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World of Darkness - Mage the Awakening - Keys to the Supernal Tarot

World of Darkness - Mage the Awakening - Keys to the Supernal Tarot



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Published by: Scrambled Words on Dec 27, 2012
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Keys To The 
By Matthew McFarland  
Prologue: The Fool
“I can read your uture in these cards, y’know.”I can read my own uture in these cards. I’m ucked. I’vegot a pair o deuces and jack-shit else, and I know the dudeacross rom me has at least a ush.“Oh, yeah?” I’m making conversation while I look orthe exits.“Sure.”“These are just playing cards, Wilke,” says the Black guy.He says it like he’s making an excuse or me. I didn’t catchhis name beore. Started with a J, I think.“They’re cards,” says Wilke. “That’s all I need.” He nodsto our erstwhile waitress. “Tina, how about another?”Tina was sitting at the next table reading a dog-earedpaperback. She nods, stands up and stretches, and walksacross the empty room to the bar. We’re the only ones inhere. The jukebox is long silent, the TV’s o because thegame is over, and the smell o cigarettes is ading rom theair. The cars outside are ew and ar between, and theyjust make little warning whispers on the wet roads whenthey do cruise by.I’m at least our miles rom anyplace sae. My car’s inthe lot, but I think I’m blocked in. Taxis don’t come downhere unless called, and the nearest bus stop is our blocksup. I’m so very ucked.Wilke raises me fve. I’m already on credit, here, but Ihave to see him and stay in. I decide to raise him, hopingto God that he’ll take pity on me. I he olds, I’m backwhere I started when this game began, and I could walkout o here relatively saely.Wilke does me the credit o looking at his cards again.“Jerry, you in?” Jerry — that’s his name — tosses his cards on the table.“Nah. This is getting too tense or me.” He walks to thebar and reflls his soda rom the ountain. Jerry mentionedearlier that he’s been sober or 19 years. Tina brings Wilkehis beer and glares at Jerry or messing with her bar, but Jerry doesn’t notice.“You really want to raise me, Steve?”Steve isn’t my real name. My real name is Abraham,but I hate that name and I don’t use it even in normalcompany. This is decidedly not normal. I got invited tothis game because I needed a way out o the deep shit I’min, and a buddy o mine told me that this game could getme out… or deeper in. And so here I am.“Yeah.” I try to sound convincing.“Okay. Call.” He tosses a ew more toothpicks into thecenter o the table. We don’t have any poker chips torepresent our currency.“Shit.” I toss in my cards. He drops his. I was right. He’sgot fve hearts, and I’ve got a handul o crap. Jerry looks over my shoulder. “Hell, I should’ve stayedin.” The other two guys chuckle. I eel like bolting.Wilke sees my ace. “Oh, will you relax, Steve? Jesus, it’snot like we’re going to make you pay
.”“That’s not comorting, really.” My voice cracks. I’mscared.Wilke starts shuing the cards. I hope he doesn’t thinkI’m going to play again. “I said beore that I could see youruture in the cards. You want to see what I mean?”“I guess.” I’m going to need to call my girlriend and tellher… something. The truth is no good. Tell her I’m goingback to my ex? That’d hurt her less.Wilke stops shuing and points at me. “What are youthinking? Right now?”I start. “Um. I was thinking about my girlriend—“He pulls a card out o the deck and snaps it around so Ican see it. Jack o hearts. “Perect. That’s you.”Something dawns on me. “Don’t you need a Tarot deckor this?”“‘Tair-oh,’” he says, wincing. “Not ‘tarr-ot.’”“Okay.” I glance at Jerry, who sips his soda and smiles.“But don’t you?”“Cards is cards,” says Jerry. He sits down next to me.“Look here. Playing cards comes rom Tarot cards. Gotyour hearts, your clubs, your spades and your diamonds.Well, that’s just like cups, staves, swords and coins. Gotyour kings and queens and jacks—““No pages, though,” mutters Tina, rom behind us.“Right, right, none o them. And none o the big impor-tant guys, either, but it don’t matter. Cards is cards.”What the hell is going on?Tina walks over and sits with us. I notice that the bookshe’s reading is in German. She turns her chair backwards

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