TAROCCHI DELL’OLIMPO: XVII The Stars

The Well

Laura gazes into the well on Rainier’s farm. On sunny days, the sun shines upon the still water with sparkles that seem to light it up from within its depth. The dark water, with its tiny sprinkles of light, looks like the universe entire. In that well, Laura reminisces about the fabric of space-time and all the laws of physics she loves, even after Alastor, her devil, cajoled her into leaving college.

Sometimes, when she looks into that well with the sunlight playing upon its water, Laura sees the young girl who stumbled out of the farmland and into the city with a passion for astrophysics and a scholarship in hand. Having spent her childhood enveloped by the speckled dome of the darkest night skies, it shocked her to discover the only stars visible in the city where those portrayed in the posters along the walls of the myriad of movie theaters. 

Laura often recalls college, before Alastor, and the many days spent studying and untangling the mysteries of the universe. She marvels at the interconnectedness of everything, and at the undeniable bond between humans and the stars. She once thought she would specialize in quantum mechanics, because the hectic hubbub of the subatomic world fascinated and enthralled her. Then she met her devil, and that young, bright girl vanished, no, morphed into a submissive, subservient wife who had not opened a book for years. 

Now, alone on that farm, little by little, Laura has been clearing the cobwebs from her mind. From the cabin’s windows, she often gazes at the tiny specks of stars she can almost glimpse. She is still too afraid to leave the safety of the cabin’s shelter at night, lest they find her. Nighttime was once her passion, and their realm, and Laura is now too fearful of treading into it. They are most powerful at night; she soon learned. 

Laura bends down and picks up a pebble. She throws it into the well, smiling at the distinct plop, and watches the water ripple in all its dazzling sparkle. An image forms in the dark water. A young girl appears, with curly hair and eyes so green they shine like emeralds. The girl is smiling, and Laura notices a long silver chain hanging from her neck. By the way it hangs in a V-shape, Laura knows a heavy pendant must dangle from it. Laura wants to reach out and touch the girl, so vivid is the image in the water. 

Then, a shadow creeps across the girl’s face. Long tentacle-fingers emerge from it and clasp the girl’s mouth. Laura glimpses a top hat as the girl vanishes, and gasping, she recognizes Dagan, Alastor’s brother. She covers her face in her hands and lets out a muffled sob.

During the final gunfight at her house when she killed Alastor and fled into the woods, his bullet ripped a hole right through her courage; Laura’s knees buckle. She opens her eyes and dares to peek into the well. In the rippling water, she discerns a black horse and rider galloping through the darkness, and deep in her heart knows the girl, whoever she is, is out of danger… for now.

Laura takes a deep breath and exhales the fear out. She glances around the farm, takes in its safe tranquility and enters the cabin. She does not see the dark mist rolling above the treetops, searching…

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