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ALEISTER CROWLEY THOTH TAROT: XIII Death

Rising Tide

Death is such a heavy word, thinks Maura; the waves lap and splash around her. She sits on the rock, and the sun dips under the bleakness of her sorrow-laden heart. She wipes tears from her eyes and wishes she could turn back time.

Last week she was settling into her new life as a happy wife, and the future lay before them like a sun-bathed prairie. They had returned from their blissful honeymoon, and the world seemed to shower them with good fortune. On that day, Maura had dared to believe in a radiant forever. How she paid for her temerity!

Painful sobs erupt in her chest, and hot lava spills over her eyelids. Tears heavy with death roll down her cheeks, and she puts her head in her hands and wails. She buckles under the sorrow of a wrecked car and a husband’s life ended by a drunk driver who will never experience the aftermath: a future ripped from Maura’s heart. A tornado rages through her mind as the ocean licks the rock, and the surf surrounds her as the tide rises.

The sun sinks into the water, and Maura knows she must leave the spot where he proposed to her before it disappears under the waves. Even the ocean wants to take back all the happiness it brought her.

Wouldn’t it be better to stay and let the sea drown her in her grief?

“No,” the ocean whispers, as the waves kiss her bare feet and play on her toes, “I’ll spit you back out.”

And Maura knows it is only a passing fantasy in a flash of despair. She cannot leave yet. She stands up and walks inland from the beach. She pauses and gazes toward the rock as shallow waves roll over it. Placing a loving hand on her belly, she smiles; Death left her a precious gift.

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TAROCCHI DELL’OLIMPO: 7 of Pentacles

Aegis

Adrian Ryder tore his gaze away from the book and contemplated the middle distance. He was reading about Perseus and Medusa, but found it hard to focus. The recent dream had sparked a tiny ember of peril that flared and dulled over the following days, but never died out. In the dream, Adrian, riding Ethur, came upon the Ugly Man in the Mist and an evil crone plotting to take Cassie. He had awakened, sensing its reality and the certainty that Cassie’s life was in grave danger.   

The school year was ending, and he kept telling himself this was the last stretch, but the sense of impending menace nagged at him. Yet, the branches of the ever-blossoming trees of the Grove by the Old Cemetery doused this dread almost to extinction. He sought the silence of the biggest ever-blossoming tree and hoped that by climbing it and being in it, not just in the grove, he might move forward with his final school assignment. But the dream…

It showed him the people who wanted Cassie for mysterious and nefarious reasons, but not how to stop them. Later, it had disturbed him even more when Cassie told about the new girl turning into a hag in front of the bathroom mirror. 

He laid his head back on the tree trunk and wished for Athena’s shield, which struck the enemy down in terror, as the soft rustle of the breeze through the blossoms lulled him and their sweet fragrance numbed his worried brain.

“Adrian,” a soft voice said beside him, “Climb down.”

Adrian gazed into a woman’s face. She had Cassie’s striking emerald green eyes, and knew it was Cassandra, her ancestor, buried in this grove.

Adrian clambered down from the tree. He found himself in a moonlit cemetery with old and crooked grave stones spiking out of the gnarled bramble. This place was ancient, much older than any cemetery in New England. He felt it in the moonlight and the soft breeze that swirled around him whispering in a thousand dead tongues. There was an eerie, yet comforting, peace about it. Cassandra stood beside one gravestone shimmering in the moon’s glow, but time had effaced its name.

“Dig,” she whispered.

He kneeled; one moonbeam pointed its long tendril to a glimmering spot on the ground, and Adrian scraped the damp earth with his hands. Dirt caught between his nails and soft brown mud caked his fingers. Digging deeper, the earth’s thick texture changed and covered his hands in fine soot and ash. He suppressed a shudder; they burned witches in this part of the world. Soon his fingers closed over a cloth pouch. He pulled it out of the ground, and turning it in his dirty hands, untied the string and opened it.

A shining gold coin fell on his blackened palm. It had a long, gold chain wound and threaded around it, binding it in a tether like Ethur’s silver bridle. Adrian turned to Cassandra, but she had vanished. A moonbeam caught the coin, and it sparkled in the starry darkness; it had a woman with serpentine hair engraved on one face, the other was a smooth and golden mirror. His heart skipped a beat, but his lips broke into a smirk. He draped the chain around his neck; a hawk screeched and the sound cut right through him.

