Fallen Defender: Knight of Pentacles, Reversed

For a minute, I wondered if the killers I used to catch would consider this to be hunting, but monsters get off on this part of it. It brings me no comfort, just part of the job I have to do. We are the only species that seeks justice, it makes us better than beasts. But there is no justice. It’s as much a part of our imagination as God. But these streets need to be made safe for our children

The pathetic wastes are easy to lure into seclusion, the spots in alleys under broken street lights, behind dumpsters, the usual spots they go to after scoring their poisons. This is better. This is the way. It doesn’t matter that I feel less comfort each time, the face of the child still haunts me.

He struggled, and for a moment the look in his eyes froze me, pleading with me, asking me why. For a minute he looked so innocent, so human. I realized I was killing someone’s child, then, as always, I saw the other child, the tiny broken body bleeding out in my arms, the victim of random violence by animals like him.

My hands around his shriveled throat squeeze harder than ever, his jaundiced eyes pleading for mercy, confused, refusing to accept he will crumble beneath my hand. Rage filled my limbs as his eyes glassed over and his head tipped to the side.

I waited for the satisfaction, but it was weaker even than the last time. My momentary indecision ruined it, tainted my victory, stole my release from the unrelenting anger, the memories of all the villains that treated our prisons as if they had revolving doors, in and out like our taxpayers money was to give them a vacation, three hots and a cot.

The thirst that never ends is less appeased than ever. I know I am one of them now, I know how the pattern goes. I can no longer ease the itch that tickles more and more. It’s time to escalate.

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Tarot deck: Archeon. Tarot Prompt: Knight of Pentacles, reversed.
Interpretation: A fallen defender. Knights are full of passion, and fire. He carries the steady shield of earth, the element of the pentacles, moving ever forward. Reversed can mean corrupted, or fallen.
341 words. More tarot stories.

Persephone: 2 Card Romeo/Juliet Spread

His lawn was immaculate, framed in old trees with moss crawling up the bark. Helicopter seeds fluttered down from the maples, catapulting from their mothers in a spiraling, passionate leap, hitting the pavement with a thwack.

It would be hard not to fall for the man who saved her life, rushing to her aid before she fell in the turbulent river. This man so at home with kisses of the wild, like the unexpected thrill of a snake in the grass, and a bunny darting across the road, white bouncing warning flashing from her tail.

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“You know, maybe I should mention, the first time I saw you wasn’t in person. Perhaps it doesn’t count.” She seemed confused, but he clarified quickly. “The paper. When you organized the river clean up.”

She looked relieved. “Didn’t realize you knew who I was.” The kitten’s fur was soothing after the trauma, they were both lucky he was near.

“Didn’t want to appear to be a crazed fan.”

“Oh, I don’t get those. Not many people care about the river”

He smiled. “Yes, you can count on always being alone on the bridge.”

“What were you doing there, anyway?”

“Waiting for you.” He paused briefly, and shrugged at her shock. “I know. I didn’t want to seem creepy, that’s why I didn’t mention it earlier. I saw you when I was hiking, knew you from the paper, thought maybe I’d catch a chance to say hi. It’s lucky I did.” He winked. “Fate was telling me I had to be there to save you.”

She laughed. “I swear that beam shouldn’t have been so slippery. I’ve gone up there before to take photos, maybe that’s why the kitten got stuck. Maybe it was a better foothold when he crawled out there and the morning dew made it slippery.”

“Yes, maybe. Or something else. Very exciting.”

“Not the word I would use. The river’s pretty rough right there.”

“I just mean if you had drowned or hit your head, I never would have had the chance to lead you here.”

Concern furrowed her brow, she seemed uncomfortable at passing through the threshold of a man she knew so little of, and she clutched the kitten to her chest as he turned to her. She realized the sound she just heard was the lock sliding in place, and the kitten hissed at his smile.

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Archeon Tarot Prompt: card. 397 words. More tarot stories.

Vigilante: King of Pentacles, reversed

In the shadows he paused, listening. He took a steady, silent breath, scenting her out. He tasted the air with his tongue, confirming, seeking direction. He walked into a room full of polished wood and the scent from old books. The well-oiled leather chair barely whispered when she turned to face him, a look of surprise not yet upon her face.

He smiled. “You are vile, corrupt, heartless, and doomed. You stand on your shiny money and claim credit for work that is not yours; you lie to the people. You are a stain. You have convinced the city that your generosity and community outreach are responsible for the safety of our children but it is ME. I am the reason these streets are safe, ME. You lie and use your wealth to hide your true nature, your crimes, and you will be destroyed for the good of all.”

She tilted her head before she replied. “A monologue? Are you serious?” She sighed and stood up, brushing the wrinkles from her slacks. She took a step toward him, slinking as her heels traced the winding vines along the carpet. “You are motivated by instinct, a drive you barely understand yourself. An attempt to right wrongs done to you that can not be corrected, over and over and always with fail. You are little more than an animal. You deserve no credit.”

He did not anticipate this. She didn’t seem the least bit frightened, and it was beginning to chill him. She seemed to notice, and the way she moved her head as she looked him up and down reminded him of a snake. “Did you really think that if you sought out those with few ethics, that you would not find one with a darkness to match your own? Sweetheart, I am no mere white-collar criminal or one of the thugs you’ve been whetting your bloody appetite on. I’m just as much of a monster as you are, only more intelligent.”

“I am not a monster! I am a hero!”

“Tell that to McClary’s widow. Or the Johnston kids. They don’t have anyone left.”

He had no response, growing more pale as he noticed the silencer on the gun she had apparently been holding all along. “Did you think you were the one hunting me when you saw my press release? It was easy to draw you here. You are blatant, predictable, and drawing too much attention to my neighborhood.” He stood, waiting for her next words, as her gun hissed and the wall behind him splintered.

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Archeon Tarot Prompt: card. 429 words. More tarot stories.

P.S.- Still not settled in, but it feels so good to be starting up a routine that works in writing again.

RIP Isabelle, Hello Long Island

Last week, I mentioned that I got a new 4K camcorder. I got it just in time. Our sweet puppy was already sick and under the care of a vet.

She was sick enough that Joe decided to come down from New York a couple of weeks early, and it was good that he did. While he was driving, she had an incident where she became unresponsive and I ran her to the emergency vet.

She seemed to be responding well to treatment, so the next day when we to go visit her we started becoming optimistic. But, then she was gone that early afternoon. I’m not sure if it was meningitis, heart disease, or a brain tumor.

I was worried about her when Mom gave me the camera. So when she had a good day where she was willing to go outside, I filmed something I hoped would only be used to let Joe see his family while we waited for school to end. I can’t edit the 4k version until I get a desktop, but we have it and it will be treasured. Joe and I keep watching the mobile version I stuck on YouTube.

The aftermath was that since Joe was here, we would leave before school ended and sort the aftermath out later. So, that’s why I missed my Tuesday post and this isn’t the flash I promised to return to. On Tuesday I was in a car pressing to get here in time for Joe to get to work. Half a country, no hotels, no stopping for a proper meal, and a carsick baby, exhausted and grieving. One of these days I’ll have an enjoyable road trip, but it wasn’t this one.