This is the last snippet…Regina, I introduce you to Lila’s Gram. Enjoy everyone.
I looked over my shoulder at Gram again. I’d spent her last Sunday on earth with her. We sat in her kitchen, blinds closed against the setting sun. A candle flame flickered in the middle of her kitchen, two parts leaned into each other like slow dancers. It’s dance intensified, the flames intertwining, pulsating until they merged, became one and sighed.
“That’s it, child.” Gram said softly. “Focus.”
My lids heavy, they closed. Faces I didn’t recognize appeared. They whispered change and undefined danger.
My eyes flew open.
“No, child,” Gram said. “Look back into the candle. Breathe, let your eyes close, thoughts take wings like the birds in the sky.”
I followed her instruction. The faces appeared, whispering. Change and danger vibrated through my subconscious.
“What is the voice saying to you?” Gram said.
“Lots of voices. Only two words. Change, and danger.” I opened my eyes. “Gram, I really should stop this. Mom doesn’t approve.”
“Oh, pooh on what your mother thinks. You have a gift. You need to use it. Besides, she thinks and says a lot of things that don’t make sense.”
I spent Sunday mornings with Mom and Daddy at church, but in the late afternoon, I went to Gram’s and we practiced the ‘gift of sight’. That’s what Gram called it. Mom called it craziness and delusional visions.
Gram did her best to teach me the Tarot and tea leaf readings. I didn’t care much for that stuff, though. Too complicated. Most of the time, she had me stare at a candle flame and quiet myself so I could hear what the other world had to say. This didn’t overwhelm me, and I did it well.
Gram spread the Tarot deck out in front of me. “Okay, child, run your hands over the deck. Concentrate. Where ever you feel energy, pick a card.”
I squeezed my eyes shut and ran my hands over the deck.
An energy started at the top of my head and it flowed down to my fingertips, my skin goose bumped when I slid my hands to the right. I picked up a card, opened my eyes, and laid it down.
“The Tower card,” Gram said. “The card of change.”
“Okay, what does that mean?” I asked.
“Close your eyes and concentrate again, and let the energy tell you which other card to pick.”
This time, picking the card was faster. I opened my eyes and looked at the card. The face of the Pagan Horned God, The Devil covered it. It gave me the creeps. It could only mean something bad.
“Oh my, child,” Gram said. “Your cross is being enslaved. But that’s because you allow it, dear.” She pointed to my chest. “Somewhere inside there is the power to break any chains that bind you, today and in the future. This includes breaking the apron strings your mother has you tied to.”
Right. How am I supposed to do that. “Uh-huh.”
“Pick another card.”
This time, I kept my eyes open and ran my hands quickly over the deck. One of the corners of a card was bent upward and nudged me. “This one.”
I flipped it up. A dead man with ten swords in his back. It was terrible, and it frightened me. Someone will kill me, or I’ll come close to dying.
Gram let out a painful sounding sigh. “Oh, my. Sometimes everything goes wrong.” She nodded. “Change and danger are definitely coming your way.” She pushed her chair back and doubled over, hands grabbing her stomach.
I stood. “Gram, are you okay?”
“Of course. It’s just my bladder. I have one of those UTIs. I’ve been taking medicine from the doctor for it.” She stood but staying bent a hand on her belly. “I think we’ll call it a night.” She backed further away from the table and stood with a wince. “Call your mother to come get you, child. I’m going to lie down.”
“Remember to pay attention to your dreams, Lila. Pay attention to the voice inside you.” She smiled. “I’ll always be near watching over you.” She cupped my chin and kissed my cheek. “And be a good girl.” She winced again, pressing a hand hard against her stomach, and sucking in air. She exhaled and said, “And bring Julio next time. I like that boy. He’s got manners and a bright future. Your Mom’s full of pooh about him, too.”
She turned and walked toward her bedroom.