Adrian’s eyelids flew open. Sunlight hurt his eyes, and the wind gusted through the blossoms. He jerked in surprise and almost fell off the tree. He gazed at his dirty fingers with black soot under their nails. Around his neck he felt the weight of the gold coin: Athena’s shield.

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THE GODDESS TAROT: Princess of Staves

Shadows

Lizzy stares at the tree’s shadows projected on the wall. Moonlight seeps through the window, and though accustomed to the tree-shadows crawling across the wall, tonight they scare her. A sense of fear and dread hovers over the dim house, and the murmur of voices wafts through the threshold.

“Grandma’s not feeling well, but she’ll be all right, go back to sleep,” her father said, and ushered her back to bed.

Hurried feet shuffle past the doorway, and a gloomy atmosphere permeates the room. The wind howls outside and rustles the branches, which scratch against the window.

Lizzy watches the branch-shadows flicker on the wall. They stretch and twist into a hand with long fingers reaching towards the closed bedroom door. The bony twig-hand passes through the door and enters the hallway.

More hurried feet; stifled sobs and gasps mingle with the creaking stairs and the wailing wind.

“Boo-hoo,” it cries, as the shadows on the wall sputter.

With her heart in her throat, Lizzy gazes as the bony hand expands and morphs into feathered wings surrounding the bedroom walls. The moonlight brightens and emits a golden glow throughout Lizzy’s bedroom. She stifles a sob while sorrow rises from her feet to her chest, threatening to burst it open. It does not burst, but the sorrow spills over her eyes and rolls down her cheeks. 

The sound of flapping wings fills the room, then fades into the night as the tree-shadows settle back into their natural shape.

The wings also lift the dread from Lizzy’s body, and a placid sadness fills her heart now that Grandma has died.

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MINCHIATE: Five of Staves

Was It a Dream?

Was it a dream? Linda wonders as she inspects the back fence. It puzzles her; there are no breaks or marks or upturned soil, no trace of the event. 

In the dead silence of the wee hours, a dog barked. Linda lay in bed listening, unable to sleep, and frozen in fear. Danger, threat, and aggression hovered over the silent night.

Linda recalls lying on her side with her head turned towards the window, and gazing at the back fence through the bony thorns of her bare rosebushes. A bright red full moon shone its eerie silver light on the backyard; it glittered on the frosted ground, and Linda remembers thinking it was too bright.

And how the dog barked. Its howls and growls and woofs pierced the winter night, which glimmered, Linda thinks, the air was too clear, like ice.

She listened to the dog hidden behind the fence, and though its barks rang throughout the neighborhood, she knew it was in the neighbor’s backyard which abutted her own. Such a bright moon! The unnatural brightness disturbed her, and fear throbbed in her pounding heart, yet her sight remained on the back fence. 

A ripping and creaking interrupted the barking, and wide-eyed and ashen-faced, Linda watched the fence rattle. The moonlight shone on the wooden slat as its bottom broke apart, and a big black head poked through it. Sharp white teeth gnashed the slat beside it and snatched it off its nails.

The dog’s head broke and tore at the fence, until the hole was big enough for the big, black furry body to crawl through it and enter the garden.

The dog trampled Linda’s covered herbs and raged through her frosted yard. Its growls and snarls pierced the love and tenderness she lavished on that garden. The dog overturned her patio chairs and table and ripped the cushions. Flower pots cracked, and Linda’s heart raced with fear.

She shrieked when two blazing yellow eyes peeked at her through the dormant rosebushes. Paws reached out towards her, scratching and mauling, trying to enter. She feared the dog would shatter the window and attack her. 

Linda pulled the covers over her face, hoping the dog would not see her, and listened to the thunderous barking outside the window.

Daylight and all is still. In the crisp gray dawn, Linda inspects the untouched the fence. 

Was it a dream? 

She searches for signs of disruption, but finds none. No trampled herbs, no chewed garden hoses, no gashed cushions, no dog hair on upright patio furniture.

Linda pulls her coat tight around her chest, and stands in her rubber boots, gazing towards the rosebushes whose skeletal branches show no sign of attack. Yet, she knows the black dog peered at her through the window.

Was it a dream?

She wants to believe so, until Linda’s puzzled gaze catches the blood-red paw print scratched into the glass, just above the windowsill.

