“Isabella will be with you in a moment,” said the young Boyd, hastily popping his head in past the curtain.
“That’s fine, I can wait,” said Orquidea. She looked nervously around the dank basement. She shrugged. She was merely getting a tarot card reading done for fun. There was no reality involved in it.
She adjusted the fresh floral fascinator in her hair. On the way to Isabella’s business she’d sold a few to people walking down the street. She always had a few on hand, otherwise, she’d have to sell the one she wore, and she wouldn’t want to do that.
Her mind was currently in chaos. Her parents had passed, and she had finally decided what she wanted to do with her life. She wanted a flower shop. But she had one more hurdle to pass before it became her dream. And it wasn’t what you would think.
“Excuse, me, miss? She’s ready.” The young Boyd, dressed in red velvet pants and a white satin shirt beckoned her in past the curtain.
Seated at the table was an old lady, her white hair piled on top of her head in disarray. She wore a dark purple gown that must have been beautiful when it was in fashion.
“Please sit,” the older lady said, motioning to the only other chair at the table.
Orquidea sat down in the chair. It creaked and groaned. She wasn’t comfortable, but she didn’t want to fidget like she did normally, so she merely sat still.
“What’s your name?” asked the tarot card reader. “I’m called Isabella.”
“What a beautiful name. I am Orquidea.”
“Lovely too.” The woman started shuffling the deck of tarot cards. “Have you had them read before?”
Orquidea shook her head to the negative.
“Well, you’re in for a treat! I do various readings. How much money do you have?”
Orquidea placed some coins on the table.
“Perfect! Only the best for you. I call this layout the Panoramic Photograph. It shall give you a fair indication of You, the Problem or Situation You Face, Any Fears or Weaknesses You Face, Your Own Hopes and Strengths, Any Influences of Concern, and A Potential Outcome.
Orquidea nodded. “Or, I could just not listen at all, and be on my way.”
The old lady cackled. “This one has a sense of humour!”
She shuffled her cards and cut them several times.
“I am getting a tingle when I cut these cards. Perhaps it has a significance?”
Orquidea shrugged. “I cut some flowers today to make these little fascinators that I sell in the street.”
“Perhaps,” said Isabella. “Now, let’s get started. There are six cards in this layout. Some tarot card readers collect the cards and place them on the table. But I believe that you are in charge of your own destiny. So, you shall do it. But do not turn them over just yet.”
“I’m uncertain what to do.”
“First, you must think of a question to ask. Your purpose for being here.” She held her hand up in the air. “But don’t tell me what it is!”
“There shall be six cards. First one goes in the middle. Second card goes on top but horizontally. Card after that to the left, next to the right.” She watched as Orquidea obeyed. “The next card goes on top, and the final one beneath. You got it.”
The layout led to what appeared to be a cross.
“Good. Then, I shall turn over the first card, number one. This card represents you.”
Orquidea looked down. “Oh! It’s the Tower. What does that mean?”
“The Tower is a card in flux. It can mean you are facing danger or a crisis, but it’s not necessarily bad. It can also mean you are facing a big change in your life, which is often why people come to visit me. It means you are undergoing a huge learning experience involving the intellect. It can even mean your liberation. You can give up your current life and continue your desires.”
She nodded. “Sounds about right.”
“The second card is a problem, situation or concern in your life. Here we have the Five of Swords. Quite interesting and one you should take note. There can be some aggression or hostility behind it. Someone in your life is not who they may seem. It could also be that you’re your own worst enemy. This card is tied into the next.
“And now for the next card, on your fears and weaknesses.” Isabella flipped the next card over. “The hanged man. This card represents self-sacrifice. It also means being astute or smart, in other words, your intellect.
“You have perhaps faced a dilemma in the past. Perhaps you want a husband and family, but the timing isn’t right. Perhaps there was a man in your life, but it didn’t work out. When this card pops up, it means you are facing a dilemma.”
“Wow, this is all a lot to take in.” Orquidea sat back in her chair, letting it creak and grown away.
“Yes, but don’t panic, for, at the end of the reading, we piece the entire meaning together. The fourth card represents your hopes and strengths. You have drawn the Star. This card designates hope for the future, your contentment and inspirations. Now let’s see the next card.” She paused, taking a breath.
“If I’d known how interesting this would be, I’d have come a lot sooner.” She smiled.
“Oh, it’s all in your own time,” said Isabella. “Now, this card is about the past influences on your situation. Here we have the Devil. Now don’t worry, this is not necessarily a bad thing. It can signify sadness, or that you feel you are being kept from your life’s purpose. It can also indicate you feel there is a situation out of your control.”
Orquidea looked uneasily at the card.
“And now, for the final card. Death.”
“Once again, not a necessarily bad one. Death usually does not mean death of a life. It represents a transformation and new beginning in your life. It can actually be a good thing.”
Orquidea looked relieved. “And together, what does it all mean?” She looked up at the old lady.
Isabella looked down at the cards. “The three cards in the 2nd row are all noteworthy. The last line represents family. Overall, when we look at your cards, I’d say these are good, maybe even great. You have likely had a wonderful foundation in your early life, most likely due to wonderful and dedicated parents. These three cards here, the Tower in the middle, and the Devil and Death. These are all strong cards.”
Isabella told her a lot more about her cards. It was a lot to take in. Fortunately, Isabella handed her a taped ecording of her reading, so she could play it back at her own convenience.
She waved at Boyd as she left the fortune teller’s building.
“I feel almost more confused than when I first arrived,” she mumbled to herself. When the fortune teller had asked her to think of a question, she had failed to put her thoughts together in her mind. She clutched the tape in her left hand, determined to give it a listen later on.
Produced by: Eugenio Zorrilla.