The Story of

The Card

 

 .... a TRUE Story!

 

    

 

The Card

by Kandra Niagra

 

                                   I was driving home in a good mood, heading West, engaged in my usual attempt to outsmart the sunset... but once again it had gotten to be late afternoon and the sun smiled down flamingly in a most glorious yet impersonal manner, upon and through the windshield and around the visor of the Big Blue Whale in which I was traveling at a pretty good clip, for a big old lumbering Suburban.

               After four days of working on my shoppe at the Texas Renaissance Festival, where a Contractor friend and I jacked a two-story stucco wall back to vertical level, I was tired but satisfied that the job was well done.

So there was a blue streak heading down the open highway. Driving my "construction vehicle", just driving along, listening to some jolly tunes and occasionally bursting into song, I noticed gradually that the Big Blue Whale was starting to shake.

When the driver's side visor started shaking it's screws out, and the visor was beginning to hang down across my vision, I fumbled for the cell phone and called my mechanic, Brad, who warned that it could be a tire causing the shake. 

                                   I was kind of liking the visor way down low like that... shielding my eyes from the sun's high beams... but the shaking suddenly became violent, and seconds later, the rear tire on the driver's side blew. The explosion sounded quite unnatural. I pulled over. The tire was Shredded. The journey home came to a complete standstill.

 Wow.       

Well....  Okay.   

  Well.      Okay...   

 So where was I?

      When the dust settled, I noticed a nice view of the surrounding countryside.

The poor Blue Whale with it's rear tire shredded in long ragged pieces... was perched upon a high grassy bluff... kind of like... a beached whale... but there was an underpass a few yards behind and beneath us which I could use for shade.

What luck, I thought... it was probably nice and cool on those concrete slopes under the bridge.

         I whipped out my phone, called Mechanic Brad, evaluated the condition of the spare tire, and trotted down the hill, away from the beached whale, heading for the welcoming shade to read my book.

I figured- with a hundred miles behind me and only thirty miles left to go.. I should be waiting only about 30 minutes.

        Well, down under the bridge it was not cool, like I had imagined, at all. It was more like an oven.

By contrast, up on the high bluff it had been quite breezy and spacious, overlooking the beautiful landscape. Hmmm... that was a no-brainer. I decided to vacate the oven and trot on up to higher ground.

         Picking out a breezy spot about midway up the hillside, still way behind my car and concealed from the view of the traffic, I got settled with my book again.

In spite of the hot sun, and besides an occasional assault of the obligatory nerve-wracking fear that my car might be rear-ended by some maniac, it was not such a bad place to be stranded. What a view!

      Always on the look-out for fire ants, I made sure to scan the ground around my feet...

That was when I noticed

 in the gravel, to the right of my foot, there was a card.

A playing card. Face down.

How unexpected. 

I just stared at it. A playing card.  Right HERE?  

Kind of mysterious.  I looked around...(for what.. a witness? the owner?)

  No, I was alone.

 Oh sure. Here we go. 

Okay, I surrender... to the Already quite familiar penchant of the Omnipotent Dealer to provide strange and unusual circumstances... presumably to get some point across, although it's frequently questionable as to exactly what point is being made.. Well,

 Alrighty then! So deal me in! Why not? I certainly wasn't going anywhere!  

 Anyway, the Mind had already seized upon the idea of this being a Game..

Guess the card.

oh brother... 

 Once unleashed, the Mind... Na! Too Late to stop it!  The churning had begun.... the Mind was getting going now!

 "in the big picture... there are no accidents." 

"...According to the Tarot, every card has a Meaning..."

and now

the Mind took careful aim and posed the Grand Underlying Question:

 "Will this card be Relevant to my Present Situation?"

 

 No Gambler with a face-down card in front of him in the dust, the sun in his eyes, and a grimace on his poker face, ever studied a card so diligently as I, to the sounds of vehicles whishing by on the other side of the concrete guardrail. Otherwise the hillside seemed to be held in a hush.

Yes, my eyes stayed narrowed as I stared down at that card in the dirt.

The wind brushed me gently and I leaned back to include the distance in my vision. I felt like a Pin... like in the game: Pin the Tail on the Donkey. How did I end up here- pinned- by blind chance, to this parched patch of ground out in the middle of nowhere, at this totally random location, with a card sitting next to me?

I know the card.

 What supernatural conspiratorial quantum quirk of fate would lead a person right to this spot anyway... where this one lone card would be waiting?

It's the Queen of Hearts.

              I know that tacked to my wall in the kitchen there are a few Queen of Hearts Cards but how many times in a person's life can the same card come up?

Guess the Queen of Hearts.

          For weeks, months, maybe even years, this abandoned card has been sitting here. How long has this Hidden Symbol waited to be discovered? Waiting for Fate to deliver a wayward traveler- a particular wacky individual who would haphazardly arrive in the midst of an explosion of rubber and light and who would already have a collection of Queen of Hearts Cards at home in her kitchen!

Turn the card over.

               Actually, it sounds like a Disney movie. In fact, wasn't there a Queen of Hearts in "Alice in Wonderland"? Yeah, right... it would be the Queen of Hearts AGAIN in a World where Playing Cards got up and sprouted skinny little arms and legs and grabbed paintbrushes because they were gravely concerned about the color of the Rose bushes! Think of the Probabilities against the same exact card showing up yet another time!    The Mind was loving this debate!

Guess.

 I slowly shook my head. 

I had to admit, it could be any card... 

 My gaze slid over the panorama of farmlands and forests...

Guess.

 

This is- Too Random! I held my breath.

 

I reached for the card and turned it over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 It was the Queen of Hearts. 

 

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Hmmm. ...but it would be just like the Queen of Hearts

to be waiting patiently in the dirt for somebody!

Like the Guardian Spirit of the Highway!

 The Queen of Mercy- Angel of the Afternoon! Madonna of the Stranded!

 I tipped my hat to the low afternoon sun. Whew!

 

What a Journey.

 

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 Tyberron

Kandra Niagra, Dollmaker

PO Box 326

Smithville, Texas 78957

Phone: 512-332-6680

Email: bigkandra@aol.com

 

      

 

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