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GOLDEN BOTTICELLI TAROT: 10 of Wands

Chaucer

Geoff sets the book on the grass, crosses his hands behind his head, and gazes up at the clouds drifting across the sky. He wonders why schools keep torturing children with The Canterbury Tales.

“Middle English is difficult,” his father warned as he handed the old copy to Geoff. The same copy his own father had given him once upon a time.

The shining sun lured Geoff outside, and he hiked through the forest to his favorite meadow. The ruined castle lords over it atop the hill.

Lying on the grass, Geoff wills himself to open the book again. The assignment is to read The General Prologue, and it surprises Geoff he understands Middle English well enough.

Birds chirp in the trees. The spring breeze plays with his hair, the clouds drift, and the sun warms the earth. Geoff reads, slow and steady.

The sound of hooves approaches and pierces the living silence of the meadow. Geoff turns his head towards the tree line, following the sound.

Two men emerge; the elder clad in a rough and rust-stained tunic, the younger with bright clothing and curly hair. With them walks a man in green carrying a bow and arrows. Geoff gazes at them, but finds no reason to move. There is no danger, and Geoff wonders whether the man in green is Robin Hood. His lazy brain puffs the dandelion-idea away, and he watches in placid contemplation as they cross the meadow.

Following the knights, a prioress, a nun, three priests, and a monk appear out of the forest. Geoff is as religious as a fly, but he distinguishes the clergy and their ranks. They cross the meadow and a friar appears, then a merchant and a sergeant of the law.

Geoff knows these people, and wills himself to rise and greet them, but his body is deadwood. The cool breeze gusts and rustles the flora; Geoff thinks they have not seen him, and his silence among the heather will not offend them.

The procession continues; a haberdasher, a carpenter, a weaver, a dyer, and a tapestry-maker. Geoff observes them from his spot, as figure after figure crosses the meadow. Their animated conversation floats to him on the breeze. He cannot distinguish the words, but he hears the jolly mood in the murmur of voices wafting through the field. He wishes he were walking beside them.

Twenty-nine people, he counts, as the last person vanishes into the forest across the meadow. There is one missing, he thinks.

The soft roll of thunder rattles his body. His eyes fly open as soft sprinkles of rain pinprick his skin. The book lies face down on his chest, and a leaden thunderhead darkens the sky.

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TAROCCHI DELL’OLIMPO: VII The Chariot

Hermes

“Should I Stay or Should I Go” played on the coffee shop speakers, and Daphne wondered whether The Clash was telling her something.

She sipped her coffee as her anxious gaze wandered towards the door. An old couple walked in and searched for a table. A stormy gloom settled over the coffee shop as a heavy thunderhead ambled over the street. 

Daphne turned her gaze back to the window, hoping he would not be late, like he had promised this time. And the time before that…

“I’m here,” she texted him.

The song played, and the lyrics nagged at her. When to stay or jump ship? Is the relationship even worth it? She loved him, but did he love her?

She looked down at her hands; the gold bracelet hung limp on her wrist. He had given it to her as a birthday gift, and she loved it. But she never wore gold, only silver. Silver brought out the flecks of green in her dark eyes and glittered against her marble skin and jet black curly hair. Silver, not gold. Gold gave her skin a rotting-zombie appearance. And yet, he had bought her a gold bracelet.

“It’s Cartier,” he had said. 

Her text received no reply. 

Daphne’s eyes returned to the window; she sipped her coffee—black and dense, just as she liked it—while couples hurried down the street. The overcast sky chose that instant to dump buckets of rain over the world, which seemed to turn in twos. Everything and everyone seem to be a couple. Even the trees planted along the sidewalk grew in pairs.

She glanced at her watch. He was late, and she hoped the rain would not delay him further. The Clash’s song ended long ago, but the lyrics still resonated in her. Should I stay or should I go?

“Where are you?” She texted him.

Daphne gazed at the door, then tugged at the silken scarf around her neck, also a present from him. Hermès, she loved it. It was a beautiful scarf, but…

But there was always a ‘but’. The scarf was brown and mustard-yellow, colors that gave her an instant bitch-face. He knew this, and still…

Hermès… Hermes, the messenger. She turned back to the window; lightning flashed like the Greek god on winged sandals zipping across the sky.

“Give me a sign,” she muttered, “should I stay or should I go?”

