He slowly lowered his arm and let the phone drop on the carpet.

“Soraya,” he muttered, “the storm… Car accident… She’s dead.”



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