Daphne glanced at her phone. 

No reply.

The rain stopped; the gold bracelet looked dead on her wrist. Daphne scrunched up her face, disgusted.

“I hate it,” she admitted, “I hate this bracelet.”

Then, she took off her scarf and scowled at its brown-and-mustard motif.

“I hate it too. “

She placed both gifts on the table and glanced at the door, then at her phone. 

Still no reply.

A ray of sunlight peeked through the overcast sky and streamed through the coffee shop window. It shone on her.

Daphne stood up and left the coffee shop. 

When he sauntered through the shop’s door, the bracelet and Hermès scarf sat inert on the vacant table.

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UNIVERSAL WAITE TAROT: XII The Hanged Man

Mesquite

The scraggly mesquite tree creaked in the soft breeze blowing through the open window and billowing the voile curtains.

“It’s a peculiar tree,” the hired arborist had told Daisy and Paul, “It’s at least one-hundred-and-fifty years old, and though bare, it’s very much alive and healthy. It has no plague or disease, yet, you say it doesn’t regrow its leaves?”

Daisy nodded, “We bought the house at least three years ago, and we’ve never seen a blossom or a leaf on that tree. I love how its twisted branches spread out like a bony canopy.”

Paul shrugged, but the expert had agreed.

“Yes’m, there’s a certain melancholic beauty to it. My advice: enjoy its spidery shade, there’s life in the old dog yet.”

Though the sun shone and the cool breeze blew through the backyard, Daisy and Paul spent the morning in the living room, measuring spaces and pondering whether a new oaken sideboard would fit under the windows that looked out at the tree.

Paul raised his cellphone to his face, “Let’s see if this A.R. app works.”

“A.R.?” asked Daisy.

“Augmented reality,” he answered, “it can overlay a picture of the sideboard we want onto our room, so we can see if it fits before we buy it.”

Daisy nodded, impressed. She glanced over Paul’s shoulder as he pointed the cellphone camera at the windows. She smiled when the image of the sideboard appeared in her living room while the skeletal branches of her beloved tree peeked through the frame.

Paul said, “I think it would look good, don’t you?”

And Daisy was about to agree when she noticed a shadow pass over the image.

“What’s that?”

Paul turned his eyes back to the phone screen. In it, the living room walls disappeared, and the tree stood in leafy pomp, outlined by a blazing firmament.

“Huh,” Paul muttered, and lifted his eyes from the screen.

The warm, yellow sunshine of midday poured through the windows and onto the gray-green vinyl-plank floor, reflecting off the cream-colored walls. On the phone screen, the tree stood on a lonely grassland beneath a fiery red sky.

“It is the same tree,” Daisy said, “I know every tangled bough, but it’s blooming!”

The screen flickered, and silhouettes approached the tree. The couple distinguished a group of rough-and-tumble men on horseback. A man with arms tied behind his back stumbled behind them as one rider pulled him along by a rope.

“It’s a posse!” Paul exclaimed, and they watched transfixed as it reached the tree. 

One man slung a noose over a high branch. The others pulled the tethered man forward and placed the noose around his neck. Then, they tugged on the rope, and the bound man flew upwards. The laughing and cheering bandits tied the rope to the tree trunk, while the hanged man dangled and jerked from the noose. 

The sun dipped on the horizon; the hanged man grew still and swung back and forth. The posse mounted their horses and rode away. The sun shot out its last rays over the empty grassland, and twilight settled over the extinguished life. A mournful wind howled and wailed, blowing away all the leaves from the hanging tree. 

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TAROT DRACONIS: XVIII The Moon

Walpurgis Night

Jenna sat by the window of her new, old bedroom in her grandmother’s house. Two fat tears hovered on her eyelids, then rolled down her cheeks. Her parents had moved into the house soon after she died, and those tears were not just over Oma’s death (her presence still lingered over the house), but also over the big change that came with the big move.

Jenna missed the many friends she left behind in her old town and regretted her status as the new girl. She had not yet found her footing and her place at her new school.

“Kids are meaner here,” she told Mom, “they pull away as soon as they find out I’m related to Oma. It’s not like Hexer is a common name around here, I can’t deny my relation.”

Mom sighed, “I’m sorry, honey, but we had to move after the company downsized and let Dad go.”

“I know, Mom,” Jenna replied, and curled her lip over her braces, a gesture now so common Mom wondered if it would stay after the braces came off Jenna’s teeth.

“But why do they hate Oma? They say she’s a jinx.”

“Because she was German, and lonely, and never spoke English well, so people never understood her. They saw a war bride, someone who used your grandpa as a ticket out of poverty and misery. To them, she was an enchantress who charmed her way into his life and his money.”

“But that’s not true,” Jenna exclaimed, “they loved one another, didn’t they?”

“Oh yes, they loved each other very much,” Mom answered, “but people only see what they want to see. We know she was loving and kind, but no one here gave her a chance.”

A lump lodged in Jenna’s throat, “I miss her. I miss her stories.”

“Stories?”

“Sure, she used to tell me stories all the time.”

Dad spoke German to Jenna, and it facilitated the relationship between Jenna and Oma. It made Mom grateful to know Jenna had been emotionally close—if not physically—to her only grandmother, having grown up never knowing her own grandparents herself. 

“What stories did she tell you?”

“She loved to talk about her childhood, her town, and her family. She spoke about the big family gatherings, and the dance halls,” Jenna’s eyes sparkled, then darkened a little when she continued, “although these last few years, she would tell me about witches convening on Walpurgisnacht. She said she saw them through her window, dancing in the moonlight.”

Mom pursed her lips at Jenna’s last remark, “Remember, Oma had senile dementia for a long time, so you should take her stories with a grain of salt.”

Jenna smiled and nodded, and returned to her room to sit by the window and watch the night fall over the meadow behind the house. She opened the window and let the spring breeze waft through the room. The stars winked at her as they appeared one by one, and the moon rose above the treetops, casting its cool glow over the meadow as it bid farewell to April with full pomp and circumstance.

“Why are you crying?” Oma’s voice floated through Jenna’s mind.

“Because I miss you, Omi,” Jenna said, and the wind rustled through the trees.

“I am here,” Oma’s whisper swept through the meadow, borne on the wind puffing through the tall grass. 

Whirlwinds of leaves blew across the silvery moonlight. Mist descended from the mountain and billowed through the forest and into the meadow like long and slender will-o’-the-wisps twirling and swaying to the melody of the gusting, fragrant wind.

The moonlight caught the mist-tendrils and shone on them with an eerie, yet playful, glow. They might have been graceful girls dancing naked in the moonlight. 

Jenna smiled; Oma’s witches on Walpurgisnacht.

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ALEISTER CROWLEY THOTH TAROT: 3 of Cups – Abundance

Milk and Honey

The heavy wooden door cracked and moaned as it inched open on its rusty hinges. A cool draft blew through the yard as the wrought-iron gate, squeaking and banging, swung in the wind. Dead leaves rustled and danced on the overgrown grass, fluttering towards the last rays of the setting sun. Dusk cast an eerie, blue gloom over the abandoned house, and Edgar shivered. 

The prior night’s dream agglutinated in his brain like dense honey, as vivid now as it had been the night before, and almost every night before that, since he could remember. It started in his early childhood—now a tangled mess of vagrant memories—and Edgar had since learned it foretold yet another move, another city, another change. His parents, both free-flowing hippies, never settled down, and at the drop of a hat would up and move their child miles and miles and miles away. Every time the dream visited Edgar, he knew change was imminent, and the dream would not leave until he had installed himself in a new house, in a new town, and a new school. The dream had given him respite during his stable and constant college years, but it had returned in full blast.

In the dream, Edgar stands by a window in the House of Usher — as he described it—gloomy, dark and ramshackle. The window overlooks a courtyard, just as abandoned and forgotten as the house itself. In the middle of the courtyard, between the cracked and lumpy cobblestone, sits a large fountain with a wide round base and three tiers of a baroque pillar stacked upon one another. Each section has an ornate basin, which gets smaller as the pillar rises. A phoenix crowns the fountain, its wings spread wide as its tail winds around the pillar, down to the topmost basin. Silky nectar flows from it and shines in the sunlight. The phoenix whispers, “Come find me.”

The dream’s frequency had abated in recent years until weeks ago, when Edgar received a summons from a lawyer. That very night, the dream exploded in his brain, and it blazed night after night. 

Bewildered, Edgar attended the appointment.

“You are the only remaining heir,” the lawyer said, as he read the last will and testament of a long-forgotten uncle, “Your uncle’s finances had dwindled, and the house fell into disrepair, but now it belongs to you.”

Now, Edgar stood on the doorstep of this abandoned house as it creaked open with the burden of years weighing down an old man. 

Edgar stepped through the threshold. Twilight glimmered through the dirty windows, and Edgar’s heart skipped at the ghosts waiting for him inside every room. He chided himself when he realized they were only pieces of furniture covered by sheets. Edgar walked through the chilly and dusty rooms; shadows crept on the walls. He marveled at the high and decorated ceilings, and at the baroque cornices. He approached a tall casement window; its shabby drapes billowing in a mysterious breeze.

He glanced out of it and gasped. The window overlooked the courtyard, and in its middle, lit by the rising moon, stood his dream-fountain with its crowning phoenix. But this fountain was as dry as a desert; its magnificence lost in its abandonment, its phoenix cracked by time.

Edgar opened the casement window, and the soft scent of honeysuckle wafted into the room, though in the moonlight, he distinguished only skeleton branches and gnarled, bony bramble that crawled over the ground like spiders.

“Hello,” the wind whispered, as it blew around Edgar.

“Hello!” Edgar replied, and the sound of his voice echoed through the courtyard.

A soft rumble shuddered through the house and the fountain gurgled and bubbled to life as silvery water sprang from its interior. The phoenix-wind whooshed again and awakened the fireplace across the room, which sparked a warm and comforting blaze. The room flooded with light, and Edgar saw it as it had been in its heyday: glowing, beautiful, and cozy.

The dream that had been with him so long burst inside his brain and oozed a warm welcome through his body. This milky feeling tasted like honey, and Edgar knew that after all this time, he was home.

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TAROCCHI DELL’OLIMPO: 5 of Wands

St. Elmo’s Fire

Esther sat on the hotel’s terrace overlooking the ocean. The soft sea breeze cooled Esther’s sunburned cheeks. The ocean mumbled a lullaby beneath her as the waves lapped on the pebbled beach. It sounded like a baby’s rattle, and a lump formed in Esther’s throat at the memory of their baby-that-was-never-to-be.

Arthur caught the lump and smoothed it away by stroking her hand in his, like water smooths down jagged rocks. Their eyes met, and both understood the pain lurking behind their irises — his blue, hers brown.

“This was a good day,” Arthur said.

Esther nodded, “Oh yes, I could stay here forever.”

Moonless and starless night fell, and only the dim terrace lights burning behind them offered comfort from the encroaching darkness. They sat on Adirondack chairs facing the water, which was now a black mirror that reflected nothing, like a void in the earth surrounded by ghostly cliffs.

Arthur sipped his whiskey, while Esther let the playful breeze tousle her hair.

Arthur cleared his throat to get her attention, “What’s that?”

Esther opened her eyes.

In the cove, three blue lights flickered, no, danced upon the water. They snaked and glimmered like tongues of fire playfully devouring lumber. They frolicked in a smoky meander on the still and mirror-like waves.

“I wonder…” Esther stated.

“I think it’s Saint Elmo’s fire,” Arthur said.

“Beg pardon?”

“It’s an electrical weather phenomenon that appears on pointy structures, like masts and spires, when lightning strikes are imminent. It looks like blue flames.”

“Do you think we ought to go inside?”

“I don’t know,” Arthur replied, “the sky is cloudy, but it doesn’t feel like rain. What intrigues me is, what is catching the electricity?”

“A ship, perhaps.”

Arthur doubted, “There were no ships at sunset, and there are no ship lights.”

The waiter approached and asked if they wanted anything else.

Arthur turned to the man, “No, but you should warn that ship.”

The waiter looked puzzled; Arthur pointed towards the water.

“That’s Saint Elmo’s fire,” he said, “and that ship is in danger of being struck by lightning.”

“I’m sorry, sir, but there are no ships on this part of the island. It’s impossible to approach this cove from the ocean. A terrible death of jagged rock lies beneath the waves. Many ships have sunk here, too far for rescue from the shore. Not even a rowboat dares enter this cove.”

Esther gazed at the man, confused.

“Then what’s out there?” Arthur asked, “What’s causing those lights?”

“St. Elmo’s Fire on the masts, like you said, sir, but that ship now lies in its watery grave. The lights appear on darkest nights, but lightning struck it centuries ago.”